Nothing beats brewing your own cup of coffee with a percolator coffee pot. Percolators, as opposed to drip makers, allow you to unplug—literally—and enjoy the process. The experience is relaxing and satisfying, and the hands-on method makes it easy to tweak your recipe for a drink that’s fine-tuned to your taste.
Percolator coffee pots are a classic go-to for campers and fans of the outdoors. Their durable structure helps them to do well in rugged settings, and if you get one made of the right materials it will avoid corrosion in the rain. With the right camping percolator in your camp kitchen, a carefully crafted cup of coffee on a misty morning under a canopy of trees will be the new standard.
Now that you have some understanding of the advantages of a percolator itself, we can begin to explore some of the best percolator coffee pots on the market. These best-sellers can all get the job done, but some are better suited for certain lifestyles than others. When you’re shopping for a percolator, you should consider things like capacity, quality of materials, and price to find the one that is best for you.
When choosing the right camping percolator, consider the materials used, the price, and the capacity of the pot.
The Farberware stainless steel percolator is a popular pick on Amazon because of its ability to keep coffee warm in a stainless steel body. While this percolator coffee pot—which goes for $40 on Amazon—is good for at-home use, it’s not the percolator you want for camping purposes. The Farberware 2-4 cup percolator is a plug-in percolator, so it heats and percolates the coffee with a detachable power chord rather than with an external heat source. Therefore, while this percolator is great for hosting a brunch, it’s not suited for brewing coffee outside of the kitchen.
Farberware offers a non-electric percolator for $22.99 that’s not as popular as its plug-in percolator. Still, this classic stove-top model is more versatile, since its entire body is stainless steel and coffee can be prepared on any burner. This percolator coffee pot could be good for camping, particularly if you plan to brew your coffee on a camping stove.
Most reviewers praise this percolator and the quality of the coffee they can make with it. However, the Farberware stove-top percolator has received some low reviews because of its plastic handle and plastic transparent dome. These parts have not lasted for some reviewers, so they may not be equipped to handle the camping lifestyle and are not best suited to be used over a fire.
This percolator coffee pot is made of lab-quality Borosilicate glass which is allegedly quite sturdy. At just $12.50, it’s a super affordable option, but price might be the only real thing this percolator has going for it. The interior basket is made of plastic, so it can’t take high heat. While the manufacturer claims this glass percolator coffee pot can handle extreme temperature changes without cracking, the plastic parts might not be suited for a robust campfire. And, no matter how sturdy the glass may be, glass is not the material you want in your camp kitchen.
The Primula coffee percolator is almost the perfect camping tool. It holds nine cups at a time—more than the usual 8-cup capacity—and is made of durable aluminum that can resist rust and handle the outdoors with ease. The only problem is the jury is still out on whether aluminum cookware is bad for our health. This percolator coffee pot is lightweight, so it’s great for carrying around with you, and the price is right at $21.83. But if health is a consideration, you might stick with something stainless steel.
Where the Primula fails as the perfect camper companion, the Coletti Bozeman shines. The Bozeman was designed as a camping percolator. Coletti’s pot holds nine cups, is made of 18/8 stainless steel, is rust-resistant, made of entirely steel, glass, and wood, and has no risk of releasing toxins into your fresh coffee.
An attractive wood handle is a nice touch both aesthetically and practically because it reduces the risk of burning yourself when you pull it from the fire. The transparent glob on top is made of glass rather than cheap plastic, so the entire percolator feels high-quality. The Coletti Bozeman even comes with 20 filters. Filters are designed to limit the coffee bean oil in the final pot for those very concerned about cholesterol. The filters are entirely optional. At $35 it is priced slightly higher than some of the other options, but with so many thoughtful details the extra change seems worth it.
This percolator coffee pot is the classic camping percolator, the one you might remember your family using on your camping trips back in the day. Its classic double-coated enamel body will likely match your favorite camping mug, and the considerate stainless steel rim helps to keep the percolator in good condition. Plus, with the 14-cup capacity, you can brew plenty of coffee for the entire campsite, so for that reason, it might be well worth its list price of $39.99. But beware—despite its status as a classic camping staple, some reviewers have reported problems with the quality of the parts and even the brewing.
There are obviously dozens of percolator coffee pots on the market, and this list is just the tip of the iceberg. You’ll want to decide in what context you’ll be using your percolator before you purchase, but the most versatile are those that can be used safely on any heating surface.
Which percolator do you like to use when camping or at home? In your experience, what traits make one percolator better than another? Let us know in the comments below!
Katrina Eresman worked for over a decade as a barista in Ohio. Since she left to write full time, she has become a compulsive traveler. If she's not touring with one of her bands, she's scheming her next backpacking trip or a flight to a new part of the country where camping and coffee sipping will both surely occur.