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Nemo Helio Pressure Shower: A Dirtbag's Best Friend (and Great for the Rest of Us Too)

4.5/5, $99.95

The Nemo Helio Pressure Shower has quickly become my most indispensable piece of gear for truck camping. Far beyond just a shower, the Helio is used extensively each day on my overlanding adventures. Though, somewhat regrettably, I will never achieve dirtbag status, the Nemo has many benefits even for more short-term adventures.

Initially, I only planned on using the Nemo Helio as a shower. Silly me. For that purpose, however, it works very well. For camp showers I prefer to find a place with a hard, rocky surface so I am not standing in mud as I a clean off. Therefore, I am usually away from trees meaning that a hanging shower is not suited for this. The design of the Nemo makes it ideal for resting it on the ground. Not only does the Helio have legs on its base, the polyester fabric of the bag and pump is plenty tough to withstand punctures from a rough surface and rough treatment.

Nemo claims 5 to 7 minutes of constant spray for the 2.9 gallon capacity. Of course this is dependent on the pressure in the bladder, and I did not independently verify this claim. You must keep in mind, however, that it will be rare that you need or want a constant stream of water for an extended time. Even for showers, especially with cool water, I hose off, lather up, then rinse. For more real-world analysis, a single fill of the Nemo offered the capability for the following on my various trips with it:

  • A shower for me and a shower for my wife. 2 days of dish rinsing for two. Approximately 1/3-1/2 of water remaining.

  • A shower for me. 1 day of hand washing for 6 adults and three children. Two "boo-boo" clean-ups. Dinner dishes for that same group. Smores clean-up for all.

  • Breakfast dishes for above group including gravy in a large cast iron pot. 1 day of hand washing for 3 adults and 2 children. A shower for me and a shower for my wife. Dinner dishes.

The Nemo worked very well in all scenarios. Both other couples that accompanied us on our last camping trip immediately added it to their list of wants for outdoor adventures. It was especially appreciated to have a much easier hand-washing station in these times of increased germ awareness.

The bag has been easy to fill with help from a second person. I really appreciated the way the cap cover created a funnel to make it simpler to fill with less spilled water when I was holding up a 5 gallon water bag as my source. It was also easy to fill from a flowing creek. I can see, however, it being slightly difficult to fill for one person from a portable source, especially if that source was the 5 gallon bag mentioned above.

Other reviews have mentioned the difficulty of securing the cap. It does take a bit of force and finagling, but keep in mind that the pressure provided by the Helio requires that Nemo design a well-sealed cap. Additionally, forgoing a screw-on cap for a press-fit eliminates the potential for losing the cap.

Dirtbags, I salute you, and I can assure you this would be a wise, long-term investment for rinsing off after a tough day of climbing, washing your one plastic fork, and keeping your gear clean and functional. For the rest of us, the Nemo will undoubtedly bring welcome cleanliness to shorter journeys outside.

This review was unsolicited. This review is based on my evaluation of a product I purchased at retail price, based on my own research. I have not been compensated for this review in any way.


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