The V60 was first introduced to the market in glass and ceramic, then later in plastic, and, finally, in metals like copper and stainless steel. This review is specific to the plastic version, but we also have a short write-up on the ceramic dripper. This iconic cone is a favorite brew method for both weight-and-space-minded campers and coffee professionals, as it's simple to brew with and delivers a clean and beautiful cup in a matter of minutes.
The V60 is a simple brewer that can produce a wonderfully clean and satisfying cup.
The uniquely shaped V60 is aptly named for the 60º angle of the cone. This angle encourages water to flow to the center, extending the amount of time it makes contact with the coffee and, in turn, helping to extract more flavor. The large hole at the base allows the person brewing to change the flavor of the final cup by altering the speed of their pour. The spiral ribs on the inside are there to help air escape, which provides more room for the coffee to bloom and expand as its brewed. The simple looks of the V60 are deceiving — a lot of detail and thought went into its design, and there's ample room for creativity and versatility.
The ceramic and plastic versions of the Hario V60 are identical in design. The plastic version is much lighter and less likely to break, but the ceramic one holds heat in more effectively.
In our pour-over-only taste tests, the Hario V60 repeatedly came out on top. Our testers consistently reported a balanced flavor with less bitterness than other similar models in this review.
The AeroPress still won out in overall taste tests, but barely — the V60 came in a very close second place. Time and again, this dripper would outperform similarly styled coffee makers. The key to really top-notch brewing is to weigh (ideally) or measure (the V60 comes with a scoop) your grounds to ensure consistency and then to pour your water slowly. Water is the trickiest part when camping because you're usually relegated to pouring in a wide sloppy stream from a pot or JetBoil. Thankfully, this dripper is forgiving enough that, even with a messy pour, you'll end up with a very decent cup.
Some of our pour-over brewers, battling it out. Left to right: Primula, GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip, and the Hario V60.
Ease of Use
The V60 is easy to use and care for, though you will need to plan ahead in regards to the special filters it requires, as they aren't available in just any grocery store. Or purchase a reusable version like this one and never worry about it again!
Any pour-over method can be as simple as scooping coffee into a filter and adding water or as complex and specific as weighing out the grounds, measuring the temperature and weight of your water, and timing it as it flows through. If you take the detail-oriented approach, using a proper gooseneck kettle like the Hario V60 Drip Kettle will help with flow and final flavor. That being said, you don't need to get this fancy — as long as you like the coffee that ends up in your cup, it doesn't matter what path you took to get there. Simple and intuitive or calculated and measured, the V60 will give you an excellent cup either way.
If you want to take the detailed approach, this fun tutorial from Stumptown will help you start off on the right foot.
The plastic Hario V60 with its unique pointed cone-shaped filter. These can be a little harder to find than the more typical basket-shaped filter, so just be sure to plan ahead.
While the V60 makes only one cup at a time, brewing takes just a few minutes — ideally between 2 and 4 minutes for a 10-12 ounce cup.
Clean up is also easy: simply remove the filter with grounds and toss. If you have more ground coffee and hot water prepared, you can begin brewing again immediately. So, while this may not seem like the best option for larger groups, it can still accommodate many people efficiently if you have a good system in place.
The Coleman PerfectFlow stove with our recommended pour-over coffee set up: a Hario gooseneck kettle and V60 cone (red). The black Melitta cone can also be seen in the background.
The slightly bulky shape of this cone is not the most conducive to stuffing in a backpack, though you can easily clip the handle to the outside of your pack with a carabiner.
Despite the awkward shape, the fact that the V60 is one piece of durable plastic means that you can rest easy knowing it will survive the journey to wherever you're going unscathed. It comes with a small scoop for measuring your ground coffee, but this can easily be left at home if you don't want to keep track of it (though we do recommend weighing or measuring your coffee for a consistently good cup).
The V60 finishing up another delicious cup. The handle makes it easy to brew with and also to clip onto the outside of a pack before taking off down the trail.
At 2.95 ounces, this coffee maker is among the lightest in our test suite.
If you want to bring this brewer's dedicated scoop, you'll only go up to 3.37 ounces (plus your filters and coffee of course). This could still be on the slightly heavy side for some backpackers, in which case something even lighter like the MugMate or instant coffee may be a good idea. But for shorter trips and car camping, the V60 is a fantastic choice.
Light and easy to clean, the plastic V60 is fantastic for camping trips.
Value is high with the plastic V60. This device brews excellent coffee and is easy and fun to use. Just keep in mind that you will also have to purchase the V60-specific filters to get started.
Clean, beautiful, simple — that's the V60 in a nutshell. There's a reason you can find one of these cones in most craft coffee shops the world over. Its expert design offers the potential for a cup that is closer to perfection than almost anything else. Whether you're at home, car-camping, or on a backpacking trip, we don't think you'll be disappointed with this tried-and-true gourmet brewer.