I’m not going to lie.
A primary concern I have each time I go travelling is how and where I’ll find a good cup of coffee.
Some people worry about getting sick, others stress about losing their stuff.
…I worry about how I’ll get my daily caffeine hit.
I know- first world problems! But I just love coffee. I love the taste, the way it makes me feel, and the ritual of having one in the morning. It’s like nectar- I’m hooked on the stuff.
Are you the same? Well, we wayfaring coffee lovers have to stick together.
So I decided to look into the best travel French press coffee makers on the market and share what I found. Love coffee? Going travelling?
Keep reading to discover 8 of the best travel coffee maker French press options I could find.
[Last Updated: January 2021]
Heads up, this post contains affiliate links.
The Best Travel French Press – Summary Table
Top Considerations for Choosing a Travel French Press Coffee Mug
First, though, it’s worth pointing out that not all travel French presses are made equal.
It’s important to keep a few considerations in mind to help you find the best one. Before I get into the reviews themselves, I want to go through a few of them…
i) Best Portable French Press Size
First off, size matters when you’re travelling.
As much as you love coffee, you’re restricted by the space at your disposal.
Of course, an extra few inches don’t matter as much when you’re travelling around in a car, or RV. But if all you have is a backpack, then every little bit of extra space counts.
Be sure to pay attention to the size of the travel French press you’re thinking of buying.
When space is limited, it makes sense to go for smaller options- even if it means committing the travesty of limiting your caffeine intake each day.
ii) Best Travel Press Materials & Durability
The materials vary too.
Generally speaking, you’re picking between plastic (of varying qualities), stainless steel, or a combination of the two.
As a rule of thumb, plastic is cheaper than stainless steel, but performs worse overall.
Stainless steel is more durable, meaning it’ll stand up better to the rigours of travel.
You’re more likely to have a working French press for longer; the coffee stays warmer too, thanks to its better insulation.
Oh, and finally, if you’re travelling with just a backpack, steer clear of glass!
I learned the hard way that this doesn’t end well- expect to be finding shards of broken glass in your backpack for weeks to come.
iii) Leaks and Transportation
It’s important to think about how you’ll be using your travel press as well.
Do you want to just sit down in the morning and have a cup of coffee?
Or, will you want to brew, move, and drink your coffee on the go?
Some types of coffee press are better suited to moving around full of coffee than others. If you want to avoid leaks and spills, make sure you find a press that’s fully sealable.
iv) Number of Parts of the Best Travel French Press Mug
The best travel French press coffee makers are straight forward to use.
You put the coffee in the bottom, pour in the boiling water, wait, press, and drink.
But some models you find have all sorts of extra bits, pieces and moving parts that complicate matters. In my opinion, simpler is always better when it comes to portable coffee makers.
For one thing, there’s less room for breakages, lost parts, and mishaps.
For another, you get to drink your coffee quicker.
v) Best Coffee Press Travel Mug Style and Price
Finally, we’ve got the style and price of the press to think about.
As you can imagine, with dozens of these travel coffee presses on the market, there’s a wide range of both to choose between.
If budget’s an issue, then simple plastic is the order of the day. That, usually, doesn’t look quite as good. Conversely, if aesthetics are important to you, then expect to pay more.
In all honesty, though, the quality of the press should be of primary concern. And, for a durable press that’ll make a quality coffee on the road, you might want to invest a bit more cash.
At the end of the day, though, your personal preference and budget will determine the best bet.
Heads up, you might also like this post about the best mess kits for camping!
Different Types of Travel French Press Coffee Makers
Okay, really quick, you’ve got different types of travel coffee makers to choose between.
I’ve broken them down into three categories:
i) The Classic French Press
Your first option is simply to buy an ordinary French press like you’d use at home.
Okay, so this, technically, isn’t a travel coffee maker.
But I’ve included it because, in a way, taking an ordinary French press travelling sort of turns it into a travel French press…Right?
Equally, this is what I’ve had with me on the road for the last 6 months or so!
I’ve got a classic glass and plastic frame press, and it works fine. However, I’m in a van, so I’ve got the luxury of being able to transport it safely.
When I sell the van and go back to backpacking, I’ll rethink this approach.
The glass just makes too fragile to carry around in a backpack that I’m hurling around all the time (however, you can find presses made of steel, which would be perfect).
Likewise, it means you have to carry a mug/cup with you as well.
…Unless you want to pour the coffee straight down your gullet.
Carrying an extra mug to accompany the classic press is an inconvenience, and takes up a bit more space.
All that said, though, if you’re hitting the road in a car or van, then nothing’s stopping you from taking an ordinary French press.
ii) The Travel French Press Mug Style
Next up is the mug-style travel press.
This variety of travel coffee press was the first I even laid my hands on. And I really like them.
It’s just like carrying a mug, except there’s a lid with a plunger running through its centre. The insulation is normally pretty good, and they’re super convenient.
Don’t want a coffee? Remove the lid and use it as a normal mug.
Likewise, quality makes a difference. For example, a poorly designed plunger will let the coffee grinds come up into the mug.
Nobody wants the bitter crunch of coffee grinds between their teeth in the morning.
Oh, and you’re sort of restricted to drink the coffee in situ, rather than transporting them around. Many of these mugs don’t come with a full sealed lid, meaning coffee can come out of the mouthpiece.
That’s bad news when you’re on the move and in a hurry.
iii) The Travel French Press Thermos Style
Onto the thermos style.
It’s essentially the same, but this time there’s no handle, and the press is shaped like a mini-thermos.
Again, the plunger is positioned in the centre of the lid, which you push down when the coffee’s ready. To be honest, the primary difference is in aesthetics and how you carry it.
This isn’t your classic morning mug of coffee! It might not feel the same, or as pleasurable, as normal.
Sure, there’s nothing stopping you brewing the coffee in these ‘thermos-style’ presses and pouring it into a mug.
But that sort of defeats the point.
That aside, these French press options tend to look a bit sleeker and hold a bit more coffee. Likewise, the lack of handle means it’ll be easier to stash in bottle holders, or inside your backpack (just make sure it’s fully sealable to avoid leaks).
All thing’s considered, if I was on the move a lot, then I’d probably go for this type of French press over the others.
The Best Travel Coffee Presses- Top 8 Buying Guide
Finally, on to the best travel coffee presses I found.
Any of these travel coffee makers should satisfy your caffeine cravings on the road in no time.
1. Espro Travel Coffee Press (Best Stainless Steel Travel French Press)
The Espro travel press looks like a class act.
It’s sleek, stylish, and well-designed, with quality materials to boot. To be honest, if you’re looking for a thermos-style coffee press to travel with, it’s very hard to fault.
Made from double-walled stainless steel, it’ll keep your 12oz of coffee hot for ages, and the lid means you won’t leak any of it into your bag, or onto your hands while you’re moving.
It’s got a cool double micro-filter too that I haven’t seen on other presses.
At first glance, I didn’t understand what I was looking at! It looks like a compartment for the coffee. But it’s just like the filter at the bottom of a standard French press, except that there’s two of them.
The result? No more pesky granules finding their way into your coffee.
The only downside I can see is that there’s a fair number of moving parts.
The fancy filter screws on and off, the lid detaches and it just seems a little too complicated for my pre-morning coffee brain to handle.
Oh, and as a thermos, there is no handle, which may or may not be a big deal to you.
- Double-walled insulation
- Durable stainless steel
- Double Micro Filter for no pesky granules
- No leaks
- Cool design
- Lots of moving parts
2. Bodum 15oz Travel Press (Best Portable French Press)
The Bodum travel press is a classic.
I’ve seen people using these all over the place and had a chance to use one too.
The design is super simple. Pour your coffee in, add boiling water, and plunge when it’s ready. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Again, the durable double-walled stainless steel construction will keep everything hot for decent lengths of time.
Another plus is that it holds 15oz of coffee, which means extra caffeinated nectar to enjoy every morning!
However, I don’t like the lid design.
It’s meant to be spill-resistant, which is good. But it’s a little awkward, flipping up and getting in the way when you go to drink.
It’s not the end of the world. But it could be better.
Equally, the lid section pushes on and pulls off. Over time, if that seal starts to loosen, the coffee might start seeping out in transit.
The Bodum’s also designed for coarse coffee grinds.
In other words, put finely-ground coffee in it and you can expect it to escape the filter…for a gritty mug of java.
All told, though, the Bodum is a great choice. It’s cheaper than the Espro, holds more coffee, and boasts many of the same plus-points.
- Double-walled insulation
- Durable stainless steel
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Good price
- Awkward lid
- Possible lid seal problems
3. Widesea Camping Coffee Press Mug (Best French Press Travel Tumbler)
I love the look of this Widesea camping French press.
It just seems ideal for backpackers and/or anybody who spends a lot of time outside, on the road. It’d be great for camping and hiking trips.
The Widesea’s got dual functionality too. Use it as a standard mug throughout the day, and then screw on the French press section when you want a coffee.
I like the way it suits different needs. However, from a coffee-lovers’ perspective, I don’t like the idea of losing the French press section! If you misplace that, there’s no way to filter out the granules.
That aside, as a rough, ready and function bit of gear, it’s hard to fault.
The stainless steel means it’ll withstand the rigours of travel and help keep your coffee warm (though it’s not double-walled). The handle means you can hold and drink it like an ordinary cup of coffee, and it also holds a hell of a lot of fluid too!
At 25oz you’ll be buzzing for the rest of the day…Unless you choose to share it with friends.
- Can heat the container on stove/fire
- Lightweight (225g/8oz)
- Durable stainless steel
- Can be used as ordinary mug
- Could misplace the press component
- Not double-walled
4. Zyliss Single Serve Travel French Press (Best French Press Travel Mug)
If you’re looking for a simple, no-nonsense, coffee making mug, then the Zyliss is a good bet.
This is, I think, the best budget traveller’s coffee press on this list.
I mean, at under 8 bucks it’s an absolute steal.
For that price you lose some of the qualities of fancier presses though- think plastic instead of stainless steel. Having said that, the plastic is double-walled, to help with the insulation.
I’ve used one of these mugs and liked it a lot. Sure, it’s plastic and doesn’t look as swish as other presses on this list.
But the plastic is durable, the coffee stays hot, and it’s super easy to use.
Coffee goes in, add the water, pop on the filter, and then place the lid over the top. Plunge when you’re ready.
It’s a single serving, which means no sharing of coffee, though the mug’s surprisingly large- you aren’t short-changed on the amount of coffee at all!
One downside is the filter part of the press- it isn’t fool-proof, so expect a few granules to sneak up into the coffee.
Overall, though, this is a solid budget option for a traveller’s French press.
- Cheap as chips
- Double-walled insulation
- Easy to use
- Durable plastic
- Granules can escape the filter
- It isn’t stainless steel!
5. Bobble Presse Travel Tumbler Press
This travel French press takes a slightly different tack to pressing coffee.
The other presses on this list have the ‘cup’ section, a plunger, and a lid. The Presse does too, but this time the ‘plunger’ is an entire ‘inner cup’ section.
It’s like sliding one cup inside of another, which presses the coffee in the process.
And from all accounts, it makes an awesome coffee.
Not only does that functionality provide even greater insulation, but the micro-filter stops the coffee from over-brewing too. The coffee stays super hot, without getting too bitter.
Another benefit of this approach to pressing is that there’s literally no way for coffee grinds to get into your drink.
There are no gaps that emerge over time, meaning no granules getting in.
The lid ensures you don’t spill anything either, but you can lift it off and on to add cream/milk as required.
I think this tumbler looks visually appealing too, with a cool design and impressive functionality.
At under 25 bucks, I’d be very tempted to buy one for my travels.
One downside pointed out by the occasional online review is the rubber lid/stopper. Apparently it can have a strong plastic-y smell that detracts from the coffee drinking experience.
- Clever design
- Triple-walled stainless steel
- No granules in your coffee!
- Good price for the quality
- Easy to clean
- Rubber/plastic smell from the lid
6. AmoVee French Press Travel Tumbler
If you like the Bobble Presse above, but don’t want to spend that much money, then the AmoVee might be the perfect budget alternative.
The design is very similar:
Put the coffee into an outer tumbler/cup, pour in the water, wait, and then use an ‘inner tube/cup’ to plunge. A lid seals everything in place and prevents leaks.
It’s the same concept, meaning great filtration (aka no gritty mug of java).
However, it’s made out of plastic and it’s ‘only’ double-walled. All the same, it shares the same 4.3* rating as the Presse, so you don’t seem to sacrifice much!
I wouldn’t say the AmoVee looks as nice as the Presse (or other options on this list) and it’s unlikely to be as durable in the long run.
All the same, you save around 10 bucks and get a great cup of coffee for the road. It’s hard to fault!
- Clever design
- No granules in your coffee
- Easy to clean
- No stainless steel
- Falls short in the aesthetics department
7. Espro Ultralight 16oz Coffee Press
Here’s another Espro traveling coffee press that I could win the prize for the best travel coffee press all-round.
It’s simple, no-nonsense, aesthetically-pleasing, highly functional, and super lightweight.
I really like the design of this travel press. It seems sturdy, well-made, and well-suited to the rigours of the road.
There’s the same double-micro filter that the previous Espro benefits from, meaning you’ll enjoy a grit-free coffee every morning on the move, regardless of how fine you’ve ground it.
Again, double-wall stainless steel insulation means this is a quality product that’ll keep your 12oz coffee hot (just as a travel mug- aka without the press- it carries 16oz); the lid will keep it all sealed and stop you wasting a drop.
Finally, at under 10oz (weight), this press is definitely ultra-lightweight, making it an ideal travel companion.
You pay for the quality though- at over 40 bucks, this Espro is a little pricey.
All the same, true coffee lovers might be willing to fork over the cash for a quality coffee on the road. In every other way, it’s hard to fault.
- Durable materials
- Super lightweight
- Double-walled stainless steel
- Aesthetically pleasing
- No leaks
- Great all-rounder
- Pricey for budget travellers
8. Gator Coffee French Press Travel Mug Stainless Steel
Right, so I wanted to include a classic coffee press as an alternative.
I don’t know why, but I really like the process of actually pouring myself a hot cup of Joe. In other words, I like using a French press as an actual French press, and not drinking from it.
For that, I need a classic design- not an explicit ‘travel coffee press’. I thought there might be other people out there like me, so, here we go.
The Gator would be ideal.
It’s designed to be everything you need from a roadworthy French Press:
Solid materials (no glass), insulated walls (the stainless steel is 33% thicker than similar presses), and a reasonable size (it’s 8.5” tall).
You can drop it, chuck it around, hammer your tent pegs in with it, and, at the end of all that, still make yourself a coffee.
A downside is that you need to carry a mug as well, meaning it’s not quite as convenient.
But the Gator does come with a small canister to hold coffee. That could, in theory, be your ‘mug’. Alternatively, just grab a small travel mug for a few bucks- it won’t take up that much more space.
Equally, it holds 34oz of coffee.
That’d have you juiced all day long. It’s making my mouth water just thinking about it.
All up, the Gator won’t be suitable for anyone who wants to take their coffee with them on the move. That’s just not what it’s designed for.
But, if you’re on the road, want a quality cup of java, and are happy to sit still to drink it, then this would be a great purchase.
- Solid and roadworthy
- Great insulation
- You get a proper coffee experience
- Holds masses of coffee!
- Not, strictly speaking, a ‘travel French press’
- Need to carry a mug
Buy the Best Traveling French Press Possible
The thought of missing out on my morning cup of coffee is a genuine concern whenever I’m going travelling!
Thankfully, some incredibly clever person invented the travel French press.
With one of these life-saving bits of travel gear in my pack, I can get my caffeine hit on the road and on the move. That means no more travel days ruined by a lack of caffeine in my system…
If you’re as hooked on coffee as I am, I hope this buying guide to the best travel French press options out there has been helpful! Whether you’re hitting the road, going on vacation, heading out for a hiking/camping trip, or simply commuting to work, there should be something on this list to help satisfy your coffee cravings.
Which of the best traveling French press options do you think looks best? Let me know in the comments!