Doing dishes in a portable camp sink while camping

In this post we’ll discuss the four main portable camping sink designs, as well as which one we’ve found to be the overall best camping sink for most needs.

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Four Categories of Portable Sinks for Camping:

1. Non-Collapsible Portable Camp Sink with Drain





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A non-collapsible or hard-sided portable camping sink is a great option for car or truck camping, and can be used as a storage container for other camping gear while not in use to better utilize the space the sink takes up (when compared to some of the other options below).

PROS:

  • Sturdy, non-flexible design

  • Built in storage for camping sink supplies

  • Inexpensive

  • Built in drain

CONS:

  • Bulkier than other portable camping sink options

2. Collapsible Portable Camp Sink with Drain





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A collapsible portable camping sink offers most of the benefits of a non-collapsible version, but in a much more compact size due to it’s collapsible hard rubber sides. We’ve found that maximizing interior space is essential to enjoying car camping or truck camping on a regular basis, so this option is great for long-term travel while camping or on extended road trips.

PROS:

  • Compact, but durable

  • Inexpensive

  • Built in drain

CONS:

  • No built in storage for camping sink supplies

3. Nylon Fabric Portable Camping Sink





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A nylon fabric portable camp sink – like the Sea-to-Summit Camp Sink – is by far the most compact portable camping sink option out there, primarily due to the fact that it’s constructed mostly of TPU coated Nylon fabric.

This portable camp sink uses the pressure of the water against the sides of the sink to support its structure – an ingenious design! While it’s small form-factor when not in use is perfect for backpacking camping trips, it ultimately isn’t as well suited for car or truck camping when compared to other portable camp sink options

PROS:

  • Extremely compact

CONS:

  • No built in drain or storage for supplies

  • Less durable than other options, due to nylon fabric design

  • Takes longer to dry after each as compared to other camping sink options

4. Folding Portable Camp Sink





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If you’re hosting a large family camping trip, group camping trip, or longer fishing trip, this is the portable camping sink to own! While it’s not as compact as the other options, it’s folding design makes it portable enough. But it wouldn’t be a good option for typical family camping trips or longer term travel or road trips due to its overall bulkier size.

PROS:

  • Includes built in counter space, faucet (with garden hose connect), and drain

  • Easy to do larger amounts of dishes for groups

  • Very Durable

CONS:

  • Very large, compared to other portable camping sink options

  • Heavy

  • Longer setup time

So Which is The Best Portable Camping Sink?

After trying a variety of portable camping sinks on our various long-term camping trips over the years, we’ve found that a good mix of convenience, compactness, and portability is what makes for the best portable camping sink.

So we ultimately recommend a quality collapsible portable camp sink for most general camping situations – whether you’re tent camping, car camping, or truck camping, it’ll work well for most needs.

 

portable camp sink fully collapsible with drain for camping

 

portable sink for camping with drain

 

demonstrating doing dishes in portable camp sink while camping

We currently use and recommend this SAMMART Collapsible Portable Camping Sink* and love its rugged construction, built in drain plug, small form factor, and collapsible design for our camping setup.

Additional Portable Camping Sink Supplies:

In addition to having the right camping sink for your camp kitchen setup, you’ll also need some portable camping sink supplies to make doing dishes while at camp as quick and easy as possible (so you can get back to actually enjoying the outdoors)!

  • A Dish Scrubber

The MSR Alpine Dish Brush/Scraper is an excellent addition to your camping sink setup, and a great alternative to the traditional sponge. It’s also very handy to have a scraper when cooking with a cast iron set at camp (we’ve used this Lodge Cast Iron Set* for years and LOVE it).

 





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  • Biodegradable Camping Dish Soap

Camp Suds or Sal Suds* biodegradable camping dishwashing liquid is also a staple for doing dishes in your camping sink, as both are environmentally friendly. And because they’re concentrated it doesn’t take much to do the job – so a small bottle will last you quite a while!

 





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  • A Microfiber Drying Mat for Camping

A Microfiber Drying Mat is also really handy to keep with your camping sink supplies. You can simply stack the dishes on top of the mat and let them air dry, and the microfiber material drys much faster than a standard cotton dish towel.

 





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Whether you’re camping solo, with your family, backpacking, or hosting a large group camping trip, we hope this guide has helped you select the best portable camping sink for your next adventure.

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And as always, thanks for reading!

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Looking for some good portable camping sink ideas? This post will help, whether you need a backpacking sink, collapsible camping sink, truck bed camping sink, or car, minivan, or suv camping sink!

 

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