Outdoor camping is fun until that time when you have to answer nature’s call. You are often caught up in the dilemma of either going the natural way or being the responsible resident. The latter is always better for obvious reasons. With proper preparations, you won’t find yourself in this kind of dilemma. And, to help you with that, we bring you a list of the best portable camping toilets to buy in 2020. Still, if you don’t find a good enough camping toilet for you, our buying guide is at your service. Read our portable toilet reviews. They will do more than equipping you with buying information. At the end of it all, you will know the different types of portable toilets as well as tips for cleaning and using one.
Table of Contents
- Our Camping Toilets Picks
- Camping Toilet Buying Guide
1. Camco 41541 Portable Travel Toilet
Weight: 10.8 lbs.
Type/Flushing Water Capacity: Flushable, 2.5 gal.
Waste Tank Capacity: 5.3 gal.
This is a reliable outdoor camping toilet that built with the needs of an outdoor camper in mind. It comes with a 5.3-gal. waste tank and a 2.5-gal. flushing tank and a couple of excellent features to give you the ultimate camping experience. First, its sealing slide valve is almost airtight to prevent awful odors from escaping as well as protecting against leakages. Furthermore, the toilet also features side latches that help to hold it onto the tank. You do not have to worry about portability as this toilet comes with integrated handles.
- Has a sturdy build quality with a comfortable height
- Comes with enough waste and flush water capacity
- Easy to empty waste into the toilet although you’ll need some air freshener
- Flushing mechanism is difficult to operate
- A child or elderly user will have some trouble using it
- The toilet seat is small, so you can mess on yourself
2. Porta Potti White Thetford Corp Chemical Toilet
Weight: 10 lbs.
Type/Flushing Water Capacity: Flushable, 4 gal.
Waste Tank Capacity: 5.5 gal.
Porta Potti has made a name for itself over the years. It is a reliable companion when it comes to portable toilets. Are you into camping, hiking, backpacking, and any other kind of outdoor activity? Then you won’t go wrong with this choice. It comes packaged with a deodorant and waste dissolver. Also, get a measuring cup to make it easy for your cleaning tasks. You are going to love the experience of using this portable toilet.
- You only need to add toilet paper and water.
- Everything is in the box.
- Built-in toilet paper holder.
- Clean-up is straight forward.
- You must open the waste valve yourself, yet it has the automatic rinse feature.
- The automatic rinse feature relies on a charged battery to function.
3. Reliance Products Hassock Portable Lightweight Self-Contained Toilet
Weight: 5 lbs.
Type/Flushing Water Capacity: Bucket toilet
Waste Tank Capacity: 5-gal. waste bag
This is a small portable toilet that is also lightweight and self-contained for easy carrying. It is also quite comfortable thanks to the contoured seat and the integrated toilet seat paper holder and splash cover. It has an internal bucket that can be removed for easier waste disposal and cleaning. The only downside is that you will not have the flexibility of using any waste bag. This is because the toilet is only comparable with double doodie bags from the manufacturer.
- Comfortable on your behind thanks to a contoured seat
- Lightweight and easy to carry.
- Great for a variety of outdoor activities.
- It does not suit adults.
- It does not settle firmly on the floor.
- Tends to slide easily and you cannot use just any kind of waste bag with it.
4. VINGLI Portable Flushing Camping Toilet
Weight: 11.5 lbs.
Type/Flushing Water Capacity: Flushable, 3 gal.
Waste Tank Capacity: 5.3 gal
Equip yourself for your next camping trip with this camping portable toilet. It is high-quality and easy to use. Also, it comes with an upgraded piston pump and a 5.3-gal. detachable holding tank. These help to give you near-perfect performance. Furthermore, you do not have to worry about indoor camping. This is because the toilet is both odorless and leak-proof. The high-quality polyethylene material makes sure of this. The best part is that it is strong enough for a heavy adult weighing up to 441 lbs. to use. Once you finish with your business and it is time to empty and clean, the process is very easy thanks to the splash-free rotating pour spout.
- Doesn’t rely on an electric charge to flush
- Comes assembled.
- High-capacity waste tank.
- The matte finish hides scratches
- Cleaning this toilet takes getting used to
- Not ideal for backpackers due to its net weight
5. Basicwise Portable Travel Toilet
Weight: 5.5 lbs.
Type/Flushing Water Capacity: Bucket toilet
Waste Tank Capacity: Use with 8-gal. waste bags
This is a plastic portable toilet that is easy to carry, which makes it ideal for backpackers and hikers. With its integrated toilet paper holder, you get to enjoy extra convenience like a home experience. Besides, you do not have to worry about bad odors coming from the waste. This is because the removable cover helps to seal in the bad smells. The portable toilet is usable with an 8-gal. waste bag, which is easy to clean up the mess.
- Removable cover that seals odors
- Can use it as a seat when closed
- Comes with an integrated toilet paper
- The lid isn’t air-tight, so its functionality depends on the effectiveness of your waste bags
- Lightweight material feels cheap and flimsy
6. Reliance Products Fold-to-Go Collapsible Portable Toilet
Weight: 4.5 lbs.
Type/Flushing Water Capacity: Bucket toilet
Waste Tank Capacity: 5-gal. waste bag
If portability is your most sought-after quality in a portable toilet, then this is the perfect choice for you. It is portable thanks to the integrated handle. Transporting is made easy thanks to the fact that this portable toilet can fold down to a compact 5-in. size. Do not mistake the small size for weakness. This toilet can handle up to the weight of an adult weighing 300 lbs. Unfortunately, the fact that it is only compatible with a double doodie waste bag means that you cannot use just any kind of waste bag.
- Collapsible and highly portable.
- Has a handle for easy carrying.
- Can handle a seating weight capacity of 300 lbs.
- Very uncomfortable for adults.
- Requires practice before you can use it easily
7. Trip Tips Portable Folding Toilet
Weight: 2.5 lbs.
Type/Flushing water capacity: Collapsible/folding toilet
Waste Tank Capacity: Use with 6-8 gal. waste bag
Are you an avid outdoor camper? Then four things that should matter to you are portability, multi-functionality, build quality, and ease of use. This portable camping toilet seems to get it right with the four essentials of a camper. It is the easiest to carry. The toilet folds into a 2-in. size that doesn’t take up any space. Secondly, you can also use it as a seat or a storage container. The build quality features a water-proof oxford cloth and a density board. Once you are done with your business, you can clean it up in a jiffy.
- With the lid in place, can easily pass for an outdoor portable seat
- Folds into a compact, easy-to-carry size
- Takes up no space
- Made of cloth, which makes it hard to clean and disinfect
- Doesn’t appear sturdy
8. Rothco Portable Camp Toilet
Weight: 2.85 lbs.
Type/Flushing water capacity: Foldable toilet
Waste Tank Capacity: 6-gal. waste bag
This portable camp toilet is both steady and highly portable. It is made from durable heavy-duty steel, which acts as the support frame and a molded plastic seat. Its build quality can support a weight of up to 260 lbs. Furthermore, the toilet comes with 6 plastic commode bags and since it is foldable, you can easily carry it from one point to another.
- The support frame features heavy-duty steel
- Delivers strong, durable build quality.
- Foldable and easy to carry.
- Comes with commode bags
- The seat features molded plastic that breaks easily
- The commode bags included tend to leak, forcing you put a bucket under the frame
Related gear advice article: Best Camping Showers
- What to Consider When Buying a Camping Toilet
- What is a Portable Camping Toilet?
- Types of Portable Camping Toilet
- How do Portable Camping Toilet Work
- Tips on Cleaning and Maintaining a Camping Toilet
- Frequently Asked Questions
The process of buying a camping portable toilet starts with some research. This is to familiarize yourself with things that determine a great toilet. Luckily, we have done much of the research so that you don’t have to. Part of that research includes a buyer’s guide. It details the factors to consider or the things to look for when buying a new portable camping toilet. These include;
Weight and Size
The first thing to look for in a portable camping toilet should be its weight and size. See, an ideal toilet for camping should be one that is highly portable. This is because you are bound to be moving around a lot in the course of your camping. You will need a lightweight toilet otherwise it won’t that easy traveling around with it.
Backpackers and hikers have to go up the mountain at times during the camping period. So, they could use a small camping toilet that easily fits inside the backpack without taking up too much storage space. You’d also expect the camping toilet to serve both adults and kids. But, this depending on the composition of the team of campers.
When buying a new camping tent, be on the lookout not to end up with a unit too small for an average adult. Consider things like your height and select an appropriate size. This way, you will avoid ending up with a useless portable toilet in your camping gear. Also, take the necessary precautions with the weight of the toilet. You do not want a toilet that is too lightweight it can barely stand on its own on the ground.
Type of Portable Camping Toilet
The type of portable camping toilet is important to take into consideration. This is because apart from determining the overall user experience, the type of camping toilet also decides how much you are going to spend on it. Flushable camping toilets are more expensive than the waste bag/bucket toilet but they offer a greater user experience.
When choosing the type of toilet to buy, take into account your budget and weigh it against your expectations in terms of performance. Equally important is the duration of the camping trip as well as the policies or the camping facility regarding the disposal of human waste. Most camping facilities have a policy where campers can’t leave behind any kind of waste. Others, especially the natural forests let you dig up holes to dispose of waste safely. Check: Best Camping Shovels of 2021
If you select a flushable toilet, you will spend more as it costs a little higher. Above all, you will have to carry away the waste to a special disposal facility or your home toilet. But, the overall user experience with this type of camping toilet is usually excellent because it works just like the home toilet. As for the waste bag/bucket toilet, the price tag is relatively pocket friendly and the disposal of waste is rather easier. But, the user experience is not as good as the flushable toilets.
Waste Container Capacity
This usually relates to the flushable camping toilets because they are the ones that come with a detachable waste tank. The capacity of the waste tank determines the quantity of waste it can hold before the next disposal. Most of the flushable camping toilets have a waste tank capacity of about 5 gallons. This is approximately 20 liters of liquid waste.
Camping toilets that do not have a waste tank use waste bags. The larger the waste bag, the more convenient it is to use it for a long time. Most of the bucket/foldable toilets use commode waste bags with a capacity of about 6-8 gallons.
The advantage of a waste tank over a waste bag is the ability to seal odors. Waste tanks have a special airtight valve that helps to seal the odor inside the tank. Waste bags do have this type of valve. But, they have special chemicals that help speed up the decomposition of the waste. They are also biodegradable, which makes them safe for the soil when buried underground.
Strength, Stability, and Comfort
These three features determine the overall durability of the portable camping toilet. Strength refers to the toilet’s ability to withstand heavyweights. A strong camping toilet is one with a high weight capacity of over 400lbs. This means an adult of over 400 pounds can use the toilet without the risk of breaking.
Stability refers to the ability of the toilet to stand on the ground. Flushable toilets are generally more stable than their foldable counterparts. This is because they have a heavy water tank. So, the toilet unit attaches on it with latches that lock it in place. The weight of the waste tank offers anchoring stability to the toilet. This allows it to stand firmly on the ground.
Comfort, on the other hand, refers to the coziness you get when you seat on the toilet. Again, flushable toilets come highly recommended for great comfort. They have toilet seats that offer the same comfort as the ones installed at home. You can hardly tell the difference. Some foldable camping toilets also score quite well in the comfort tests. For instance, some have contoured seats that offer enhanced comfort on your back when using them.
Ease of Use
Just like any piece of equipment, ease of use can be either the game changer or the deal-breaker. When buying a new portable toilet for your camping needs, you must pay attention to the ease of use. Bear in mind that ease of use includes the setup procedure, actual use, cleaning procedure, and maintenance.
Get a toilet that will need no special skills to set up and it should not be hard to use either. Some flushable toilets are too complicated for kids and the elderly. Foldable camping toilets are the easiest to set up, use, and clean. This is not the same case with flushable ones. They are a little complicated to set up. But, the user manual is usually straightforward and self-explanatory.
It is a portable toilet that provides a convenient means of answering nature’s call. It ranges from simple waste bags to more complex flushable toilets like a home toilet. Campers, backpackers, hikers, and hunters spend significant time in the woods. Thus, they need to have a safe and environment-friendly means of getting rid of human waste. It is anybody’s guess how much damage undisposed human waste can cause to the environment. But, in case you don’t know, human waste when left unattended could cause damage to human habitats especially around the campsite.
Some dangerous and animals and cricking organisms are easily attracted by human waste. They can get closer to your campsite, and ruin all your camping plans. As such, you owe it to yourself and fellow campers to take care of the surrounding. Luckily, camping toilets offer the ideal means to do so. Most of the camping sites make it mandatory for campers to bring their portable toilets. Above all, they should clean after all kinds of waste from their camping activities.
There are four main types of camping portable toilets. They include Waste bag/bucket, Collapsible, flushable, and self-contained composting portable toilets. Now, let us look at each of these types of portable camping toilets separately.
Waste Bag/Bucket Portable Toilets:
The bucket toilet, as stated earlier is the simplest form/type of a portable camping toilet. You can easily improvise this type of camping toilet. All you need is a bucket and its lid and some biodegradable waste bags. For that extra comfort and convenience, you can buy yourself a portable bucket toilet. For what it’s worth, this is the cheapest type of portable toilet you can find on the market. It comprises a specially designed bucket with a detachable toilet seat and its cover.
This portable camping toilet uses a special waste bag, which solidifies liquid waste. Just dig a 6-ft. hole and bury the waste in the waste bag. You need to use camping toilet paper as it disintegrates faster than the normal type of toilet paper. This way, wild animals are less likely to find and ingest.
Besides being cheap, waste bag/bucket portable toilets are the easiest to use and clean. They are also lightweight and compact. This makes them ideal for backpackers and hikers. If you are the type of camper who doesn’t stay at the same place for too long, then this type of camping toilet would be handy.
Collapsible Portable Toilets:
This portable camping toilet works like the bucket/waste bag portable toilets. But, instead of a bucket, it has a collapsible seat made of steel or plastic stands and a waste bag. We call them collapsible toilets because the seat folds into a minimalistic design. This makes it very easy to store and carry. It is the hikers and backpackers’ favorite. Not only is it easy to carry but it takes up virtually no storage space when folded.
Collapsible portable toilets work by attaching the biodegradable waste bag around the seams of the seat. This is where it stays in position with some special integrated clippers. Once you finish your business, simply detach the bag with its contents then proceed to bury it in a 6ft hole. Just like the bucket toilets, collapsible portable toilets are cheap and fairly easy to use as well. However, they are poor at sealing odors so you will need to dispose of the waste immediately.
Flushable Portable Toilets:
An advanced type of camping toilet is the flushable portable toilet. It features a flushing system that works just like the indoor toilet at home. Flushable portable toilets have a waste container/tank with an airtight valve that seals odors from escaping. They are more expensive types of portable toilets but not so easy to use. First, you can only dispose of waste at a designated waste disposal establishment.
Alternatively, empty the waste into your home toilet. Secondly, cleaning this type of toilet is a bit more complex than the other types. Thankfully, you can follow the manufacturer’s manual. Also, make use of the automatic cleaning functionality found in some models. Flushable toilets are also less portable. They feature integrated flushing and waste tanks. This means they are heavier and bulkier than a bucket and collapsible toilets. The weight and bulk make flushable toilets only suitable camps involving less movement.
Self-Contained Composting Toilets:
These are the most expensive portable camping toilets. They feature a system for managing human waste by converting it into manure. The working mechanism of a compost toilet involves dehydrating waste. Once the waste solidifies, it becomes safe and harmless to the soil. Hence, you do not have to bury it underground. This type of toilet helps a lot in the conservation of the environment. Apart from requiring no water, they also do not require any form of energy to decompose the waste. And, the best part is that they convert the waste into manure. The manure is harmless to the soil. If anything, it promotes the growth of plants. However, the high cost of self-contained composting toilets makes them to be least favorite for most campers.
How Simple Bucket/Waste Bag Toilets Work
The working mechanism of a portable toilet is quite simple. Depending on the type of camping toilet you are having, the working difficulty could range from “very easy” to “manageable”. Bucket toilets are the easiest to use and their working is as good as your guess. Just improvise a toilet seat by making a sizable hole in the bucket lid then take it with you to the campsite. When nature calls, go ahead and take care of your business in the bucket then cover it for disposal. Preferably, have two lids for the bucket so that when you cut one to use as the toilet seat, the other one can serve as the cover. Also, have some waste bags to use as bin liners inside the bucket. They help a lot during cleaning and disposing of the waste.
The main drawback of simple bucket toilets is their inability to seal odors in the waste bag. You will need to dispose of the waste as soon as possible to prevent the odors from causing discomfort.
How Flushable Toilets Work
Industry-grade portable toilets aren’t hard to use either. Also, their working mechanism is like the bucket toilet. But they feature advanced functionalities that make them work almost like the toilet at home. The flushable portable toilets come with a flushing water tank as well as a waste container. They also have a sturdy toilet seat and airtight cover that seals odors long enough until you get to the disposing point. In this type of toilet, the portable seat is latched to the waste container at the bottom.
Once you get to the disposing point, the first thing you need to do is disengage the portable toilet from the waste reservoir. But, first, confirm that the drain valve is sealed. Most models would not allow you to disengage the waste tank if the drain valve is open. The function of this valve is to prevent odors from escaping the waste tank as this can cause lots of discomfort.
Now that you have removed the toilet seat from the waste tank, the next thing is to empty the waste into the normal toilet. But, before you do that, you will first need to unscrew the cap from the waste tank. For those waste tanks with a rotating spout, start by rotating it after which you can remove the cap. Now you can go ahead and empty the waste into a toilet. You will need to have some air freshener with you while doing this part of the work. After emptying the waste into the toilet, go ahead and flash down the waste in the toilet then start cleaning the portable toilet. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s manual when cleaning. Some flushable portable toilets have special cleaning materials, which you need to use for the best results.
Now, here comes the important part: cleaning the camping portable toilet. This task can be either easy or hard depending on the type of camping toilet you are using. Generally, flushable toilets are hard to clean than bucket/waste bag and foldable toilets. This is because they do not need any cleaning other than wiping the bucket and the seat with a disinfectant. After all, they use disposable double bags as waste tanks. Nevertheless, the flushable toilets aren’t that hard. They come with features that make the cleaning work a lot easier. An example of such a feature is the auto-rinse feature on Porta Potti models.
Step 1: Empty the Waste Tank
Never skip a cleaning session for a flushable camping toilet. A cleaning session is when you have just disposed of the waste from the waste tank. Start by detaching the tank from the toilet seat. Then open the seal valve on top of the waste tank. If the waste tank has a rotating spout, turn it around and then empty the waste into the normal toilet. Now proceed to wash thoroughly with anti-septic liquid and rinse with clean water.
Step 2: Cleaning the Flushing Tank
Turn on the water pump in the portable toilet and let it run for a couple of minutes. This serves to remove any unwanted mixtures in the tank that tend to clog-up the pressure lines.
Use a mixture of bleach and water to clean the flushing water tank. Start by taking a half-filled cap of bleach and mix it with one gallon of clean water. Then pour the mixture into the tank and shake it up until the mixture covers all the walls of the tank.
Now put the flushing water tank back to its place with the bleach mixture in it. Then turn on the pump to flush the mixture into the pressure lines. This works to clean up the pressure lines as well as the pump.
Step 3: Washing the Waste Tank
Now that you have flushed all the bleach mixture into the waste tank through the pressure lines, the next thing is to remove the top tank. Then rinse it with some clean water, overturn it to drain water, and leave it to dry.
Shake the waste tank that now contains the bleach mixture. Ensure the mixture coats the entire interior of the tank. Finally, drain the mixture the same way you empty the waste from the tank and then rinse it with clean water. Now drain all the water ad leave it to dry as well.
Step 4: Cleaning the Exterior of the Toilet
It is always good hygiene practice at campsite to wipe the outside of the toilet with disinfectant. This helps to kill any germs that could be sticking on the surface of the toilet.
Only store the toilet after it is completely dry. Store it in its dissembled form to save on space.
Make use of the disinfectant and cleaning equipment that comes with the package. Always buy detergent and anti-septic agents recommended by the manufacturer.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to set up and use the portable toilet. This will help to prevent accidents that could both harm you and destroy the toilet.
Use water sparingly when using a flushable camping toilet. Too much water fills up the waste tank faster. Consequently, it reduces the number of times you can use the toilet before disposing of. It is a good practice to always disinfect the toilet seat after every use. It is healthy when sharing the toilet with other campers. Alternatively, you can use toilet seat tissues.
Here are the questions that most customers ask about portable toilets.
- Q: Why do I need a portable toilet?
A: Camping activities that last longer than a day will require you to pack a portable toilet. First, not all campsite will have a toilet facility. And, you cannot just do your business anywhere. This would be harmful to the environment. Having a portable toilet will help you responsibly dispose of human waste.
- Q: Which portable toilet should I get?
A: The type of portable toilet to buy should go along with your budget and camping needs. If you are on a tight budget, waste bag/bucket toilets are a great choice as they are usually cheap. However, this type has a less satisfying user experience than a flushable toilet.
- Q: Where do I dispose of the waste from the flushable camping toilet?
A: The traditional toilet at home is the most ideal place to dispose of waste from the portable toilet. However, if the distance from the camp to your home is long, then you can always look for a toilet nearby. Alternatively, look for designated waste disposal facilities around the campsite.
- Q: How do I dispose off waste in a foldable/ bucket toilet?
A: This type of portable toilet uses a double bag as the waste reservoir. This double bag is made of a biodegradable material. Therefore, you can dispose of the waste in these bags by burying them in a 6ft deep hole. Ensure to dig the hole at a safe distance away from the camping area.
- Q: Can I store or transport the flushable toilet with the tank separate?
A: The flushable toilet takes up little storage space when the waste tank and the toilet are separate. There is nothing to worry about if your toilet is clean. You can transport and store as separate only to assemble when you get to the campsite. This will not only save on storage space but also make it easy to transport.
- Q: Can I add odor eliminating products directly into the waste tank?
A: The right procedure is to put the odor eliminator products into the water tank then flush it into the waste tank.
- Q: Are the buckets in portable toilets replaceable?
A: The buckets are not replaceable. However, the waste bags that line inside the bucket are easily replaceable. Once you exhaust the ones that came with the package, you can always buy more separately.Note:
Not all portable toilets come with waste bags in the package. Most require you to buy these bags separately. Using the bucket toilet without the waste bag will make it difficult to empty and clean. So, always buy a bucket waste bag liner if it is available and even if it isn’t available, just buy some to be on the safe side.
The influx of portable toilets on the market is overwhelming to a new buyer. But, thanks to the availability of information online, you do not have to struggle alone. Find the best choice of a portable toilet for your camping needs. This way, you will never experience those embarrassing moments when you want to take a dank in the woods. Our reviews are trustworthy. We draw our research from the opinions of actual users who’ve had firsthand experiences. Our list of the best portable toilets has the top portable toilets in the market. So, you can trust our judgment. You don’t find one that appeals to your taste buds? Then you can make use of our buying guide to select your choice from the market. Find the best-using tips to help improve your user experience and enjoy your camping toilet for a long time.