The camping accessory you never knew you needed.
We’ve dragged this new portable shower unit through the Outback for a month, asked it to operate in the High Country in near-freezing temperatures and used it to keep man’s best friend looking his best. I wanted to be sure of this product before I shared my thoughts on it. You see, camping-based hot water services have been average at best in the past. There was a particular green one that most people had a love/hate relationship with. But now there’s a new player on the market: Enter the Aqua Cube.
The Aqua Cube’s biggest upgrade to its predecessors is its lightweight lithium battery, giving a stated (not tested) 50 minutes of run time coupled with a much more reliable heating system. It’s able to increase the ambient water temperature by 30º to a maximum of 50ºC and it does this nearly instantly – plenty for a hot shower or to do the dishes. A simple but noteworthy improvement over older models is an on/off switch on the showerhead as well as three different shower patterns. This control over water flow means half your bucket isn’t wasted while you’re getting undressed.
To set it up, remove it from its bag, connect the showerhead and pump, throw the pump in a bucket of water, set the temperature using the dial and hit the start button. It really is simple to use. There is a digital LCD to show you the input and output water temperatures, giving you precise control over the water temperature. Included in the box are 12V (that can be used if the battery is flat) and 240V chargers. The hoses are high-quality silicone and feature quick-connect fittings. The unit runs off the green 1lb propane cans (roughly $7 each) that seem to last ages. The battery also lasts a long time after a good charge.
Nothing is perfect though, right? The 12V power adapter fell apart on me (see image) and the battery indicator is slightly useless – it’s either full or flat. Still, after a fair few trips now the unit has never let us down. We haven’t been caught with our pants down (pun intended). Even after being banged around in the back of the truck for weeks on end, the Aqua Cube fires straight up. The package is light and its shape makes it easy to pack into the truck. This is a worthy replacement for that unreliable hot water system, or an investment to bring a little luxury to camping.