Whether you are primitive camping, have a favorite tent site or use a pop-up camper for your outdoor adventures, you are probably missing one thing that would make your outing much more comfortable. Can you guess what it is? Well, if you have ever experienced ‘nature calling’ without a bathroom facility in the immediate vicinity- you guessed correctly- that one thing is a portable toilet. In fact, if you have females or kids in your camping party, a portable camping toilet can make everyone’s trip much more enjoyable.
The good news is….you can find a wide range of portable toilets that cater to every type of camper looking for a bit more comfort. Understandably, when you shop for this camping ‘accessory’ you’ll want to choose the best portable camping toilet. Not surprising, the design and functionality of portable toilets have evolved dramatically over the past 20 years. You can now buy models ranging from the simplest- a seat ring bucket to an enclosed ultra-modern chemically sanitized unit. Making a well-formed decision will be essential in choosing the perfect portable toilet for your next camping trip; and, we want to help!
Types of Portable Camping Toilets:
There are a few distinctive types of portable toilets for camping. For the most part, they all have beneficial features that can make your camping life more comfortable. The only downside to any type of camping toilet will be the ‘odor’ factor. For instance, many are designed with lids and deodorizing features to keep the odor contained and at a minimum; yet, even the self-contained type will omit a bit of an odor when the lid is securely latched. So the placement/location of your portable camping toilet- whatever type you choose, will always be an important factor.
These range from a simple bucket with a disposal garbage bag to a more elaborate design complete with bowl, lid and ‘legs’ that can be folded up.
* Easier and more sanitary to dispose of
* Many use a powder to convert the liquid waste to solid
* The ability to frequently dispose of the waste
* Bags can be tied so waste is contained
* The legged variety is easy to fold up
* Bucket or bowl can use regular garbage bags- heavy duty, biodegradable are preferable
* Many are designed to be sealed up for odor reduction and easy transport
These are a popular option for campers to effectively manage waste. Many self-contained portable camping toilets feature a lid, comfortable seat and flush function similar to that of an airplane toilet. They are designed to effectively hold waste for longer camping trips. Some models even come with a compact plumbing system and holding tank for the waste.
* Uses chemicals to break down the waste into liquid form
* Designed to be self-contained- accompanied by a seat and lid
* Can be sealed between uses for easy transport
* Minimal odor-some come equipped with sample deodorizers and/or cleaning agents
* Needs water supply for dumping and clean-up
These are an environmentally-friendly alternative to a traditional portable toilet. They are dry toilets in which the waste is decomposed by aerobic action.
* Compact, efficient, self-contained
* Designed with a venting system to dissipate odors quickly
* Water-less system
* Can be used for an extended period of time
* Separates solid and liquid waste
* Uses composting sawdust to breakdown waste and reduce odor
* Requires an electrical power source/solar power
* A bit more expensive
What to look for in a Camping Toilet:
There are a number of factors you’ll need to consider when you are ready to purchase a portable toilet for camping. Of course, you’ll want to explore all your options as you think about which one will best suits your needs, the amount of storage space you’ll have to stow the toilet, as well as how much your budget will allow. When you are ready to shop, there are a number of companies that sell portable camping toilets online- which is super convenient, or you could visit a sporting goods store with a vast camping inventory. Wherever you ultimately purchase your camping toilet, it’s always a good idea to read all about the product before you buy, as well as the reviews.
With a growing number of styles in the market today, you’ll also need to consider a few other aspects when shopping for the best portable camping toilet:
At some point you are going to need to empty your portable toilet. The question will be where? There are many water flush portable toilets that are convenient; however, you will need somewhere to dispose of the waste. Unfortunately, many primitive camping areas do not offer a place to empty your portable toilet, but if you are camping near an RV site, you can easily find a waste dump facility nearby. You also might want to check with your destination prior to leaving to see if they can accommodate waste disposal. Other portable toilets on the market come with biodegradable bags that are easy to get rid of in a designated campground site or open wooded area. One of the greatest benefits is that these ‘bags’ generally contain a powder that can turn liquid waste to solids. The bags are convenient because they can be buried in a 6 inch hole- as long as they are disposed of at least 100 yards from the closest water source. Understandably, toilet paper takes time to break down, so you’ll probably want to pick up a couple of rolls that have the ability to disintegrate rapidly; these can be found in stores that sell camping supplies.
Volume of toilet:
It will be important to consider the performance capacity (how much waste it can store) of your portable toilet- especially if you are looking to purchase a flush toilet. Some are designed just for a day or two and others can handle a week of camping. Obviously, a smaller one will suit your needs for a few overnight camping trips; but if you plan on camping longer than that you’ll want to look for how many flushes a toilet can handle before it needs emptying. Many manufacturers will state this information in the description or features of the toilet.
Ease of use:
When shopping for portable toilets, you’ll want to consider how easy it is to transport and use. They key word in buying any toilet for camping is portable- so the one you purchase should be designed with simplicity-meaning how quickly can it be set up, emptied, cleaned and packed up. Many portable toilets today are constructed with a lightweight ABS plastic which makes them easy to carry- some even come with a backpack which makes transport to your campsite effortless.
Size of toilet:
Today, you can find both the flush and bag portable toilets in a variety of sizes. Along with the volume of waste they can hold, portable toilets also come in various measurements. This is an important factor to consider if you have a limited space for storage, along with the weight capacity- especially if you are a larger than average camper.
it goes without saying that you will most likely prefer a bit of privacy while using your portable camping toilet. If you are creative, you can certainly devise your own private area to use your toilet. A few of the portable camping toilets like the Cleanwaste GO Anywhere Complete Toilet System now even come with a ‘privacy shelter’ or you can purchase your own lightweight pop-up privacy cabana online or at sporting goods stores- with prices starting at about $18 and up.
Now let’s take a look at the Best Portable Camping Toilets:
Reliance Products Luggable Loo Portable 5 gallon Toilet
This bucket style toilet is designed to efficiently take care of your needs while camping. Budget- friendly, the portable Loo retails for under $20
Durable and rugged
Clean up is minimum with easy waste disposal
Easy to transport
Comes with 12 BioGel bags -compatible with the standard double doodle bag
Dimensions: 12.8 x 14.57 x 13.39 inches
Weight: 2.98 pounds
5-gallon (20-liter) capacity
Simple bucket style design; traditional secure snap-on lid, seat and cover
Stansport Portable Folding Toilet
This portable toilet from Stansport is designed to offer campers a sturdy, easy to clean toilet that can travel anywhere! It’s an outstanding choice for the budget conscious- selling for about $25
Simple, compact lightweight design
White plastic molded seat on heavy-duty tubular steel legs
Bags are held in place by a removable plastic ring
Folds flat for easy storage and transport
Effortless bag detachment, disposal & clean-up
Comes with six plastic bags
Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 19.8 inches
Weight: 1.7 pounds
Camco 41545 Travel Toilet
The Camco is a well-designed, durable and comfortable option for camping. It has a fresh water holding tank utilizes a pump flush function to effectively rinse the bowl. Users should take note- bowl’s bottom on this portable toilet isn’t as deep as some of the other models. A great value for your money, cost is generally under $100
Sturdy polyethylene construction is compact and lightweight
Battery-powered flushing mechanism (can be manually flushed)
5.3 gallon holding tank is detachable
Sliding valve that seals to stop leaks
Sealed gate valve locks in odors and protects against leakage
Side latches secure the tank to the toilet
Bellows-type flush pump
Weight: 11.7 lbs. when empty/ 56 lbs. when full
Easy to dump and clean
Thetford 92360 Porta Potti 550E Curve Portable Toilet
Sanitary, odorless, and leak proof, Porta Potti is the world's leading brand of portable toilet. The Thetford 92360 is considered one of the best sanitation products for camping. Its sleek modern appearance resembles that of a home toilet. Retails for under $150
Battery-powered flushing mechanism keeps the bowl cleaner
Hidden flush controls
Modern design with a comfortable seat height and increased bowl size
Integrated toilet paper holder
Holding tank level indicator for fresh water and waste tanks
Tank Capacity: fresh Water: 4.0 gallons/Waste Water: 5.5 gallons
Water tank carrying handle
Average 56 flushes per tank before you need to change it out
Can support large sized campers
Dimensions: 17.8 x 15.5 x 17.6 inches
Weight: 10 pounds
Cleanwaste Go Anywhere Complete Portable Toilet System
This portable camping toilet is ideal because it comes with its own backpack that stores the toilet, cleaning supplies and privacy tent-so you are always ready to venture into the wildness. The Cleanwaste Go Anywhere System can be purchased for under $200
Convenient, compact and lightweight
Three legs for added stability- ideal for uneven ground placement
Waterless- Removable poly waste bags, internal flex bag cavity
Easy set up or tear down
Roomy 64” zippered privacy door, 4’x4’ ‘ floorless’ base for sanitation purposes, 6’6” tall, folds to 28”x6” Comfortable seat with secure snap-on lid
Easy disposal powdered lined bags that gel up liquid waste for easy handling.
Dimensions: 25 x 25 x 25 inches
Weight: 7.98 pounds
Economical: comes with everything you need. 1 Go Anywhere Portable Dry Toilet, 1 Go Anywhere Backpack, 15 Go Anywhere Waste Kits, 1 waste collection bag
Although portable toilets are ideal for camping, depending on the size and type, they can also be used in RV’s, cars, trucks, and pop-up tent campers; on buses and boats; and at any outdoor venue (parks, stadiums, construction sites) that need a convenient portable restroom facility.
Overall, you just can beat the convenience and comfort of a portable camping toilet- especially because of the variety available to camping consumers today. Thankfully, long gone are the days of sacrificing cleanliness and roughing it in the wilderness when nature calls. So…if you’re thinking should I or shouldn’t I? The only question you should be asking yourself is… which is the best portable camping toilet for me?