The Leader in Personal Waste Management


Waste Bags and Portable Commodes Vs. Porta Potties

If you’ve ever been on a remote job site or had to use the restroom while working miles away from the nearest service station, we’re sure you’ll agree that Porta Potties are a ubiquitous portable toilet solution.

Unfortunately, many workers find having to use them so unpleasant, they’ll actually hold it in to avoid using one. Everyone knows that putting off using the restroom is hazardous to your health, but what are the alternatives?

What if we told you there’s a better way? What if there was a cleaner, more sanitary (and way less smelly) way to provide portable toilets for your employees in the field


Introducing Portable Commodes

What’s a portable commode? We’re so glad you asked! Portable commodes are easy-to-transport systems, usually consisting of a privacy tent, receptacle, and toilet seat. But what really makes them a preferable alternative to a Porta Potty is that they’re used in conjunction with a waste bag.

Waste bags are a convenient and sanitary solution when you need to go on the go. 

  • Each bag is filled with a powder that gels and solidifies waste
  • The powder also acts as a decay catalyst, using natural enzymes to break down waste and neutralize odor and bacteria
  • And unlike Porta Potties, each bag can be sealed up tightly and safely disposed of after use!

Need more convincing? We’ve rated both Porta Potties and portable commodes across several categories to help you decide which system is right for your next event. 


Round 1: Cleanliness

Let’s not beat around the bush; Porta Potties are gross. People are in such a hurry to get in and out that aiming is no longer a priority. 

Throw some carelessly-placed toilet paper into the mix, and it’s just a stinky, soggy disaster. If you’re lucky, there might be a hand sanitizer pump inside. If you’re really lucky, it won’t be empty.

With portable commodes, there’s no mess, no spillage, and no smell. The polymers and enzymes in the waste bag turn the waste into a deodorized gel, eliminating any residual odor. Each portable waste bag even comes with ample toilet paper and antimicrobial wipes.


Cleanliness Score:

Porta Potty – 1/10 

Portable Commode – 8/10


Round 2: Portability

How easily can you transport Porta Potties to remote locations? Because of the height and weight of a standard Porta Potty, they have to be delivered and carted away on trucks. Some of the heavier ones even require a crane!

With portable commodes, like the Brief Relief Lavatory System, all you need is a flat surface to set up the privacy tent. Place the commode inside, line it with a portable waste bag, and you’re in business! 

Plus, since they’re super lightweight and compact, you can throw it in your trunk and avoid the hassle of truck delivery and removal.


Portability Score:

Porta Potty – 2/10 

Portable Commode – 10/10


Round 3: Cost

On average, it costs around $100 per day to rent a single Porta Potty. Want the convenient extras like mirrors, purse shelves, and hand sanitizers? It can cost thousands of dollars to accommodate a large crowd, and that’s just for one day!

The Brief Relief Lavatory System costs less than $300. It comes with a privacy tent, a commode with a full-sized seat, and enough supplies for ten people for one day. The tent and commode can last for years when cared for properly, and replacement supplies are around $200 for a pack of 50.

Cost Score: 

Porta Potty – 2/10

Portable Commode – 7/10


Round 4: The Stink Factor

I mean, this one kind of speaks for itself. While Porta Potties do make an effort to minimize unpleasant smells (you’ve seen that blue cocktail of chemicals working hard down there), they’re still literally just tiny houses full of gallons of waste. There’s no way around it. The stench of a Porta Potty is otherworldly.

A portable commode, however, doesn’t actually store any waste. You simply seal up the waste bag and dispose of it in any trash receptacle! And before that happens, the powder in the bag eliminates bacteria and odor.


Stink Factor Score:

Porta Potty – 1/10

Portable Commode – 10/10


Round 5: Maintenance

Servicing Porta Potties has been described as one of the worst jobs in the world. As we mentioned above, Porta Potties hold gallons of waste, and they’re typically only emptied when they’re close to overflowing. 

Once filled, a crew comes in to stick a vacuum pipe into the bin and suck its contents into a tanker truck for treatment and disposal. It’s an intense, risky job.

With the Brief Relief Lavatory System, there’s minimal cleanup involved. The bags contain all the hazardous waste and are disposed of after they’re used. Simply sanitize your seat and at most, give the privacy tent a quick hose rinse. No muss, no fuss.


Maintenance Score: 

Porta Potty – 2/10

Portable Commode – 9/10


Portable Lavatories Are the Clear Winner

It’s pretty clear portable commodes are the cleaner, simpler, and more cost-effective solution for a healthier, happier environment for your workers.

We should know. Brief Relief doesn’t just have a near-perfect satisfaction rate. We’re an industry leader in the innovation of safe, convenient products that allow users to manage waste in a dignified, reliable, and environmentally-friendly way.

Our solutions are perfect for anyone who needs more sanitary, functional, portable answers. No matter where life takes you, Brief Relief goes where you go. To learn more, check out our full portable commode line.