Camping is such a beautiful and unique way to feel one with nature. Immersed in the beauty and tranquility of the great outdoors, you can leave all of your worries behind you and enjoy the fresh air and the sunshine surrounding you.
Sadly, many people miss out on this wonderful opportunity to connect with nature because of their fear of leaving the comforts of home – most importantly, personal hygiene equipment such as indoor plumbing.
However, that problem has been solved through the use of portable toilets. Now when nature calls (literally), you will not have to resort to digging a disgusting pit toilet or planning your trip around the presence of public restrooms. With a portable toilet, you will be able to go while you are on the go and truly enjoy your time spent in nature without a care in the world.
In this article, we will be exploring exactly what portable toilets are and what to look for when trying to find the best portable toilet. We will also provide you with several top-rated suggestions in a wide variety of price points to help you narrow down your search and find the model that is perfect for you and your specific camping needs.
Carry on reading or jump straight to our number #1 pick on Amazon here.
- What Should I Look For When Buying a Portable Camping Toilet?
- Here's How We've Determined the Best Portable Camping Toilets
- Budget Options
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Verdict: Your Best Portable Camping Toilets
What Should I Look For When Buying a Portable Camping Toilet?
When you are looking to purchase a portable camping toilet, you will find that there are several different kinds to choose from. Before purchasing a portable camping toilet, it is important to determine exactly how much you will be using your camping toilet, as well as what type would work best for you.
Here we have comprised a list of several criteria to consider as you begin your shopping trip. These criteria will help you narrow down your search and determine which toilet fits you and your camping sanitation needs the best.
Type of Toilet
First, you must consider the different types of portable toilets available to you and which kind will fit your needs and camping lifestyle the best.
There are four main types of camping toilets which include composting toilets, bucket toilets, flushable toilets, and collapsable toilets. Determining which type of toilet will be the best fit for you is an imperative first step to making your purchase.
Composting toilets are used to store solid waste for a significant amount of time. By adding other decomposable materials such as peat moss, the solid waste will decompose at a faster rate and be able to be used as fertilizer.
Bucket toilets are simple and exactly what they sound like. A 5-gallon bucket, either lined with disposable waste bags or filled with cat litter, is attached to a small toilet seat. Once you finish, you either seal and dispose of the bag or discard the kitty litter after a few uses.
Flushable portable toilets are most like the regular toilet you have at home. They work with two water tanks, one filled with fresh water for flushing and the other is used to hold waste. It often contains toilet chemicals to maintain cleanliness and keep the unit odor-free. The waste tank is detached from the toilet itself and can be emptied at a public restroom or dump station.
The fourth main type of portable toilet is called a collapsable toilet. These toilets are designed to fold in several pieces and become extremely compact making them great for road trips and camping. When you need to use a foldable toilet, you simply unfold the legs and other parts, attach a waste bag, and sit on the toilet seat. This type of toilet, along with bucket toilets, are called “dry toilets” which means no water is integrated to flush.
Most portable toilets are designed to be smaller in size and weight so that they are easy to transport and carry as needed. However, some models are more portable than others, so if optimal portability is high on your list, it is important to find a portable toilet that is both easy to carry and lightweight.
Collapsible and bucket toilets are among the easiest to transport because of their small size and lack of tanks and other features. However, manufacturers have even been making the flush toilet models light and easier to carry with built-in handles and carrying bags.
Before purchasing a new portable toilet, just make sure to determine how much portability you want to achieve from your toilet because, while they are all portable, some are much easier to transport and pack than others.
Obviously, for all portable toilets, the odor is bound to be an issue. Because of the way these toilets work to collect waste, odor control is often an issue that many campers face. So, if this is a major concern for you, it is important to choose a portable toilet that has the most advanced odor control and waste maintenance.
For odor control, the best type of toilet would be the flush toilet. With a flush toilet, freshwater is used to rinse the entire bowl and funnel waste into the waste tank below. Usually, a small valve or even a double-sealed valve is used to lock in odors and prevent leaks or spills.
Adding chemicals to your toilet, such as those used in commercial port-a-potties, can also be very helpful in maintaining odor control, but you must ensure that your specific toilet can accommodate these types of chemicals.
Convenience and Comfort
All of the different types of portable toilets are designed for different needs and purposes. Some are designed to be very small and compact making them easy to transport, while others are designed to resemble your home toilet as closely as possible.
Before purchasing a portable toilet, it is important to determine what level of comfort and convenience you would like to achieve with your toilet. If you are looking for one that makes you feel at home, a flush toilet would be the best choice. On the other hand, if you are looking for portability over comfort, a folding toilet may be the best choice for you due to its small size and easy transportability.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Portable Camping Toilets
When it comes to determining the best portable camping toilet, it comes down to your personal preference and what style works best for you. Along with our buyer’s guide, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of the top choices for the different types of toilets so that you can see how each one works and if it will provide exactly what you need.
We also have looked closely at customer reviews and recommendations from enthusiasts in the camping world to put together this list of the best portable toilets on the market today.
Read on to discover more about our first pick below.
#1: Camco Portable Toilet (Best Value – All-Purpose)
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The Camco portable camp toilet is a great, very effective portable toilet for camping, RVing, boating, or long road trips. This compact, the flush toilet is also very affordable which is why it has earned our best value, all-purpose pick.
The Camco toilet is a flush toilet that closely resembles a traditional toilet. Made of lightweight and compact material, the entire unit itself only weighs 11 pounds and is equipped with handles for easy carrying.
With a 5.3-gallon waste tank, you can flush it several times before having to empty it. The sliding gate valve at the bottom of the toilet creates a strong odor and water-tight seal to lock in odors and prevents leaks and spills. Side latches are also used to connect the waste tank to the toilet itself. When it comes time to empty the tank, you can simply undo the side latches, carry the waste tank to the nearest public restroom or dumpsite and use the removable cap to easily empty the contents.
The 2.5-gallon freshwater tank comes with a removable cap for easy filling. This tank holds the freshwater that is used to flush the waste down into the waste tank and rinse your toilet bowl at the same time.
Flush toilets are very convenient for easy cleaning and maintenance. The Camco portable toilet uses a bellow-type pump for flushing. You simply pull a small lever at the bottom of the unit which triggers fresh water to flow into the bowl and the sliding valve to open as it washes waste safely and discreetly away.
#2: Thetford Porta Potti 345 (Best Toilet)
For those looking for the comforts of home while out on the open road or the campground, the Thetford Porta Potti 345 is exactly what you need. This model acts and functions exactly like an actual toilet, and it gives you the most comfort and convenience compared to other portable toilets.
If you are willing to pay just a little bit more for comfort and convenience in your portable toilet, then we highly recommend Thetford. Thetford is the top manufacturer of portable toilets and other camping gear. With this unit and all of their other units’ top customers reviews, we have chosen this one as the best portable toilet overall. However, as stated earlier, the best portable toilet all comes down to the personal preference of the user.
Reason #1 – Ergonomic Design
The Thetford Porta Potti is designed with all of the necessities as well as adding luxuries to provide the utmost comfort and convenience for the user.
Its 3.2-gallon wastewater holding tank holds up to 33 flushes before needing to be emptied, which makes this model a great choice for single travelers and families alike. While this model does have a smaller tank than our first, all-purpose choice, the smaller holding tank size will make it easier for you to transport and empty. Just keep in mind that you may have to empty it more often, depending on the number of people using it.
A piston pump flush system quickly takes water from the freshwater flush tank to flush waste into the holding tank. When it comes time to empty the Thetford, you simply detach the waste tank from the bottom of the toilet and empty the contents safely and easily with the rotating pour-out spout. This is a feature that makes the clean-out of camp toilets much cleaner and safer. The Camco toilet did not have this feature, so if easy clean-out capabilities are important to you, make sure to keep this in mind when purchasing.
Furthermore, an easy-to-read waste level indicator located on the front of the Porta Potti alerts you that you will need to empty the waste tank soon. A carrying handle is located on the holding tank of the toilet to make transportation to a restroom or dumping site as easy as possible.
Reason #2 – Odor Control and Cleanliness
The odor control and overall ease of maintenance your toilet provides are extremely important both for personal safety and the enjoyment of your camping or travel experience. Nothing can take the beauty out of a beautiful sunset faster than a stinky portable travel toilet.
The Thetford Porta Potti 345 has solved this stinky issue by including a sealed valve to separate the holding tank from the toilet bowl. Once the waste is flushed into the tank, the seal tightly closes to keep the odor trapped inside.
The toilet lid also includes a lid latch which is a must for when you are on the road. This latch secures the toilet and prevents any splashes or spills during travel.
The Thetford is designed to be easy to clean. Made with a smooth and durable material, it is easy to wipe clean after use. The toilet seat and lid are also completely removable for easy cleaning.
For a camping porta potty, the Thetford has everything that you need to make your trip fun and carefree, taking away the stress of finding a conventional toilet when nature calls. With this compact and lightweight model, you will be able to go anywhere the open road can take you without a worry in the world.
#3: Nature’s Head Composting Toilet (Best Composting Toilet)
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The Nature’s Head Composting Toilet is an eco-friendly solution for frequent travelers and campers. This toilet looks exactly like a standard toilet from the outside and is even the same height as a traditional toilet which makes it a great option for users who do not want to bend down so low to the ground as with some of our other models.
This composting toilet (and all other composting toilets) work specifically to conserve fresh water and create a sensible way to positively impact the environment when you are on the go. They require that you be a bit careful when using it, however, because liquid and solid waste must stay separate for the proper decomposition of the waste to take place.
When in use, the user will dispense liquid waste into a separate opening in the toilet bowl that is then funneled down into a small holding tank. For solid waste, users will dispose into a much larger opening on the bottom of the toilet bowl. The solid waste is then funneled into the composting chamber where it is held with other compostable material, such as peat moss, to speed the composting process along. An agitator located on the side of the toilet is used to mix the contents of the composting chamber after every use.
For the average user rate of about two people, the Nature’s Head Composting toilet can be used full time for up to 4-6 weeks without needing to be emptied. The liquid waste container will need to be emptied more often. However, the solid waste container will not need to be changed until it is full. Once this happens, the waste has then been transformed into compost and can be used as a sustainable source of fertilizer for plants.
Nature’s Head also gives customers a 5-year warranty on their compostable toilet. It is important to note that this particular toilet is much more expensive than our other models, however, it is designed to be most like your toilet at home and has the capability of extended and long-term use which makes the price higher than some of the other models.
#4: Reliance Fold-to-Go Foldable Toilet (Best Low Cost)
If you are looking for a very cost-effective, portable toilet, that you can pack along easily with your camping gear or store neatly in your car, the Reliance folding toilet is an excellent option.
Three, strong and sturdy legs fold out from below the toilet seat to create an even and sturdy base for you to sit on. When the legs are folded out, this model is capable of holding up to 250 pounds safely.
At just 4.5 pounds and 5 inches when completely folded up, you can fit this folding toilet in a backpack, duffle bag, and many other tight quarters. Setting up while on the go is quick and easy so that you can get back to enjoy your trip in no time at all.
This folding toilet (and all other models like it) work along with a small garbage bag that attaches to the bottom of the toilet seat. After you go into the bag, you can easily remove it, tie it up, and safely dispose of it in a garbage receptacle.
The Reliance Fold-to-Go toilet comes with a sample of their Double Doodie garbage bags which are sold separately. These bags are specifically designed for this particular toilet which means they will fit perfectly to the toilet seat which prevents any tears or stretches to the bag that can hamper the performance of the unit itself. We highly recommend using this type of garbage bag along with this toilet to achieve optimal results.
#5: Reliance Luggable Loo (Best Bucket Toilet)
From the same makers as our previous collapsible toilet, the Luggable Loo is a convenient and easy-to-use bucket toilet that is designed to be easily transportable and great for camping, RVing, or any type of travel.
The Luggable Loo works just like any other bucket toilet. It comes with a toilet seat and cover combo that attaches tightly to the 5-gallon bucket that comes with the set. The seat and cover combo easily snap on and off of the bucket to allow for easy transport and cleaning.
A bucket toilet such as the Luggable Loo works by providing a steady and even base for you to sit down upon and provides you with an easy-to-transport option for when nature calls while you are on the go.
You can use a bucket toilet in a variety of different ways. Some people choose to line the bucket with a garbage bag that catches the waste and can then be tied up and disposed of after use. This is very similar to that of the collapsable toilet.
Other people prefer to fill their bucket toilet with an absorbent material, such as cat litter so that they can get a few extra uses out of it before it needs to be emptied. As you can imagine, however, this adds a bit of extra weight to the unit, depending on how much cat litter or absorbent material you put into it, so this option isn’t for everyone.
Still, others like to use the Luggable Loo just as it comes. They simply use it, dispose of the contents, and then wash it out after every use. Some people put toilet chemicals into the bucket as well, to eliminate odors and break down the waste making it easy to dispose of. These toilet chemicals are very similar to the ones that you find in a traditional port-a-potty.
The Luggable Loo is so much better and more comfortable than just a bucket. With its easy-to-attach toilet seat and cover, you will have an easy-to-use toilet on the go whenever you may need it.
There are several budget-friendly options available when it comes to portable toilets. Here we will explore three different options of excellent camping toilets that are both cost-effective and high quality.
When it comes to budget-friendly options for portable toilets, most often the non-flushable models provide the most money-saving capabilities. We will explore several different, great options that will give you exactly what you need when you are on the road.
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The Giantex Portable Toilet is an excellent, budget-friendly toilet for users who are looking for the comforts of their home toilet while out on the road. The Giantex is designed to closely resemble a standard toilet in size which means that it is at a comfortable height for users.
Like other camping toilets, the Giantex works in a variety of different ways. The detachable bucket base is easy to remove and empty when needed. It is also designed to be used with garbage bags. Much like a bucket toilet, the base can be filled with an absorbent material, a bag, or can be empty. It is a very versatile option for the avid traveler or for those looking to have a comfortable option when out on the open road.
A unique feature that the Giantex includes is an integrated toilet paper holder which is attached to the side of the toilet and can even be removed for easier packing and transportation. This is a feature that is rare to find on portable toilets, which make this option a great pick and especially easy to use for children.
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The Better Boat Portable Toilet Seat is a toilet seat and lid combo that can attach to just about any 5-gallon bucket. Its simple-to-use, easy-to-clean, and easy-to-store design makes it perfect for boats, vehicles, camping trips, hunting trips, and just about any kind of trip you could think of.
It is important to remember however that the Better Boat is only a toilet seat and cover combo, it does not come with the 5-gallon bucket. However, buckets are easy to find, and the Better Boat can fit on just about any standard 5-gallon bucket.
This toilet seat also comes with 45 biodegradable liner bags that can be used to line the bucket before use. Users simply line the bucket with the bag and snap on the toilet seat and cover combo to use. This model also comes with a convenient carrying case for discreet packing and transportation.
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This portable toilet folds and unfolds much like a chair and sits at about the height of most average toilets.
Perfect for camping, long road trips, boating, or whenever you are out and about, this toilet can easily be set up and used at a moment’s notice. Paired with a large garbage bag that snuggly fits over the toilet seat, you can easily dispose of waste safely and discreetly.
This portable toilet is simply just a toilet seat that folds up and has four legs that attach to it like a chair. It does not pair with a bucket of any sort so it is important to make sure that you always have garbage bags with you that fit this particular toilet.
It is easy to clean and makes for a great and easy-to-transport toilet for any camping or RV trip.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Difference Between a Portable Camping Toilet and a Cassette Toilet?
Portable camping toilets and cassette toilets are very similar in their overall design and use. They are made to provide campers with a clean, convenient, and comfortable way to use the bathroom while camping or on the road.
The main difference between these two toilets, however, lies within their permanence. Cassette toilets are designed to be semi-permanent and are more often seen in large RVs or campers. The entire toilet seat and base are connected to the vehicle and the waste tank is removable for waste disposal.
On the other hand, a portable camping toilet is designed to be 100% portable and very easy to transport. They are usually much smaller and lighter than a cassette toilet making them very easy to pack and carry.
Can You Poop in a Portable Camping Toilet?
Yes, it is completely safe to dispense solid waste in a portable camping toilet. This is their sole purpose – to provide a convenient and sanitary way to relieve yourself while out in nature or on the road.
Depending on the type of portable toilet you choose, there will be some basic maintenance that needs to take place to ensure that the unit remains clean and odor-free.
You may have to empty a waste tank from time to time, dispose of waste bags after every use, or maintain the compost of your composting toilet. Overall, any of these types of portable camping toilets are effective and completely safe for both liquid and solid waste.
Verdict: Your Best Portable Camping Toilets
The best portable toilets are simply which ones work best for you. Everyone needs something a little different from a portable toilet. In this article, we have reviewed the best of each of the different types to give you a definitive look at each option on the market today.
To help you narrow down your search before you begin your shopping trip, we have summarized our findings below.
If you want the best value for your money, pick the Camco Portable Toilet which gives you the convenience and cleanliness of a flush toilet for a fraction of the cost. This compact and easy-to-use toilet works great for any kind of traveler.
If you are looking for a composting toilet, pick Nature’s Head. This company has perfected the art of composting. You can feel good about using this model, as it is friendly to the environment and prevents waste.
If you want to keep the spend under $70, pick any of our budget-friendly picks found above. Several of our other picks from the top five list are under $70 as well. Overall, portable toilets are designed to be very affordable, and there is an option out there for everyone.
We hope that this article was helpful to you as you search the market for the best portable toilets. Remember that the best porta potty is the one that works best for you and your specific traveling needs. You don’t need the most expensive model to get exactly what you are looking for. There is truly an option out there for everyone, and we hope that the one for you could be found in this article.
Go out and enjoy the beauty of nature without having to be tied to a nearby restroom, because with a portable toilet, you can enjoy the great outdoors completely carefree.