The Best Camping Coffee Makers

Get your day started off on the right foot, whether you head for the backcountry or like to hang out in a comfy RV.

With a great camping coffee maker, it’s easy to be your own barista. There’s a huge range of products, from propane- and battery-operated drip coffee makers that work just like those at home, to ingenious camping percolators, pourover coffee makers, and camping French press coffee makers that will make you the envy of the campground. If you’re a true coffee aficionado, you can choose a product that will make coffee every bit as delicious as your favorite java shop back home. Or, if you’re just trying to get as much eye-opening brew into as many people as possible, there are choices for families and large groups that will be an indispensable part of your camping kitchen. Either way, this is at the top of our camping checklist.

Best propane camping coffee maker: Coleman QuikPot Propane Coffeemaker

Best camp stove coffee maker: Coleman Camping Coffee Maker

Best lightweight camping coffee maker: Kuissential SlickDrip Collapsible Silicone Coffee Dripper

Best camping coffee maker for an open fire: GSI Outdoors 12 Cup Enamelware Percolator – Blue

Best budget camping coffee maker: French Press Travel Mug

A great portable coffee maker should work anywhere, from the RV to a picnic table by the tent.

Just because you’re off the beaten track doesn’t mean you have to suffer from weak, tasteless coffee. There are plenty of choices that still utilize classic techniques. You’ll want to look for a portable coffee maker that’s designed specifically for camping. They’ll often be designed and built with stronger materials so they’ll hold up on the road, and with a minimum of buttons and switches that could easily be damaged as you pack them up time and again.

But a tough camping coffee maker can still be a breeze to use, especially if you go for a model that’s powered by propane gas or batteries.

Best propane camping coffee maker: Coleman QuikPot Propane Coffeemaker

Great Coffee Anywhere

Fired by easy-to-find propane canisters, this portable coffee maker is an essential part of a great camp kitchen. Coleman

BUY NOW

This 10-cup coffee maker works just like a home auto-drip coffee maker, with a removable filter basket and push-button start. You can make a big pot of coffee and keep it hot for a long lazy morning at camp.

For barista-quality camp coffee, choose a product that unleashes the flavor of quality coffee grounds.

Despite their hoity-toity reputation, there’s probably no better way to make camp coffee than with a French press. There are some great camp models out there, so shop around. Some coffee presses are large enough to fuel an entire family, while others are sized for one person. Most are light, unbreakable and nearly fool-proof. You simply pour coffee into the press, add hot water, wait three to four minutes, slowly press the plunger to the bottom of the mug, and jump-start the day.

For the best pressed coffee, use medium-ground coffee beans. Always start with cold or cool water in a pot, never hot water. And use good water. You can’t dip a kettle into a muddy creek and blame the beans for the coffee’s sludgy taste.

Best camp stove coffee maker: Coleman Camping Coffee Maker

Built Like a Tank

This easy-to-use drip coffee maker is built with a unique steel base that sits on the burner of a camp stove. Coleman

BUY NOW

This camp coffee maker brews with auto-drip technology just like many home devices, but it’s made to use on a camp stove. You won’t have to heat water in a separate pot, or worry about spilling boiling water. Just load the filter, sit it on your camping stove, and get ready for 10 full cups of early morning sunshine.

For a lightweight solution to great camp coffee, go for a pourover coffee maker.

Lucky for you, one of the easiest, most packable, and lightweight ways to make camp coffee also happens to be the choice of many discerning coffee drinkers: The pourover method. It’s very straightforward: A small plastic or metal device is filled with your favorite roast, then placed over a coffee mug or small carafe. Then you simply pour hot water over the coffee grounds, which seeps through the coffee to extract all the java goodness, and it all drips into your mug with perfection.

What’s awesome about the pourover method is that the coffee grounds are continually replenished with fresh, hot water as you add water to the filter. Plus, it’s easy to wet the grounds with a bit of hot water, then wait 30 seconds before adding more. Wetting the grounds allows them to “bloom,” in the words of coffee connoisseurs. You can see them swell as they soak in water. That aids in the dissolving all the great-tasting solubles in the coffee beans.

Once your mug is full, your work is done. No pushing and pressing. No propane or electricity needed. Just a few minutes between rolling out of the tent and the best cup of coffee possible.

Best lightweight camping coffee maker: Kuissential SlickDrip Collapsible Silicone Coffee Dripper

Space-Saving Design

This pourover coffee maker smashes down wafer-thin, and is nearly unbreakable. Kuissential

BUY NOW

Not only is this portable coffee maker is tiny enough to stick in a pants pocket, but the silicon material will last for camping trip after camping trip, and doesn’t absorb flavors. And you can toss it in the dishwasher as you’re unpacking the camp kitchen.

Bubble up morning brew with a camping coffee percolator

There are still plenty of folks for whom coffee isn’t coffee unless it’s made in a percolator. Other than pure cowboy coffee, this is as classic a method as you’ll find in a camp kitchen. And a percolator made with a glass cap to keep tabs on the water, and an enamel finish, is as photogenic as it is useful around the camp.

There’s a down-side to such heritage, however: A percolator works because you boil the water, and boiling coffee releases tannins from the grounds, too much of which will give coffee a harsh, burned taste. To minimize the bite, watch the glass dome carefully and remove the percolator from the heat source as soon as the coffee’s color is as dark as you want it.

Best camping coffee maker for an open fire: GSI Outdoors 12 Cup Enamelware Percolator – Blue

No Moving Parts

A classic design, this sturdy coffee percolator can handle dings and drops and still pump out eye-opening brew. GSI Outdoors

BUY NOW

With a 12-cup capacity, this gorgeous, speckle-blue camping coffee percolator can fill the cups of an entire family at least twice before running dry. And it works just as well on a camp stove as on a campfire.

When you’re looking to save money and space, go for a press coffee maker that doubles as a mug.

Even if you’re hoping to save a few bucks on camping equipment, you don’t have to settle for instant coffee. Campers can choose from a number of products that do it all. Coffee maker and coffee mug are one, and some are large enough that you can stash a plastic baggie of coffee grounds inside for a compact package that’s easily placed in a duffel bag or daypack. A lightweight coffee press outfitted with a handle and a drinking spout is an easy solution to a travel coffee maker that won’t weigh you down. Or lighten your wallet.

Best budget camping coffee maker: French Press Travel Mug

Great for Travel

This coffee press makes fabulous French press coffee, and fits in car and camping chair cup holders. Travel French Press

BUY NOW

You won’t find an easier mug to camp with than this double-insulated travel mug. And the fact that it’s all you need to make the perfect cup of camp coffee—you don’t even need a paper filter—makes it the perfect portable solution for coffee at camp. And on the way there and back.

Camp Coffee Maker FAQ: People Also Ask

How do you make coffee over a campfire?

There are several ways to make coffee over a campfire. A coffee percolator works great. You fill the pot with water, add coffee grounds to the grounds cup, and place the device on a grill grate or a few rocks that hold it over the coals. Or you can heat water on the fire, and use the hot water in a French press or pourover coffee maker.

How do I make coffee without electricity?

Campers know that you don’t have to have access to electricity to make great camp coffee. Look for a propane-powered auto-drip coffee maker, which uses a small propane canister to heat the water for a good brew. And of course, an old-fashioned coffee percolator doesn’t require electricity.

What is cowboy coffee?

Cowboy coffee is strong stuff! It’s coffee that isn’t filtered or percolated, but water and coffee grounds boiled together in a pot. There are a couple of ways to settle the grounds in cowboy coffee, including the use of egg shells or cold water to help drag the grounds to the bottom. Either way, you might have to pick a few coffee grounds out of your teeth!

A Final Word on Finding the Best Camping Coffee Maker for You

Think about where you’ll be using the camping coffee maker, how many people will be having coffee, and your coffee preference—drip, French Press, or percolator. Those three considerations will inform your decision.