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There’s nothing better than heading outdoors, getting back to nature, and cooking on an open fire when you take a camping trip. But, once you’re done and it comes to cleaning your cookware and utensils, you’re often faced with a dilemma – just how are you supposed to wash your dishes?
Keeping your mugs, dishes, pans, and utensils clean is extremely important when you’re camping. If you don’t you could soon find yourself the victim of a pest attack, and there’s nothing quite like finding all of your camping gear covered in ants to ruin the mood of your holiday!
Even worse, dishes that haven’t been cleaned properly can become a breeding ground for bacteria and the last thing you want when you’re camping out is to get sick.
Don’t panic! We’re here to help you avoid these nightmare scenarios. Below, you’ll find our pick of the best portable sinks for camping. Each of these will allow you to keep all of your equipment clean without weighing you down or taking up a load of space in your bag. You’ll also find a buyer’s guide to help you make the right choice for your camping needs, as well as some answers to any questions you might have about camping sinks
The Best Portable Sinks for Camping
This Portable Wash Basin from Progressive International is ideal for a camping trip as it collapses down to 1/3rd of its original height.
This means you’ll be able to pack it away compactly when it’s not in use, and its 0.91lb weight won’t be too heavy to carry with you as you hike between destinations.
When you’re ready to wash your equipment, simply push downwards on the inside of the sink and it will stand on raised feet. This keeps it sturdy, and also allows any spilled water to run away underneath the sink instead of creating a puddle.
It has an 8.75-liter capacity and measures 14” x 12”, so it’s ideal for larger pots, pans, and dishes. You’ll even have enough room to soak anything that’s proving stubborn to clean.
It’s also dishwasher safe, which means that once you’re home from your camping trip you can sterilize it before packing it away for your next adventure into the wild!
- Collapsible – reduces down to 1/3rd of its full size making it easy to pack away when not in use
- Lightweight – weighs just 0.91lb, so is ideal for carrying between camping spots
- Raised feet – allows spilled water to run underneath instead of forming a messy puddle
- 8.75-liter capacity – ideal for large cooking equipment and utensils
- Dishwasher safe – easy to clean and sterilize once home from your camping trip
- Sticker is hard to remove – on the bottom of this camping sink there is a sticker with the company logo on which is quite difficult to remove. This doesn’t affect the performance of it but could ruin the aesthetics for some people
If you’re looking for a camping sink that is easy to carry when it’s full, the UST FlexWare Collapsible Sink is a great choice. It features dual carrying handles that give you a good place to hold it from and when you don’t need them, they lay neatly along the edges of the sink.
These handles also give you the possibility to use the sink in various ways such as collecting wood or carrying foraged ingredients.
It has an 8.5-liter capacity, which is ideal for washing large cooking equipment.
This generous capacity also means you’ll spend less time traveling back and forth to your water source as your collected water won’t get dirty as quickly.
The collapsible design of this camping sink makes it easier to store and, when you’re ready to use it, all you have to do is pop the bottom of it out. There is also a sturdy, plastic rim that adds durability and a plastic base that ensures stability while you’re cleaning.
It’s also made from BPA-free TRP (Thermoplastic Rubber), so if you’re using it to clean vegetables before cooking, there’s no need to worry about chemicals leaching into your food. The TRP construction also makes it dishwasher safe, so you’ll be able to give thorough cleaning with ease when you return home.
- Dual carrying handles – ideal for carrying water back and forth comfortably, as well as transporting firewood
- 8.5-liter capacity – less need to empty and refill as regularly and big enough to hold large cooking utensils
- Collapsible design – simply pops open when you need it and collapses flat for compact storage
- Plastic rim and base – keeps things stable while you clean and adds durability
- BPA-free Thermoplastic Rubber construction – food safe and dishwasher safe
- Can spill when too full – you need to take care not to fill it to the brim with water, as it can spill when you’re carrying it by the handles
- DIMENSIONS: 5.59” H x 11.42” W x 14.96” D (expanded), weighs 19.65 oz and holds 288.5 fl oz (8.5L)
- CONVENIENT: Dual carrying handles make it easy to move when filled and the entire basin is collapsible for easy storage and transport
- VERSATILITY: Can be used for showers, storage, as a carrying basket or to wash dishes at the campsite or at home
- MATERIALS: Thermoplastic rubber (TPR) construction that is BPA free and dishwasher safe
- DURABLE: Sturdy, plastic rim and base provide for additional stability
Taking a family camping trip? One portable sink may not be able to hold enough water to wash all of your equipment in one go.
Luckily, this problem can be solved by choosing this Pack of 2 Collapsible Sinks from Tiawudi! Even if you’re a solo-camper, it’s always useful to have a spare.
They are available in three color combinations, which isn’t only aesthetically pleasing but serves a purpose. You can use one color to hold your dirty dishes and use the other to hold your clean dishes.
That way there’s never any confusion over what’s safe to use and what isn’t.
These collapsible sinks are made from Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR) that is both BPA-free and dishwasher safe. This makes them ideal for washing and preparing food ahead of cooking, and means you can easily sterilize them when you get back home.
The dual carry handles make it much easier to transport water, firewood, and more back to your chosen campsite. These also feature a plastic rim for durability and a sturdy plastic base that helps to keep them stable while in use.
Meanwhile, the 8.5-liter capacity is large enough to wash your cooking utensils in. And, to top it off, they included a lifetime guarantee that gives you extra peace of mind over their quality, as well as a little extra bang for your buck!
- Pack of two collapsible sinks – ideal for family camping trips or simply as a spare
- Three color combinations – allows you to match your camping equipment and gives you the ability to color-code by using one sink for dirty dishes and one for clean
- Thermoplastic rubber construction – BPA-free so safe to use for washing ingredients and safe to clean in the dishwasher when needed
- Dual carry handles – makes carrying water, firewood, ingredients, and more much easier
- Lifetime warranty – in the unlikely event of something going wrong, you’ll be sent a replacement straight away
- Handles bend a little when filled with water – there are no reports of the handles breaking, but it can be a little disconcerting as you make your way back to your campsite
- BPA FREE and GREAT VALUE: Our collapsible sink is in thermoplastic rubber (TPR) construction that is BPA free and dishwasher safe. You only need to pay 1 but get TWO. Great value. With different color, you can distinguish which one is which easily. Imagine you are camping, you can use one to wash dishes, the other is to put clean dishes.
- VERSATILITY: This collapsible bin is perfect for indoor or outdoor use. It can be used as a wash basin for dishes or hands, ice bucket for drinks, storage container for your items for camping, hiking, boating, and more!
- DURABLE: Sturdy, plastic rim and base provide for additional stability. Dual carrying handles make it easy to move when filled.
- FOLDABLE and SPACE-SAVING - This unique portable pop-up design is suitable to to keep in your home, garage, or packed in the car with your camping gear. Dimensions: 15.2” L x 11.4” W x 5.9” H, Collapsed: 2” H. 8.5 L capacity.
- LIFETIME GUARANTEE: We are so confident in the quality of our collapsible sink that we offer you a lifetime guarantee. Reach out to us if there’s ever anything you need; we are dedicated to your satisfaction.
If you’re looking for a camping sink that can be used in a variety of different ways, this Multifunctional Kitchen Camping Sink from HI NINGER is exactly what you need.
It serves as a sink, basket, and as a cutting board! All you have to do to switch between them is collapse and expand it to a different height.
As a sink, it has a large capacity that is perfect for washing a variety of differently sized dishes. It also features ergonomic handles on either side that make carrying it safe and comfortable when it’s filled with water.
The non slip base keeps it securely in place when in use and it also has a draining plug that makes emptying the sink easier than ever.
This portable camping sink is made from silicone and TPR, so it’s safe for preparing food which is ideal when you’ve got it in cutting board mode. This construction also means it can be washed in the dishwasher, making it easier to give it a thorough cleaning after your camping trip.
Since it’s collapsible, it will easily slide into your camping bag without taking up too much space. It also only weighs 640g, so you won’t be weighed down by it as you move between beauty spots.
As an added bonus, this camping sink also comes with multifunctional scissors included that can be used to prepare food, open a bottle of wine, and even cut through thinner pieces of firewood.
- 3-in-1 camping sink – can be used as a basket, camping sink, and cutting board by collapsing it to different heights
- Built-in ergonomic handles – makes it easier and more comfortable to carry water
- Non-slip base and drain plug – keeps the sink steady while you wash your dishes and allows you to drain the water with ease
- Silicone and TPR construction – safe to use when preparing food and dishwasher safe
- Multifunctional scissors included – the perfect camping tool that can be used in a variety of ways
- Expensive – the multifunctionality of this camping sink does mean it comes with a higher price tag
- 🌶【3 in 1 Cutting Board】Foldable sink can be used to wash dishes, vegetables, fruits. Collapsible cutting board can be used to cut meat, vegetables and fruits alse used as a storage basket for storing various foods and drinks, which effective save your money, time and space.
- ✄[ Multifunctional Scissors ] Folding Cutting Board Set: a collapsible cutting board plus a pair of multi scissors. The 3 in 1 scissors can be taken apart and used to Scissor meat, cardboard and trim rose stems, but also to open wine bottles and walnuts, which lightweight and easy to use.
- 🥦 【Durable Material】Collapsible dish tub cutting board made of food grade premium PP + TPR material, durable, not easily deformed. Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning, BPA-free, safe, easy to use, which thickened PP material, strong and durable.
- 🍇【Collapsible Portable Design】HI NINGER Collapsible sink ergonomic, convenient storage and space-saving design. Sink are foldaway, portable so they do not take up too much room in your kitchen cupboards, which is a good product for home essential.
- 🏝【Wide Range of Use】This useful 3 in 1 collapsible cutting board brings, that a lot of convenience for kitchen simple and durable. The portable camping kitchen sink also convenient for hiking, RV, camped, picnics, fishing, beach and BBQ, etc.
The final choice on our list of the best portable sinks for camping is this Collapsible Sink with Drain from YZWDTGS. It’s also another multifunctional choice and can be used as a cutting board when fully collapsed.
When used as a sink, it offers you a generous 8-liter capacity that is perfect for cleaning a variety of cooking utensils.
Constructed from premium TPR, it’s totally BPA-free so it’s completely safe to use when washing or preparing food before cooking.
It’s also highly durable and has no chemical odor, so you won’t have to worry about it ruining the natural scents of your chosen campsite.
The raised feet allow any spilled water to run directly underneath the sink, so no messy puddles will form on your work surface or on the ground.
It also features a drain that allows you to empty the water out when you’re done without having to tip the sink over.
Whether you’re using it as a sink or in cutting board mode, the non slip base will keep it securely in place at all times.
And, when it’s time to go home or trek to another camping location, its non-slip compact size of 16” x 12” allows you to slide it into your kit bag without taking up too much space.
- Multifunctional design – can be used as a camping sink and as a cutting board when fully collapsed
- 8-liter capacity – perfect for large cooking equipment and gives you room to soak dishes when necessary
- BPA-free TRP construction – safe for use with food preparation and safe to clean in the dishwasher
- Non-slip base – holds securely in place when used as a sink or as a cutting board
- Drain – makes it super easy to empty the sink without having to tip it over
- Drain can leak if not properly inserted – you need to make sure you’ve inserted the drain plug securely after removing, otherwise, you could end up slowly losing water
- VERSATILE BASIN - This dish tub works perfectly in chopping/cutting vegetable, fruit and meat, washing dishes or food as a foldable dish tub, it also can be a storage basket for storing kinds of food and icing beverages in locker or refrigerator.
- Environmentally Friendly SAFE Material - Made of food grade premium PP + TPR material, BPA Free, highly durable, no smell, non-toxic and no deformation.
- Space-Save and Easy to Use - Press the middle with one hand and hold the frame with another hand, open the dishpan and start to wash and drain with the buit-in plug. The Special non-slip stands could be placed on anywhere even smooth surface. Folding up then cutting food on the board freely, the foldable design could save much space and carrying Up to 568oz capacity after opening.
- Must-Have for Home and Outdoor - This wash basin is essential thing for your RV or travel trailer, it has 3 in 1 functions which greatly enhances the efficiency of your kitchen work.The portable feature is also handy for caravanning, camping, hiking, fishing, beach, garden, picnics, BBQ.
- 100% satisfaction and worry-free guarantee - No matter what reason caused you don't love this wash basin , we'll replace it or reimburse you every cent back !
A portable camping sink may seem like one of those things that is fairly basic, but as you can see from our choices above, there are some that can be used in a variety of ways.
Some also have certain design features that will help to make your life easier when you’re camping.
But out of all the features on offer, what is it that you should be looking for in the best portable camping sink? Ultimately, it will come down to personal preference.
However, to help make the decision process a little easier, we’ll go through some key points to keep in when you’re shopping for a portable camping sink.
Size & Capacity
The first thing to think about is the size of your chosen camping sink. It needs to be large enough to hold a decent amount of water when it’s expanded, but smaller enough to pack away and carry comfortably when collapsed.
The golden number here is anywhere between 8L – 8.75L. Choosing a sink with a capacity within this range will give you the ability to wash a variety of different items, but will also slide neatly into your camping bag when you’re not using it.
It will also be lightweight enough to carry with you comfortably as you make your way to that perfect camping spot and back again.
Of course, if you are going on a large family camping trip, a single sink within this capacity range may still not be enough. In this case, it’s a good idea to buy two camping sinks.
This will still give you the ability to store and transport them compactly, but you’ll have double the capacity when it comes to washing your dishes.
Once you know what size would be best for your needs, you’ll need to look at what material your camping sink is made from. Ideally, it should be BPA-free, and silicone and TPR (Thermoplastic Rubber) are the best for this.
The reason it should be BPA-free is that some plastics can release chemicals when water is added to them, so you could be washing your dishes and preparing your food in contaminated water.
Another reason why silicone and TPR are such great materials is that they are incredibly durable. So, even when you’re camping and at the mercy of the elements, your camping sink is unlikely to get damaged.
They are also non-slip, so there’s no risk of accidentally tipping water all over yourself while you’re cleaning up. Some camping sinks also feature plastic rims and a plastic base that helps with both durability and stability.
When you’re on a camping trip, the less equipment you have to carry with you the better. This is why a multifunctional camping sink is a good choice.
Not only can you use them to wash your cooking equipment, but you can use them as a storage container and as a cutting board for preparing your food.
One thing to keep in mind when looking at a multifunctional camping sink, however, is that while they are undoubtedly useful, they do come at a higher cost.
This means that they may not be a good choice for anybody working with a limited budget.
While we’re on the subject of budgets, it’s always a good idea to see what extra features you can get for your money when you’re shopping online. Camping sinks are no exception to this rule, and some offer super-useful features that are designed to make your life much easier when you’re out in nature.
One excellent feature to look for is dual carry handles. Any camping sink that has these will be much easier to carry when filled with water, and they’ll help reduce the chances of it spilling over the edges as you carry it back to your campsite too.
You can also use a camping sink that has handles to carry firewood, so you’ll be offered some multifunctionality from it.
Some camping sinks also feature a drain on the base. This is ideal for allowing water to drain away without having to lift and tip the sink over.
This isn’t only better for anybody that might struggle to carry a sink filled with dirty water but allows you to direct the drained water into a more appropriate place.
When you tip water out, it goes everywhere. When you have the ability to drain it, you can keep things neater.
If you can get additional equipment included with your camping sink too, you’ll get even more value for money!
Some camping sinks, such as the HI NINGER Multifunctional Kitchen Camping Sink come with a set of multifunctional scissors that can help you tackle a variety of obstacles you may encounter when camping while reducing the amount of equipment you need to take with you.
Price & Warranty
Finally, it’s always worth checking out the different prices on offer when you’re looking for a portable camping sink.
There can be quite a difference between brands, so focus on the features and not on the brand name itself. When you do this, you may be surprised to see that you can get something just as good at a fraction of the price.
Lots of camping sinks come with warranties too, and choosing one of these is a great way of getting some extra value for money.
Some even have lifetime warranties as standard, so you’ll never have to worry about paying for a new camping sink if anything goes wrong.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I wash dishes when camping?
The easiest way to wash your dishes and other cooking equipment when you’re camping is by using a portable camping sink.
These are essentially a bucket that can be filled with water, but they take up much less space as they can be collapsed down when you’re not using them. They are also ideal for cleaning and preparing your ingredients before cooking.
What dish soap should I use when camping?
You need to use a biodegradable dish detergent when you’re camping. Fill up your camping sink, add the detergent, and then agitate the water to activate it.
Once you’ve finished washing your dishes, take the camping sink to an area far away from your campsite and away from any source of water and empty it onto the bare earth.
If your camping sink has a built-in drain use that, as it will allow you to direct the flow of water away from any plants or wildlife.