TheTentLab Deuce Ultralight Backpacking Potty Trowel

Last updated date: August 6, 2020

DWYM Score

TheTentLab Deuce Ultralight Backpacking Potty Trowel

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We looked at the top Trowels and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Trowel you should buy.

Overall Take

Although these trowels are specifically designed to dig catholes for hikers and campers, they can also be used to dig holes for tent spikes. If you want to use them when gardening, you certainly can, as they are made from an aerospace-grade aluminum. You can even purchase the trowel in one of 23 different colors. In our analysis of 60 expert reviews, the TheTentLab TheTentLab Deuce Ultralight Potty Trowel placed 3rd when we looked at the top 8 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 6, 2020:
Checkout The Best Trowel for a detailed review of all the top trowels.

Expert Summarized Score
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
533 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
This cleverly designed 6.8″ tool can be held at either end, depending whether you need to dig with the narrow end or scoop with the wide end.
- Section Hiker
The broader end is great for scooping out loose undergrounds, whilst the slimmer end can be used as a targeted probe to dig into tougher undergrounds.
- Outdoor Command
At no point during our testing did The Deuce ever feel like it was going to bend or break, even when we were driving it into some of the hardest dirt we could find.
- 99 Boulders
You'll be hard pressed to find any trowel lighter than half an ounce and since it's made of aluminum it will last forever.
- Gear Signal
Made from stiff, durable 7075-T6 aluminum, the Deuce weighs in at a paltry 0.6 ounce, features sharp edges for slicing through hard dirt and small roots, and can be used in either direction for digging (the narrower handle end provides more power for excavating really hard ground).
- Be Outdoors
Since it is so fine, it easily penetrates hard soil, but it is not sharp enough that you need to worry about hurting yourself.
- Global Backpackers
There is a hole at the end of the handle which can be used to fashion a rope handle, or to hang it or tie it to your pack as desired.
- Backpack Gear Test
Smaller, so it is more compact and fits in a ziplock with hand sanitizer easily.
- PMags
What experts didn't like
The only minor con is that some backpackers report that the Deuce Ultralight Backpacking Potty Trowel is slightly trickier to use due to its lack of proper handle.
- Outdoor Command
Really, the only negative we experienced was that the handle could dig into your palms a little bit.
- 99 Boulders
The thin edges dig into your palm and fingers as you use it, especially if you’re really gripping and working hard on tough ground.
- Be Outdoors
One thing to notice is that this is an ultralight model, and that means that it does not have a wooden handle. It is not ergonomic and can be bothersome if you are in a hurry, but otherwise not a big problem.
- Global Backpackers
The handle can be a little awkward to use…but you are only using it a few minutes a day. Some people have found this to be an issue; I have not.
- PMags

From The Manufacturer

An excellent aid to leave no trace backpacking – it really helps you doo-doo the right thing. Its large scoop makes mockery of tent stakes or trekking poles for digging. Use the length to gauge if your cat-hole is deep enough.

Overall Product Rankings

Edward Tools Oversized Bend-Proof Garden Trowel
1. Edward Tools Oversized Bend-Proof Garden Trowel
Overall Score: 9.8
Expert Reviews: 7
Fiskars 70736935J Big Grip Aluminum Trowel
2. Fiskars 70736935J Big Grip Aluminum Trowel
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 7
TheTentLab Deuce Ultralight Backpacking Potty Trowel
3. TheTentLab Deuce Ultralight Backpacking Potty Trowel
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 8
ESOW Cast-Aluminum Garden Tools & Trowel Set
4. ESOW Cast-Aluminum Garden Tools & Trowel Set
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 2
Scuddles Ergonomic Garden Tools Set
5. Scuddles Ergonomic Garden Tools Set
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 8
Radius Garden Ergonomic Aluminum Hand Trowel
6. Radius Garden Ergonomic Aluminum Hand Trowel
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 7
Wilcox All Pro 202S Stainless Trowel
7. Wilcox All Pro 202S Stainless Trowel
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 8
TACKLIFE Stainless Garden Tool & Trowel Set
8. TACKLIFE Stainless Garden Tool & Trowel Set
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 5

An Overview On Trowels

If you do any gardening work at all, you know how essential a trowel is to your tool collection. This device is capable of doing everything from digging small holes to softening the soil to transplanting seedlings. Some gardeners even use trowels to help remove stubborn weeds that are too difficult to pull up by hand. Before you begin shopping for the best trowel on the market, there are a few features you need to know about.

Consider the soil type you’re working with. Any trowel can handle softer soil types; however, you need a high-quality trowel for rocky and heavy soils. The Edward Tools Oversized Bend-Proof Garden Trowel is a good choice for homeowners who have difficult soil types. It’s made from one solid piece of stainless steel, which gives it added strength and eliminates the chance that the handle will bend under pressure.

Examine the trowel’s handle next, as you need a model that provides a firm grip. For example, the ESOW Cast-Aluminum Garden Tools & Trowel Set features a soft-grip handle that is also ergonomical in design. Thanks to the handle’s high-quality TPR material, both hand and wrist stress are reduced. This feature is especially important if you enjoy spending long periods of time working in your garden.

Look at the shape of the trowel’s head. Some models are more ideal for general tasks, while others are specifically designed for transplanting. The Fiskars Big Grip Aluminum Trowel is outfitted with an extra-large polished cast-aluminum head. The head has sharp edges that make it the best choice for cutting through tough turf. Aluminum is also well known for resisting rust, which means you’ll get a longer life out of it.

Decide if you’d like to go with a specialty set. There are trowels that come in full sets. Some offer small sets with just a traditional trowel, a transplanting trowel and a cultivator hand rake, while others go a step further by adding a weeding tool, spray bottle, pair of gardening gloves and a polyester organizing tote. The TheTentLab Deuce Ultralight Potty Trowel is actually a trowel made for hikers and campers, as its sole purpose is to dig catholes and holes for tent spikes.

DWYM Fun Fact

Hand trowels have been in use for a long time. In fact, the Smithsonian American Art Museum has a portrait on display called “Man with Trowel.” It was painted by artist Jacob Kainen back in 1935. It’s a watercolor piece that depicts a man kneeling over the earth with a trowel in hand.

Speaking of the Smithsonian, the National Museum of American History has a ceremonial trowel that was created for President Dwight D. Eisenhower on display. The president used the trowel during the dedication of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission’s headquarters building in Germantown, Maryland on November 8, 1957. The trowel sits inside a felt-covered wooden box that is further protected by a clear plastic display case.

The Trowel Buying Guide

  • It’s important to clean your trowel after each use. Not only will this extend the life of the trowel, but it will also reduce the chance of cross-contamination. Otherwise, you can unknowingly have fungus or aphids on your trowel from working with one plant and then transfer them to another. Run the trowel under your garden hose to rinse away any loose dirt and then set it in a bucket of soapy water. After a 15 minute soak, rinse the trowel clean and dry it with a lint-free cloth. If you encounter any stuck-on dirt, you can use a soft-bristle brush to remove it.
  • If storage is an issue, look for a trowel with a hanging hole. You can hang these from a wall in your shed or garage without taking up any room on a shelf or in a drawer.
  • Some trowels come with markings that let you know the plant depth. This may be helpful to beginner gardeners who haven’t learned to eyeball the depth yet.
  • While the cost for a gardening trowel varies slightly, none of the price tags are out of reach, even if you’re shopping with a limited budget. The Edward Tools Oversized Bend-Proof Garden Trowel and the Fiskars Big Grip Aluminum Trowel are sold singularly, which keeps their cost in the affordable range. You’ll pay a bit more for the ESOW Cast-Aluminum Garden Tools & Trowel Set, as it includes three gardening tools instead of one. The highest-priced trowel is the TheTentLab Deuce Ultralight Potty Trowel. This trowel is specially designed for hikers and campers, not gardeners, so it is able to charge a bit more.