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Portable throne: Review of the top 5 camping toilets
By Edsel Cook // Jul 28, 2019

People who stay outdoors for days or even weeks know all about the need for a camping toilet. So picking the right portable toilet unit will be a big deal for anyone who spends long periods away from the nearest bathroom with working plumbing.


A portable potty is made up of a container that stores bodily waste, a cover that serves as a seat, and a lid. Individual models may have interchangeable or disposable storage in the form of either a bag or a bucket.

There are two types of portable toilets – the water-less models and the flushable ones. Water-free units have simpler designs, often consisting of an open container and a toilet seat lid. They do not have any water and cannot be flushed.

In comparison, the flushable camping toilet features a pressurized waste storage container and a small water tank. When the user uses the flush function, the tank releases water that moves the waste to a separate compartment.

A portable toilet provides a comfortable and familiar way to relieve oneself in environments that lack a bathroom. But not all models are winners, and some might be better suited for specific situations. (Related: Hassle-free adventures: The best camping and hiking gear for exploring nature.)

Flushable portable toilets

When it comes to flushable camping toilets, three of the best options are the Camco Standard Portable Toilet, the Thetford 92850 Porta Potti, and the PARTYSAVING Toilet.

The Camco model offers a lot of conveniences. Its holding tank detaches for easy filling up and it also has an extra flush tank.

It has a sturdy bellow-type flush, sealing slide valves on the holding tank, a carrying handle for easy transport, and a cap on the waste tank for easy emptying.

On the other hand, the removable seat, detachable cover, and rotatable pour-out spout makes the Thretford portable toilet very easy to clean. It has a smaller holding tank and a bigger flush tank than the Camco unit.

Its piston flush system conserves water. The level indicator on the wastewater holding tank warns when it is time to empty the container and the pour-out spot prevents messy backsplashes.

The PARTYSAVING camping toilet is more affordable than most models. Its water pump system takes advantage of its capacious flush tank, and its flush spout automatically rinses the bowl with every pull of the flush lever.

Water-less camping toilets

There are times and places when a flushable portable toilet becomes impractical. In locations that lack easy access to water, either the Portable Travel Toilet or the Camco 41549 Toilet Bucket Kit with Seat will serve better.

Both models are water-less types. Their small size and minimal weight make them good selections for hikers.

The portable design employs a toilet waste bag that hold up to eight gallons. The bag is attached to a detachable waste pail that may be pulled out for easy removal and replacement.

The removable cover keeps moisture and odors in the bag. The unit also has a built-in holder for toilet paper.

Meanwhile, the Camco kit is smaller, cheaper, and lighter. A literal bucket system, it stores only five gallons of bodily waste. But it comes with three bag liners and a carry handle.

A toilet seat provides a modicum of comfort and snaps onto the top of a bucket. After using the Camco camping toilet, snap its cover back on and put it away until it is needed once more.

It is possible to relieve oneself in the wilderness without resorting to a toilet. But that runs the risk of contaminating the area with waste. It's more hygienic and comfortable to invest in a good portable toilet, especially when you can't build your own.

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