Best Travel Toilets

Updated September 2020
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

24 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
301 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best travel toilets

Last Updated September 2020

When nature calls, you can't just send that message to voicemail — you must answer. For some adventurous individuals, the call can come at some pretty inconvenient times. In those instances, you either need to be extremely resourceful or have a Plan B. A travel toilet is an excellent option that can provide relief no matter where you happen to be.

The best travel toilets are sturdy, comfortable, and able to meet the individual's needs. If a flushing model is what you desire, it should be effective and easy to operate, and it should seal securely to minimize odors. A tank level indicator is essential, so you know when it's time to empty the waste tank.

If you never knew that travel toilets existed, keep reading to learn how they work, how to take care of them, and which features to look for in the best models. If you are already familiar with these handy devices and are just looking for a recommendation, consider the travel toilets spotlighted on this page.

Whenever possible, avoid filling your travel toilet with liquid waste. Urine can intensify odors and depending on how much you drink, it can fill up the waste tank quickly.

Key considerations

There are non-flushing and flushing travel toilets. Here’s a look at each type.

Non-flushing

A non-flushing travel toilet is the most basic type of travel toilet. It is a step above digging a hole. A non-flushing travel toilet may be as simple as a plastic toilet seat that fits on top of a 5-gallon bucket and is designed for use in emergencies. Typically, though, a non-flushing travel toilet includes both a seat and a bucket. Inside the bucket, there may be a smaller bucket which can be removed for cleaning or a plastic bag liner, like a trash can has, that can be quickly removed and disposed of. Alternatively, some models forgo the bucket and just feature a bag that attaches to the seat.

While quick, convenient, lightweight, and affordable, these toilets do not offer the best protection against odor and should be emptied and cleaned after every use.

Flushing

A flushing travel toilet is much closer to what you are used to using at home. These models feature two sections: a bowl and a waste tank. After using a flushable travel toilet, you press a button or step on a foot pedal, and the bowl is rinsed by pressurized water, chemicals, or a combination of the two. The waste then moves into the storage tank below, which may be all natural for composting or equipped with chemicals that help combat odor, germs, and the waste. In the case of the latter, the slurry can later be poured out and the waste tank rinsed clean.

Flushing models tend to feature greater comfort and support, plus they have a seat with a lid. The best part is the waste is stored in a separate sealed container to help reduce unpleasant odors. A flushable travel toilet can be used several times before it needs to be emptied.

EXPERT TIP

If you have a flushable travel toilet, adding a little water before use can help streamline the toilet's operation.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Capacity

The size of the waste tank is what we are talking about here. The larger it is, the less often you will have to empty it. On the downside, if you get a model with a 5-gallon capacity, you will need to be able to lift it so it can be dumped and cleaned. The best model for most individuals offers a compromise — not too small but not too big.

Overall size

The overall size includes everything from the size of the seat to the height and weight of the toilet. The most portable models fold flat and can be easily carried along with camping gear. Larger toilets require a vehicle for transport. Choose the model that is sized for your situation.

Odor-fighting capabilities

Anything that helps fight odor will be welcome, from an airtight seal to deodorizing chemicals. If your travel toilet has a pungent odor, you will not want it anywhere near your campsite. This situation becomes increasingly problematic in a confined space such as a small boat.

Tank level indicator

Unless you'd like to take a peek, you need a tank level indicator to let you know when it is time to empty the travel toilet's waste tank.

Ease of cleaning

Look for a model that offers ease of cleaning. Any feature that is designed to reduce splashing while dumping will be greatly appreciated.

Handle

Carrying a bucket around can be awkward. If the model you are considering has a built-in handle, you will be grateful.

Design

If you are roughing it in the woods, you might think, "Who cares what my travel toilet looks like?" However, when engaged in an activity as personal as this, comfort is key, and any aspect that makes you feel even a little more at ease will help. The look and feel of your travel toilet could make the difference between success and suffering for the entire duration of your outing due to performance anxieties.

Toilet paper holder

Some models feature a built-in toilet paper holder. This may sound like a small thing, but you may not want to be placing the toilet paper on the ground next to the unit.

Extras

Some travel toilets are specifically designed for emergency situations and come with additional liners, gloves, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, chemicals, and more. If you like the convenience of purchasing everything you need in an all-in-one kit, this option is for you.

EXPERT TIP

When not in use, a travel toilet can double as a chair, if needed.


Staff  | BestReviews

Travel toilet prices

Inexpensive: If a bucket lid, a bucket, or a disposable bag model would suffice, you can usually find a very basic one for less than $10. However, there are better models with more comfortable seats that are still relatively inexpensive for $40 to $100. These are not perfect appliances, but if you find yourself in an emergency situation, it’s better than nothing.

Mid-range: From roughly $100 to $200 are travel toilets that flush and contain a bowl attached to a waste tank. These are best for light-duty use, as they tend to have smaller tanks that hold only 2 to 3 gallons.

Expensive: From $200 to $400, you can find larger travel toilets that may have waste tanks as large as 5 gallons along with large fresh water tanks for flushing. Additionally, these models will have a more comfortable design, and the flushing will be more effective.

EXPERT TIP

Rather than adding to the travel toilet's contents, some individuals prefer to dispose of toilet paper in a separate, sealable bag that may also be compostable.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

The most essential but also the least enjoyable aspect of owning a travel toilet is the cleaning. Following are tips to help keep your travel toilet clean and sanitized.

  • Read and follow all instructions for your particular model. Some travel toilets may be slightly different from others, requiring a modified cleaning procedure. Don't just wing it.
  • Empty in a timely manner. Once the waste level indicator shows "full," it's time to empty the travel toilet. Delaying the task could cause an unpleasant overfill situation.
  • Protect yourself from germs. Before setting up or cleaning your travel toilet, put on a pair of elbow-length cleaning gloves.
  • Be mindful of spillage. Before you separate the tank from the bowl, be absolutely certain the valve is closed so there is no chance for spillage. If your travel toilet features an air relief valve, be sure to use it to help limit splashing while emptying the tank.
  • After dumping, add fresh water to the waste tank. Close and shake it to clean out the inside. You may need to do this several times.
  • Choose cleaning and deodorizing products that are safe and recommended by the manufacturer. Otherwise, you might damage the plastic parts and rubber seals of your travel toilet.
  • Do not use or store your travel toilet near food.
Besides being a pollutant and a health hazard, human waste can attract undesirable wildlife to your camping area. It is important to dispose of it properly.

FAQ

Q. Who might benefit from a travel toilet?
A.
The obvious answer is anyone who likes to go camping. However, a travel toilet also comes in handy in other scenarios. Hunters, people who travel by van, and people who enjoy boating may all require a toilet while engaged in their activities. A travel toilet could be used on a construction site or by long-haul truckers. Additionally, a travel toilet can be used to potty train a child or serve as a backup toilet if there is ever an emergency situation in your home. Even individuals who simply have an aversion to public restrooms may find a travel toilet a more desirable option.
 

Q. What about privacy?
A.
Travel toilets do not tend to come with privacy screens, so it would be up to the individual to procure such an item. Since the toilet is portable, the easiest solution is to place it somewhere with natural privacy. If that is not an option, you could string up some sheets to mark off a more private space. If you desire a separate restroom, consider purchasing a privacy tent, also known as a shower tent. It’s almost as good as having your own personal bathroom stall in the middle of the wilderness.


Q. Where should I dispose of the waste from a travel toilet?
A.
The answer to this question depends on where you are and what kind of travel toilet you have. If you have a model with chemicals, these need to be emptied at a designated site. If you are at a campsite, emptying stations will likely be a short distance from the main area in a discreet location that has running water. If you are deep in the wilderness and have a bucket or a model that doesn't use chemicals, you will have to choose a location that is at least 100 feet away from trails, camps, and water sources so you can dig a hole that is at least 6 inches deep to bury the waste.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Allen Foster
    Allen Foster
    Writer
  • Ciera Pasturel
    Ciera Pasturel
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda Snowden
    Melinda Snowden
    Web Producer
  • Melissa Nott
    Melissa Nott
    Senior Editor

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey