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7 Best Coffee Makers for Camping and Backpacking

Birds are chirping, the morning fire is crackling, and you’re relaxing into your favorite camp chair with a freshly brewed cup of coffee. It’s difficult to imagine a more serene way to start a morning outside. Coffee isn’t only a way to shake the sleepies off, sharing a quality beverage in the morning lends itself to meaningful conversation, laughter, and endless possibilities for the rest of the day. If you haven’t already gotten a coffee maker strictly for camping, now is the time. These products are all designed specifically for outdoor use, with durable materials and intuitive packability.

What to Consider

When selecting a coffee-brewing method for camping, the most important factors are durability, weight, packability, and price. Because you’re likely to be transporting it in a car or with other gear, you want gear that is resistant to bumps and scratches. If you’re tight on space, or planning to take your java backpacking, weight and packability are extremely important considerations. Though instant coffee is also easy, something like the GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip ups your cup of coffee immensely. Finally, because this is a piece of gear that will likely be only used while camping, price is essential.

*When camping, remember to bring an extra waste bag to pack out your used coffee grounds.

How We Selected

Without delving into the insane amount of coffee cups I’ve drank while outside, I will simply say that I have tested every method there is for camp coffee. Whether it’s simple instant grounds or gourmet pour-over, starting my morning with coffee is my favorite camp routine. Of the various methods that exist to brew java, I narrowed it down to those that make the freshest coffee, with the easiest possible equipment. Of my favorite camp methods (french press, pour-over, percolator, and classic), I chose products using the highest quality and most durable materials. Finally, I scoured the reviews of all of these products to vet out any potential problems.

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1

Best French Press Coffee

GSI Outdoors Glacier Vacuum Java Press

GSI Outdoors
rei.com

$49.95

On cold mornings outside, enjoying a few cups of coffee that stays hot is a serious luxury. The GSI Outdoors Java Press uses a vacuum-insulated and double-walled stainless steel design to keep coffee hot, longer. Even if you’re the late sleeper of the group, you know you’ll wake up to coffee that’s still hot.

This French Press is also incredibly durable, and will last for years of summer road trips and picnics. At 33 ounces, it makes either two very large cups of coffee or three or four 8-ounce cups. Furthermore, the press plunger uses a silicone ring design to keep all grounds out of your fresh cup of joe.

  • Vacuum-insulation keeps coffee hot
  • Durable
  • Easy to use
  • Not suitable for large groups

2

Best for Backpacking

AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Press

The AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Press brews espresso and cold brew quickly, and weighs less than a pound. The entire system packs down into an 8-ounce container, which also doubles as a mug. Depending on the strength of espresso you prefer, you can brew one to three cups of hot coffee within a minute. Or, with cold water, you can make cold brew in about two minutes. 

Included in the kit are 350 micro-filters, which you can also buy separately. This coffee maker is ideal for backpackers and solo campers who prioritize lightweight, compact, and affordable gear.

  • Lightweight and packable
  • Affordable
  • Fast
  • Not suitable for large groups

3

Best Bang for Your Buck

OXO Outdoor Campgrounds French Press

Prefer fresh French Press coffee in the morning, but don’t want to bring your glass equipment from home? Enter the new OXO French Press specifically designed for camping and travel. The carafe is made with shatterproof Titan Renew, also using 50% recycled materials. Furthermore, a protective casing also ensures this French Press will survive the camping trip. 

The 32-ounce carafe makes three or four cups of coffee, and the soft nonslip handle is comfortable to use. This coffee maker is ideal for casual car camping where fresh coffee is a must, while still keeping affordability in mind.

  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Durable

4

Best for Big Groups

GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Steel 14-Cup Percolator

GSI Outdoors
rei.com

$59.95

Waking up the entire camp group to freshly percolated coffee is a surefire way to impress your friends and family. The GSI Outdoors 14-Cup Percolator works with any camp stove, or hung directly over a campfire. A glass knob allows you to adjust the strength of your coffee, and the stainless steel design resists corrosion. However, it may take a bit of practice to get the coffee to brew just right. 

Ideally, keeping the water temperature just below boiling brews the coffee without any bubbling over. Though it’s best to have an oven mitt nearby just in case, this percolator is designed to be handled right off the heat.

  • Great for large groups
  • Fairly lightweight

5

Best Standard Coffee Maker

Coleman Camping Coffee Maker

Coleman
amazon.com

$45.95

Prefer a simple cup of joe in the morning? The Coleman Camping Coffee Maker is just like the one you have plugged into your kitchen wall, with a few outdoors-specific features. Instead of using electricity, the steel base sits directly on your camping stove to boil water. It’s designed to fit on most traditional two- and three-burner camp stoves. The included glass carafe fills 10 cups of coffee, and the filter holder swings out and fits either eight- or 12-cup filters.

  • Easy to use and affordable
  • Great for big groups
  • Heavy and difficult to transport

6

Lightest and Most Packable

GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip

GSI Outdoors
rei.com

$10.95

Want to have the option for coffee anytime, anywhere? The GSI Outdoors Java Drip is a pour-over-style coffee maker that weighs less than half an ounce, costs just over $10, and easily fits anywhere. 

Legs on the side of the coffee maker clip to the side of your mug, and keep the filter out of the way of the mug. It is recommended to bring a filter in addition to the Java Drip, in order to ensure all grounds stay out of the coffee. This is an incredible option for backpackers, day-hikers, or campers who want the option to enjoy a quick cup of coffee on the go.

  • Weighs next to nothing
  • Doesn’t take up any space
  • Very cheap
  • Only suitable for one person
  • Grounds can seep through without filter

7

Fanciest Full-Java System

Eureka 12-Cup Camp Coffee Maker

Eureka!
amazon.com

$109.95

The Eureka Camp Coffee Maker includes a kettle, a carafe, a coffee scooper, filter holder, and lid all in one portable and packable system. Eureka uses a patented flux-ring technology in the kettle, which boils water twice as fast as comparable systems. 

Once the water is boiled, you use the pour-over filter to brew fresh coffee into the 12-cup carafe. The pot and carafe are both made with hard-anodized aluminum, which is BPA free and extremely durable. Furthermore, the filter used for pouring over coffee can double as a strainer for dinnertime pasta or rice.

  • Nests together for portability
  • Great for large groups

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