Best Camping & Backpacking Coffee Makers of 2024

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Closeup of the GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip brewing coffee into an ultralight backpacking cup on a volcanic rock
GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip – Photo credit: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Coffee is a creature comfort that might just be what you need to turn a good trip into a great one. Our team of caffeine-crazed backpackers has researched 50 of the best coffee makers and tested dozens on trail side-by-side to find the ones that are fast, easy, packable, and brew up a tasty cup of joe. With over 1,000 mornings on trail, we know what it takes to get the day going right.

Of course, a backcountry brew needs hot water, so we’ve tested the best stoves for backpacking and camping so you can get your fix quick. Need somewhere to kick back and relax? Our list of our favorite camping chairs will have you sipping from your cup in comfort.

Quick Picks for Camping Coffee Makers

Check out this quick list of our top choices, or keep reading to see our full list with in-depth reviews.

Best coffee maker overall: AeroPress Go Travel ($40)

Best-tasting instant coffee: Alpine Start ($10) & Starbucks Via ($9)

Best ultralight coffee maker for backpacking: GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip ($11)

Best coffee maker for Jetboil users: Jetboil Silicone Coffee Press ($19)

Best coffee maker for travel & commuting: ESPRO Ultralight Travel Press Bottle ($50)

Lightweight & durable coffee press: GSI Outdoors Java Press ($40)

Best percolator: GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Steel Percolator ($35)

Best camping coffee maker for groups: Eureka Camp Cafe ($120)

What’s new

We’ve been busy brewing up cup after steaming cup to make sure our favorites stand the test of time and also introduce some newcomers to our lineup:

  • The AeroPress Go Travel is our top pick for when you need the backcountry to be flavor country. It’s compact, versatile, and makes a delicious brew.

  • If you can’t live without coffee but also can’t bear to carry any extra weight, the GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip is where you should look. It weighs a fraction of an ounce and it’s inexpensive.

  • If you’re not in the backcountry but you are on the go every day, go for the ESPRO Ultralight Travel Press Bottle. It’s versatile and convenient to carry in your or to the office.

AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Press

Best coffee maker overall

Price: $40

Weight: 1 lb. 1.7 oz.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Fast
  • Great flavor
  • Easy cleanup
  • Makes Americano, espresso & cold brews

Cons

  • Requires Micro-Filters (includes 350)

The AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Press is an awesome innovation for those who want to enjoy great coffee and espresso on the go. It uses a tube and rubber plunger to create pressure that forces water through the grounds. This produces a delicious, non-bitter coffee extraction that can be sipped straight, or more water can be added to make an Americano. When you’re done, all you have to do is pop the leftover disc of grounds out of the end for disposal. The AeroPress Go Travel is an excellent value since everything you need is included, and it’s our top travel coffee maker overall for brew quality, portability, and ease-of-use.

Alpine Start & Starbucks Via Instant Coffee

Best instant coffee

Price: $10 ($1.25 per serving) / $9 ($1.12 per serving)

Weight: 0.11 oz.each

Pros

  • Ultralight
  • Affordable
  • Fast & convenient
  • Hot or cold brew
  • Easy cleanup

Cons

  • Expensive over time
  • Trash from individual packets
  • Some find it bitter

When you need your coffee fast, the convenience of Alpine Start & Starbucks Via can’t be beat. Instant coffee is our go-to for backpacking since it’s ultralight, compact, and incredibly easy. It’s ground super-fine so it dissolves quickly in hot or cold water, which eliminates the need to carry an additional item for brewing. Starbucks Via is fast, convenient, and widely available online and in grocery stores. Alpine Start has excellent flavor, and we like that it’s available in bulk so we can reduce the number of wrappers we have to pack out on multi-day trips. Both instant coffees come in a variety of roasts and flavors to suit different tastes.

GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip

Best ultralight coffee maker for backpacking

Price: $11

Weight: 0.4 oz.

Pros

  • Very lightweight
  • Compact
  • Affordable
  • Multipurpose

Cons

  • Not as durable as some

The GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip is an ultralight and affordable alternative to instant coffee that makes it possible to have delicious pour over java on backcountry trips. The Java Drip weighs less than half an ounce, and it folds flat so it will fit inside of most backpacking pots when not in use. It also makes a great pre-filter for purifying water. The arms and clips that support the mesh filter are plastic, so this may not be the product for you if you’re looking for long-term durability. But for us, the pros outweigh the cons since the Java Drip is so ridiculously lightweight.

Jetboil Silicone Coffee Press

Best coffee maker for Jetboil users

Price: $19

Weight: 1.3 oz.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Affordable
  • Brews enough for two

Cons

  • Jetboil Stove required
  • Brews more acidic coffee

The Jetboil Silicone Coffee Press is an accessory every coffee-loving Jetboil user should own. It essentially converts your pot into a french press, which allows you to quickly brew a batch of coffee for two without adding much extra weight to your kit. The Jetboil Flash is one of our favorite backpacking stoves because it’s incredibly fast and efficient for boiling water. We also use our Flash for car camping and on roadtrips since it’s so convenient for making hot drinks. If you don’t have a Jetboil already, the stove and coffee press are available as a bundle: Jetboil Flash Java Kit.

ESPRO Ultralight Travel Press Bottle

Best coffee maker for travel & commuting

Price: $50

Weight: 9.8 oz.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Fast
  • Easy
  • Double-wall bottle serves multiple purposes
  • Slim shape fits well in a backpack pocket

Cons

  • Slightly expensive
  • Sip cap can’t be removed to stir in ingredients after coffee is brewed (best for those who drink bla
  • Brews more acidic coffee

The ESPRO Ultralight Travel Press Bottle is like a personal to-go french press for active people who live busy lives. Just add ground coffee, pour in hot water, and you’re ready to roll! If you’re really short on time, you can even let your coffee brew for 4-5 minutes in your cup holder on the way to the trailhead. When your java reaches the perfect brew-strength, press down the plunger to strain it through two super-fine mesh filters. The ESPRO Bottle is one of the lightest double-wall bottles on the market, so you can also use it to insulate hot and cold drinks on your adventures without adding much weight to your pack.

GSI Outdoors Java Press

Lightweight & durable coffee press

Price: $40

Weight: 10 oz.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Brews enough for two

Cons

  • Slightly expensive
  • Brews more acidic coffee

The GSI Outdoors Java Press is a simple and classic way to make coffee. Just add grounds and hot water to the carafe, wait, plunge, and pour. You have full control over your coffee’s flavor and can brew it as light or dark as you like. French presses get a bad rap for being too fragile for the outdoors since they’re typically made of glass, but the GSI solves this problem by using lightweight and durable BPA-free, shatter-resistant plastic. The Java Press is sturdy enough to toss in a tote with other camp kitchenware and will help fuel your adventures for years to come.

GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Steel Percolator

Best percolator

Price: $35

Weight: 1 lb. 5.6 oz.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Great value
  • Multiple sizes available for groups
  • Creates steamy morning ambiance

Cons

  • Heavier and bulkier than some
  • Slower than some methods
  • May get a bit of residual grit

If you like to relax in camp in the morning, make your coffee a ritual like they did in the 1960’s with the GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Steel Percolator. We love to sit back and watch the steam rise and the color change in the resin knob on this little beauty — especially when we’re surrounded by an epic landscape. Perkin’ may take a bit longer than some methods to get a strong brew, but it makes great-tasting coffee and enough of it for your whole crew (3, 6, 9, and 12 cup sizes available). The Glacier Percolator is a tad on the heavy side, but that won’t matter too much if you’re staying close to your car. And it’s so sturdy, it just might last a lifetime if treated with care.

LHS Slow Drip

Durable, affordable & eco-friendly coffee maker

Price: $16

Weight: 2.6 oz.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Paperless
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Durable
  • Easy cleanup

Cons

  • Makes weaker coffee than some

The LHS Slow Drip is a simple and affordable pour over coffee maker with a good balance of durability to low weight and size. It’s essentially a metal cone made of fine mesh that you slowly pour water over, so there’s no need to use paper filters. The cone clips onto a wide base plate that fits over the rim of travel mugs, or it can be used separately as a filter for other drippers that normally use paper. For us, the LHS Slow Drip is a bit heavy for backpacking, but it’s an elegant option for car camping, travel, and home use. You can’t beat the price, and it makes delicious coffee with low acidity and delicate flavors.

Wacaco Minipresso GR

Gourmet portable espresso maker

Price: $55

Weight: 13.6 oz.

Pros

  • Brews coffee with excellent flavor & texture
  • Fast
  • Compact

Cons

  • A bit expensive
  • Makes a single shot at a time
  • A bit more fiddly to clean/gets clogged on occasion

If high-quality, tasty espresso is your jam, don’t think twice – just buy the Wacaco Minipresso GR. The Minipresso turned out to be one of our favorite coffee makers overall – we love it so much that we find ourselves using it a lot at home. The Minipresso uses pressure to make frothy, rich coffee extractions with a manual pump so you can use it anywhere as long as you have access to hot water. Our one gripe is that it’s a bit tedious to clean between shots, so it might not be the best choice if you need to make a lot of servings of coffee for a group. That said, we highly recommend the Minipresso to singles or couples who love espresso and the outdoors. Just be warned, you might find yourself drinking more coffee than usual!

JoGo Brew Straw

Simple & durable personal coffee maker

Price: MSRP: $25

Weight: 1 oz.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Fast
  • Great flavor
  • Compact
  • Reduces teeth stains

Cons

  • A bit heavier than instant packets
  • Each person needs their own

We’re fans of the JoGo Brew Straw for home use, camping, and coffee on the trail. All you have to do is add hot water and regular coffee grounds to your cup, then wait four minutes. You can add sweeteners and cream, then drink through the straw using the insulated silicone tip to control the flow. The JoGo helps reduce coffee stains on your teeth, and the fine mesh strainer does an excellent job of keeping your brew grit-free to the last drop. When you’re done, simply dump the spent grounds into your compost or trash bag. The JoGo weighs an ounce and is as compact as an ink pen. It’s a bit heavier than instant coffee packets for backpacking, but it allows you to choose your own coffee and reduces packaging waste. We also love that the JoGo can be used for cocktails and tea!

Eureka Camp Cafe

Best camping coffee maker for groups

Price: $120

Weight: 2 lb. 7 oz.

Pros

  • Makes large batch for groups
  • Efficient
  • Includes versatile kettle
  • Easy cleanup

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • Bulky
  • Requires paper filters

If you find yourself camping with a group often, the Eureka Camp Cafe is a great way to go. Pour-over coffee is clean and has a great subtle flavor with low acidity, which is good for sensitive stomachs. The Camp Cafe set includes a 2.5-liter kettle to boil water, a large pour-over holder for a paper filter, and a carafe to hold the coffee. The kettle itself is lightweight and has coils at the base to create more surface area and make heating water fast and fuel efficient. While this system is a bit on the bulky side, we love that the parts nest together in a neat, tidy package. The Camp Cafe is a bit expensive, but since you get a great coffee system and two versatile pots you can use for lots of other camp cooking, we find this set to be an excellent value.

Kuju Coffee Pocket PourOver Coffee

Best single-serve pour over coffee

Price: $15

Weight: 0.5 oz.(each)

Pros

  • Great flavor
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Easy cleanup

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Trash from individual packets
  • Not as ideal for the backcountry as instant coffee

You can have both great flavor and ultimate convenience with Kuju Coffee Pocket PourOver Coffee. These individual packets of specialty coffee have a gourmet taste, and you don’t need a special coffee maker since the paper pour overs anchor right on to the rim of your cup. A kettle is helpful since you have to pour water slowly, but a pot and a steady hand will do in a pinch. While we still prefer instant coffee for backpacking since it’s lighter and the wrappers are less bulky to pack out, we love Kuju Coffee for camping trips or traveling when hassle-free brewing and easy cleanup are key.

Laird Superfood Instafuel

Nutritious instant coffee with creamer

Price: $14 ($1.75 per serving)

Weight: 1 oz.

Pros

  • Fast & convenient
  • Creamer included
  • Lightweight
  • Less packaging than some
  • Hot or cold brew
  • Nutritious

Cons

  • A bit expensive long-term
  • Heavier than other instant coffees
  • Distinct texture & flavor may not be for everyone

You need all the calories and nutrition you can get when you’re putting in the work on trail, and Laird Superfood Instafuel can help fuel your body as you get your caffeine fix. The coconut-based creamer and arabica instant coffee come together in a smooth, creamy cup of joe that injects some healthy fats and minerals into your morning coffee routine. Instafuel is great to have on hand if you’re not a fan of black coffee since it comes complete with light sweetening and creamer, and it doesn’t require refrigeration. Instafuel might be for you if you want a fast, healthy, and convenient way to charge up your energy level.

Miir Pourigami

Compact & durable coffee maker for camping & travel

Price: $30

Weight: 6 oz.

Pros

  • Very compact
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Expensive for a pour over
  • Requires paper filters
  • Slower brewing than some

If you’re looking for a compact coffee maker for camping and travel that takes up almost no space, the Miir Pourigami is an awesome option. The pieces interlock to make an origami-like holder for a paper filter that sits on the rim of your cup. When you’re not using it, the three flat pieces break down and slip into a flat case no bigger than a smartphone. The Pourigami is a tad pricey for how basic it is, but since it’s built with powder-coated stainless steel, it’s very durable and will last a long time. We recommend the Pourigami for those who want a design that looks cool enough to be a conversation starter and those with really limited storage space.

The best coffee-making options on the market for camping, backpacking & travel
The best coffee-making options on the market for camping, backpacking & travel

What’s Most Important to You in a Camping Coffee Maker?

PRICE

If a delicious cup of coffee in the outdoors brings you joy, it’s worth paying a bit more for high-quality beans and a great coffee maker. That said, there are both affordable and high-end options in almost all the brew styles.

Best affordable camping coffee makers

Best value camping coffee

PORTABILITY

A lot of backpackers use instant coffee since it’s convenient, ultralight, and doesn’t require any additional items. If instant coffee isn’t your jam, your best bet is to go with an ultralight pour-over. For travel or frontcountry camping, any of the coffee makers on our list are reasonably compact and lightweight; we recommend choosing one based on your group size.

Best ultralight coffee/makers for backpacking

Best coffee makers for travel or commuting

DURABILITY

Daily use will put a lot of wear and tear on your coffee maker, so you’ll need something durable if you plan to do a lot of camping and traveling. Consider how you’ll be storing your camp kitchenware and how sturdy you need it to be to keep up with your lifestyle.

Most durable coffee makers for backpacking

Most durable coffee makers for car camping

FLAVOR

If great flavor is your top priority, we recommend choosing an espresso maker that’s designed to release the subtle aromas and oils from the coffee grounds with pressure. If you like your coffee strong, a coffee press might be your best bet. Pour over coffee makers or percolators will produce a lighter, but flavorful cup with less acid. Flavor is subjective when it comes to instant coffee, but we’ll list our personal favorites first based on taste tests.

Best gourmet coffee makers

Best coffee makers for strong coffee

Best coffee makers for light-to-medium coffee

Best instant coffees

NUMBER OF CUPS

Many of the more gourmet coffee makers on our list only brew a single cup or espresso shot at a time. We don’t mind brewing a cup at a time if the process is quick and there’s only a person or two to serve. If you’d rather be able to brew a larger batch of coffee for a group of people, it’s best to use a system designed to make multiple cups in one go.

Best coffee makers for 1-3 servings

Best coffee makers for groups

BREW SPEED

A key consideration you need to make is how fast you want your java to brew. If you’ve got time to enjoy a slow morning coffee ritual, why rush it? But if you like to be able to just get up and go, you might want a faster and more convenient coffee option. Keep in mind that you’ll still need to boil water to make hot coffee with any brew method. Luckily, boiling water can be super quick and easy with the right camping or backpacking stove.

Best instant coffee

Fastest camping coffee makers

EASE OF CLEANUP

All of the coffee makers on our list are relatively easy to clean. However, some are a bit more simple than others – especially when you have limited access to running water. Instant coffee only requires you to dispose of wrappers and rinse your mug when you’re done. Coffee makers with paper filters stay fairly clean since they keep the grounds contained and easy to dump. With coffee presses and espresso makers, you’ll have to scoop out the grounds and do a little more rinsing and wiping.

Very little cleanup

Quick rinse

A little more cleanup

Brew Methods In A Nutshell

There are a lot of ways to make coffee outside. Here’s the gist of each brew method and a few pros and cons for each:

INSTANT COFFEE

Very fine coffee that dissolves completely when stirred into hot or cold water. Available in packets or a jar.

Pros: Ultralight, fast, no grounds to dispose of, very little cleanup, no coffee maker needed

Cons: Expensive long-term, more bitter than other methods, single-serve packets create more trash

TEA BAG COFFEE

Pre-ground coffee in disposable paper tea bags that you steep and discard.

Pros: Easy, no coffee maker needed, very little cleanup

Cons: Packaged ground coffee isn’t as fresh, wet bags are heavy and bulky to pack out

COWBOY COFFEE

Coffee grounds and water boiled directly in a pot or kettle for 2-3 minutes, then allowed to settle with a dash of cold water before pouring off the liquid.

Pros: Nostalgic, easy, good for groups, boiling makes coffee less acidic

Cons: Grit in your teeth

POUR OVER COFFEE

A cone-shaped holder for ground coffee that sits directly on top of a carafe or mug while you slowly pour hot water over it. Some pour-overs use a paper filter, while others are made of mesh to be paper-free.

Pros: Simple, affordable, usually lightweight & compact

Cons: Slight learning curve to making strong coffee with this method, helpful to have a kettle with a narrow spout for slowly pouring water

COFFEE PRESS (AKA FRENCH PRESS)

A carafe with a mesh plunger filter that pushes spent grounds to the bottom, leaving the brewed coffee behind to pour off.

Pros: Brews multiple cups at a time, lots of control over strength of coffee

Cons: Can be expensive, makes more acidic coffee, lack of attentiveness can lead to bitter coffee

PERCOLATOR

A pot with a basket inside that continually cycles boiling brew through the grounds using gravity until the desired strength is reached.

Pros: Iconic, durable, good for groups, deep flavor, holds heat well

Cons: Slower than other methods, coffee can be a bit gritty, lack of attentiveness can lead to bitter coffee

TRAVEL ESPRESSO MAKER

Travel espresso makers utilize high pressure to extract a rich brew. Each maker is a little different, but most use a pump or plunger to force hot or cold water through a small amount of grounds. Espresso can be sipped as a shot or added to more water for an Americano.

Pros: Gourmet flavor, fast, versatile, brews hot or cold, less bitter than other methods

Cons: Generally more expensive, more steps involves

Critical Camping Coffee Maker Considerations

The LHS Slow Drip has a good balance of durability to low weight & size for camping & travel

KITCHEN SUPPLIES

Finding the ideal coffee brewing method greatly depends on what type of supplies and kitchenware you have access to. If you’re car camping, you’ll likely have a camping stove and kettle or pot to work with. You’ll probably also have the ability to toss spent coffee grounds in a garbage bag and have access to water for rinsing. If you’re on the road or backpacking, a smaller backpacking stove will be the most practical tool for boiling water for coffee. Remember that you’ll have to pack out anything you bring into the backcountry, including any packaging and used coffee grounds. Wherever your adventures take you, you’ll also need some great cups or travel mugs.

WATER TEMPERATURE

We don’t expect you to bust out a thermometer to make camping coffee, but it does make a big difference in flavor if you get the water temperature right for your style of brewing. Most coffee presses and pour overs perform well with water that’s about 200 degrees. There’s no need to get too nerdy about it – just bring your water to a boil, then let it sit for about a minute before brewing. Alternatively, bring water to bubbling, just before it boils.

The Jetboil Flash is one of our favorite backpacking stoves because it’s incredibly fast and efficient for boiling water
The YETI Rambler is the best-ever traveling mug for durability, performance & style – shown with the MiiR Pourigami

PRE-WARM MUGS

A cold mug will cool your coffee too quickly, taking away from your sipping enjoyment. If you want to make sure your java stays hot for a long time, boil some extra water to fill your cup to pre-warm it for a few minutes. Dump the water out just before you pour in your fresh-brewed coffee.

GRINDING COFFEE

Coffee experts recommend buying coffee beans a week at a time and grinding them fresh before each use for optimal freshness. You can also store your coffee in the freezer to keep it fresher for longer. You can save yourself some work by buying pre-ground coffee or grinding enough beans for your trip before you leave home. If you want to grind your beans fresh on car camping trips and don’t mind taking an additional item, there are some great manual coffee grinders on the market. Remember, every brew method has a recommended grind from coarse to fine. It’s simple to do, and it really pays off in better flavor and drinkability to dial the grind size in.

The LHS Manual Coffee Grinder makes it possible to have fresh-ground beans at the campsite
The GSI Outdoors Java Press is durable & makes great, strong coffee
The GSI Outdoors Java Press is durable & makes great, strong coffee