GSI Outdoors Collapsible Java Drip Review
Cons: Doesn't give the best flavor, twice as heavy as other pour-over brewers
Manufacturer: GSI Outdoors
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GSI Outdoors Collapsible Java Drip
|Price||$13 List||$8.05 at Amazon||$8.89 at Amazon||$6 List||$11 List|
Check Price at REI
|Pros||Portable and packable, wide base fits on most camping mugs||Gourmet flavor, well-conceived design, ceramic version available for home use||No filter needed, tiny and light, consistently good taste||Light, simple, affordable, design allows you to see the level of coffee while brewing||No filter needed, tiny and light|
|Cons||Doesn't give the best flavor, twice as heavy as other pour-over brewers||Special shaped filters are harder to find, expensive for a plastic dripper, heavier than other brands||Must lift filter out of most cups to avoid over-steeping, poor for large groups||Not as refined a flavor as the V60, bulky||Must pour carefully for bold flavor, delicate clips|
|Bottom Line||An innovative collapsible 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 option for light travel and backpacking, this savvy brewer will keep you caffeinated without taking up space in your bag||This is a very light and inexpensive pour over option that provides solid taste and stellar value||A great ultralight backpacking option, as long as you pour carefully and aren't too rough with the contents of your pack|
|Rating Categories||Collapsible Java Drip||Hario V60 Plastic D...||Primula Coffee Brew...||Melitta 1-Cup Pour-...||Ultralight Java Drip|
|Ease Of Use (25%)|
|Group Cooking (15%)|
|Specs||Collapsible Java Drip||Hario V60 Plastic D...||Primula Coffee Brew...||Melitta 1-Cup Pour-...||Ultralight Java Drip|
|Measured Weight||4.76 oz||Dripper alone: 2.95 oz
Dripper + scoop: 3.37 oz
|1.1 oz||2.01 oz||1.1 oz|
|Brew Type||Pour Over||Pour Over||Pour Over||Pour Over||Pour Over|
|Main Material||Silicone||Hard plastic||Nylon filter||Hard plastic||Nylon filter|
|Notable Features||Collapsible for easy storage and portability||Cone shape, large hole, ribs along side||Rests on any mug||Can see cup without lifting dripper||Collapsible to fit under fuel canister|
|Notes||Flavor is on the sour side||Makes strong, smooth coffee||Filter hangs in coffee for most cups||Doesn't brew as well as the Hario dripper||Not sturdy or durable|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The GSI Collapsible Java Drip is a camp-ready brewing device — packable, lightweight, and durable, this pour-over brewer will keep you caffeinated with ease in the backcountry.
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 will sacrifice some of the flavor. While a basket style-filter works the best, 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.
The taste from the Collapsible Java Drip is not as balanced, 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 pretty 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.
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. We also love that it has a wide base, which allows you to brew sturdily atop a more diverse assortment of pots and cups. The silicone material is a breeze to clean, and the collapsible design means getting packed up and back on the trail is a cinch.
You may be thinking that the Jave Drip does not look like a great option for larger groups, but it can make up to 12 cups at a time by loading up 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 pile on the grounds.
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.
While the Java Drip is one of the most portable and packable of any we reviewed, it isn't the lightest. Even though it packs small, it still weighs 4.76 ounces, which lands right 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.
This dripper is very affordable, especially when you consider its capacity. You can brew a little or a lot with this silicone device, just keep in mind that you'll also need to purchase filters in addition to the brewer.
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.
— Mary Witlacil