7 Best Camping Percolator Models for Heavenly Camping Coffee
It turns out that there’s a fairly significant correlation between outdoor enthusiasts and a serious love of (i.e.; addiction to) caffeine. This guest post on the best camping percolator from fellow writer Ciaran Coughlan proves exactly that!
When you’re camping, there’s nothing like a hot cup of coffee in the morning. But how do you make coffee when you’re camping?
You could use a hand-held espresso maker or an ever-popular AeroPress, but those can be expensive and inefficient. Instead, you could use a stovetop (or campfire-top, in this case) camping percolator.
A camping percolator is an excellent way to make coffee while enjoying The Great Outdoors because it’s easy to use and clean, it’s durable, and it’s affordable. Plus, the best camp percolators make a great cup of coffee! As we’ve said before, camping coffee — good camping coffee — just hits different!
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What is a Camping Percolator?
A camping percolator is a type of pot used to brew coffee directly over a heat source. It continually cycles the boiling or nearly-boiling water through the coffee grounds using gravity, until the required strength is reached.
How to Use a Coffee Percolator
Assuming you have one of the best camp percolator models, the first step is to find some kind of heat source. If you’re camping, this will likely be a campfire or camp stove. If you’re at home, any stove will do.
Next, you’ll need to add water to the camping percolator. The general rule is to use a 2:1 ratio — two cups of water for every one cup of coffee you want to make. So, if you’re making coffee for four people, you’ll need eight cups of water.
Once the water is in the percolator, add your coffee grounds. The rule of thumb here is to use one tablespoon of coffee per cup of water. So if you’re using eight cups of water, you’ll need eight tablespoons of coffee.
Now it’s time to put the lid on the camping percolator and put it on the heat source to let it do its thing — percolate.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Camp Percolator
When planning a camping or road trip, one of the most important considerations is how you will make coffee. For some, this may mean packing a French press or pour-over setup. But if you’re looking for a more traditional brewing method, a camping percolator is the way to go.
There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding on the best camping coffee percolator.
The first thing to consider in a camping percolator is its materials. While there are a few exceptions, most percolators are made of either stainless steel or aluminum. Stainless steel is unquestionably more durable but heavier, while aluminum is lighter weight, making it a better option for backpacking.
In order to determine the best camp percolator for you, think about how you’ll most use it.
The next thing to consider in a camping percolator is size. Percolators come in a variety of sizes, from small single-serve styles to large 12-cup models. Choose the size that best suits your needs. If you only ever serve coffee for one or two people, you don’t want something too big and clunky taking up space for other essential camping gear.
Another important consideration for the best camping coffee percolator is durability. When you’re camping, you want a percolator that can (and will!) withstand the elements. Look for models with a sturdy, heavier base and a lid that fits snugly.
Stove vs. Electric
When it comes to a heating source for your camp percolator, you have two options: stovetop or electric. Stovetop percolators are more traditional and require minimal equipment. Electric percolators may seem more convenient and faster, but they also require batteries or an external power source.
Once you’ve brewed your coffee, you’ll need somewhere to store it. Camp percolators often come with a built-in storage compartment, but you may want to consider an insulated thermos or mug to keep your brew warm.
Camping Percolator Highlights
- Best camping coffee percolator for individuals: Bialetti Moka Express
- Most durable camping percolator: GSI Outdoors Enamelware
- Best electric camping percolator: Moss & Stone Electric Coffee Percolator
Ranking the Best Camping Coffee Percolator Models
1. Stanley Adventure Cool Grip Camp Percolator
- Capacity: 6 cups
- Fave Features: Removable cool-touch silicone handle grip and hinged lid
- Minor complaint: The tall, slender design makes it a bit tippy, particularly on personal backpacking stoves
- Weight + dimensions: 1 pound; 4.6 x 8.1 x 8.5″
- Buy from Stanley or on Amazon
Need your morning coffee on the go? The Stanley Adventure Cool-Grip Camp Percolator is perfect for making hot, fresh coffee both at home and while camping. This percolator features an improved design and stainless-steel interior basket that keeps grounds fresh. It’s also 100% dishwater-safe and easy to clean, so you can enjoy your coffee without worrying about cleanup.
One of our favorite features is the removable Cool-Grip silicone handle, which prevents burns when grabbing the hot camping percolator. This stovetop coffee maker is also lightweight and easy to carry in a hiking pack, making it ideal for camping and road trips or hikes.
2. Coletti Bozeman Camping Percolator
- Capacity: Available in 9- and 12-cup sizes
- Fave features:No plastic parts (all stainless and wood construction), veteran-owned company, and lifetime replacement guarantee
- Minor complaint: The wood handle gets HOT and grounds escape the filter
- Weight + dimensions: 2 pounds; 8 x 4.8 x 7.5″
- Buy on Amazon or from Wal-Mart
The Coletti Bozeman is widely considered among the best camping coffee percolator options for enjoying a hot cuppa Joe in The Great Outdoors. Admittedly, we’re a bit biased on the name alone, as we have a serious, long-standing love affair with any and all things Montana. But seriously, made with 18/8 stainless steel and a tempered glass top, this coffee maker is built to last.
The hardwood handle and integrated medical-grade steel filter make it the perfect choice for those who want to avoid aluminum and plastic. This camping percolator is simple, efficient, and classic, plus it comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee.
3. Bialetti Express Moka Pot
- Capacity: Available in 1-, 6-, 9-, and 12-cup sizes
- Fave features: Brews excellent coffee and espresso, design ensures there are no parts to break, and a completely no-waste brewing process
- Minor complaint: Doesn’t work well to serve a crowd and the brewing process is time-consuming
- Weight + dimensions: 1.6 pounds; 6.34 x 4.06 x 7.48″
- Buy on Amazon or from Williams-Sonoma
Coffee purists will be quick to tell you that the Bialetti Express Moka Pot is the absolute best camping coffee percolator. Technically, it’s a stovetop espresso maker that just so happens to percolate — tomato, tomahhto. In any case, the Bialetti offers the perfect way to enjoy rich, smooth espresso when off the grid.
Made with stainless-steel and just a literal few parts for long-lasting durability, the Moka Pot features a flip-top lid with a temperature-resistant knob and handle for easy, safe pouring. Simply fill the lower chamber with water, add grounds to the filter, and place on the stovetop. Within minutes, delicious, bubbling espresso will fill your pot.
Note that because this is an espresso maker, it brews strong. Enjoy it as espresso or dilute with water for a more traditional coffee taste.
4. GSI Outdoors Enamelware Camping Percolator
- Capacity: 9 cups
- Fave features: Super lightweight and exceedingly durable
- Minor complaint: The handle isn’t as snug as we’d like and the lid doesn’t open completely
- Weight + dimensions: 1.3 pounds; 5.9 x 8 x 9″
- Buy on Amazon
When you think of the best camping coffee percolator, there’s an excellent chance you’re picturing this GSI enamelware model. The classic speckled camp percolator is iconic, with the design having changed very little in decades. Hey, if it aint broke, don’t fix it, right? These perks tend to last for literal generations, so GSI must be onto something.
It’s made of durable, heavy-duty stainless steel and coated with enamel that holds up well to chips and cracks. The unique construction helps distribute heat evenly, and even with the minor gripes about the somewhat flimsy handle and loose-fitting knob, this camping percolator consistently makes excellent coffee.
5. GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Camping Percolator
- Capacity: Available in 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-cup sizes
- Fave features: Crazy lightweight yet durable and the interior basket has an integrated lid
- Minor complaint: GSI is in the process of switching the clear top knobs to glass, but some plastic ones are still out there
- Weight + dimensions:.8 pounds (3-cup) to 2 pounds (12-cup); 9 x 5.9 x 8.6″ (12-cup)
- Buy on Amazon or from Backcountry
Another offering from GSI Outdoors (a sign that this company really does make the best camping coffee percolator!), the Glacier Stainless Camping Percolator is excellent for camping or even home use.
The clear PercView knob lets you gauge the strength of your brew based on color, so you can make your Joe just the way you like it. Quick note: GSI started making the Glacier with a glass knob at some point in recent years, but older models still have an unsturdy plastic knob.
The heat-resistant silicone handle ensures the percolator stays cool to the touch, and the sturdy stainless-steel construction withstands rust and rough handling.
6. Farberware Yosemite Stainless Steel Camping Percolator
- Capacity: Available in 8- and 12-cup sizes
- Fave features: Heavy and durable, and the internal basket for grounds fits snugly enough that it doesn’t move while pouring
- Minor complaint: The glass knob is prone to breaking and the handle gets extremely hot
- Weight + dimensions: 1.79 pounds (8-cup); 8.7 x 9.2 x 7″ (8-cup)
- Buy on Amazon or from Macy’s
If you’re looking for a classic camping percolator that will consistently make delicious coffee, look no further than the Farberware Yosemite. The shiny, heavy-duty stainless steel coffeemaker is built to last and the non-reactive finish ensures you never get a metallic taste.
The clear glass knob lets you know when percolating begins and slows, so you don’t have to guess and can perfect your brew process. The integrated permanent filter basket inside actually stays put and eliminates the need for single-use coffee filters. This percolator is even dishwasher-safe (a rarity!).
7. Moss & Stone Electric Coffee Percolator
- Capacity: 10 cups
- Fave features: Attractive design, no-spill pour spout, automatic keep-warm function, and detachable cord
- Minor complaint: The holes in the basket are a bit too large and grounds consistently seep in, plus if you fill to the “max fill” line, it tends to leak
- Weight + dimensions: 2 pounds; 5.7 x 9 x 11″
- Buy on Amazon or from Wal-Mart
Rounding out our reviews of the best camp percolator, we have an electric model for vanlifers and RV campers.
The Moss & Stone Electric Percolator is an excellent way to enjoy freshly brewed coffee, FAST. Choose between durable copper or stainless-steel for the body, both of which have a black cool-touch handle.
This electric camping percolator has an integrated removable stainless-steel coffee filter inside, but note that the holes in it are fairly large. You’ll likely want to use paper filters with it to reduce the grounds in your brew. Favorite features include the easy-pour spout, ready-to-serve indicator light, and auto keep-warm function.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are coffee percolators good for camping?
Percolators are excellent for camping because they’re easy to use, durable, and generally require nothing besides a heat source like a campfire or camp stove.
How do you clean a camping percolator?
Cleaning your camping percolator is easy. Start by emptying all the coffee grounds and leftover water from the pot (insider tip: grounds make great composting material!). Then, disassemble the percolator and rinse all parts under water. When everything is dry, simply reassemble the pot.
What’s the best method for making coffee while camping?
There are several ways to make coffee when camping, but using one of the best camping coffee percolator models is among the easiest and most effective methods. Others include:
- Camp French press or AeroPress
- Single-serve coffee maker
- Pour-over method
- Cowboy coffee
And many others! No matter which method you choose, make sure you have fresh, clean water and high-quality coffee beans to make the best cup of camping coffee possible. Also, set your camp percolator on the edge of your fire or over a low heat. Coffee that brews too quickly = bitter coffee!