Hot coffee is a camping staple.
This makes a camping coffee maker essential camping gear.
Nobody wants to wake up in a tent and pour themselves a lukewarm mug of mud.
There’s no doubt that unplugging from city life and escaping into the country to enjoy some good old nature is not only healthy for the body and mind but also the soul. Between, work, screens, commitments, and everything in between, any one of us can easily become overwhelmed. And there’s no better way to remedy than retreating into the woods or mountains on a camping or backpacking trip.
Just because you’re going camping doesn’t mean you have to leave every modern convenience behind, however. You’re still probably going to need your phone’s GPS and you’re allowed to indulge in a podcast or your favorite album… and you’re going to want a delicious cup of coffee. While there are some obvious ways to make coffee from the remote wilderness like the Moka pot or French press, there is no shortage of coffee brewing methods that can be performed without your home stovetop. So grab your cup of coffee and let’s dive into all the ways you can cook up some killer java while enjoying the great outdoors.
The Best Camping Coffee Makers at a Glance
The good news is that between old-school techniques and modern, portable appliances, there is no shortage of ways to get your caffeine fix while camping.
Brewing coffee from your campsite has never been easier.
Here are 8 ways you can brew coffee while camping:
- Pour-Over Coffee Maker
- Coffee Percolator
- Moka Pot
- Camping French Press
- Battery-Operated Coffee Maker
- Propane-Powered Coffee Maker
- Instant Coffee or Coffee in a Bag
No matter how you choose to brew coffee, there are a lot of options for which coffee making device is best for your specific needs. In this post, we’re going to look specifically at the best of the best—the best camping coffee makers.
Here are the 11 best camping coffee makers:
- AeroPress Go Portable Travel Press
- Farberware Yosemite Coffee Percolator
- GSI Outdoors Glacier Percolator
- Jetboil Java Flash Kit
- Coleman QuikPot Propane Coffee Maker
- GSI Outdoors Collapsible Java Drip
- Makita DCM501Z Portable Coffee Maker
- Frieling Double Wall Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker
- Stanley Adventure Boil + Brew
- GSI Outdoors Java Press
- Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker
Let’s dig into each one in more detail.
#1: AeroPress Go Portable Travel Press – Simplest Camping Coffee Maker
As the name implies, the AeroPress Go is designed for portability and convenience. It’s a great camping coffee maker because it’s small enough to fit in your camping gear, but it’s a high-quality coffee press that takes up just a fraction of the space and pack weight of other brewing methods. And when it comes to ease of use, you can’t get much easier than this.
The AeroPress Go also comes with a mug and a filter, so you have everything you need to make coffee in one package.
To use the AeroPress Go, simply add coffee grounds and hot water to the chamber, stir, and press down on the plunger. In just a minute or two, you’ll have delicious coffee ready to drink. When you’re done, clean up is quick and easy—just rinse out the chamber and press.
If you’re looking for a coffee maker that is lightweight, easy to use, and produces great-tasting coffee, the AeroPress Go is an excellent choice.
Since this device is so compact, it’s a good solution for just about any camping trip where you’ll have a fire or stove and able to make hot water.
The only real drawback is that you’ll need a separate vessel–a kettle or pot–to heat your water before pouring it into the AeroPress.
#2: Farberware Yosemite Coffee Percolator – Best Camping Coffee Maker for Big Groups
The Farberware Yosemite is a classic. This percolator can brew a large pot of coffee—up to 12 cups at a time if you buy the bigger model. It’s made of durable stainless steel and has a sturdy handle that is easy to grip, even with gloves on.
To use the percolator, simply add water to the reservoir, add coffee grounds to the basket, and put it on your camp stove or over a campfire. In just minutes, you’ll have hot, fresh coffee ready to enjoy.
One of the best things about this device is that it’s affordable and easy to find—you can even find it at many grocery stores. It also has a built-in permanent filter, meaning you won’t have to worry about bringing along paper filters. Just add your grounds and brew.
And when you get home, it’s dishwasher safe—so you can just pop it in and have it ready for your next camping trip.
Probably the only downside to this classic percolator setup is that brewing great coffee can take a bit of practice. Controlling the heat and the coffee extraction is a science and an art. So you’ll probably want to get in a few test runs before you wake up desperate for a good cup of coffee.
#3: GSI Outdoors Glacier Percolator – Best Percolator for Any Number of People
The GSI Outdoors Glacier Percolator is a high-quality, stainless steel camping coffee maker that is built to last. It’s made of durable 18/8 stainless steel and has a double-wall construction that helps keep your coffee hot.
This model has a heat-resistant silicone handle, making it perfect for cooking over a campfire just as well as a camp stove.
It also has a unique percolating system that evenly distributes heat, so your coffee brews evenly every time.
But what really makes this an attractive option for campers is that it comes in a wide variety of sizes—from 3-cup, 6-cup, 9-cup, and 12-cup models are all available. So there’s a great option here whether you’re solo hiking and camping in the backwoods or taking a big group out for a family expedition.
Like the Farberware Yosemite model, the brewing process is a breeze. You simply add grounds to the basket, add water to the reservoir, and apply heat. As with other percolators, the brew timing can be a bit tricky. But it doesn’t take too many runs to dial it in.
#4: Jetboil Java Flash Kit – Fastest Camping Coffee Maker
The Jetboil Java Flash is one of the quickest and easiest camping coffee makers to use. It’s designed specifically for boiling water, so it heats up quickly and evenly.
This device can have hot water ready to brew coffee in just 100 seconds.
To use the Java Flash, simply add water to the cooking cup (included). Heat the water over the isobutane stove (works just like a propane stove). Then add coffee grounds directly to the water—let step. Finally, use the included plunger to press the grounds, just like your at-home french press.
The really nice thing about the Jetboil Java Flash Kit is that it’s an all-in-one system. You have the heat, the mug, and the brewing method all covered. So you won’t need a separate kettle or pot to heat your water. In fact, you can use the Jetboil cooking cup to heat up water for anything you need on your camping trip—soup, tea, coffee, etc.
Really the only downside is that this device requires special isobutane canisters that attach to the included stand and cooking cup. This means you’ll need to buy or refill them for every camping trip (or every few trips, depending on the duration of your trips and how much coffee you’re brewing).
The 100-gram fuel can is rated to boil up to 10 liters of hot water but they also offer 230-gram and even 450-gram canisters if you want to stock up.
#5: Coleman QuikPot Propane Coffeemaker – Best No-Hassle Coffee Maker
When it comes to making the best outdoor equipment and cookware, it’s hard to find a company that does it better than Coleman, and their QuikPot Propane Coffee Maker is no exception.
The Coleman QuikPot is an all-in-one propane-powered camping coffee maker.
It works with a 16.4-ounce propane cylinder and can run continuously for four and a half hours to produce a cup of joe the way you enjoy it at home.
Just like your home drip coffee maker, it works by spooning coffee grounds into a removable filter basket and adding water. Instead of plugging in your coffee maker like at home, you attach the device to the propane canister. After pressing the Instastart push-button ignition, you’ll be enjoying coffee in less than 20 minutes.
The accompanying carafe is a hefty 10-cup unit making it ideal for large groups, but you don’t have to wait for it to fill all the way before you can enjoy a cup of brew. Thanks to the Pause ‘n’ Serve feature, you can pour yourself a drink and then let the brewing process finish.
While this isn’t the fastest way to make good coffee, it’s ideal to use while preparing breakfast or taking care of some other chores around the campsite. Simply start it with the push of a button, and enjoy some fresh, delicious drip coffee 18 minutes later.
Since this device is so similar to your at-home drip coffee maker, brewing is super simple and intuitive. But, it’s also bulky. You probably wouldn’t lug your home coffee maker on a backpacking trip into the deep woods. This device is probably best suited for an RV setup or car camping rather than a tent-camping expedition.
- Has up to four and a half hours of brew time per cylinder
- Makes delicious drip coffee
- Easy and intuitive to use
- Requires propane
- Coffee takes quite long to brew
- Bulkier than many options on our list
#6: GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip (Dripper) – Best Ultra-Portable Coffee Maker
It doesn’t get much simpler than this ulta-portable coffee dripper.
The GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip is a lightweight, portable camping coffee maker that is easy to use and easy to store. It’s made of durable silicone and can be set up in just seconds.
To use the Java Drip, you simply heat water in a kettle or pot. Add a paper filter and ground coffee the the device and then place it on top of your travel mug, carafe, or thermos. Once the water is heated, pour the hot water over the grounds in a circular pattern — soaking the grounds and brewing the coffee.
You can essentially turn (almost) any container into a pour-over coffee pot.
One great thing about this option for brewing coffee is that you’re in total control of the amount and strength of the coffee you brew. You can adjust the amount of grounds you add or the amount of water you use to brew a single-serve batch or up to 12 cups of coffee at a time.
Despite its simplicity, this thing can make damn good coffee. There’s a reason pour-over coffee is a favorite among baristas.
There are only a few drawbacks to this ultra-portable, ultra-simple brewing method. For one — it’s a manual dripper. So brewing time—especially if you’re making coffee for the whole crew—can take a bit longer than other methods. Secondly, the simplicity of the device comes at a cost. In addition to the brewing device itself, you’ll need coffee grounds, paper filters, a pot/kettle to heat water, and a mug, carafe, or thermos to brew the coffee into. So, while the device itself is ultra-portable, this could add a bit of weight to your payload if you weren’t planning to pack out these extras in the first place.
See also: Hario V60 Plastic Coffee Dripper
This Hario device is similar to the GSI Outdoors Java Drip. But it doesn’t collapse down into a disc. Even so, it’s a viable alternative—simple, compact, and lightweight brewing option.
#7: Makita DCM501Z Portable Coffee Maker – Best Battery-Operated Coffee Maker
If you’re looking for a battery-powered coffee maker that ticks all of the boxes in terms of performance, build quality, and portability, then you absolutely have to choose the Makia DCM501Z. Powered by 18V lithium-ion batteries, Makita’s coffee maker brews delicious coffee from either pods or coffee grounds in a matter of minutes. Fresh, delicious coffee - no matter what terrain or where you are in the world.
The Makita DCM501Z is a cordless, battery-operated coffee maker that is designed for use with Makita’s line of cordless tools—and rechargeable batteries. It’s compact and easy to set up, and it can brew a pot of coffee in just minutes.
It’s essentially your at-home drip coffee machine—but cordless.
This is an incredible all-rounder when it comes to producing delicious coffee from a battery-powered device. It’s earned its title as one of the best camping coffee makers due to its large battery capacity and ability to make delicious coffee and boil water without the need for a camp stove or campfire. It uses a Makita 18V Lithium-Ion battery or Makita 12V CXT and a 240ml water tank to brew up to three 5-ounce cups of coffee per charge.
What’s great about the battery is that it uses a modular design so that it can work with any number of Makita products. So if you’ve already invested in a Makita power drill and chainsaw, you can use your existing batteries and swap them between tools as needed. The only downside is that the batteries don’t come with the coffee maker, so if you don’t already have them, you have to buy them separately.
In terms of design, the DCM501Z is functional, durable, and compact enough to fit in the back of your car or even a backpack (although, to be honest, this option is probably best suited for car campers versus hardcore backpackers). It works with both coffee pods and grounds and has a permanent drip coffee filter so you don’t have to constantly use disposable paper filters.
- Battery operated (and rechargeable)
- All-in-one device; no kettle, carafe, fire, or stove required
- Works with both ground coffee and pods
- Uses a permanent drip filter
- Can be used in conjunction with other Makita products
- Battery not included
- Not the most portable option on the list
- Limited brewing capacity (~15oz per battery charge)
#8: Frieling Double-Wall Stainless-Steel French Press Coffee Maker – Best Insulated Camping Coffee Maker
The Frieling Double Wall Stainless Steel French Press is an insulated french press. It’s made of double-walled stainless steel and has a durable construction. Plus it looks pretty damn sleek.
Brewing is simple.
You add coffee grounds to the main body of the french press. Heat water over a camp stove or fire—you’ll need a separate pot or kettle for this—until it’s boiling. Take off of heat and let it cool slightly (don’t brew with boiling water or you’ll burn the coffee). Pour the hot water into the press. Stir and steep for 3-5 minutes. Then use the plunger and built-in filter to press the coffee grounds, leaving just hot coffee that’s ready to serve.
Once the coffee is brewed, the double-wall insulation will keep it hot for hours.
Like many of the brewing devices on this list, you won’t be able heat the french press over the fire directly. So, the main drawback here is that, again, you’ll need to bring along supplied to heat water before you can brew.
#9: Stanley Adventure All-in-One, Boil + Brewer French Press Coffee Maker – Best Value Camping Coffee Maker
If you’re looking for more of an all-in-one coffee pot that you can pack out on a backpacking trip (or you’re just trying to live minimally), then the Stanley Adventure Boil + Brew is a fantastic option.
Unlike some of the other devices, you can heat, brew, and pour directly from the one pot.
That makes brewing not only simple but saves valuable pack space for other camping equipment and essentials.
Using the Stanley coffee system is simple. You add water directly to the 32-oz, stainless-steel pot. Place over the stove or campfire and bring the water to a boil. Let cool slightly. Then add your coffee grounds directly to the water. Stir and steep for 3-5 minutes, then use the included french press sleeve (works like a plunger) to press the grounds.
Notably, this device is BPA-free—including the plunger sleeve, which is made from nylon rather than plastic. (For what it’s worth, nearly every non-plastic option on this list is a BPA-free coffee maker.)
And it comes with a lifetime warranty to boot.
There are just a few downsides to this particular model. It does include a locking pot handle to grab and pour—but it’s not insulated or silicone, meaning it’ll probably be hot when taking it off heat and you’ll need to use gloves.
It’s also not insulated, so the coffee will lose heat more quickly than the Frieling model.
#10: GSI Outdoors Java Press – Best Single Serve Option
The GSI Java Press is easy to use and easy to clean. It’s made of durable nylon so it’s super lightweight compared to the stainless steel french press options. It’s also a nesting set—including both the french press itself and a portable travel mug.
Both the mug and the press include insulated sleeve to keep coffee warm.
Like the Frieling option, this is not a heat-safe device, so you’ll need to heat water on your stove or fire in another vessel before brewing with the Java Press.
The biggest drawback to this model—or the biggest upside, if you’re looking for something to make coffee for just yourself—is that it’s fairly small. It’s just a 20oz press and the mug is 17oz. In other words, you’re basically making a single cup of coffee at a time.
This is more of a single-serve french press.
There is a listing for a 50-oz version of this model for big groups, but at the time of review, it doesn’t appear to be available on their site, Amazon, or REI.
#11: Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker (Moka Pot) – Best for Strong Coffee
Raise your hand if you like a kick in the pants.
The Bialetti Moka Express is a stovetop coffee pot that is easy to use and easy to clean. It’s made of durable aluminum and has a comfortable grip handle.
Also known as a stovetop espresso maker, the Bialetti is the quintessential moka pot.
The main draw: It makes damn strong coffee.
Despite the misnomer, this device doesn’t make espresso. But it does apply more pressure than other brewing methods and tends to create a richer, fuller, and bolder coffee.
Although how the moka pot works is different from a percolator, the setup and ease of use are nearly identical.
Using a moka pot like the Bialetti Moka Express will be familiar. Simply add water to the reservoir, add coffee grounds to the basket, and screw on the lid. Then, put it on your camp stove or over a fire and wait for the water to boil.
One of the big upsides to bringing a moka pot on your camping trip—you can heat and brew directly on a stove or open flame. No additional vessels required.
On the downside, this is probably the most challenging brew method on the list—it takes a special touch to brew great coffee without scorching. And, of course, not everyone is looking for that kick in the pants.
A Few Final Options
None of the above options tickling your fancy?
Well that’s a shame. But you’re not entirely out of options.
The good news is that—because we all love coffee so damn much—there is no shortage of methods and devices you can use to brew. Even when you’re a million miles from nowhere, you can brew a good cup of high-quality java.
Consider these alternatives as a last-ditch effort:
- WACACO Nanopresso – Add coffee and hot water, pump, and brew for near-instant espresso anywhere. This tiny espresso maker can pack up to 18 bars of pressure.
- WACACO Pipamoka – Another hand-powered option. The Pipamoka lets you twist ‘n’ brew coffee. Unlike the WACACO Nanopresso, this device uses vacuum but doesn’t hold the same pressure; it brews coffee—not espresso.
- AICOK Portable Espresso Maker – One final option. This is a rechargeable electronic device that you can pack and brew anywhere.
Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Coffee Maker for Camping
Now that we’ve listed all of our favorite products for making coffee from the tent—or the RV or the car—let’s talk a bit about what you should consider when choosing the right option for you.
Here are 4 factors to keep in mind when choosing the right device and brewing method.
How many caffeine fiends will you be sharing the tent with? One of the main considerations is how much coffee you’ll need to brew and the brew capacity of the device you’re considering.
Many of these devices are designed to brew just enough for 1 or 2 people and wouldn’t suffice a big camping party. But there are a few options if you need a lot of coffee.
Just take into account what your typical camping arrangements look like, who’s with you on the trips, and then figure out if you need a bulk brewer or a single-serve option.
Depending on how you’re roughing it (or not roughing it), you might need to lug your coffee maker de’jour for dozens of miles into the backcountry. This means the packability—size, shape, and weight—is a major factor here.
If you’re more of a car camping crowd, then you might consider the easier-to-use and ultra-convenient options for getting your caffeine fix. If portability is not a serious limitation, you can basically just bring your at-home coffee routine into the woods with you.
But if you’re in for a rugged adventure where every pound matters, then you might want to choose a no-frills option—something light, small, and easy to fit into your backpack.
Just be sure to gameplan your full loadout. Depending on which option you choose, the “most portable” options may end up requiring more space and weight once you factor in extra equipment you’ll need to heat coffee, pour it, and drink it.
Quality of coffee
Is there any consideration more important than the quality of the coffee?
Even if you’re an, “anything black and hot,” kind of coffee drinker, you still don’t want a lukewarm cup of sludge.
Every device on this list will brew a perfectly good cup (otherwise, we wouldn’t have included it). But your level of experience with each brewing method will certainly play a factor in some of these options. If you’re looking for quick, simple, and consistent, then a dripper or french press is probably the way to go. But if you like to tinker—and you have the time to dial in your brewing process—then you might opt for something a bit more exotic like a moka pot.
Don’t Forget! Other Coffee Camping Essentials
The last thing you want is to get deep into the backcountry and realize that you forgot a critical piece of equipment for your morning brew.
So here’s your reminder. In addition to a coffee machine, you’ll probably want at least one of these other pieces of equipment in your loadout.
If you’re fully committed to the art of coffee, then you probably can’t be convinced to grind your beans ahead of time or buy pre-ground coffee for your camping trip. (The horror!)
But that does mean you’ll want a good, reliable coffee grinder that’s also portable enough to take with you on the trail.
You heat it. You brew it. Then what?
Well, you drink it—of course.
One thing that’s all too easy to forget is a mug—or a set of mugs if you have a crew—that you can take on adventures. Of course, you probably don’t want to bring one of the ceramic mugs that you have sitting in your home cupboards. You’ll want something lightweight, indestructible, and insulated.
Cue, some of our favorite picks:
- Hydro Flask Insulated Coffee Mug
- Yeti Rambler Stackable Mug
- CamelBak Camp Mug
- Snow Peak Titanium Double Wall 600 Mug
Kettles and pots
Finally, depending on how you’re planning to brew, you may find yourself in need of a sturdy, rugged, and cool-looking kettle or pot that you can use to heat water.
Once again, our team’s got your back.
Look no further than these three options for any kind of adventure: