GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip Review
Cons: Must pour carefully for bold flavor, delicate clips
Manufacturer: GSI Outdoors
Compare to Similar Products
GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip
Check Price at REI
|$8.05 at Amazon||$8.89 at Amazon||$6 List||$13 List|
|Pros||No filter needed, tiny and light||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||Portable and packable, wide base fits on most camping mugs|
|Cons||Must pour carefully for bold flavor, delicate clips||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||Doesn't give the best flavor, twice as heavy as other pour-over brewers|
|Bottom Line||A great ultralight backpacking option, as long as you pour carefully and aren't too rough with the contents of your pack||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||An innovative collapsible design that is compact and easy to use, though it doesn't produce the best flavor|
|Rating Categories||Ultralight Java Drip||Hario V60 Plastic D...||Primula Coffee Brew...||Melitta 1-Cup Pour-...||Collapsible Java Drip|
|Ease Of Use (25%)|
|Group Cooking (15%)|
|Specs||Ultralight Java Drip||Hario V60 Plastic D...||Primula Coffee Brew...||Melitta 1-Cup Pour-...||Collapsible Java Drip|
|Measured Weight||1.1 oz||Dripper alone: 2.95 oz
Dripper + scoop: 3.37 oz
|1.1 oz||2.01 oz||4.76 oz|
|Brew Type||Pour Over||Pour Over||Pour Over||Pour Over||Pour Over|
|Main Material||Nylon filter||Hard plastic||Nylon filter||Hard plastic||Silicone|
|Notable Features||Collapsible to fit under fuel canister||Cone shape, large hole, ribs along side||Rests on any mug||Can see cup without lifting dripper||Collapsible for easy storage and portability|
|Notes||Not sturdy or durable||Makes strong, smooth coffee||Filter hangs in coffee for most cups||Doesn't brew as well as the Hario dripper||Flavor is on the sour side|
Our Analysis and Test Results
If space is a premium and you're counting every gram (and milligram) in your pack, the GSI Ultralight Java Drip is a great option. At just 1.1 ounces, this dripper is so compact it will nestle under a fuel canister.
The Java Drip has a nylon filter supported by three lightweight plastic legs. The clips are a little delicate, and you need to be careful to avoid spilling the filter, but the whole dripper weighs less than half an ounce without its included cup and just 1.1 ounces with it.
This filter can produce great taste, but it requires a careful and slow pour. Add water too fast, and the coffee will likely be weak. When we used a gooseneck kettle, it was easy to offer a precise pour and achieve a good flavor, but out of something like a JetBoil, it is much harder.
Ease of Use
The Java Drip is relatively easy to use, but, like all filterless cones, it requires some extra cleaning after each use. The larger surface area on this device makes this especially true. You also need the right cup to ensure the legs attach securely. If the rim of your cup is too thick, it's hard to attach the legs or ensure they are stable when holding a lot of water. While we appreciate the compact design and insubstantial weight of this brewer, we found it rather finicky and don't recommend it unless weight and space are your primary concerns.
The Ultralight Java Drip is so-so for group cooking. With a secure attachment, you can load up the filter with grounds and pour enough for 2-3 people. However, if your mug or carafe doesn't securely attach to the filter, it will tip over. Overall, this is best for just 1-2 cups at a time. Detaching and reattaching the legs to various cups in between uses also takes a bit of time and attention.
This is certainly one of the most portable options in our entire review. Once you fold in the legs, the filter is small enough to fit under any fuel canister. The legs are a little delicate, so you have to be extra careful when packing up, but for those that need small and light, this hits the mark.
At 1.1 ounces, the Java Drip is among the lightest weight brewers in our review, and that weight includes its own cup, which results in a potentially significant weight savings compared to other brewers in our review.
It doesn't get much cheaper than this for a dripper AND a cup! You won't even have to purchase filters. That said, the Ultralight Java Drip isn't the most robust coffee maker, and breaking this delicate device is a real possibility. Some people will prefer to spend more and get something more durable, but if your main concerns are lightweight and compact gear, then this is a clear winner.
If counting every gram is critical for your next adventure, then the GSI Ultralight Java Drip could be a great brewer for your kit. It is extremely light and is the most compact in our test suite. It's a little finicky and fragile for our taste, but if you are looking for ways to shave down some grams on your ultra-light kit, it may be ideal for you.
— Mary Witlacil and Penney Garrett