Super lightweight and easy to stuff into your gear, the AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker is our top pick for a fireside cup of coffee first thing in the morning. Though it only brews one cup at a time, the very affordable Primula Brew Buddy Portable Pour Over is extremely compact and easy to use.
What’s a trip to the great outdoors without a sturdy coffee pot to help complete your morning routine? There’s no better way to take in nature first thing in the morning than with a hot cup of joe in hand. Making a cup of coffee on a camping trip should be low maintenance, easy, and quick, so you want a coffee pot that can give you tasty results without too much effort on your part. Sure, it’d be nice to bring your fancy espresso maker, Keurig, or pour-over coffee maker into the woods, but if you’re tight on space or don’t have access to an outlet, then these options aren’t possible.
When looking for the perfect camping coffee pot for your needs, it’s important to consider how easy it is to use, how well it packs, how much it costs, and how the coffee tastes. To help with that decision, we've tested a few of the most popular models, both in home kitchens and in our Lab. We analyzed the key aspects like portability, durability, ease of cleaning (especially when water is limited), and most importantly, brew quality.
Whether you’re looking for a French press, single-cup brewer, percolator, kettle, or simple drip option, here are the best coffee pots for camping.
Best Overall: AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker
Brews high-quality coffee, fast
Only brews up to three cups
Who else recommends it? Good Housekeeping and TripSavvy both picked the AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker.
What do buyers say? 87% of 16,800+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 5 stars.
If you want good coffee that's ready lightning fast, then you can’t go wrong with a classic AeroPress. Known for its quick, immersion brewing process, this non-electric maker is guaranteed to make a delicious cup of full-bodied coffee without any bitterness or acidic flavors. It makes 1-3 cups per brew with everything ready in about a minute. You can also use it to brew espresso-style coffees or refreshing cups of cold brew.
Our tester loved the convenience of this coffee maker and the fact that all the parts break down easily for storage or for travel. Even when fully assembled, it's only 9.5 inches in height, so it will always fit into your luggage or backpack. The coffee definitely passed the taste test, too. According to our reviewer, you can expect "high-quality, smooth-tasting coffee that's similar to pour-over coffee," while one of our Lab testers said it brewed espresso-like coffee that would please the biggest coffee enthusiast.
Our home reviewer and Lab testers noted that it takes some time to get used to the instructions so you may want to brew a few cups at home before you head out on your adventure. The Lab testers also remarked that you could leave the stirrer and funnel at home. Once everyone's caffeinated, the Aeropress only needs a quick rinsing, though it will benefit from a thorough cleaning when you get back home.
Price at time of publish: $40
Material: Plastic | Capacity: 1 to 3 cups | Type: Coffee and espresso press
"For a small investment, you get high-quality coffee, easy cleanup, and a travel companion in return." — Cheyenne Elwell, Product Tester
Best Portable Pour-Over: Primula Brew Buddy Portable Pour Over
Compact and lightweight
Easy to clean quickly
Has a learning curve
If you’re in the market for a streamlined, portable pour-over, we love this compact, budget-friendly option. The reusable, extra-fine, mesh sieve is extremely proficient in ensuring that no loose coffee grounds make it into your cup of java. You’ll need a mug or cup to set the apparatus over, which is the vessel that you will enjoy your brew out of. No need for paper filters, K-Cups, or any electric source—this simple pour-over will have you sipping on coffee by the campfire in no time (we’re talking as quickly as 30 seconds).
Our Lab testers liked how easy this was to set up, its portability, and its ease of cleaning. The one caveat was the final cup of coffee wasn't as strong as the testers would have liked. We recommend trying out the filter a few times at home to get over the learning curve. Since this is a pour-over, a kettle or spouted pot is ideal to pour your hot water out of and over the sieve. As you use the filter, you will adjust to the strength of the brew, but for the most part, the slower the pour, the darker the coffee, and the quicker the pour, the lighter the coffee.
Price at time of publish: $7 for original version
Material: Plastic and mesh | Capacity: Single-serve | Type: Pour-over
"It wasn’t until I had coffee in pour-over form that I could taste all the different notes, and it was this aha moment. I really believe pour over is the best way to make a cup of coffee." — Nigel Price, Founder and Owner of Drip Coffee Makers
Best Espresso: Wacaco Nanopresso
Compact and durable for traveling
Portable cup attached to device
Small serving size
Water can get stuck inside main chamber
Inconsistent taste depending on grind size
When we think of espresso makers, we usually picture steaming, counter-sized beasts coated in stainless steel. The Wacaco Nanopresso turns that image on its head. The item is sleek, durable, and can fit squarely in the palm of your hand, all of which makes it an excellent travel companion or camping buddy. "At just 0.7 pounds—which, for context, is lighter than a can of soda—it is hardly noticeable in a bag or backpack," our products tester says. "The Nanopresso is also wonderfully compact, measuring 6.14 x 2.8 x 2.44 inches, which, again, makes it easy to transport."
Once your water is boiled, it takes less than a minute to manually pump a 2.7-ounce espresso shot with the device. Cleanup is quick and easy too because all you have to do is rinse off any stray coffee grounds from the Nanopresso's individual pieces, then dry and reassemble.
There are a couple of downsides, however, that our product tester found. While the Nanopresso is capable of brewing a tasty espresso shot (which you can combine with hot water for an Americano), the taste can be inconsistent if your coffee grounds are too fine or too coarse. It certainly takes some trial and error to find the right brew for you. Water can also get trapped inside the device's main chamber, which makes the pump more difficult to press.
Price at time of publish: $70
Material: Plastic, silicone, and stainless steel | Capacity: 2.7 ounces | Type: Espresso maker
"This unique little device accomplishes its primary goal of making good coffee available wherever a person goes, but it is not a must-buy for everyone due to its small serving size and inconsistent performance. It is mainly a worthwhile purchase if one is a frequent camper or traveler, interested in coffee gadgets, or looking to save money on an espresso maker." — Derek Rose, Product Tester
Best Percolator: Farberware Stainless Steel Yosemite Coffee Percolator
Available in two sizes
Does not require filters
Not as straightforward as electric percolator
If you’re looking for a percolator-style coffee maker to brew your coffee on your next camping trip, this stainless steel model from Farberware is durable, easy to use, and brews a delicious cup of joe. Available in both 8- and 12-cup sizes, the percolator basket has a built-in filter, so you don’t need to worry about fussing with one-time-use filters. At an affordable price, this is a long-lasting, stylish coffee pot that you will be excited to bring on all of your camping adventures.
The comfortable handle makes it safe to touch and easy to maneuver, especially if you’re brewing over an open fire. The stainless steel material makes it easy to clean and you can even toss the item in the dishwasher when you're back home from your camping trip. While there are electric percolator options available, this manual version is still user-friendly and can brew coffee quickly.
Price at time of publish: $45 for 12-cup
Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 8 and 12 cups | Type: Percolator
Best Large: Coletti Bozeman Percolator Camping Coffee Pot
Available in multiple large sizes
Stainless steel is super durable and easy to clean
Wood handle is comfy and easy to hold
If you’re heading into the great outdoors with a large group of java lovers, you’ll definitely want a coffee pot that can keep up with the morning routine. This pot is available in nine, 12, and 14 cups, so you can decide which amount of coffee is right for you and your group. The sleek wood handle not only provides a chic look but stays cool to the touch. The heat-tempered glass top on the lid also makes for safe, easy handling.
Though the pot does not require filters, it does come with filters that you can use if your coffee is ground up extremely finely. And while this pot is on the more expensive side, it can brew a ton of coffee at once so we think that the extra money is definitely worth it for your big group.
Price at time of publish: $40
Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 9, 12, and 14 cups | Type: Percolator
Best for Backpacking: Widesea Camping Coffee Pot
Lightweight and durable
Doubles as your coffee cup
Only brews 1 cup at a time
If you’re tight on space and need something lightweight and easy to use for your solo backpacking travels, this coffee maker is exactly what you should pack. The stainless steel and aluminum combo make for a durable, easy-to-heat French press that travels extremely well. It holds 8 ounces of coffee (1 cup) and weighs 12 ounces. The rubber handles make it super easy to grab and you can enjoy the coffee directly out of the cup you used for brewing.
At such an approachable price point, this French press is a great, simple addition to your next solo trip. If you’re planning to make coffee for more than two people, this maker probably isn’t your best option.
Price at time of publish: $26
Material: Stainless steel and aluminum | Capacity: 8 ounces | Type: French press
Best Moka Pot: Grosche Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker
Available in multiple sizes
Brews high quality espresso
Heat resistant knobs and handles
Does not brew coffee—only espresso
Seal needs to be replaced every couple months
A moka pot is an apparatus that passes boiling water pressurized by steam through ground coffee for a strong, tasty brew. Available in three-, six-, and nine-cup options, this moka pot gives you the flexibility to brew a strong espresso or a classic coffee. The heat-resistant handles and knobs make the pot safe and easy to maneuver around the fire, and when you’re done using it, all the separate parts disassemble quickly.
A silicone seal is around the filter in order to prevent leaks while maintaining steady pressure in the boiler. This seal should be replaced every three to six months. If you don’t prefer a strong brew, this is probably not your best option as the results here are a strong espresso blend.
Price at time of publish: $40 for 6-cup in silver
Material: Aluminum and silicone | Capacity: 3, 6, and 9 cups | Type: Moka pot
Best Stainless Steel: Tops Rapid Brew Stainless Steel Percolator
Wood handle stays cool
Multiple sizes available
Exterior size markings
Grounds occasionally get into coffee
The quality of this stainless steel (plastic-free) coffee pot is unrivaled. All of the parts are of the utmost quality to brew a top-notch cup of coffee, and they’re dishwasher safe. The permanent filter basket works in lieu of paper filters for an easy, breezy brew and seamless cleanup (though some paper filters are included should you decide that you prefer to use them). A stylish wooden handle also makes the pot safe to touch even while using. The pot is safe to use over the stove or over a campfire, so you can use it at home or out in nature. While filters are not completely necessary when brewing, customers find them to be useful to help keep finely ground coffee beans from falling into the coffee.
Price at time of publish: $40
Material: 18/8 Stainless steel | Capacity: 6, 9, and 12 cups | Type: Percolator
The AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker is the best place to start when looking for a camping coffee companion. Its compact design and overall simplicity make it easy to travel and brew with—all you need is access to hot water. Those looking for a larger capacity option may prefer the Farberware Yosemite Coffee Percolator, which comes in an 8- or 12-cup model.
Other Options We Tested
- Stanley Classic Stay Hot French Press: When the Lab tested our former Best Splurge pick, they rated it high for the size, durability, and stay-cool qualities of the Stanley Stay-Hot French Press. But when looking at its brew quality, it left a lot to be desired. Grinds and sediment showed up in the cup and the filter wasn't a tight fit in the thermos. That filter also doesn't fully come apart, making it slightly difficult to clean. Add in its bulkiness aspect and this is no longer an ideal coffee pot for camping.
What to Look for in Camping Coffee Pots
The bigger your coffee apparatus, the more difficult it will be to take on long adventures where space is limited. If you are camping with a large group, it will probably be necessary for you to look into nine-cup or more pots (you can look for 12- or 16-cup options). If it’s for four people or less, you can likely get away with something smaller. If it’s just for one person, there are plenty of single brew options that will save you a ton of space.
When it comes to any equipment used for camping or outdoor purposes, durable is always better. Materials like stainless steel, aluminum, and cast iron are all break-resistant and heat evenly. Of course, some of these materials are heavier than others, so whether you’ll be transporting the pot in your car or in your backpack will also play a role. Plastics and rubbers are also easy-to-pack, durable materials that aren’t as expensive.
Of course, no item passes the camping test unless it’s highly portable. Whether you’re RV camping, car camping, or backpacking will play into how much space you can afford for your coffee pot. Keep in mind that most coffee pots are designed to have you heat your water elsewhere, so you’ll want to make sure that you have a small pot or kettle separately that you can use to boil water. If you have the option to use electricity from a car or RV, you can always opt to use an electric kettle, which will make your coffee routine much quicker.
A camping coffee pot can run you anywhere from $10 to $100, so it’s certainly worth considering how often you’ll use the pot as well as how particular you are about your coffee. There are plenty of percolators and French presses that can get the job done and will cost you less than $40, but if you’re a big coffee drinker and want something with a few more features or durability, investing in a more expensive pot (maybe one that offers insulation) could be great for your future camping adventures.
How do you use a percolator coffee pot camping?
To use a percolator coffee pot, you’ll start by filling the pot with water (there’s typically a fill line so you’ll know where to stop). The fineness or coarseness of your coffee grounds as well as the size of the holes in your basket will determine whether you need to use a filter or not. Add the grounds to your basket and secure the lid, placing the entire basket in the pot. Place the pot over a stove or hot fire until it starts to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat or move it to a cooler spot of the open fire and let it percolate for 10 to 15 minutes. You will notice the color of the water starts to slowly darken. Pour out the coffee and enjoy it hot.
What grind size should I use?
Every type of coffee maker has an ideal grind size that leads to better tasting results, and camping coffee makers are no different. Starting with percolators, one of the most common camping coffee makers, these devices brew best with coarse-ground beans. Despite being a very similar brewing device, moka pots require finely ground coffee beans, as they are designed to produce a richer, almost espresso-like beverage. If you bring a French press on camping trips, make sure to have coarse-ground beans around for best results. For pour overs, a medium or medium-fine grind is recommended. Finally, the AeroPress is a unique device that can use medium grounds for a drink close to drip coffee or fine grounds for those who prefer something closer to espresso.
What is coffee blooming?
Coffee blooming is, in simplest terms, when you pour a small amount of water over coffee grounds and let it sit for a short time before continuing your brewing process. It’s a quick and easy step that can make your coffee a little tastier. For camping coffee makers, this is mainly applicable to French presses and pour overs. All you have to do is lightly and evenly dampen the grounds and then allow them to bubble and rise (or “bloom”) for around 30 seconds while they release carbon dioxide, then pour in the rest of the water. The reason for this is that carbon dioxide gives coffee a sour taste and acts as a barrier between coffee grounds and water. Purging the pent-up CO2 lets you extract coffee grounds more thoroughly and avoid that sourness to boot.
"The bloom process is imperative, and there is some science to it. Gasses come out of coffee when it's freshly ground. If the coffee isn’t allowed to breathe and let those gasses out, you don’t allow the coffee beans to get to their fullest potential of saturation during the steeping process." — Nigel Price, Founder and Owner of Drip Coffee Makers
Should I pre-rinse paper filters?
If you don't mind adding this small step to your brewing process, it is certainly worth pre-rinsing paper coffee filters, especially cheaper ones. It will lead to a purer flavor in your coffee because it removes any potential “papery” taste. In some cases, the difference is barely noticeable; in others, it’s a significant upgrade. To pre-rinse, simply pour hot water through the filter and let the water drain before scooping in your coffee grounds.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Sara Tane has written nearly a dozen buying guides for The Spruce Eats, understanding what consumers and cooks need to consider before making a new purchase for their culinary adventures. She is a professionally trained chef in addition to a camping, coffee, and outdoor cooking enthusiast. With many weekends of brewing coffee out in the great outdoors, she is no stranger to different ways to make coffee while camping. After researching espresso makers, pour-overs, drip makers, and French presses, she can help you find the best camping coffee pot for your next adventure. She not only takes her coffee pretty seriously in the morning, but she understands what makes for an easy, seamless brewing experience. Nobody wants to be fussing with their coffee apparatus in the middle of nowhere.
This piece was updated by Derek Rose, the coffee and tea expert for The Spruce Eats. He researches a variety of coffee products, from measuring scoops to commercial espresso machines, and interviews field experts for their insight. He tested and reviewed the Wacaco Nanopresso, an item included in this round-up, as well as the Bialetti Moka Express, which is another worthwhile option for a camping coffee pot.
Nigel Price is the founder and owner of Drip Coffee Makers in New York City and has worked in the coffee industry for more than a decade. Established in 2015, Drip now has multiple locations.
10 Best Portable Coffee Makers for Camping in 2022. Good Housekeeping. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/appliances/coffee-maker-reviews/g35263507/best-camping-coffee-makers/
The 12 Best Camping Coffee Makers of 2022, Tested by TripSavvy. TripSavvy. https://www.tripsavvy.com/best-camping-coffee-makers-4588500