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Coffee Makers For Camping (and Espresso)

This complete guide helps you find that perfect cup of morning joy wherever the trail may take you.
Coffee Makers For Camping Complete Guide - Crux Range

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Looking for the best coffee makers for camping to help you create endless cups of liquid gold wherever the adventure takes you.

We don’t mean your basic cowboy coffee (although good cowboy coffee can be a true game-changer as well), we’re talking about a crema topped cup of perfection or real-thick as molasses-espresso without fragile gadgets or the burden of heavy gear.

Want to know the ‘best coffee makers for camping’ without all the background?

Click here or use the table of contents below for quick navigation.

When you’re out backpacking or camping every ounce counts.

With the coffee makers for camping below you can be sure the only extra ounces your carrying are full of rich caffeinated joy.

Let’s take a look at the best camping coffee makers in each category, what it takes to make a great cup of coffee in the backcountry, and some amazing alternatives when time and weight are of the essence.

Portable Coffee Makers For Adventurers

Backpacking and camping are all about breaking away from your day to day and living closer to nature.

But, that doesn’t mean you have to go without your daily cup of coffee.

Fortunately for adventurous coffee lovers, there are plenty of options for making both espresso and great coffee while on the trail, hanging in the bivy, or around the campfire.

We are going to look at a number of coffee making options for both backpacking and camping.

Everything we have chosen makes great coffee.

Ultimately, your choice will likely come down to weight, size, and durability.

First, the best of the best.

Quick tip: When using water with heavy sediment or oder, filter your water first with a backpacking water filter that removes particulates and odors.

Best Coffee Makers For Camping & Backpacking

Best Backpacking Espresso Maker

The big difference between espresso (other than how the beans are roasted) and other types of coffee is the pressure.

Measured in ‘bars’ (an expression of PSI) water, or more accurately steam, is pushed through espresso under pressure.

This is how espresso can pack so much flavor into a small amount of liquid.

Your average professional espresso machine at a Starbucks or similar will produce anywhere from 9-15 bars of pressure (the industry standard is ~9).

The best backpacking espresso makers are able to create a high amount of pressure in a compact device while remaining light weight and durable.

Our pick for best tasting espresso is the Nanopresso by Wacaco. This tiny espresso maker packs a punch.

Nanopresso by Wacaco

Nanopresso by Wacaco

• Light & Packable
• Sleek self-contained design
• 18 bars of pressure
Barista Kit for an optional double shot
• Operate with one hand
• Multiple colors & style options
• Mid-range price
• Replacement parts unavailable
Dimensions: 6.14 x 2.8 x 2.44 in (156 x 71 x 62 mm)
Weight: 12 oz. (336 g)
Capacity: 2.70 fl oz. (80 ml)
Pressure: 18 bar/261 psi

With up to 18 bars of pressure and weighing only 0.74 lbs. (336 g), Nanopresso makes near coffee shop quality espresso shots without breaking a sweat.

The Nanopresso is just over 6 inches (156 mm) in length with a water capacity of 2.7 oz (80 ml) that gives plenty of room for pulling a longer shot.

Operating off an easy to use mid-line pressure pump, the Nanopresso is much easier to pump than other backpacking espresso machines–especially if you are making multiple shots in a row–and can be operated one-handed.

In the video below vlogger, Ham Radio Crash Course, compares all three Wacaco models and runs through how to make an espresso with the Nanopresso and Minipresso.

With a Barista Kit add-on, the Nanopresso’s capabilities can be increased to serve up true double-shot espressos with ease.

The Barista Kit increases the ground coffee capacity from 8 to 16 g and the water capacity from 80 ml to 120 ml.

Or, switch out the grounds basket for convenient NS (Nescafe) coffee pod compatibility.

As shown above, Wacaco also makes the Minipresso, a slightly larger and slightly more affordable version of the Nanopresso.

The main difference is that you can’t add on the barista kit to the Minipresso but you can make it NS coffee pod compatible.

After Wacaco’s product line, a solid runner up for best camping espresso maker is the well made and high performing Handpresso.



• Durable
• Coffee pod adapter included
• Stylish design
• 16 bars of pressure
• Pressure held until manual dispensing for ease of use
• Slightly clunky
• Most expensive option
• Cannot stand up independently
• No option for double shot
Dimensions: 8.6 x 3.9 x 2.7 in (22 x 10 x 7 cm)
Weight: 1.05 lb (480 g)
Capacity: 1.7 oz. (50 ml)
Pressure: 16 bar/232 psi

Although the Handpresso has a bit more cumbersome in shape than the Nanopresso, it is made of solid metal that feels stylish and rugged.

On unboxing it is a lot bigger than imagined and definitely takes up more packing space than the Nanopresso despite it being slimmer in profile while still having a larger footprint over all.

The Handpresso works on a sort of bike pump mechanism.

This main difference is the reason it is a runner up rather than a top pick.

While it is not difficult by any means to pump up the pressure, the side pump on the Nanopresso is much more ergonomic and less awkward.

Still, the Handpresso puts out 16 bars of pressure and makes a decent cup of espresso.

As far as taste goes, it is a bit more ‘watery’ than the Nanopresso. And while you still get a bit of crema the over all flavor is not as dense as will the Nanopresso.

You can see the Handpresso in action below as the mellowest vlogger in town, Gadget Viper, shows you this handsome portable espresso maker from box to brew.

Handpressos also come with a coffee pod adapter that is much easier to change out than with the Nanopresso.

If you are worried about the shape of the Handpresso or want to protect it while you travel, the case shown in the video above is decently priced and moderately durable.

Keep in mind, however, it does make this espresso maker a bit bulkier overall.


There is another popular handheld espresso maker out there called the Staresso.

In your search for the best camping espresso maker you may have come across the Staresso.

We don’t list it here for two reasons: The coffee isn’t great and it is not durable enough for camping or backpacking.

As far as the Staresso vs. Handpresso or Nanopresso; there is no comparison when it comes to the important factors of durability, packability, and flavor.


Dimensions: 9.6 x 2.8 x 2.8 in (24.4 x 7.1 x 7.1 cm)
Weight: 2.4 lb (1120 g)
Capacity: 1.7 oz. (50 ml)
Pressure: 16 bar/232 psi

Staresso may be a good option for apartments or glamping but for serious outings take a look at the two winners above.

AeroPress Coffee Makers

Probably the most frequently chosen coffee maker for camping, the AeroPress is a simple-durable coffee maker that doesn’t disappoint.

Made by Aerobie, the original flying disc company, the AeroPress is solid, compact, and most importantly can make an incredible cup of coffee no matter the setting.


• Durable & light
• Inexpensive
• BPA-free plastic
• Replacement parts available
• Many non-paper filter options
• Makes high-quality coffee
• Small footprint
• Easy to clean
• Only available in plastic
• Operation takes getting used to
Dimensions: 5.4 x 4.2 x 3.8 in (13 x 10 x 10 cm)
Weight: 8 oz. (226 g)
Capacity: 10 oz. (300 ml)

With AeroPress you simply pour in the coffee, add some water, wait and press. That’s it.

The AeroPress delivers a much cleaner tasting coffee by using a press mechanism rather than a gravity filter as you would with a French press or pour-over.

Made of a durable BPA-free plastic, the AeroPress collapses into itself to be highly packable and shatter proof.

AeroPress also makes a travel edition with an integrated mug so you can simply throw everything together and stuff it in your pack.

Aeropress Travel Coffee Maker

The only drawback with the AeroPress is that it uses specialized filters. Although they are inexpensive and easy to find online, it’s a factor worth considering.

If this is a drawback for you or you prefer not to use paper filters, metal micro-mesh filters are available for AeroPresses as well.

Regardless of which method you choose, AeroPress make consistently good coffee and is quick, simple, inexpensive, and durable.

On a personal note, I started out using the AeroPress for camping and now use it almost every day at home–it’s just so easy and good.

In fact, AeroPress is so popular it even has barista competitions.

Here is the AeroPress in action operated by one of those award winning baristas:

French Press For Camping

Timeless, simple, and reliable; French presses are perfect for camping and backpacking.

French presses are one of the least ‘contraption’ heavy methods for making a great cup of coffee.

Our favorite camping French press is the incredibly stripped down and ultralight Titanium Cafe Press.

We focus on metal presses for durability and minimized toxin risk.

Still, plastic French presses can sometimes be slightly lighter and more affordable, albeit less durable overall.

There are some decent BPA-free plastic options on the market that are great for backpacking and camping.

The best of which is the GSI Outdoors Java Press.

Titanium Cafe Press

Snowpeak’s Titanium Cafe Press has a volume of 24 oz. (700 ml) and weighs less than a piece of fruit at 6.3 oz. (178 g).

Collapsible handles make the Cafe Press low profile to fit in just about any nook or cranny you have left in your backpack.

Snow Peak Titanium Cafe Press

• Ultralight & strong
• Use w/any type of coffee or grind
• Cannister doubles as mug or cooking pot
• Folding handles for lower profile
• Quick & easy to use
• Comes w/carry-bag
• Coffee can easily be ‘over-brewed’
• Loses heat quickly
• Gets too hot for bare hands
Dimensions: 3.2 x 5.5 in (8 x 14 cm)
Weight: 6.3 oz (178 g)
Capacity: 24 fl oz. (700 ml)

SnowPeak Cafe Press

A full titanium build means this press could probably survive a nuclear blast.

The only downside, the thin metal does get hot so you will need a cloth or something to grasp the sides or handles for operation.

For the same reason, the Cafe Press also loses heat quickly, meaning you will have to drink your coffee right away or have an insulated mug on hand.


The Pipamoka is a ‘twist’ on both the AeroPress and the traditional French press.

This self contained coffee maker uses twisting to force water through the coffee chamber.

Pipamoka French Press Coffee Maker For Camping And Backpacking

Here is what that looks like in action–at 2:00 and 3:50 mins.:

Once you extract your brew the Pipamoka uses a vacuum-sealed stainless steel thermos style mug to keep your hands comfy and your coffee warm.

And these little coffee presses actually make some darn good coffee.

We like the integrated design that makes them self-contained and easy to pack up and shove into any open space in a backpack or duffel bag.

The Pipamoka keeps your brew warm for ~3-4 hours.


• Integrated thermos style mug
• Stays warm up to 4 hours
• Durable stainless steel
• Small footprint w/300 ml capacity
• Unique design for consistent brewing
• Easy to use & clean
• Slightly heavier than other options
• Brew time up to 2 minutes +/-
• Twist mechanism can be cumbersome
Dimensions: 2.85 x 7.16 in (73 x 182 mm)
Weight: 15 oz (425 g)
Capacity: 8 fl oz. (236 ml)

Car Camping Stanley French Press

For those of you who want a more luxurious French press that is still outdoor-ready, the Stanley Classic Stay Hot French Press is definitely worth considering.

Not nearly as light or packable as the two options above, Stanley products do have a solid reputation for quality, and their French press is no exception.

The Stanley company was started by William Stanley Jr., the man who invented the all-steel vacuum flask in 1913.

Since inception Stanley has been constantly innovating and re-imagining.

Their latest efforts, which include the retro-styled Stay Hot Press, focus more on lifestyle and we can all thank them for it.

Stanley Classic Stay Hot French Press

• Retro-style w/a rugged build
• Ergonomic angled handle
• Double-walled 18/8 stainless steel
• Press components also made of steel
• Stays hot ~4 hrs./Cold ~9 hrs.
• Lifetime warranty
• Heaviest option
Dimensions: 7.13 x 4.88 x 9.53 in (18 x 12 x 24 cm)
Weight: 2.5 lb (1134 g)
Capacity: 48 fl oz. (1419 ml)

The Stay Hot Press is made of 18/8 BPA-free stainless steel with double-wall vacuum insulation and a tough ergonomic handle that will keep your coffee hot and your hands cool.

If you are looking for the best car camping or van life French press that still looks fashionable on any kitchen table, the Stanley Stay Hot French Press will be your solid morning companion for years to come.

Instant Coffee For Camping & Backpacking

Looking for a hassle free, low volume alternative for coffee on the move?

Instant is now a truly worthy option.

With a reputation for poor taste, instant coffee hasn’t always been on peoples’ lists of top coffee making methods for camping. Modern instant coffee, however, has changed dramatically for the better.

Take a look at the surprisingly flavorful instant coffee options we happily tested out for you.

We actually tried a handful of others–Starbucks VIA, Cafe Bustelo, Nescafe, etc.–but found the coffees below to be the top five in terms of taste.

In order of best tasting instant coffee:

  1. Voila
  2. First Ascent
  3. Mount Hagan
  4. Jiva Cubes
  5. Alpine Start

Instant coffee has changed a lot since it’s invention in the early 1900s.

While the principal remains the same, taste and portability have improved dramatically.

For ultralight backpacking trips or quick travel, instant coffee can be a simple and tasty way to get your caffeine buzz without all the fuss.

The beauty of instant is you don’t have to carry all the extra gear for brewing.

And if you run out of gas for your stove or something breaks, you can even make instant coffee with cold water!

Voila Instant Coffee

Voila coffee company has taken instant flavor to a entirely new level.

This small company from Bend, Oregon created its own processing technique which allows them to cram a lot of flavor into each convenient packet of Voila Instant Coffee.

Voila Instant Coffee For Camping

Although not the most expensive instant coffee we tested, Voila will still run you about $2.40 per cup if you are using one packet at a time.

That is still well below what you would pay at an actual coffee shop. Plus, we feel the flavor is worth it and you are supporting a small homegrown business at the same time.

If you are looking for a well-balanced cup of instant coffee that supports a small town coffee shop, Voila is your cup of jo.

Visit Voila for the best instant coffee.

First Ascent

A hometown company from Colorado, First Ascent sources and tests every bean that comes through their door, and as they say, “the proof is in the pudding.”

First Ascent makes one of the best tasting instant coffees on the market.

The only reason we listed it below Voila is that we felt Voila had less of that negative after taste you find with all instant coffees compared to First Ascent.

However, we appreciate First Ascent’s commitment to excellence in their coffee, something you can taste in each cup.

Currently, they offer three different blends; Hero Day, Ethiopia, and Honduras (you can also buy whole beans on their website).

In terms of cost, First Ascent is similar to Voila, running you about $2.50 per packet of instant coffee.

First Ascent Instant Coffee For Camping And Backpacking

For hard chargers and multi-taskers alike, First Ascent is a fantastic option with lots of flavor balanced on top of small-town heart.

As an added bonus, they also offer free shipping on online orders through their website.

Mount Hagan

Since 1986 Mount Hagan has been growing organic-Fair Trade coffee in the shadows of a Papua New Guinea volcano using certified Biodynamic Farming.

Mount Hagan is known for being a moderately flavored coffee and that is what they aim for with their manufacturing process.

This instant coffee has a nice mild flavor without too much bitterness or too much of that strong instant coffee aftertaste.

Mount Hagen Instant Coffee

This is also one of the least expensive instant coffees you can find; coming in around 50 cents per packet when ordered off Amazon.

Check prices here.

Jiva Cubes

If you like sweet coffee, then Jiva Cubes are where it’s at for you.

As the name implies, Jiva Cubes are cubes of instant coffee packed with raw cane sugar or ‘panela.’

Jiva Instant Coffee

Jiva makes an effort to source single-origin shade-grown Colombian coffee and the highest quality raw sugars.

The flavor profile they get with their coffees is subtle and a bit fruity but not overpowering.

However, there is 5 grams of sugar in each Jiva Cube so the the sweetness does overpower the coffee a bit.

Instead of cubes Jiva offers packets without sugar and they have a few flavored options which are all flavored with extracts.

Jiva Cubes are also one of the less pricey options, running you approximately 60 cents per cube if you get the 24 pack.

Order from Amazon or the Jiva website.

Alpine Start

For coffee drinkers who prefer a little coffee with their cream and sugar rather than the other way around, Alpine Start’s flavored options are worth a sip or two.

Founded by super hero climber Matt Segal with a mission to make instant coffee taste good, Alpine Start has accomplished just that… Sort of.

Alpine Start Instant Coffee For Camping And Backpacking - Crux Range

Alpine start makes three blends; Medium Roast, Dirty Chai Latte, and Coconut Creamer Latte.

Their flavored blends are great for coffee drinkers who enjoy a lot of extras in their coffee.

The unflavored Medium Roast, although we want so much to like it, is not great.

First sip is similar to bulk instant coffees like Nescafe and the acrid aftertaste that some of the other instants above were able to eliminate still lingers in the background when sipping Alpine Start.

If you do like flavored coffees, however, give their Dirty Chai Latte a taste. It is dairy-free and packs a lot of flavor into a tiny packet.

A key selling point, Alpine Start is in the mid-range for affordability; coming in at about $1.80 per packet of flavored coffee when you buy from Amazon or REI.

Alpine Start also offers its Medium Roast in a reusable bulk container. All their coffee is vegetarian and keto-friendly.

Pour-over Coffee Packets For Camping

For those of you looking for a more bespoke experience without all the gear, pour-over coffee packets are a fun option.

Keep in mind though, these little packets require a lot of filter paper and the paper ‘arms’ so the extra trash you have to pack around can add up.

Note: If going the pour-over packet route, test one with your camping mug at home. Each brand has its own design to keep the packet suspended in the mug. In general, you will need an extra-wide mouth mug that is also fairly tall.

Two of the best tasting pour-over packets available are Kuju and Drip Kit.

We did not field test these two options but in a controlled setting they produce a decent coffee similar to what you’d expect from a brew pot at home or in the office.

Other Pour-Over Options For Camping

Outside of packets, there are some great pour over coffee making options for camping that are also inexpensive and durable.

The simplest being the heavy duty V60 Plastic Dripper by Hario.

Its footprint is a little large for backpacking but it is perfect for walk-in or car camping.

Steep sides for a faster brew ensure a clean tasting cup of coffee and the plastic is strong, holding its shape even when squished at the bottom of a pack or box.

Hario V60 Plastic Coffee Dripper For Camping

While the steeper shape makes for a better brew, this is also the main drawback of the V60.

Regular cone filters wont fit the V60 so you have to buy filters specifically made for Hario.

We tried folding and forming some standard paper cone filters into the V60 and failed miserably. Folding the edges caused small tears that let grounds into the coffee below.

You can find both the dripper and filters on Amazon or some coffee shops sell Hario products on location as well.

MSR Mug Mate

Probably the simplest and lightest coffee maker for camping you will ever find, the MSR Mug Mate is small, durable, and consistent.

The micron wire mesh filter requires no additional paper filters and works with just about any pot or mug.

For coffee, this filter gives a cowboy coffee flavor without all the sediment.

Keep in mind, without running water the MSR Mug Mate can be difficult to clean.

When used for tea, however, the Mug Mate is perfect on all fronts.

Tiny, light, and inexpensive, the Mug Mate is a fool proof coffee and tea solution that will never let you down.

MSR Mug Mate

• Simple & easy to use
• Stainless steel mesh for reusability
• Small
• Ultra-light
• Difficult to clean
Dimensions: 3.0 x 3.5 in (7.6 x 8.9 cm)
Weight: 1 oz. (30 g)

Cowboy Coffee Pots For Backpacking

Usually synonymous with poor taste and coffee grounds stuck in your teeth, cowboy coffee doesn’t have to be that way.

With the right pot and a good coffee ground just right, you can make quality cowboy coffee anywhere you have hot water.

For the uninitiated, cowboy coffee is coffee stirred into a pot of hot water that is allowed to steep then poured directly from the pot to your cup without the use of any filters or other gadgets.

This is a similar process to Turkish coffee.

Our favorite cooking pots for this method of coffee making are the Halulite Boiler Pot 1.1L (this one has a nice silicone coated folding handle) and Toaks Titanium 750 ml.

Pots For Making Cowboy Coffee While Camping And Backpacking

How To Make Cowboy Coffee

The keys to making good cowboy coffee come down to a few simple things:

  • The size of grounds
  • When you add grounds to the water
  • The size and shape of your cooking pot

Here are the steps followed by some quick explanations.

How To Make Cowboy Coffee:

  1. Boil your water, turn off the burner, let it stand for ~30 seconds.
  2. Grind your coffee to medium coarseness.
  3. Add 3-5 large spoonfuls for each 24-32 oz (700-1000 ml) of water.
  4. Stir in the coffee for 10-20 seconds.
  5. Allow to brew undisturbed for 2-4 minutes.
  6. Pour slowly without agitating the pot too much.
  7. Enjoy a simple time-honored cup of authentic cowboy coffee.

The size of grounds

Grind your coffee to medium coarseness.

You know what Folgers or Maxwell house looks like? That is the perfect grind for cowboy coffee.

The finer you grind it the stronger your coffee will be (more or less) but the more likely you will have sediment in your cup.

When to add grounds to water

Boil your water, turn off the burner, then let it stand for ~30 seconds.

Generally, this will put your water around 200°f (93°c), the perfect temperature for brewing coffee.

Adding your grounds to cold water then boiling everything together will yield a bitter frothy mess.

It’s tempting to do when you’re exhausted and need a quick pick me up, but don’t do it.

Once added and well stirred, allow to brew undisturbed for 2-4 minutes.

The longer your leave it the stronger it will be and the more the grounds will settle. However, the longer it brews the more bitter the taste is likely to be.

Size and shape of cooking pot

A deep-narrow pot works best to avoid bitter coffee with grounds floating all over the place.

With a deeper brewing pot you allow the coffee grounds to settle further away from the rim, giving more room for micro sediment to find its way to the bottom.

This will make it much easier to pour a ‘clean’ cup of cowboy coffee which greatly affects its overall taste.

See, after you add your grounds you stir them in and wait as they settle to the bottom.

Next you will slowly pour the coffee into your mug.

The goal is not to agitate the settled grounds so that they get poured into your mug with the brewed coffee.

A neat trick if grounds aren’t settling after a few minutes is to sprinkle some cold water on them, this should send them to the bottom.

A typical Jet Boil would work for this or a pot like Halulite or Toaks shown above.

Old School Stove Top Coffee Makers

Any discussion of simple but tasty coffee making methods would not be complete without mentioning stovetop coffee makers.

Stovetop coffee makers like the Bialetti Moka Express have been around since the 1930s.

Bialetti Moka Express Camping Coffee Maker

In fact, this elegant little contraption was invented by Alfonso Bialetti himself, quickly becoming one of the most ubiquitous coffee makers the world over.

Today, stovetop coffee makers come in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles but the basic makeup is the same: two metal pieces that screw together with a thick rubber gasket as their only wearable part.

These coffee makers are simple, durable, consistent, and are easy to use, maintain, and clean.

For those unfamiliar, here is a nice video explaining how to get the perfect coffee with a stovetop coffee maker like the Bialetti.

Of course is the backcountry you don’t have to boil the water first if you are conserving fuel, it will still taste pretty darn good.

As you can see, the coffee the Moka Express produces is stronger than most North Americans are used to so people generally add water to make a nice Americano style coffee.

Stove top coffee makers are inexpensive and super durable without moving parts.

This makes them perfect for camping, backpacking, and everything in between.

In fact, we have a tiny 1 cup Bialetti that is about 10 years old. The handle melted so we just pulled it off. You need a cloth or glove to handle the pot when hot, but it makes it that much more space-efficient in your backpack.

Choose from as small as 1 cup on up to 12 cups (you can sometimes find Moka pots up to 15+ cups) depending on your weight and space needs.

Bialetti Moka Express

• No moving parts
• Only wearable part is very cheap to replace
• Simple & quick to use
• Easy to clean
• Solid metal construction
• Lightweight
• Available in variety of sizes & styles
• Can brew slightly bitter
Size (3 cup): 3.15 x 3.94 x 6.3 in (8 x 10 x 16 cm)
Weight (3 cup): 1.1 lb (500 g)

Coffee Grinders For Camping

You already know that coffee has naturally occurring substances shown to have numerous health benefits.

Those nutrients are locked into the coffee beans.

Grinding coffee beans is what allows those healthy benefits to brew into your daily cup of java.

What you may not know, is that once ground, all the good stuff in coffee beans begins to degrade through the process of oxidation just like a piece of fruit left out too long.

So, if you want the best tasting coffee with the most nutrients, fresh ground is the way to go.

It may seem like too much while camping or backpacking, but these lightweight coffee grinders help you to make the healthiest cup of coffee wherever you are.

Porlex Mini Coffee Grinder

• Removable handle
• Stash slot for handle
• Fits inside AeroPress
• Durable ceramic burr grinder
• Lightweight
• 11 easy click grind adjuster settings
• Can be awkward to hold while grinding
Capacity: 20g
Size: 6 x 2.3 x 1.8 in (15 x 5.8 x 4.5 cm)
Weight: 8 oz. (226 g)

Java Presse Coffee Grinder

• Removable handle
• Durable ceramic burr grinder
• Lightweight
• Narrower profile than Porlex
• 18 easy click grind adjuster settings
• Handle slightly larger than Porlex
Size: 7.5 x 1.8 x 1.8 in (19 x 4.5 x 4.5 cm)
Weight: 9.4 oz. (266 g)

What To Look For In A Camping Coffee Maker

When choosing a camping or backpacking coffee maker be sure to look for a few key features.

First, get something that is self contained and streamlined.

Even if you are just car camping, components that stick out or are fragile will be easily broken and misplaced.

For example, a Nanopresso closes down to a seamless mini-football size that feels as solid as a rock without any protruding handles or knobs.

For even more longevity, a Bialetti Moka Express has no moving parts with a solid construction that can withstand a lot of wear and tear on the trail.

Whereas something like the GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip might work well, the flimsy pieces will almost certainly be destroyed or lost after one trip.

Coffee Makers For Camping Comparison

Along the same lines, opt for strong materials. There are plenty of lightweight plastic or thin-metal coffee makers available.

But you are better off getting something durable from the start.

With modern materials you don’t have to sacrifice weight for durability.

The Snow Peak Titanium French Press (our top pick in both the French press category and ultralight category), for example, weighs a minuscule 6.3 ounces (178 grams) with a fluid capacity of 24 ounces (700 ml).

An Opportunity To Make Great Coffee

Truly amazing coffee comes down to two main things; fresh water and fresh grounds.

Sure there are other factors to consider like brew time, water temperature, and how much to grind the beans.

Still, the two biggest factors that you can easily control in the backcountry are water and freshness.

One of the greatest parts about making coffee while camping is the water.

The right water can make or break a fresh brew.

See, really good coffee and espresso has to be made with cool-clean water and most high end coffee shops have water filters in place for creating the best tasting coffee.

While camping and backpacking you often have access to fresh stream water, well water at campsites, or maybe even glacial melt.

Take advantage of this opportunity, your taste buds will thank you.

Once coffee is ground it begins to lose its flavor as well as its health benefits.

In fact, scientific studies have shown that ground coffee actually has increased levels of free radicals (the substances in foods that damage our cells) as compared to freshly ground whole beans.

For coffee aficionados heading out on a camping or backpacking trip this may mean bringing along a portable coffee grinder like the ones shown above.

But for those who don’t want to deal with the added weight or hassle, try to grind your coffee beans just before you leave and keep them in an airtight container.

Keep your beans fresh and your water even fresher for the best backpacking coffee experience.


Finding the right coffee maker for camping can be a daunting challenge.

Base your decision on weight, ease of use, and importantly, on what type of coffee drinker you are.

Espresso drinkers will like the Nanopresso or Handpresso.

For discerning coffee drinkers on a tighter budget look at the time-tested AeroPress.

An old stand by like the Moka Express stovetop coffee maker is easy to maintain, light, near-indestructible, and makes a consistently decent cup of coffee.

French presses and straight up cowboy coffee are the simplest brewed coffee makers for camping.

If you want something quick without all the hassle of extra gear you still have a few decent options.

Voila and First Ascent make some incredibly flavorful instant coffee packets that can also be made with cold water if needed.

For a portable instant coffee with unabashed sweetness Kiva Cubes are a good option.

Pour over packets like Kuju Coffee offer more unique coffee experience on the go.

You’ll find all the details and links in the article above. Skip back to the top and use the table of contents for quick navigation.

Gone are the days of camping and backpacking without good coffee.

Check out the coffee makers for camping above to get a full flavored caffeine fix while taking in the beautiful scenery.

What is your favorite way to make coffee while camping?

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