GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip Review
Cons: Must pour carefully for bold flavor, delicate clips
Manufacturer: GSI Outdoors
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GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip
|Price||$9.95 at Backcountry||$9 List||$9.67 at Amazon||$29.95 at Amazon|
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|$39.95 at Amazon|
|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||Amazing flavor, versatile, very portable, simple cleanup||Excellent clean flavor, double-filtered to eliminate sediment, press completely stops extraction, vessel can be used as a leakproof travel mug|
|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 steeping, poor for large group||A lot of little pieces to keep track of, on the heavy side for backpacking||Lots of pieces to keep track of, heavy, on the pricier side|
|Bottom Line||If you are counting every gram in your bag, this is a great ultralight option - just be sure to pour carefully||Great taste, easy to use, and lightweight - we love this plastic iteration of the classic glass and ceramic versions||Durable, light, and compact, this is a fantastic option for backpacking trips or any kind of light travel||While this unique brewer has a bit of a learning curve, the final flavor is the best in our test suite||The superfine double filter and extraction-stopping plunger of this press make for a very excellent brew|
|Rating Categories||Ultralight Java Drip||Hario V60 Plastic Dripper||Primula Coffee Brew Buddy||AeroPress Coffee Maker||Espro Travel Press|
|Ease Of Use (25%)|
|Group Cooking (15%)|
|Specs||Ultralight Java Drip||Hario V60 Plastic...||Primula Coffee...||AeroPress Coffee...||Espro Travel Press|
|Weight||1.1 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
|Brew Type||Pour Over||Pour Over||Pour Over||Pour Over/Press Hybrid||French Press/ Pour Over|
|Main Material||Nylon filter||Hard plastic||Nylon filter||BPA-free polypropylene||Stainless steel|
|Notable Features||Collapsible to fit under fuel canister||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||Not sturdy or durable||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
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 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 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 also find it rather finicky and don't recommend it unless weight is your primary concern.
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. Granted, 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 motivation is lightweight and compact, 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 coffee-making companion for your set-up. This brewer is extremely light and is the most compact in our test suite. It's is 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