Brew On The Range: The 7 Best Camping Coffee Makers

Mar 17, 2016

Category: Tech

If your idea of a vacation includes roughin’ it somewhere deep in the wilderness, you’re going to have numerous concerns to think about such as how not to get eaten by mountain lion or a unicorn or whatever other kinds of beasts are out there. One of the most difficult things you’ll need to prepare for is how to get your caffeine fix at the top of a mountain, lost in the forest, or as you kayak down whitewater rapids. Since lugging your espresso maker or favorite corner coffee shop probably isn’t rational, you’ll need one of these camping coffee makers.

Cabelas Campfire Coffee Pot

Cabela’s Campfire Coffee Pot

All right tenderfoot, you’ve been given the unenviable task of lugging around a coffee pot big enough to satisfy a small army of men who like their bacon greasy and their coffee black as the devil’s heart. That means you are going to need this old school percolator from Cabela’s.

Dangle it over your morning fire or put it on a metal grill for a dark, powerful brew that will drag you awake in minutes. They make it with 18/8 stainless steel for lifelong resilience. The interior is a very simple two-piece basket percolator that any greenhorn can figure out. It’s too large to be very modular, but it’s tough construction, easy use, and large capacity make it a favorite among large groups.

Purchase: $69+

AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker

AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker

If you aren’t the rough and ready type and aren’t willing to let your precious coffee grounds suffer the indignation of being mauled and mistreated by a percolator, then the AeroPress is going to be more your speed. With its simple French Press design it will give you rich, full flavor every time and even allow you to make a simple espresso, cappuccino, or latte no matter how far away from civilization you are.

The AeroPress is much smaller than any percolator and breaks down into a few component parts that are lightweight and easy to carry. It has a short brew time which will give you a much mellower cup of coffee than most camping coffee pots can produce. If you don’t want any bitterness after a hard night sleeping on the ground, the Aeropress will please your palette. It is still a little too cumbersome for backpackers or those that need every square inch of storage space.

Purchase: $26

Coleman Portable Propane Coffeemaker

Coleman Portable Propane Coffeemaker

This Coleman is more for the roadside camper who prefers to be able to drive into their campsite but isn’t quite ready to take an RV with them whenever they go into the wild. It has all the comforts and simplicity of your home brewer but doesn’t require an external power source.

The Coleman has a matchless lighting mechanism that minimizes the risk of propane leaking during transport so you’re not likely to blow yourself up. It is very easy to get started when you’re still bleary-eyed from sleep and brews up in 15 minutes, which is much faster than a percolator. It’s simple to use and to clean. An ideal camping coffee pot for the person that doesn’t think “camping” should include too much of that “nature” nonsense.

Purchase: $70

Jetboil Flash Java Kit

Jetboil Flash Java Kit

Is 15 minutes too long to wait for coffee? Then you’ll need the Flash Java Kit. Like the Coleman it is a full camping coffee system that will take you from cold grounds to a blissful brew in just two minutes using its patented FluxRing cook top. It fires up with the press of a single button so there is no mucking about with open gas lines.

Inside it uses a style of french press rather than a percolating mechanism which means you will get minimum grounds floating in your cup of joe. Everything about the Jetboil feels like it was made to be precise. It is a little heavy to be lugged up a mountain, but you can try to pack it along if you needed an extra challenge.

Purchase: $99

GSI Outdoors Collapsible Java Drip

GSI Outdoors Collapsible Java Drip

This is going to be one of the best choices for backpackers, kayakers, and anyone else looking to minimize space usage and weight. It comes in at just under 5oz and measures only a single solitary inch when fully collapsed, yet can open up to a fully functional drip cone. It can give you a mellow, basic cup or be packed with grounds for something that will put hair on your chest.

Whether you are car camping or going gourmet out on the prairie, the collapsible java is the ultimate in simple, affordable, yet high-quality camping coffee makers out there. It is made of silicone so it can withstand a reasonably high level of abuse, though it is so light you can pack two without even noticing.

Purchase: $13

Handpresso Wild Hybrid French Press

Handpresso Wild Hybrid French Press

The Handpresso first caught our attention when we were looking at single-cup coffee makers, but since then it has wriggled its way into our hearts. It is mostly best used for espresso, but given how small and simple it is, it can easily be used for camping. You can pack it with some pre-filled espresso pods and then simply boil water for a quick pick-me-up. Almost as smooth and mild as a french press, but capable of being carried in a pack.

Purchase: $129

Primus Flip N Drip Coffee Maker

Primus Flip N’ Drip Coffee Maker

If you prefer to do your exploring alone, the Flip N’ Drip is probably the only portable coffee maker you’ll require. It is meant for brewing a single cup at a time and doesn’t even offer you the option of doing more. It is somewhere between a french press and a percolator built for one. You heat water in the bottom of the self contained unit and flip it over to allow the hot water to drain into the cup. Quick cleanup, and one of the fastest ways to get a single serving before you head out.

Purchase: $92

Rok Presso Espresso Maker

Honorable Mention: Rok Presso Espresso Maker

If you aren’t at all concerned about convenience but are worried that your coffee snob status is in jeopardy, then this odd little contraption will certainly suit your needs. When baristas of the future travel back in time to see how primitive man lived, this is the coffee maker they will pack.

It is relatively simple to use and even takes the time to give your grounds time to saturate for ultimate flavor. If you refuse to accept anything less than quality espresso even when battling the elements, take the Rok Presso. It will show those philistines how the coffee maker of a refined gentleman looks.

Purchase: $199

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