Camping is the perfect way to unplug from all the buzzing and beeping of modern life. Out in the wild, there’s no need for screens, alarm clocks or coffee makers. Nature will entertain you, the birds will rouse you and – wait, did you say no coffee?
Let’s be honest, even some of the hardiest campers don’t want to go without their coffee in the wild, and that includes me. A few years ago, I got to test out a bunch of the best coffee makers for camping, and in that process, I found two of my favorites: the AeroPress GO and the Hario V60 plastic dripper. If you can’t fathom the mornings without java and are looking for a solution to making coffee at camp, you’ll probably have come across these two models and be wondering, which is best?
Read on to find out what happens when we compare the AeroPress GO vs Hario V60 plastic dripper and make sure you have your best cup of coffee next time you go camping.
AeroPress GO vs Hario V60 plastic dripper: what are they?
If you’re not familiar with these coffee makers, they’re both lightweight solutions to coffee at home or on the go. The AeroPress GO is basically a plunger that creates enough pressure to deliver a shot of espresso (or three) right into your camping mug without electricity, while the Hario V60 plastic dripper is a cone that sits on top your mug and relies on the classic pour over method of slowing pouring boiling water in a spiral.
These two coffee makers have a lot in common: they need a paper filter, are easy to use, make great coffee and also involve very little cleanup. They also have some differences, and you’ll want to know what those are before you make your decision.
AeroPress GO vs Hario V60: weight and packability
On its own, my AeroPress Go barely tips the scales at just 3.8 ounces (110 grams) though that doesn’t include the weight of the mug, scoop and coffee, but suffice to say you won’t really notice something that weighs about the same as a bar of soap. Its cylindrical design also makes it easy to slide into your backpack packed inside its mug or on its own, while you can actually stuff things like hiking socks inside of it so it’s not taking up too much usable space.
My Hario V60 is even lighter than my AeroPress GO at under three ounces (83.6 grams) though its conical shape is slightly less packable for backpackers, but you can attach it to your backpack using a carabiner. What makes your Hario V60 a little less portable is if you’re a coffee purist and insist on also bringing a kettle with a narrow spout so that you can adhere to the correct pour over method. This isn’t a particularly viable option for backpacking, but I’ve done my best pouring water in a spiral fashion from my camping pot and made drinkable coffee.
Basically, if you’re making your coffee the right way, an AeroPress GO wins this round, but if you’re smart you might be able to improvise and save weight with the V60.
AeroPress GO vs Hario V60: brewing time and capacity
Brewing time isn’t as important in the wild, when you’re enjoying listening to the birds, as it is at home when you’re trying to beat morning rush hour, but if you’ve got to get on with your hike or are brewing multiple cups, it matters a little.
Again, both contraptions make for a quick cup of coffee, though the AeroPress is faster at under a minute once your water is boiled, whereas the pour over method takes up to four minutes.
In terms of how much coffee you can brew at once, the Aeropress GO is good for up to 8 ounces, which is essentially three shots of express or one nice strong mug full of coffee. The Hario V60 plastic dripper is also good for about one cup at a time before you need to change out the filter and add more coffee. If you’re camping solo, or are the only coffee drinker, there’s no clear winner here, but if you’re brewing for you and a friend, the AeroPress GO has the edge since it’s faster, and you can make two shots at once then divvy them up.
AeroPress GO vs Hario V60: ease of use and clean up
Neither of these devices is difficult to use. For the AeroPress, you just add a filter to the base, screw it in and add coffee. Sit the AeroPress on top of your mug, add hot water up to the line, let it brew for 30 seconds then press for an instant shot.
In comparison, you could argue that the Hario is more labor intensive, but only due to the pouring. You simply sit the coffee maker on top of your mug, add the filter and coffee then begin pouring in a spiral motion from the center. This does take a little practice and takes a few minutes, but if you love the ritual, it’s hardly a burden.
Both of these devices are delightfully easy to clean afterwards. With the AeroPress you just unscrew the base then pop the hard-packed grounds and filter out, and with the V60 you can simply lift the filter out and place it in the trash. Basically both coffee makers are built for no-fuss camping.
AeroPress GO vs Hario V60: coffee
It’s high time we got to the important stuff: how does the coffee actually taste?
In my experience, the AeroPress GO makes such a reliable cup of full-bodied coffee that I actually often use it at home instead of my French Press and am never disappointed.
With pour over coffee, the flavor is definitely smoother and more delicate. In fact, though I usually take sugar in my coffee, I am quite happy to go without when it’s a pour over. This one really comes down to your personal taste, but I’ve never made a bad (or bitter) cup of coffee with either one, though of course you’ll want to start with good quality coffee.
It’s worth noting here too that each type of coffee maker works best with a certain grind – that’s medium-fine for AeroPress and medium-coarse for the V60.
AeroPress GO vs Hario V60: investment
One category where you’ll see a big difference between these two coffee makers is on the price tag. Whereas the convenience of a reliable cup of espresso on the go will cost you to the tune of $39.95, the Hario V60 comes in at just $8.50. Of course, you’ll need to buy paper filters for both types, but you’ll definitely see savings with the pour over style.
|Header Cell - Column 0
|Hario V60 plastic dripper
|Weight and packability
|3.8 ounces without accessories, very packable
|2.7 ounces, but best used with kettle
|Brewing time and capacity
|Under a minute, up to 8 ounces
|Up to four minutes, one cup
|Ease of use and cleanup
|Easy to use and clean
|Easy to use with a little practice, easy to clean
|Consistently good, bold flavor
|Consistently good, delicate flavor
AeroPress GO vs Hario V60: the verdict
When all is said and done, it seems like what we have on our hands here are two excellent choices when it comes to making coffee at camp. Both are lightweight, easy to use and make a delicious brew.
Certainly, if you like a strong, bold espresso then you’ll be willing to pay more for the AeroPress GO, and you’ll be pleased with its packability and how quick and easy it is to use.
That said, if you prefer a more delicate start to your day, you can save a few pennies with the V60, but remember you’ll need to factor in a kettle, jug or something to pour with.
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Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.