Waking up to a fresh pot of coffee on a regular day is nice, but waking up to the smell of coffee while taking in majestic natural views on a camping trip is otherworldy. The key to enjoying coffee on a camping trip is investing in the right coffee maker. That’s where the best camping coffee makers come into play.
Weight, size and durability are among the most important factors when shopping for a camping coffee maker. Your camping coffee maker should be lightweight enough to take on the go, but durable enough to throw in your bag without worrying about it. That means that your trusty Chemex should probably stay home.
Simply looking for the smallest, lightest coffee maker isn’t necessarily the answer. It’s important to consider the kind of camping you’re going to do. If you’re car camping with a group, you might sacrifice a smaller weight and instead opt for a larger French press, such as the options from Stanley. That way, you can make coffee for everyone. On the other hand, if you’re trying to pack light and are by yourself or with one other person, you might instead pick up a collapsible pour-over camping coffee maker, like our picks from Snow Peak, MiiR and Mountain Mojo.
Key Camping Accessories To Consider
Another important factor is to consider any accessories you might need. For most of these methods, you’ll need a separate way to heat up your water, such as a kettle. GSI, which specializes in outdoor cookware, makes a good-looking 1-quart kettle, which is designed to boil water quickly.
Another important accessory is the coffee grinder. For most people, it’ll be sufficient to grind your coffee at home and take it with you (just remember to grind it to the right coarseness for the method you’re using). It’s probably best to leave your coffee grinder at home, as it’s not essential and will take up space. But if you do want to bring whole bean coffee and a grinder with you, then you’ll want a manual grinder made from metal that won’t take up too much space. Our overall top pick for manual grinders is the JavaPresse, which, thanks to its slim but sturdy construction, happens to work well as a camping grinder.
Finally, you need a great cup to drink out of. You don’t necessarily need to splurge here — any enamel mug will do the trick. That said, we do have some opinions on which camp mugs to buy to bring with you to take your morning brew from good to great. Our top pick is the Yeti Rambler because it’s simple, stylish and essentially bulletproof. If that’s not quite your speed, check out the rest of our picks.
Now that we’ve got accessories covered, all you need to do is choose the best coffee-making method for your camping trip. From drippers made with camping in mind to the best Italian espresso you can enjoy on the go, check our top picks below.
1. MiiR Pourigami
If there’s a more cleverly designed (and named) coffee-making method than MiiR’s Pourigami, we have yet to see it. The Pourigami is a portmanteau of pour and origami, giving you a good clue as to how it works. There are three metal pieces that fit together to form a triangle-shaped pour-over brewer. When you’re done brewing, the whole thing can be quickly disassembled and tucked into any pocket in your bag. It’s made from sturdy stainless steel with a powder-coat finish.
2. Bialetti 3 Cup Moka Stovetop Espresso Maker
BEST FOR SOLO CAMPERS
One of the best camping coffee makers wasn’t made with camping in mind. The Bialetti Moka pot was designed (in Italy, of course) as a way to make espresso at home, rather than having to drink it at a cafe. It just so happens to work well in a camping situation, too. While many coffee-making methods require that you separately boil water, the Moka pot makes it easy to do everything in one compact unit. Simply fill the bottom vessel with water, put finely ground coffee in the middle basket, and wait a few minutes as delicious espresso-like coffee fills the top chamber. Besides the plastic handle and lid and the rubber gasket, the entire coffee maker is made from aluminum, making it lightweight and durable, two factors that are important when putting together your camping kit.
3. AeroPress Go Coffee and Espresso Maker
It isn’t often that a brand new way to make coffee comes around, but in 2004, that’s exactly what happened when AeroPress developed its espresso maker. It’s since become one of the most popular methods of making java among coffee lovers, and this versatile brewer can be used for espresso-like coffee or drip. Enterprising enthusiasts have even figured out how to use it inverted. Its lightweight plastic build and compact size make it a great camping option, allowing you to take it where glass and ceramic can’t go. The AeroPress recently got even better with the introduction of the AeroPress Go, which is smaller and more travel-friendly. It comes with a mug that doubles as a lid. Save yourself the trouble of packing paper filters and pick up Altura’s “The Disc” filter, which fits AeroPress and Go models.
4. Snow Peak Coffee Drip
STURDY AND STYLISH
Snow Peak makes outdoor gear that’s frankly too good-looking to just use for camping. Their coffee drip is no different; it has an attractive design that works well for any camping situation, but you can use it at home if you wanted to. The entire unit neatly collapses for easy storage, so you can keep it in your camping pack or even your car.
5. Stanley Adventure All-In-One Boil + Brew
BEST FRENCH PRESS
Stanley’s thermoses have long been associated with job sites, the great outdoors, and pretty much anywhere hot coffee and sturdy drinking vessels are required. But Stanley’s standard stainless steel french press has gotten even better, because they figured out a way to eliminate the need for a second vessel to boil the water. Simply remove the plastic filter, fill the steel vessel with water and set it to boil. Once it’s hot, stir coffee directly to the water. After it has steeped for a few minutes, you can press the plastic insert into the steel pot, which will filter out the grounds. Then, pour the coffee into your preferred camp cup and enjoy. The metal handles fold in, too, for easier storage. It’s certainly not the smallest or lightest option, but if you’re on coffee duty for your group, this is a good French press to get.
7. GSI Outdoor Percolator
This enamel blue camping coffee maker is small and easy to pack. After pouring the coffee into the pot, add the water and let the entire thing sit for a few minutes. And voila, you’ll have fresh, delicious coffee in minutes.
8. Klein Single Serve Pour Over
This single-serve camping coffee maker is great for solo backpacking trips or camping with a friend or two. Only able ot make one cup at a time, it’s not the best for large groups but is a great choice for those who enjoy the stainless steel filter with the drip over option. Your coffee filters into a small glass bowl that is attached to the filter and is easy to clean. The best part is not having to bring yet another cup along.
9. Nanopresso Portable Espresso
BEST FOR TRAVEL
This stylish and compact tube creates a perfect shot of espresso and all you need is ground coffee and hot water. Craving your favorite pick me up while outside or traveling? This is an affordable option that is easy to pack and easy to use. Even better still, cleanup is an absolute breeze.
10. Coleman Nine Cup Percolator
BEST FOR GROUPS
This is a great option for large camping groups or for those of us who enjoy more than two cups each. Coleman is one of the best outdoor brands in the industry and their percolator seals the deal on the best morning to be had outside.
11. Mountain Mojo Collapsable Coffee Maker
This filter system is made from silicon and crushes down flat when not in use, making it the smallest, most lightweight camping coffee maker on our list. Easy to rinse out and store, Mountain Mojo has made a game-changer in the coffee world.
12. Stanley French Press
This stainless steel camping coffee maker holds 48 ounces and weighs three pounds, giving it the largest capacity on our list. Great for large groups, this paperless French Press will serve you endless cups of coffee, so you can be sure to make that sunrise hike no matter what.