If space is at a minimum and you're counting every ounce in your pack, the GSI Ultralight Java Drip is a solid option. At just 1.1 ounces, this dripper is so compact it will nestle under a fuel canister.
The GSI Ultralight is the most portable filter we tested. Just fold the little plastic legs and this fits under a fuel canister.
This is a nylon filter supported by three light 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 it's 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 a JetBoil, it was much harder.
Be careful how you pour into the Ultralight Java Drip - if you get impatient you might end up with a weak sub-par cup.
Ease of Use
The Java Drip is relatively easy to use but, like all filterless cones, it requires a bit of cleaning after each use. This one takes more cleaning than the Primula because there is physically more surface area. You also need to have the right cup to ensure that the legs attach securely. If the rim of the cup is too thick, it's hard to attach the legs. Or if they do attach, they are not as stable when holding a lot of water. While we appreciate the compactness and diminutive weight of this brewer, we also find it rather finicky and don't recommend it if weight is not your primary concern.
While cleaning this nylon filter is straightforward, it does require more water than other models because of a larger surface area.
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.
Light and compact, this is an easy (though delicate) brewer to consider for your next backpacking excursion.
At 1.1 ounces, the Java Drip ties with the Primula and is just a little heavier than the MugMate. However, its weight includes a little cup, something the other two do not. That said, we ended up using more coffee in the GSI to get the same taste as with the Primula. You'll have to decide what features are the most important to prioritize for your adventures.
This dripper is certainly light, but it's finicky and delicate nature means it may not be the best for everyone.
It doesn't get much cheaper than this for a dripper AND a cup! You won't even have to purchase filters. Granted, the GSI Ultralight isn't the most robust coffee maker and breakage is a real possibility. Some people will prefer to spend more and get something more durable, but if your main motivation is tiny and light, this is a clear winner.
If every fraction of an ounce is crucial for your set-up, then the GSI Ultralight Java Drip will be a serious contender for your dollars. This brewer is extremely light and is the most compact in our test suite, though that also means it's the most delicate and a bit finicky to use.
Some of our pour-over brewers, battling it out. Left to right: Primula, GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip, and the Hario V60.