Venturing into the great outdoors offers a break from the daily grind, but for many, the morning ritual of brewing a perfect cup of coffee remains an essential part of the camping experience.
However, the quest for that ideal brew poses challenges: How does one enjoy a rich, flavorful coffee without the luxuries of a modern kitchen?
Enter the camping French press—a compact and efficient tool designed for coffee lovers on the move.
In this post, we’ve curated a list of the top 10 camping French presses that combine functionality, durability, and convenience.
Before we review each one, let’s take a quick look at them first.
10 Best Camping French Presses: At A Glance
- Aeropress Go: Best Overall
- Coffee Gator French Press Coffee Maker: Runner-Up
- Mueller French Press Coffee Maker: Best Value
- BruTrek BaseCamp Coffee Press: Best For Durability
- Bestargot Camping French Press: Best Lightweight Choice
- Stanley 16 oz Travel Mug French Press: Best For Smaller Groups
- STANLEY Adventure All-In-One Boil + Brew French Press: Best For Versatility
- GSI Outdoors JavaPress French Press Coffee Maker: Best For Insulation
- VeoHome 1 Litre Piston French Coffee Maker: Best For Style
- Stanley Classic 48oz The Stay-Hot French Press: Best For Larger Groups
1. Aeropress Go: Best Overall
The AeroPress Go is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts and coffee lovers.
It even boasts its own World Aeropress Championship! That’s why we’ve crowned it our top choice for the best camping French press.
This nifty coffee maker is a traveler’s dream.
A compact version of the original AeroPress, it’s built for those on the move.
What’s cool? It comes with a mug that doubles as a carry case, perfect for trips, camping, or your daily commute.
Want a quick brew? It delivers delicious, smooth coffee in about a minute.
Plus, it can whip up American, espresso, or cold brew styles.
Brewing with the AeroPress Go is a breeze. Toss in your coffee, add water, stir it, and press!
You’ll get 8 oz of regular coffee or 1-3 espresso shots.
Play around with grind sizes – medium-fine is our go-to, but feel free to experiment!
Clean-up? Simple. Its vacuum press design ensures no fuss with grounds.
And when you’re done, everything packs neatly into the mug.
Weighing just 11.4 oz, it’s made of durable, lightweight plastic.
Though it’s compact, its versatility shines.
Want proof? Just search for “AeroPress hacks” or “AeroPress recipes” online.
You’ll find endless ways to enjoy your brew.
However, it’s worth noting that it brews a modest amount.
It’s perfect for solo adventurers but maybe not the best for big groups.
- Compact and portable design.
- Quick brewing time (about a minute).
- Versatile: makes American, espresso, and cold brew.
- Easy to clean with vacuum press design.
- Includes a mug that doubles as a carry case.
- Lightweight yet durable construction.
- Brews a small amount which is not ideal for large groups.
2. Coffee Gator French Press Coffee Maker: Runner-Up
The Coffee Gator French Press is a hit among coffee lovers for good reasons.
Crafted with double-walled, vacuum-insulated stainless steel, it promises both durability and impressive temperature retention.
With its 34-ounce capacity, you can whip up about four cups of joe in one go.
However, its weight—close to 2.5 pounds—means it’s more suited for kitchen countertops than backpacking trips.
What sets it apart? A double filtration system ensures a smooth, flavorful brew every time.
Plus, this press keeps your coffee warm for up to an hour, outlasting glass competitors.
Fans rave about its solid build, user-friendly design, and the bonus of long-lasting warmth.
Its stainless steel build not only looks sleek but is also rugged enough for outdoor adventures.
Don’t fret about a few tumbles—it can handle them!
And if you’re heading out on a car camping trip, this press is a reliable companion.
As a cherry on top, every Coffee Gator comes with a handy mini canister.
Perfect for storing coffee grounds, it neatly fits inside the press, making it even more travel-friendly.
While it might be priced a tad higher than some, the consensus? It’s a worthwhile splurge given its top-notch quality and handy features.
- Durable stainless steel construction.
- Impressive temperature retention.
- Double filtration system for smooth coffee.
- Generous 34-ounce capacity.
- Includes a bonus mini canister for coffee grounds.
- Heavier weight is not ideal for backpacking.
- Higher price point compared to some alternatives.
3. Mueller French Press Coffee Maker: Best Value
The Mueller French Press Coffee Maker stands out as a versatile gem, offering both quality and value.
Crafted from durable 18/10 double-layered stainless steel, it’s built to last and withstand heat.
Its sleek design is complemented by a handy canister for grounds, though it’s more suited for a single outing than extended trips.
But its capabilities don’t stop at coffee.
This press is a jack-of-all-trades, equally adept at brewing tea, making cold brew, frothing milk, or infusing herbal drinks.
Brewing? Just add your coffee grounds, pour hot water, give it a stir, wait four minutes, press down, and voilà! A hot cuppa awaits.
Clean-up is a breeze too.
Pop it in the dishwasher or hand wash the easy-to-disassemble plunger and filters.
Regular maintenance—like cleaning the plunger after each use—ensures it stays in top shape.
Users love its simplicity, cleanliness, and the rich coffee it delivers.
Its robust construction and adaptability also earn it high marks.
However, a minor hiccup for some? The metal-on-metal sound when sliding the filter can be a tad grating, especially if done slowly.
- Durable 18/10 double-layered stainless steel build.
- Versatile: brews coffee, tea, cold brew, froths milk, and more.
- Sleek design with a matching grounds canister.
- Easy to clean; dishwasher safe.
- Simple brewing process with satisfying results.
- Metal-on-metal sound when sliding the filter can be unpleasant.
- Canister size might not accommodate larger groups for extended periods.
4. BruTrek BaseCamp Coffee Press: Best For Durability
The BruTrek BaseCamp Coffee Press is another great choice for its blend of durability and portability, perfect for those outdoor brewing adventures.
Thanks to its patented Bru-Stop™ press technology, you can say goodbye to bitter over-brewed coffee; it halts the extraction process once you’ve pressed it down.
No more sipping on that unwanted bitterness!
Crafted from double-wall, vacuum-insulated stainless steel, this press ensures your coffee stays piping hot, whether you opt for the 32 fl oz or the larger 48 fl oz size.
Cleanup? A breeze.
Plus, with its threaded lid and secure handle, it’s designed to be spill-resistant and comfortable to hold.
Available in a range of colors, many rave about its smooth, flavorful brew.
A few users mention a slightly resistant plunger, but we’ve found it manageable and no different from other camping presses.
However, if you’re a backpacker looking to travel light, note that this press leans on the bulkier side, weighing in close to two pounds.
- Patented Bru-Stop™ technology prevents bitter over-brewing.
- Double-wall, vacuum-insulated stainless steel retains heat.
- Available in two sizes: 32 fl oz and 48 fl oz.
- Easy to use, with a spill-resistant threaded lid and secure handle.
- Offers a smooth and rich-tasting brew.
- Slightly bulky, weighing close to two pounds.
- Plunger may provide some resistance for some users.
5. Bestargot Camping French Press: Best Lightweight Choice
The Bestargot Camping French Press is a no-frills, robust companion for your outdoor adventures.
While it might not win a beauty contest, its functionality shines through.
Crafted from TA1 pure titanium, it boasts strength comparable to aluminum but at a much lighter weight—just half a pound for the 750ml version!
Measuring 3.94″ in diameter and 4.33″ tall, it offers a 25.3 oz capacity, making it handy for backpackers and campers alike.
Beyond coffee, its 2-in-1 design lets you brew tea or even whip up a quick camp meal, be it pasta, beans, or oatmeal.
Highlighting their eco-commitment, Bestargot champions the Product for the Planet™ initiative.
Users love its durability, ease of cleaning (it’s dishwasher safe!), and its adaptability for various cooking needs.
One thing to note: being all-metal means it can get hot.
Make sure you have oven mitts handy!
Also, remember that titanium doesn’t heat or retain warmth as rapidly as some other materials.
So, while it might take a touch longer to boil, it cools down quickly once off the heat.
- Lightweight TA1 pure titanium construction.
- Versatile 2-in-1 design for brewing and cooking.
- Dishwasher safe and easy to clean.
- Strong durability is suitable for outdoor use.
- Commitment to sustainability with Product for the Planet™ initiative.
- All-metal design can get too hot to touch.
- Titanium heats and cools slower than some materials.
6. Stanley 16 oz Travel Mug French Press: Best For Smaller Groups
For those who love their solo coffee moments, crave on-the-go camping brews, or simply want a fuss-free coffee experience, the Stanley 16 oz Travel Mug French Press hits the mark.
This nifty device is your ticket to freshly pressed coffee anytime, anywhere.
Crafted from durable, BPA-free 18/8 stainless steel, it’s built to withstand outdoor adventures.
Plus, with its double-wall vacuum insulation, your coffee stays piping hot for up to 4 hours.
In terms of cleaning, this shouldn’t be a problem for most.
The integrated coffee press comes with a dishwasher-safe filter, and its leak-proof lid ensures no spills.
Plus, its car-friendly design and stainless steel carry loop make it a travel essential.
While it’s a dream for many, some users find the mesh filter a tad tricky to clean.
- Durable and outdoor-ready design.
- Keeps coffee hot for up to 4 hours.
- Integrated, dishwasher-safe coffee press.
- Leak-proof lid with drink-thru opening.
- Car cup compatible with a stainless steel carry loop.
- The Mesh filter can be challenging to clean.
7. STANLEY Adventure All-In-One Boil + Brew French Press: Best For Versatility
The STANLEY Adventure French Press is your go-to for brewing, boiling, and cooking on the move.
Its standout feature is the generous 32-ounce capacity, perfect for serving multiple cups or catering to larger groups.
Crafted from sturdy stainless steel, this set includes a sleek French press insert.
The pot’s locking handle and nesting design ensure easy storage and portability.
Inside the French press, a double-layer fine-mesh filter promises a well-rounded coffee experience.
And here’s a game-changer: STANLEY’s two-container system means no more separate water boiling—everything’s streamlined!
Weighing just 0.9 lb and dishwasher safe, it’s both convenient and budget-friendly.
Plus, it’s not just about coffee; this set complements your backcountry cooking adventures too.
Need more? The spacious interior can even house a backpacking stove, coffee stash, and a few utensils.
One tiny hiccup? The cup might require a bit of finesse to nestle into the pot.
And yes, while it delivers, the brewing process is a tad slower than we’d like.
- Generous 32-ounce capacity for multiple servings.
- Stainless steel construction with a sleek design.
- Two-container system streamlines coffee-making.
- Dishwasher safe and lightweight at 0.9 lb.
- Doubles as storage for backpacking essentials.
- Cup nesting may require some adjustments.
- The brewing process is slower compared to some.
8. GSI Outdoors JavaPress French Press Coffee Maker: Best For Insulation
The GSI Outdoors is where style meets functionality.
Designed for those who appreciate a good-looking brewer that doesn’t compromise on performance, this French press stands out.
Capable of serving up four rich and flavorful cups, it promises a coffee experience that doesn’t disappoint.
Crafted for the adventurous soul, its lightweight yet robust build ensures it’s up for any camping or travel challenge.
Ever found yourself disappointed by bland hotel coffee? With GSI Outdoors, your brew stays hot and flavorful thanks to its double-insulated lid and insulating cloth.
But it’s not just about looks and heat retention.
Its foldable handle adds a touch of compactness, making it even more travel-friendly.
Plus, the innovative silicone-ringed plunger ensures a grit-free pour every time.
Cleaning up is also really simple which makes it perfect for campers.
While it’s lauded for its durability and stellar performance, it’s worth noting that its pour spout demands a bit of finesse to avoid spills.
Also, the handle, although unique, is sewn on, which might not be everyone’s favorite feature.
And if you’re hosting a crowd, remember it brews four cups max in one go.
- Stylish design with efficient performance.
- Capable of brewing four rich cups of coffee.
- Lightweight yet durable for travel and camping.
- Double-insulated lid maintains coffee temperature.
- Silicone-ringed plunger ensures a clean pour.
- Pour spout design can lead to potential spills.
- The handle is sewn on, not fixed.
- Limited to brewing four cups at a time.
9. VeoHome 1 Litre Piston French Coffee Maker: Best For Style
Looking for a camping French press that blends functionality with style? Meet the VeoHome.
Its sleek stainless steel finish not only elevates its performance but also adds a dash of sophistication to any setting, be it your kitchen or the great outdoors.
The design? Simply elegant.
We’re particularly fond of its graceful curves and the unique closed-loop handle.
Crafted with top-tier materials, this French press promises durability and a rust-resistant lifespan.
Thanks to its double-walled construction, your coffee stays at the perfect temperature, ensuring a consistently delightful brew.
But it’s not just about looks; the VeoHome means business when it comes to coffee.
With dual built-in filters, say goodbye to weak brews and unwanted grounds.
What you get is a velvety-smooth coffee experience, free from any unwanted residue.
And cleanup is really simple also.
Whether you opt for a quick rinse or a dishwasher cycle, maintaining this French press is a cinch.
However, while its design is undeniably fetching, its price tag of $35 and the somewhat delicate handle attachment might make some hesitate to take it on rugged camping trips.
After all, who’d want to mar such a beauty?
- Sleek stainless steel finish for style and durability.
- The double-walled design maintains coffee temperature.
- Dual built-in filters for a smooth brew.
- Easy cleaning, dishwasher-safe.
- Elegant curves and unique closed-loop handle design.
- It’s a bit pricey
- Delicate handle attachment may raise durability concerns.
- Its elegant design might deter some from taking it on rugged camping trips.
10. Stanley Classic 48oz The Stay-Hot French Press: Best For Larger Groups
Stanley’s Classic 48oz Stay-Hot French Press is a go-to for brewing coffee for a crowd.
Whenever we’re out with a big group, this French press becomes our trusty coffee station.
With its stainless steel mesh filter, it promises a rich brew minus the grit.
Designed for those who love their coffee hot, its double-wall vacuum insulation ensures your brew stays warm for hours, be it on a mountain hike or your kitchen counter.
Crafted from BPA-free 18/8 stainless steel, it’s both durable and safe.
Plus, its user-friendly features like the ergonomic handle and dishwasher-safe design make cleanup a breeze.
A nifty detail? The steel plunger comes apart easily, simplifying the cleaning process even more.
However, a word to the wise: this French press prefers coarse coffee grounds.
Given its generous size, finer grounds might sneak past the filter.
And here’s a heads-up: even when filled to the brim, it can occasionally spill through the spout.
While it offers ample capacity, it’s also worth noting its size; ensure your bag has room before embarking on adventures with it.
- Generous 48oz capacity, ideal for groups.
- Stainless steel mesh filter for a grit-free brew.
- Double-wall vacuum insulation retains coffee heat.
- Durable 18/8 stainless steel construction; BPA-free.
- Easy-to-clean design; dishwasher-safe with detachable plunger.
- Prefers coarse coffee grounds; fine grounds may pass through.
- Potential for spills even when filled to the recommended level.
- The larger size requires ample storage space in bags or backpacks.
What Is A Camping French Press?
A camping French press is a compact and durable coffee maker specifically crafted for outdoor adventures.
Constructed from robust materials like stainless steel or tough plastic, this press is built to endure the challenges of outdoor settings.
Unlike its delicate traditional counterpart, which might not withstand the demands of camping, modern camping French presses are both affordable and user-friendly.
They retain the classic plunger mechanism but in a more compact design suitable for travel.
Featuring a double-walled, vacuum-sealed structure, they ensure your coffee remains hot for extended periods.
Moreover, these presses are convenient to operate, and maintain, and don’t rely on disposable filters.
With their lightweight and resilient build, you can effortlessly pack them for your trips, ensuring a steaming cup of coffee is always within reach.
Why Choose a French Press for Camping?
Choosing a French press for camp coffee offers several distinct advantages.
Here are some of the main ones:
- Flavor Control: French presses allow users to control the brewing time and strength of their coffee, resulting in a richer and fuller flavor compared to other brewing methods.
- No Paper Waste: Unlike drip coffee makers that require disposable filters, French presses use a metal mesh filter, eliminating the need for paper filters and reducing waste.
- Portability: French presses are typically lightweight and compact, making them easy to pack and carry on camping trips without taking up much space.
- Durable Construction: Designed for outdoor use, many camping-specific French presses are made from sturdy materials like stainless steel or hard plastic, ensuring they can withstand the rigors of outdoor environments.
- Heat Retention: French presses with double-walled, vacuum-sealed constructions can keep coffee hot for extended periods, allowing campers to enjoy multiple cups without reheating.
- Simplicity: Operating a French press is straightforward and requires minimal accessories. It’s a simple, manual method that doesn’t rely on electricity, making it ideal for camping where power sources may be limited.
- Versatility: Apart from brewing coffee, French presses can be used to make tea or even froth milk for specialty drinks, adding to their versatility in a camping setting.
Buyer’s Guide: Key Factors to Consider for the Best Camping French Press
When selecting a camping French press, various factors come into play to ensure you choose a product that best suits your outdoor coffee brewing needs.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of the essential factors to consider:
Material and Durability
- Stainless Steel vs. Hard Plastic: Opt for a French press made from high-quality stainless steel or durable hard plastic. These materials are robust, resistant to dents, and designed to withstand the rugged conditions of outdoor use. They also ensure longevity, providing value for your investment.
- Insulation: Look for a model with double-walled, vacuum-sealed insulation. This feature not only keeps your coffee hot but also enhances the press’s durability by adding an extra layer of protection.
- Insulation Features: Beyond double-walled construction, some French presses come with additional insulation features or accessories, like thermal sleeves or wraps, to further enhance heat retention. This ensures your coffee stays hot for extended periods, allowing for leisurely sipping.
Size and Capacity
- Group Size: Consider how many people you’ll typically be serving. If you’re camping solo or with a partner, a smaller capacity (e.g., 12-20 ounces) might suffice. For larger groups, opt for presses with a 32-48 ounce capacity to brew more coffee at once.
- Portability: Balance capacity with portability. While larger French presses offer more coffee, they may be bulkier. Ensure your chosen size fits comfortably in your camping gear without adding too much weight.
- Mesh Quality: A high-quality, fine-mesh filter is crucial for ensuring a smooth and grit-free coffee. Ensure the press you choose has a reliable filter that effectively separates the grounds from the brewed coffee.
- Ease of Cleaning: Consider French presses with detachable filters or designs that make cleaning hassle-free, especially when resources are limited in camping settings.
Portability and Design
- Compactness: Opt for designs that are compact and lightweight. Look for foldable handles or removable components that make packing and storing the French press more convenient.
- Robust Design: While compactness is essential, ensure the design is robust enough to withstand outdoor conditions. Check for features like reinforced handles or protective coatings that enhance durability.
Brand Reputation and Reviews
- Research Brands: Stick to reputable brands known for producing quality camping gear. Research customer reviews and testimonials to gauge user satisfaction and product performance.
- Warranty and Support: Consider brands that offer warranties or reliable customer support, ensuring you have assistance should you encounter any issues with your French press.
Using a French Press Coffee Maker for Camping: A Step-by-Step Guide
- Preparation: Start by removing the French press’s lid. Measure out 60 grams of coffee grounds and add them to the carafe.
- Initial Steeping: Pour hot water into the carafe, filling it about halfway. Allow the coffee grounds to steep for 30 seconds.
- Stirring: After the initial steeping, use a wooden spoon or a utensil to give the coffee a gentle stir, ensuring even extraction.
- Full Steeping: Continue filling the carafe with hot water up to the top. Let the coffee steep further for 3-5 minutes.
- Press and Serve: Once the steeping is complete, slowly press the plunger down to the bottom of the carafe. Your coffee is now ready to be enjoyed directly from the French press.
- Cleaning: To clean the French press, add water and a few drops of dish soap to the carafe. Use the plunger to agitate the water, creating a soapy mixture. Rinse the carafe thoroughly, repeatedly using the plunger to ensure all soap residues are removed.
- The ideal water temperature for brewing in a French press ranges between 195°F (90°C) and 205°F (96°C).
- Aim for a coarsely ground coffee, with a grind size between 0.75 mm and 1 mm, to prevent grounds from passing through the filter.
Disadvantages of the French Press for Brewing Coffee
Due to its mesh filtration system, the French press might allow some coffee grounds to seep into the brewed coffee, resulting in sediment at the bottom of your cup.
Fragile Glass Beakers
Many French press models come with glass beakers that can be susceptible to breakage, leading to potential hazards and the need for replacements.
Cleaning a French press involves disposing of the used coffee grounds, which can be messier compared to some other brewing methods.
Taste Consistency Challenges
Achieving a consistent taste with a French press can be intricate.
Factors such as the grind size of the coffee beans, water temperature, and brewing duration all play pivotal roles in the final flavor.
French press coffee may contain elevated levels of compounds like cafestol, which some studies suggest could have health implications.
For those prioritizing health, methods involving paper filters might be considered safer alternatives.
Most French presses are designed for individual or small-group use, making them less ideal for brewing large quantities at once.
The Verdict: What Is The Best Camping French Press?
After a thorough evaluation, the Aeropress Go emerged as our top choice for the best camping French press due to its unparalleled portability, quick brewing time, and consistently flavorful coffee.
The Coffee Gator French Press Coffee Maker secured the Runner-Up position, impressing us with its durable construction, superior heat retention, and aesthetic design.
For those seeking a budget-friendly yet efficient option, the Mueller French Press Coffee Maker stands out as the Best Value, offering excellent brewing capabilities and ease of use without compromising on quality.
Is French press good for camping?
Absolutely! French presses are excellent for camping due to their simplicity, portability, and ability to produce flavorful coffee without the need for electricity.
They’re compact, easy to clean, and allow campers to enjoy a freshly brewed cup amidst nature.
Is a percolator better than a French press for camping?
The choice between a percolator and a French press largely depends on personal preference.
While percolators can brew larger quantities and are more traditional, French presses offer a smoother, richer taste and are simpler to use.
For those prioritizing taste and ease of use, the French press might have the edge.
Why is a French press better than a coffee maker?
One significant advantage is the enhanced control it offers during the brewing process.
With the French press, users can fine-tune variables such as steeping time, grind coarseness, and water temperature, leading to a richer, more flavorful cup of coffee.
Moreover, the absence of a paper filter in the French press allows the natural oils and subtle flavors of the coffee beans to shine through.
While the French press excels in flavor customization, some may still gravitate towards the straightforwardness and convenience of a drip coffee maker.