CAMPING & HIKING

Best Camping Coffee Maker: Bringing Your Brew Along

Best camping coffee maker
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

There is nothing quite like camping out under the stars in the deep woods or a gorgeous valley, and then waking up with the sunrise. The only way to heighten this experience is to watch the sunrise over a peak with a warm cup of delicious coffee in your hands.

Most campers and backpackers will attest the importance of bringing along a camp coffee maker on your trip that allows you a good cup of coffee in the morning.

Not only will the caffeine perk you up after a night of tent sleeping, but it warms you up inside out so you can quickly change and pack in the cold before you start your adventure for the day.

If you are anything like me, you want to attempt to bypass the little packages of dissolvable instant coffee, and actually enjoy your first cup of the day. In this article, we will cover how to select a coffee brewer to fit your preferences, and give you a few options of what we think are the best camping coffee makers on the market now.

Before diving into buying one of your own, first assess what it is that you are using your coffee maker for, is it a fun weekend camping trip with friends and family? Or are you trekking up the alpines with all of your ultralight gear?

Coffee maker

Your trip determines what device you are taking with you to the great outdoors. Don’t worry, in this review we will show you that you don’t necessarily need to deal with yucky coffee if you are backpacking, nor do you need the most expensive product on the market to wow your friends.

A good brew is no longer limited to cozy coffee shops or your own in home espresso maker.

What Should I Look Be on the Look Out for?

Coffee enthusiasts are everywhere, even in the deep of an extensive backpacking trip you can still spot a great coffee lover based on the equipment and grinds they bring. If you are not quite up to speed with the ever developing brewing methods, no worries!

Before we go over the coffee makers themselves, we will cover brewing methods and picking your favorite pot based on how much coffee it yields.

Aeropress coffee maker in action

Useful tip: If you are wondering the most efficient way to pack your grinds so that you aren’t drinking stale coffee, we have a tip for that too! It seems a bit inefficient, and not the best use of your backpacking space to be carrying around a grinder to get the ultimate grinding taste.

Ditch the whole bag and measure out how much you are going to need on your trip, which is dependent on which method you choose, then grab an airtight bag for storage.

Make sure to double bag your coffee method, many of us know that bags have a tendency to rip after a couple of days of being jostled around.

Brewing Methods

It sometimes feels like there are a million ways to make coffee, and those options are not limited anymore to just at home or café shops. Now there is equipment both light weight and small to bring with you that offers you the same variety you have at home.

So how do you pick between the different methods? Below you will find a table that goes through a few of the different methods and the type of brew they create.

Brewing MethodHow it’s madeOutcome
French PressHot water steeps the coffee grinds and then is pushed down with a filter to separate out the grinds.The longer you leave it, the stronger the coffee, rich and not too bitter in taste.
Percolator In this method, the water is boiled underneath the grinds and then bubbles up into the final chamber.Can yield more than one cup, and has the same caffeine strength as espresso.
Aero PressSimilar to a French press, but uses air pressure to push water through the grounds and directly into your cup!Espresso like coffee, very dark and strong.
DripYou can achieve drip through a one cup filter, just boil water prior and pour it over.Weaker coffee, but tastes more like an at home electric drip coffee maker would yield.
Cowboy CoffeeAll you need is a pot, some coffee grinds, and fire! The idea is that the coffee grounds will sit on the bottom and steep into your boiling water.Gritty and dark.

Counting Cups

If you and your seven best friends are all going out for a big party weekend while camping your biggest concern may not be light weight, but how much coffee you can get at once. No one likes being the last guy in line after a long night of passing bourbon and sharing stories.

Making coffee in the wild

If this is what you are looking for, pay close attention to the cup yields on any coffee making device you buy. If you are buying single use coffee filter devices that sit on top of your cup and pour through, keep in mind that they take a while to drip through, and that is just for one cup!

If you are trekking solo on a trail, then perhaps this is the best and lightest weight method for you, in this case, you are looking for a brewing method that yields 1-2 cups, is easily storable, and perhaps quick to brew.

Buy The Best

It’s time to stir those kindles or click on the old gas stove because we are going to be brewing a delicious cup of joe!

Before you hit the stores to find the right coffee maker for your camping or backpacking adventure, check out some of these high-quality camping coffee makers that we’ve reviewed just for you!

AeroPress Coffee Maker

AeroPress Coffee Maker

Weight: 6.4 oz.

Dimensions: 4.8 x 4.5 x 11.8 inches

Price: $29.95

Specific Features: Our first coffee maker features a micro filter and is both BPA and phthalate free, making it safe to use.

Best Use: Camping Trips, Backpacking, and Everyday use

Description: AeroPress has two options for cups, it can make 1 to 4 cups of coffee or an espresso, just enough to fill a mug and in it’s potentially best feature, it only takes a minute to make your coffee!

This coffee style requires paper fillers, but reviewers have noted that they can reuse their filters up to 3 times before noticing a loss of taste. Also, if you are backpacking, you will be pleased to hear that it is a fast and easy clean, using water and then it’s own air pump to dry.

Make sure you bring a sturdy cup to pump this into as a flimsy one will break under the pump.

If you are not interested in this brewing method because of the burden of paper filters, don’t fret too much, this company made a metal filter that can go in as a more permanent fixture.

Note that some users of this AeroPress complain that it does not make a traditional espresso, as some of the oils are lost in the filtration process.

This filtration does mean that you have a coffee free of any grit, which to some is an added bonus. Use water heated to 175 degrees F, and enjoy your brew after only a minute.

Related: The MESH: Premium Filter, Aerobie AeroPress Replacement Filters

Coleman Camping Coffee Maker

Coleman Camping Coffee Maker

Weight: 1.06 oz.

Dimensions: 8.5 x 11 x 14 in

Price: $30-60

Specific Features: This brew set up features a model meant to be set up over a camp stove for a drip-brewed coffee, just like the one at home! Coleman Camping Coffee Maker has a steel base and a large glass carafe that holds up to 10 cups of coffee at a time.

It also has a pause and serve feature, and Coleman offers a 1-year warranty on its product.

Best Use: Car Camping

Description: This little contraption is built to work just like your Mr. Coffee at home, and looks just like it as well! You place the device over a 2 or 3 burner stove and brew just like a pot of coffee, making up to 10 cups of coffee in a little Coleman coffee pot.

If you are worried about losing an amenity while camping, or going with a large group of people, this might just be the coffee maker for you. However, we wouldn’t suggest bringing this pot too far out into the wilderness, the glass carafe that holds your coffee has been tested and it is pretty easy to break.

The water source to the unit cannot be removed without a tool, so dumping out water for a cleaning process can be a bit difficult. Finally, some have noted that the filter basket can be a bit difficult to work with.

All in all, this little pot will brew you up a cup of coffee just like at home, but it will cost you a bit more money and takes a little longer to brew the full pot. That being said it has a stop and serve button if you and your friends really need that first cup.

Related: Coleman QuikPot Propane Coffeemaker

KONA French Press

KONA French Press

Weight: 1.2 lbs

Dimensions: 10.1 x 6 x 5.4 inches

Price: $23.97

Specific Features:  Our first French Press is a portable coffee maker with a protective design around the outside of the glass, to further prevent chips and cracks they have designed the outer shell of the container to be insulated, creating an effective way to keep their product from bursting.

It is both dishwashers safe and easy to clean.  To resist thermal shock, KONA uses borosilicate glass and is attractive to the eye.

Best Use: Camping and daily use

Description: KONA French Press holds about 34 oz of coffee, can prepare a big 3 cups, or 3.5 regular cups of coffee, and is a best seller. What you will love about using a French press is that your cups of coffee will be rich and dark.

Also, it is user taste friendly, meaning that you can determine how dark you want your coffee based on how long you let it sit for.

Simply add coffee, add water, and press down. If you buy this French press make sure to invest in some coarse ground coffee and be aware that while the filter is of high quality you will still get a few grinds through the screen.

The French press is easy to use and easy to clean, with a modern plastic shell that makes it great in a camping picture. It’s a bit bulky to bring on a backpacking trip but is enjoyable to have for camping and even at the home or at the office.

Bodum Insulated Stainless-Steel French Press

Bodum Insulated Stainless-Steel French Press

Weight: 14.4 oz

Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.5 x 9.1 inches

Price: $23.95

Specific Features:  This little container holds approximately 15 ounces of coffee, has a vacuum-sealed stainless steel double wall, and a no-slip grip. On top of those features, the Bodum has a spill resistant lid with a built in plunger so none of your coffee escapes.

Best Use: Camping, hiking, backpacking, and travel

Description: At only 15 ounces, this Bodum Insulated Stainless-Steel French Press is perfect for a single serve coffee on the go. Its walls ensure that your beverage stays hot for several hours, making this perfect if you are a slow sipper or want to savor the rich coffee this container makes.

If you don’t want your coffee getting too strong and can’t drink two cups right away, invest in a second mug to pour the coffee into, or share with a friend! This two in one portable French press maker is a customer favorite and provides on the go coffee for mornings when you have to hustle up the next trail.

This thermos does have a pretty wide margin for user error, if the incorrect amount of coffee is put in or the water level is too high, then costumers complain the grinds easily slip into the mug and makes it an unenjoyable cup.

Related: Bodum Insulated Plastic Travel French Press

GROSCHE Madrid French Press

GROSCHE Madrid French Press

Weight: 1.6 lbs

Dimensions: 4 x 8 x 10 inches  

Price: $36.99

Specific Features:  This GROSCHE Madrid French Press features German Schott- Duran borosilicate glass carafe, meaning that it is extremely durable and less likely to crack after daily use. On top of that, it features a dual filter system and a year warranty.

Best Use: Camping and traveling

Description: This French press will serve you eight cups of coffee, making it the ideal product to have on large outings. One of the best features of this press is its dual filtration system, which eradicates the problem of a grind rode brew.

Using coarse grinds, this French press makes a smooth coffee and has an easy clean up. While it isn’t covered with a protective plastic surface around the carafe, the glass used to make this pot is extremely thick, meaning it is more durable than some of the other products.

Sturdy and aesthetically pleasing this is a great French Press to bring along on a camping trip, but even though the glass is thick, be careful packing it down too far.

SterlingPro French Coffee Press

SterlingPro French Coffee Press

Weight: 5.5 ounces

Dimensions: 6.2 x 5.5 x 9.4 inches

Price: $25

Specific Features: Makes up to 8 cups of coffee in a heat-resistant borosilicate glass, also has a double screen filtration system, and features a fully stainless steel screen, with two extras just in case.

Best Use: Camping and travel

Description: What customers love most about the SterlingPro is its double screen feature, which really keeps the grinds from floating into your coffee. It produces a nice strong brew, and the company says that it will make about 8 cups of coffee per use.

Some reviewers say that on average they are pulling 4 average to large cups out of the French press.  While it is also not protected with plastic exterior it has decently sturdy glass and is relatively easy to wash.

That being said, make sure to dry this French press as soon as you can, all the metal work is nice to look at, but rusts if not dried appropriately.

The filters on this press will cost you about $25 to replace, but you are given two extras at the start. Users note that if you want to use the filter for as long as possible, make sure that you are washing it right away to keep it in good condition.

The Original Bialetti Moka Express

The Original Bialetti Moka Express

Weight: 1.1 lbs

Dimensions: 4 x 5 x 6 inches

Price: $24.28

Specific Features:  The tiny espresso maker produces approximately 3 cups of coffee, features a patented safety valve and is easy to disassemble and clean. It is made of high quality polished aluminum and comes in different sizes from 1 to 12 cups.

Best Use: Camping, traveling, and backpacking

Description: While a little heavy because of the aluminum, this Original Bialetti Moka Express is easy to pack up and store away as it dissembles smaller.

Customers love the incredibly smooth and dark brew that the pot yields, and use it as both an espresso maker and strong coffee maker, depending on the tip of bean and grind you use. Just be careful to not overheat the machine, as it can burn the product or melt the handle.

The only difficulty to this cup of coffee is you have to use it on a relatively small but consist flame for a faster brew. That being said you can have the absolute best espresso while in the wilderness, and experience the lovely smell of a freshly brewed espresso as it is highly aromatic.

Pour Over Coffee Maker

Pour Over Coffee Maker - Great Coffee Made Simple

Weight: 14.4 ounces

Dimensions: 6.8 x 5.6 x 5.5 inches

Price: $25

Specific Features: Enjoy your cup of coffee without worrying over disposing of filters, this device uses a reusable steel filter. Pour Over Coffee Maker features a glass carafe with a metal filter cone and a handle for easy pouring.

Best Use: Camping and travel

Description: There are some mixed reviews when it comes to how much coffee can be brewed in this alternative drip coffee machine. The company advertises 3 cups of coffee, but users say that it will overflow quickly if you put in the full 20 ounces, and is best for 2 average to large cups of coffee.

That being said, users like the bright taste produced by this device and they enjoy how fast it is to clean. While you can take this pot of coffee camping, note that the glass on it is pretty thin and it should be handled with care. All this being said if the bane of your existence is grinds in your coffee, then the fine mesh lining on the inside will make you happy!

Smell that Delicious Brew

Remember, just because you are roughing it outdoors, doesn’t mean you have to settle for nose curling instant coffee.

Choose your Camping coffee maker

Sometimes after a long week of cold easy prep meals, or plain mush consumed on the side your trail, a hot cup of coffee in the morning can seem like a godsend. We hope you have enjoyed our list of coffee makers, but if we missed the ultimate brewing gear, let us know in the comments below!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.

  • Marvin Gomez

    Yes! Mornings wouldn’t be complete without coffee so I always make sure that there’s always coffee available whenever I go camping. I grind my coffee to a french press the night before I go camping. I usually drink 350mL of coffee and my cup is 650mL so I still plenty of space for the filter to sit about the water level.

    • Dennis Owens

      Absolutely! Having a hot cup of coffee will definitely perk you up as you rise to a great outdoor mornings with the warm ways of the sun. When selecting the camping coffee maker, it would be better to bring the larger option – because sometimes a cup is not enough!

  • Daniel Hardwick

    I purchased the Coleman Camping coffee maker back in 2014 for a 3-month long RV camping trip. I’m one of those unfortunate people who can barely function in the morning, without at least 3 cups of coffee in my system. However, I’ve never been the biggest fan of french presses or percolators and since most campsites won’t allow you to power up your RV generator before 8am, we needed an alternative solution. The Coleman coffee maker is fantastic, we can brew a pot of coffee that rivals the quality of our counter top machine on our gas RV stove in less than 10 minutes. I can’t recommend this highly enough!

    • Dennis Owens

      The Coleman brand is quintessentially camping. I am also quite sluggish in the morning without my cup of coffee, so having a reliable coffee maker by your side wherever you go is definitely worth the investment.

  • John Williams

    When I bought AeroPress, I really thought it will be used just for camping trips. But in order to practice, I started using it when I was making coffee at home. I’ve been using it for almost a year now, both for camping and at home. I almost never use the old one. It’s one of a kind experience when I wake up in the morning and drink a perfect cup of coffee. I surely don’t miss the stale taste of the coffee made in the old pot.

    • Dennis Owens

      As a general tip when using camping equipment – test it first at home. This will provide the necessary familiarization once you use it outdoors. It also sets your expectations what features and limitations it will have once you are at site.

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