Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you need to settle for some flavorless instant coffee drink. Breathe in the fresh morning air and brew yourself a good quality cup… you deserve it! A hot mug of coffee tastes infinitely better in the great outdoors, and it’s a worthwhile endeavor to take the time to make it right.
Most coffee aficionados will agree that the perfect cup starts with freshly ground beans. While you might have a plug-in set up at home for this purpose, you can easily get expertly ground coffee in the backcountry if you have the right tools. That’s where a camping coffee grinder comes in, but they’re certainly not all created equal.
We tried, tested, and researched a wide assortment of camping coffee grinders in order to find the very best for your outdoor getaway. Whether you’re boondocking or backpacking, car camping or tent camping, we’ve got a great option for you.
Keep reading to get the buzz on the best camping coffee grinders.
The Best Camping Coffee Grinders
Best Overall: TIMEMORE C3 PRO Manual Grinder
TIMEMORE makes the highest quality grinder we tested, and the result is perfectly and precisely ground coffee every time. Its compact design makes it perfect for camping, but you'll love it so much you'll want to use it every day.
- Easy to use
- High quality stainless steel burrs
- Lightweight and compact
- Small grinding capacity (15g)
The TIMEMORE C3 PRO manual grinder is our top pick for the best camping coffee grinder. The main reason for this is its high quality, which shines through in every component. The body of the grinder is made of aluminum alloy, keeping it lightweight, while the stainless steel crank handle, driveshaft, and conical burrs are all super durable.
If you’re serious about your coffee, this is definitely the right grinder for you. The insanely sharp stainless steel conical burrs ensure that your coffee is consistently ground every time. And with 16 different grind settings, you can dial into your perfect grind for anything from espresso to the perfect camping French press.
Compared to most manual coffee grinders, the TIMEMORE C3 PRO is relatively easy to use. Thanks to its sharp burrs and high quality components, the TIMEMORE grinds smoothly and without too much effort. You can typically get your desired grind in less than a minute.
Another nice feature is that the TIMEMORE C3 PRO has a spring-loaded handle that can be folded down when not in use. This makes perfect for stowing in a backpack or camping bag. Like most manual burr coffee grinders, the TIMEMORE can only grind enough coffee for a cup or two at a time. However, since it’s so easy to use, this won’t be an issue unless you’re camping with a big group.
Best Portable Coffee Grinder for Backpacking: Snow Peak Field Barista Grinder
This is our favorite coffee grinder for backpacking adventures thanks to its sleek and lightweight design. The grinder is made of a stainless steel chamber and ceramic burrs, meaning it's durable and high quality.
- Very lightweight (12oz)
- No plastic parts
- Simple design
- Labor-intensive to use
- Can't fine-tune grind settings
If you want to enjoy a perfect cup of coffee in the backcountry, this is the coffee grinder for you! Weighing in at just 12 ounces and made almost entirely of stainless steel, the Snow Peak Field Barista manual coffee grinder was designed to be taken on big adventures.
With a folding handle and sleek design, the Snow Peak grinder is easy to pack. It’ll take up less space in your pack than your bottle of bug spray, and is much more enjoyable to use. While it does require a bit of effort to get your desired grind, the workout is a perfect warm up for whatever outdoor activity you’re about to embark on.
Although the grind settings can’t be dialed in quite as precisely as with the TIMEMORE, it does allow you to adjust the coarseness of the grind to work well with your preferred coffee-brewing apparatus. The ceramic burr is efficient and delivers a consistent result.
The cap and handle are integrated into one piece, which means you don’t have to keep track of as many small parts when backpacking. However, we found that this feature also made it harder to grind our beans and the top became quite hot after a couple minutes of vigorous use.
While the effort required means that we might not want to use the Snow Peak every day of our lives, it really is the perfect grinder for that morning backcountry pour over. If you spend a lot of nights along the trail and care about making a good cup of coffee, the Snow Peak Field Barista is definitely worth the investment.
Not sure if it’s worth the hassle to pack in your own coffee grinder on your next backpacking trip? Don’t worry, there are tons of high-quality instant coffees that still make for a great cup of camping coffee.
Runner Up Backpacking Coffee Grinder: Easy Grind Portable Electric Coffee Grinder
The Easy Grinder is a perfect option for those who want freshly ground coffee in the backcountry, but don't want to put in the work required with a manual model. This battery powered grinder is one of the lightest options on our list, meaning it's easy to carry in your pack and even easier to use.
- Very lightweight (7oz)
- USB rechargeable
- Good battery life
- Small grinding capacity
- Hard to clean
The Easy Grinder is a perfect option if you want a super portable coffee grinder that doesn’t require any muscle to use. Even if you’re adventuring with a ultralight setup, this grinder can easily be added to your pack. Weighing in at just seven ounces and measuring only six inches long, it is very compact and great for carrying into the backcountry.
The Easy Grinder is USB rechargeable and has a good battery life. Many reviewers report going a month or more in between charges. One charge should easily get you through a long weekend or more.
Although the Easy Grinder’s compact size makes it great in terms of portability, this also means that it has a very small grind capacity. It can typically only grind enough beans for a single cup at a time. If you’re traveling with a group, this might not be the best option.
Additionally, the Easy Grinder’s deep and narrow grinding chamber can be pretty difficult to clean, especially while camping. However, if you are just using it for a few days and can give it a more thorough cleaning when you get home, this shouldn’t be a major issue.
The Easy Grinder is not the best option for hardcore coffee connoisseurs who care about precise grind settings, but it’s an excellent go-to for those looking for something easy to use and easy to carry into the backcountry.
Best for Car Camping: DmofwHi USB Rechargeable Coffee Bean Grinder
This is our favorite coffee grinder for car camping and boondocking. It is quiet, spacious, and easy to clean.
- USB port means it can be charged from a car or portable power bank
- Easy to clean
- Charge can be unreliable
- Imprecise grinding
You can enjoy a little extra luxury when car camping. Unlike with backpacking, you don’t have to worry about keeping your pack weight to a minimum or having enough space for bulky items. That’s why we recommend the DmofwHi electric grinder for convenient and enjoyable coffee grinding at camp.
One of our favorite things about the DmofwHi grinder is how quiet it is to use. Your friends will appreciate not being woken up in their tents by the screech of a noisy grinder! Speaking of camping with friends, DmofwHi has a roomy 2.5 oz chamber that can fit enough beans for several cups of coffee to ensure that everyone at your campsite is adequately caffeinated.
As far as electric blade grinders go, the DmofwHi does a nice job of getting your beans to the desired coarseness quickly and consistently. There are no grind settings, so you’ll need to play around with timing to figure out how long it takes to get to your preferred grind.
Although some reviewers found the battery to be a bit unreliable, it can typically hold enough charge for a solid weekend of camping. If you’re planning to be out for longer, you can charge it on anything that works with a USB cord, such as a solar panel, a car adapter, or a power bank.
Best Value: Olrid Coffee Grinder and Mini Chopper
This do-it-all coffee grinder is a great budget option for those who something portable and easy to use. It's perfect for camping with a crowd because it can quietly grind large amounts of coffee with just the push of a button.
- Large grinding capacity
- USB rechargeable
- Bulky design
- Imprecise grinding
The Olrid Coffee Grinder and Mini Chopper is a no-fuss machine that gets the job done for a fraction of the cost of other coffee grinders. Its long lasting battery and portable cordless design make it the perfect addition to your next car camping trip.
One of our favorite features of the Olrid coffee grinder is how quiet it is. Unlike the screeching sound that many coffee grinders make, the Olrid emits a low hum that won’t wake up the campground. It has also has a genius design with a removable cup that makes it easy to pour out your grounds and clean the machine after you’re done with it.
The Olrid’s stainless steel blade delivers a surprisingly good and consistent grind. While it doesn’t compare with that of a manual burr grinder, it can easily grind beans finely enough for a rustic espresso. The key to getting a good grind with the Olrid is to brush the coffee down from the sides of the grinding cup to ensure consistency.
As an added plus, you can use the Olrid as a mini food processor, allowing you to whip up gourmet camp meals for a big group without much effort. It does a great job chopping up onions, garlic, and salad veggies.
The Olrid is a straightforward, versatile, and reliable grinder that’s a perfect choice for budget campers. It also makes a great addition to your at-home kitchen set up.
Camping Coffee Grinder Buying Guide
Ready to enjoy great coffee in the backcountry? It all starts with quality beans that are ground to perfection. Not only is freshly ground coffee exponentially better, but the process of grinding your beans while you soak the fresh morning is the best way to start a day in the outdoors.
In the following sections, we’ve outlined some important considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a camping coffee grinder.
Car Camping or Backpacking?
The type of camping you do most frequently should factor heavily into your decision about which coffee grinder to purchase. If you’re planning to take your coffee grinder on lots of backpacking trips, you should opt for a smaller grinder and prioritize lightweight options. The tradeoff with smaller grinders is that each grind will only yield enough coffee for a single cup. The other factor that backpackers should consider is the typical length of your trips. If you’re a weekend warrior, you can certainly opt for a battery powered model, while those taking longer trips would be better off using a manual grinder.
If you’re car camping, you likely won’t need to worry about the weight or size of your coffee grinder as much as if you were backpacking. If you prefer a manual coffee grinder, it’s well worth purchasing a slightly heavier model if it means it will be easier to use and deliver a higher quality result. If you like to car camp with a big group of friends or family, it’s a good idea to get a larger battery powered grinder that can grind enough coffee for multiple cups at a time. Look for a grinder that is quiet… your night owl friends will thank you! While you’re at it, don’t forget to pack a camping kettle to complete your coffee setup.
Manual vs Electric
Another important decision to make when purchasing a camping coffee grinder is whether you want to manually grind your beans or have an electric motor do the work for you. These methods produce significantly different results, although each has its merits.
Coffee purists who care about getting a precise grind size should opt for a manual grinder. Manual burr grinders tend to yield the most consistent results and can be dialed in to specific settings to suit your needs (French press, pour over, etc). Most manual grinders require a good deal of effort to grind a small amount of beans, but many people enjoy getting an extra morning workout while they prepare their coffee.
On the other hand, if you don’t care as much about precision or getting toned forearms, a portable electric grinder is a convenient option. Not only does it grind your beans with the push of a button, but many grinders have much more capacity and can grind enough coffee for a group. Some portable electric grinders can be recharged with a USB cord, meaning you can hook it up to your power bank, car, or solar set up as needed.
Materials & Durability
The question of materials really comes down to how particular you are about your coffee. If you love to dial in a precise grind and maximize the flavors and aromas of the beans, you probably know that a manual burr grinder is the best option. Grinders with conical burrs tend to be best for camping, given their ease of use and reliable results.
A manual grinder that has mostly stainless steel parts tends to be more durable and produce a better grind, although some options use more plastic to keep them as lightweight as possible. Ceramic burrs are less sharp than stainless steel burrs, but they maintain they sharpness indefinitely. Ceramic burrs also heat up less during grinding, which protects the oils in your coffee beans.
If you opt for a portable electric grinder, chances are it will be made mostly of plastic. However, check to see that it has a sharp, high quality stainless steel electric blade. Additionally, we recommend something that isn’t too bulky and won’t get damaged if tossed in a bag or the trunk of your car.
Size and Capacity
The main consideration here is whether you plan to use your coffee grinder in the backcountry or while car camping. If heading into the backcountry, you’ll want to choose the lightest and smallest option possible. Fortunately, you can find a nice coffee grinder for backpacking that weighs 12 oz or less and measures less than 6 inches. Keep in mind that these smaller grinders can only grind enough coffee for one cup at a time.
If you’re driving to your camping destination, weight and bulkiness won’t be as much of a concern. This will allow you to choose a grinder with more grinding capacity, which is convenient if you’re traveling with a big group. You can also opt for a portable electric grinder that has a longer battery life, even if it’s a bit heavier.
There are tons of portable coffee grinders out there that will make a great addition to your next camping trip. However, when considering the durability, cost, size, and style, the coffee grinders included in this guide are the best options for any type of camper.
Be sure to let us know your favorites in the comments below!