Best Portable Toilet – A Buyer’s Guide

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Location of Use

There are different portable toilet categories for various location types. If you’re going to use the toilet in a truck, boat or RV, you should probably focus more on foldable models specifically designed to fit in RVs. Three out of five portable toilets are bag toilets. These portable toilets come with multiple special plastic bags or bio-bags that gather waste, and make disposing the waste in appropriate places a snap. Make sure you set these portable toilets on flat ground, or you'll fall with a mess.

Composting toilets are the other types of portable toilets. Composting toilets provide an all-round hygienic solution in areas where water is not readily available. Their self-contained designs will save you the chore of fetching water or any chemical replenishment to get rid of the odor. If your trip is going to be long, bagged toilets will be easier to take care of than the other two types.

Disposing the Waste

The storage space of your portable toilet will need to be emptied after a couple of uses. In order to dispose of your waste responsibly, please consider teh following. You have to find a secluded site, at a fairly good distance from human inhabitancy. Many areas have restrictions on burying human feces into the ground. Carrying biodegradable bags is the smartest solution for this task. You can throw away the bags wherever you find trash receptacles or bury them in the ground. If you do bury your bags of poo, then do it a  minimum of 100 yards away from any body of water and at least 6 inches deep. These special bags use a chemical power to convert urine into solid waste.

Ease of Use

Ease of use is another vital feature to consider while shopping for a solid portable toilet within your budget. While RVs and boats have a special areas  for portable toilets, in open locations like a countryside or a hiking spot, the unit needs to be set up each time you use it. The portable toilet components are assembled and disassembled in a couple of minutes.

Toilet Construction and Capacity

You will obviously require a bigger toilet if you’re a group and travelling for a long period. If it’s going to be used for a family get together or a bon fire with a small group of friends in the outskirts, a small portable toilet will suffice. Whatever the size is, having a strong construction is of paramount importance for any toilet. You wouldn't want the toilet to collapse with you on it. Therefore, take a careful note of the weight capacity of the model you’re planning purchase. Don’t buy a model that sits too low to the ground. Folks with knee problems and senior citizens will not have a comfortable experience unless the seat height is at par with a normal chair height.

How Does a Portable Toilet Work?

Upscale camping toilets from premium brands don’t require the user to dig a hole in the ground. The models that come under the category of chemical toilets make use of a special chemical to eliminate the odor in the container. A portable chemical toilet is constructed around a small vessel attached to it which needs to be emptied into a sanitary sewer or a similar suitable place. This kind of toilet cost much more than regular bagged toilets. Mostly used in caravans, small boats, passenger train toilets etc. They do require cleaning and maintenance within certain intervals. The formula used as a disinfectant deodorizer in such toilets is a blend of quaternary ammonium compounds and glutaraldehyde. Chemical toilets are large enough to take the load of an average adult person.

Portable toilets that come with plastic containers are relatively simpler to use. The waste bags can be thrown in an eco-friendly manner after use. Undoubtedly the best option to carry when you’re up for a thrilling trip to an unknown territory for an uncertain period of time. There is another category of camping toilets that apply the composite method to turn the human waste into a compost fertilizer with the help of moss or any such fibrous plants. Consider buying one if water shortage is a big concern for you.

How to Dispose of the Excreta

Unless you’re opting for a waterless compost toilet, you'll have to settle for the models with disposable bags. You can’t just throw these bags anywhere you wish. Be very careful not to dispose or bury the bags near any bodies of water or a populated area. The safest way is to wait until you've encountered a real bathroom, then flush it down. If the bags are biodegradable, perhaps you can bury it deep into the ground at a safe, deserted place. Bucket style toilets can be emptied straight into the toilet.

Tips for Cleaning a Portable Toilet

Keeping your RV or camping toilet at optimal condition is the only way to reap maximum benefit from it. Cleaning a portable model is not as laborious as cleaning a regular toilet because of the compact size of the former. But before you get started with it, do remember that most portable toilets are made from chemical sensitive materials. So, you have to replace your general harsh chemical-based cleaning agents with mild, non-abrasive ones and know the correct techniques. Avoid bleaches too, for it can cause terrible damage to the seals around the tank.

Flush type portable toilets often come with a deodorizer or cleaning agent. You have to change the plastic liner of the toilet at regular intervals to inhibit the build-up of odors. Plastic linens are cheap and easily available at any hardware store. You may even try fitting a smell-absorbing substance at the bottom of your toilet to prevent the stink from escaping. Buy some kitty litter and pour it into the toilet basin. As far as the bag toilets are concerned, as I have already discussed, it is easier to dispose if it’s made from a biodegradable material. Find a suitable place, preferably  no man’s land, dig a 6 inch deep hole into the ground and bury them securely.

Are you someone who follows the quote “live fast, die young” by heart? Or may be somebody who loves exploring faraway locations in his free time? For the people with insatiable wanderlust, it’s imperative to have the necessary equipment neatly packed in their rucksack to sustain themselves on the road. 

Carrying a good portable camping toilet at your campsites, RVs, small boats or outdoor ventures will save you the hassle of walking miles away in search of toilet facilities. Imagine getting your family out for a long weekend trip by car, I am assuming there would be women, elders and children among them. It would be really tough for them to enjoy the trip to the fullest if they don’t find any toilet at break times.

Whether you spend most of your time in a camping tent or in a remote location far away from the city where water or drainage systems are not a feasible option, having a portable toilet is a simple answer. The sheer variety of folding camping toilets is huge enough to intimidate a person not familiar with these products. Choose a model in accordance with your camping needs and the distance of your destination. Once you know how to distinguish one model from another solely on the basis of their functionality, you’ll be able to purchase the best portable toilet for your own use cases.

Comparison of the Best Portable Toilets in 2019


Brand of Portable Toilet



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Low End


High End


Low End


Mid Range


Mid Range

Sanitation Equipment Ltd.

High End


Low End

There are plenty of brands engaged in a tug-of-war, trying to defeat one another by introducing the most advanced cleaning technology and comfortable seating arrangements. All the products that have made the cut to my list are reasonably priced, have a heavy-duty structure and convenient cleaning options to make your journey comfortable. During my research, I found several models to offer almost similar features.

Selecting a few from so many choices was an arduous process of comparing and contrasting the features and ergonomics of multiple products side by side. Hopefully, narrowing down the options would ease the job for you. Before you start reading, let me remind you that this is not the ultimate judgement. There are many other products which haven’t made it to the list but definitely deserve a look.

Reliance Portable Luggable Loo Portable 5 Gallon Toilet

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Reliance Portable Loo is a very familiar name to hikers, mini-campers, RV users who have purchased a camping toilet at some point. This is my top pick because of a number of strong reasons. 

The first of them is the reasonable pricing. The bucket style design combined to chemical cleaning action makes it a hassle-free movable loo for folks who live off the grid.

Additionally, a hinge lid cover top has been included in the construction for optimal sanitation. The package offers 12 double doodie bio bags containing BioGel. It is a 5 gallon lightweight unit. The seating space along with a great weight capacity is ideal for an average sized adult. Assembling the standard toilet doesn’t require any smattering knowledge on engineering. If you’re planning to on a long weekend trip to the woods or countryside with a large group of people, or may be for fishing on a rented boat for some recreation, Luggable Loo will probably give you the best value for money.

Thetford 92360 Porta Potti 550E Curve Portable Toilet

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What are must-have features you’re looking for while shopping for one for your personal needs? Budget, capacity, ease of use and effortless maintenance? Well, the next candidate in my list has all of these qualities and much more rolled in it. Thetford 92360 is a relief for customers running on a tight budget.

Unlike the poorly structured cheap models sold at flea markets, Thetford doesn’t sacrifice the hygiene standard and user’s comfort. Porta’s design resembles a giant coffee machine, a rather quirky design for a toilet, indeed!

The body of the toilet has a water tank attached to it for easy relocation. The key feature that sets this model far above the rest in the same category is the indicator on the tank that alerts you when it is high time to empty the tank. The battery-operated flush controls are nearly as effective as flushes on traditional flushing toilets. The comfortable seat height is apt for people of every age, especially if you have an aged person in your group. Last but not the least, a toilet paper holder has been fitted to the toilet to give you the feeling of an actual toilet when you’ve none around you.

Reliance Products Hassock Portable Lightweight Self-Contained Toilet

Eagle Bath WS-501

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It looks like Reliance is giving other big companies a tough run for their money by brainstorming newer and effective ideas every time they launch a new product. 

The Hassock is a one-stop answer to all your toilet needs. You don’t have to care which place is it, all you require is a place to fix this up and get started. It features a detachable inner bucket for trouble-free cleaning and waste disposal. The compact dimension and minimal weight of the model makes carrying the unit a breeze.

Wait. Does the apparent fragile appearance turn you off? If yes then you’re too quick to judge this masterpiece. Irrespective of the humble look, Hassock is strong enough to accommodate a person weighing around 300 pounds without collapsing. As a bonus, you will get an inner splash guard and a holder. Extra comfort comes from the contoured seat design that goes gentle on your skin. However, the top lid of the toilet is not very stable, you need to be very careful to avoid creating a mess.

Camco 41541 Portable Toilet 5.3 Gallon

Eagle Bath WS-501

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Camco portable toilets have been exceptionally popular among outdoorsmen, professional hikers and RV owners since forever. Its lightweight profile doesn’t add excessive weight in your luggage.

The body of the toilet is made from a high quality plastic that effectively combats the test of time. The 5.3 gallons of storage capacity is more than enough to handle a group of 4 to 5 individuals every day. The tank is fully odour-proof with several locks and a brilliant sealing slide valve lock.

In order to litter the waste, you have to slide the valve lock to open the tank. When done, you can slide the latch back to lock it up again. Camco’s flush system is absolutely class apart and secure to be used by children. Ultra lightweight and optimal sanitation maintenance ability is the two most sought after qualities in portable toilets. Fortunately enough, Camco offers both. With such outstanding mechanism working for you, you don’t have worry about the standard of cleanliness anymore. Nonethless, this seemingly perfect toilet is also not free of demerits. The design is too small and thin to accommodate a large, chubby person.

Cleanwaste GO Anywhere Complete Toilet System

Eagle Bath WS-903A

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If you can afford to cough up some extra bucks for a tougher, wider and more powerful folding loo, you might take glance over Cleanwaste GO Anywhere Complete Toilet System. 

It is indeed a complete toilet kit, geared with all that you need to feel like a home bathroom in the woods or in an obscure land you’ve chosen for exploring the nature. Nature’s call is inevitable but is not possible to find clean toilets or even in toilet everywhere. Cleanwaste, the all-inclusive toilet package includes waste bags and a privacy shelter neatly tucked in a bag pack.

That’s not all, you don’t even have to assemble the components to set up the fixture on the ground. It qualified as the strongest portable toilet in my list, no wonder why it has secured its position as one of the most widely used movable toilet by U.S mariners. If treated with caution, the product will serve you for long years. You will be surprised to know that in spite of the rugged construction, Cleanwaste GO Anywhere weighs no more than 18 pounds.

Sanitation Equipment Visa Potty Model

Eagle Bath WS-801L

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Camping enthusiasts who wish to concentrate more on exploring the surroundings instead of wasting their time cleaning their portable toilet will find Sanitation Equipment Visa Potty Model a great bargain for the money.

This ultimate mobile camping toilet has favourable design to suit any body weight and height. It utilises a flush mechanism to wash out the faeces, offering 50 flushes emptying the holding tank. The unit holds deodorizers with 4 Oz. of liquid gold concentration to make throwing away the waste material easier. On top of that, it comes with a heavy-duty lid that sticks to its place, sealing the top securely when you’re on the move.

Stansport Portable Toilet

Eagle Bath WS-801L

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The thoughtfully crafted, compact and lightweight Stansport toilet is ideal for rafting, camping, boat riding and even RVs. The unit folds easily in your bag pack for painless storage. Its tough moulded plastic seat efficiently accommodates large persons.

The tubular legs add extra stability, knee support and comfort which is rare thing to find in non-traditional toilets like this. The plastic bags are very easy to install. At the time of disposing the waste, you just have to detach the bags carefully from the body and dump them in a trash receptacle. The product is backed by Stansport’s limited period warranty.

Most Common Portable Toilet Problems

Portable toilets are a perfect go-to option for every traveller, campers, hikers or folks who live in the woods. But there are a certain number of drawbacks of it you can’t completely ignore. Odor is the ghastliest and most prominent of these problems, especially with toilets using temporary storage. As soon as you open the lid, you have to combat against a terrible shit odor. But there’s a solution too. Regular maintenance is likely to reduce the odor to a great extent. If you’re still not satisfied, try putting some chemical deodorizer in the toilet, replace the plastic liners frequently for better results. Many flush type portable toilets are well-engineered with solid tank seals, dual basins and vent pipe that prevent the odor from dissipating in the air.

Unless your on-the-go toilet is structured from a corrosion-proof material, it’s mandatory for you to level the surface properly before setting up the toilet over it. If the ground is not flattened adequately, the attachable stands would fail to maintain stability when you sit upon it. However, these issues can be easily resolved if you have the right equipments handy. Portable toilets are overall very reliable and deliver great service when you need it badly.

The Final Word

Portable toilets are not a new concept if you think so. They have been profusely used by mariners from years. Like almost everything else around us, the evolution of technology has left its mark on these lightweight, foldable toilets as well. The modern models are way more strongly built, stable toilets with an appropriate excreta disposal facility than their ancestors. It’s true that costlier products offer more quality features than most low to medium budget models can’t. But judging the quality of an appliance based on its price tag wouldn’t be a wise idea. Researching on the following subject extensively is the only way to assure a great investment.

  • Updated February 6, 2019
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