Buyers Guide to the Best Portable Toilet For Camping 2018


This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may earn a small fee at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Looking for the best camping toilet? Here’s our buyers guide to finding the best portable toilet for camping. These portable toilets also work great for festivals, home remodeling or emergencies. With so many types to choose from, where do you begin? Here’s what you need to know to choose the best portable toilet for your next outdoor adventures.

Our Picks for the 5 Best Portable Toilets for Camping

   
Green Elephant Folding Portable Toilet Seat
Reliance Products Luggable Loo Portable 5 Gallon Toilet
Cleanwaste Portable Toilet
Camco Standard Portable Travel Toilet 41541
Camco Premium Portable Travel Toilet 41545

 

What Are The Different Types of Portable Camping Toilets?

Portable toilets come in four different categories. These are:

Fold-able Toilets

Fold-able toilets are lightweight and compact. Also known as camping toilet chairs, they can be used with bags or placed over a dug trench.

Bucket Toilets

Bucket toilets are buckets with an attached seat and lid. They are usually used with bags to contain the waste.

Flush Toilets

Flush toilets look more like regular toilets. They have a toilet bowl and flush waste into a holding tank. Chemicals are usually placed in the tank to prevent odor. While most RV toilets are permanently installed, portable flush toilets are increasingly popular for both recreational vehicles and home use.

Composting Toilets

Composting toilets compost human waste. They are more expensive than and not as portable as the others.

What Should You Look For When Choosing the Best Portable Toilet for Camping?

Before choosing a toilet, you need to determine how portable it needs to be. Also, keep in mind the comfort requirements of the people in your party and what capacity you need. The capacity can depend on the waste disposal options available in your camping area.

How portable is it?

When taking your portable toilet camping, it helps to know how heavy it is. If you’re setting it up close to your car, for example at a campground, the weight may not be much of an issue. If you have to carry it any distance from your vehicle, every extra pound adds up quickly.

Consider how easy it is to pack and where you plan on storing it. Will it fit into your car, truck, boat or camper? Will it take up extra room that you need for other essentials? Do you need something small and compact? Or do you have room for something larger and more comfortable?

Is it easy to set up and use?

Setting up camp can be time-consuming. Setting up a portable toilet after a long drive and several beverages needs to be quick and worry-free.

What are the comfort requirements of your group?

Some people are comfortable squatting behind a bush. Others need more privacy. Some people don’t mind tossing a handful of kitty litter over their leavings. Others insist on a flush toilet and as many of the comforts of home as is possible.

Get to know the preferences of your group members. What you discover may surprise you but can also make the trip more comfortable for everyone.

Height and Width

Check the seat height and width. Most portable toilets are smaller and shorter than regular toilets. For taller people and those with mobility issues, seat height can make a big difference.

Unlike your toilet at home, a portable toilet is not anchored to the ground. Depending on where you place it, there may not be a convenient counter nearby to help pull yourself up. Instead, you may find yourself having to sit and stand back up without extra support. This can be a bit awkward without practice. Or it can be very difficult for those with bad knees or other physical limitations.

The toilet seat may also be much smaller than what you’re used to. The main purpose of a camping toilet is to be functional and portable which can result in smaller seats. Some are more comfortable than others.

Weight Limits

Know the weight limits of your portable toilet. Some inexpensive models are not strong or sturdy enough to handle a large adult. They are better suited for children. Make sure the model you choose is strong and sturdy enough to support all members of your group.

What waste capacity do you need?

Before choosing a toilet, first, determine how many people will be using it and for how long. Know the waste requirements of your camping location. Some areas allow you to bury waste if done properly. Others have RV dump stations or other disposal methods. And some places require that you carry any waste out with you.

Our Top Picks for the Best Portable Toilet for Camping

The best camping toilet is portable, easy to use and comfortable. Based on these criteria, here are our top five picks for the best portable toilets for camping.

Green Elephant Folding Portable Toilet Seat

The Green Elephant Folding Portable Toilet Seat is our top pick in camping toilet chairs. It’s a good choice for people with mobility issues due to the ease of use and higher seat. It’s lightweight and folds down for packing and storage. The seat is sturdy with a weight limit of up to 250 pounds. At 15.3” tall, this seat is taller than most and nearly as wide as a standard size toilet seat.

Like a folding stool, simply fold out and set up. Place a bag through the center and fold the top edges over the toilet seat. Your body weight holds the bag in place. Clean up is easy. Remove the bag and dispose of the waste.

It can also be used without a bag over a trench, but it may take practice to ensure you avoid the cross bars on the legs. If your aim is bad, create a waste skirt. Use a bag with the bottom cut out to direct the waste into the trench and keep the cross bars on the legs clean.

The Green Elephant doesn’t have a lid. If reusing the bag, place another bag over the top. Or you can use a handful of chemical or kitty litter in the bag to absorb liquids and reduce odor.

It’s a little pricey. But it’s a good alternative for people with mobility issues who need a sturdy toilet with a higher seat. Some customers wished it had clips to hold the bag instead of being anchored by the user’s body weight. An easy fix for this is to use a drawstring bag. Place the bag through the center of the seat and fold the top edge over the surface of the seat. Then tighten the drawstring to hold the bag securely in place.

Pros 

  • Higher seat
  • Sturdy – up to 250 lbs
  • Lightweight
  • Foldable – easy to pack and store

Cons

  • No lid
  • Bags anchored by user’s body weight
  • Pricey


Reliance Products Luggable Loo Portable 5 Gallon Toilet

The Luggable Loo Portable 5 gallon toilet is one of the most popular bucket toilets. It’s a 5-gallon bucket with a hinged toilet seat and lid that snaps onto the top of the bucket. Easy to use and clean, simply line with a Double Doodie bag or plastic bag for quick cleanup and disposal. You can use portable toilet chemicals to solidify the waste. For a cheaper option, toss a handful of kitty litter in the bag both before and after to absorb liquids.

The Luggable Loo has a handle for easy carrying and it’s discreet. Onlookers, seeing the bucket, may never realize that it’s a portable toilet. Some customers recommend placing it in a milk crate. This gives extra stability on uneven terrain and feels sturdier.

The seat is the size of the bucket rim, which may seem small and uncomfortable to some. Some customers said the hinge on the lid was weak and others could not get the lid to fit.

Pros 

  • Discreet
  • Easy set up
  • Easy cleanup

Cons

  • Small seat
  • Hinge on lid weak
  • Some previous customers have difficulty getting lid to fit


Cleanwaste Portable Toilet

The Cleanwaste Portable Toilet is a fold-able toilet that is both strong and portable. Used by the military and FEMA, this toilet is designed to be comfortable, compact and sturdy. With a weight limit of 500 pounds, this toilet is built for strength. The three leg design provides stability on uneven terrain. If you’re dealing with soft ground, the lid can be removed and used to provide further stability on soft terrain. Simply place it beneath the back two legs and you have a sturdy camping toilet.

If you’re looking for a small portable toilet for camping, this one folds down to briefcase size so it’s easy to carry and pack. It has a larger seat than most, having the same seat and bowl size as a standard toilet. However, at 14” tall, it’s a little shorter than a regular toilet. The Toilet uses waste collection bags and has a removable mesh net that supports the bag. There are two ways to position the bag. You can place it under the seat and the seat will hold it. Or you can pull the top edge of the bag over the seat for a more sanitary use in groups.

Some customers said that at 14” tall, it’s still too short. The three legs may feel a little off balance when wiping. A quick solution to this is to turn so that you’re facing the two back legs for better stability. The legs lock into place when unfolded to make a sturdy seat. However, some customers said it was hard to fold the legs up. To fold them back up, check out this video:

Pros 

  • Weight limit 500 pounds
  • Folds down to briefcase size
  • Same seat and bowl size of a regular toilet
  • Removable mesh net to support waste bag

Cons

  • Some customers said it’s still too short at 14”
  • Three legs can feel unbalanced
  • Can be hard to fold legs back up

And, if you’re looking for a full bathroom set up, check out the Cleanwaste Go Anywhere Total System. It includes a portable toilet, a privacy tent and waste bags. Better yet, it also has a convenient backpack to carry them all together.


Camco Standard Portable Travel Toilet 41541

The Camco Standard Portable Travel Toilet 41541 is one of the most popular of the portable flush toilets. It comes in two sizes: 2.6 gallons and 5.3 gallons. Sturdy and durable, the 41541 has a detachable holding tank with a cap on the waste tank for easy emptying. The toilet and waste tank are secured with two side latches. For easy carry, both the top and bottom sections have integrated handles.

The Camco Standard Portable Travel Toilet 41541 has a bellow-type flush and sealing slide valve to protect against leaks and odor. It’s easy to flush with a manual pull slide on the front that opens for waste and closes for a water-tight seal.

For compact storage in small spaces, the 2.6-gallon version is the shorter of the two at 12.38” high. If you’re looking for a height that is closer to a standard toilet, the 5.3-gallon version is 15.5” high. Both sizes have a weight capacity of 330 pounds.

Note: Portable toilets with waste holding tanks can build up pressure. This is due to changes in temperature and altitudes. Before flushing, vent the holding tank by slowly pulling the flush lever, opening it a just little bit to release the pressure. Always make sure the toilet lid is closed before venting the tank to avoid spray. This step is especially important in hot weather and after transporting.

Some customers have said that the side latches wouldn’t stay closed. Others have reported that the 5.3-gallon waste tank gets heavy quickly as it fills up. To make it easier to handle, you may need to empty it more often.

Pros 

  • 2 sizes available – 2.6 or 5.3 gallons
  • Detachable waste tank
  • Integrated handles
  • Weight capacity of 330 pounds
  • Manual flush
  • Height of 15.5” for 5.3-gallon size

Cons

  • Waste holding tank can build up pressure – vent before flushing
  • Some customers said side latches wouldn’t stay closed
  • 5.3-gallon waste tank gets heavy when full – empty more often


Camco Premium Portable Travel Toilet 41545

The Camco Premium Portable Travel Toilet 41545 is the newer, updated version of the Camco 41541. Like the previous model, the Premium 41545 also comes in two different sizes: 2.6 gallons and 5.3 gallons. It has a detachable waste tank for easy emptying and a sliding gate valve to prevent leaks and odor. For easy cleanup, the inside of the holding tank has a slick surface and improved pump flush action.

The Premium model has several updates. Instead of the side latches, it uses a spring-loaded latch on the back. The flush pull is located on the side and it has three spray rinse nozzles instead of just one. Also, for easier emptying, it has a swivel pour spout.

Note: Portable toilets with waste holding tanks can build up pressure. This is due to changes in temperature and altitudes. Before flushing, vent the holding tank by slowly pulling the flush lever, opening it a just little bit to release the pressure. Always make sure the toilet lid is closed before venting the tank to avoid spray. Venting is especially important in hot weather and after transporting.

To avoid leaks, one customer recommends checking the rubber seal rings before use. To make sure they are properly seated, push the rubber seal rings down and make sure they line up correctly. This is so they will seal securely when tightened. There are three seals. They are on the clean water reservoir, holding tank drain cap and the pump handle.

Some customers have said that the swivel pour spout made it hard to empty and clean. Also, the pull lever is located on the side of the toilet which may not be suitable for small spaces.

Pros

  • 2 sizes available – 2.6 or 5.3 gallons
  • Detachable waste tank
  • Manual pumping flush action  
  • Spring loaded latch for easy removal
  • Height of 16” for 5.3-gallon size

Cons

  • Waste holding tank can build up pressure – vent before flushing
  • Some customers said pour spout made it hard to clean
  • Pull lever on side not suitable for some small spaces
  • Make sure rubber seal rings are correctly seated before use
  • More expensive than 41541


Conclusion

For a short trip or for a few people, one of the folding or bucket toilets may be all that you need. Folding and bucket toilets work well just about anywhere. They are easy to pack, store, empty and transport.

For longer trips or more people, our best rated portable toilet is the Camco Standard Portable Travel Toilet 41541. It’s a lightweight, portable, go anywhere toilet. It works for both rugged outdoors individuals and for those who enjoy a more comfortable experience. It has an impressive weight limit and decent height (for the 5.3-gallon size). This makes it accessible for more people, including those with mobility issues. While both sizes are easy to carry, the 2.6-gallon version is shorter and a great option for small spaces. Both sizes are sturdy, easy to use and reliable.

These are our top picks for portable toilets for camping. We based our choices on portability, ease of use and comfort. While each of these toilets will do the job, the best portable toilet is whichever one works best for your own personal situation.

 

best portable toilet for camping

 

Join our Newsletter for updates & tips on self-sufficient living.

Signup now and receive an email once I publish new content.

*View our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions

Leave a Comment