Hands-on Gear Review

GSI Collapsible Java Drip Review

GSI Collapsible Java Drip
Price:  $13 List
Pros:  Portable and packable, wide base fits on most camping vessels, like the GSI Fair Share mug
Cons:  Does't result in best flavor, twice as heavy as other pour-over makers
Bottom line:  Innovative design that is compact. However, taste scores not as high as other cones.
Editors' Rating:   
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Brew Type:  Pour Over
Weight:  4.76 oz
Materials:  Silicone
Manufacturer:   GSI Outdoors

Our Verdict

Are you a caffeine addict? Does the idea of waking up outside without your self-timed, pre-programmed coffee maker cause you to cringe? Well a solution is here. (Except without the timer…sorry you still have to find the awareness to actually make the coffee in the morning.) Of all of the so-called "camping coffee makers" in this review, the GSI Java Drip is the one with the most camping-specific features such as a wide base than can fit over pots or wide-mouthed mugs and a collapsible cone that can pack into tighter spaces. Even though it is packable, this is not very well tailored to backpackers since it is still relatively heavy. For the coffee connoisseur, the Java Drip does not make the richest flavored coffee, look to either the Aerobie AeroPress or the Hario V60 Plastic Dripper for the best taste.

New Color — August 2017
GSI changed up the color scheme on the Collapsible Java Drip in 2017. The blue color, seen in the photo above, replaces the former red color moving forward. The manufacturer confirmed with us that other than the color, all other aspects of this coffee maker remain the same.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Camping Coffee Makers of 2018


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
McKenzie Long

Last Updated:
Thursday
August 23, 2012

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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 gives it a higher capacity than any of the other coffee makers in this review, which is an advantage for group camping. By contrast the Aeropress would be a huge hassle to brew coffee for more than 1 or 2 people.

Taste


The taste from the Java Drip is not as rich or pure as from the other pour-over brewers. This could be due to its more bowl-like shape or to the fact that the hot coffee is coming in to contact with 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 where you may otherwise have to do without. (Gasp!)

Ease of Use


This coffee maker is as simple as any of the other pour-over coffee makers. It involves inserting a filter, adding coffee, and pouring in water.

Weight


This coffee maker is the most portable, most packable of any that we reviewed, however it is not the lightest, weighing 4.76 ounces. Even though it packs small, it still weighs twice as much as one either of the other cone style coffee makers, which could discourage a backpacker from carrying it. It can be lightened slightly by leaving the cover behind and just bringing the filter, but the weight counteracts the portability somewhat.

Portability


Though the Java Drip does not result in as refined of a coffee flavor as the Aeropress or the V60, it does have more thought out features that make it ideal for camping or backpacking. The silicone cone collapses down into a disc that is not quite an inch thick and 5 inches across. This can slide into a backpack and cram into a small space much easier than the ungainly cones of the V60 and the Ready Set Joe.

Another feature that makes this particular brewer ideal for camping is the wide base. As we tested these coffee makers, we often brought a GSI Fair Share mug or a wide mouth titanium cup with us, and the other 2 cone style brewers did not quite fit on these. The Java Drip, however fit perfectly and was the sturdiest of all on a wide-mouthed cup. It even fits well over small camp pots.

Best Application


Since the Java Drip is the camping coffee maker with the highest capacity, and it packs and stores well even though it is not particularly lightweight, this maker seems best used during group car camping outings. It can be collapsed and tossed into your "camping box" along with your headlamp, camp-stove, and tent stakes, and will be ready to use whenever you head out for the weekend. (C'mon, doesn't everyone have a box like this?)

Value


For $13, this coffee maker is a good deal for such a camping-specific device. It is far cheaper than the AeroPress or the GSI Personal Java Press, but it still costs quite a bit more than our Best Buy winner, the Melitta Ready Set Joe.
McKenzie Long

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: December 17, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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 (5.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 50%  (1)
4 star: 50%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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   Dec 17, 2014 - 08:06am
ronabby · Camper · evansville
It works great makes a great cup of coffee. It states it has a bitter flavor, I dont think so it might be the type of coffee they where using.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


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