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When it comes to camping, there are many creature comforts that actually feel good to leave behind — after all, we get outside to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Coffee, however, is never one of those things we want to leave behind, and most campers would probably say that coffee is an essential part of the experience. Sure enough, waking up in the morning to a hot cup of Joe truly does help us savor the natural surroundings. One thing that can ruin our calm, however, is a camping coffee maker that doesn't do the job.
There are a few things you should look for in a camping coffee maker. For starters, your coffee maker should be portable, durable, and easy to use. A maker that requires a lot of input from you first thing in the morning is definitely not what you need after a night of sleeping on the ground. You can also look towards things like brewing capacity and size. Do you need coffee for a big group, or do you want an option that will easily fit into your gear bag? Finally, what type of coffee do you like? Percolators, a French Press, or whatever works the fastest? After thinking over these requirements, we're sure that these options will lead you to the best one for you:
1. Best for Backpacking
The AeroPress Go is the easiest way to have espresso-style coffee, anytime. In fact, it's so popular that REI members have voted awarded it as an Editor's Choice selection, a standard that signifies it as one of the best pieces of gear on the site. The 11.5-ounces design is portable and fully collapsible (perfect for your backpack), and the material is free from BPA and phthalates. For such a tiny device, you'll be amazed at how much coffee you are capable of making with an AeroPress. The design boasts a capacity to whip up one to three cups in approximately one minute — which makes it especially handy if you're outdoors during the colder off-seasons.
2. The Best French Press Option
Oftentimes, using a French press in the backcountry can be a risky proposition. Many designs are constructed from glass, and they can be on the heavier side, too. The Bestargot French press eliminates any functional issues. Weighing a total of 7.7-ounces, the handles collapse, and the titanium body still provides an ultra-sturdy brewing method. Among the other upsides of this French press is that the titanium material is safe to place right on the campfire, so an additional pot for heating water isn't necessary. In fact, the top of the pot has a hanger so you can hold it over the fire and remove it easily. Reviewers rave about the tight fit of the plunger, which ensures that grinds and sludge are kept out of your cup. One downside here is that the Bestargot only offers a single-cup capacity, but overall, the ease of use is still the biggest draw.
3. The Best Pour-Over Option
The Coffee Rocket from GSI Outdoors may be an ideal option if you prefer a minimalist pour-over rather than a French press or espresso-style coffee. Like the AeroPress, the Coffee Rocket is the ultimate nesting brew method. It's also small and incredibly light. The screen and snorkel funnel are highly efficient at keeping residue from reaching your coffee, and the device's set-up couldn't be easier. Notched legs fold out to position the Rocket right overtop your mug: just fill the grinds cup and then pour in your hot water. No paper filters are required, so clean-up couldn't be easier.
4. The Best Percolator Option for a Campground
If weight or space is not a concern for you, percolators are a timeless camping coffee maker for you to consider. And our favorite option is from Granite Ware — it's a brand that's trusted and classic, providing quality equipment for nearly 150 years. Fitted with a carbon-steel core, the Granite Ware percolator distributes heat evenly across the entire chamber, helping your coffee come out quickly and without any bitter, over-extracted notes. The enamel protects from corrosion, preserving the taste of your morning fix. Overall, this device is simple, but it has been part of the camping experience for generations. Place it directly on the fire to make coffee — and some memories — all at once.
5. The Best for RV or Car Campers
This one is for the weekend warriors, the road trippers, and the campers who don't want to juggle a multitude of devices on the limited space of a camping stove. The RoadPro is a drip coffee maker that plugs directly into your car outlet and takes only 12-volts of power to get things cooking. The seven-foot cord is long enough to reach a picnic table or set on top of the car as it goes. Don't worry if your craving has got the best of you before the 20-ounce capacity has finished pouring: An automatic stop-spill function lets you get your fix as it is brewing. Although reviews say it isn't the quickest way to brew, it is one of the most hands-off methods, and for that, it's worth your consideration.
6. If You Want To Skip The Machines All Together
Say you don't want to worry about a camping coffee maker at all. There are several options for that, and although instant coffee doesn't always have the best rep, we're willing to bet you might not have splurged on the good stuff. Nobody does coffee like Italy, and no Italian company does coffee like Lavazza. The rich taste of this premium import will make your backcountry experience taste much better.
Still don't trust instant coffee? No problem. Steepable coffee is the new wave in ready-to-drink caffeine options. Despite the company names, this stuff isn't for the dogs. Grounds & Hounds is a blend of South American coffee that is delicious and easy to brew. Plus, your purchase helps fund animal rescue ventures across the world. The individual serving packets are also compostable, so this camping coffee maker does well all around.