Imagine this. You’ve woken up on the first morning of your parent/child camping trip. You remembered the previous evening. Hiking through the greenery, making your way to the campsite, you barely notice the weight of the rucksack on your back.
Your child lists the many activities planned for the next day. Fire building, wood collecting, and nature gazing are all on the agenda. You’ve already agreed to every activity. When you wake up, all is well.
You stretch, breath in that fresh outdoor air, and just as you remember the promises you’ve made, you remember the things that you’ve forgotten.
Toothpaste, a pillow, and most devastatingly….
COFFEE. How could you forget coffee?!
You Need Coffee.
Before you head off on your next camping trip, make sure you are best prepared for the most important part of every morning. Being able to caffeine up with the sun is surely on the minds of any planning-focused campers.
After spending hours fiddling with tent spokes and trying to find that one missing piece of fabric that covers the top of the tent from rainfall, you’ll want a warm cup of joe to start your first morning at your new campsite. You’ll need more than just a filter and beans.
There are tons of the best camping coffee makers available, but not every one of them suits the needs of each camper. Some prefer to go it solo and others with a group. If you are car camping, you definitely have the luxury of taking a more rugged and heavy piece.
If you are solo backpack camping or hiking, having a coffee maker that weighs the least is of utmost importance. We have compiled a list of coffee makers that suit the needs of all types of campers, with taste, ease of use, durability, price, and portability in mind.
- Best Lightweight- GSI Ultralight Java Drip.
- Best All in One- Stanley Adventure
- Design and Innovation- AeroPress
- Most Durable- BruTrek
- Best For Group Camping- Farberware Percolator
Whether you are heading off into the wilderness alone, roughing it with a group of friends, or packing the Winnebago for a family trip, here presented for you are the best coffee makers for any camper’s rucksack.
Stanley Adventure All in One
The thrill of the risks and wonders of adventure is more easily conquered with caffeine in the system. If you want a coffee maker that is even more prepared than you for the next camping trip, look no farther than the Stanley Adventure All in One.
This French press coffee maker, constructed with stainless steel, features an easy-to-use press system that makes coffee with ease. You don’t have to worry about taking an extra pot to boil water with. The Stanley can do it all!
This 32oz coffee pot can make a generous amount of coffee. Worried about the amount of space it takes up in your rucksack? Fear not, the inside is hollow and can be used to store other utensils as well as cups! The handles also fold into the main part of the frame to help take up less space.
If simplicity is the game, Stanley is the name. The sleek, stainless steel design allows this pot to be heated directly over an open flame. The Stanley all-in-one is a better coffee companion for those who are camping out of a vehicle and don’t have to worry about weight.
At 10 oz, the Stanley is a little too heavy for the typical backpacking camper. The Stanley is very easy to clean, requiring just a rinse. It’s also a very simple-to-use product, with few technical parts. The construction of the Stanley makes it rust-proof and durable.
It would be hard to damage it without intention. The collapsible handle, as well as being able to store other coffee utensils inside of the pot when not in use make it a relatively portable device despite its size.
At 10oz, the Stanley is among the heavier units on this list. Few could argue that French Press makes some of the best-tasting coffee. Being a French Press, the all-in-one Stanley unit guarantees smooth and grind-free coffee that is sure to impress with its flavor, rich profile, and smooth texture.
What we liked:
- Makes plenty of coffee for one person.
- Stainless steel design can be used for boiling water as well as coffee.
- Conservative on fuel if using a gas burner to heat.
- Can be used over an open fire
What could be better:
- If not pressed properly tight, coffee can sometimes leak between the pot and press components.
AeroPress Coffee Maker
The AeroPress is definitely one of the coolest coffee makers you could have for camping. Yes, it’s just as cool as its name suggests. The unit boasts a French press-inspired design, but with the added benefit of paper, microfilters to help remove grinds. The actual build is lightweight and portable.
Due to the ease of use and simplicity of design, the AeroPress is long-lasting and durable. The paper microfilters not only enhance the French design, but they also help to create a rich and flavorful taste not found with other makers.
One press can create up to three cups and it is easy to continually make more for multiple people. It also only takes about 2- 2:30 minutes from start to finish. Also, the AeroPress can make cold brew in a few minutes as opposed to the typical few hours of steeping. Amazing.
The AeroPress was a great buy even before the cold brew capabilities. Keep in mind, however, you will need an extra piece to boil water in, as the AeroPress does not come with one. Cleaning the AeroPress is a simple, 3-step process.
After removing the strainer, emptying the grinds, and rinsing, it’s ready to make a fresh batch of joe. The plastic used in the components of the AeroPress is thick and durable. While it’s no stainless steel, it should hold up to most use and abuse, just be careful when handling it.
One of the best parts of this coffee maker is its portability. Its extremely compact size and compressible parts make it an easy choice for camping. At 6.4oz, the AeroPress is a relatively light maker.
Being a modified French press unit, you can expect a smooth and slightly stronger taste from the AeroPress, with the same guarantee of grind-free coffee.
With the ease of use and the added capability of making cold brew, on top of the fun usage and design of the AeroPress, it definitely shouldn’t be overlooked when shopping for your camping trip coffee maker.
What we liked:
- Improved French Press design creates a wonderful tasting coffee, devoid of bitters and acidity.
- Extremely portable.
- Can also make cold brew in record time
What could be better:
- An additional piece could turn this already amazing concept into an all-in-one design.
- The portability aspect is diminished due to the necessity of an additional water boiling piece.
BruTrek Tabletop Coffee Maker
If you want a durable, temperature-insulating tabletop coffee maker, look no further. The BruTrek implements a basic French press design with an added benefit, the Bru-Stop. This metal plate, when fully pressed, stops the brewing process from continuing after the pot has been made.
This secures the perfect brew as it does not allow the grinds continued exposure to the pot. Not only does the BruTrek improve on the already wonderful French press design, but it is also constructed with durability in mind. The casing is made of double-walled stainless steel.
It stays hot for a long time and it’s built to last over continuous use. It also comes in a 20 oz and 30 oz size for different applications. The BruTrek is best used for car camping, as the piece is not all-in-one and needs an extra piece to boil water. Don’t let this deter you though.
The BruTrek design isn’t just good for coffee, but can be used for tea, cocoa, and all hot beverages. The added Bru-Stop technology doesn’t add any more difficulty of use to this wonderful French press coffee maker.
With an extra metal plate near the grinds, it does add one more component that needs extra rinsing. After some time, it is advised to clean this unit thoroughly, as being a press means it has a few moving parts.
The stainless steel chassis guarantees durability, and the inside can be used as storage for mugs, filters, and grinds, making it decently portable. With wonderful insulation and implementation of Bru-Stop, you can expect a wonderful roast from this unit that stays hot for hours.
Weighing in at a whopping 17.6oz, this coffee maker is definitely on the bit heavier side, excluding it from being a true backpacker’s piece. With the BruTrek, partnered with its patented Bru-Stop technology, you can get a unit that makes multiple servings of wonderful, smooth, and mud-free liquid gold.
What we liked:
- Double-wall insulated design keeps contents hot for a long time.
- Doesn’t need paper filters.
- Bru-Stop technology works well to keep beverages grind-free.
What could be better:
- The design is a little heavy and cleaning comes with some difficulty.
- The design is far from all in one, meaning you must bring along individual devices for heating water and serving the beverage.
GSI Ultralight Java Drip
For the solo camper, with light travel capacity and ultra-efficiency in mind, look no farther than the GSI Ultralight Java Drip. This has got to be the lightest and most compact pour-over device on the market.
Weighing in at just around .3 oz, you can consider your back problems negligible in concern to the overall weight. The design is so simple, consisting of a filter and a few clips to extend it over the drinking/brewing apparatus.
There isn’t much intricacy to this unit, which is perfect for the time and energy-conscious solo backpacking camper. It brews fast and its ultra-fine nylon filter makes sure no grinds end up in your cup. It’s easy to clean and can be reused over and over to make a perfect cup in 3-4 minutes.
Could there be an easier coffee maker created? The pour-over system allows for just two easy douses of just boiling water to make an easy cup of warm joe. Cleaning this unit involves dumping the grinds and rinsing. That’s it.
When it comes to durability, this is where the unit lacks. Did you expect more from three plastic clips and a filter? What it lacks in durability, it more than makes up for in portability.
This little bundle of plastic clips and nylon packs away into almost nothing, able to be easily packed into a flap or side pocket of a backpack. As for taste, it’s no French press, but it gets the job done with no grinds or mud. This is the perfect friend for a caffeine-loving solo camper.
Oh yea, did we mention it weighs less than half an ounce? Oh yea, we did.
What we liked:
- Ultra-portable and lightweight. Perfect for the solo camper.
- Easily clipped to a variety of different mugs and canteens.
- Easy to clean which can help with water conservation for the hardcore solo camper.
What could be better:
- The design is a little flimsy. Under the weight of the grinds, the clips can bend and dump the grinds out. You may have to hold onto the clips to keep them from tipping over, which may defeat some of the simplicity of the design.
Farberware Yosemite Coffee Percolator
For those who want to get out into nature, but still love the taste and feel of a percolator, look no farther than the Farberware Yosemite. It’s simple, rugged, makes a lot of joe for large groups, and gets you giddy as you watch that liquid gold bubble through the perc chamber.
Farberware made a Percolator that is not only great for kitchen use but can also be taken on the road. The stainless steel design allows for open flame heating which means it’s not necessary to carry an additional water boiling piece.
The Farberware comes in two sizes with an 8 cup and 12 cup variant. At 40 and 60 oz respectively, this percolator is perfect for a group camping trip. The flavor is rich and strong, pairing perfectly with the ruggedness of being outdoors.
Without the need for a filter, the Farberware is immediately easier to use and clean. With simple rinsing, the unit is ready for a new batch. The stainless steel gives it a good amount of durability, but don’t forget to protect that percolator chamber at the top.
The chamber is made of plastic and needs to be protected more than the body. At 46.4 ounces, the Farberware is off the table for the backpack camper. It’s certainly portable enough to be able to take on a car camping trip, but it’s not exactly practical for fireside brewing.
The taste tends to be stronger and rich, better than pour-over coffee, but not as smooth as the French press. The Farberware is the largest and heaviest unit on this list, but if you can’t compromise on the need for percolated coffee, this is certainly your go-to.
What we liked:
- Makes a LOT of coffee. Perfect for small groups.
- Can be made over an open flame.
- All in one coffee maker and water boiler. We love efficiency!
What could be better:
- For camping, the perc chamber on the top isn’t the most durable. Be careful when handling it as you don’t want the chamber to break, ruining the whole device.
Can any of these units make other hot beverages?
Yes! The Farberware, AeroPress, and GSI all can be used to make tea as well as coffee. While it is possible to use loose leaf tea, more finely chopped tea would make for a better handling process. In addition to these hot beverages, the Stanley all in one can be used to make soup as well.
Which of these units can be used on an open flame?
The Farberware and Stanley are both able to be heated over an open flame. If you are going camping, making a fire is often one of the earliest priorities and is also the most fun.
Cooking over the same fire gives that real camping feels as opposed to a gas burner. If you are looking for a coffee-making device that can sit right over a small fire, these two are your best choices.
Keep In Mind Before You Purchase
Are you traveling alone?
If you are trekking the wilderness solo, the amount of caffeine you need to whip up is significantly less. This means that you should be looking for a unit that serves a few purposes.
For starters, it should make fewer servings. There’s no reason to bring a massive unit that makes 8-10 cups of coffee unless that’s how much you plan on drinking each day.
Aim for a unit that suits your caffeine intake. Typically these range from 1-4 cups. Your device should also be easy to clean. Since you are the only one who is going to be using it, you don’t want a coffee maker that’s going to take a long time to clean each day.
Remember, you’re the only person who is going to be cleaning it. Lastly, it should be compact. If you are camping by yourself, you want to make sure that you are saving on space and weight as well.
Do you have all the necessary things to make coffee?
This may seem like a pretty basic question, but it’s a good habit to make checklists of things that you’re going to need in the camping field to brew your morning joe. If you like to use beans, you’re going to need a method to grind them.
If you want to save yourself the hassle, pre-grind them. You will also need a method to boil water. If you don’t plan on bringing a gas burner, remember that your maker must be durable enough to withstand heat from an open flame. Keep this in mind as not all makers double as a unit to boil water in.
Unfortunately, not all makers are created equal! You will also need something to drink your coffee out of. Bonuses go to the beverage makers that you can also drink out of, but these tend not to hold their heat too well. On the flip side, they could also be too hot to drink out of.
Some devices require a filter and some do not. Make sure you determine all the necessary things to make your brew before you head out on your trip. Nothing is worse than forgetting an integral part of the coffee brewing apparatus after you’ve already gone out into the field.
Are you car camping or backpack camping?
If you are car camping, you can afford to take on extra weight and space. This opens up your options to different makers. Heavier products usually mean more durability or functionality.
For different coffee drinkers with different tastes, you can usually get a maker that suits your needs and not have to worry about weight or space when car camping. On the other hand, backpack campers are usually very conscious about the weight of their coffee apparatus and the space they take up.
If you are using a rucksack and plan on camping your entire camping experience on your back, it’s advised that you keep a lookout for different weights and the space they take up. Backpackers tend to look for devices that can easily fold, or double as a transportation unit.
If the pot can also carry your bag of grinds, cups, and filters, you’ve saved yourself space.No matter what type of camping trip you’re going on, a coffee maker is a must. Nothing feels better than waking up to nature with the fresh air in your lungs and a warm cup in your hands.
There are all sorts of different makers for the different types of coffee drinkers. Whether you prefer the ease of use, quantity, percolator, or French Press, there is most certainly a maker out there for you.