Last Updated on November 28, 2021 by John Moretti
When you’re camping, there’s not much that compares to crawling out of your tent and being greeted by a hot, fresh cup of coffee. However, it’s not always viable to take along your at-home drip coffee pot.
Therefore, to ensure that you have that warm and delicious start to your day, you’ll need a percolator.
Of course, since resources are typically limited in a camping situation, you’ll want to make sure that your percolator is efficient and meets your personal needs. There are so many options on the market that it can be a bit hard to choose – there are so many things to think about, including design, weight, and durability.
I have put together this guide of the 8 best coffee percolators for camping:
- Best Overall – GSI Glacier Camping
- Best Value – Farberware Classic 8-cup
- Best High Capacity – Coletti ‘Bozeman’ Camping Percolator Pot
- Best Classic Aesthetic – GSI Outdoors 8-cup
- Best Aluminum – Primula Today 9-cup
- Best Rugged – Stanley Cool Grip Camp Percolator
- Best Small Capacity – Chinook Coffee Percolator
- Best Compact Brewer – Winterial Compact Percolator Coffee Brewer
Buying Guide: The 5 Things to Consider When Purchasing A Percolator for Camping
As previously mentioned, there are lots of coffee percolators for camping on the market, and many of them claim to have several features. Therefore, it’s up to you to review their features and decide which ones are most important to you versus which ones you can live without.
Below are some of the most important features you should consider when purchasing a percolator for camping.
The first thing to remember is that camping isn’t as user-friendly as brewing your morning coffee in your kitchen.
Therefore, you must make sure that the percolator you choose is able to tolerate a variety of weather conditions, being placed directly over a flame, hard surfaces, and more. The only way this will be true is if the materials that the percolator is made from are durable.
While you might be tempted to get a glass percolator for the aesthetics, it’s not going to be suitable for camping because it’s likely to get broken. A percolator made of stainless steel is a much better option for the camping environment because it’s not as likely to become damaged or broken.
Additionally, you’ll want to check the handle and make sure it’s ergonomic and user-friendly, but also sturdy.
Finally, make sure to choose a percolator for camping that comes with a warranty. This will indicate the quality of the product and whether or not the company stands behind its products.
The capacity of the percolator, typically indicated in ounces, is the amount of coffee that can be brewed in one brewing session.
Often, in a camping situation, your resources are limited. Therefore, you should minimize how much you use. One of the best ways to do this is to brew just enough for everyone in the group in one session.
Honestly, no matter what, you won’t match the speed of making a cup of instant coffee without affecting the flavor.
However, you also don’t have to have a percolator that takes 30+ minutes to brew a pot of coffee. Check the packaging to find out the brewing speed of the percolator you’re considering.
Most percolators are fairly simple to use – you add the grounds to the filter basket and water to the bottom of the kettle. Then, you place the top on and put your percolator over the heat source.
However, make sure to check out reviews before choosing yours. The one that you choose should be easy enough to use that you don’t have to study the user manual from front to back to figure it out.
When you go camping, especially if you must hike to your campsite, you want to pack lightly so that your gear doesn’t weigh you down when walking to the site.
Therefore, you should ensure that your percolator is lightweight and fairly small. Also, you need to make sure that it will brew enough coffee for you in one brewing session.
The 8 Best Coffee Percolators for Camping
Now that you understand a bit more about percolators and what you should consider when purchasing a coffee percolator for camping, let’s take a look at the 8 best options on the market.
I have provided you with the necessary information to make your decision.
1. GSI Glacier Camping Coffee Percolator
The GSI Glacier Camping Coffee Percolator deserves the title of “Best Overall” on my list. This percolator is made of heavy-duty stainless steel. This means that you can use it in various environments without being concerned that it will sustain damage.
It has a gorgeous, mirror-like appearance and, even though it’s not glass, it has an aesthetic that is both elegant and stylish.
The preview knob allows you to test the brew strength, which means you can make your coffee just like you like it. Also, it features an inner filter basket, so you don’t have to concern yourself with using a paper filter that you have to dispose of after you use it.
Though it is quite durable, this percolator is very light, weighing only one pound. This means that it’s really easy to carry around with you. Additionally, it does have a full warranty, so you can be sure you’ll get your money’s worth out of it.
The only issue is with the clear plastic knob, it’s not as sturdy as you might want it to be, but overall, this is likely the best percolator for camping on the market this year.
- Stylish appearance
- Easy to carry
- The plastic cap is not very sturdy.
2. Farberware Classic 8-Cup Percolator
This percolator deserves the title of “Best Value” on this list. Its design is simple but appealing. It’s made of stainless steel and is very durable, which means you can use it for many years before you’ll need to even think about replacing it.
Additionally, stainless steel means you can use it in various situations without being worried that it will break or shatter. That being said, this is why I believe this to be the best value.
This percolator features a filter basket, which means you don’t have to change the filter bags or worry about disposing of paper filters. It makes approximately 8 cups of coffee in one session. The interior of this percolator is non-reactive, so you can be sure the original flavor of your coffee is preserved.
It is dishwasher-safe but also really easy to handwash. Plus, it is very affordable.
On the other hand, the one issue I found was that the plastic knob on the lid could potentially melt, and it brews fairly slowly compared to other models.
- Easy to clean
- Doesn’t need filters
- The plastic knob on the lid may melt.
- Brews slowly
3. Coletti “Bozeman” Camping Percolator Pot
The Coletti “Bozeman” camping percolator pot is made of stainless steel, featuring a glass lid. It is stylish and makes approximately 9 cups of coffee in one brewing session. It is one of the larger percolators on this list. That’s why I’ve given it the title of “Best High Capacity.”
The rugged design means that it can easily stand up against any type of camping environment and be placed over a direct flame. Plus, the handle is ergonomic, which means your hand won’t get fatigued when you’re using it.
The interior of the percolator is non-reactive, which means the flavor of the coffee is preserved; you don’t have to worry about your coffee having a metal flavor.
When it comes to cleaning, you can place it in the dishwasher with the rest of your dishes or, if you don’t have that option, it can easily be washed by hand.
However, since it is capable of producing up to 9 cups of coffee, it’s a bit on the heavy side. For some, this might be a dealbreaker because you should keep your gear as light as possible. Finally, this percolator does not have a filter basket, so you’ll need to purchase filter bags separately.
- Brews up to 9 cups of coffee per brewing session
- The natural flavor of coffee is preserved.
- Requires the use of filter bags
4. GSI Outdoors 8-Cup Percolator
The GSI Outdoors 8-cup percolator is made of durable steel with an enamel coating to keep it from rusting. This gives it a classic appearance.
The three-layer construction means that it heats evenly, and it’s less likely to become broken or damaged.
It is fairly light, weighing only 1.3 pounds, and it has a full manufacturer’s warranty.
However, there are a few issues with this one. First, the knob on the lid doesn’t fit properly; it’s always slipping off during the brewing process. Also, the lid doesn’t open fully because it’s not made properly. Finally, the handle isn’t very sturdy, so you might end up spilling coffee when you make a full pot.
- Comes with a full warranty
- Resistant to rust
- The lid doesn’t open fully.
- The knob isn’t fitted properly.
- The handle is not sturdy.
5. Primula Today 9-Cup Coffee Percolator
This percolator for camping is on the larger end of the spectrum, with the ability to produce up to 9 cups of coffee.
It’s made of lightweight, durable aluminum. However, since it can brew 9 cups of coffee, some people may find it a bit heavy. I’ve given it the title of “Best Aluminum Percolator” on our list.
The clear, round knob on the top allows you to check the progress. The plastic handle is ergonomic and user-friendly. This percolator works with nearly any heat source, except for induction. Overall, its design is simple and rustic, which means it’s extremely user-friendly.
Unfortunately, from the first use, you’ll find that it stains easily. Additionally, it takes some time to get water to boil with this percolator. There needs to be some improvement in the materials used because it is known to leak at the bottom.
Though it’s made to produce up to 9 cups of coffee, you will only get 4 to 5 in one brewing session most of the time.
- Ergonomic handle
- Works with a variety of heat sources
- Leaks after being used a few times
- The interior stains easily.
6. Stanley Cool Grip Camp Percolator
This Stanley Cool Grip percolator is ideal for when you’re camping with a larger group where you’re more concerned with quantity than aesthetics.
It has a fairly plain appearance, but it is made of durable stainless steel, which is an advantage. I’ve given it the title of “Best Rugged Percolator.”
Though the fact that it’s made of stainless steel makes it durable, it also makes the pot a bit heavy. However, it does have a larger capacity as well. The handle features a rubber piece in the middle, which makes it ergonomic.
However, it does stick out a little farther than other percolators, which means it’s not very compact.
The lid on this percolator does not close fully, which means you might spill coffee when serving. Plus, the handle isn’t tight, so it can be a bit uncomfortable to grip. The plastic knob slips off the lid easily, an issue most percolators seem to have, so it might not be a dealbreaker.
- Larger capacity
- Ergonomic handle
- The lid does not close fully.
- Not compact
- The handle is not sturdy.
7. Chinook Coffee Percolator
The Chinook coffee percolator is made of durable, polished stainless steel and makes approximately 6 cups of coffee in one brewing session.
Therefore, it’s a smaller percolator that is ideal for 2 to 3 campers. It is easy to use and clean. The handle is made of heat-insulating Perma wood and is ergonomic. I’ve given it the title of “Best Small Capacity.”
However, it has some issues, including the speed, overall structure, and the plastic knob. As mentioned with some of the other models above, the plastic knob is not properly fitted. The handle is a little loose, which means you may end up spilling coffee when you’re serving it. Finally, though it’s durable, it’s also prone to staining on both the inside and the outside, especially when placed over the open flame of a campfire.
The main disadvantage you may find with this percolator is the brewing speed. On average, a percolator takes 5 to 20 minutes. However, this one requires at least 25 minutes to brew.
- Easy to use
- The handle is ergonomic.
- Easily stains – both inside and outside
- Handle is loose
- The knob doesn’t fit properly.
8. Winterial Compact Percolator Coffee Brewer
The Winterial Compact Percolator is not your conventional percolator, but it is still easy to use.
It’s made of durable, lightweight material that can stand up against the harsh conditions of camping and exposure to hard surfaces. It only brews two cups of coffee, but it can be done brewing in 5 minutes. Therefore, I’ve given it the title of “Best Compact Brewer.”
While it is quite efficient, the quick brewing means that the flavor of the coffee is compromised. Also, it’s not very easy to clean when you’re done.
One thing to note is that the brewing process of this percolator is a bit messy, as it begins to shoot coffee all over the place as it’s finishing up.
- Only produces a small amount of coffee
- The flavor is compromised.
- Difficult to clean
How Does A Percolator Work?
Sir Benjamin Thompson, aka Count Rumford, British physicist, is credited for inventing the percolator in the early 1800s. James H. Mason patented this device in America in 1865.
Since it’s been around for so long and is still commonly used, it’s clearly stood the test of time and is a superior method for brewing coffee.
The best thing about a percolator is the fact that they’re so simple to use. These devices have a metal filter basket to hold your coffee grounds, a kettle that the basket sits inside of, and a pump tube where the water is sent up through and over the coffee grounds.
Typically, the percolator is placed on a stovetop to heat the water, or in the case of camping, it’s placed over the campfire. The heating process causes the water to travel up through the tube, creating condensation in the top. The water drips down into the basket, saturating the coffee. Similar principles are implemented in Moka Pot.
Once the coffee is saturated, it drips back into the pot and is recycled back through the tube.
With a percolator, the coffee is brewed and re-brewed until you take it off the heat. This could end up creating a very strong cup of coffee because the longer it brews, the stronger it gets.
Percolators come in various shapes and sizes. Their portability comes into account when taking them camping or when you have limited storage space.
Additionally, larger percolators can be used to brew for commercial use or larger gatherings, which is typically lacking for drip machines.
The Final Word
There’s nothing quite like waking up to the fresh air and sounds of nature when you’re camping.
The one thing that makes it better is a hot, fresh cup of coffee. However, when you’re camping primitively, bringing your drip coffee maker really isn’t an option. This is where a percolator comes in handy.
As you can see, there are many options on the market. I’ve tried to narrow it down for you by choosing the 8 best percolators for camping. This should help you make your decision!