The Best Camping Coffee Makers, According to Thousands of Outdoor Enthusiasts

·10 min read
coffee makers for camping
coffee makers for camping

Courtesy of Amazon

Unless you're glamping at a resort-style campsite, sometimes roughing it is inevitable when you're pitching a tent in the great outdoors. You might eat only packaged food for a few days, or deal with the annoyances of sunburns and mosquito bites. But there's one little luxury that you don't have to give up, and that's coffee. The best camping coffee makers will have a smooth, delicious cup of coffee in your hands in practically no time, caffeinating you for hiking and wildlife-spotting for the rest of the day.

There are several factors to consider when choosing a camping coffee maker. For starters, how much effort do you want to put into brewing? Are you a low-maintenance instant coffee drinker, or someone who's seeking a rich cup of Italian-inspired espresso?

Another consideration is whether you'll have access to outlets, a campfire, or a camping stove. Some camping coffee makers call for hot water, while others are simple drip systems designed for rugged backpacking adventures.

You'll also want to take into account the size of your camping group, the length of your trip, and how much weight you'll be carrying on your back. Many camping coffee makers are lightweight, compact, and portable, with the assumption that your primary form of transport will be by foot. But if you're driving directly to the campsite and sleeping close to your car, you can definitely get away with bringing a larger, more elaborate coffee system. (Note that some campgrounds are closed or have limited visitor operations due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. You can check your state's campground closures and COVID-19 safety precautions here.)

There are four main kinds of coffee makers used for camping, and which one you should buy will ultimately depend on how you want your coffee to taste and how much time you have to spare.

Coffee Percolators

Coffee percolators are popular for camping because they work as well over campfires as they do on stovetops. Percolators have two chambers — one for coffee grounds, one for water — and they require a high heat for brewing coffee. The longer you let your coffee percolate, the stronger it'll be, so you'll want to watch your coffee closely to make sure it doesn't end up too bitter for your liking. Most coffee experts recommend a brew time of seven to 10 minutes.

Pour Overs

Pour overs are super easy to use: All you need is boiling water, a ground coffee filter, and a container for the completed blend. The resulting brew is often flavorful and strong, with little effort or equipment required on your end. The main advantage of pour overs is how well they draw the flavors out of coffee beans, so they're perfect for when you have gourmet coffee on hand.

French Presses

Unlike pour overs, French presses don't use filters, so cleanup is a bit easier. After adding your ground coffee and hot water into the French press, slowly lower the plunger and serve. The secret to success is measuring out your ingredients in advance so your coffee is just the right balance: not too strong and not too weak.

Moka Pots

Originating in Italy, moka pots produce dark, strong, and espresso-like coffee. They have three chambers for the water, the coffee grounds, and the finished product (which emerges on top of the moka pot). Moka pots are slightly trickier to use and can result in an over-extracted taste if you're not careful. But for many, the payoff is worth it, which is why moka pots are a staple among coffee connoisseurs.

Here are the best camping coffee makers of 2021. They're all backed by thousands of glowing Amazon reviews.

The Best Camping Coffee Makers on Amazon:

Best Coffee Percolator Overall: Faberware 50124 Classic Yosemite Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator

If glamping is your style, you need this high-end coffee percolator. It has a tight-fitting lid, a built-in filter, and a sleek stainless steel finish. You can use the perculator over a campfire or a camping stove — this best-selling Coleman one will do the trick.

A self-described “stovetop percolator fanatic” called this model “fantastic” for camping because of its quality construction, solid interior parts, and durable plastic knob. “Compared to other stovetop percolators, this one is KING,” they wrote. “Get yourself some good coffee beans, some water, and this baby, and you’ll be a coffee enthusiast.”

To buy:, from $25

Best Pour Over Overall: GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip

When you’re hiking, biking, and exploring the outdoors, the last thing you want is a bulky coffee maker weighing you down. This java drip is 4.2 inches tall and weighs less than half an ounce, so it’s easy to carry around. Its sturdy legs attach easily to most mugs, and you can fold the java drip flat once you’re done with it.

“The coffee I made out of this tasted way better than any camping coffee I have ever had before (percolators, teabag style, instant coffee, etc...),” a reviewer said. “It was so good, I bought all my other backpacking friends one because they were so jealous.”

To buy:, from $11

Best French Press Overall: Stanley Adventure All-in-One Boil + Brewer French Press Coffee Maker

Self-professed coffee snobs rave about how this affordable French press makes tasty, well-balanced cups of coffee. Made with stainless steel, the durable 2-pound French press is dishwasher-safe and serves up to four people. Best of all, its nesting design that includes an integrated pot and a French press insert takes up minimal room in your backpack.

One reviewer summed it up best: “Coffee-loving outdoors people, you need this.”

To buy:, from $21

Best Moka Pot Overall: Bialetti Express Moka Pot

This moka pot has over 12,200 five-star ratings and hundreds of reviews attesting that it makes the best homemade coffee, hands down. Designed in Italy, the moka pot creates a cup up coffee in under five minutes with minimal effort required on your end. Bonus: Its ergonomic handle makes passing coffee around your camping group that much easier.

Shoppers love the coffee it makes so much, they’re having trouble going back to their standard brews: “After a week of camping and having this coffee every day, it was disappointing to come home to regular drip coffee,” said one.

To buy:, from $23

Best Espresso Maker: Wacaou Minipresso GR Portable Espresso Machine

This compact coffee maker is hand-powered, so it doesn’t require electricity or even batteries. Simply add hot water and ground coffee, then pump the machine to deliver tasty espresso into the included cup. Since the coffee maker is 7 inches long and under 1 pound, it’ll fit seamlessly in most backpacks, which is why one reviewer said it’s a “must-have for camping.”

To buy:, $50

Best for Backpacking: AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker

This AeroPress has a brief brew time of a couple minutes to avoid the bitter, acidic taste that can come from over-steeping coffee with a French press. It comes with a scoop, a stirrer, and a tote bag for easy transport. Reviewers call the top-rated coffee machine “a necessity on backpacking trips” because of its convenient, lightweight design.

To buy:, $32

Best for Large Groups: Coffee Gator French Press Coffee Maker

If you’re camping with several friends, or if you just drink a lot of coffee, this large coffee press will serve you well. It’s vacuum-insulated to keep your coffee warm for up to an hour and has a cool-touch handle that’ll keep you from burning your fingers.

As for durability, one reviewer said it’s “traveled with me all over the world while I was in the military and on countless camping trips,” so you know it’ll last.

To buy:, from $29

Best Coleman Coffee Maker: Coleman 9-Cup Aluminum Coffee Pot

Coleman is known for its high-quality camping gear, from backpacking tents to camping chairs. So it’s no surprise that Coleman is behind a customer-loved coffee percolator that reviewers call “timeless” and “perfect for camping.” The aluminum coffee pot is rust-resistant, with two handles and a built-in basket. Its impressive nine-cup capacity will keep you sufficiently caffeinated for whatever your day brings.

To buy:, $24

Best for Couples: OXO Brew Venture Travel French Press

This French press holds two servings of coffee: one for you and one for your significant other. If you get impatient, you can check in on the coffee’s progress through the French press’ see-through slots. It has an easy-pour handle, and it’s shatter-resistant to keep up with the rough-and-tumble nature of camping.

“We do enjoy being the heroes of camping trips, and this magical curator of caffeine kept our ‘Campsite Saviors’ streak alive for the 8th trip in a row,” a reviewer wrote.

To buy:, $20

Easiest to Carry: GSI Outdoors JavaPress French Press Coffee Mug

Using this coffee maker is straightforward. All you have to do is add water and coffee grounds to the device, plunge them down, and then pour your coffee into a mug. Because the coffee maker is insulated with a cloth sleeve to protect your hands, it’s especially easy to carry, and you won’t even have to wait for your beverage to cool down first before pouring.

This coffee maker would make a worthwhile addition to your mornings even if you have no plans of camping. As one reviewer explained, “I bought this for an upcoming camping trip, and now I could care less if I actually get to use it there.”

To buy:, $38

Best for Solo Campers: Bestargot Titanium Cup Camping Coffee Mug

Amazon shoppers say this French press is “perfectly sized for solo use” because it holds one large cup of coffee at a time. Convenient features like foldable handles and labeled measurements are extra user-friendly, so you won’t have to worry about struggling to make coffee in a new environment. Plus, it’s made with pure titanium that’ll withstand the occasional fall.

To buy:, $30 (originally $50)

Best for Overnights: AdirChef Grab N’ Go Personal Coffee Maker

This portable coffee maker brews straight into its included 15-ounce travel mug, so you can be on your way in a few minutes. It’s simple to operate with the touch of a button, and it has a permanent filter that’ll cut down on paper waste. Because this coffee maker has to be plugged in, it’s ideal for overnights or short camping trips where you know you’ll have access to outlets. Shoppers are calling it “a great little coffee pot” for small apartments as well.

To buy:, $20

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