Best Camping Toilets – The Ultimate Buying Guide and Reviews

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Choosing the best camping toilets can be hard for the first time. You see, many people do not even know these ones exist, least alone knowing how to choose the best one. That you are going camping does not mean that you should sacrifice on all the comforts that you get at home. When going camping, hiking or trekking, many people worry about where they will relieve themselves when nature comes calling.


Ok, you can always take a shovel, dig a hole, and leave your waste there, buried deep in the ground. However, that is not a very gentlemanly way of taking a pee-pee and a dump. You need to do better than that. If you will be taking your camping stove with you, you will definitely need to take a portable toilet along. Heck, even if you will not cook, you will still eat, so bring it along either way.

Camping toilets come in three types

Bag toilets – These are disposable double bags that are attached to the toilet seat. When you have done your business, you tie the bag and dispose of it.

These bags have a chemical/powder that is going to solidify the waste. Actually, this bag toilet is cleaner than most people think. There is nothing yuck about it.

Compact/container toilets – These are also called self-contained toilets because they have a tank for the waste and water for flushing after use. However, they still need to be emptied after they reach their capacity. Because of the extra tank features, these toilets can be a bit heavy.

Self-compositing toilets – This one is a marvel, what you would call and eco-friendly toilet, thanks to its ability to process waste.

  • It is waterless. That means it is light, no extra weight to carry around.
  • It has a venting system to dispel odor.
  • Waste is synthesized immediately
  • You can use this toilet for a long time
  • It is compactly built and can take your weight even when you are standing on it

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Dangers of not having a toilet when camping

  1. When you leave human waste lying around nearby, it will attract pests. It will also attract rodents, which will in turn invade your tent, and your food.
  2. Taking a dump anywhere close to the camp is one way of attracting disease to yourself. You do not want that to happen.
  3. Human waste can also attract bears! Imagine that, papa grizzly coming to your camp and posing danger to you. You sure do not want that, do you?
  4. The smell will be unbearable. You do not want human waste anywhere near the camp in summer, or any season.
  5. It is just not right leaving your waste lying around. Only animals should do that because the wild is their home. It is not your home, you do not have much right over the animals. 🙂 Lol, that sounds a bit far-fetched, but it’s true, isn’t it?
  6. If it rains, you waste could wash down to the water. Animals and people drink this water. Even a portable water filter may not sieve out everything.
  7. Most of the remote camping areas do not have toilet facilities. So you had better bring a toilet, lest you be mauled by a bear when you go to take a dump in the woods – sounds crazy funny, no?
  8. Nature could call without notice, you know how that happens, right? If it does before you get to a campsite, what will you do?
  9. With bag toilets, eco/compositing toilets and portable flushing toilets, is there any reason why you should not carry one?
  10. It is your mandate to teach your kids to dispose of their waste responsibly.

Do you know any other reason to carry a portable toilet? Please tell me so I can add it here.

Camping toilet is not only for camping!

You can use your camping toilet for just about any kind of outdoor experience. Whether you are going boating, to that wood cabin hidden deep in the jungle or to an outdoor rendezvous where you will stay for a few days, you ought to have the best portable toilet.

If you are a total newbie to buying portable toilets, where can you really start looking for the best one?

Well, the best option is to buy online. However, before you buy, read a guide like this one. Better yet, read a few portable toilet reviews and then make your decision based on the information that you get.

Never, ever buy a camping toilet blindly. Always buy from the brands that come highly recommended. Remember that this toilet is not usable just once, you can use it for a long time to come.

Some camping toilets are pretty basic

You can use a double-layered bag to commune with nature and carry your waste with you. This is not very pleasant, but it is a portable toilet all the same. This bag is biodegradable and you can only use it once. However, since you want something that is as close to plumbing as possible, it would be much better to go with the flushable toilet. It is much cleaner, more sophisticated and you can set it up anywhere close to your camp.

How portable toilets work – effectively engineered

It is very simple actually. Unlike the regular toilet that you have at home where all the waste is flushed into the septic tank or the main sewer line, the portable john breaks down the waste and keeps it in a storage tank that is underneath the toilet.

This means that the storage tank has a capacity. You can only use the john for a given number of times before you have to look for another option.

Just like a regular toilet, this one also has a flushing system, which can be operated by foot or hand, depending on the model that you buy.

The water is contained in a tank that is attached to the toilet. It is mostly built in to the toilet so you cannot see it. However, some toilets just use the chemicals contained in the waste storage tank. Find out this important bit before you buy.

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Important features in best camping toilets

  1. Should be light in weight – that is why it is a portable toilet. It means it can be carried from place to place easily. Even if you are going car camping, you will still need to carry the toilet from the car to set it in its place.
  2. The water capacity is also important. The more it can carry the heavier it will be. Remember, the water tank is built-in. Find a balance between water capacity and weight. A 2.6 gallon holding tank toilet should be good.
  3. The construction should be tough enough such that even if you stand on it, it will hold.
  4. Look for a matte finish that is also scratch-resistant. That way, your toilet will stay in prime shape for many years.
  5.  It works on a pump mechanism that pressurizes water before releasing it into the bowl. This pump can be hand or foot-operated.
  6. Waste disposal method is also crucial. How easy is it to empty the full toilet tank into the sewer line? Some toilets also come with extra paper bag that you can use and throw away.

If you use a bag toilet, the bag contains a chemical, a sort of powder that solidifies your waste. You can thus dispose of the bag full of waste in the woods, or in a hole.

If you are going for car/RV camping, many camp sites offer a sewer place where you can empty the waste.

Check out the warranty coverage before buying. That always helps as it mostly covers against manufacturer defects.

How will I contain the odor?

Now that we have seen that a portable camping toilet is not a regular fixed plumbing sort of restroom that we all love back at home, you may wonder how you will keep the odor out. The good thing is that the best camping toilet manufacturers have borne this in mind, just for you.

They have chemicals in the tanks that remove all odors, a pump-flushing system removes all odor and lastly, some come with disposable, biodegradable bags that you poop and pee in and then dispose of.

When you buy the best portable toilet for car camping, you should also buy the supplies that go with a toilet. These include deodorizers and cleaning supplies. Do not go camping without them.

You may also need a type of a structure around your portable toilet. Most people use a small, one person pop-up tent that is bought separately. It keeps you secluded as you do your business.

Camping toilets to consider buying

5.3-Gallon Camco 4154

This is one of the most highly reviewed camping toilets in the world. The portable toilet has a capacity of 5.3 gallons, which is quite big comparing with most others that have a capacity of 2.6 gallons. The weight, do not worry since one person does not have to carry the whole contraption to the car as the 5.3 gallon waste tank is detachable. It has a water tank with a capacity of 2.5 gallons, quite good too. In addition, the toilet is attached to the waste tank using latches. It is so easy to set up. With a sealing slide, which keeps the odor locked inside the waste tank, you will find the Camco 41541 very comfortable and friendly to use. It also has a toilet seat that is 13 inches wide.

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PARTYSAVING Camping Toilet – 5.3 gallons

This is a wonderful contraption by all measures. It is flushable, has a 5.3 gallon waste tank, but there is a smaller one with 2.6 gallons waste tank. You can buy whatever you think will suit your needs. With a flushing system that is activated by a hand-operated pump – just push it down, all the waste is cleaned off the bowl as water pours from the flush spout, leaving the toilet looking and smelling fresh. The toilet seat is big at 14 inches, has a waste lever that will open up the waste tank for poop to slide in leaving a clean bowl.

Side latches will secure the toilet to the waste tank. The water tank is built into the toilet and the good thing is that apart from the latches for locking the toilet to the waste tank, there is no other connection needed. With only that, you are ready to set your toilet in a pop-up tent and use it.

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Rothco Camping Toilet

This is a lightweight portable camping toilet for small framed people, mostly children and teenagers. It consists of a seat, a frame and a disposable bag.  This is a bag toilet so if you do not go with such, you would be better off passing this review. However, I would advise you to take it along even when you are going to a campsite which has public toilets because most of the time they are not so clean. You just need to set it up in a popup tent a short distance from where you are camping and use it with privacy.

Should the call of nature knock when you are on the way, just stop the car, set up the toilet by the side of the road, of course behind some bushes and go right there. Yeah, that is how convenient it is.

This portable, camping, trekking toilet is really simple to use and very convenient. It just consists of a frame, a disposable bag and a seat. When moving, just remove the seat and it will fold flat.

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Palm Springs Outdoor Camping Toilet

Made with a matte, scratch resistant finish, this toilet is perfect for RV camping, boat camping or other kind of camping. It has an inbuilt 3-gallon water tank as well as a 5 gallon waste tank. If you assemble yours, you will have a comfortable height of 16 ½ inches. The toilet seat is 13 ½ inches wide. When full, just empty the tank, it will empty totally without leaving any waste pending. Once you use the toilet, just press the hand pump behind the toilet seat and water will flow into the bowl through the flush spout. To prevent odor, the drain valve is double-sealed. The waste tank is also detachable from the toilet for portability. There are side latches for that.

It has solid construction such that a full-grown adult can stand on it without breaking it. When the tanks are empty, it weighs about 9.8 lbs/4.4 kg.

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5-Gallon Camping Toilet from Best Choice Products

If you are going for a road trip or a camping vacation, do not leave without this top range portable camping toilet.

It has a waste tank that has 5 gallons capacity, a 3-gallon water tank and has a double spray jet that rotates in a clockwise direction which gives  a faster and cleaner flush leaving the bowl clean.

The detachable waste tank makes it very easy to clean this portable toilet. The seat is full-size, just perfect for every person. If you are camping with your family, you know how hectic it can get with the children. The toilet is a good investment for an all time outdoor enthusiast.

Many users are full of praise for this portable toilet. However, they say the toilet has one con, the seat cover is too weak and can break if it is not handled with care.

Just like any other portable toilet, the height from the ground is not very comfortable for an adult but hey, this is a camping toilet, not an everyday toilet.

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Thetford 92360 Curve

With a battery powered flushing system, a water tank that has a handle for carrying, a big sized bowl and a high toilet seat, this portable toilet is good for your needs. The waste holding tank and the water tank also come with level indicators. No way are you going to be caught flatfooted again. Because the waste tank and the toilet are detachable, it is very easy to empty the waste tank when it is full. When you detach the toilet, a tube protrudes from the waste tank. It is capped, and it is what you will use to drain the waste tank into a sewer line in the camping site or in your toilet at home.

Other features that you will love on this toilet include a toilet paper holder, the battery-powered flushing system, giving about 55 flushes for the waste tank to fill up and finally, a compact and lovely design, this is a dream come true for every camper who loves hygiene.

If you would like a portable toilet that looks really fly, this is it. Just as its name suggests, it is curved and really looks attractive. When not in use, just lock the toilet paper in its compartment.

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Stansport 273-100

Sleek, compact and heavy-duty construction, this portable toilet is going to enable you attend to the calls of nature at ease and hygienically.

It also has full size, 14-inch seat, has a height of 14 inches, not very high for an adult but good enough, handles for carrying, a sanitary bag and the ability to withstand about 350 lbs/159 kg.

Many users say that the waste tank is too small and has to be emptied after every three uses. You might want to bear that in mind but apart from that, you will love the toilet.

The lid can go far back completely so do not set it too close to the wall. Do not lean on the lid, you might break it.

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Conclusion

These are only seven of the best camping toilets. There are many more, some of them self-contained (with water and waste tanks) and others using disposable bags. Whatever your budget is, it can buy you a portable toilet. Look at the features, most importantly, consider the volume of the waste tank. The bigger it is, the better.

Remember, the few minutes you spend on the toilet seat can be the most relieving and enjoyable of you day, although you hardly admit that.

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