Hands-on Gear Review

Aerobie AeroPress Review

Aerobie AeroPress
Top Pick Award
Price:  $30 List | $29.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Amazing flavor, versatile, very portable, simple cleanup
Cons:  A lot of little pieces to keep track of, on the heavy side for backpacking
Bottom line:  The AeroPress was our top scorer for taste and we loved its durability, ease of use, and versatility.
Editors' Rating:   
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Weight:  press alone: 7.98 oz, press + spoon + stirrer: 9.39 oz.
Brew Type:  Pour Over/Press Hybrid
Materials:  BPA free co-polyester
Manufacturer:   Aeropress, Inc.

Our Verdict

The Aerobie AeroPress produced the best tasting coffee in our review. If you're the type of coffee drinker that loves to dial in a perfectly crafted cup whether at home or on the road, this brewer is a must-have. The AeroPress was the distinct winner of all our taste tests, and in the running for an Editors' Choice award. It was edged out because it's on the heavier side and has multiple pieces to keep track of. It also has more of a learning curve, though once you learn the ropes, you'll be brewing up a perfect cup every time. With its unique plunger, the AeroPress makes brewing fun and delicious, so we awarded it a Top Pick for Gourmet Taste.

If you would rather have a more simplified brewing process but don't want to sacrifice taste, our two Editor's Choice winners are both highly recommended. Try out the Hario V60 for a clean and beautiful filter option, or the Cafellissimo Paperless Pour Over for a plastic and paper-free alternative.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Camping Coffee Makers of 2018


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Penney Garrett

Last Updated:
Wednesday
May 30, 2018

Share:
The Aerobie AeroPress is a versatile brewer that, depending on how you use it, can offer body and richness like a French press or more clean clarity like a pour over. It's durable and easy to clean, making it a fantastic option for road trips, camping, and traveling — though you may just love it enough to start using it as your home brewer too.

Performance Comparison


The AeroPress is durable  easy to clean  and delivered the best flavor of all our coffee makers.
The AeroPress is durable, easy to clean, and delivered the best flavor of all our coffee makers.

Brew Features


The AeroPress is a unique coffee maker that facilitates total immersion and even, rapid filtering. Depending on your mood you can alter your brewing style to achieve a stronger richer cup or a cleaner brighter one (more info and resources on this below). Say goodbye to bitterness and muddiness and hello to a delicious brew, time after time. Whether you're new to craft coffee or an experienced veteran, the AeroPress is worth exploring.

The AeroPress loaded and ready for brewing.
The AeroPress loaded and ready for brewing.

Taste


Properly brewed coffee from the AeroPress has no bitterness, low-acidity, and an extremely clean, rich taste. In our taste tests, this device easily outperformed all the others.


The AeroPress has captured the heart of novices and professionals alike, to the point that there are now national competitions. The brewing process is delicate but forgiving and provides enough versatility to really tweak the final flavor and consistency. Check out this fantastic article from Perfect Daily Grind on how to properly use your AeroPress and how to dial in those different flavor profiles.

Group Cooking


This isn't really the brewer for larger groups, though you can serve 1-3 people fairly efficiently.


Because the AeroPress is so easy to clean (just push the plunger and pop the puck out), turn around time from cup to cup is pretty fast. And, if you make a very strong brew more like espresso, then your group can split the coffee from one pressing and add water or milk for an Americano or latte-style beverage.

The AeroPress being put to use on a car-camping morning.
The AeroPress being put to use on a car-camping morning.

Ease of Use


The AeroPress involves a more elaborate process than many other coffee makers, though once you have it figured out it's quite straightforward.


There are many ways to use this device, as outlined in the article referenced above, and detailed information comes with your purchase or can be found on the Aerobie website. But the basic step-by-step instructions for one serving of "American" coffee are:
  1. Insert microfilter into cap.
  1. Screw cap onto chamber.
  1. Place chamber on cup.
  1. Add 1 scoop of coffee ground for a fine drip.
  1. Add hot water up to the number 2 on the chamber.
  1. Stir for 10 seconds.
  1. Press gently for 20-40 seconds until all water has been pushed through.
  1. Either drink as espresso, add milk for a latte, or hot water for an Americano.

Linda Long pushing water through the AeroPress on a cool morning in the Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley.
Linda Long pushing water through the AeroPress on a cool morning in the Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley.

Portability


The AeroPress is not all that large or heavy, so it's definitely portable. However, it is made up of multiple pieces that you will need to keep track of.


To make it easy to keep everything together, the Press comes with a bag to keep all of the pieces in. You may also find that you don't need the funnel, scoop, or large stirrer and, if you happen to have a reusable stainless steel filter, you won't need the stack of paper ones either.

The complete AeroPress kit. It's a lot to keep track of  but for trips where space is an issue you can leave behind the funnel  scoop  and stirrer and use a regular spoon instead. Stainless steel filters are also available from third-party retailers.
The complete AeroPress kit. It's a lot to keep track of, but for trips where space is an issue you can leave behind the funnel, scoop, and stirrer and use a regular spoon instead. Stainless steel filters are also available from third-party retailers.

Weight


The AeroPress by itself weighs 7.98 ounces, which isn't exactly lightweight. If you include just a few extras, like the spoon and stirrer, then it weighs 9.39 ounces. This would not be the ideal choice for a backpacker who is counting every ounce. But for a car-camper who wants a gourmet morning, this is perfect.


Conclusion


This press is so wonderful that several of our reviewers use it for making coffee every day at home. It also works superbly for car-camping or traveling, but is probably not ideal for backpackers as it is on the heavier/bulkier side. While the AeroPress is on the more expensive side of devices in our review, we loved how versatile, durable, and easy to clean it was, and the taste just couldn't be beaten.

Making delicious  bitter-free coffee with the Aerobie AeroPress. It does require a bit of strong pushing to force the water through the device which is why you usually see people use two hands.
Making delicious, bitter-free coffee with the Aerobie AeroPress. It does require a bit of strong pushing to force the water through the device which is why you usually see people use two hands.
Penney Garrett

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: May 30, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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 (4.7)

100% of 7 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
8 Total Ratings
5 star: 63%  (5)
4 star: 38%  (3)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Climber

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   May 11, 2017 - 10:31am
MichaelJ · Climber · Charlotte, NC
It makes such good coffee I use it at home. I never go camping without it. It's light enough to that I often take it and an MSR WindBurner cragging. That said, it might not be light enough for multi-day missions. Also, you have to remember to pack filters or the entire setup is inoperable.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

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   Dec 17, 2016 - 05:24pm
Glacia · Camper · Georgia
We are French press users at home, so this is an absolute must-have for us when we want to avoid instant while on camping trips. We don't backpack, so the size, weight, and pieces are not detrimental. It is exceedingly easy to clean with a just a damp paper cloth, or can be washed with the rest of the lot. I leave the stirrer and funnel at home to debulk the zippered pack.

It makes delicious espresso for lattes or Americano coffee, or you can just "over pour" and press the whole lot through the grounds without too much over-extracted bitterness.

It's worth having for home use or if you have a means to transport extra gear to your campsite.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Person Icon

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   Jul 9, 2016 - 09:04am
Jason Koslow · Camper · West Chester
This is the best coffee maker in the world. I don't mean at it's price point, I mean the best, period. We are just lucky that it is small and light enough to be able to take it camping. I love it so much I buy it for gifts.

I don't take it when backpacking high mileage trips, but I do if I'm not going far and for sure if I am canoe camping. I use this at home it is so good. You can't brew a better cup of coffee than the Aeropress puts out.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Person Icon

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   Aug 18, 2014 - 05:21pm
Able Dully · Other · St. Louis, MO
I've had this remarkable plastic piece of heaven for a couple years now. I'll tell ya, my first year was full of growing pains with some odd and, apparently, extremely rare problems with my press. The coffee it produces is the best I've ever had, owing a lot to being freshly made, but mostly to the method of brewing. The coffee is incredibly consistent and flexible in the strength by letting you choose both the amount of water and coffee. I've raved about this device and always will. Now, as stated, I've had problems and this is what is really remarkable. I called for a warranty issue within the first year and was immediately sent a replacement. The second year, same problem and was again immediately sent a replacement. Aerobie asked me to keep in touch after sending a revised replacement material and I did. I had compressed my plunger by storing it inside the chamber, without knowing this was possible, and was sent another plunger at no cost after contacting them! OMG, where have you ever heard of anything like this? Nowhere, that's where! I have actually had real live conversations with several people from the company and have even emailed back and forth. These people are truly dedicated to their product, customers and your experience. I can, without any reservation, recommend this product and the company. You will not regret it and if you have any problems I am certain you'll be satisfied with the results. Promise!

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Person Icon

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   Aug 9, 2013 - 01:57am
maldaly
This makes perfect coffee. I use it at home and on my tailgate.

As far a backpacking goes, if you take anything but Starbucks Via, you're wasting fuel, space, time and weight. Taking a coffee maker on a lightweight backpacking trip is silly when you can have pretty damn good coffee in a tiny packet. BTW, I HATE Starbucks and will never ever buy their coffee when there is any alternative. However, they've done a good job of making an instant coffee that isn't spew so I can stoop just low enough to buy a box of Via if I need lightweight, convenient coffee.

Second, buy the stainless disc to replace the paper filters if you want the best coffee. Thewy make it bit more of a pain to clean but the coffee is better.

Third, my only reservation about the Aeropress is that it doesn't fit in to the mouths of some of the travel mugs and thermoses I own, particularly the Kleen Kanteen. Bummer.

Fourth, if you close your eyes, you won't miss the crema that an $8,000 professional espresso machine will leave on the top of your demitasse.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Person Icon

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   Apr 26, 2013 - 09:14pm
Linda Long · Hiker · Houston
Used my aeropress on a trip to Big Bend this week. Gourmet coffee while looking at the Chisos mountains…heaven!Did take a little time to get it right since I like strong coffee. I pour the hot water over the grounds, stir, let the water drain into the cup, then add more water before forcing the water through the grounds. Doing it this way gave me a pefrect cup everytime.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Person Icon

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   Oct 30, 2012 - 01:48pm
TheFatpacker · Hiker · Romney, WV
I've never used it camping though it would be great for that purpose however the system is a little bulky and probably not best for backpacking.

I use mine at home. It makes a GREAT cup of coffee and it's relatively easy to use but there is a slight learning curve. Once you master it, you'll never look at a drip coffee maker the same way again.

Also, I will say, despite the claim, this does not make espresso. The coffee you get is more like a French Press but a little more filtered due to the paper filter discs required. There is a reusable metal screen filter that will get you much closer to FP coffee and would work great camping/backpacking since there would not be any trash produced as there would be with the paper filter, even though that is bio-degradable.

I gave it 4/5 because of the size (based on using it for camping/backpacking) and that it can be a little tricky to use. There are some great youtube videos on using the system and some tricks that you can do to improve the use and results.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


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