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(The Gear Loop) - Getting out and about in the outdoors is a wonderful thing - full of fresh air and romantic nights under canvas. However, there's a moment, usually first thing in the morning, when one element of civilised life in particular makes a vast difference... coffee.

Fresh, hot coffee in the morning gives not only a literal caffeine boost, but also a psychological one, as well as being an excuse to light the stove or fire and generally clatter about a bit. 

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The fact is though that the easy options (instant coffee granules) are essentially awful, and should be shunned at all costs. That's why you need one of the best camping coffee makers - one that turns fresh grounds into proper, barista quality Joe.

Thus, welcome to our list of the very best outdoor coffee - making devices known to mankind - some even make tea too, if you must…

The best camping coffee makers and kettles

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Biolite KettlePot Coffee Set

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For

  • Elegant, multipurpose solution
  • Useful for food too

Against

  • Tricky to clean in more remote locations

The Biolite KettlePot Coffee Set might look futuristic and brightly cololured, but there’s a lot more to it than simple bling. The basic premise is a french press coffee pot crossed with a kettle, which makes a lot of sense when camping.

Simply boil your water in the kettle, then add your ground coffee, brew and then press down the Cafetiere-style filter to make a pot of coffee. Boiling up to 1.5 L of water in a sitting, the kettle is ideal for making other hot drinks too, of course, as well as noodles, couscous and more. 

As Biolite point out, the kettle makes a useful carry case for a stove and other accoutrements too. The main snag with this coffee system is that getting wet coffee grounds out of it and packing away neatly if you’re on the move is quite tricky, but on a campsite or near a stream it’s an easy enough task. 

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Wacaco MiniPresso NS2

For

  • Top-quality espresso everytime
  • Easy to use

Against

  • Needs coffee pods and a stove

We like espresso in the morning, and the MiniPresso NS2 is the latest and greatest from micro-espresso machine maker Wacaco. This tiny device requires a Nespresso-style pod of your choice, hot water in the internal tank, and a few pumps of the piston later, you have hot espresso - there’s even a tiny cup included. 

Weighing in at a featherlight 290 grams and roughly the size of a drinks can, this is as portable as they come. The downsides are that you’ll need a stove to boil the water, and a supply of pods too, but for top quality espresso anywhere, without the faff, this is an impressively compact solution. 

£49.90 | Buy from Wacaco

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Alpkit MyMokka

For

  • Easy to use
  • Makes great coffee

Against

  • Relatively heavy
  • Needs a stove

As a way of making top-quality coffee without fuss and faff, the moka pot is up there with the best. As with a standard home moka pot, simply fill the base with water, add coffee to the middle filter area, then stick it on a stove.

Minutes later, you’ll have a pot of hot, strong coffee to enjoy. This three-cup version is made from lightweight, tough aluminium with tactile wooden handles, and weighs in at 552 grams, so ideal for basecamps and car-camping expeditions. 

As well as being wallet-friendly, the Alpkit MyMokka is built to last, and will work just as well at home as outdoors, making it a great option for anyone who doesn’t already have one. 

£9.99 | Buy from AlpKit

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Sea to Summit X- Set 11

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For

  • Super-compact
  • Multi-use

Against

  • Needs a stove

The fact is that some folk aren’t bothered about coffee and would prefer tea, and even the most dedicated caffeine-hunter has to concede that espresso in the evening can be simply too much of a good thing.

For all those tea-related moments, the dynamically-monikered X- Set 11 has a solution - it’s a flat-pack kettle and two cups. 

Made from collapsible silicone with a hard anodised 6063-T6 aluminium base, the kettle holds 1.3 Litres, and with the two cups packed inside weighs in at a mere 316 grams - a tiny penalty for this much cheer.

Obviously the combination can be used to heat water for other purposes too, making this an ideal and flexible camping accessory for duos. 

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Primus Lite+ Coffee/Tea Press

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For

  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use

Against

  • Can be tricky to clean

A bit of an outdoor classic, the Primus Lite+ Coffee Press harnesses your Primus Lite stove as a kettle in the first instance, then adds a french press to make a pot of coffee. It’s a tried and tested system, adds very little to the weight of the stove and makes decent coffee. The stove is gas-efficient, thanks to the flux ring at the base of the kettle, and boils in super-quick time to boot. 

As with the Biolite, the only disadvantage to this scheme is you’ve left with a stove filled with wet coffee grounds at the end, which can be tricky to remove elegantly.

The other obvious issue is that once the stove is transformed into a coffee pot, it can’t be used as a stove again until you’ve finished, which can sometimes be inconvenient.

Other than these logistical challenges though, the Primus Lite+ Coffee Press makes fresh, hot coffee, wherever and whenever you need it, which is downright cheering. 

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Sea to Summit X-Brew Coffee Dripper

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For

  • Simple and effective
  • Very lightweight
  • Works with existing stove/cups/etc

Against

  • Bit messy
  • Requires careful balancing and pouring

The simple but effective X-Brew Coffee Drip takes a V60-style take on outdoor coffee, with a collapsible food grade and heat resistant silicone cone that you simply fill with a dose of ground coffee and hot water, then let it percolate into a mug of your choice.

The X-Brew Coffee Dripper contains a reusable stainless-steel double mesh filter, so no disposable paper filters are needed, and the mesh is 180-micron, so minimal fine grounds make their way into your cup. 

The major benefits of this system is the complete simplicity of the setup, leading to light weight (85g), and pretty idiot-proof operation. It’s also robust enough to resist most types of casual damage, and simply needs rinsing after use. 

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What to look for when buying a camping coffee maker

There are a host of entirely credible ways to make coffee outdoors, but there are a few key things to consider. Most obviously, the type of hot drink you actually like - from filter to press, espresso to tea, the options are all available. 

Another key question is whether you need a standalone solution, or are happy buying a stove as well. 

Finally, as ever, portability is a major concern - some of these camping kettles and coffee makers are very much in the car-camping class, while others are lightweight enough to accompany you wherever the trail takes you. 

Writing by Mark Mayne. Editing by Leon Poultney.