Alex has never been professionally involved into the world of coffee, however he knows much more than any average barista. Being an avid coffee lover, Alex is constantly searching for new tips, tools, and techniques to make his morning cup of java even more perfect.
Mary has been dealing with coffee almost all her life long: in her teenage years, she worked as a barista in a number of well-known coffeehouses, later developing her knowledge and skills while studying at the university as well. Several years after graduation, she managed to open her own small coffee bar.
Last updated: February 22, 2021
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There’s nothing like a hot cup of coffee in the morning, no matter where you open your eyes. Whether you are crawling out of your plush bed at home or a backpacking tent somewhere on the side of a mountain, you want to enjoy the comfort and warmth of a freshly brewed mug of coffee. Plus, what’s better, than the rich aroma of coffee in the great outdoors? Because instant coffee doesn’t come close to the real thing, we searched for the best camping coffee maker to brighten up your mornings on your campsite.
We reviewed 7 best camping coffee makers on the market and concluded that the best choice is the Coleman QuikPot Propane Coffee Maker. We loved this coffee maker because it allows users to use a convenient propane canister, while sporting a 10-cup glass carafe to provide enough coffee for the entire gang. Moreover, this coffee maker is well-design and sturdy, which makes it extremely suitable for outdoor use. We also reviewed six other popular camping coffee makers, each with their own strengths so you can choose the ideal one for your next adventure.
When reviewing products in our quest to find the best camping coffee maker on the market, we looked at essential features such as type of coffee maker, capacity, dimensions, weight, and more. We spent weeks reading reviews from customers and professionals who tested the coffee makers, and the results of our research are compressed in the comparison table below. You will also find in-detail reviews of each product and a buying guide to help you make an informed choice.
Our editor’s choice, the Coleman QuikPot Propane Coffee Maker made it straight to the top because it’s incredibly easy to use and simple to clean, two characteristics that are paramount in a coffee maker that you’re going to be using outdoors. But the benefits of using this coffee maker don’t stop there – it does, indeed, provide excellent coffee, with many of the users who tested and reviewed it mentioning that it’s difficult to feel the difference between a cup of coffee brewed with this machine and one made with a traditional coffee maker.
The Coleman QuikPot Propane Coffee Maker offers up to 10 cups of coffee, and has a removable filter basket that is easy to clean and is also dishwasher friendly if you want to give it a proper clean once you get home from your trip. This coffee maker is an ideal choice for any kind of outdoor occasion, including camping and hunting.
We liked that this coffee maker has propane power, and even though you have to get your own canister, as it does not come included with the machine, this feature makes it suitable for using as a stove and a percolator. The coffee maker lasts up to 4.5 hours on high on a single 16.4-oz. propane cylinder.
A French press makes an ideal coffee maker for camping because it is compact, easy to use, and provides you with an aroma that doesn’t compromise on quality. It’s also an excellent choice for those mornings you are sans electricity, but you don’t want to fiddle with a coffee maker fueled by a propane canister. The Coffee Gator French Press comes with a double-wall stainless steel construction and is a good all-around size at a 34 oz. capacity. Some users would have liked the French press to be available in multiple sizes, but the one-size approach works well for a single user or a couple. The amount of coffee you can obtain with a single brew is just shy of two 18-oz. travel mugs.
The Coffee Gator has a double filter that can remove more sediment without tempering with the oils, which is what makes the coffee obtained with this method such a delicious one. A sprung guard is available to hold the filter in place and most of the users who tested the press mentioned that it works very smoothly. It comes with a mini container where you can store coffee for up to two pots, which comes in very handy for a weekend away.
The Coffee Gator French Press is available in multiple colors and is rust-proof, so it can last for the years to come. The stainless steel design makes it a good choice for those who want a camping coffee makers that doesn’t break.
What we liked:
Military-grade stainless steel keeps coffee warm for long
The AeroPress is perhaps the most lightweight option out there when it comes to camping coffee makers. Since it has been introduced in 2005, this little coffee maker kit has become increasingly popular and it offers a hassle-free method of making coffee for camping enthusiasts. We liked that the AeroPress brews the coffee very quickly, and you can expect to have a mug ready in 30 to 60 seconds, which is lightning fast in the world of portable coffee makers. Moreover, it offers the possibility to make Americano and espresso.
Unlike many other coffee makers designed for camping, the AeroPress is unbreakable and compact, requiring just about the space of a 16 oz. beer can. If you’re wondering whether such a small and lightweight device can make great coffee, the answer is yes. It is actually very easy to get good at brewing with this machine, and the results are very similar to those you would expect from a regular kitchen coffeemaker and even those in a coffee shop.
The AeroPress is very affordable and because it doesn’t break, it can last for years. After using the coffee maker, all you need to do to clean it up is to give it a quick rinse. Many users who tested the AeroPress liked the fact that it has a simple construction and it comes with all the information you might need to get started right away. It is also highly versatile because you can brew coffee of different concentrations. If you want to serve coffee to several persons at the same time, this coffee maker may struggle, but it an excellent choice for one or two people.
The Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker is a pocket-sized camping coffee maker that can have your espresso ready in minutes. This is a hand powered machine that you can use to brew hand-to-hand espresso. Even though it might look impossible from such a small device that is not battery-powered, you can get results that are comparable to the coffee you would be served in a coffee shop.
We liked that you can use the bottom of the coffee scoop to tamp the grinds, and even though it might take a while to get used to how this machine works, it is definitely a great solution for those times spent in the outdoor because it doesn’t require any form of electricity or propane canisters to function.
The Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker is a very practical camping coffee maker that also has a low eco-impact and you can use it with both grinds and pods. When it comes to cleaning it, all you need is a rinse because there are no filters to get clogged. The ergonomic design makes this little espresso maker a great travel companion, with a weight of only 0.74 lbs. It is available in several colors and can hold up to 80 ml of water. Protective cases are available so you can be sure your trusted coffee maker is protected in your backpack.
Looking like something that is bound to attract conversation, the BRIPE-Coffee Brew Pipe Kit is not your regular camping coffee maker. This kit brings elements from the smoking word into the coffee making realm, and you will need a blowtorch style lighter to use it. The principle behind this coffeemaker is simple: you place the coffee grounds in the pipe, add cold water, and heat it with the lighter to 185 degrees. You can then sip through the built-in metal straw and then throw out the grounds when you’re done.
The reservoir where you pour the water is made from copper, which ensures effective heat transfer. If you’re worried about getting burned using this unusual kit, keep in mind that it comes with a cork near the mouthpiece so you don’t burn your fingers. An adjustable filter placed within the reservoir prevents the coffee grounds from going up the straw and you can use it with different grind sizes.
If you are wondering how you know when you reach the optimal temperature, the answer is the thermostat built into the pipe so you can know exactly when you reach the perfect temperature. It takes about five minutes to make a single shot of coffee, something that many users found a bit too long, but the end result is a very high-quality coffee that is worth the effort.
One of the best-known names in the word of stovetop espresso makers, Bialetti manufacturers lots of high quality coffee makers that are all made in Italy. The Bialetti 06799 is compact enough to be used as a camping coffee maker, bringing you a distinguished coffee aroma that is difficult to replicate with other coffee makers. The design is more than 80 years old and the coffeemaker is made from durable polished aluminum, cast in a highly recognizable octagon shape.
We liked the Bialetti 06799 not only because it delivers coffee that tastes just like that you would expect in a small café in Italy, but also because it is very easy to use. This is a three-cup model, which makes it perfect for couples or small groups of friends and you can use multiple grind sizes with it. You will need a camping stove top to use this coffee maker, which might not be suitable for everyone.
One of the downsides of using the Bialetti 06799 is the fact that you can’t clean it immediately because it is too hot to touch, but again always run it under some cold water. You also need to dry it thoroughly and you can’t reassemble it until it’s completely dry. The coffee maker is not dishwasher friendly, but the good news is that it is highly durable and is bound to last for many years because there are no parts to break.
The Kalita Wave Stainless Steel Dripper 185 looks like a regular pour dripper at first glance, but it is actually more than that. The three-holed flat bottom makes the entire brewing process simple because it restricts the flow of water and produces coffee that is a lot more concentrated than that you can obtain with other drippers.
We selected it as out budget pick not only because it is very affordable, but also because you can obtain high-quality coffee with it without too much effort. The Kalita Wave Stainless Steel Dripper 185 is highly portable, which makes it a great addition to your camping kit. You should, however, note that the fluted filters required for this coffee maker are easy to get flattened, so you should pack them carefully to preserve their shape.
The Kalita Wave Stainless Steel Dripper 185 makes consistent and flavorful coffee, but you shouldn’t forget to factor in the cost of the proprietary filters, which may also not be readily available in all stores. Most of the users who tested and reviewed this little coffee maker enjoyed the quality of the coffee that it brews, and found the overall process of using it easy. The Kalita might percolate a bit slower than other coffee makers for camping, but the affordable price and simplicity of use make up for it.
What we liked:
Easy to use
Produces strong coffee
Easy to pack and transport
What could be better:
Filters are very delicate
Not suitable for all grind sizes
Things to Consider
A reliable camping coffee maker is essential for frequent travelers and campers, so it’s important to look at the various features and characteristics they come with carefully. To make the correct choice for your needs, look at the type of coffee you want to enjoy, but also consider your budget and number of people that you will use the coffee maker for. We gathered all the details you need in the buying guide below so you can make an informed purchase.
Things to consider before choosing the best camping coffee maker
There are many things to consider when shopping for camping coffee makers, but the most important of them include the type of coffee you intend to brew, the capacity, dimensions, and ease of use. You should also consider the materials the coffee maker is made from, together with the amount of time it retains heat.
Type of coffee you want to brew
The majority of the camping coffee makers we reviewed are suitable for making either Americano or espresso coffee. However, there are models available that can do both, such as the AeroPress, for example. Consider what type of coffee you enjoy mostly, and make sure the coffee maker you purchase works well with the types of coffee grounds you intend to use.
The capacity of camping coffee makers varies from one shot of coffee to three or four full mugs. Many models, including the Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker and the BRIPE- Coffee Brew Pipe Kit only provide a single serving, which makes them ideal for individual use. However, if you are looking for a coffee maker that allows you to brew coffee for the entire brand, look for a model with a carafe, such as out Editor’s Choice, the Coleman QuikPot Propane Coffee Maker.
Because you will need to pack and carry the coffee maker in your backpack most of the times when you go camping, it’s essential that it is portable enough not to be an inconvenience. Some of the lightest and highly portable models we included in our reviews are the Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker and the AeroPress. Both these models are lightweight and will only take very little space in your luggage.
Look for durable materials that are high-quality and BPA free, because this is one of the most important factors that guarantee sturdiness. Coffee makers for camping are made from a variety of materials, with stainless steel being a popular choice with many users.
The superior qualities of stainless-steel mean that the coffee maker is less likely to crack or brake, and is also resistant to corrosion. Glass is another material you can opt for when it comes to the carafe, but this is not the best choice for outdoor use because it is obviously vulnerable to shattering.
The type of filter the coffee maker uses is also a crucial element to consider, as you want them to be inexpensive and readily available. Some models, such as pour-over ones such as the Kalita Wave Stainless Steel Dripper 185 require special filters that might not be easy to find in local stores. Camping coffee makers that don’t require a filter are generally more practical, but they require cleaning after each use.
How it retains heat of the coffee
When you’re in the outdoors, you want to be able to keep your coffee hot for as long as possible, especially if you brew it now so you can have some later in the day. Look for a model with effective heat retention properties so your coffee can remain hot or at least warm for a couple of hours or more. The Wacaco Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker is an example that retains heat well, but you can also get good results with any of the other models we reviewed.
Easy to clean
Cleaning the camping maker after each use is not everybody’s favorite activity, and this is the reason you should look for a coffee maker that is a breeze to clean. As a rule of thumb, a design with fewer components is easier to clean so you can get brewing another cup immediately or get on your way as quickly as possible. Some models, such as the Bialetti 06799, require you to wait until all the components are completely dry before you assemble it back, so if that sounds like too much work, look for something that is easier to maintain.
What else to look at?
The speed of the camping coffee maker is another important feature to consider. If you want to have a cup of coffee quickly as soon as you wake up and don’t want to fiddle with components too much, then look for a model that brews your coffee in minutes, rather than close to half an hour. The brewing speed will, of course, depend on how important the taste and flavor are for you. If you’re using a French press or a percolator, you are bound to get the best quality there is on the go, but you should be prepared to wait for a little longer to get your caffeine fix.
Most camping coffee makers have a budget-friendly price tag, but still, the prices may differ depending on how popular the manufacturer is and the overall build quality of the product.
The most expensive options offer larger capacities so you can brew multiple cups at one time, as well as sophisticated brewing techniques. They may also be built from high-quality materials and be durable enough to last for years to come. On the other hand, if you only need a coffee maker for occasional use, an affordable model may be a better choice for you.
Cowboy coffee is a term that refers to coffee that is made around a campfire, using just a pot, water, and beans. The best type of camping coffee maker for cowboy coffee is a brewing kit that uses a stovetop or simply the flame of a blowtorch to heat it up. An example is the BRIPE-Coffee Brew Pipe Kit.
Depending on the type of coffee maker you use, it can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to half an hour to brew your hot drink. If you want quick results, it’s always a good idea to use a no-fuss coffee maker, such as the AeroPress, for example.
Most of the camping coffee makers on the market are BPA free. This is true for both models made from stainless steel and those that feature a glass carafe.
The Coleman QuikPot Propane Coffee Maker is the best camping coffee maker currently available on the market. It is easy to use, makes coffee for multiple people at the same time, and can be used for stove purposes well thanks to the propane canister use. A second close is the Coffee Gator French Press, which is the perfect choice for those who are looking for a French press style coffee maker. We liked the design and ease of use of this coffee maker, as well as the fact that it has a handle that remains cool, which comes in very handy in the outdoors. Finally, in the third place we have the AeroPress Coffee Maker, which looks like a different system, but is very simple to use and provides coffee lovers with excellent results when it comes to flavor.