TheTentLab Deuce Ultralight Backpacking Potty Trowel

Last updated date: April 21, 2021

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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.

Update as May 17, 2021:
Checkout The Best Trowel for a detailed review of all the top trowels.

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 52 expert reviews, the TheTentLab Deuce Ultralight Potty Trowel placed 11th when we looked at the top 11 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

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.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

8 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

533 user 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

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, a trowel set that features a soft-grip handle that is also ergonomical in design is a great buy. 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. There are trowels that are outfitted with an extra-large polished cast-aluminum head. Their heads have sharp edges that make them 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. There are also trowels that are actually made for hikers and campers, as their sole purpose is to dig catholes and holes for tent spikes.

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.