CAMPING & HIKING

The Best Camping Coffee Maker: The How to Guide for Caffeine Addicts

Best Camping Coffee Maker
Mark Foster
Written by Mark Foster

When you wake up in the morning, nothing else gets your day started than a hot cup of coffee. For most people, their morning cup of coffee is their meditation time. It’s the time where you get to enjoy the moment just before you rush into your hectic day.

That being said, whether you’re at home or in the great outdoors, you want your morning cup. But, if you’re camping or mountaineering, odds are there aren’t many cafes around you. So, what do you do? Well, fear not, because you can have your morning coffee anywhere you want.

Welcome to the world of coffee makers. If you were worried about the caffeine withdrawals, don’t be, because we’re going to give you the ins and outs of the best camping coffee maker.

The Basics of Coffee Makers

Choosing a coffee maker is serious business, as it’s going to be the thing that gives you a pick-me-up in the morning and prepares you for the day ahead. However, camping coffee makers are relatively simple in design, so don’t expect your camping coffee maker to look like your at-home coffee machine.

French Press Coffee Makers

But, you will need to ask yourself some questions before buying a camping coffee machine:

  • Are you looking for the best flavour or the lightest coffee machine?
  • Does it have to be easy to use or do you want some gadgets to it?
  • How do you like your coffee brewed?
  • Is it just for you or for multiple people?

By just answering these questions, you’ll be able to narrow down what coffee maker suits you the best. But there are some features that you’ll want in any camping coffee maker you decide to buy.

Features to Consider

Coffee makers aren’t all made the same, so it’s important to consider what you should be looking for. You may have to sacrifice a few of the functions that you’re familiar with in order to have the convenience of hot coffee on your camping mornings.

Ease of use

This really depends on your level of attention and enjoyment of having gadgets in your coffee maker. Some people want one that’s really easy to use and just gets the job done.

If you’re using it for activities other than camping, such as hiking or mountaineering, you want a coffee maker that’ll be easy to use and especially easy to clean. This will factor hugely on the type of coffee maker you choose, as some designs are more complex than others.

Camping Coffee Maker easy to use

For example, a java press is one of the easiest coffee makers to use, with their cones being easy to clean as well, as opposed to a french press which will require you to rinse it out after every use. However, because they’re designed for camping, no camping coffee maker is going to be overly complex in design and use.

Portability

You want a coffee maker that’ll be able to easily transport and will fit nice and snug in your backpack. Though weight is important, your ability to fit it into your backpack is even more important.

Some of the cones used are hard to pack inside your backpack, so most come with a clipping device, allowing your coffee maker to hang off of your backpack. Other coffee makers can be taken apart into various pieces, however, if you’re not organized you can lose one, destroying your hopes for a morning coffee.

Weight

If you’re hiking through the woods and climbing mountains, you don’t want to be weighed down. Especially with your coffee maker. Your coffee maker is supposed to give you a pick-me-up, not bring you down.

Portable Coffee maker

Coffee makers can weigh up to 11 oz / 300 grams, which may not look like a lot, but add that to your already full backpack and you’re probably wishing you opted for something a little lighter. Like all camping gear and equipment, the golden rule is “the lighter the better.”

Group Camping

If you’re going on a camping or hiking trip with other people, you’ll want to think about getting a coffee maker that’ll be able to brew more than one cup. This will mean that your coffee maker will end up weighing more, but it may be well worth it.

Types of Camping Coffee Makers

Percolators

If you’re old school, then you totally know what a percolator is. It’s basically a metal pot with a net inside which you fill with the grinds. Once the water boils, the water will bubble up to the grinds and make coffee.

Percolators

It takes a couple minutes to brew and always provides a strong flavor. This is definitely a classic way to brew your coffee while camping.

Gas Grill

Gas Grill coffee makers are basically pots, similar to the ones in your kitchen, except in order to work them, they can only be powered via gas grill or fuel canisters. So, when you brew coffee, you’ll end up with a pot of coffee. These are definitely bulky and pricey.

However, if you’re going hiking or camping with a group of people then this is the way to go. They’re the closest thing you’ll get to your at-home coffee machine. Bottom line: not ideal if you’re hiking solo.

French Press

French presses are so simple to use, however, you’ll need to be able to clean them. You can even have a french press at home, so it’s extremely versatile. Though it looks complicated, it’s not. You simply fill the grinds in the bottom of the press, add water and then leave it to sit.

French Press

After you wait a couple minutes, you simply pour it out and ta-da! Coffee! But that being said, make sure you’re able to clean it thoroughly.

Espresso Maker

Espresso makers are tiny metal brewers. If you’re not a big coffee drinker but want a small shot of caffeine, this is a great option. It’ll give you the highest concentration of caffeine and the brewer itself is highly portable and lightweight, though it’s slightly more complex than an instant or regular brewer.

Pour-over style drip

You’ll get the flavour of your coffee without having to put in too much time and effort making it. This style is ideal for people who don’t really fuss around with their coffee, yet it is also ideal for individuals who are known as coffee snobs.

Pour-over style drip

It’s great because you can develop your own method of making your coffee with the pour-over style drip. It will require a cone and filter, both of which are easily portable. Plus, if you forget to bring a filter, just use a paper towel – it’ll work just as well.

Instant

Instant is the worst option of you’re wanting a flavorful cup of coffee. However, if you want something that’s super lightweight, well, then you’ll have to forfeit the taste. You don’t actually need a coffee maker for instant coffee, as it comes in individual packets. If you’re hiking, this is probably the best option when considering weight and portability.

Now that you know about the features and types of coffee makers, it’s time to take action and see the best coffee makers that are currently on the market.

Review of the Top Products for 2017

Jetboil Flash

Jetboil Flash

Weight: 25.6 oz / 1.6 lbs

Size: one size

Best Use: outdoor activities

Description: The Jetboil Flash Java kit is a great option if you’re looking for an all-in-one coffee maker. It comes not only with a coffee maker but also an adjustable stainless steel burner, 1-liter cooking cup and an insulating drink-through cup.

Basically, everything you need for a hot cup of coffee. The cooking cup is made of FluxRing and is also insulated, ensuring that your coffee stays warm.

The stainless steel burner has a tripod base for extra stability while cooking and also a push-button igniter.

Another great feature is the color-change heat indicator that’ll tell you when your coffee is at its perfect temperature.

Though it’s not a french press, it does have the french press plunger, that’ll make your coffee more intense with flavor. An overall ideal option if you want a coffee maker that is no-fuss and comes with everything you need.

Related: Jetboil is pretty well-known for their camping coffee makers, so if you’re looking for a coffee maker that’s a french press, you can always check out Jetboil Javastein French Press.

Wild Hybrid Espresso Maker

Wild Hybrid Espresso maker

Weight: 17.6 oz / 1.1 lbs

Size: 8.5 x 4 x 2.75 inches

Best Use: outdoor activities

Description: Not everyone can drink a full cup of coffee. Some of us just want to shoot back an espresso and get the show on the road. Can you blame them? The Wild Hybrid Espresso maker is a great option for those espresso lovers out there.

First of all, the design is great. It’s compact and made of aluminium so it’ll be able to take some rough treatment. It’s so easy to maintain and basically, there’s no clean up. It’s able to brew with 16 bar pressure and will be able to securely fit into any backpack.

This model also works with both loose espresso grounds and E.S.E. pods, so you have options. You’ll get a strong, clean shot of espresso with this little guy and you’ll be able to take it everywhere with you.

Related: In comparison, there’s not really another espresso maker out there that does the same job as the Wild Hybrid.

GSI Outdoors

GSI Outdoors Java Drip Coffee Maker

Weight: 16 oz / 1 lb

Size: one size

Best Use: outdoor activities

Description: The GSI Outdoor coffee maker is able to hold 30 ounces of your favorite coffee, so it’s great if you’re hiking with people. It’s a drip coffee system that’s really easy to use and easily portable.

It comes with a silicone drip cone that’ll lock onto the lid while your coffee is brewing. The silicone drip cone sits upright and prevents as spills from occurring.

Many people complain about this type of coffee maker because it’s somewhat bulky and awkward, however the silicone lid collapses and fits into any backpack, making it ideal for those needing extra space.

The cup is double-walled, coming with an insulated lid and an insulated EVA sleeve that’ll keep your drinks room temperature. The drip cone also comes with an easy-to-clean reusable cloth filter and also is fits with any standard paper coffee filter.

So, if you’re a fan of this type of coffee maker, but don’t want the added bulk, this is a great option.

Related: GSI Outdoors make a tonne of other coffee makers, so you won’t run out of options. The GSI Outdoors Ultralight is a drip coffee maker that’s really simplistic and lightweight.

Farberware Classic

Farberware Classic coffee

Weight: 36 oz / 2.25 lbs

Size: 8.7 x 9.2 x 7 inches

Best Use: outdoor activities

Description: If you’re old school and want to make your coffee the old fashion way, well, you’ll need a percolator.

Just like this one! It’s a heavy-duty stainless steel percolator with a mirror finish, giving it a modern touch to a classic camping piece.

It’s sturdy and highly durable. The plastic knob will alert you when it starts brewing. Farberware Classic is easy to clean since it comes with a permanent filter basket, so you won’t need to use paper filters.

It has a non-reactive interior, so your coffee won’t absorb any unpleasant tastes.

What’s great about this coffee maker is that you’ll be able to put it in the dishwasher without having to worry about destroying it. Percolators are fairly popular because they’re known for brewing strong and rich coffee, which is exactly what you want to start your morning. It’ll be able to brew 8 cups of coffee, so this is ideal for group hikers or campers. In addition, it comes with a quality assurance guarantee.

Related: The Presto coffee maker is very similar to the Farberware Classic, however, is able to brew 12 cups rather than 8. So, if you have an even bigger group with you, then this one may be a better option.

Aeropress Coffee

Aeropress Coffee

Weight: 6.4 oz / 0.4 lbs

Size: 4.8 x 4.5 x 11.8 inches

Best Used: outdoor activities

Description: Aeropress prides themselves as being one of the best coffee makers on the market. Well, we’re not disagreeing with them.

The Aeropress coffee and espresso maker is able to brew the smoothest coffee and espresso by using gentle air pressure bring out the flavors from the grinds while lowering the acidity.

The micro filter will prevent any grinds from getting into your cup of coffee, which is what will create the smooth and rich taste. In addition, it’s also extremely quick.

So, this is ideal if you’re looking for a machine that won’t waste your morning. Actually, you’ll be able to press your coffee in 20 seconds. Pretty impressive.

Related: The Aeropress is patented, so you won’t be able to find a coffee maker quite like this one.

GSI Mini

GSI Mini

Weight: 7 oz / 0.43 lbs

Size: n/a

Best Use: outdoor activities

Description: The GSI Mini is so unique in design, compared to other standard coffee makers. Its glacier stainless steel build makes it extremely durable and reliable for brewing. It’s very easy to use, with it being able to brew one double espresso shot in 90 seconds.

By being able to brew an espresso at this speed, this isn’t bad for groups. You simply add your water and grind into the mini, and place your cup under the spout. It’s also very lightweight, so you’ll be able to pack it easily in your backpack and take it along with you on your journey.

Related: There is no espresso maker that is similar in design to the GSI Mini. It’s highly unique.

Coffeeboxx

Oxx Inc OXX Coffee Boxx Green

Weight: 224 oz / 14 lbs

Size: 11.8 x 11.9 x 10.5 inches

Best Use: outdoor activities

Description: Let’s get this out of the way, it weighs 14 lbs. Coffeeboxx is definitely not ideal if you’re looking for something lightweight or solo trips. However, if you’re camping with a group of people, this is a life saver.

It’s modern yet tough in design, coming with a rubberized handle and a 3ft retractable cord.

You’ll be able to put this coffee maker anywhere, and it’ll be able to brew you a strong cup of joe. It comes with 2 4L spill proof water tanks and a separate on-demand hot water line.

Basically, all you have to do is stick your cup under the spout and let it do the rest. Again, not great if you’ll be hiking and want something lightweight, however, if you have the space to put it and have electricity, then why not use the Coffeeboxx?

Related: There are coffee makers such as the Keurig, however the Coffeeboxx is designed for the outdoors. At home coffee makers will not have the 3ft retractable cord or the no spill water tanks that this coffee maker provides.

Hario Driper V60

Hario Driper V60

Weight:  8.6 oz / 0.53 lbs

Size: 0.2 x 0.2 x 0.2 inches

Best Use: outdoor activities

Description: The Hario Dripper is a drip system coffee maker that’s made of heatproof glassware with high heat retention. It’s eloquent and simplistic in design and manufactured from natural components.You’ll be able to brew coffee without having to worry about grinds getting into your cup.

It needs a paper filter and you simply place the grind inside the filter and slowly pour the hot water on top. The drip system will bring out the flavors of the grinds and leave you with a strong cup of coffee.

Though, if you’re looking for something that’ll be easily compactable, you may have some problems with the glass filter. However, it’s lightweight, so you won’t have to worry about it weighing you down.

Related: Glowcoast makes a great drip system coffee maker that’ll make up to 4 cups of coffee. It’s made of 100% stainless steel and is highly durable.

Conclusion

Now that you know all about the types of camping coffee makers, the features to look out for and the top eight camping coffee makers, you should have no problem finding the right one for you. Check out the coffee makers we reviewed above and see which one suits you the best.

Choose your camping coffee maker

Make sure to remember what features you need and that way you’ll be able to narrow down your search. And if you’ve had a good experience with any of these coffee makers or others we haven’t included in this list, please feel free to leave your comments with us in the section down below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Foster
Mark Foster

Mark Foster loves to push his limits when it comes to survival in the wilderness. He might go for a 30-days adventure without any food or equipment except for a survival kit and a knife. We should mention that his survival kit has 122 items in it, so he know what he is doing. Mark is working on his book to share with the world all his experience gained during those brave adventures.

  • Kendra Larson

    Farberware percolator is the best I’ve ever had. Maybe it takes longer than the average coffee maker, but the end result is worth it. I like the fact that the bottom is bigger, and the handle is curved enough that you don’t burn yourself from the heat. Plus it’s beautiful on the outside 🙂

  • Mark Foster

    I love to drink coffee – in the house or outdoors! There’s nothing like waking up to a cup of freshly made coffee. That’s why I commend you on your choice of the Farberware percolator. This old-school model is actually my favorite. It fits the camp so well and reminds me of camping trips with my dad when i was still a kid.

  • Joe McGowan

    Though I was pretty skeptical of the Aeropress, believing it to be ‘too good to be true’, I was surprised to find that it does indeed live up to it’s hype! I really cannot recommend this product enough. After a bit of research I’ve become aware of the inverted method and I’ve found that this is the optimal method to achieve delicious, smooth coffee at home even from the cheapest of coffee beans. Not yet had the chance to use this in the great outdoors so maybe someone could offer up their own experience of this?

  • Mark Foster

    I’ve tested the Aeropress and it’s no hype. The product does as it says it will do. Try it out in your morning breakfast and see how fast it can press your drink – 20 seconds, yup I was impressed. It does an excellent job inside my home, and it will do a great job during camping, too.

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