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My Favorite Camping Gadget: The Portable Coleman Propane Coffee Maker

Updated on October 26, 2014
Portable Coleman Propane Coffee Maker
Portable Coleman Propane Coffee Maker | Source

I Will Never Go Camping Again Without My Coleman!

My husband and I love tent camping together at the Federal and State Parks throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota. However, temperatures can be a bit chilly in the mornings and we both really enjoy waking up early and having a nice, hot cup of coffee to greet the day with.

After experiencing a few trials and tribulations with camp coffee and wet firewood, we decided to splurge on a portable coffee maker. However, before making a decision, we did quite a bit of research beforehand to make sure we got the best "bang for our buck." Some features we looked for were quality, a product that would last us for years, and a low brew time.

In the end, we chose the Coleman Portable Propane Coffee Maker. Read on for my review on this product, I think you just might consider my favorite camping gadget for yourself or as a gift for your favorite camper!

Unless otherwise noted, the photos of the Coleman Coffee Maker were taken by me and belong to me. Please ask permission before using.

Percolator | Source

The Back Story

Why We Started Shopping for a Portable Coffee Maker

When my husband and I first started tent camping together 3 years ago, we didn't have much in the way of camping gadgets.

Our first attempt at camp coffee was boiling water over the fire and adding a scoop of instant coffee. Lets just say that the taste of that brew left a lot to be desired in the flavor department!

Then we acquired a traditional, metal percolator to brew coffee directly over the fire. I know this is going to sound completely silly, but we could rarely get the thing to percolate!

The few times we did manage to brew a pot of coffee, we really didn't like the flavor at all. (I'm sure we failed at this task that comes so easy to many people because we didn't know what we were doing, but it was still frustrating!)

There were also a few camping trips in which we purchased firewood that was either damp inside or green, unbeknownst to us. To avoid invasive species, most campgrounds ask that you buy the firewood within a 25 mile radius, so we can't always buy from a trusted source.

Needless to say, we had a very hard time getting campfires started on these trips and had to wait a considerable amount of time before we were able to boil water or use our percolator to brew coffee. On these occasions, we were both pretty cranky before we were even able to enjoy our first cup of Joe in the morning!

Coleman Portable Coffee Maker in Action!
Coleman Portable Coffee Maker in Action! | Source

Why We Chose the Coleman Propane Coffee Maker

We ordered our Coleman Propane Coffee Maker last August from Amazon and have been using this fabulous contraption on our camping trips ever since!

As I mentioned above in my introduction, my husband and I were looking for a portable coffee maker that would be a quality product, last us for years, and have a low brew time.

We researched many different types of coffee makers to find something that would meet all of our criterion before making our decision. We analyzed Amazon reviews, looked at product features, and considered price.

Our choices narrowed down to the RoadPro 12 Volt Coffee Maker and the Coleman Propane Coffee Maker.

  • Our first consideration was the RoadPro brand, which is powered by plugging into a vehicle's power outlet. We really liked the portable size and also the price was very inexpensive. However, we saw so many mixed reviews from other Amazon customers. Many said this product didn't work well, only worked a few times, and/or took a long time to brew. Although this style was a lot less expensive, it wasn't likely that it would meet our expectations.
  • Even though the Coleman brand was significantly more expensive and the coffee maker is a bit bulkier in size, we decided we would treat this purchase as an investment. Amazon reviewers gave very positive feedback: 53 customers left an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. Also, Coleman offers a 3 year limited warranty against defects, which gave us a lot of confidence in the product and added justification for spending more. We loved that the carafe holds 10 cups of coffee, the brew time only takes 15 minutes, and this device is completely cordless.

Image Above Appears Courtesy of...Myself!

Coleman Portable Propane Coffeemaker with Stainless Steel Carafe
Coleman Portable Propane Coffeemaker with Stainless Steel Carafe

I personally recommend this product to tent campers that really enjoy a few cups of coffee in the morning and that detest all of the hassle of waiting for a percolator over the campfire.

This coffee maker produces a great tasting brew; definitely better than any campfire coffee I've ever tasted!

Another great aspect is that this coffee maker is powered by a standard propane cylinder, which you can find at your local Wal-Mart or sporting goods store. We've only had to replace the propane once in the 8 months we've owned it, so I would definitely say this gadget uses fuel efficiently.

Honestly, I could probably go on and on about how much I love my Coleman, but the best way to check out all of the great features this coffee maker offers is by taking a look at the Amazon listing and reviews. I hope my review has been helpful to you tent campers out there considering this purchase.


This Product Has Definitely Improved Our Camping Trips

My husband and I have been using this coffee maker on our camping trips for almost a year now and we absolutely love it! We are so glad we spent the extra money; it was well worth it and we feel that we got the best "bang for our buck." All of the features truly do work as advertised: it really does only take 15 minutes to brew a pot of great tasting coffee, it's easy to use, and the coffee maker is sturdy and well built.

Now, in the mornings when we go camping, my husband brews a pot of coffee right on the picnic table while I start a campfire. By the time I have the fire going, we are able to sit down and relax with a lovely, hot cup of coffee while we plan out our day. I do find that our mornings out in the wilderness are a lot more relaxing and enjoyable with our new routine!

Watch this Coffee Maker in Action!

Which Do You Prefer?

How Do You Prefer to Make Your Camp Coffee? Why?

Traditional, Metal Percolator Over the Campfire.

Traditional, Metal Percolator Over the Campfire.

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    • Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Over the fire in a vintage coffee pot.

    • June Parker 3 years ago from New York

      We always perc it on the fire or camp stove old school style

    • RoSelou 4 years ago

      I like both since when its about camping it depends on our trip or theme. However, I prefer most of the time the traditional since camping for me is about experiencing life in the mountains without comfort.

    • Thomas F. Wuthrich 4 years ago from Michigan

      I bet the Propane Coffeemaker makes a good cup of coffee...but isn't one of the main reasons we head out into the wilderness to get away from all the modern conveniences and "rough it" a bit?

    • RinchenChodron 4 years ago

      I drink tea - so all that's required is hot water.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      I love cowboy coffee prepared over an open fire.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      I love it over a campfire!

    • Tracie-Fisher 4 years ago

      I love my Cowboy coffee perc'ing over the fire.

    • SBPI Inc 4 years ago

      Don't laugh at me, but, one camping trip I made was way up into the mountains heading upstream along a mountain river. Turned in after finding a small clearing along the river bank after making a small campfire. Those days I used an old sleeping blanket on a nice flat spot of ground. lol Well, off to a good nights sleep till early morning and as I reached for my old coffee pot I realized that it had been left probably at the last camp site. Oh My. All is not lost, still had the coffee. Hmm. Lets see, plenty of water and coffee, metal dish to heat water, mug, oh yes a clean white sock to hold the coffee grounds. You can guess the rest - I dad my coffee..

    • missmary1960 4 years ago

      I'm an old fashioned cook it over the campfire coffee maker. Just feels like the outdoorsy thing to do :)

    • Klinetka 4 years ago

      I cook it over campfire

    I Have/Want a More Convenient Way to Brew Camp Coffee.

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      • Nnadi bonaventure Chima 4 years ago from Johanesburg

        I will go for convenience anytime

      • CaztyBon 4 years ago

        If I drank coffee I would use the Coleman

      • Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

        I don't drink coffee but I wouldn't mind one of these for my herbal teas whilst camping. Much easier way of doing it!

      • mcsburlea 4 years ago

        I want one too

      • CrazyHomemaker 4 years ago

        We have a travel trailer and we have a 3 cup electric with reservoir. It makes great coffee. If we still tent camped, we'd probably get this Coleman. Thanks.

      • DebMartin 4 years ago

        As I do a lot of "off the grid" camping that requires I paddle or hike into very remote areas, keeping it light is important to me. Although I would not say my way is more convenient. I either break down and pack a small coffee pot that I can use on my backpack stove. Or I take a coffee mug that has its own french press. Having said that though, I can definitely see the convenience of this coffee maker and I love Coleman products. I will recommend.

      • amosvee 4 years ago

        I bring our cheap drip Mr. Coffee and plug it in! I always try to get a campsite with electricity. But there are times you can't so this looks great.

      • DrLibby 4 years ago

        we are french press people & have a stainless steel french press that we take when we travel. of course we stay in hotels & are not much into camping. that said, I would think that if you could boil water over a campstove/fire & pour the water into the french press it would be ok. but then I"ll have to do it camping to give an honest opinion on it.

      • Gregory Moore 4 years ago from Louisville, KY

        Very cool gadget. I've got to have my coffee to get me moving in the morning.

      • Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

        I have never really liked camp coffee and it would be great to have a way to make coffee more like that from my Keurig at home, which makes the perfect cup every time. Great lens and very informative.

      • Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

        I've had my eyes on that propane coffee maker for some time now. Coffee is the elixir of life. Why be deprived while camping?

      • scoobydooo9r 4 years ago

        We are using the Perc right now, but this gadget is awesome!!! Probably not necessary, but definitely handy. We are actually going tomorrow, wish I could try out the Coleman!

      I LOVE Your Feedback!

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        • kenneth avery profile image

          Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


          And you drink coffee too? I literally LOVE coffee. What a great day to get to meet you.

          As for this hub . . .I really Love this hub, which is delightful, colorful, and very interesting. You are certainly a gifted-writer.

          I was proud to vote up and all of the choices. Thank you for sharing this topic and your gift.

          Keep up the fine work and always know that you have a friend and follower in me.


          Kenneth Avery, Hamilton, AL.

        • CampingmanNW profile image

          CampingmanNW 3 years ago

          Your Coleman coffee maker sounds like a nice idea. But I have for years made coffee in an old blue enamel (now well blacked with the years) coffee pot on my Coleman stove. Boiling water and placing coffee grounds directly into the water. Once it has come to a boil, remove it from the heat and a splash of cold water will settle the coffee grounds to the bottom of the pot and you have the best coffee ever. How much coffee to put in the pot? The same amount you would at home, with regards to how many cups of water. Simple. I will check out your coffee pot though. Thanks for a fun read today. I love to read about folks who enjoy the outdoors.

        • Jogalog profile image

          Jogalog 4 years ago

          I love the idea of having lovely fresh coffee while camping and it looks like this would be a step up from the instant I have always had to have.

        • profile image

          vasyagot 4 years ago

          Pleeze, Give me two, I like it. it is not the best then to drink hot coffee efter night unde the tent.

        • weakbond profile image

          Nnadi bonaventure Chima 4 years ago from Johanesburg

          Nice lens ,great product review ,thanks for sharing

        • CaztyBon profile image

          CaztyBon 4 years ago

          I don't camp anymore, but when I did I loved Coleman products. I still use some of their products in the house. Loved your review and if I drank coffee and camped I would want to buy the Coleman.

        • RawBill1 profile image

          Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

          Congrats on LOTD. :-) I love camping and any tools to make it easier and more enjoyable are always great to come across. Thanks for sharing. :-)

        • kristalulabelle profile image

          Kristen 4 years ago from Wisconsin

          @rking96: You actually don't smell propane at all. The coffee comes out smelling great! The coffee maker is a bit bulky, however, the propane tank comes off and the arm that attaches the propane tank comes off as well and there are clips on the back that you can then attach this "arm" to when you're ready to store it. I hope that helped.

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          getmoreinfo 4 years ago

          I like this for camping, such a great idea for coffee lovers.

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          anonymous 4 years ago

          You take beautiful photos, Kristen!

        • profile image

          othellos 4 years ago

          Excellent lens. Congratulations. A great solution gadget for all coffee lovers. I used to make it in another way but now I know that there is a better solution. Nice and neat report:=)

        • delia-delia profile image

          Delia 4 years ago

          Congratulations on LOTD! When I went camping years ago I made my coffee with a Melitta funnel and filter over a cup...simple for me.

        • rking96 profile image

          Rick King 4 years ago from Charleston, SC

          I like this lens, just a couple questions about the product. Does the propane affect the smell of the coffee? One of my favorite parts of drinking coffee is the smell. Is it difficult to store this coffee maker? Seems like it might be awkward with the propane tank. Just curious. Thanks!

        • Mary Stephenson profile image

          Mary Stephenson 4 years ago from California

          Congratulations on LOTD. I don't go camping anymore, but I do remember having to try to cook on a camp stove. Did not drink coffee back then but hubby would fix coffee with a simple coffee pot. Not a whole lot of fun ruffing it.

        • lisln profile image

          LorLinda 4 years ago from Denver Colorado

          Great lens plenty of good content and lots of pictures to tell the story. Congratulations on your purple star and well deserved LOTD :)

        • CrazyHomemaker profile image

          CrazyHomemaker 4 years ago

          Congrats on LOTD! I love this lens. It is very informative and shows the subject in real life work. The pie iron above is making me hungry. I LOVE those pies!

        • bobnolley lm profile image

          bobnolley lm 4 years ago

          What a great product...makes me want to go out and be a scoutmaster again. Congratulation on the LOTD!

        • Swisstoons profile image

          Thomas F. Wuthrich 4 years ago from Michigan

          You've provided a fine review worthy of your LotD for which let me offer my Congratulations! Still, I do like the idea of getting away from civilization, with all its conveniences, for a little while at least.

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          SteveKaye 4 years ago

          Congratulations on receiving the LOTD. This should help many campers who want to start their day with a good cup of coffee.

        • profile image

          SteveKaye 4 years ago

          Congratulations on receiving the LOTD. This should help many campers who want to start their day with a good cup of coffee.

        • profile image

          DebMartin 4 years ago

          You've given a very thorough and compelling review of this Coleman coffee pot. I really appreciate a well crafted lens and yours meets the criteria. While I enjoy my open boil coffee more than any other kind of coffee, I have friends who turn their noses up at my coffee and I will certainly tell them about this.

        • marktplaatsshop profile image

          marktplaatsshop 4 years ago

          congratulations on LotD. I don't like camping, but you have a great lens, thanks for sharing

        • Art Inspired profile image

          Art Inspired 4 years ago

          Congratulations on your lens of the day! Well done! Make it a great day!

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          anonymous 4 years ago

          I'm not a camper but I do recognize that your lens has a lot of great information. Congratulations on getting LotD!

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          anonymous 4 years ago

          TEchnology for camping certainly has developed to meet so many needs along the way, who would have ever thought there would ever be a propane coffee pot, but here it is! You certainly are experiencing God's country at its best as you camp the the parks in Minnesota and Wisconsin. I think we've all dealt with the wet firewood at one time or another and had to forgo that morning cup. I'd say you have a personal relationship with your Coleman and its love for sure...congratulations on LotD, time for the dance of joy! :)

        • GregoryMoore profile image

          Gregory Moore 4 years ago from Louisville, KY

          Congrats on your LOTD. My family loves going camping, and these gadgets that make life a little easier in the outdoors sure are awesome.

        • profile image

          TheGardenGuys 4 years ago

          This is a really great lens that fits the new rules of Squidoo perfectly. It's really inspried me to start writing again. Thank you.

        • robertzimmerman2 profile image

          Robert Zimmerman 4 years ago from SE Florida, USA

          Great information, thanks!

        • robertzimmerman2 profile image

          Robert Zimmerman 4 years ago from SE Florida, USA

          Great information, thanks!

        • Dressage Husband profile image

          Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

          It is extremely difficult to get great coffee camping. I know I have done a fair bit of survival training in my time. This would have been a great add on to take with us and would have saved me a deal of personal grief!

        • Tracie-Fisher profile image

          Tracie-Fisher 4 years ago

          Loved your lens. The smell of campfire coffee wafted in the air for me. A lovely experience.

        • Faye Rutledge profile image

          Faye Rutledge 4 years ago from Concord VA

          Great review! I never knew there was such a thing. Congratulations on LotD!

        • Diana Wenzel profile image

          Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

          Congrats on LotD! I'm sipping my coffee even as we speak. Even though I love rustic style camping, that doesn't mean I'm willing to forego good coffee. I'd love to have one of these coffee makers on my next camping trip.

        • writerkath profile image

          writerkath 4 years ago

          This is an outstanding review! Now you've got me thinking that John & I are due for a little camping... I have a feeling your lens is gonna sell a bunch of these awesome coffee makers! :) Congratulations on your Lens of the Day!

        • SusanDeppner profile image

          Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

          What an excellent review and recommendation! I'd love to start doing some camping again - and this coffeemaker will be on the list of "must haves" for sure. Congratulations on an eye-opening Lens of the Day!

        • PaigSr profile image

          PaigSr 4 years ago from State of Confussion

          I am not a coffee drinker. But this looks like it could be used to warm water for tea. Or as a way to boil water for other things. Congrats on the LOTD.

        • Bercton1 profile image

          Bercton1 4 years ago

          Grate gadget for camping and also a kitchen item as well. Really good lens!

        • Klinetka profile image

          Klinetka 4 years ago

          What a great item - I have never seen this before

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          anonymous 4 years ago


        • RazzbarryBreeze profile image

          RazzbarryBreeze 4 years ago

          I would definitely buy this if I was going camping. I enjoyed your lens very much. Congratulations on LOTD! Have a great day!

        • Sweetbunny LM profile image

          Sweetbunny LM 4 years ago

          Inspires me to go camping!

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          kainth56 4 years ago

          That is the gadget ever camping person will love. And for me too.

        • SheGetsCreative profile image

          Angela F 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

          Nice review - as a coffee lover, I'd definitely consider a coleman.

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          DebW07 4 years ago

          I haven't been camping since I was a child. I bet my parents would've enjoyed having this coffee maker. Congrats on the LotD!