Pocket sized and portable washer from the giant of jet washers
Pint-sized and portable. The Karcher OC3 fits into any sized boot to bring easy cleaning convenience right to the trail head.
This tiny yellow and grey cube looks more like something a Pokemon would leap out of than a fully functioning pressure washer. Only taking up the equivalent space of a typical trail helmet, the Karcher OC3 leaves no excuses for not having it ready for a quick clean up at the end of a ride.
Karcher OC3 portable washer review
It’s been designed to completely pack down, with no external attachments left dangling, ripe for transportation damage. The narrow gauge, coiled hose and spray gun fit neatly into a dedicated space within the lower half of the unit. Access to the storage area is by simply lifting off the semi-transparent four-litre water reservoir via the split carry handle. With a little practice it takes a matter of seconds to uncoil or pack away the hose. Just be sure to put the handle properly back together as we have had accidental separation a couple of times resulting in a little damage to the unit.
The take anywhere washer
The OC3 has another neat trick up its sleeve as unlike the Mobi, which requires access to a power source, the OC3 relies on an internal lithium-ion battery for properly independent power. This allows it to be used practically anywhere as there’s no need to be near an external power source. A three hour charge gives it enough juice to run for an average of 14-15 minutes. This works out to be enough time to power it for two to three thorough washes.
Is it any good?
Unfortunately, as a dedicated bike washer the OC3 stumbles almost at the first hurdle. The four-litre capacity, we found, is only sufficient to really clean two thirds of a really mucky bike before running out (you can empty the tank in less than two minutes). Typically you are then reliant on carrying not only extra water but also brushes and other cleaning accessories, making the space it actually takes up more than that with the benchmark Mobi V-15. Adding to the frustration is a non-adjustable spray head; its wide and flat spray pattern lacks sufficient power to really shift the muck unless you hold it within a few centimetres of the offending part.
Karcher do make a brush attachment that would help matters immensely, but as the OC3 is marketed as a ‘lifestyle’ washer, anything sport specific is an expensive optional extra. As it’s a Karcher, spares are regularly available from a wide range of sources. Plus it comes with a two year guarantee.
The tiny size of the Karcher OC3 makes it practically disappear in any sized boot, meaning you have a simple washer ready to tackle day to day cleaning. As a dedicated bike washer it lags behind the competition, lacking in both capacity and pressure. If it's just to rinse off a little light mud or dust the it works fine, but anything more and you'll need extra water and plenty of elbow grease to get the job done.