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Biodegradable Toilet Paper: Top Choice Buying Guide

Toilet paper on the floor

You may be wondering about one big issue that you’ll inevitably face out on the trail…What happens when I have to go to the bathroom… with no bathroom around?

Whether you’re heading out for a camping weekend in the RV, backpacking through the woods, car camping, or planning a day full of hiking and outdoor adventures, you’ll want to ensure you have a way to clean up after yourself.

It may seem awkward to have to factor this into your plans, but it’s an inevitable fact of life that, just like everything else, will run smoothly if planned for and prepared. Presented for your reading pleasure we have compiled a list of our favorite brands and varieties of biodegradable toilet paper. And why do we only choose the biodegradable variety?

For the future of our Earth and for our sustained relationship with the great outdoors. Biodegradable tissue paper dissolves in water, doesn’t clog sensitive septic systems, in some cases, is compostable, and is overall better for our environment.

 Five rolls of white toilet paper in a bath

Listed below is a table of our five products we have extensively reviewed, weighing the pros and cons of each, and establishing the best reason to buy it:

Product NameBest UseWeightSpecial FeaturesPrice
Visa 6092Camping, backpacking14.4 ozBiodegradable material, 1,000 sheets per roll (2,000 per pack), bleach and chlorine freeCheck price on Amazon
Colman 14874Camping, day use2.4 oz2-ply tissue, 65 sheets per roll, three rolls per pack, package acts as a dispenserCheck price on Amazon
Thetford Aqua-SoftRVs and boats16 oz2-ply tissue, dyedCheck price on Amazon
Coleman 97S8M0Camping, backpacking11.2 ozNo dyes or bleach, no fragrance, rapidly dissolves and is biodegradable, four rolls of toilet tissue per packCheck price on Amazon
ArcherOG W5SH2ABackpacking, hiking, camping12.8 ozHypoallergenic, pH-balanced, Aloe Vera and vitamin E enriched, highly biodegradable, breaks down in 28 days, flushableCheck price on Amazon

Most Important Features to Consider

First think about why you need some biodegradable toilet paper.  Do you need some for an upcoming camping weekend, a day out fishing on the boat, or setting out on the Pacific Crest Trail?  This comprehensive buyer’s guide to biodegradable toilet paper will help direct your search.

We will first discuss some aspects of biodegradable toilet paper to consider, and will then go into an in-depth look at five different types and brands of biodegradable toilet tissue.

Weight

If you are planning for a long-term hiking or backpacking trip, weight will be a very important factor.  Ever heard about the straw that broke the camel’s back?

A toilet-paper ona table

When you’re arranging your day pack or backpack for the trip, every ounce matters, and piece of empty space is precious. Consider buying toilet paper that is resealable, is lightweight, and without any excess packaging, such as avoiding brands with the traditional cardboard roll in the middle.

Traditional Tissue or Moistened Towelettes

This is a matter of preference. When you’re out in the wilderness, with no running water, having a moistened towelette can come in handy for cleaning your hands and body as well as using it for bathroom needs.

Packaging

Some camping tissue will come in packaging that is useful- resealable, acts as a dispenser, and is non-wasteful.

End of trail sign and toilet paper

As we mentioned earlier when camping and hiking, space matters!

Environmentally Friendly

All the products reviewed and recommended in this article are deemed environmentally friendly- no artificial dyes, some are compostable or dissolve in water, but above all, they are readily biodegradable.

box of biodegradable toilet papaer

The only thing not biodegradable is the plastic packaging they arrive in.

Top Product Reviews

Below we have compiled a list of our favorite toilet tissues for various uses.  We here have the toilet tissues arranged, in no particular order of preference, with information about price, weight, specific features, and best uses for the paper.

Visa 6092 Visa 6092

Material: Biodegradable tissue

Weight: 14.4 oz

Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 9 inches

Specific features: Biodegradable material, 1,000 sheets per roll (2,000 per pack), bleach and chlorine free

Best use: Backpacking, camping

Description: The Visa 6092 Toilet Tissue is ultra-lightweight, perfect for a long backpacking trip.  It’s an incredibly long-lasting product, as each roll contains 1,000 sheets, so with each order you have 2,000 sheets of biodegradable, high quality toilet tissue.

It won’t weigh you down on long trips, but it is also good to use on short camping trips as well. Just store it somewhere dry with all your camping gear and use it when you need it.

A number of factors set it apart from a regular roll of toilet paper, including the fact that it is unbleached, no chlorine added, making it safe to use on even the most sensitive of skin.  It is also highly biodegradable, requiring less water to break the tissue down. You can use it in RVs and camper vans as well.  It does not expire, and will maintain its integrity for a long time to come.

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Non toxic materials only, no dyes or chlorine
  • Safe to use in the outdoors and sensitive indoor plumbing
  • Don’t need tissue digesters
  • Disintegrates faster

CONS:

  • Currently unavailable for purchase online
  • Does not come with its own packaging, must carry in backpacking pack or a camping bag freely

Related:  Check out Coleman 14871 Biowipes if you are looking for a higher quantity of environmentally friendly toilet tissue.

Check the price on Amazon

Coleman 14874 Colman 14874

Price: Approx. $6

Material: Biodegradable tissue

Weight: 2.4 oz

Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 2 inches

Specific features: 2-ply tissue, 65 sheets per roll, three rolls per pack, package acts as dispenser

Best use: Short camping trips, day trips, fishing, hunting, hiking, or traveling

Description: The Colman 14874 Toilet Paper is a handy little item to have around.  It is useful when travelling if toilets may be scarce along the lonesome road, it’s a great item to have when camping under the open sky, or when dusting off the old RV and taking it out for a spin.

Some of the other products listed in this article boast of a higher quantity of sheets per roll, so it is best to use for shorter trips, or as a backup item in case of emergencies.  However, it is very light weight, making an excellent addition to a loaded and heavy backpack.

Additionally, the packaging is resealable and acts as a dispenser, making it a wonderful product to use in the outdoors when you have to carry out all your trash.  With this product, there is no part of it that goes to waste, it all has a specific purpose.

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Resealable packaging, good for bad weather or when near the water
  • Packaging acts as dispenser
  • Biodegradable

CONS:

  • Item is only shipped within the U.S.
  • Price per roll is high
  • Has center cardboard tube which adds weight and waste

Related:  Coleman also makes a product called Biowipes, moistened sanitary towelettes that come in a convenient, resealable package.  It is also lightweight and takes up little space, easy to pack away in a backpacking bag or camping bag.  Check out the Coleman 14871 Biowipes if you’ll have access to a trash can or sufficient plumbing.

Check the price on Amazon

Thetford Aqua-Soft  Thetford Aqua-Soft Toilet Tissue

Price: Approx. $10

Material: 2-ply tissue, dyed

Weight: 16 oz

Dimensions: 4 x 1.7 x 9 inches

Specific features: 2-ply tissue, each pack comes with four rolls, 396 sheets per roll, readily dissolves upon contact with water

Best use: RV and boat toilets

Description: The Thetford Aqua-Soft Toilet Tissue is great for use out on the water, and by that we don’t mean actually in the water, but rather on your boat’s toilet.  Like some RVs, boats that have a toilet and washroom below deck often have a very sensitive septic system, and getting a clogged toilet out on the open water really puts a damper on the day.

Perhaps you enjoy long days out on the water, fishing your heart out. Maybe sailing all day long is how you unwind from a busy schedule, whatever it is, you’ll be sure to include some appropriate toilet paper to make the experience run smoothly.

The material of the Thetford Aqua-Soft toilet tissue quickly dissolves in water, and will not clog or damage the sensitive septic system of a boat. You can also use Thetford Aqua-Soft Toilet Tissue in an RV or camper van that has more sensitive septic systems.

PROS:

  • Dissolves readily upon contact with water
  • Flushes quickly
  • Highly absorbent

CONS:

  • Very specific use
  • Small rolls

Related: If you own an RV or boat, and have had issues with clogging, consider purchasing portion controlled deodorizers that also help breaking down waste and paper, such as the Walex TOI-91799 Deodorizer.  Available in packs of 10 or 50.

Check the price on Amazon

Coleman 97S8M0 Coleman 97S8M0

Price: $4 – $10

Material: Biodegradable tissue

Weight: 11.2 oz

Dimensions: 8 x 4 x 9 inches

Specific features: No dyes or bleach, no fragrance, rapidly dissolves and is biodegradable, four rolls of toilet tissue per pack

Best use: Backpacking and camping, can be used with an RV’s plumbing

Description: Don’t forget the TP!  If you do a lot of hiking and camping, you may want to consider buying the Coleman 97S8M0 Camp Toilet Paper.  You may not need to take the entire package out on just one trip, as each package contains four separate rolls of high quality camping friendly toilet paper.

Since the material is specifically engineered to degrade readily in the environment,  and to dissolve quickly in the water, it is best to store the unused rolls in a moist free environment.  Keep them in your house, or you can store them  away safely with the camping gear, when you’re not using it.

This toilet paper contains absolutely zero harmful additives, such as bleach, dyes or artificial fragrance.  It is also safe enough to use in sensitive septic tanks, such as camper vans, busses, and even RVs, as it dissolves quickly and is guaranteed not to clog up your sanitation system.

PROS:

  • No dyes, bleach, or fragrance
  • Easily dissolves
  • Can use in sensitive plumbing systems
  • Good for those with skin sensitivity issues

CONS:

  • Can only be shipped within the U.S.
  • Some complaints about overpricing

Check the price on Amazon

ArcherOG W5SH2A ArcherOG W5SH2A

Price: Approx. $7

Material: Aloe Vera and vitamin E enriched moistened wipes

Weight: 12.8 oz

Dimensions: 6 x 3.9 x 1.6 inches

Specific features:  Hypoallergenic, pH-balanced, Aloe Vera and vitamin E enriched, highly biodegradable, breaks down in 28 days, flushable

Best use: Camping, backpacking, or traveling

Description: The ArcherOG W5SH2A  can be used for a number of purposes, not just for using when nature calls, so to speak.  These readily compostable wipes, are also good for wiping your body and hands to refresh yourself, and are safe to use even on sensitive skin.

No artificial fragrance or other chemicals have been added besides naturally grown Aloe Vera and vitamin E.  None of that artificial stuff which can cause allergic reactions and even more severe conditions if used over the long run.

The Archer Biodegradable Wipes have but one major concern- they do have a shelf life.  Since they do have a high moisture content, unlike the other toilet papers reviewed in this article which are dry, these need to be used within a reasonable amount of time, otherwise they will dry out and many of the beneficial properties, such as the vitamin E, will dry out as well.

PROS:

  • Multiuse wipes
  • Biodegradable and flushable
  • Good for sensitive skin
  • No fragrance or other chemicals added

CONS:

  • May clog sensitive septic systems, not recommended for heavy use in RVs or boats
  • Will dry out after a time, must use within an expiration date

Related: If moistened wipes are more your style, individual flushable wipes are another option to consider when traveling and you don’t need to carry around an entire pack of 30 wipes. Stall Mates SM001 Flushable Wipes offer many of the same benefits as the ArcherOG wipes, but they are kept one per package, with 30 packages per order.

Check the price on Amazon

Rolling Out and Moving On

Before we wrap this up, let us first restate our motives for writing this review.  It may seem trivial, to write about toilet paper, but going to the bathroom is an unavoidable fact of life, and you might as well make the experience as comfortable as you can when out in the wilderness.

Toilet-paper-cardboard-tubes

This list of five different brands and styles of toilet tissue should help you come to a better understanding of your needs, and what to look for in camping toilet tissue.

We hope you found this article useful.  If you have a favorite product that you would like to share with us, we would love to hear from you!  Tell us about your favorite brands and why in the comments section below.  We greatly appreciate the feedback!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rebecca J. Crawford
Rebecca J. Crawford

Rebecca lives in USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favourite is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. It usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another passion of Rebecca is ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy.

  • Frederik Marner

    Great article. But can’t I just use my toilet paper as tinder or kindling? I think that would work okay as a substitute. Am I missing something here?

  • Liz Hansen

    What is the best. Toilet paper to use with a Saniflo macerator toilet?

  • Henry Silva

    You can use toilet paper as kindling if you really want to. However, biodegradable toilet paper is expensive and you might not want to literally burn your money.

  • Fabienne Robert

    I would like to thank you for this article. Most of people don’t talk about these kind of things and they never think about these things. As you mentioned, we should consider in using biodegradable toilet papers for the future of our Earth. Everyone should consider these things also if you a environmental lover.

  • Rebecca J. Crawford

    We all need to be more earth conscious!

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