Best camping coffee maker: kickstart your outdoor adventures with a tasty brew€
No matter how much you love camping, the morning never quite feels complete without the delicious scent of coffee filling the air and that first sip that puts you in the best possible frame of mind for the day ahead. Though camping is all about sacrificing some of the small luxuries in life and enjoying a simpler existence for a few nights, with the best camping coffee makers, there’s honestly no reason to try to hit the trail without your morning coffee ritual.
The best camping coffee makers pack down small to fit in your storage bin or backpack, are easy to use and clean, and most importantly serve up a consistently delicious cup of coffee every time. Read on to discover what to look for in your camping coffee maker and to select one that works best for your adventures, whether you like to glamp in comfort or prefer the minimalist approach of backpacking.
We’ve spent hours testing the best camping coffee makers around to find the very top ones on the market, whether you prefer a slow drip or a quick jolt of espresso. From versatile models ideal for glamping and other travel to lightweight, portable drippers that you can use with your camping mug, we’ve picked out the best for every scenario.
The best camping coffee makers range from simple to versatile but they are all easy to use and guarantee great coffee every time. Pair these with one of the best camping stoves and one of our favorite camping breakfast ideas and you’re sure to bring your mornings in the wild to a whole new level.
How we tested the best camping coffee makers
These coffee makers were tested by people who are serious about their coffee on car camping and backpacking trips in Scotland and California during a variety of weather conditions.
The best camping coffee maker for all-round performance
The AeroPress Coffee Maker is widely regarded as one of the best camping coffee makers around thanks to consistently delicious coffee, but there are other features that make it standout. At its essence, this coffee maker is part-pour over and part-press, with three main components: a chamber that sits on top of your coffee cup, a filter cap that screws into it and a plunger.
When you’re ready for a pick-me-up, simply place a paper filter into the filter cap, screw it on the chamber and place it on top of your camping coffee cup. Add coffee and water and gently press the plunger down and you’ll be wrapping your hands around a steaming cup of joe in 20 seconds. What’s brilliant about this device is that you can modify your approach for American, espresso, latte style and even makes a fine cold brew. If you’re going with espresso, you can brew about three shots at a time.
When you’re finished with your AeroPress, you just pop the grounds out with the paper filter all in one go and a quick rinse or wipe will have it ready to use again tomorrow. You’ll love this coffee maker for car camping and road trips and you’re likely to even use it at home in place of your regular press to save on scraping coffee grounds into the trash.
The best camping coffee maker for espresso diehards
The folks at GSI Outdoors have identified a problem for outdoors lovers – that missing jolt of java to start the day – and put all their energy into solving it with the MiniEspresso Set. This compact, stainless steel set comes with three simple components (base, filter and funnel) which easily screw together, plus an adorable little espresso cup, and it all works quite like a Moka Pot. It all comes neatly packed in its own carrying case that keeps it protected in transit and makes it extremely packable.
When you’re ready for a morning buzz, simply add a predetermined amount of coffee grounds and water, place the whole set up on your camping stove or grill, then sit back in your camping chair and watch it brew in under three minutes. You can easily pack this for car camping and bikepacking as it only adds 11 ounces to your pack. This espresso set makes a brilliant gift for any outdoorsy coffee lovers in your life and you can even use it on some stove tops at home.
The best camping coffee maker for lightweight versatility
The Aeropress GO takes all the advantages of its larger predecessor and packs them into a compact package that’s around the size of a travel mug and can be taken on the road, even fitting in a backpack for those unwilling to sacrifice coffee for trail time. Like the larger model, this coffee maker is part-pour over and part-press, with three main components: a chamber that sits on top of your coffee cup, a filter cap that screws into it and a plunger. It comes with some extras like a coffee scoop, stirrer and mug, but you can easily leave those at home if you’re traveling light and just use your favorite camping mug.
This handy device brews American and latte style coffee and even a fine cup of cold brew, and none of it is bitter-tasting or acidic. You’ll love this coffee maker for backpacking, car camping and any time you have to travel somewhere that great coffee isn’t guaranteed.
The best camping coffee maker for backpackers
Hario’s V60 coffee dripper is the preferred pour over used by baristas around the world due it’s reliably great coffee, and the plastic version is light enough that you can reasonably take it backpacking as well as car camping. The concept is simple: place the dripper on top of your coffee mug, line it with a paper filter, add coffee and pour hot water in a spiral motion.
If you’re not a barista, chances are you’ll need a few dress rehearsal’s to perfect your coffee to water ratio as well as your technique, but the dripper comes with a manual and Hario provides some instructional content on their website too. This dripper fits on any size of mug and makes one cup of coffee, but it comes in bigger models for when you’re brewing for a whole crew. This dripper can easily be stashed in your backpack and it’s an extremely low cost and convenient solution to enjoying good coffee at camp.
The best camping coffee maker for road trips
The GSI Outdoors Microlite Java Press prizes function and efficiency with a french press/travel mug hybrid that lets you hit the road as soon as you’ve pushed the plunger and keeps your coffee warm for hours. This simple design features a BPA-free plastic inner chamber and filter that fits inside the stainless steel mug. Just add coffee and hot water to the mug, screw the lid onto the chamber and sit it at the water line for four minutes, then gently press down. No need to pour your coffee into a separate cup – just sip directly.
The vacuum-insulated design keeps your coffee warm for about three hours which is great because it can hold up to 14oz at a time. If you’re packing up and heading out on the road, it fits easily in your cup holder and you can enjoy it on the drive. If you’re at camp, its streamlined design is extremely packable, easy to use on uneven ground can easily make a couple of cups at a time. The screw on lid creates a really effective spill-free design so you don’t have to worry about getting coffee all over your gear, and while it’s a little heavy for backpacking, a hand carrying strap means you can clip it to your backpack.
|Camping coffee maker||Price||Weight||Brew capacity||Best use|
|Aeropress coffee maker||$39.95 (US) / €36.99 (UK)||13oz / 368g||10oz||Car camping, glamping, road trips, home use|
|GSI Outdoors MiniEspresso Set 1 Cup||$39.95 (US) / €47.50 (UK)||11oz / 311g||2.5oz||Car camping, glamping, bikepacking, road trips, home use|
|AeroPress GO travel coffee maker||$8.50 (US) / €39.95 (UK)||11.5oz / 326g||8oz||Backpacking, car camping, glamping, travel|
|Hario V60 Plastic Coffee Dripper||$8.50 (US) / €6.50 (UK)||2.95oz / 83.6g||1 cup||Backpacking, car camping, glamping, travel|
|GSI Outdoors Microlite Java Press||$34.95 (US) / €36.95 (UK)||12.5oz / 353g||14.3oz||Car camping, glamping, road trips, commuting|
What to look for in the best camping coffee makers
Needless to say, a good cup of coffee is a very subjective experience and you’ll want to put some thought into what you really want out of your camping coffee maker. What you should never do is sacrifice the quality of the coffee, but fortunately camping coffee makers have come a long way. It’s a good idea to start with the type of coffee you love – espresso, cold brew or pour over – and then consider what type of camping you’ll be doing.
Naturally, if you’re going backpacking you’re going to want a camping coffee brand that’s as packable and lightweight as possible, and while you may have to sacrifice a few frills, you can still ensure a great cup for coffee. However, if you’re more a fan of car camping or glamping, you can probably afford the extra weight and splurge on something versatile and a little more high tech. The following are a few areas you’ll want to consider when choosing the best camping coffee maker for you.
You can also check out our guide to making coffee while camping.
We all have different ideas about what makes a good cup of coffee, but make sure yours brews the type of coffee you like and consider one that uses a predetermined amount of water and coffee so that you know you can depend on getting the same quality of coffee every time. If yours doesn’t come with pre-set measurements, make sure you experiment with it at home before you head to camp to figure out your perfect recipe.
Ease of use
A great camping coffee maker is easy to use and doesn’t require you to carry the user manual on every trip. Not only should it be easy to operate, but you want one with easy clean up too – requiring nothing more than a quick rinse or wipe.
Some camping coffee makers are more intricate than others, and when there are small parts, you want to make sure yours is robust. Look for coffee makers made using stainless steel or hard plastic and make sure to pack them away correctly. Some coffee makers even come with their own protective carrying case.
Naturally, you don’t want your best camping coffee maker to take up too much space on your trip and fortunately they’re generally pretty packable. For backpacking adventures, look for something extremely lightweight that might even clip onto the outside of your backpack. For car camping, look for one that packs up inside itself or a carrying case so you can easily fit it in your storage bin and don’t lose track of smaller parts in transit.
Another thing to consider is how much coffee you want in the morning. If you’re happy with a single shot of espresso, you can definitely size down, but if you like a few shots or you’re brewing for a group, you’ll need one meant for larger quantities, or one that cools off quickly so it can be handled again straight away.
The question of value somewhat depends on how much you value your coffee in the first place, but you might be willing to pay more for a coffee maker that offers multiple functions or makes specialty coffee like espresso. Another thing to consider is whether your coffee maker requires paper filters – a coffee maker that seems really affordable might actually become more expensive over time if you’re buying paper filters every year.