I started to look for the best portable toilet after a camping experience turned out to be not-so-nice for the girls. Being an outdoorsy person all my life, I can go behind a bush when it’s urgent. But my wife and the two girls didn’t take the unhygienic toileting so kindly.
I figured that a portable toilet was the best way to get them to agree for our weekend getaways from suburbia. And as expected, it worked like a charm.
We got ourselves the best portable toilet without spending a bomb for it. But that was not before I wrecked my head over portable potties by the dozen.
If you thought that shopping for porta potties was easy, then wait till you walk into a store or log on to an online retail portal. They are available in all sorts of shapes, sizes and configurations. Some have a barebones design while others boast of schmancy features.
Our criteria were simple. It had to be clean, compact enough for us to carry and allow us to dispose the waste easily without having to travel an additional mile for it. And these are the best ones that fit that description.
|Image||Product Details||Price||My Ratings|
|Thetford 92360 Porta Potti||$$||8/10|
|Palm Springs Outdoor 5 Gal||$$||7/10|
#1 – Camco 41541 Portable Toilet
There are many reasons why I liked the 41541 portable toilet from Camco. For starters, it weighs just 11 pounds and measures just 16 odd inches in length and approximately 14 inches in width. So, it is lightweight and super compact. Fits into the boot of the car.
That ticked two of the boxes that we considered very important.
But that’s by far not all of it.
The Camco 41541 is flawlessly constructed. It is made of durable polyethylene, is comfortable to sit on and is just the right height for people of all ages.
Most importantly, the toilet comes with an integrated flush that can hold up to 2.5 gallons of fresh water and a bottom waste collection tank that has a capacity of approximately 5.3 gallons.
Each flush dispenses a bare minimum amount of water and a couple of flushes are all that it takes to flush solid waste down into the tank. The capacity of the tank makes it perfect for a small family of four for a three day camping trip.
We just wait until we get back home and hook it up with the toilet and dump the contents of the tank into it. Serves the purpose!
Now, all that seems pretty standard fare. But there are a few practical features that make this the best portable toilet in the market.
- There is no odor. What goes in stays in.
- It is ridiculously easy to empty. You are not going to encounter leaks or any unexpected surprises while emptying this. All that it takes is a slide valve to unlock and dump.
- The capacity is perfect for a small family. If you are camping alone, then this can easily last you for a couple of weeks before it fills up. It does get heavy though. But it is built to handle up to 300 lbs. So, its not going to give away.
- It comes with a waste disposal tablet that dissolves everything. Once again, easy to dump.
Verdict: Cannot recommend this enough! Great quality, reasonably priced and very effective!
#2 – Dometic Portable Toilet 5.0 Gallon
The only reason why I picked the Camco over the Dometic Portable Toilet is the additional 1 inch height of the seat. I am 6.3 and even though the Camco isn’t exactly what I’d call comfortable for me, the Dometic would require me to use a stand to get the seat height right.
Otherwise, it is one of the most perfectly constructed portable toilets in the market currently. In fact, some of the features are better than the Camco.
It is made of polyethylene and is as durable as they come. Further, it has a 5.0 gallon waste tank which is almost identical to the Camco.
One thing in which the Dometic scores over the best portable toilet is the flush. It has a pressurized flush that uses less than 1 pint of water per flush and thoroughly cleans solid waste. So, technically, it can last longer without emptying.
Also, the flush is an easy push button one. No levers to pull or slides to move. It is a tad noisy. But I guess that’s how pressure flushes work. You can’t expect it to be pressurized and be silent too.
Dumping is effortless too as long as you can carry the waste tank. It comes with a dump spout and an air valve that prevents leaks and odors.
Just push out the dump spout and open the air valve. You can dispose the waste directly into your home toilet. There is no mechanism to connect it to the pump out stations at RV parks though.
- Lightweight, compact
- Pressurized flush that uses less than 1 pint of water per flush
- Push button flush
- Easy to dump
#3 – Luggable Loo
To be honest, I was quite surprised when a salesman at Walmart told me that he had a portable toilet for $25. And then when he showed me the Luggable Loo, I wasn’t quite convinced yet that it was a toilet. It looked more like a pail than an actual toilet.
But back home, after some research, I realized that it was the perfect option for my Kayaking trips and I picked one up from Amazon for a lot cheaper.
After using it for three fishing trips and hunting expeditions, I can say that it is very effective at what it claims to do.
The Luggable Loo is a 5 gallon portable bucket that comes with a latch-on lid that doubles up as a toilet seat cover. So, unlike a normal bucket which would have sharp edges and wouldn’t exactly be comfortable to sit on, you can sit easily on the Luggable loo. It is only 13 inches tall but hey, certainly beats going in the bushes and squatting all the way down.
It needs to be used with disposable chemical toilet bags that convert the liquid waste into solids that are easy to dispose. You can also use good old peat moss and a paper bag if need be or just use some doggie litter in the bag if you are looking for an economical DIY hack instead of the disposable bags.
Once you are done, you can lock the lid with a tiny clip that prevents the odor from leaking. My concern was whether it would leak if I accidentally tipped it over. Thankfully, that hasn’t happened so far and I guess I will cross the river when I come to it rather than fussing over it.
- Inexpensive option to portable toilets
- 5 gallon capacity that can hold multiple disposable bags
- Extremely easy to transport
- Snap-on lid that prevents odor or leaks
#4 – Thetford Porta Potti 550E
Finally, we have the Cadillac of portable toilets, the Porta Potti from Thetford. If there was to be a beauty contest for camping toilets, this guy would walk away with the crown. It looks so good with its curved edges and sleek design that you’d almost buy it right away.
Well, I bought it for my RV too despite already having bought the Camco. So, if you feel tempted to swipe the card right away, I won’t blame you.
The Porta Potti is a very stylish looking portable camping toilet. It can almost pass off for a Kohler toilet that you’d pick for your home.
It is taller than most portable toilets that I have seen (17.5 inches) and has a larger bowl too. Further, it comes with a toilet paper holder integrated into the design.
The flush can hold up to 4 gallons of fresh water while the waste tank capacity is 5.0 gallons. Unlike most portable toilets, the Porta Potti comes with a lever indicator for both tanks. So, you know when it is time to empty it or refill the tank.
The flush is battery powered by the way.
A single lever separates both the tanks and you have a disposal spout that is covered by a cap. All that you need to do is carry it and remove the cap to dispose the waste. The perfectly constructed seals ensure that there are no leaks either.
The fresh water tank features a handle which allows you to carry it easy for refills.
- Stylish design
- Larger bowl and perfect height of the seat
- Secure and leak proof
- Zero odor
- 0 gallon capacity of the waste tank
- Easy disposal
#5 – Palm Springs Outdoor 5 Gal Portable
Last but not the least, we have the Palm Springs Portable Toilet. I discovered this in a friends RV after I had bought the Camco and the Porta Potti and was very impressed with the design and the features. It does have a few minor niggles.
Let me explain.
The Palm Springs portable toilet is identical to most of the toilets in this list in the design. It has two separate tanks that are connected using a latch. The tank on top holds about 3 gallons of fresh water and the waste tank can hold 5 gallons of waste.
It is sturdy, light weight (10 pounds) and comfortable to sit on.
The toilet seat height is approximately 16.5 inches with the seat which is just about the right height for most people.
Now for the minor flaws in the design, the flush has a pull lever instead of a push button. Even though it is positioned perfectly for easy access, you’d find it a tad cumbersome especially if you are arthritic or have joint problems.
Secondly, the water jet is positioned right near the rim of the bowl. The upside is that this prevents stickiness and stains. The tradeoff is that you will have to flush multiple times to get rid of solids. This means that the waste tank gets filled pretty soon.
I also discovered a tiny leak from the fresh water tank. So, it is not the best of design if you intend to use it for a three to four day camping trip. But if you want to avoid using a bathhouse and will just use it for urinating, then by all means go for it.
The Portable Toilet Buying guide
So, if you have never bought one of these before, then how do you pick a portable toilet for yourself and avoid buying an overprized product that’s not the ideal one for your situation?
I already mentioned the factors that I considered while making a choice. Let me elaborate on them once again.
- Size: There are two different aspects of the size of the portable toilet that matters. It should be compact enough to fit into your car or RV during your travel and it should be big enough to allow you to comfortably sit on it depending on how tall you are.
- Height: If the toilet will mainly be used by kids, then you can even pick a small sized one with a 2.5 gallon waste tank. But if adults will be using it, then look for a toilet seat that is at least 16 inches tall.
- Leak Proof: A portable toilet has to be sturdy and leak proof even if it accidentally tips over. Don’t mean to be gross or anything but you also need it to keep the contents locked when you carry it for waste disposal.
- Flush: A toilet with a fresh water flush tank is always a better choice than one that uses disposable bags. There’s less likelihood of odor and it does a much better job at cleaning the bowl.
- Waste Tank: The size of the waste tank depends on how frequently you use the toilet and the number of people who use it. If a group of four to five people are going to use the camping toilet, then you need one with a 5.0 gallon waste tank at least.
- Disposal: Most portable toilets have a separate waste tank with a disposal chute or spout which can be opened to dump the contents into your toilet at home. If it doesn’t, then you’d at least want one that converts the liquids into solids which makes it easier to dispose. Biodegradable bags are another convenient option.
I hope that helps you to pick a portable camping toilet for yourself. If you have anything to add to this or your personal experiences to share, then the comments section is waiting for you right here. Cheers!