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Which travel toilet is best?

If you are engaged in an activity, such as camping, that doesn’t have access to modern bathroom facilities, it can cause a little stress. You never know when nature will call, and you want to be prepared when it does. This is why there are travel toilets.

A well-built travel toilet has an odor seal and is large enough to accommodate both you and your needs. The SereneLife Outdoor Portable Toilet is a perfect example of a top-notch portable toilet. It is flushable, has a dedicated 5.3-gallon waste tank and features splash-free emptying.

What to know before you buy a travel toilet

Who can benefit from a travel toilet

If you love camping or boating, you would obviously benefit from owning a travel toilet. Hunters, construction workers, long-haul truckers or people who do a lot of traveling by car or van also should consider a travel toilet. If you have a child you are potty training, a family member who has trouble with stairs or you are having work done on your home, a quality travel toilet will come in handy. Some people simply find using a public toilet an unacceptable option. For these people, a travel toilet can be a suitable alternative.

There are two types of travel toilets

The two types of travel toilets are flushing and non-flushing

  • Flushing: If you want the closest experience to being at home, a flushable portable toilet is the way to go. These models have two sections: a fresh water tank and a waste tank. When you activate the mechanism that releases fresh water into the bowl, it flushes the waste down into the waste tank. This lower tank can be sealed to prevent unpleasant odors from escaping. When it is full, you dump the waste and clean the toilet.
  • Nonflushing: A nonflushing portable toilet is best for emergencies or for people on a tight budget. It is little more than a bucket (often with a sealable lid) with a seat on top. Some higher-end models feature a removable waste bucket that accepts a waste liner to make cleaning effortless.

What to look for in a quality travel toilet


There are two aspects of size. First, you want a portable toilet that is large enough for the biggest person who will use it. Second, you want a waste area that is large enough to contain all of the waste until you get to a dump station. 

Odor trapping capabilities

A portable toilet needs an airtight seal to keep the offensive odors locked away. However, if there isn’t a pressure relief valve on the waste tank, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise when you remove the seal.

Lightweight but durable

A portable toilet needs to be lightweight so you can travel with it. A portable toilet also must be strong enough to support your full weight while using. If you go for the lightest weight model, it might not be very durable. If you go for a heavy-duty build, the toilet might be difficult to transport. Look for a balance.

Tank level indicator

If you want to know how much waste is in your toilet without opening it up and peeking or lifting it to see how heavy it is, get a model with a tank level indicator.

Easy emptying

At some point, you will need to empty your portable toilet. You want a system that is easy to use and protects you from backsplash.


Each manufacturer has its own little incentives. It could be anything from an onboard toilet paper roll holder to a built-in handle. Don’t be seduced by bells and whistles. Put functionality and reliability at the top of your criteria list.

How much you can expect to spend on a travel toilet

If you want something more than a bucket, prices for travel toilets start at around $40. While it is possible to spend $400 or more on a high-end model, most people will find what they need for around $150.

Travel toilet FAQ

Where do I empty my portable toilet?

A. As long as you have a model that does not use chemicals, you can empty your portable toilet in the wilderness as long as the 6-inch hole you dig to bury the waste is at least 100 feet away from trails, camps and any water sources. If your toilet uses chemicals, however, it needs to be emptied at a designated location, such as a dump station at a campsite.

How do I clean a portable toilet?

A. A portable toilet with a dedicated waste tank will have a drain. When it is time to empty the toilet, open the drain and dump the waste. Once all the solid matter is gone, you can fill the waste tank with water to rinse it out as needed. A model without a dedicated waste tank can usually be fitted with a toilet waste bag to make cleaning up as easy as taking out the trash. For a deep cleaning, you will need to refer to your owner’s manual, as some models can not tolerate abrasive cleaning solutions. 

What’s the best travel toilet to buy?

Top travel toilet

SereneLife Outdoor Portable Toilet

SereneLife Outdoor Portable Toilet

What you need to know: This flushable portable toilet has a waste tank with a double-seal to help keep odors to a minimum.

What you’ll love: The fresh water tank holds 3.2 gallons of water. It can provide up to 50 flushes. The large waste tank has a capacity of 5.3 gallons. This portable toilet features a splash-free, rotating pour spout that makes emptying a breeze.

What you should consider: While this portable toilet may be easy to empty, you still have to clean it. And that can sometimes be challenging.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top travel toilet for the money

PLAYBERG Portable Travel Toilet for Camping and Hiking

PLAYBERG Portable Travel Toilet for Camping and Hiking

What you need to know: This is an affordable, no-frills portable toilet that is a step up from using a bucket.

What you’ll love: This model accepts 8-gallon toilet waste bags, so there is no cleanup needed. It is extremely lightweight, only 5.5 pounds and equipped with a built-in toilet paper roll holder. The waste bucket has a removable lid that seals in odor.

What you should consider: The removable waste bucket is smaller than expected.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Worth checking out

Camco Portable Travel Toilet

Camco Portable Travel Toilet

What you need to know: This portable toilet has a lot of convenient features that make it easy to use and clean.

What you’ll love: This portable toilet is flushable, and it has a sealable waste tank to keep odors from leaking out. The toilet features a built-in handle, which makes it easy to transport, and a large drain opening for simplified emptying and cleaning.

What you should consider: In changing temperatures (or elevations), pressure can build up in the waste tank and cause a little burping, which can be messy if you’re not expecting it.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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