Cleaning dishes is never a fun chore, but it is extremely important to have a good camping sink when we’re camping. Not only can an unclean camp lead to potential illness, it can also lead to unwanted wildlife visitors to your camp, including bears!
So, the need to have a clean camp cannot be overstated and outdoor camping sinks can help.
I’ve been camping for over 3 decades so I know having a good way to clean your dishes is a must.
My top recommendation for the best camping sinks is the Joolca HOTTAP V2 . It has a load of features and will work for a variety of different camping conditions.
I reviewed the camping sink models on the market today to find which are the best for your next camping trip!
Look below for a review of my top 5 camping sink picks.
Best Camping Sink
- Joolca HOTTAP V2 – Best Overall Camp Sink
- Sea to Summit Kitchen Sink – Best for Lightweight Camping
- GCI Master Cook Station – Best for Complete Kitchen Setup
- SOL Flat Pack Collapsible Sink – Best Collapsible Camping Sink
- Rubbermaid Bus Tub – Best Basic Camping Sink
Reviews of the Best Camping Sink Models
There are a lot of camping sink models on the market with a variety of different features to choose from. Here are my top 5 choices of camping sink that cover every budget.
My picks also cover a range of options. From no-frills camping sinks to those that will make you forget you’re camping!
If you’re looking for the best, all around, camping sink, then look no further than the Joolca HOTTAP V2. While probably not the best option for a budget-conscious camper, this camping sink with hot water offers a lot of outstanding features.
Not only do you get a hot water heater and camping sink with drain, you also get a shower spray head. So you can have a nice hot shower after a day of camping!
The Joolca HOTTAP V2 also includes a water pump for getting water from your water container OR from a creek running by your campsite. Thus, it’s a great option for the off-grid camper.
The camping sink hot water system contains a 37,500 BTU burner, and the water output is 1.6 GPM (gallon per minute). Some reviewers have noted that the water flow was a little slow. But even a slow flow shower is a luxury while camping!
This camping sink with faucet includes a 24 G tub that also doubles as a storage container for the whole setup. Users reported saying that the Joolca HOTTAP V2 made doing dishes during camping a breeze.
This camping sink set up is about as simple as they come. This is the type of camping sink I grew up camping with and it always got the job done.
Sure, it doesn’t come with any frills, but with two Rubbermaid tubs, you have a very effective dish cleaning set up. One for washing and one for rinsing.
I love the simplicity of these tubs as a camping sink and how easy they are to pack. The tubs have a volume of 7.125 gallons, so there’s plenty of room for your camp’s dishes.
The main downside to this type of camping sink is transferring the waste water to a proper receptacle without it sloshing around or spilling.
The SOL Flat Pack Collapsible Sink is a nice choice of camping sink for those looking to save space when packing gear. It’s sink has a volume of just over 4 gallons, so it’s a little on the small side compared to other outdoor camping sinks I reviewed, but still perfect for small camping groups.
Reviewers liked that its handles make it easy to carry and that the sink can double as a storage or shopping tote. They also noted how sturdy it is and how easy it is to pack it away given its collapsibility.
The only real drawback to this sink is that it does not have a drain. But with its easy to carry handles, it shouldn’t be much effort carry your waste water to wherever you need to dispose it.
If you’re looking for a large, light, and compact camping sink, then look no further than the Sea to Summit Kitchen Sink.
This rugged camping sink is great for rafting trips, or large-group backpacking trips. It weighs just 6.6 oz even though it has a capacity of over 5 gallons (large enough for washing pots and pans).
It even collapses down to about the size of a Nalgene bottle and has a metal ring that keeps it from collapsing when its full. Although some reviewers noted that the sink has to be about 80% full for it to remain upright.
One reviewer noted how versatile the camp sink was during a recent backpacking trip. It functioned as a camping sink and a place to do laundry. They also noted that it was really nice for bring water back to camp to filter rather than having to filter all your water at the stream or lake you’re camping at.
Overall, this a great option for backpackers or rafter, but it might not be best for those that can afford a little more weight while car or RV camping.
The GCI Master Cook Station is a great option if you’re looking for camping sinks with table space to prepare food, cook, and do dishes.
This is definitely not for those looking for a lightweight camping sink option, but rather campers looking for a lot of convenience while spending time outdoors.
One really nice feature is the lantern pole to easily hang your lantern if you’re cooking or cleaning early in the morning or after the sun goes down.
Users love how much space this camping sink with table has for all of their cooking and cleaning. It’s sturdy and packs down to the size of a folded beach chair. So for the amount of space it gives you, it packs up nicely.
It weighs just over 22 lbs, so it’s definitely not for campers seeking a lightweight camping sink.
The sink’s dimensions are 12.2 inches wide, 16.1 inches long, and has a depth of 5.8 inches. So you get a camping sink with a volume just under 5 gallons.
This is a camping sink with a drain, but some reviewers noted that the drain can get easily clogged with small food particles. So it’s important to make sure food particles are either removed prior to cleaning, or care is taken to ensure they don’t flow down the drain. One user just purchased a small drain catch and that solved the problem.
Guide to Buying the Best Camping Sink
As with many items for camping, there are an overwhelming number of camping sink models to consider. It can be difficult to sort through all of the models to find the camping sink that best fits your needs.
Below are some of the key considerations you should be aware of when deciding what camping sink is right for you.
There is a lot of variety in the sizes of camping sinks available on the market today. So you need to consider how much space you will have to pack a camping sink. You also need to consider whether weight will be an issue.
Will you be primarily car camping, so weight and space are not as important of considerations? For this type of camping, you can probably choose larger camping sinks that have more amenities such as hot water, running water, or a camping sink that comes integrated with its own table?
Or will you be on a river rafting trip where space and weight are at a premium? In this case, you’ll probably want a camping sink that is collapsible and made of lightweight materials.
But, you also need to consider how large of groups the sink will be used for. If it’s just you and a partner, you can likely get away with a small sink. But larger groups may require a more robust set up to effectively clean the loads of dishes at every meal!
Outdoor camping sinks come in two basic models with respect to their water source. Those with an internal water source and those without.
The most common types of camping sink require you to add water from an external source. This is the form that you are probably most familiar with. You simply add either cold water, or water heated over a stove to the sink for doing your dishes.
These are the simplest types of camping sinks and the easiest to use. They don’t require any special equipment and will usually be much lighter and smaller than those with an internal water source.
A camping sink with running water usually has an internal water reservoir or an extension that allows it to be hooked up to a hose for an endless supply of running water. These are probably best for big groups and at campgrounds where you have easy access to water.
Outdoor camping sinks with running water will be the most similar to cleaning dishes at home, but can be more expensive and require a means of disposing larger volumes of gray water.
There is a wide range of features available to suit various styles of camping. While some additional features may seem enticing, it’s important to consider their practicality and functionality in a camping situation.
For instance, certain outdoor camping sinks come with built-in electric pumps or foot pedals for easy water flow control. While these features can be convenient, they may also introduce complexity and reliance on electricity or mechanical components, which can be problematic in remote camping locations where power sources are limited or nonexistent.
However, there are situations where certain features like hot water can be highly desirable in camping sinks. In situations where campers are staying at well-equipped campsites, camping sinks with built-in water heaters can offer added convenience and comfort.
Common features to consider when looking to buy outdoor camping sinks:
- Hot water heaters
- A great convenience and can help clean dishes, but might not be worth the cost if you can heat water on a camp stove.
- A great option if space is limited for packing all your gear. If space is not an issue, a solid camping sink might be a better option so you don’t have to worry about materials wearing down after repeated use.
- A number of outdoor camping sinks come with drains. While these seem great on the surface, unless you are connected directly to a sewer hook-up, they might be more of a pain than they’re worth. If you’re not hooked up to a sewer system, you’ll need something to capture your gray water.
- Water pumps
- Another great feature to bring the creature-comforts to your camping experience. These certainly make washing dishes easier, but they require an external water source. And you have to worry about power and the pump potentially breaking down.
- Sinks integrated into a collapsible camping table.
- If you’re going to be cleaning for a large group, these might be worth it. But, they are heavy and bulky, so are not best when space or weight are a concern.
Ultimately, the choice of features in a camping sink depends on individual preferences and the specific camping conditions. It’s important to strike a balance between functionality, portability, and simplicity to ensure a hassle-free camping experience.
Camping Sink Accessories
Even with the best camping sink, you’ll likely need a few additional items to get the most utility out of your new purchase. Below are a few additional items you might consider purchasing with your new camping sink.
Even if your camping sink doesn’t come with a faucet, you can buy one separately to make any sink have running water. The Dometic GO Hydration Water Faucet is great for this.
If you are using a camping sink with a water pump, you likely will need a separate water container to supply water to your faucet. I always like Coleman water jugs when I go camping because they’re rugged and can hold up to 5 gallons.
When we’re camping, we hope to connect with the natural environment. As part of our Leave No Trace Ethic we want to minimize our impacts on the environment when camping.
Thus, we want to use soaps that are not going to harm the environment. Consider soaps by Campsuds as they are biodegradable, require small amounts to work, and clean well with hot and cold water.
Gray Water Container
For any camping sink setup, you will need a way to dispose of your dirty dishwater. Simply disposing of your dishwater on the ground is not recommended because it can leave an unsightly mess for the next campers and could potentially attract wildlife.
If a campground has a sewer connection, then you can simply just dump the wast water there. If not, you likely need a container to capture your gray water to disposal elsewhere, like a pit toilet in the campground.
You can just use an ordinary water jug for this task, but make sure it’s CLEARLY labeled to avoid anyone accidentally using the gray water! I like to at least get a jug that is colored differently than any water jugs I have.
Portable Sink Drain Hose
If you have a camping sink with a drain, you might need to consider buying a portable sink drain hose. But make sure it fits your specific model of camping sink with drain.
After reviewing the camping sink models on the market today, I recommend the Joolca HOTTAP V2 as the best overall camping sink for your next trip.
It just has a ton of features that will make any camping trip more comfortable. And with the camping sink hot water system, its ability to be used as a hot camp shower really puts it over the edge.
Obviously this won’t be the best fit for every type of camper, so be sure to consider what factors are most important to you when deciding the best camping sink for your style of camping.
Looking for other camping cooking gear? Check out our other camping cooking gear reviews.