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GSI Outdoors Collapsible Java Drip Review

This is an innovative design that is compact and easy to use, though it doesn't produce the best flavor.
GSI Collapsible Java Drip
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Price:  $13 List | $12.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Portable and packable, wide base fits on most camping vessels
Cons:  Doesn't give the best flavor, twice as heavy as other pour-over makers
Manufacturer:   GSI Outdoors
By Penney Garrett and McKenzie Long  ⋅  Aug 28, 2019
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 20
  • Taste - 40% 6
  • Ease of Use - 25% 9
  • Group Cooking - 15% 8
  • Portability - 10% 8
  • Weight - 10% 7

Our Verdict

Of all the camping coffee makers in this review, the GSI Outdoors Collapsible Java Drip is the one with the most camping-specific features such as a broad base that can fit over pots or wide-mouthed mugs and a collapsible cone that can pack into tighter spaces. Despite its packability, it's still heavier than some other options at 4.76 ounces. But if a few extra ounces don't bother you, this is a great option. There's a convenient storage cover for clean packing that also doubles as a trivet for the brewer, so it doesn't get dirty while you get caffeinated. Well-conceived features like this can make all the difference when you're deep in the woods.

For the genuinely picky coffee connoisseur, be warned that the Java Drip did not deliver our favorite flavor. It's not horrible, but for the very best taste, look to our Top Pick for Gourmet Taste, the Aerobie AeroPress or our Editors' Choice winner, the iconic Hario V60.

New Color Since Our Tests
GSI Outdoors changed up the color scheme on the Collapsible Java Drip. The blue color, seen in the photo above, replaces the former red color in some of our photos. The manufacturer confirmed with us that other than the color, all other aspects of this coffee maker remain the same.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $12.95 at Backcountry
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$7.48 at Amazon$15.99 at Amazon$6 ListCheck Price at Amazon
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Pros Portable and packable, wide base fits on most camping vesselsGourmet flavor, well-conceived design, ceramic version available for home useNo filter needed, great taste, stylishLight, simple, affordable, design allows you to see level of coffee while brewingPacks down flat, produces a good cup, lightweight for non-plastic, works on top of many different-sized vessels
Cons Doesn't give the best flavor, twice as heavy as other pour-over makersSpecial shaped filters are harder to find, expensive for a plastic dripper, heavier than other brandsExpensive, requires water and more time to fully cleanNot as refined a flavor as the V60, bulkyCan collapse while brewing if not careful, certain filters hang very low due to large bottom hole
Bottom Line This is an innovative design that is compact and easy to use, though it doesn't produce the best flavor.The iconic pour over model in a light plastic package, delivering a consistently great flavor.The best model that does not require filters and one of the few that does not involve hot water on plastic.This is a very light and inexpensive pour over option that provides solid taste and stellar value.This collapsible stainless steel dripper is a bit on the heavy side but it folds down flat for easy travel and brews a nice cup.
Rating Categories Collapsible Java Drip Hario V60 Plastic Dripper Paperless Pour Over Melitta 1-Cup Pour-Over Collapsible Coffee Drip
Taste (40%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
Ease Of Use (25%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
Group Cooking (15%)
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
Portability (10%)
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
Weight (10%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
Specs Collapsible Java... Hario V60 Plastic... Paperless Pour Over Melitta 1-Cup... Collapsible Coffee...
Weight 4.76 oz dripper alone: 2.95 oz, dripper + scoop: 3.37 oz 3.3 oz 2.01 oz 4.8 oz
Brew Type Pour Over Pour Over Pour Over Pour Over Pour Over
Main Material Silicone Hard plastic Stainless steel Hard plastic Stainless steel
Filter needed? Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Notable Features Collapsible for easy storage and portability Cone shape, large hole, ribs along side No filter pour over Can see cup without lifting dripper Collasible cone filter
Notes Flavor is on the sour side Makes strong, smooth coffee Requires some water to clean between uses Doesn't brew as well as the Hario dripper Folds down flat for easier transport than most other cone drippers

Our Analysis and Test Results

The GSI Collapsible Java Drip is a truly camp-ready brewing device — packable, lightweight, and durable, this pour-over brewer will keep you caffeinated with ease in the backcountry.

Performance Comparison


Due to the round shape of the Java Drip  it works best with a basket style filter  though none of the filters we tried fit perfectly.
Due to the round shape of the Java Drip, it works best with a basket style filter, though none of the filters we tried fit perfectly.

Brew Features


The Collapsible Java Drip is a standard pour-over coffee brewer. It uses a #4 coffee filter, though a #2 filter works as well, and can brew anywhere from 1-12 cups of coffee at a time. This flexibility gives it a higher capacity than many of the other coffee makers in this review, which is an advantage for group camping.

Taste


The taste from the Collapsible Java Drip is not as rich or pure as from other pour-over brewers in our review. This is likely due to its bowl-like shape, which allows pooling at the edges and, ultimately, over-extraction. Or it could be because the hot coffee comes in contact with soft silicone as it brews. A faint scent can be detected from the silicone when it is under hot water and while brewing, which is unappetizing. However, it still makes good coffee in the outdoors, so you don't have to (gasp!) consider abstaining.

Luke Lydiard making a backcountry morning brew with the GSI Collapsible Java Drip and the MSR Reactor. Since this is one of the most portable coffee makers  it is conducive to bringing along on backpacking trips.
Luke Lydiard making a backcountry morning brew with the GSI Collapsible Java Drip and the MSR Reactor. Since this is one of the most portable coffee makers, it is conducive to bringing along on backpacking trips.

Ease of Use


The Java Drip is as simple as any pour-over coffee maker. It involves inserting a filter, adding coffee, and pouring in water. An additional aspect about this brewer that we love is that the wide base allows you to brew sturdily atop a more diverse assortment of pots and cups. The silicone material is also a breeze to clean, and the collapsible design means getting packed up and back on the trail is a cinch.

The wide base of the Java Drip fits on the Fair Share camping cup where the other drip style's do not.
The wide base of the Java Drip fits on the Fair Share camping cup where the other drip style's do not.

Group Cooking


While this dripper may not look like a good candidate for larger groups, it's made to serve up to 12 cups at a time by simply filling the cone with more grounds. This doesn't always provide the best flavor, so you may prefer to do fewer cups at a time and repeat. But if you're in a hurry or filters are scarce, go ahead and load up.

The Hario V60 and the Collapsible Java Drip go head to head in our taste tests. The V60 brews a better-tasting cup  but the Java Drip can make a larger amount all at once.
The Hario V60 and the Collapsible Java Drip go head to head in our taste tests. The V60 brews a better-tasting cup, but the Java Drip can make a larger amount all at once.

Portability


Though the Java Drip doesn't provide as refined a flavor as the AeroPress or V60, it is a well thought out design with ideal features for camping or backpacking. The silicone cone collapses down into a disc that is not quite an inch thick and just 5 inches across. This can slide into a backpack and cram into a small space much easier than rigid cones like the V60 or delicate ultralight drippers like the GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip.

GSI Collapsible Java Drip and the MSR Reactor in action in the backcountry. Though it is not the lightest  it is the most packable.
GSI Collapsible Java Drip and the MSR Reactor in action in the backcountry. Though it is not the lightest, it is the most packable.

Weight


This coffee maker is the most portable and packable of any that we reviewed, though it isn't the lightest. Even though it packs small, it still weighs 4.76 ounces, over twice as much as the Melitta 1-Cup Pour-Over and over six times more than the MSR MugMate. While 4.76 ounces isn't much, it could certainly discourage an ultralight backpacker. Keep in mind that it can be lightened slightly by leaving the cover behind and just bringing the cone, though remember you will also need filters.

Our top recommendation for backpacking is the Primula Single Serve Coffee Brew Buddy because it's ultralight, packs down flat, and doesn't require a filter.

Value


This dripper is very affordable, especially when you consider the capacity it has. You can brew a little or a lot with this silicone device, just keep in mind that you'll also need to purchase filters.

Conclusion


We love the ease of use, packability, and capacity of the GSI Collapsible Java Drip. The small profile means it's great for the space-minded adventurer, and the number of cups it's able to brew at once makes it great for group outings. It can be collapsed and tossed into your camp box along with your headlamp, camp-stove, and tent stakes, and will be ready to use whenever you head out for the weekend. (Everyone has a box like this, right?)

The Java Drip providing delicious  precious caffeine in the High Sierras.
The Java Drip providing delicious, precious caffeine in the High Sierras.


Penney Garrett and McKenzie Long