Going camping? Don't want to leave the coffee behind?

Meet the Coleman Portable Propane Coffee Maker! This automatic drip coffee maker is powered strictly by propane and requires no cords or matches. It has some bulk and takes a bit of extra time to brew, but for those who have the space and the patience, this is a great alternative to manual drip coffee makers when on the road.

The Review

Let's weigh the pros and cons of the Coleman Portable Coffee Maker before breaking down each of the individual ratings.

The Good

  • Great tasting, sludge-free coffee
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Relatively compact

The Bad

  • Carafe doesn't keep coffee warm
  • Slow brew time (aprox. 15 minutes)
  • Sparker doesn't always work
  • Reservoir doesn't hold enough water for 10 cups
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Bring your own carafe

Although the carafe is made of stainless steel, it is not insulated. As a result, many users noted that the coffee cooled very quickly shortly after brewing. You should bring a separate, insulated carafe with you if you plan on keeping your coffee warm for an extended period of time.

Fill the reservoir, then fill again

A common complaint for the Coleman Portable Coffeemaker is that it doesn't actually fill the carafe with coffee on a full reservoir. You instead have to add about a cup or two of water mid-brew to get a full carafe of coffee at the end of the brew cycle. If you aren't making too many cups, this isn't the biggest deal, but it's definitely something to keep in mind.

Good things come to those who wait

User say that the Coleman Portable Coffeemaker makes great-tasting, no sludge/sediment coffee. Unfortunately it is not a quick process at approximately 15 minutes. But if you're camping, what's the rush?

The Ratings

When rating this coffee maker I have to acknowledge that the Coleman Portable Coffeemaker is not for home use. As a result, the ratings below are adjusted somewhat to fit appropriately within my expectations for portable coffee makers.

The Price

I think the Coleman is priced fairly, but there are certainly cheaper options for preparing coffee on the road. You can percolate, use a french press, AeroPress, and even pour over. But for those who are most comfortable with automatic drip coffee makers, this is a good deal.

Score: 4 stars

The Coffee Quality

No sediment and great taste, but quickly cools if you don't use an insulated carafe (not included).

Score: 4.5 stars

The Coffee Maker Quality

A solid 9 lbs and pretty good functionality. The lighting system is somewhat finicky which means you should have a long-stemmed lighter on hand. The carafe also isn't great for keeping the coffee hot, although you can keep the heat on its low setting to compensate for this (if you don't feel like buying an insulated carafe).

Score: 4 stars

Ease of Use

Setup is easy, as well as use. The process isn't much different from that of a home coffee maker, so the learning curve isn't too steep. Adding the propane tank is perhaps the only difference between this machine and a home machine.

Score: 5 stars

Cleaning Ease

There isn't much to clean here, meaning that this is an easy to clean coffee maker.

Score: 5 stars

Durability

Amongst those who have reviewed this coffeemaker, there are a few who have experienced malfunctions. Fortunately, Coleman has great customer service and stands by their products. There is also a 1 year warranty included with the coffeemaker.

Score: 4 stars

Appearance

With a red top and stainless steel bottom, this looks like something you might find in a typical campsite. Looking pretty isn't as important when camping in the wilderness, but hey, looks good enough to us.

Score: 5 stars

Brew Speed

At 15+ minutes, this coffeemaker has an incredibly slow brew speed. I would have rated it at 1 star, but considering it is a portable coffeemaker meant for camping, I'll leave it at 2.

Score: 2 stars

Versatility

I chose not to rate versatility because as far as I know there is no other portable coffee maker that has fancy features like strength selectors, timers, and brew pause. I don't imagine that they are too far away, but for now I think the simple function of brewing coffee is sufficient for an automatic drip coffee maker that runs on propane.

Score: N/A

Final Thoughts

If you have the space, the Coleman Portable Propane Coffee Maker is a great camping accessory. At 9 pounds however, I can't recommend it for the backpackers out there. The downsides of a slow brew speed and a non-insulated carafe are easy to cast aside given the great quality coffee the Coleman makes. I recommend that you give it a try for your next camping trip, unless of course you prefer an alternative brewing method like: percolation, french press, or pour over/manual drip.

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