Rinsekit Pod Review
Cons: Precipitous pressure drop-off, can't fully empty, hose required for refill, small capacity
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The RinseKit POD is a battery-free, portable, pressurized shower with a garden hose-like nozzle. It holds 1.75 gallons and has a 6-foot hose with a 1.6-inch wide shower spray.
This kit can reach a pressure of 60-65 PSI, which is about what the average outdoor faucet puts out. While at first, this pressure is extremely useful, it rapidly deteriorates to a mere trickle by the time the POD is nearly empty. So while it still puts out water, don't expect this to be a miracle dog-washing or car-scrubbing genie, as the water trickles tragically from the nozzle. And unless you purchase an additional kit, there's no way to repressurize the unit except by filling it again from your home water source.
There are five settings on the head, much like a garden hose sprayer, allowing you to direct the water where you need it. It also has a small wire to hold it in the ON position. The "shower" setting provides a wide spray of needle-like water that provides good coverage, but it's unlikely to be your new favorite outdoor shower.
With a 1.75 gallon capacity, the POD is the smallest of the three options from RinseKit — the others are just 2 and 3 gallons, though, so not that much larger. It takes just 20-30 seconds to fill it with an average outdoor faucet. Depending on what setting you use, you'll get drastically different amounts of spray time from this kit. On our favorite setting — the shower setting — we were only able to get about 1 minute and 40 seconds of spray, and the last half of that is a pretty weak spray at that. However, the mist setting gave a whopping 15 and a half minutes of water! Though, after the first 5 or 6 minutes, the water flow still dropped to a nearly useless amount. On the box, RinseKit claims 4 minutes of spray — we were able to achieve that or longer on 3 of the 5 settings (mist, center, and jet), though only the mist setting had any real pressure left after that amount of time. But, as you might imagine, mist isn't ideal for a shower or truly good rinse. Bottom line, we're not totally sure exactly what this 4-minute claim is referring to. A small black tube, the POD heats up decently if left in the sun for a few hours.
Ease of Set Up
This is one of the most straightforward showers to set up that we tested. It's always put together and needs no assembly or take-down whatsoever. However, it does require a specific adapter to attach your at-home hose to the unit to fill it. The model we tested actually showed up without this essential adapter! But once we got it, we were easily able to fill this wee beastie as many times as we wanted by simply threading the adapter onto the end of a hose. The adapter also makes it incredibly easy — it turns your water source into a simple snap-on/snap-off refill station for your POD, making this process a cinch. Be careful, though — the pressure your hose creates inside the unit also makes removing it from the POD a dicey affair of dodging spray from the disconnection point.
The hose of the POD wraps easily around the side for storage, and a small rubber bungee holds the nozzle in place for transport. We find it a bit vexing that there's no way to see how much water is left inside — and much more so that there's no way to fully empty the tank, let alone to clean it.
The POD is a pretty solid little gizmo, built of sturdy plastic with a fabric-wrapped hose and a minimal amount of moving parts or things you could mess with and potentially break. We had no issues during our testing, even when dropping ours and kicking it around to see what happened. Probably the worst thing we noticed is that the attachment point between the hose and nozzle isn't 100% leakproof. We did find some other users who complained theirs lost pressure after a while or that it even exploded in the sun, but we experienced neither of these issues while we tested them in the hot July sun.
For what it is, the RinseKit POD is pretty portable. It doesn't break down or compress in any way, so it's not a good choice for backpacking or carrying too far. Its handle is wide and comfortable enough to carry all 1.75 gallons of water in this 5 lb 6 oz package. It's 14 inches long and 11.75 inches tall, and we think it's easy to tuck away in the car for a quick bit of water on the go. That being said, this shower's dependence on a faucet to fill it will really limit the places you can take it and still expect a refill.
The POD is about the middle of the pack for the price. If you're after a quick rinse without having to break out the garden hose, we think this little kit is worth the price. But if you're after a longer scrub or a sweet outdoor shower, this probably won't fill that need. RinseKit also offers some useful accessories if you want to upgrade your system later.
The RinseKit POD is a compact and useful tool for exactly what its name suggests — giving things a quick rinse. It's a portable and reasonably durable model that's easy to use if you have constant access to an outdoor hose hookup. Though it can't provide constant pressure through the whole tank and you can't ever completely empty it, it's a great little hose-to-go solution for short-term needs.
— Maggie Brandenburg