The portable coffee-maker of choice for many coffee experts just got even more portable. Aeropress makes some of the smoothest, best extracted coffee we’ve tried, and this slightly smaller travel version is no different. Packing down into its own plastic mug, it’s a brilliantly compact device. It also comes with some upgrades on the classic model – we found it had a slightly smoother plunge, for example. It comes with paper filters, but we prefer reusable metal ones when we’re on the go – Aeropress doesn’t have an official one yet, but they’re easy to find online.
Thanks to the recent intersection between the hipster and hiking cultures, you can forget mediocre mugs of instant and cold strolls to the cafe. There are plenty of pocket-sized, artisanal coffee makers on the market that you can use to brew from your sleeping bag.
We tested these coffee makers on camping trips, day hikes and windswept surf trips. We also discovered a useful crossover: many of these little coffee-makers are desk-sized and keep your drink warm for hours, meaning you can maintain a steady supply of caffeine when working from home, without having to pop to the kitchen to microwave your mug.
The kind of coffee maker you need depends on what kind of coffee you like – there are really portable options out there for every style of brew. If you like a long, even cup of coffee, pick a “drip” brewer or a french press (also known as a cafetiere).
If you need a short jolt of coffee to get going, try one of the portable espresso makers – you can always lengthen these with hot water to make an Americano.
If you’re a gourmet, you’ll love the Hario V60 and the travel version of the famous Aeropress. These made such smooth, flavourful cups of coffee that we started using them at home, too.
You will need to be able to boil water to use with these coffee makers, although with some systems, the kettle is integrated, so you can pop the whole thing on the stove. Most make a single shot or cup of coffee at a time, unless we’ve specified otherwise, but many also come in larger models.
How we tested
We looked for portability and durability first – so glass and ceramic were out, as was anything that took up too much room in our backpack. We also preferred options that didn’t need paper filters, because those can be fiddly to pack – although we made some exceptions. Overall, we looked for the best-tasting cups of coffee across a range of brew methods, with a variety of beans and roasts.
The best portable coffee makers for 2022 are:
- Best overall – Aeropress go: £28, Blackbagcoffeeco.co.uk
- Best durable design – BruTrek ovrlndr press: £42, Outside.co.uk
- Best for espresso – Wacaco nanopresso: £59.90, Wacaco.com
- Best for camping – Sea to Summit x-brew coffee dripper: £15, Seatosummit.co.uk
- Best for a camping stove – Bialetti moka express: From £24, Johnlewis.com
- Best for backpackers and cyclists – MSR windburner coffee press kit: £24.03, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for beautiful design – GSI mini espresso set one cup: £37.95, Absolute-snow.co.uk
- Best for a coffee-shop filter – Hario V60 coffee dripper: £8.89, Amazon.co.uk