10 Best Coffee Makers for Camping Fully Reviewed

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Outdoor runners often develop a real love of nature. Because of this, it makes perfect sense for them to really enjoy camping and other outdoor activities. Camping comfortably is a big deal for a lot of people. This is why they invest in accessories and gear that make outdoor life a little more amenable. Portable coffee makers are one of these accessories, and something that most people don’t want to go without. If you can’t face the day until you’ve enjoyed a steaming cup of coffee, then you understand exactly what we’re talking about.

Camping is an activity that brings you back to nature and helps you to really realign yourself. It’s also a great opportunity to run in places where you’ve never been before. It can be a lot of fun to take a morning jog along trails or beaches that are completely new to you. This is part of why camping and running go so well together, and why we’ve worked to review products that would appeal to both.

Getting your daily dose of caffeine doesn’t have to mean boiling grounds in an open pot over your campfire anymore. With these products you’ll have more sophisticated options that allow you to enjoy the taste of your favorite morning brew. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best products available, and we hope you love them just as much as we did!

Last Updated: August 8, 2018
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By Tess Bercan:

There’s nothing better than a great cup of coffee when out camping. We added more information about what to look for when purchasing your outdoor coffee maker, and refreshed the quality of the content!

Aerobie AeroPress
  • Aerobie AeroPress
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Easy to clean 
  • Price: See Here
Primula Single Serve Brew Buddy
  • Primula Single Serve Brew Buddy
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Portable
  • Price: See Here
Coleman Quikpot
  • Coleman Quikpot
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Makes 10 cups
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Coffee Makers for Camping

 

 

Aerobie AeroPress

Find great flavor in this model, which brews coffee using the innovative AeroPress method. It’s a breeze to clean and to transport, after putting in a little bit of time to set it it up.
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Convenience
The AeroPress is very easy to disassemble and clean. As this is manual coffee press, it’s slightly more work than an automatic model, but it’s still very smooth for first-time users to master the process.

Efficiency
This machine will have your coffee ready in just minutes, after boiling water. A perfect choice for a quick morning packing up camp when you aren’t willing to forgo that caffeine hit. This option does take longer than comparable choices for a large group.

Brewing Style
The AeroPress combines drip coffee methods with the french press technique in an innovative twist.

Taste
The AeroPress coffee press is known for its great, rich taste that is seldom bitter. Get ready for gourmet coffee out on the trail.

Size
Small and light, this coffee maker is quite portable. It’s assembled from several smaller pieces, so make sure you can keep track of them all.

Value
The moderately expensive price tag of this coffee press speaks to the rich, gourmet flavor it provides. You won’t find similar quality taste in a portable machine anywhere else.
Pros
  • Excellent taste
  • Easy to clean 
  • Small and light
Cons
  • Keep track of small parts

Primula Single Serve Brew Buddy

This coffee maker is well-named, as it might soon become your best bud in the woods. Its simple design of a reusable filter easily adapts to different cups and mugs. Highly portable and easy to clean, this coffee maker will brew you cup after cup of great tasting pour-over coffee with no hassle.
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Convenience
Users note that this Primula coffee maker is very easy to clean, making it extremely convenient for multiple uses on a single trip.

Efficiency
Using the Brew Buddy is as quick as boiling water. Once you have your hot water, the coffee maker is a breeze to set up by simply placing it over your mug.

Brewing Style
The Primula uses a reusable mesh filter made from eco-friendly materials to hold your coffee grounds. Simply place the Brew Buddy on top of your mug or container, and pour hot water over the grounds.

Taste
This coffee maker is flexible to different tastes - simply leave the filter in longer for richer coffee. You can brew the coffee to whatever strength you prefer.

Size
At just 1.6 ounces, this is a coffee maker that certainly won’t weigh down your pack in the backcountry. As the mesh packs down small, it’s easily portable and will allow you to brew delicious coffee wherever you find yourself on the trail.

Value
An excellent option for a camper on a tight budget in search of a consistent quick-brewing cup of coffee. You’ll have a reliable perk in your morning with your pocket only a few dollars lighter.
Pros
  • Easy to clean
  • Very portable
  • Adapts to different mugs
  • Cheap
Cons
  • Single serving

Coleman Quikpot

This large, reliable coffee maker does the trick for large groups, as it brews up to 10 cups of coffee at once. While not the fastest option, it’s reliable, easy to clean, and provides consistent good taste.
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Convenience
Easy to clean and setup, this coffee maker is very user-friendly. It also includes useful extra features, such as an push-button for matchless ignition.

Efficiency
With a brewing time just under 20 minutes, the Quikpot is a great choice to whip up a large batch of coffee for a group or family in a reasonable amount of time. The performance of this machine is known for its efficiency.

Brewing Style
The Quikpot is a percolator that is powered using a propane gas canister. One propane cylinder should last you about 4 and a half hours of using the coffee maker on the ‘high’ setting.

Taste
This Coleman coffee maker produces reliably good-tasting coffee in large batches. No need to Use a pour-over again and again. Simply fill coffee maker with enough water for its largest setting of 10 cups of coffee. You can even use the “Pause ‘n’ Serve” feature to pour a fresh cup of coffee while it is still brewing for a taste-test.

Size
Not the most compact option, the Quikpot weighs in just over 10 pounds. This machine isn’t designed for use in the backcountry, rather is perfectly suited for a family car camping vacation.

Value
A pricier option that’s a great investment for those who plan on embarking on group camping trips. Several rounds of coffee brewed in this maker will keep a large group satisfied and give you returns well worth your dollar.
Pros
  • Good taste
  • Easy to clean
  • Makes a large amount
  • Can pour coffee while brewing
Cons
  • Price

Snow Peak Titanium Cafe Press

Snow Peak Titanium Cafe Press
A very durable option made from lightweight titanium, the Snow Peak lets you take the flavor of french press coffee into the backcountry.
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Convenience
The Snow Peak press has a streamlined design that is easy to clean. It also includes a handy mesh carrying bag that prevents the metal from getting scratched.

Efficiency
Three easy steps bring you right to a great cup of coffee: boil water, add coffee, press. The 24 fluid ounce-sized canister won’t brew coffee for a family, but it will let you share with a plus-one.

Brewing Style
The Snow Peak is a classic french press style coffee maker, with a lightweight twist that makes it versatile for a variety of camping scenarios.

Taste
Great tasting coffee through the french press is guaranteed. Make sure to use coarsely ground coffee so you don’t end up with coffee grounds in your cup.

Size
Very lightweight, this is not the most compact model but it still small enough to take along on a backpacking trip.

Value
This pricier coffee maker is an investment for the coffee aficionado. While bulkier than drip coffee options, it is light enough to make it into a hiking trip.
Pros
  • Lightweight, durable titanium
  • French press
  • Good taste
Cons
  • Pricier

Hario V60 Plastic Coffee Dripper

Hario V60 Plastic Coffee Dripper
A lightweight pour-over model that is easy to use and clean while providing consistent great flavor.
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Convenience
This model offers the effortless simplicity of pour-over coffee. Simply insert the correct filter into this coffee dripper, pour your hot water over the grounds, and you are good to go. The Hario coffee dripper is also very easy to clean.

Efficiency
This coffee dripper is a quick grounds-to-cup transition for a single coffee drinker. It’s a bit more hands-on work for a large group of people.

Brewing Style
The Hario coffee maker chooses the simplicity of drip-style coffee.

Taste
The Hario V60 excels in the taste department, promising a rich flavor that is never bitter. The unique cone shape and spiraled ribs on the side of the cone help to improve flavor, letting water stay in contact with the coffee longer and letting the grounds expand.

Size
One of the lightest option on the market, the Hario Coffee Dripper is a great choice for a backpacker looking to shave off ounces from a pack.

Value
Slightly pricier than other pour-over options, but still at the cheapest end of the market, the Hario offers great extra features that put it a step ahead in terms of flavor.

Pros
  • Great flavor
  • Simple to use
  • Easy to clean
Cons
  • Plastic might not be the most durable

Jetboil Java Kit

Jetboil Java Kit
A french press option combined with Jetboil’s quick, efficient water boiling system.
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Convenience
When purchased as an entire kit, the Jetboil Java Kit combines the convenience of an efficient water boiling system with a utility of a french press. Use the kit to brew a delicious cup of coffee and boil water on the side for your meal or cup of tea. The insulated canister keeps your drink warm.

Efficiency
Jetboil’s efficiency at boiling water is unparalleled. This is a great all-in-one option that gets you your coffee quickly in the morning, while letting you combine pieces of camping gear.

Brewing Style
The Java kit uses the classic french press style, suited for use with coarsely ground coffee.

Taste
Offers a rich, full-bodied coffee as can be expected from french-press style coffee. Make sure you use coarse grounds so you’re not tasting grounds in your cup.

Size
The Jetboil Java kit is small and lightweight. Even better, it lets you pack efficiently and combine gear, as it replaces some of the functions of a stove.

Value
More on the expensive side, this is a good investment for a backpacker looking for streamlined, all-in-one gear combinations. If you already have a Jetboil, purchase the french press accessory separately to enhance your Jetboil experience.

Pros
  • Boils water very quickly
  • Good flavor
  • Color-changing heat indicator
Cons
  • Pricier
  • Needs specific fuel

GSI Outdoors Personal Java Press

GSI Outdoors Personal Java Press
An insulated french press that comes with its own cup.
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Convenience
The GSI press wins for its extra feature of insulation, allowing you to keep coffee as you take on other tasks around camp. This model is trickier to clean than drip-style coffee makers.

Efficiency
French press brewing makes for a quick cup.

Brewing Style
A typical french press style coffee maker. Watch out that the press doesn’t get stuck during the brewing process - this can happen more with the GSI Java Press than with other similar models.

Taste
This coffee maker produces the classic strong flavor of french press coffee. For die-hard french press fans, this will be exactly the incentive you need to hop out of that warm sleeping bag.

Size
A small, portable coffee maker that is on the heavier side compared to other options on this list, making it better for car camping excursions. It comes with a cup that stashes away into the larger canister.

Value
A good price for a quality product that a french press fan will love.
Pros
  • Insulated canister keeps coffee warm
  • Strong taste
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Harder to clean
  • Press can get stuck

Faberware Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite Percolator

Faberware Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite Percolator
This great value 8-cup percolator is a classic. Its durable stainless steel construction and large size makes it a great choice to take on a large crew of happy campers.
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Convenience
Take note of this coffee maker if you’re planning to travel with a group. You’ll be able to brew 8 cups at once. The percolator style lets you boil water while making the coffee, and you’ll be able to reheat the coffee later on if you need.

Efficiency
You can make lots of coffee in one go with this choice, but be prepared for the brewing process to take a little longer. The coffee crafting is hands-on, too. Make sure you can be around to keep an eye on the pot so that it doesn’t boil over.

Brewing Style
The Faberware model uses the classic percolator brewing method that lets you boil water and make your coffee together in the same pot.

Taste
The percolator style lets you make adjustments throughout the brewing process to control the taste of your coffee. Brew longer for a stronger flavor, but make sure that you don’t over brew or you’ll be facing a burnt, bitter flavor.

Size
This is a large, heavy-duty coffee maker. It gets points for its durability but you won’t be bringing it on a backpacking trip.

Value
A sturdy classic with a great value price tag for a car camping group.
Pros
  • Makes up to 8 cups of coffee
  • Sturdy, durable construction
  • Can reheat coffee in the pot
Cons
  • Takes longer to brew
  • Hands-on brewing process

GSI Outdoors Collapsible Java Drip

GSI Outdoors Collapsible Java Drip
An easily transportable drip coffee maker that comes with great camping specific features and a low price tag.
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Convenience
The GSI drip model is clearly designed for easy use in the backcountry. It’s packed with camping specific features including its overall collapsible design, wide base, and ease of cleaning.

Efficiency
The drip method is quick to set up, and the size and wide base of this design allow you to brew up to 12 cups of coffee at once. A great option for a smaller coffee maker that lets you brew efficiently for a group.

Brewing Style
This a drip-style coffee maker, known for being easy to set up and producing reliable flavor.

Taste
Makes a good tasting coffee that lacks the richness or depth of flavor of some other coffee makers.

Size
The collapsible nature of this coffee maker means it packs down small, great for travel. It’s not the lightest, but it’s a great compromise between coffee volume and coffee maker size.

Value
This is a great cheaper option that comes with some great technical features for use on the trail.
Pros
  • Easy to clean
  • Collapsible
  • Makes up to 12 cups of coffee
Cons
  • Flavor not as rich
  • Heavier

Handpresso Wild Hybrid

Handpresso Wild Hybrid
True to its name, this coffee maker is a bit of a wild card. It features a special pump action and is great for espresso lovers. While it’s not designed for the wilderness, it’s easy to use and is small enough to pack and transport.
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Convenience
This is an espresso maker that works through a manual pump action. Its design is different than many other models, but it’s still easy for first-time users to get the hang of things.

Efficiency
This is a good choice for a single-serving cup of coffee. The brewing process is more labor intensive, so don’t count on making coffee for a large group.

Brewing Style
Pump the device up to 16 bars of pressure by hand, add hot water and coffee, and the pressurized air will force the coffee through the water. And you’ve got a cup of espresso!

Taste
For espresso fanatics, this device will let you get your fix when you’re far from civilization. Don’t count on the best espresso you’ve ever had, but this will do the job.

Size
The Handpresso is designed for travelers, and is small enough to pack easily.

Value
A pricey option for the espresso fan who won’t settle for anything else.
Pros
  • Small and easy to pack
  • Makes specialty coffee (espresso)
Cons
  • More expensive
  • Single serving
  • Labor intensive

 

The Criteria We Used For Our Evaluation

We understand that not all products are created equal. That’s why we took several things into consideration before creating our list and recommending any of these portable coffee makers. These models have been tried and tested—and came out heads and tails above competitors.

Convenience

If you’ve ever struggled to put together a tent that felt more like rocket science, then you understand just how important hassle-free camping gear is. You shouldn’t have to spend more than a few minutes putting things together or getting things prepared when it comes to this type of equipment. This is why we only selected coffee makers that were easy to transport, simple to put together, and convenient to use. When it comes to any type of portable camping gear, the fewer parts the better. Not only does this save you time and energy, it also makes it easier to clean things up afterwards. Convenience is key when it comes to this type of product!

Efficiency

If you’ve ever desperately waited on an old school percolator to turn your grounds into a watery imitation of what you actually want, then you understand how important efficiency is. When you want your morning caffeine fix, you don’t want to wait for it. We looked at how quickly these coffee makers can produce a steaming cup of coffee. Obviously, we don’t want to sacrifice quality for efficiency— but we did find that there’s a happy medium. Believe it or not, you can get fantastic coffee fast when you choose the right portable coffee maker. All of these products have proven themselves in both efficiency and quality.

Brewing Style

Everyone has their own quirks and personal preferences when it comes to their coffee. Because of this, we looked at the portable coffee makers that use a variety of different brewing styles. This can change the strength, texture, and overall taste of your coffee. No matter what you prefer, there’s something on this list that can appeal to you.

Taste

Even the most efficient coffee maker is absolutely useless if the final product tastes terrible. Most of us have experienced coffee that was either too weak or way too strong. You may not be the type of person that can stomach the gritty feeling of grounds floating around in your cup of Joe. Or, you may not enjoy a cup of coffee that’s strong enough to upset your stomach. Taste goes a long way towards making your morning coffee enjoyable. Whether you’re a connoisseur of coffees, or just a regular drinker, you want a machine that can produce a quality product with little fuss. For the people that enjoy a higher end taste, we’ve also included several French press options. This is a well-known brewing style that’s famous for providing a fresh and rich taste.

Size

If you’re on a backpacking trip or even just trying to cram the last piece of camping equipment into a packed car, size does matter. When planning for a camping trip you’ll be looking for a coffee maker that is reasonably sized and easy to pack. With any of the options on this list, you won’t have to lug around an oversized appliance to keep your caffeine withdrawal at bay.

You also want to make sure that you take any coffee accessories into account when packing. If you’re trying to travel extremely light, sugar, creamer, and other add-ins may not be an option. You can also consider carrying only travel size portions of these products. Make sure you check the specifications of your chosen coffee maker, and you understand the types of coffee that you’ll need to take along. Arriving at your campsite with grounds that aren’t compatible with your coffee maker could be a huge disappointment for an avid caffeine junkie.

Value

When selecting a coffee maker, you’ll also have to think about the budget for your trip. There is a huge range of price options on this list, so you’ll be able to match your personal preferences with a coffee maker to suit your needs without breaking the bank.

 

Other Important Factors to Consider

What type of camping trips will you go on?

Are you a backpacker or a car camper? You’ll want to think about how you anticipate using your coffee maker when you select it, as its size may be prohibitive for ultralight backpacking trips. If you’re headed out with a packed car, you’ll be able to bring along one of the less compact coffee makers.

If you’re going solo in the woods or embarking on a longer trip, every ounce matters, and you’ll want to skip to the heavy options on the list. Some of these coffee makers are very lightweight and easy to pack up, so you’ll be able to get your coffee fix far out on the trail.

How large of a group will you travel with?

If you’re traveling with a larger group, odds are you’ll be accompanied by several other coffee lovers. Avoid creating tension within the group by planning to share your morning pick-me-up – take a look at options on this list that allow you to brew several cups of coffee at once. You’ll save time by making a larger batch at once, and you’ll be able to keep everyone happy and alert.

What is your personal taste preference?

Are you a coffee connoisseur, or in it for the caffeine buzz? If you’re very sensitive to the taste of your coffee, you’ll want to make sure to pick an option that wins on flavor. Pay attention to the french press options, which tend to do well in this department.

What type of equipment do you already have?

If you’re already a seasoned camper, you might have existing equipment that could be compatible with some of the coffee makers mentioned on this list. If you are already the proud owner of a JetBoil, you might not need to look further – you can simply purchase the french press extension from the JetBoil Java kit and be brewing coffee in no time. Some of the other options on the list using the drip coffee method are adaptable to different mugs and cups.

 

FAQs

Q: What is the difference between different brewing methods? Should I get a drip coffee maker, a percolator or a french press?

A: There are a variety of different brewing methods available, and the resulting coffee varies in taste, texture, and length of brewing time. To make drip coffee, also known as pour-over coffee, place a cloth, paper or reusable filter in a stand, and pour a steady stream of hot water over it. A reusable drip coffee stand (such as the GSI Collapsible Java Drip) is an excellent option for serious coffee drinkers who want to save on space.

French press coffee uses large coarse grounds, steeping them in a container with hot water before you filter the coffee with a “press” plunger. This option often produces great tasting coffee, but appliances can be bulkier, so this may not be the best option for backpacking. In a percolator, coffee grounds sit at the top of the appliance, and boiling water circulates through the grounds. While you can brew a lot of robust coffee at once, this is another method isn’t best for backpacking trips as it requires continuously boiling water throughout the brewing process and is another bulkier appliance. Finally, the AeroPress is an innovative brewing method that combines pour-over and french press techniques to produce a cup of coffee with excellent taste.  

Q: Do I need a special fuel canister to work my coffee maker?

A: The answer to this question depends on which brewing method you’ve selected. For some of the appliances on this list, you’ll need a specific fuel source to power your coffee brewing. In particular, the JetBoil Java Kit and the Coleman Propane coffee maker will require specific fuel canisters. In other cases, you’ll still need to heat water to brew your coffee, but you can do so using whatever method works best for you.  

Q: Why is there such a big price range between different coffee makers?

A: The coffee makers on this list vary widely in their size and complexity. You’ll want to think carefully about how you intend to use your coffee maker before you decide which option is best for you. The most expensive options use more involved brewing techniques and very durable materials. But if you need a small coffee maker for use in the backcountry, a more expensive choice won’t make you the best cup of coffee. Choose an option that fits best with your needs.

Sources

  1. Scott, How Do You Make Cowboy Coffee? , Brewing Guide, Sep 06, 2015
  2. Fresh Off the Grid, The Ultimate Guide to Camp Coffee, Outdoors Guide, Jul 09, 2017
  3. Kyle Nossaman, 10 Methods: Making Coffee In The Great Outdoors, Gear Review, Sep 28, 2015
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