It’s no secret that learning how to travel light is an essential skill with camping, hiking, or other outdoor activities. So when deciding which coffee maker to pack for a week-long trip, it’s important to consider your brew method preferences, available space, and its efficiency in brewing quality coffee.
Whether you’re looking for a camping coffee maker specific to espresso, the best space-saving device, or a camping coffee maker that’s budget-friendly, you’ll find an overwhelming surplus of models to sift through on the market. To help narrow your search, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite camping coffee makers, along with some tips and suggestions for picking out the perfect device for your camping preferences.
Best Overall: AeroPress Coffee Maker
The Aeropress coffee maker is a smooth, fast, and efficient coffee maker to travel with. Constructed completely from BPA free plastic, users can easily use, press, rinse, and repeat from wherever their travels take them. This device produces good coffee in minutes and eliminates all of the tedious steps typical of espresso brewing.
Grind is not critical to the Aeropress, so users have more flexibility on the go-to brew without the need for an espresso grinder. Likewise, there is no tamping with the Aeropress. Users simply pour grounds into the chamber, add hot water, stir for even submersion, and press. This manual brewing device uses ideal water temperature and gentle air pressure to produce coffee that is rich in flavour and lower in acidity and bitterness. This device makes 1-4 cups of coffee at a time and produces a smooth, microfiltered coffee in minutes.
While this product is faster and easier in comparison to other portable coffee makers, the Aeropress does come with many accessories needed for brewing. Users can purchase the travel model of this maker which comes with a travelling case, but many have complained of there being too many pieces to travel with. In order for the Aeropress to function at its best, users need to continue replenishing the single-use circular microfilters, which can be tedious when travelling. Finally, while this is a flexible brewing device in comparison to most machines, there is some trial and error required to producing the perfect cup.
RELATED: Aeropress Review
- Easy to use, clean, and maintain
- Produces 1-4 cups at a time
- BPA-free plastic
- Works with any type of coffee
- Coffee is low in acidity and bitterness
- Comes with a variety of travelling pieces
- Takes time and practice to personalize results
- Single-filters aren’t as sustainable
Best for Espresso: Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker
The Wacaco Nanopresso portable espresso maker is an ergonomic approach to coffee on the go. For users looking for truly authentic coffee while travelling, this compact system ensures users receive 18 bar stable pressure during extraction. While this device is more costly than most portable coffee makers on this list, many will argue the convenience and capability of this coffeemaker are far worth its value.
Engineered to be extremely light and durable, the Nanopresso can store up to 80 ml of water within its tank. While this does require some degree of manual power to operate, the Nanopresso requires 15% less force to pump compared to other Wacaco models. Within its lightweight design, the Nanopresso is lined and protected by the detachable cup. Both parts feature a heatsink pattern to absorb and protect users from the heat while brewing.
While this manual maker is at the higher end of the price spectrum, users would also have to spend money on a barista kit or other Wacaco add-ons in order to brew double shots. The Nanopreso only brews single shots at a time. Users have also observed difficulty with cleaning this machine. Although the device is easy to disassemble, reassembling it after cleaning proves to be more difficult than it should.
- Creates authentic espresso on the go
- 18 bars of pressure
- 80 ml water tank capacity
- Higher-end of the price spectrum
- Only suitable for brewing single shots
- Works best with finely ground coffee
Best for Hiking: GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip
The GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip is the perfect portable drip coffee maker for those looking to travel light and still brew great-tasting coffee. This minimalist device is made from nylon and polypropylene and weighs just 11g, making it the perfect travel companion for drip-brew lovers.
Instead of resorting to instant coffee while on the hiking trail, the GSI Outdoors Java Drip provides an innovative design for portable pour-over coffee. Simply measure out your coffee grounds into the nylon compartment, fasten the legs to any mug, and pour hot water into the nylon to saturate the grounds. The GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip has an extremely compact design that will nest under your standard fuel cartridge, so users can easily fit it into your pack when not in use.
While this model is easy to use, affordable, and a great space-saver, it is not sufficient to use for large hiking parties. It is the perfect companion for one to two hikers, but only brews a single cup at a time. Likewise, the nylon is easy to rinse out after each use, but to ensure the device lasts for years, users need to let the fabric air dry before storing it back in their hiking pack.
- Lightweight and compact
- Extremely affordable
- Folds easily to fit into hiking packs
- Features legs that clip onto almost any separate mug
- Needs to air dry after each use
- While great for solo use, it is not suitable for large groups
Best Budget Option: Hario V60 Plastic Coffee Dripper
The Hario V60 Plastic coffee dripper is the perfect travel companion, whether you’re car camping or camping on site. This plastic pour-over coffee cup comes in three different sizes, allowing users to use a 1-2 cup maker or a 1-6 cup maker, making this a versatile brewing device for camping parties of all sizes. The V60 coffee dripper includes raised plastic spirals along the inside of the coffee cone, allowing for measured control of the water flow. Users can enjoy the convenience of brewing directly into a coffee cup or pot.
This simply-constructed drip-maker is sturdy, lightweight, and easy to clean and reuse throughout any camping trip. Users simply need to add ground coffee to the plastic cone, place the device over a coffee cup of their choice, and pour boiling water over the grounds evenly. With the versatility of this manual brewing method, users are easily able to choose their ideal brew time and temperature, ensuring a great cup of coffee.
While this device is easy to clean, lightweight, and durable, it doesn’t last as long as its stainless steel or ceramic counterparts. The Hario V60 coffee dripper can be a great coffee brew buddy for camping trips but is not a long-lasting addition to your at-home brewing routine. This device doesn’t come equipped with paper filters to use during the brewing process, so users need to provide their own.
RELATED: The Best Pour-Over Coffee Makers
- Does come in different colours and ceramic alternatives
- Offers sizing suitable for single users and large groups
- Easy to clean and easy to use
- Plastic material makes it less durable than other devices
- Users need to provide their own filters for this device
Best for Gas Cookers: Bialetti Moka Express Coffee Maker
For people working with a gas-powered cooker, the Bialetti Moka Express is an excellent and eco-friendly camping companion! This sleek and timeless Moka pot has a minimum lifespan of 10 years, making it the perfect coffee brew buddy on a campsite.
For users looking for a rich hybrid between drip coffee and espresso, and French press, this camp coffee maker provides the user with a gas stove-safe brewing alternative. The Bialetti Moka Express doesn’t require any chemical detergents for cleaning. Made entirely of high-quality aluminium, this stove-top maker can be easily cleaned and disassembled after each use. The Moka Express is one of Bialetti’s original models, and its longevity dependability speaks for itself. This stovetop maker comes with a built-in safety valve, which releases pressure if more pressure than necessary is generated when brewing.
While this Moka pot makes great coffee, it is not the best device for traditional espresso. The boiler provides only 1.5 bars of steam pressure in comparison to the 9 bars of a standard machine, users will not get the same consistency and flavour 9-15 bars of pressure can produce. There is a system to brewing quality Moka coffee, and it may take some time to get the timing right.
RELATED: Bialetti Brikka vs Moka Express
- Comes in 2-cup-18 cup sizing options
- Built-in safety valve to stabilize pressure
- Easy to disassemble and clean
- Zero-Waste and easy to use
- Some trial and error is required
- Not suitable for traditional espresso
Best Space Saver: GSI Collapsible Java Drip Coffee Maker
For those looking for a portable coffee maker to take camping when space is tight, the GSI Collapsible Java drip is the perfect brew buddy for your backpack. With their own creative take on the Snow Peak collapsable model, this silicone funnel expands to brew fresh drip coffee and then collapses to just 1 inch high to travel anywhere. Simply set a filter inside of the cone, place the device atop any container, add grounds, you’re ready to brew.
This device is a great pairing for single users, but can also hold grounds for up to 12 cups of coffee. The convenient cover doubles as a trivet for the cone when finished brewing. This also keeps everything thing clean during travel. The Java drip is fashioned with a transparent base to help prevent overfilling during use. Likewise, a unique flange helps centre the drip cone over mugs, cups, and wide-mouth bottles for stable, spill-free brewing.
While this product’s ease of use outshines other camping coffee makers, users have mentioned that it isn’t the best in terms of brewing efficiency. Many have mentioned that the coffee drains slowly from the funnel, which is problematic for coffee lovers looking to get up and go in the morning. Furthermore, like most portable coffee cones, users need to supply their own coffee filters.
- Collapses to 1 inch high for easy travel
- Transparent bottom to prevent overfilling
- Silicone material for easy cleaning
- Dishwasher safe
- Need to purchase filters separately
- Drains slow
Best with Insulated Flask: Espro Travel Coffee Press
For French press coffee fans looking for a portable maker to take camping, the Espro Travel coffee press is a great travel option! This device is a travel mug and french press in one, which makes for easy use, cleaning, and storage on the go. With a double-wall stainless steel vacuum insulated body and leak-proof silicone seals, this maker can withstand anything thrown its way.
The Espro includes a two-stage extraction blocking micro filter that stops the extraction process the minute users press the filter down into the mug. The filters are BPA and phthalate-free and are top-shelf dishwasher safe for deep cleaning after each trip. The Espro pairs the ease of use of a french press with the portability and convenience of a travel mug. Users simply pour ground coffee into the mug, add hot water, and stir. After waiting four minutes, the coffee is ready to press and enjoy.
While most users have nothing but positive things to say regarding this portable French press, two minor quirks have come up in reviews. Users have mentioned that while the product advertises it can keep coffee warm for 4-6 hours, the insulation struggles to keep drinks hot for longer intervals of time. With the nature of this press, coffee granules will get very compact at the bottom of the cup and can be stubborn to remove during cleaning.
- Easy to clean
- Comes with a coffee and tea filter option
- Insulation isn’t as efficient for long intervals of time
- Granules at the bottom can be difficult to clean
Camping Coffee Maker Buying Guide:
When it comes to finding the best camping coffee maker to fit your style, brewing preferences, and taste, there are a few elements to consider before making a purchase. While we’ve highlighted some of our favourite camping coffee makers above, the following buying guide provides some context to the micro-decisions you’ll need to make in your search.
When travelling or brewing coffee outdoors, you need to select a coffee maker built to withstand the environment and wear travelling can bring with it. Whether you’re looking for a device sturdy enough to handle the heat of a gas stove, or looking for a collapsable device to fit within a backpack pocket, maker material matters.
When looking for a coffee maker to withstand the heat of gas cookers, we recommend an aluminium device in comparison to a stainless steel device. While stainless steel is great for portability and insulation, it is not meant to thrive on a gas burner. For drip coffee makers, lighter weight materials like plastic or silicone are more efficient for lightweight travel than their metal, glass or ceramic counterparts.
While working with instant coffee on a camping trip can be convenient, there are more innovative coffeemakers on the market that pair efficiency with brewing coffee of quality. Nowadays, you don’t have to choose good coffee over quick coffee when exploring the outdoors. It’s just a matter of selecting the brewing option most efficient for you.
For users looking for a quick and easy brewing process on the go, you can consider devices that build in a coffee press into a travel cup or flask or even consider a collapsible drip-brew cone to flatten and store after each use. Some portable coffee makers come equipped with a travel case that stores all essential accessories needed for the brewing process, while others include a detachable cup. Depending on your available space and morning routine, some devices will be a better fit than others.
Quantity Matters: Single-Serve vs. Larger Coffee Makers
Like with any coffee maker, size matters. Especially if you’re travelling by yourself or with an entire entourage in the backcountry. Ultimately, the number of coffee drinkers in your camping party will determine the amount of coffee you’ll need to brew on any given morning. This means you’ll need a portable coffee maker fit for the task.
If you’re camping by yourself or travelling with another person, single-serve or smaller coffee makers may suit your brewing needs. If camping with a larger party, you’ll need to pick up a drip coffee maker or Moka device capable of producing more coffee at a time. While some portable coffee devices are more specific when it comes to the quantity of coffee they produce at a time, others are more flexible to brew 1-6 cups at a time.
Everyone has their preference when it comes to their favourite coffee to drink in the morning. Whether it’s drip coffee or French press, there are portable options on the market that can be travel-friendly.
If you’re set on authentic espresso, devices like the Wacaco Nanopresso may be the best fit for your coffee needs. If you’re looking for strong coffee in general and aren’t picky about the amount of stable pressure, an Aeropress or Moka coffee maker may be practical camping options. If your focus is more on having a larger quantity of good coffee, a collapsable drip cone may work, too. Ultimately, your coffee preference will narrow your coffeemaker search.
To Wrap Up:
Whether you plan to backpack through the backcountry, or are just heading out for a weekend getaway with family, you don’t need to leave your favourite coffee at home while travelling. We hope this buying guide provides a helpful selection for picking out the best companion coffee maker for camping.