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15 Best Travel Coffee Makers: The Best Ways to Make Coffee While Traveling, Backpacking, and Camping

Wander the world long enough and you’ll learn that a good cup of coffee or espresso isn’t always easy to come by. Knowing the best travel coffee maker options while backpacking, camping, and wandering, and bringing your own coffee can be an invaluable solution for getting your fix for good coffee while traveling.  In my experience, it’s well worth it to pick up the best backpacking coffee maker available before your travels to make for an enjoyable morning and a guaranteed boost of energy before those pre-sunrise hikes.

Best Travel and Backpacking Coffee Maker Choices: The Best Ways to Make Coffee While Traveling, Backpacking, and Camping
The WACACO Nanopresso – an ingenious, portable espresso maker for traveling coffee addicts

You may get lucky in places like Italy and Vietnam, with their robust and amazing coffee culture, but more often than not the “coffee” served in remote parts of the world will more likely resemble caffeinated dirt juice than what you’re used to fueling up on each morning at home.  If you do happen to find a great coffee shop, plan on the price being as high as it would be back home…in a place where a meal costs $1 and a nice hotel costs $20.

Does this mean that traveling the world hunting for adventures and exploring places far from home means sacrificing access to a decent cup of coffee?  Absolutely not. You just have to come prepared.

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Table of Contents for our Best Travel Coffee Options

Finding Good Coffee while Wandering the World: The struggle is real…

Somewhere between Italy and Vietnam, I picked up a “healthy” coffee addiction. So, despite the fact that I travel as a minimalist with just a carry on bag, I still have to tote the tools to make sure I have good cup of coffee each morning…anywhere. And no, instant coffee does not qualify as good coffee

The CONQUECO Portable Espresso machine that automatically heats water, pressurizes, and delivers a true espresso – on the road

Lucky for you these coffee cravings led me to find the perfect travel coffee maker options for every type of coffee drinker. As long as you can find hot water and good coffee grounds, these 11 portable coffee maker options will ensure you can have a great cup of Joe no matter where your travels take you.

Read on for the 11 best portable coffee maker options and mugs to make a travel coffee kit that’ll keep you caffeinated, adventure-ready, and mood swing free!

Which Backpacking Coffee Maker Style is Best for You?  Depends on the Coffee you prefer…

The best portable coffee brewer options for a lighter, smoother cup of coffee while traveling and backpacking are:

Any Starbucks regular can tell you that not all coffee is the same.  Strip your Caramel Macchiato Frappe of the sugary and milky goodness, and even that basic coffee beneath can differ in many ways – light and smooth, robust and bold, thick with a touch of oily froth. 

For coffee drinkers hoping to ensure they always have a hot coffee available to their standards, understanding how you prefer your coffee – strong and quick like espresso, or light and long like French Press coffee – is the first essential step. Ultimately getting it, can make lugging around your own travel-friendly coffee pot a little more worthwhile – as the best travel coffee maker option for you will differ accordingly. 

The major factors in which coffee maker is best for you are generally how strong do you prefer your coffee, and how much you need those sometimes frothy oils naturally in coffee for that travel cup of delicious coffee to satisfy you.

If you prefer your coffee lighter and smoother…

…then life is easier for you, as you’ll have plenty of easy options for a cup of coffee on the road. 

If you like stronger and thicker …

…then life is still easy, but to get a good cup of espresso you’ll need heftier contraptions.  The best options for a strong cup of coffee on the road that’s more akin to espresso are:

(Click any of the links above to jump to our list of options)

The beauty of the best travel and camping coffee maker options is they work just as well as lightweight camping coffee makers, car camping luxuries, or even taking to work to make a freshly brewed coffee yourself. A fresh, quick, and delicious cup anytime you want. Again, as long you have coffee beans and hot water, you’ll have a great cup of coffee.

What to Look for in a Good Travel Coffee Maker

When you’re hunting for a travel coffee maker, you shouldn’t necessarily go for the shiniest prettiest thing – aim for the brewer that will make coffee you like and won’t break halfway through your travels.  To get pin down specifically which coffee maker this is, look for these 5 traits in a good travel coffee maker:

  • Durability: A fancy coffee maker doesn’t do anyone any good if it’s broken
  • Makes your style of coffee: Light and smooth or strong and bold
  • Doesn’t require replacing filters: Reusable filters save the trouble of hunting for paper filters
  • Compact Size: The lighter your bags are, the more enjoyable your travels will be
  • Simplicity: Fewer moving pieces means fewer things to break…or do wrong

Our Full List of the Best Backpacking Coffee Maker Options for Traveling, Camping, and Backpacking

Now that you know what to look for in a travel coffee maker, and you know what kind of coffee you want from it, let’s look at the best brewing options. I recommend checking out these categories of coffee brewers for your travels (click to jump to the respective recommendations).

Best Brew Method Choices for Travel and Backpacking Coffee Makers


Full List of Our Recommended Portable Coffee Makers

Scroll down to get the details on all of them…

Best Portable French Presses for Travel

Best Coffee Press Mugs for Travel

Vietnamese Drip Coffee Makers

Aeropresso Styled Coffee Presses

Best Travel Espresso Maker Options for Backpackers

Best Travel Pour Over Coffee and Drip Options

Infusion Brewing Basket Coffee While Traveling

Single Serve Coffee Bag Sachets (Tea Bag Style)

Portable Nespresso Coffee Makers

Cold Brew Coffee for Travel (Method I use…)

All-in-One Coffee Maker: Coffee Grinder, Coffee Maker, and Mug Combos

Best Portable French Press Coffee Makers and Coffee Press Options

A compact travel coffee press in a portable French Press style is a great, simple option for a light, smooth, and delicious cup of coffee while traveling. 

Best Travel and Backpacking Coffee Maker Choices: The Best Ways to Make Coffee While Traveling, Backpacking, and Camping

For these portable French Press style one cup coffee makers, simply find or grind coarse grind coffee, pour in 1-2 tablespoons of coffee per 6 ounces of water, let the coffee steep for 3-5 minutes, push down the filter separate grinds from coffee, and then serve. 

Simple as that.

Travel coffee presses come in two types:

  • Mugs that are a cup and travel coffee press combo
  • French presses

Single serve combo mugs are best if you’re a solo traveler.  Travel French presses (normally serving up 32 oz.) are best if you’re traveling with others…or just a friendly character that shares their coffee.


Best Portable French Presses for Travel

The best portable French Presses suitable for travel are small and compact enough to fit easily into a backpack or luggage, make at least two cups (to over caffeinate on your own or share the love), and are more rugged than your average press to avoid shattering on day 1 of the adventures.  In reality, most travel coffee presses will be around 32 oz., so I only opt for a French Press when I’m consistently traveling with two or more people and don’t need to stay as light.  If you’re traveling solo, save some space and opt for a coffee press mug instead

The best travel French press options are:

The OXO BREW Venture Travel French Press

Best Travel and Backpacking Coffee Maker Choices: The Best Ways to Make Coffee While Traveling, Backpacking, and Camping

Double Wall Insulated Stainless Steel French Press (by Jomo)

If you don’t mind sacrificing the space, this French Press has durable stainless steel construction, will definitely keep your coffee hot if you’re a slow drinker (like I am), and makes enough joe for 2 to 3 people.

Best Travel and Backpacking Coffee Maker Choices: The Best Ways to Make Coffee While Traveling, Backpacking, and Camping

The Jomo’s size (enough to share, possibly too large to take backpacking the world), ruggedness, and durability make it one of the best camping coffee maker options on our list. Additionally, the double wall insulation may add too much weight and bulk for travel backpacking, but will help keep your remaining cups of your delicious camp coffee warm on cool camping mornings.


More Great French Press Options

Best Coffee Press Mugs for Travel

As compact as a travel mug, insulated to keep your coffee warm, and no need to track down paper filters.

My favorite Travel Coffee Press and Mug combos are:

The Stanley Mug French Press

An extremely functional mug and coffee press from a name that is known for making rugged coffee gear.  I actually recommend Stanley’s classic flask too which served me well and is currently being passed between backpackers in Europe…with plenty of memories attached.


The Espro Travel Coffee Press

Simple, straightforward, reliable, and a great coffee maker – the Espro Travel Coffee Press is kinda legendary for on the go coffee.  Count on 10 oz. of coffee per serving.


More Great Portable French Press Mug Options:

Vietnamese Drip Coffee Makers

The Vietnamese drip coffee maker style is possibly the simplest, most durable, and cheapest coffee solution for travelers that want strong coffee – all for ~$10.

8 Best Travel Coffee Maker Options: How to Make Coffee While Traveling, Backpacking, and Camping

The all-steel makeup allows the natural oils of the coffee to drip through making the Vietnamese coffee more akin to espresso (without the tasty brown espresso foam) than American style drip coffee or pour-overs.  The simple, steel design also makes Vietnamese coffee makers durable enough to survive years on the road or in your luggage – just add grinds and water, and you’re caffeine ready.

This contraption is so simple that any stainless steel Vietnamese coffee filter on Amazon would work, just like this stainless steel Vietnamese coffee filter (pictured above and below)

8 Best Travel Coffee Maker Options: How to Make Coffee While Traveling, Backpacking, and Camping

For the longest time on Bali and in Southeast Asia, I always carried a Vietnamese coffee style drip coffee maker, and freshly ground coffee to ensure I always had a cup of coffee before my sunrise surfs, and well before most cafes open.

The lightweight design, cheap price, the fact that you can find a replacement anywhere, make these Vietnamese gadgets perfect light traveler and backpacking coffee maker options.

Aeropress Coffee Maker for Espresso on the Road (with Additional Metal Disc)

If you require an espresso in the morning, but aren’t in Italy and don’t have a Nespresso machine, the AeroPress may be your next best option. 

By compressing the grinds before preparing the coffee (as you would before loading a normal espresso maker) and pairing with a reusable metal AeroPress filter disc, you’ll get the same strong coffee and frothy coffee oils of an espresso…anywhere!  Plus, having the metal filter disc means no hunting for paper filters when you’re in the middle of Jordan somewhere.

AeroPress

8 Best Travel Coffee Maker Options: How to Make Coffee While Traveling, Backpacking, and Camping

When packing your kit, if you prefer a more espresso style coffee, with the tasty frothy oils, be sure to pack finely ground coffee as that is the only way to achieve an espresso style coffee. Larger grinds, more suitable for French Press coffee, will leave you with a thinner coffee.


The DISC: FINE Premium Filter for AeroPress Coffee

8 Best Travel Coffee Maker Options: How to Make Coffee While Traveling, Backpacking, and Camping

More Great Aeropress Styled Coffee Press Options

Best Travel Espresso Maker Options for Backpackers

Whether you’re backpacking through Yosemite or backpacking through Sri Lanka, finding a quality cup of espresso can be fairly difficult.

Also, surprisingly for backpackers wandering through Southeast Asia, finding a good espresso, long black, or Americano (due to bean quality, machine settings, and barista training) can be so difficult that you may want to your own pocket espresso maker – as I resorted to.

For the digital nomad and freelancing crowd that hustles from home, its hard to overestimate the convenience of being able to make a great cup of espresso at home, in your home away from home.

For travelers, backcountry campers, and digital nomads alike, these portable espresso machine options take up minimal space and make a cup of coffee worth their weight


WACACO Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker

8 Best Travel Coffee Maker Options: How to Make Coffee While Traveling, Backpacking, and Camping

A very interesting option for espresso while traveling, hiking or camping – the WACACO Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker.  Just over a year ago I purchased it as a compact way to make an espresso – at home and while backpacking – and if you are an espresso addict it is definitely worth the investment.

Here in Bali, there is no shortage of fantastic coffee beans from around Indonesia. However, finding a shot of espresso or a long black that uses those fantastic beans to make an equally great cup of espresso based coffee without being overpriced is rare. As such, the Nanopresso has been a great purchase for making a quick cup of espresso at home, without a moka pot, and is an equally good backpacking coffee maker for my travels around the world.

8 Best Travel Coffee Maker Options: How to Make Coffee While Traveling, Backpacking, and Camping

This handheld option makes espresso from both grinds and Nespresso pods via pump action, and only requires hot water, coffee…no filters, no electricity.  Find out more by viewing the Nanopresso options on Amazon.

If you specifically require a good cup of espresso or espresso based coffee drink wherever you go, consider the nanopresso.

More great Portable Espresso Maker Options**

Best Travel Pour Over Coffee and Drip Options

If light and smooth is how you like your coffee, then travel-friendly pour-over coffee options will be best for you – and there are plenty of them. Hanging Filter bags and folding coffee drip filters, reusable cloth filters, and reusable mesh filters will all give a great cup of coffee cheaply, quickly, and with minimal hassle.

The beauty of filtered coffee is that it delivers a “cleaner” cup of coffee, extracting the oils from the coffee (along with a bit of bitterness) and leaving a more flavorful experience. If you prefer a lighter roast and lighter cup of coffee but are stuck with darker roasted bean (think Italian roast or French roast), having filters will make a more palatable cup of coffee.

Hanging Filter bags

8 Best Travel Coffee Maker Options: How to Make Coffee While Traveling, Backpacking, and Camping

These handy little gadgets are my most recent coffee discovery and a perfect java backup to carry during travel.  They’re cheap and simple, and as long as coffee grinds, hot water, and a cup are available you’ll always have a cup of coffee.  Be sure to purchase “Hanging Ear Drip Filter Bags” cheaply on Amazon before you travel…just in case. 

8 Best Travel Coffee Maker Options: How to Make Coffee While Traveling, Backpacking, and Camping

Reusable Drip Pour Over Coffee Filters

For a simple option that will last the duration of your travels and doesn’t require paper filters, paperless pour-over options made of mesh metal filters are quick to set up, easy to use, and quick to clean up giving cup of coffee.  Thanks to the simplicity you can find plenty of durable and cheap steel pour-over coffee filters on Amazon that are well-reviewed and perfect for travel.

8 Best Travel Coffee Maker Options: How to Make Coffee While Traveling, Backpacking, and Camping

Stainless steel design and a tightly-knit mesh filter make these reusable pour-over coffee filters great options for coffee on the road.  The materials will last the trip and the built-in metal filter means no hunting for paper ones.  Just set the filter in your cup, place the grinds in, pour on water, and sip to your heart’s contentment. 

Also, consider a reusable pour-over coffee filter with a stand to make life easier by setting the filter on a cup and pouring instead of holding it.

8 Best Travel Coffee Maker Options: How to Make Coffee While Traveling, Backpacking, and Camping


Foldable Drip Coffee Filters

The Snowpeak Folding Coffee Drip and Snow Peak Field Barista Coffee Drip are both great, lightweight, durable options for making drip coffee on the road – but don’t forget to pack your own filters or purchase a cloth reusable filter like these hemp cloth reusable cone filters (pictured below).

Improvising with Reusable Cloth Filters

Reusable cloth filters are possibly the most lightweight and minimalist options for coffee.  Just set a reusable cloth filter in place over a cup, add grinds, and pour. 

8 Best Travel Coffee Maker Options: How to Make Coffee While Traveling, Backpacking, and Camping

If you’re unsure if you’ll need a coffee backup plan and can barely spare the extra space take a reusable cloth coffee filter with you and improvise along the way


More Great Pour Over Coffee Options

Infusion Brewing Basket Coffee While Traveling

Another minimalist option for a good cup of coffee while traveling is the infusion brewing basket commonly used for tea.  This is a great option – small, durable, simple, and perfect for a quick, single cup of coffee.

Back before backpacking around the world, infusion basket brewed coffee was one of my favorite options for brewing at home and camping as it gives the same style of coffee as a French Press, is easily cleaned, and can be used to brew loose leaf tea as well.

8 Best Travel Coffee Maker Options: How to Make Coffee While Traveling, Backpacking, and Camping

To use infusion baskets for coffee, drop a coarse grind coffee into an infusion basket that has small pores, place your coffee in the basket (while in the cup), pour the water over the coffee and (through the basket), and let steep 3-5 minutes – just as you would in a French press.

The compact size, versatility, and ease of use make infusion baskets excellent portable portable, minimalist travel and backpacking coffee maker options.

Any well-reviewed infusion basket on Amazon that explicitly states it can be used for coffee will work just fine.  I recommend checking out these options:

Yoassi Steel Mesh Strainer

8 Best Travel Coffee Maker Options: How to Make Coffee While Traveling, Backpacking, and Camping

The Finum Reusable Stainless Steel Coffee and Tea

8 Best Travel Coffee Maker Options: How to Make Coffee While Traveling, Backpacking, and Camping

The Costa Rican coffee Maker: Chorreador de Café

Coffee beans have been around much longer than Starbucks and the espresso culture of Italy, and the simpler methods of brewing coffee still persist in the charmingly simpler parts of the world.  The Costa Rican “Chorreador de Café” is proof of this.

8 Best Travel Coffee Maker Options: How to Make Coffee While Traveling, Backpacking, and Camping

A reusable cloth bag with a handle used pour-over style is all that’s needed to brew coffee from the java beans that Costa Rica is so well known for.  This contraption is small enough that it takes up nearly no space in your bag, cleans up easily, and lasts for anywhere from a few months to a few years.

To use, just drop your grinds in, hold over your coffee cup, and pour away with hot water. 

For cleanup, don’t use soap, just rinse with warm water and scrub with salt if necessary (maybe once a week if using daily).

Traditionally the Correador de café is sold with a wooden stand like this handmade Costa Rican coffee maker, but you can find the Costa Rican coffee Makers on Amazon as a simple bag for cheap too, minimalist, and perfect for coffee while traveling.

Single Serve Coffee Sachets

By far, the easiest approach to making a good, reliable, quick cup of coffee are with single serve, tea bag style coffee servings. With these, you simply find hot water, grab a cup, and steep your coffee to your preferred point.

If you are car camping, and have quite a bit of space, or will be traveling and backpacking for a limited amount of time – planning out enough cups for your days of adventure and addiction – this may be the best and simplest travel coffee option for you.

Counter Culture Single Serve Coffee Bags

These single serve “coffee bags” come in an environmentally friendly container in dark roast, medium roast, light roast, French Roast, and as many others as you can think of

The packaging itself is compostable meaning the whole experience of having your coffee in your favorite place is convenient and environmentally friendly.


More Great Single Serve Coffee Bag Options:

Portable Nespresso Coffee Makers

For many people, the K-Cup dependency is real, and for good reason. K-Cup Pods are available (and can be restocked) in most countries in North America, Europe, and Asia, meaning you can pickup a portable K-Cup coffee maker and restock on the road.

CONQUECO Portable Espressso Maker

This rechargeable (car or home) portable espresso maker runs on Nespresso pods and simultaneously heats water, perfectly pressurizes (to 8 to 10 bar) and pours a cup of espresso all with the push of a button.

Note that the heating process (for the water) takes about 10 minutes when starting with room temperature water.

Cold Brew Coffee for Travel

If you have the time, appreciate highly caffeinated coffee, and want something very smooth with low bitterness and acidity, cold brew coffee may be up your alley.

You’ll still need an option for filtering the grinds after soaking overnight, just cut it with a bit of water to your personal tastes as it will be quite strong.

To make cold brew coffee, simply grab some coarse grind coffee, mix 1 part coffee with 4 parts water (so 1 cup of coffee with 4 parts water), let it steep for 12 hours, and then filter with cheesecloth or coffee filters. 

Dilute the resulting coffee with water as necessary or plus up on coffee the next time for a stronger brew.

All-in-One Coffee Maker – Coffee Grinder, Coffee Maker, and Mug Combos

If coffee freshness matters to you most, a portable coffee maker that combines a coffee grinder and reusable filter compactly into the mug is perfect for you. This is my brew method of choice when camping and trekking solo as the morning routine of grinding the beans (usually over a few minutes) smelling the freshly ground coffee and carefully making pour over coffee wakes me up in such a pleasant way.

Consider these fresh coffee facts…

Did you know that the peak flavor and aroma of coffee grinds occur in the first 20 to 30 minutes after grinding? 

Did you know that coffee beans stay fresh for 4 months while coffee grinds only stay fresh for 1 month before going rancid? 

What does all this mean? If you’re traveling long term and not sure if coffee grinds will be available where you’re going, bring one of these handy gadgets and coffee beans.  This way you’ll be able to enjoy fresh coffee, anytime, any place.

8 Best Travel Coffee Maker Options: How to Make Coffee While Traveling, Backpacking, and Camping
A few, easy steps makes for freshly ground coffee anywhere

I own a grinder combo similar to this portable coffee grinder and drip coffee maker combo by MOYEAH and it served me well during my national park tour – with a supremely fresh cup of java every morning, with a little grinding workout to wake me up. 


More Great All-In-One Portable Coffee Makers

The 8 Best Travel Coffee Maker Options for a DIY Kit

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