A proper outdoor adventure involves temporary abstinence from many everyday habits- having a hot shower, watching TV, checking your email, and so on.
But abstaining from drinking coffee? Not happening.
I’m not a coffeeholic, but like most people, I always need a great cup of coffee to get me going in the morning, it doesn’t matter whether I’m camping or not.
After all, is there anything better than crawling out of your tent on a cool morning to find a hot cup of coffee waiting from you? See, leaving the warm and cozy sleeping bag is much easier when you know you’re starting your day with your favorite caffeinated drink.
Now, just because you’re roughing outside doesn’t mean you ditch every creature comfort- you don’t always have to settle for instant coffee.
I know instant coffee is easy to make and convenient for the outdoors, but for true coffee connoisseurs, it doesn’t come close to the real thing in terms of taste and satisfaction.
You want the smooth and rich flavor of freshly brewed coffee even when mile away from your favorite espresso machine.
Enter camping percolators.
Camping percolators offers the perfect way to brew a tasty and richly-flavored cup of coffee to get you started in your morning.
Sure, camping coffee percolators are still rudimentary in their brewing process, but the perfect alternative to your usual blend for a tasteless sachet of instant coffee.
Now, if you can’t imagine starting your day with a hot mug of coffee when camping, you’re in the right place. Here we’ve listed the best camping percolator.
Our selection includes lightweight, backpacker-friendly options to the large setup, ideal for RVers. We’ve also included products from some of the reputable brands like Coleman and GSI Outdoors.
Table of Contents
The Best Camping Percolator For The Money
#1 GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Steel Percolator - EDITOR'S CHOICE
First on our list of the camping percolators is the GSI Glacier Steel Percolator.
It’s hard to find any fault with this coffee maker, and it’s easy to see why many reviewers go gaga over the product.
While there’re numerous desirable features on this item, one item that won over our hearts is the ultimate simplicity.
I know electric percolators have their appeal, but with the GSI, you don’t have to fiddle with sockets or dig up solar panels. It relies on direct fire to brew your favorite brew; this way, it offers a more traditional and authentic outdoor appeal, making your outdoorsy more real.
Even better, you don’t have to get concerned about burning your hands, thanks to the heat resistant silicone handle. It’s easy to place the percolator directly over a heat source, and you won’t have any fear of burning the handles or yourself when pouring your morning cuppa.
Durability is yet another feature we liked on the GSI Glacier. See, while camping, it’s easy for your gear to get bumped a lot around, or even break. With the GSI Percolator, you don’t have to worry about any of that.
With heavy-duty stainless steel construction, this percolator shrugs off any abuse, standing up to the roughing of the rugged outdoors. The steel construction even extends to both the inner mesh basket and stem, guaranteeing absolute sturdiness for the entire percolator.
Beyond durability, another bonus to the stainless steel construction is it doesn’t add an aluminum taste to the coffee as some aluminum models do.
GSI Glacier is also an easy-to-use and convenient percolator, a plus for beginners. For instance, the see-through top and coffee basket lids allow you to monitor the percolator’s brewing performance. On the other hand, the lid, sitting over the coffee ground, prevents unwanted entry grounded coffee into your already brewed coffee.
The GSI Glacier can also be a perfect option for backpackers as it only weighs less than a pound and comes with modest dimensions. It won’t take much space in your backpack or even fatigue you when carrying it for long distances.
Despite the compact design, GSI Glacier is huge, with a decent brewing volume. This option can brew up to 12 cups, so it might be the perfect option for a family or large group.
#2 GSI Outdoors Enamelware 8 Cup Percolator - Best for Group Camping
GSI Enamel Percolator is yet another product from GSI, underlining the superiority of this brand.
Like its sibling, this option is quite heavy-duty and reliable too. Though it has a lower capacity than the GSI Glacier, it’s still large enough to serve the needs of a large group.
GSI Enamelware, like most of the percolators on our list, is suitable when you’ve the time and patience to brew coffee. Considering it uses a campfire to brew, the GSI Enamelware will take a bit longer than you would have with a French press.
Nevertheless, the brewed coffee from the GSI Enamelware is pretty damn good. It’s tasty and richly flavored to satiate even the most discerning coffeeholic.
The heavy-gauge steel with a classic speckled enamel finish is not only candy to the eye, but the manufacturer claims the overall construction is kiln-hardened twice at 1000 degrees F to withstand chipping and scratches. It offers the ultimate durability, standing up to any abuse.
Further, a three-ply construction optimizes the heat distribution during brewing, ensuring it brings the best flavor experience to each brew.
The enamel coating also has the added benefit of easing the cleaning process and doesn’t have any seasoning issues. On the other hand, the inner coating also offers non-stick properties, preventing iron from leaching into your coffee.
Another aspect that won over our hearts on the GSI Enamelware is the ease of use. It’s easy to adjust the water and coffee grind ratio to control the brew strength and taste. You simply open the lid; add water to the pot and coffee grinds to the percolator basket, and voila!
Similar to the GSI Glacier, this option also has a clear knob at the top, allowing you to monitor the brewing process. It’s a great feature, allowing you to see when the coffee starts to percolate.
Like most camping percolators, GSI requires patience when brewing, and you’ll need to give it five to ten minutes depending on how strong you like your coffee.
However, be mindful not to put the percolator too close over intense heat. While it’s perfectly suitable for use over a campfire, consider using a grate or grill covers better heat control.
#3 Coleman Stainless Steel Percolator
Coleman Coffee Percolator is a lightweight, no-frills steel percolator built with practicality in mind.
It’s also a versatile option, and while it could be used at home, the overall styling is suited for camping.
Durability should be the least of your concerns with the Coleman, thanks to the heavy-duty grade steel construction, guaranteeing longevity and sturdiness. The material can easily withstand the abuses and ruggedness of Mother Nature.
This coffee maker is also quite larger, larger than it looks on the website. The folks at Coleman claim it can hold up to 12 cups, making a decent amount to cater to large groups of campers.
It’s all-metal construction, and while it’s certainly a good thing for the ultimate ruggedness, it lacks a safety handle or cool touch extras. It’s not a deal-breaker, though, since you can as well handle the percolator with a towel or mitt. Just be sure your kids don’t get anywhere close.
The top part is also glass, not resin, as we saw on the GSI. It’s nothing new, but for the price, it’s a design bonus. While both are see-through, allowing you to monitor as your coffee percolates, you must be extra careful with the Coleman because of the expansion and retraction on the glass.
While I certainly love the idea of glass because it won’t leach, corrode, or leave any bad tastes, it can easily break-after all, its glass. To minimize the risks, avoid over-tightening the lid. Instead, just tighten it a little until you feel the friction. No more.
#4 Farberware Yosemite Percolator - Classic Option
Faberware is among the classic percolators out there.
It’s a capable product, ticking all the boxes for the best camping percolator.
First, the durable stainless steel construction offers a sturdy feel, which easily shrugs off any abuse. Farberware isn’t intimidated by the rugged outdoor terrain, including the accidental drops and dings.
Our only concern with the construction was the plastic handle. It does get hot sometimes, and we would have wished it was silicone-based as we saw on the GSI Glacier as it would have allowed us to place it over a fire without worrying about getting burned.
Farberware is also not light, but rather surprisingly heavy. While the heavy-duty construction may limit the overall portability, it does help with the durability. If the customer reviews are anything to go by, this percolator should serve you for several seasons.
Another awesome feature on the Faberware is the clear, tight-fitting lid. Unlike other lids, which bounce around and spit water and coffee all over, the Yosemite lid stays put, holding all the generated pressure inside and preventing spillage.
Yosmite, with a generous capacity of eight cups, means it can effectively serve a large crowd. And if you feel the size doesn’t serve your needs, you can go for the 12-cup size, which can brew a higher number of mugs. Generally, Yosmite is a fantastic coffee maker, especially if you need to make coffee for more than just yourself.
This coffee maker is also easy to use, and we’ve plenty of reviewers on record praising it for its ease of operation. And to top it all off, its dishwasher safe, so maintenance should be the least of your concern.
#5 Farberware Percolator - Small Capacity Pick
Farberware Percolator isn’t a heavy-duty option and does a great job of serving the needs of occasional coffee drinkers.
It also has a small capacity and is ideally suited for personal use.
Yosmite Percolator is also not the perfect option for those true outdoor enthusiasts who like to go completely off-grid because it relies on electricity to run.
Sure, it would not be the perfect percolator for me, but I believe there are numerous individuals who would love the overall simplicity of the Farberware Percolator.
It’s sturdy construction, and though it’s easy to get fooled by the plastic construction on the outside, it’s fully lined with stainless steel to help with the durability.
It’s also a compact option, and along with the lightweight design, it creates a portable option that you can take anywhere with you.
However, the greatest appeal of Farberware Percolator is the fast brewing time. It relies on 120V, 60 HZ to power the motor, brewing the pot in a record three minutes. It’s a far cry from some of the stovetop options on the list, which can take as long as 10 minutes.
The percolator is also quite versatile, and beyond brewing your favorite cup of Joe, you can remove the innards and use Faberware to boil water for tea or soup.
Performance, particularly the brewing performance, is also impressive and will satiate even the discerning connoisseurs. For me, I couldn’t even hint at any difference from the usual percolator, so yes, the flavor and taste is quite good.
Finally, we can’t fail to mention the ease of use for this percolator. Here, you simply need to mix your coffee and water ratio, then plug the percolator. You then leave it to do its magic. It’s the easiest percolator I’ve come across.
#6 Stansport Aluminum Percolator - Lightest Option
Last on our list is a vintage style percolator that works great in the kitchen and or the outdoor camping trips, as it can be used over any fire source.
It has a 9-cup capacity, the perfect family size, though it also comes in a larger 20 version 20 cup, ideal for the large groups.
Stansport Aluminum Percolator is distinctly made with camping in mind. It’s not to say it can’t be used for domestic purposes, but all the features, and absence-thereof, are tailored towards camping.
For instance, the aluminum construction is solid, though not as sturdy as steel, it will easily take a beating without breaking down.
It’s also distinctly lightweight, a handy feature for the backpackers who care much about weight. It will allow you to bring it along with you anywhere you go without feeling fatigued.
The handles are purpose-built for convenience. It’s easy to stick and retrieve Stansport Aluminum Percolator in a campfire without risking getting burned.
And then there’s the pricing. It’s among the inexpensive options, especially considering the size you’ll be getting for the price.
However, for a budget option, expect some compromises. Notably, the aluminum construction dents easily and is not the most sturdy construction.
Still, Stansport Aluminum Percolator is a fantastic option, and it’s hard to beat the price.
Best Camping Percolators Buying Guide
With plenty of options to choose from, selecting the right coffee percolator can feel intimidating.
It doesn’t need to feel that way.
In the text below, we shall provide you with everything you need to know about selecting the right camping percolator for your needs.
We shall first look at the different types and percolators, and from there, we shall look at the factors to consider in your selection.
Types of Percolators
Generally, camping percolators are broadly categorized depending on their operative mechanism and source of boiling.
Difference According to the Operative Mechanism
The pressure type percolators use pressure generated from the steam through constant water boiling to push water through the ground coffee beans.
The water is later deposited in a separate chamber for pouring out.
Gravity type percolator features a vertical tube installed in the middle of the pot.
Here, the water raises the tube to reach the coffee for mixing. The cycle repeats itself until the users stop the heat source.
Difference According to the Source of Boiling
Electric Coffee Percolators
The electric percolators rely on electricity to brew coffee.
They’re convenient percolators and a popular option as they don’t over-do the coffee; instead, they automatically switch off when the coffee is adequately brewed.
Stove-Top Coffee Percolators
They’re the perfect option for outdoor camping as they use heat from the ire source below to brew coffee.
The stove-tops are convenient, especially if your camping site isn’t connected to the electricity grid.
However, unlike the electric percolator, they don’t feature any regulation, so it’s easy to ruin the taste.
They’re comparable to the electric percolators but use less electricity. They’re also not suitable for outdoors.
Now that we know the different types of camping percolators, consider the factors to consider when choosing one.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Camping Percolator
Weight is vital, especially for backpackers.
Ideally, a camping percolator shouldn’t be bulky as it’s only going to bulk up your camping gear, ultimately fatiguing you.
However, for the car campers and RVers, weight shouldn’t be a primary consideration.
Do you camp solo? Or with a friend? Or maybe you’re a large crowd?
When choosing a percolator’s brewing capacity, you need to consider the number of people who’ll be using coffee.
If you’re a large crowd, then you would want to invest in a relatively larger percolator. But if you’re camping solo, a small percolator will do fine.
But remember the size and capacity also influences the overall weight.
A large percolator will normally come at the expense of weight, a tradeoff you should own if you need to save yourself from the inconvenience of serving a crowd.
Along with the weight, there’re also other elements promoting portability.
For instance, streamlined models are easier to pack and more practical to pack.
A percolator should also come with a carry bag to ease the overall portability.
Ease of Use
Nothing is worse than having to struggle with your percolator during brewing.
Ideally, a percolator should be easy to set up and use. Operating the percolator should also not be sophisticated.
Likewise, consider the ease of cleaning. It will help if you consider an option requiring minimal cleaning.
Strength and brewing style
Of course, our love for different coffee flavors and strength is different.
When picking a percolator, you need to think about how you prefer brewing your coffee, whether coarse or fine grind and what strength you like it.
Camping percolators, unlike the home-based percolators, should be sturdy and long-lasting.
They should feature a sturdy material that can easily shrug any abuse, including regular drops, dings, hits, and even resisting elements.
The best percolator for camping shouldn’t break the bank
The most expensive option isn’t necessarily the best for you. Consider your budget and how much you want to spend on your percolator.
More importantly, ensure your choice can adequately satiate your coffee brewing needs.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
We would recommend the GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Steel Percolator of the six products we’ve listed above.
We feel this percolator is a game-changing option and one that will take your camping to new heights.
First, it features solid steel construction, guaranteeing durability, and sturdiness.
It also has a generous brewing capacity, ideal for large groups. Despite the large volume, it’s a lightweight option, weighing less than a pound, further appealing to the backpackers.
More importantly, it’s an easy to use option, with a simple and unsophisticated operation.