Best Portable Toilets for Camping

5 Best Portable Toilets for Camping

Updated on January 30th, 2024

When you want to upgrade your camping experience, a portable toilet is the first thing to get. Let’s be honest: digging a hole and squatting out in the woods or behind some rocks isn’t enjoyable. Having a portable toilet allows you to do your business more normally and dispose of your waste more responsibly.

To help you see and compare the best portable toilets for camping, we put many styles to the test. The list below highlights the top models so you can select the perfect camping commode to suit your needs.

Why You Need a Portable Camping Toilet

A portable toilet is a great way to increase camping enjoyment, especially if your destination doesn’t offer bathroom facilities.

Wandering away from camp to gain privacy to do your business can be unsafe, especially for younger kids or when the urge calls at night.

Another reason to travel with a portable toilet is that even if a campground offers bathrooms, they may be filthy, out of order, or in a location far from your campsite.

RVers also find it convenient to use a portable toilet during boondocking or off-grid camping trips when they want to keep their waste tanks empty.

Lastly, when traveling with a portable toilet, everyone can relieve themselves anywhere along their route without searching for the nearest gas station or rest stop.

Types of Portable Camping Toilets

A composting toilet

Portable toilets come with various names, such as:

  • Camping toilet
  • Cassette toilet
  • Porta-potty
  • Bucket toilet
  • Foldable toilet
  • Wrappon toilet system

All these camping toilet versions provide the same benefit, giving users a sturdy and comfortable way to go to the bathroom outdoors and collect the waste cleanly for proper disposal.

There are four main types of portable camping toilets. We detail the differences below to help determine which style will work best for you.

Bucket Toilets

Bucket toilets are a popular portable toilet choice for campers.

The design is a seat that fits on a 5-gallon bucket. Some bucket toilets come complete, while some are just the seat, and you provide the bucket.

The pros of a bucket toilet are:

  • Affordable price
  • Easy to find liner bags that fit
  • Height is good for kids and adults
  • Can store essentials like TP or soap inside between uses
  • If you bring a solid lid, you can transport waste from the campsite without a mess

The cons of a bucket toilet are:

  • The seat size is a bit small
  • Can tip over if not on a flat surface
  • Liner bags may tear during removal/cleaning if not thick and high-quality

Folding Toilets

There are two styles of folding toilets — one that is basically a toilet seat on legs that you place above a separate container and one that’s a collapsible bucket-type toilet.

1st Type: Portable Toilet Seat on Legs

2nd Type: Collapsible Bucket-Type Toilet

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The pros of a folding toilet are:

  • Affordable price
  • Easy to find liner bags that fit
  • Height is good for kids and adults
  • Can store essentials like TP or soap inside between uses
  • If you bring a solid lid, you can transport waste from the campsite without a mess

The cons of a folding toilet are:

  • It may not support the weight of heavier adults
  • Seat legs may wobble during use
  • Requires assembly and liner bags or a separate container for waste
  • Most do little to prevent odors from escaping

Cassette Toilets

Cassette toilets have an upper seat, bowl, and lid, along with a lower compartment that holds bathroom waste.

A flange between the two sections helps contain odors in the lower chamber, making this toilet style a good choice if you plan to use it inside a tent, vehicle, or RV.

Some cassette toilets feature a water tank to flush waste, while others use bags and a bio-gel or powder to clump up waste for trash disposal.

The pros of a cassette toilet are:

  • No spills and less smell during use
  • Stable seat with a lid to keep things tidy
  • Holds a good amount of waste

The cons of a cassette toilet are:

  • Seat height too short for some adults
  • The full lower chamber is too heavy to move for dumping
  • Toilet paper can get stuck/dried in the gasket and cause leaks

Cassette Toilet (Video)

Composting Toilets

A composting toilet provides the most residential toilet experience while camping.

Composting toilets separate waste solids from liquids and mix them with an absorbent organic material in a bag inside the unit’s base. The bags make it less messy and stinky to empty when full.

However, most composting toilets are expensive, heavy, bulky, and rely on a fan that needs an electrical connection to keep odors down, making this style of portable toilet best for recreational vehicles where the unit can remain stationary.

Because a composting toilet is impractical for most camping situations, we suggest sticking to a more portable and affordable toilet style.

CAMPING TOILET TIPS:

Carry along kitty litter or poo powder to place at the bottom of the liner bag when using a bucket or folding camp toilet. These materials are excellent for avoiding a wet, smelly mess during use and when changing the bag.

For toilets that use water to hold waste, pour in an environmentally safe chemical treatment to deter odor.

For instant privacy, camping experts love using small pop-up tents to hide their camping toilet and help contain wafting odors.

It’s hard to believe, but a lot of people don’t think about this before going camping. This is a big issue, especially because you grill and eat outside.

5 Best Portable Toilets For Camping

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  • Style: Cassette
  • Dimensions: 16.8 x 16.3 x 15.0 inches
  • Weight: 8.82 pounds (empty)

The Thetford Porta Potti 365 provides ample storage for waste with a piston flush to keep the bowl clean.

We love this cassette toilet for the small details, such as handles, quick disconnect between the two sections, and tightly sealing valves that keep waste away from hands and noses during disposal down a toilet, sewer drain, or at a dump station.

The seat and lid hold the weight of most adults without fail, and the four-gallon holding tank isn’t too heavy to remove and empty.

PROS:

  • Extremely efficient to use, empty, and clean
  • The waste tank is large enough to handle longer camping trips
  • Holds enough water for over 56 flushes

CONS:

  • Seat surface curves, which cause discomfort after prolonged sitting
  • Some complaints of leaks between the two compartments
  • The plastic on the seat and lid is a bit flimsy for the price

This camping toilet is best for small RVs or tenters who want the convenience of a more traditional toilet that’s still compact and lightweight enough to carry on trips.

Thetford Porta Potti 365 (Video)

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  • Style: Bucket
  • Dimensions: 34 x 37 x 32.5 inches
  • Weight: 3.6 pounds

The Reliance Luggable Loo is a budget-friendly way to provide a camp toilet. Add a five-gallon bucket and liner, and you’re ready for any adventure, or buy the bucket toilet kit that includes the bucket with easy-grip carrying and emptying handles.

We love the durability of the plastic material for the seat and bucket and how securely the seat snaps onto the bucket edge. The lid also clips shut to prevent spills when toting.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Seat shape is comfortable for longer bathroom visits
  • The lid snaps shut for transport and to keep pests and odors away
  • Seat size and height are suitable for kids and adults
  • Uses compatible bucket toilet liners or regular trash bags

CONS:

  • Must remove the seat to lift and use the carry handle
  • Larger adults may require tricky maneuvering to wipe without toppling the bucket

This portable toilet is best for family camping trips that need a larger waste receptacle when campground toilets aren’t available or close enough for convenient or safe use.

Reliance Luggable Loo (Video)

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The Stansport Easy-Go Camp Toilet has a well-built design that will last for years.

We must note that the size is smaller and shorter than traditional bucket toilets, but incorporating a full-size seat, lid, handles, and more stable bucket base makes this kit super easy to set up, empty, and move around.

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We love how the design and materials allow users up to 275 pounds to sit on the toilet safely without fear it will break.

PROS:

  • Lightweight yet durable construction
  • Easy to clean and compact
  • The seat is large and comfortable
  • Affordable

CONS:

  • Shorter height, slightly awkward to use
  • Liner bags tend to slip off the top edge without securing with a rubber band

This camping toilet is best for a couple or single on a weekend camping trip, as the waste holding area is small. This model would also be an excellent second toilet for a kids’ tent area or use while on the road because the height is more suited to those of small stature.

Stansport Easy-Go Camp Toilet (Video)

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The Cleanwaste Go Anywhere Portable Toilet is one of the easiest models to tote and set up at your campsite.

We love the commercial-grade plastic components, with legs that fold open and lock into place. The seat can hold up to 500 pounds without failing, which is outstanding for a lightweight portable camping toilet.

We also appreciate the mesh holder for the collection bags to keep them from sliding from the weight of the waste. The liners come with absorbent powder inside, making them very handy to swap out.

PROS:

  • Simple design is easy to clean/rinse with a hose between trips
  • The locking tri-point leg design is very stable
  • Easy to switch bags when full
  • Sturdy construction with an extreme weight capacity
  • Folds up into a “briefcase” for easy transport/storage

CONS:

  • Purchasing Cleanwaste bags can get expensive, but standard trash bags also work
  • Legs are a bit difficult to close
  • Some issues with the lid not staying up

This camping toilet is best for anyone who wants a no-nonsense, compact outdoor unit. When shut, the size, weight, and shape make it ideal for camping trips that require a hike to reach your destination.

Cleanwaste Go Anywhere Portable Toilet (Video)

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Style: In a class all its own
Dimensions: 18 x 18 x 11 inches
Weight: 28 pounds

The Wrappon Green Portable Toilet is the choice for people who often camp off-grid and have the budget to afford the Cadillac of “thrones” to handle waste disposal.

We can’t rave enough about the design that allows you to carry the unit like a suitcase, then opens to unveil the features that put this portable camping toilet above all others.

The unit runs off a 12-volt power station or battery and requires no water to flush or sewer to dump into, making it super clean and efficient to use.

PROS:

  • 5-layer proprietary film hermetically seals waste/smell into bags automatically with each flush
  • Coagulating powder kills germs and odor on contact
  • Large seat, tall stance, and rugged construction extremely comfortable for even large adults
  • Bags/film keep the toilet spotless, so no cleaning is necessary
  • The bottom tray opens to remove wrapped waste for disposal
  • Folds into a compact shape with a carry handle for transport/storage

CONS:

  • Requires power to operate (12-volt)
  • Heavier than other portable toilets
  • Very expensive
  • Wrapped waste will begin to smell if left sitting for a long time

This portable toilet is best for people who want a super-clean, odor-free, and comfortable camping bathroom experience on or off-grid without the need for water to flush waste or clean the unit.

Wrappon Green Portable Toilet System (Video)

Best Portable Toilet Wrap-Up

Camping toilets come in many designs, but we feel the five above are the best in each category and are worth checking out.

When you have a perfect portable camping toilet that fits your needs and budget, you will enjoy stress-free travel days and campsite stays because you’ll be ready whenever nature calls!

QUOTE:
"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
-- Andre Gide