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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 Outdoors Collapsible Java Drip
Photo: GSI
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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 mugs
Cons:  Doesn't give the best flavor, twice as heavy as other pour-over makers
Manufacturer:   GSI Outdoors
By Mary Witlacil and Penney Garrett  ⋅  Apr 29, 2020
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62
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 19
  • Taste - 40% 6
  • Ease of Use - 25% 5
  • Group Cooking - 15% 7
  • Portability - 10% 8
  • Weight - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The GSI Outdoors Collapsible Java Drip has many camping-specific features such as a broad base to fit over pots or wide-mouthed mugs, and a collapsible design to facilitate packing into tighter spaces. Despite its packability, it's still heavier than some other brewers, weighing 4.76 ounces. If carrying a few extra ounces won't affect your kit, 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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $12.95 at Backcountry
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$7.00 at Amazon$10.16 at Amazon$29.95 at Amazon
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$39.95 at Amazon
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Star Rating
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Pros Portable and packable, wide base fits on most camping mugsGourmet flavor, well-conceived design, ceramic version available for home useNo filter needed, tiny and light, consistently good tasteAmazing flavor, versatile, very portable, simple cleanupExcellent clean flavor, double-filtered to eliminate sediment, press completely stops extraction, vessel can be used as a leakproof travel mug
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 brandsMust lift filter out of most cups to avoid steeping, poor for large groupA lot of little pieces to keep track of, on the heavy side for backpackingLots of pieces to keep track of, heavy, on the pricier side
Bottom Line Innovative and compact, this dripper is perfect for small spaces and larger groupsGreat taste, easy to use, and lightweight - we love this plastic iteration of the classic glass and ceramic versionsDurable, light, and compact, this is a fantastic option for backpacking trips or any kind of light travelWhile this unique brewer has a bit of a learning curve, the final flavor is the best in our test suiteThe superfine double filter and extraction-stopping plunger of this press make for a very excellent brew
Rating Categories Collapsible Java Drip Hario V60 Plastic Dripper Primula Coffee Brew Buddy AeroPress Coffee Maker Espro Travel Press
Taste (40%)
6
9
7
10
8
Ease Of Use (25%)
5
7
9
7
8
Group Cooking (15%)
7
6
4
4
5
Portability (10%)
8
5
9
6
6
Weight (10%)
7
8
9
5
3
Specs Collapsible Java... Hario V60 Plastic... Primula Coffee... AeroPress Coffee... Espro Travel Press
Weight 4.76 oz Dripper alone: 2.95 oz
Dripper + scoop: 3.37 oz
1.1 oz Press alone: 7.98 oz
Press + spoon + stirrer: 9.39 oz
12.3 oz
Brew Type Pour Over Pour Over Pour Over Pour Over/Press Hybrid French Press/ Pour Over
Main Material Silicone Hard plastic Nylon filter BPA-free polypropylene Stainless steel
Filter needed? Yes Yes No Yes No
Notable Features Collapsible for easy storage and portability Cone shape, large hole, ribs along side Rests on any mug Easy to clean, re-usable filter Can be used as french press, pour over, or for tea
Notes Flavor is on the sour side Makes strong, smooth coffee Filter hangs in coffee for most cups Eliminates bitterness while keeping a good flavor Brews a really clean cup, keeps liquids nice and hot

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


Our lead reviewer patiently waiting for the water to boil to make...
Our lead reviewer patiently waiting for the water to boil to make coffee with the Collapsible Java Drip.
Photo: Scott Sinor

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. Be fair-warned, pushing the limits of this mighty dripper's brewing capacity does sacrifice a little of the flavor. While a basket style-filter worked the best with this brewer, none of the filters tested were the ideal fit for this brewer. In spite of this, the flexibility of brewing ranges does give this device a higher capacity than many of the other coffee makers in our review, which is an advantage for group camping.

We used Melitta #2 filters with the Collapsible Java Drip, but found...
We used Melitta #2 filters with the Collapsible Java Drip, but found them to be a little on the small side.
Photo: Scott Sinor

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 deal with the horror of abstaining from coffee while in the woods.

The Java Drip produces a decent cup of joe with minimal effort or...
The Java Drip produces a decent cup of joe with minimal effort or clean-up!
Photo: Scott Sinor

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.

Aside from finessing your pour-over technique, the Java Drip is...
Aside from finessing your pour-over technique, the Java Drip is fairly easy to use and clean-up, making it a great brewer for backpacking and camping.
Photo: Scott Sinor

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 Java Drip has a larger capacity than other pour-over brewers in...
The Java Drip has a larger capacity than other pour-over brewers in our review, making it a bit more ideal for group cooking.
Photo: Scott Sinor

Portability


Though the Java Drip doesn't provide the most sophisticated flavor of other brewers we reviewed, it is an incredibly portable option with some well-conceived features that are ideal 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 a rigid pour-over cone, and it is much more durable than some of the ultralight options on the market.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Weight


This coffee maker is one of the most portable and packable of any that we reviewed, although it isn't the lightest. Even though it packs small, it still weighs 4.76 ounces which is in the middle of the pack. While sub-5 ounces isn't much, it weighs enough to dissuade an ultralight backpacker or through-hiker. You could shave some grams by leaving behind the lid, but you will still need to make sure you have sufficient filters for your trip.

The collapsed Java Drip takes up hardly any space at all!
The collapsed Java Drip takes up hardly any space at all!
Photo: Scott Sinor

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 is a decent option for a compact and fairly...
The Java Drip is a decent option for a compact and fairly light-weight pour-over brewer for backpacking and car-camping.
Photo: Scott Sinor

Mary Witlacil and Penney Garrett