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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
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

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

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

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 clean-up!
The Java Drip produces a decent cup of joe with minimal effort or clean-up!

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 fairly easy to use and clean-up  making it a great brewer for backpacking and camping.
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.

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

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.


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!

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

Mary Witlacil and Penney Garrett