Camping trips are a little more fun when there’s ease and convenience. Portable toilets for camping are a godsend for these trips, particularly if you consider yourself a beginner in outdoor adventures.
So what camping toilet should you actually choose to make life in the bush or beach just a little bit easier and more comfortable?
Portable toilets are high up on the list of a fair number of people for several reasons, included on their list of items and gear to pack in their camper or RV every time.
There’s a wide range of options available for nearly all camping styles and budgets, so a portable camping toilet doesn’t really have to break the bank.
Let’s dive right into the matter and see which camping toilet ticks all the right boxes for you and your needs.
Why Buy a Portable Camping Toilet?
It just makes sense to get a portable toilet for camping given that these things have become so modern, accessible and easy on the pocket. Let’s count the reasons why they have become a necessity rather than a mere luxury today.
Portable toilets are convenient
The lack of toilet facilities in some camping areas or places can be off-putting or downright intimidating.
Having your own portable unit eliminates the worry of looking for a toilet, especially if you’re on the move with small children or large groups.
Portable toilets make you a responsible camper
Camping has become extremely popular that it can take its toll on the outdoor environment. Your own camping toilet makes you fully self-contained and earns you points for responsibly moving around!
Portable toilets weather-proof you
You may use them - instead of just the toilet paper and the darkest parts of the bush - when it’s rainy, too cold outside or just when you need to go in the middle of the night.
Portable toilets have become affordable
They are no longer expensive for the convenience that they provide, so it’s a no-brainer to get one for yourself if you’re an avid camper or caravanner.
Portable toilets are an easier choice than public toilets
Public facilities can be disgusting in their dirty state and smell. Your own personal toilet beats the uncertainty of using these facilities at any given time.
Portable toilets spares you from long lines
No need to wait for others in massive campgrounds, or make time for some much-needed nature call when you’re already leaving or on the go.
Portable toilets can be used at home or anywhere else
Finally, the added perks of your own portable camping toilet include doubling as a portable unit for medical reasons, kids’ potty training or when there’s extreme weather and power and water have run out.
Simply put, portable toilets are wonderful for fussy campers. They’re a great way to alleviate fears of outdoor trips, particularly long-haul ones.
Now, let’s go to the three major categories of camping toilets to help you figure out what you exactly need or prefer.
The 3 Main Classifications of Portable Camping Toilets
Here are the three (rough) classifications of porta potty for your next camping or pristine beach trip.
The bucket toilet
A bucket-type toilet is basically just that: a bucket or pail used for collecting human waste.
This type is extremely popular for emergency situations or on-the-road situations. Perhaps it’s also its biggest disadvantage: urine and fecal matter is collected in the same pail, causing plenty of unpleasant odours.
However, a bucket toilet promotes composting. The key is to use disposable waste bags for a no-mess experience, as well as to dispose of the water properly and at designated dumpsites.
For eliminating the nasty odours, grass and pine needles might work. A diaper can also be placed at the bottom of the bag to absorb the fluids, or at least most of them.
Since this portable toilet doesn’t need electricity or water, you can “enhance” your experience using it with a tight lid and a urine-diverting seat.
The flushing tank / cassette toilet
An upgrade from your basic bucket toilets, portable toilets with a flushing mechanism lets you have a piece of home with you on the road.
They come with freshwater flushes as well as a toilet seat and integrated toilet paper holder sometimes.
Expect a two-compartment design: the waste on the bottom tank and fresh water tank on top.
Cons: The waste, along with the flush tank (when full), can make the unit bulky and heavy. It’s then best set up in one place, like inside your caravan.
The folding toilet
Finally, this camping toilet is known as a folding toilet or backpacking toilet.
Compared to the bucket toilet, it’s likely more lightweight and minimalist, with a folding chair toilet offering convenient number twos.
A waste bag captures the excreted material, and the seat can be set up fairly easily.
On the downside, it’s necessary to check for the seat’s sturdy build as you can risk falling into the grand mess if you have a weak or a bit unstable seat.
Top 5 Portable Toilets to Consider Buying in 2022
When it comes to things in life like a portable toilet, the only opinion that matters is yours. After all, it’s about your convenience and preference, especially during a supposedly perfect experience like camping.
What we’re here for, though, is to provide a good comparison or review of products on the market.
We’ll help you figure out whether you have more room, if it's a durable material in use, what items you need to purchase separately, if there’s a waste level indicator or piston pump, or how much a product mimics an actual toilet (or standard toilet at home).
Let’s get right down to it with these seven leading products for your nature calls.
Thetford Porta Potti Curve: Gold standard portable toilet
The Porta Potti Curve from Thetford is not one to be ignored as a camping, caravanning or boating companion.
For starters, Thetford is a well-recognized maker of innovative and eco-friendly options.
The Curve is sleek but thoroughly functional, with the two-part configuration of a freshwater tank on top and human waste water tank at the bottom. A level indicator turns red when it’s time to empty or refill the tanks.
Its flushing mechanism is battery-operated but still allows manual flushing.
Behold, too, its hidden toilet paper holder as well as water tank inlets.
Why choose it
This Thetford unit can be as premium as other portable toilets can be. It’s like you didn’t leave your trusty home toilet at all, with the Curve ideally large. This last quality can be a disadvantage, though, if space is an issue.
Camco Toilet: Standard comfort
Practicality dictates getting a standard portable toilet like Camco, which offers the essentials of a toilet unit for the outdoors.
Compact, fairly lightweight and with a two-part configuration, this product mimics your everyday residential toilet and is easy to maintain. The sturdy construction can support weights up to 330 lbs or 150 kg.
There’s also a manual lever for the flushing system, if you’re keen to know.
As a few cons, the bowl may not be as deep as desired for some people, and pulling the flush level a bit too quickly might lead to burping effect.
Why choose it
This toilet model ticks most of the boxes, being user-friendly, easy to clean and built for practical use. It’s designed around frequent concerns over cleaning up and maintenance, so at such a price point this Camco toilet is pretty much a good deal.
Reliance Products Luggable Loo: More than your typical bucket
A bucket-type portable camping toilet, the Luggable Loo is super useful for tent trailers, basecamps and boats, as well as for fishing and hunting to your heart’s content.
The design boasts of a fairly wide base, which ensures it won’t easily tip over or sink into the ground.
To use, simply insert a disposable bag and seal it shut with the snap-on lid. This lid can also lock in odours, so you might consider grass or cat litter to absorb the fluids and manage the odours.
As most bucket toilets go, it’s ideal for your typical needs on a camping trip or during emergencies.
Why choose it
If you’re not yet ready to commit to more serious options and looking for an entry-level choice, then the Luggable Loo is a sound choice to make as a start.
It provides good enough privacy, particularly when compared to using campground facilities.
Companion Portable Toilet: The small child’s friend
The sheer simplicity of the Companion Portable Toilet is not one to be ignored, as it involves a folding stool with a seat and a plastic bag.
Lightweight and easy to move around, it’s best suited to young children versus fully grown adults. The frame is made of steel, yes, but at only 70 kg it can give dad or mom some balance issues when they decide to use it.
Why choose it
If you’re looking for a backup portable camping toilet for the little ones, then this unit can come in handy.
It’s easy and straightforward to set up, although cleaning and waste disposal are apparently an altogether different matter.
Weisshorn 20L Portable Outdoor Camping Toilet
Strong, big and sturdy, this Weisshorn portable toilet model is the stuff of 5-star reviews.
Its wealth of attractive features include the up to 50 flushes with the 12-litre freshwater capacity. To boot, it doesn’t require external water connections to flush.
The waste tank, detachable and with a 20L capacity, is easy to clean and maintain.
The model is also tough enough to handle up to 20 kg of weight. Double seals protect the drain valve to avoid leakage, and a seat cover is attached to prevent leaks while you’re in transit.
Why choose it
Durable material, safe and packed with features, this Weisshorn packs a lot of value.
It might come as a disadvantage that it’s a bit too big in size and takes up space in your trunk (not to mention heavy), but with strong flushes and the ease of maintenance there’s little reason to say no if you can and are willing to pay for it.
Final Note: Composting Toilet vs Conventional Portable Toilet
As a quick final note, composting toilets, like Nature's Head Composting Toilet, use the composting - the decomposition of organic matter - as a method to treat the human waste material.
In the portable versions of these toilets, there’s a tank for the solids as well as another for liquids.
Building a strong case for composting toilets are the following:
- No water required for flushing
- No need for black tank with the separate solids and liquids
- No toilet chemicals needed, just a composting medium
- Easy human waste disposal
Portable composting toilets are odourless, too, coming with a small exhaust fan fitted within the unit. This fan helps ventilate out the odours and keep the interior dry.
As a downside, emptying the solids tank might trigger gagging due to the bad smell. Emptying itself can be quite tedious as well.
In contrast, conventional toilets have sewage buildup in the holding tank, thus stinking a little during regular use.
It might be important to use strong toilet chemicals to fight the odours. A flushing system should also be in place.
Made up your mind yet? With too much information on portable camping toilets, it’s crucial to take your time diligently looking at the various options available.
We hope we’re able to help you choose a portable camping toilet, or at least start a good conversation around the “sticky” subject!