We always like learning about new shit so when Kildwick reached out to us about doing a guest article on their composting toilets we thought, "Well, shit. Why not? If these German engineers find their shitters superior, then let's let them explain what makes their product so special!" And thus, this comparison article between Kildwick and Nature's Head was born.
We're not affiliates of Kildwick or Nature's Head composting toilets but we do find it a relief (especially to our bowels) that we're starting to see other composting toilets come onto the bus life, van life, tiny living bathroom scene. Oh, and nobody paid us a dime or gave us any product to promote this so it's authentic AF. So, pop a squat and get your scrolling thumbs warmed up for a quick comparison of Nature's Head and Kildwick composting toilets. - Brock Butterfield, Founder, Bus Life Adventure
So, how does the Kildwick compost toilet compare to Nature’s Head?
By Nath Fedorova for Kildwick
Year-around travel, endless possibilities, and the ultimate freedom – it’s easy to see why bus life and van life communities are thriving in the U.S. and abroad. And, seeking to living green(er), we have come to rely on sustainable solutions for the things we have and the things we need: from plastic-free kitchenware to solar panels... And our toilets.
Odorless, easy to install, and eco-friendly, modern compost toilets have quickly become the sanitation solution in the bus life and van life community. They don’t depend on water or chemicals. People new to the topic might expect just some sort of a bucket and are pleasantly surprised to discover the comfort of a conventional bathroom.
Variety makes perfect
There are of course fan favorites when it comes to something as intimate as a toilet installation. Nature’s Head is such a fave; it’s built to last, dependable, easy to clean, comfy, and odor-free thanks to the inbuilt vent hose and fan. It has a few downsides though, such as being quite pricey and dependent on electricity for fan operation. It’s also a less perfect choice for smaller vans or buses. Thankfully, the market for waterless and source separation toilets is adequately dynamic and there are several brands to choose from.
This is a dry toilet with a unique design, ideal for the nature lover in you
Although not entirely a new player, Kildwick (born in the U.K. and relaunched in Germany in 2019) is new to the U.S. market. In European van life communities, the wooden compost toilets are so popular that the brand even launched a vanlifer design collaboration for its first year "made in Germany." If you love design, need a unit that runs entirely off-grid, or have to keep an eye on your dry toilet budget, check out this following feat by feat comparison. We’d love to know what you think!
Design and material
Nature’s Head: Wet room compatible
Nature’s Head toilets look and feel just like toilets. Sturdy, dependable, built to last. They can be easily installed in a wet room – and look exactly like their flush counterpart.
Kildwick: Multifunctional and highly customizable
Kildwick’s design idea is about a clever, slimline that doubles as a seat and looks rather inconspicuous. This works with all models, but the sitting solution is probably most popular with the smaller MiniLoo unit.
The signature Kildwick design has an edgy body made of birch plywood (all parts are laser-cut for precision and rounded) that you can easily paint and customize. Customization is particularly popular with the models EasyLoo and MiniLoo.
The customization idea goes even further as you can purchase your fave Kildwick model as a DIY kit and build and install it just the way you like it.
One downside: the untreated birchwood surfaces are not completely waterproof. The 2020 novelty comes in three super chic, eco-friendly color options to pick from and is splash-proof.
Nature’s Head: At approx. $1,000.00, Nature’s Head compost toilet has to be seen as an investment.
Kildwick: Starting at approx. 299€ for a DIY kit (finished product at 469€). The top model of the range FancyLoo starts at 799€.
Nature’s Head: Originating from marine adventure life, Nature’s Head toilets sport a minimalistic design and don’t have toilet seats.
Kildwick: All Kildwick toilets have a classic toilet and sport a chic toilet seat made of bamboo. – similar to indoor water toilets.
The liquid bottle needs to be emptied after 3 days at the latest with both brands. But Nature’s Head and Kildwick differ in how the solids are collected and emptied.
Nature’s Head: Emptying is due every 4 weeks. The complete lower part of the toilet needs to be emptied, depending on your interior solution, even carried out of the bus.
The coir or the bulking material is put into the (empty) tank once and later mixed with the waste with a stirrer mechanism, meaning: you don’t need to face what drops inside but you also can’t line the tank for mess-free emptying.
Kildwick: Emptying is due approx. once a week, depending on the model and on the solids tank size. The empty tank is lined with compostable bags and remains clean at all times.
The cover material is put into the tank after each "session," and doesn’t require any stirring.
Additional solids tanks can be purchased separately and, coming with air-tight lids. They can serve as temporary storage if no emptying is possible at the moment given.
Nature’s Head: Wired for 12V power to operate the exhaust fan.
Kildwick: The fan is optional and can be purchased separately; Kildwick toilets are initially built for off-grid living.
Nature’s Head: Made in the U.S. using steel and plastic, Nature’s Head requires sustainable coir for solids collection and some power for the fan operation. Low tech that’s built to last and last.
Kildwick: Made in Germany using regional and sustainable materials and parts only. All materials are sturdy and robust, the steel parts (screws, hinges) are top quality steel. The birch plywood comes from sustainable forestry and comes with additional eco-certification for the top of the range ‘FancyLoo’. Tanks and liquid bottles are made from recyclable plastics.
Kildwick also offers hand-picked equipment and accessories such as eco-friendly cleaning liquids, reusable towels, and biodegradable non-GMO waste bags.
Height: 20" to seat, 21" total
Ideal for large buses.
All Kildwick toilets are really lightweight in comparison, but also slimmer and smaller. The toilet itself (FancyLoo) can carry up to 440lbs and the lid carries up to 220 pounds.
The smaller model, Mini Loo, measures:
Weight: 21.34 lbs
Ideal for smaller spaces.
Nature’s Head and Kildwick
Wow, that was a lot to unload here! It's fascinating, these two brands, while both offering source separating dry compost toilets made to last, could not be more different in their approach.
In the end, it all boils down to your individual needs and preferences. So we’re curious to hear from you now. What do you like most (or least) about each of the contenders? Are there features both of them miss? How would you customize your birchwood toilet? Follow us on Instagram and tell us in the comments!