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Which travel coffee maker is best?

When it comes to a long road trip, there’s nothing like a nice cup of coffee to keep you going. Still, interrupting your journey to find a cafe can be cumbersome. Luckily, numerous travel coffee makers allow you to make a fresh cup of coffee from your car, no matter where you are. 

The Makita Lithium-Ion Cordless Coffee Maker, for example, will enable you to make a hot cup of coffee in about 5 minutes without having to plug it into an outlet.

What to know before you buy a coffee maker for your road trip

Can road-trip coffee makers be hazardous?

Coffee makers designed to plug into your car’s cigarette lighter should be used with extreme caution, as some of them may cause your outlet’s fuse to blow. Still, many coffee makers with cigarette lighter plugs work just fine, with nearly no added risk. Of course, it’s only a good idea to buy this type of coffee maker if their reviews indicate that previous customers haven’t had electrical issues while using them.

Some road trip coffee makers are powered with rechargeable batteries, making them even safer. Others will require you to add your own hot water, alleviating the stress of blown fuses but making them less convenient overall.

Can you use road-trip coffee makers while the vehicle is in motion?

Using travel coffee makers while the vehicle is in motion isn’t recommended. Although some travel coffee makers form a tight seal and theoretically keep hot water from escaping, many do not. Buying a coffee maker that can brew your drink quickly will give you the freedom to pull over in any safe location, brew a cup of coffee and get right back to your trip.

Coffee maker for camping vs. coffee maker for road trips

Some camp coffee makers also make great road trip coffee makers, but this isn’t always the case. Many camp coffee makers work in tandem with camp stoves, which can be unsafe to use inside a vehicle. Other camp coffee makers use their own propane heating source, which is also not ideal for use inside of a vehicle. Still, some coffee makers, such as manual coffee presses, are excellent for both camping and road trips.

What to look for in a quality coffee maker for your road trip

Compact design

When buying a travel coffee maker, you’ll want to ensure it’s compact enough to carry around with you on your road trip. Many travel coffee makers are roughly the size of a travel mug, whereas others are slightly larger but feature handles that make them easy to pack around. Some coffee makers even allow you the freedom to drink straight from the receptacle the coffee is brewed in, making them both compact and convenient.


If you’re buying a travel coffee maker to alleviate the inconvenience of stopping to buy coffee, you’ll want to ensure you don’t buy one that’s even less convenient than stopping at a cafe. Many travel coffee makers feature permanent drip filters, self-cleaning functions and other features that make them incredibly easy to use while traveling.

Added functionality

If you only intend to use your device for a quick cup of coffee, added features may not be an essential consideration. Still, many travel coffee makers allow you to make espresso or cold brew in addition to traditional coffee. Some travel coffee makers are even compatible with Keurig or Nespresso capsules, making it even easier to make unique drinks on the road.

How much you can expect to spend on a coffee maker for your road trip

You can buy a capable coffee press for around $25-$40. On the other hand, electric travel coffee makers can run you around $100-$150.

Travel coffee maker FAQ

How many ounces of coffee can a travel coffee maker brew?

A. Many travel coffee makers brew around 5 ounces of coffee at a time, whereas others can brew up to 16 ounces at a time.

How long do travel coffee makers take to brew coffee?

A. Although time can vary, many travel coffee makers take only 5 minutes to brew a cup of coffee.

What’s the best coffee maker to buy for your road trip?

Best travel coffee maker

Makita Lithium-Ion Cordless Coffee Maker

Makita Lithium-Ion Cordless Coffee Maker

What you need to know: This durable coffee maker can brew up to 5 ounces of coffee at a time without the need for plugging it into a cigarette lighter.

What you’ll love: The Makita Lithium-Ion Cordless Coffee Maker uses the same 12- and 18-volt batteries as their power tools. The permanent drip filter makes cleanup a breeze and eliminates the need for paper filters.

What you should consider: The Makita Cordless Coffee Maker doesn’t include a battery or charger.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Best travel coffee maker for the money

AeroPress Go Portable Travel Coffee Press

AeroPress Go Portable Travel Coffee Press

What you need to know: This convenient travel coffee press can make up to 16 ounces of coffee, espresso or cold brew in around a minute.

What you’ll love: The compact AeroPress Go is perfect for hiking, camping and road trips. Cleanup only takes a couple of seconds, and brewing is nearly just as fast.

What you should consider: This travel coffee maker doesn’t heat the water for you.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond

Worth checking out

CONQUECO Portable Coffee Maker

CONQUECO Portable Coffee Maker

What you need to know: This coffee maker is perfect for espresso-lovers on the go.

What you’ll love: This model features a battery that can be charged at home or in your vehicle. The CONQUECO Portable Coffee Maker has 15 bars of pressure, making it excellent for espressos.

What you should consider: This option is relatively expensive and only makes a single shot of espresso at a time.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 

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