Best Coffee Makers For Camping
Camping offers so much beauty and tranquility it is no wonder why so many of us enjoy it. Spending the day outdoors adventuring or making memories with the family is a priceless experience. It is a time to reconnect with nature and let the stresses of life wash away. One thing that many people enjoy in the early mornings while outdoors is a nice cup of coffee as that delightful scent of a freshly brewed cup of Joe is hard to beat. But along with the rich aroma, it also provides a sense of warmth and comfort that many avid campers enjoy, not to mention a caffeine boost you might need to head off on your next adventure. Nothing quite beats a morning’s first cup of coffee, especially when camping. But many run into the same problem as they want to enjoy a great tasting cup of coffee and get away from the instant mix. The solution is the coffee maker!
But how can you be sure to find the right coffee maker to use when traveling outdoors? There are so many to choose from that it can become overwhelming and time consuming doing the research and trying to find the perfect one. So in the spirit of keeping your life simple and deliciously filled with warm coffee, we have listed the top ten coffee makers on the market, and why they are the best of the best. By the end, you should be able to confidently have found a maker that will suit all of your needs.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Idyllic Homes Kona French
- Aeropress Coffee Maker
- Easy to Use
- Coffee Gator Pour Over
- Good Quality
- Easy to Use
10 Best Coffee Makers for Camping
Built with solid stainless steel, it is virtually indestructible. For the most part, you never should worry about breaks or cracks in the exterior.
The insulated double walls will keep the coffee hot for a good deal of time and the double mesh filter system reduces the sediment in your coffee cup.
Weighing in at just under two pounds, this handy coffee maker can easily be taken anywhere.
There are two size versions available; 34 ounces and 50 ounces (of coffee made).
Ease of Cleaning
Every single part is made of 18/10 stainless steel; which makes them all dishwasher safe.
The stainless steel makeup, fantastic coffee quality, and multiple capacity options provide a near-perfect coffee maker.
- Step-by-step instructions included for brewing the best coffee
- 2-year no hassle product warranty
- When you push the bottom down to brew, an unsettling scraping noise can follow
CAFÉ DU CHATEAU FRENCH PRESS
All pieces are constructed from 304-grade stainless steel. This protects it from rust and also makes it visually appealing. Plus, the large carafe is made from borosilicate glass and will withstand boiling water.
It combines double stainless steel screen filters and a final top lid strainer to ensure a pure brew with zero grounds, making it perfect for coffee, tea, or espresso.
It is small enough to fit in a carry bag and will work perfectly on your camping trip.
In one brew, it will make 1000ml of coffee.
Ease of Cleaning
For the easiest clean possible, every major component is dishwasher safe.
Could not think of a better second option with its terrific portability, capacity and coffee quality.
- A detailed brewing guide comes with your purchase
- If anything happens to the coffee maker, you can receive a free replacement
- The bottom is a tad unlevel, making it rock ever so lightly
- The glass jar will slide right out of the metal sleeve which could result in accidental breaking
BRUHEN LARGE STAINLESS STEEL
Constructed from BPA-free stainless steel, there are no plastic or rubber parts and no fragile glass to break. In addition, the handle is both sturdy and comfortable.
For a clean cup of coffee every single time, double steel mesh filters filter out everything but the good stuff. The inside insulation will also keep it hot for an extended period.
It will fit perfectly on your tabletop counter, but it works even better when transported. Lightweight enough for easy transportation.
In one brew, it will make a liter worth of coffee. This will fill approximately three to four full-sized cups.
Ease of Cleaning
Disassembly is a breeze and it is 100 percent dishwasher safe.
The Bruhen Coffee Maker surely sports all the goods and is a terrific choice for every single coffee lover in the world.
- The double filter ensures a perfect cup of coffee
- Customer service guarantee that they will do everything in their power to fix any issue present
- There is nothing on the lid for your finger to direct the opening in line with the pouring spout
AEROPRESS COFFEE AND ESPRESSO MAKER
All parts are made from plastic and phthalate and BPA free. While not stainless steel, this makes it great for traveling.
The AeroPress uses total immersion and a tad bit of pressure to ensure each cup of coffee has immense flavor. Inside, the microfilter will prevent and particles from entering your coffee.
Included with this coffee maker is a portable travel bag, making it perfect for travel.
It will fill enough for one to four cups of coffee (depending on the size) or around one to two mugs.
Ease of Cleaning
In mere seconds, all parts can be cleaned. The plastic makeup provides a fast and easy clean-up.
The included storage bag is a really nice touch and its design is perfect for travel.
- Brews absolutely delicious coffee without bitterness
- A travel bag comes alongside with it
- The plastic is not as heavy-duty as stainless steel
- Can be a small hassle getting good coffee quality
COFFEE GATOR POUR OVER
No aluminum is used in the design, instead of a stainless steel mesh and ring. However, the overall exterior is glass.
The pour-over method assists your beans in delivering maximum flavor, while the laser-cut reusable steel filter retains the flavors and oils.
Weighing in at a minuscule 14.4 ounces, the Coffee Gator can be easily transported.
One brew will make 400ml of coffee; which will fill around three cups.
Ease of Cleaning
Cleaning is incredibly simple, just be careful with the beaker as it is constructed from glass.
Glass may not be as efficient as stainless steel, but that does not make this an insufficient model (nor a bad design choice). Instead, all the other factors on top of it make it more than worth it.
- The handle makes pouring the coffee incredibly easy
- Pour over method provides great coffee quality
- The glass breaker feels easily breakable
GSI Outdoors Collapsible Java Drip
The IncrediBrew is constructed from high-quality silicone that can easily be collapsible for easy storage and travel.
To be used with any #4 filter, this drip coffee filter is very similar to your average drip coffee filter. It shouldn't affect quality or taste.
Like you've seen already, this little guy is so convenient and portable. Not only can it tucked in anywhere, at 1" by 5.5" it can basically fit in your back pocket.
Can brew between 1 and 12 cups of coffee.
Ease of Cleaning
All the parts can be dissembled in mere seconds and cleaned just as easily.
Not too many aspects are lacking with the GSI Collapsible Java Drip Coffee Maker. It's ideal for camping and backpacking and it a great, tiny addition to any camp kitchen.
- Extremely small
- Easy to use
- Needs a separate pitcher to collect coffee
FARBERWARE CLASSIC PERCOLATOR
It is designed from high-quality heavy-duty stainless steel that will protect it from potential rust. A clear plastic knob will let you know when percolating begins.
It features a filter basket, so there is no need for messy paper filters. Brews coffee right on the stovetop for a rich flavor.
Being lightweight in nature, it is incredibly portable and will take up little to no space.
Will fill approximately four to eight cups of coffee.
Ease of Cleaning
Each part can be easily hand-washed and it is dishwasher safe.
This is quality at its best and although it is ideal for people who camp with a stovetop (in a camper), it is still fantastic.
- Makes four to eight cups of coffee
- The stainless steel body makes the exterior nearly indestructible
- Will work for camping, but may not be what some are looking for
IDYLC HOMES KONA FRENCH
The outer shell is extremely attractive, coming in either black or red, and will protect from accidental cracks or chips. The pitcher itself is made from extra-thick borosilicate glass.
Right into a large carafe, the coffee beans will brew and no grounds will make their way into the coffee. The result is a smooth and rich flavor.
It is both portable and eco-friendly; perfect for camping and hiking.
There are two options at your disposal, either 12 ounces or 34 ounces.
Ease of Cleaning
The stainless steel filter screen can easily be removed and the coffee maker itself is dishwasher machine safe.
While there are slight downsides that hurt its overall nature, it does not prevent the KONA Coffee Maker from being an utmost recommendation.
- The handle is both comfortable and incredibly sturdy
- When in operation, it is extremely quiet
- At times, the lid will not stay closed and will allow heat to escape
- The bottom can be difficult to unscrew; making the bottom section hard to clean
Primula Single Serve Coffee Brew Buddy
This coffee maker is quite a unique design. It features a single serving mug that has a coffee bag placed right within. It is a simple set-up that works easily for many who have reviewed and tested it.
The fine mesh filter allows any grind size that you would like or prefer. And you can brew the coffee to your own desired strength.
The Primula Single Serve Coffee Brew Buddy is small, compact, and lightweight. It is both easy to clean and transport.
It makes one mug of coffee at a time.
Ease of Cleaning
This coffee maker is dishwasher safe.
This coffee maker is safe, easy, and fun to use. The mesh filter is economical and can easily be replaced when it needs to be refreshed. This design is unique and unlike many others on the list.
- Can be washed in a dish washing machine
- Replaceable filter
- Only brews one cup of coffee at a time
GSI OUTDOORS JAVA PRESS
The carafe is crystal-clear and covered with a blue insulator; this adds extra protection.
The inside is double-walled and the lid is insulated to hold as much heat as possible. While pressing the plunger too quickly can result in grounds in your coffee, most of the time mud-free coffee results.
Once again, the lightweight nature ensures easy transportation time and time again.
A few options are available including 30 and 50 ounces.
Ease of Cleaning
After easily removing the EVA sleeve from the beaker, you can hand-wash it with relative ease.
Besides the slight issue that can result with the coffee grounds, the GSI Coffee Maker is a great choice and will work sufficiently for hiking, camping or any other outdoor activity.
- EVA sleeve that provides extra protection
- Inside insulation that keeps the coffee hot
- Pressing the plunger too quickly (or not rinsing it off between brews) can result in coffee grounds making their way into the coffee
Criteria for Evaluation
The Overall Design of the Exterior
Good products are always ones that are built to last, so it should not come as a surprise that the exterior design of coffee makers is so crucial. But, there are multiple materials that will provide the same end result; although some are superior to others. Throughout the entries on this list, a lot of them altered in terms of exterior design. Still, all manufacturers either chose stainless steel, glass, or plastic (or a combination).
Each has their advantages, but stainless steel may be the winner in terms of pure quality. Any coffee makers that sport a stainless steel exterior are virtually indestructible. By “virtually” this accounts for idiots who will purposely try to cause damage to the stainless steel to prove a useless point. Accidental cracks and breaks are very unlikely to happen unless a serious accident happens. Also, stainless steel will provide great protection against rust. Thus, making the visual appeal and craftsmanship superior for years on end. Lastly, this type of steel will keep the coffee hot inside (without damaging it as it is heat-resistant), while keeping the exterior cool to the touch.
So, clearly, stainless steel is terrific but what about glass? Although it is easier to shatter than steel, glass coffee makers do have a few things going for them. One, glass is constructed from naturally abundant materials preventing it from degrading in the future. Secondly, unlike plastic, glass will not alter the taste of what is inside in the slightest; while plastic can create an unnatural flavor in its liquids.
Not too many are, but what happens if a coffee maker is constructed from plastic? Do not be fooled, plastic is not a bad material. A couple of benefits for using it include an exterior that is harder to break than glass (most generally), it is resistant to corrosion and it possessing tremendous insulating properties.
Really, all three will suffice but stainless steel may be the one to prioritize over the others.
The Quality of Coffee It Creates
This is just as, if not more, important as the exterior design. What good is a coffee maker that does not make great tasting coffee? It is about as pointless as basketball that does not bounce. However, it takes two key components to make a great cup of coffee: the machine and the user. The machine is what you will have to concern yourself with at the moment and there are a few factors that come into play.
The first is how well the coffee maker will insulate your coffee. Most people will not be satisfied with anything less than a smoking-hot cup of coffee. Of course, if you make enough coffee for one sitting than you will pour it all into your mug. Thus, not needing concern yourself with the insulation too much. If you ever intend to make more than needed, and save the rest for a little later, it is nice if it is kept as warm as possible.
However, the way the coffee maker filters the grounds is where the true quality lies. It is important for there to be zero grounds left in the finished product. To achieve this, most high-quality models will use a double mesh filter system (typically stainless steel) to reduce the sediment and grounds. But, in the meanwhile, not affect the natural flavors and oils from the beans themselves. Which is why glass and stainless steel exteriors are so nice, as they do not affect the flavor in the slightest.
Next, you need to have adequate skills to make a great cup of coffee yourself. If you do not like your coffee black, bring creamers and extra ingredients to stir inside them. For novices, some manufacturers will include detailed guides to making excellent cups of coffee. This may be something to consider.
The Ease of Transport and Overall Portability
This entire guide has taken a priority to coffee makers that can be specifically used for camping. That is not going to prove to be an easy task if they are not portable because it would defeat the entire purpose. With your current coffee maker, that you may have sitting on your countertop at the moment, there is a possibility that you could take it camping with you. It just depends on the way you camp. In other words, if you do so with a camper, tent, or simply under the moonlight. With a camper, you will find a place with electrical access. This is a possibility even with a tent unless you camp in the middle of the woods and not at a campground.
Either way, to accommodate for all types of campers, all the entries can be used no matter how you camp. Besides the way they are designed, they are extremely lightweight in nature. Even though you will find models that do not include a storage bag, most will easily fit into any backpack or storage bag you have. From there, they will take up little to no room in either your tent or campsite.
How Much Coffee It Will Make in One Brew
Remember the opening statement that asked how many of you are dependent on coffee to the point of addiction? Well, chances are, if you intend to camp with other people (and that is the most enjoyable way to do so) they could be just as addicted as you are. What if they do not have a portable coffee maker like yourself? Depending on how kind you are, you may want to make them a cup of coffee as well. If you want zero downtime in-between, this is where the capacity will come into play.
Typically, it takes a coffee maker several minutes to brew coffee. While we are not talking hours here, to get the proper transfer and flavor it does take a brief amount of time. Double that, or triple that, if there are multiple people in your camping group that require coffee in the morning. But, all this time can be eliminated if you invest in a coffee maker that accommodates for more coffee in one single brew. The models on this list vary quite a bit in this compartment and it is strictly user preference.
The best bet, if you are having any doubts on how many people will want to use it, is to shoot for more than you need. In the morning, if one cup is sufficient enough for you, choose a model that makes up to three or four. This way, if there is a revelation that other people would like some coffee you are perfectly prepared to make their day. Generally speaking, though, the more it makes the more expensive it will be. Keep that in mind and use discretion with your decision.
How Simple the Cleaning Process Is
Yes, this is the process that no one wants to care about and one that will be addressed when the time comes. However, do not sleep on how important this can be. If you never clean out your coffee maker, not only will the coffee be affected but is borderline unhealthy. Thankfully, all the entries that made it on this list are relatively easy to clean. To achieve this, the first aspect that needs to be addressed is how simple it is to disassemble. Granted, a few models suffer a little in this compartment, but they do well overall.
But, the more important factor is how easy they are to clean and if they can be machine washed. It gets a little tricky when it comes to dishwashers, though, as each material is different. For stainless steel, there are some risks in placing them in a dishwasher. Mainly, that excess humidity will negatively affect the steel by corroding the metal and that some acidic foods (from the remnants of other dishes) will ruin the polished finish. Placing it on the upper rack and away from any other dishes is a great remedy against this, however.
As far as glass and plastic go, there can be some risks to them as well. With glass, if you plan on hand washing it, you need to take proper care to prevent any breakage. For delicate glass, you may not want to place it in the dishwasher. Meanwhile, plastic can enhance the leaching of chemicals if it is exposed to excess heat (such as that of a dishwasher).
To be perfectly safe, a general rule of thumb is to abide by the exact recommendations the manufacturer provides for you. As you noticed, even with stainless steel and glass, some promise that it is 100 percent dishwasher safe. If so, then there is no reason you can’t abide by it. But, if there is no mention of whether or not it is machine-washing friendly, wash it manually.
A Couple of Additional Factors to Consider
If you stopped right now, you would have enough information for a fully confident purchase. But, there are a few other factors that could end up being that last poker chip that determines which model you invest in. Firstly, consider the warranty (if there is one) that comes alongside with it. Being prepared for any circumstance is always a good thing, and especially when ordering online, it is relieving to know you have a guarantee for your money back in case of defects or damages.
Even though it was briefly addressed, it is also an added bonus when sellers include a guide for brewing the best coffee with their coffee maker. Lastly, pay attention to the handle. While most will never be an issue, it is never fun to have an uncomfortably-placed handle to make pouring unnecessarily annoying.
Q: What is the best kind of water to make coffee with?
The type of water you use to make coffee will have direct implications on how your coffee will taste. In general, if the water is sufficient enough to drink naturally then it will result in a well-tasting coffee (discounting the other factors). However, there are a few methods that you can follow if you are unsure about the matter. First off, always filter your water before brewing it. A well-filtered glass of water will always taste better than tap water.
However, you may not believe this but it is better to use hard water than soft water. The reason for this is because of the magnesium and calcium present, as those are two minerals that enrich the flavoring compounds in coffee. While soft water will actually result in a flat coffee, which very few people will prefer, as sodium will not produce a quality coffee.
Also, take the temperature into consideration as that is very important. Tend to keep the temperature close to 205 degrees Fahrenheit, while not going beneath 195 degrees Fahrenheit. But, never use boiling water (over 212 degrees Fahrenheit) as that will burn the coffee.
Q: If coffee is left in the maker, will it become too strong or bitter?
Coffee is a rare drink in that it needs to be fresh to taste good. Even the slightest few hours it stays and sits it can be unsatisfying. So, the easy answer to this question is yes coffee will become bitter if you leave it out too long. But, the coffee maker itself can’t be blamed for this as even refrigerating it and re-warming it back up will not leave the same taste. Most coffee makers, specifically most of the models on this list, are designed with some sort of inside insulation to keep the coffee hot for an extended period. Do not confuse hotness with freshness, though, as there is nothing the coffee maker can do to achieve this.
With this being said, though, there is nothing wrong with drinking coffee after it has lost its flavor. But, it resembles drinking flat pop in which both the flavor and texture are completely altered. When making more coffee than you need, try not to let it sit for several hours.
Q: Can you make cold brew coffee with a coffee maker?
When you are making coffee with a coffee maker, you are in control of the temperature. They are designed to contain the heat, but they do not create it. You are responsible for heating up the water and brewing the coffee. This means that you can make cold brew coffee with them. Honestly, the process is probably easier than you think. Although, it will take several hours to achieve. Note, this is not intended for stovetop versions.
To start, place your coffee grinds (after you have grounded them up) inside the machine. Then, add the appropriate amount of water but only make it room-temperature (as opposed to 205 degrees Fahrenheit). Proceed to mix the grinds into the water and then, it is time for you to wait several hours. For around 12 hours, place the coffee maker in your fridge. Once it has been refrigerated for this amount of time, make the coffee as you normally would be pressing down on the plunger.
Now, if you want to have this for your camping trip and do not have a way to refrigerate it, make it beforehand and store it in your cooler.
Q: Can a french press be used over a campfire?
It is amazing how many people seem to have this question and fall into this trap. Coffee makers that require you to pour high-temperature water inside to brew are designed for that purpose and that purpose only. In other words, they are not designed to be placed on a stove top under an intense flame. With this in mind, never, under any circumstance, place one of these types of coffee makers under an open flame. Not only will it not work in the first place, you can risk damage to the exterior itself. If it is plastic, it will melt very quickly. If this happens to you, the warranty will probably not cover it!
Now, if you go an entirely different route and invest in a stove top version for camping, you could heat it up on the campfire. But, it is probably easier to stick to the other versions.
Q: When you are camping, how do you grind the beans?
To save you a little bit of time, if you purchase pre-ground coffee (say roasted coffee) then you will not have to concern yourself with this question. If not and you have regular coffee beans, there are a few ways you can grind them before placing them in your coffee maker. The most obvious way is with a coffee grinder, as they are specifically designed to grind up coffee beans. But, if you do not have one or know someone with one (and do not want to invest in one) there are alternative methods.
A food processor or blender will accomplish the same feat as a grinder. All you need to do is smash them up so they will work in the coffee maker, so you do not need anything fancy. Alright, so let’s say you do not have a grinder, blender, or food processor. You still have a chance for success, as long as you have a hammer or other smashing tool. Use this tool to manually smash each bean until you have enough grounds. Sure, this is the cheapest method but also the most tedious and annoying. For your sanity, do everything in your power to grind them with a machine.
Q: Can you make hot chocolate with a coffee maker?
Coffee makers are more diverse than people give them credit for. You now know it can make a cold pressed brew as well as a regular coffee, but how about hot chocolate? Never ever underestimate the power of the human mind and what you can find on the world wide web. Although manufacturers probably did not intend for their coffee makers to be used for this, you can pull off making hot chocolate.
To start, fill the machine with hot water. Use discretion on how much you need or look at the hot chocolate mix to see if it has a specific amount of water needed. After which, open up your hot chocolate mix and pour the powder into the carafe (exactly where you would put the coffee grinds). Then, run it just like you would for a cup of coffee. Once it has finished, be sure to stir the liquid to ensure all the powder has been dissolved. Really, you can get creative with these types of machines. As you now know, it is probably easier than you initially think.
For many, coffee is an absolute necessity in the mornings to start off their day, and there is no exception when they are camping. For many, instant coffee does the trick as it is quick and easy to make, but it does not offer the satisfaction and taste that many are used to for their morning beverage. So after reading this, we hope you now can see there is another option and that you can get rid of that instant coffee and start making some quality coffee in the mornings when camping with your new coffee maker.