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Best Travel French Press: Tasty Coffee Anywhere

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By Matt Woodburn-Simmonds

French press is the easiest manual brewing method around. Add grounds, add hot water, wait, plunge, pour. The fastest way to ensure you have amazing coffee no matter where you are is to get the best travel French press. No more spinning the coffee roulette wheel at your hotel or the local cafe.

The best travel French press is the Stanley Travel Mug French Press. Makes great coffee, keeps it hot and delicious, and it’s easy to clean. For those who love camping, there’s also the Brutrek OVRLNDR but it’s a little too big for the average person.

We tried out a few different options to see how these perform in real life and which one is the best option for you.

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Best Overall

Stanley classic travel mug french press

Stanley Travel Mug French Press

It doesn’t fit in your cup holder but it is the best travel French press in terms of coffee quality and heat rentention. Just buy a cup holder widener and live your best French press life on the go.

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Best Travel French Press

1. Stanley Classic Travel Mug French Press – Best Overall


  • Fine mesh sieve
  • Superb insulation
  • Easy to clean
  • No over-extraction of coffee grounds
  • By removing the plunger, it can also be used for soup


  • Heavy
  • Not ideal for one person
  • Too big for a lot of cup-holders
  • Old-fashioned design

Average Rating

  • Coffee Quality: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Value for Money: 8.5/10
  • Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Stanley are obviously having a bit of a moment right now, or so I’m told since I’m obviously too old to actually be “on trend”. The travel mug French press isn’t likely to generate the same buzz but it does do what its designed to do better than all the other options.

It’s large enough that brewing your coffee in it is as easy as it should be. We found pouring in the grounds, adding the water, and stirring all perfectly straightforward. The double gasket works really well, after an hour in the Stanley the coffee wasn’t over-extracted and extremely bitter. Very important.

We were impressed, but not surprised, by the heat retention too. The coffee was still hot 4 hours after brewing. This may only be relevant if you’re planning on hiking or commuting with the Stanley. It also holds the 16 ounces it claims it can, enough for 2 small coffees.

The trade-off is the thing that made it so easy to brew with, the size, we feel makes it a little unwieldy and awkward to drink from. The lid is designed to be used like a travel mug but the size of the Stanley makes it uncomfortable, especially for Katie (5’2″) with her smaller hands.

We also noticed that it’s too wide for a standard cupholder. This does depend on your car though so you might need to get the measuring tape out. If it’s too big, you can always get a cupholder widener, which (as I apparently live under a rock) I have only just learned is a thing. 

None of the travel French presses we tried were without drawbacks. Being a bit big and awkward was the least of them when the coffee and temperature retention were so good.

2. BruTrek OVRLNDR – Best for Camping


  • The insulated container keeps your coffee warm
  • Removable base plate for easy cleaning
  • 24oz capacity
  • Perfect for 2 people
  • Grounds kept separate so no over-extraction


  • Relatively bulky – doesn’t fit in a standard cup holder
  • Not ideal for one person
  • More expensive than the other French press travel mugs on the list

Average Rating

  • Coffee Quality: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Value for Money: 7.5/10
  • Overall Rating: 8.5/10

The BruTrek range by Planetary Design boasts high-quality coffee brewers and cups for those who love the outdoors. So, if you are looking for a camping French press, then the OVRLNDR is for you (buying a vowel would have added to the price tag, I guess).

In terms of brewing the coffee, we had no faults with it at all. Worked exactly how we wanted it to. We brewed a nice French press coffee and it didn’t overextract while being kept hot.

This is thanks to the removable bottom section, which we also loved for making cleaning easier. The last thing you want is to open your travel French press to extremely bitter coffee.

It really is too big for one person though. I’m not going to tell you not to drink 24oz of coffee to yourself. But in terms of physical size and weight, 1.4lbs, you need to be making coffee for 2 or 3 to justify it in our opinion.

Compared to other other portable French presses, it’s a little more expensive but it’s also bigger than a lot of them. So you’ve got to weigh up what’s important to you. You can choose between 8 colors, though some cost more money than others.

We love it for camping, maybe for hiking if you’re ok with the weight. But we think it’s too big for backpackers or business travelers.

3. AeroPress Go – Best Quality Coffee


  • Produces superb quality coffee
  • Packs away very small – perfect for traveling
  • Easy to clean
  • Simple to use
  • Cheap
  • Flexible coffee maker to suit your preferences


  • Needs paper filters
  • Only makes 8oz coffee
  • No lid on the integrated up so would need a separate coffee travel mug for commuting or hiking

Average Rating

  • Coffee Quality: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Value for Money: 9/10
  • Overall Rating: 9/10

OK, so the AeroPress Go isn’t technically a travel French press (compare French Press vs AeroPress here). But it’s pretty close and, as one of the best coffee makers you can buy, it would be outrageous to miss it out. 

The AeroPress Go works in exactly the same way as the regular AeroPress – the cult icon of the coffee world. It’s just slightly smaller and comes with its own little travel cup, making it even easier to take on the road with you.

We love using the AeroPress when we travel. Great beans, a good quality manual grinder, and we can have amazing-tasting coffee anywhere with a kettle or campfire.

Whether this is the one for you boils down to when you’re looking to use your traveling French press maker:

If you’re looking for something to use in the morning while camping, at the office, or in hotel rooms then the AeroPress is a superb option and will produce exceptional coffee.

If you’re looking for that travel mug aspect then it’s not of any use to you. It’s purely for drinking straight after making it as the cup has no lid and there’s no insulation.

We love the AeroPress for being so affordable, easy to use, and making amazing quality coffee. It’s entirely up to your situation whether or not it’s a good option for you.

4. Espro Ultralight – Best for Hikers


  • Excellent double mesh
  • Keeps coffee hot for a very long time
  • Coffee doesn’t over-extract over time
  • Very lightweight
  • Makes a great French press coffee


  • Fiddly to clean
  • A little expensive
  • Only makes 12oz of coffee

Average Rating

  • Coffee Quality: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Value for Money: 8/10
  • Overall Rating: 8.5/10

The Espro Ultralight (P0) is a superb piece of kit for the hikers. When you’re hitting the trail, every ounce of weight matters, so weighing just shy of 0.5lbs is great. Its also possible to use it without the plunger and it’ll weigh a feather-like 7.4oz.

But the point is to brew coffee. We used a 1:14 ratio, considerably stronger than what is recommended by Espro but we decided that we know better, and managed to get a very tasty brew. The double filter keeps the grounds away from the brewed coffee admirably though it did taste a bit bitter after 4 hours.

You can’t get the 12 oz of coffee promised though, or we couldn’t without spilling. We had to fill it to around 1 inch below the fill line to stop spillage while plunging. So this is really only a brewer for 1.

Lightweight, easy to use, very well insulated, and brews good coffee. the Espro Ultralight is a really good option. It’s just a little more expensive than the others and doesn’t brew quite enough coffee for us. But if size and weight are your main concerns, its the best option.

5. Bodum Travel Press


  • Can be used for either coffee or tea
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Hot French press coffee for hours after you brewed it
  • Comes with 2 lids – 1 with plunger and 1 to use as a regular travel coffee mug


  • Coffee over extracts if left too long
  • Only suitable for 1 person
  • Not the best French press travel mug if you have smaller hands

Average Rating

  • Coffee Quality: 5/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Value for Money: 8.5/10
  • Overall Rating: 6/10

Back in the 1950s, Bodum bought the rights to the “Chambord” name and factory, which were synonymous with the French press coffee maker. Today, their reputation remains on top and any time you look to buy a French press, Bodum will appear near the top of the list. 

The Bodum French Press Travel Mug does exactly what you expect it to: it combines the steeping brewing process with an insulated mug. So you can make French press on the go and sip from the same container, saving space and making outdoor coffee drinking much easier.  

The double-insulated stainless steel body kept our coffee warm for hours, very good for the commuters or hikers.

Bodum claims this holds 15oz of coffee. It does not. The most we could get without spilling any was 12oz. If you’re not making the coffee in the Bodum then it probably holds 15oz of liquid without the plunger or grounds.

I have one issue though. And it’s a big issue:

The coffee continues to be extracted whilst in the cup. So whilst it will keep your brew hot for hours, after 10 minutes it will be bitter and over-extracted. Undrinkable coffee isn’t what you want, no matter how hot it still is.

As a travel mug, the Bodum is excellent value for money. As a traveling French press though, it fails spectacularly. I don’t want to drink coffee that’s been steeping for 30 mins and I promise that you don’t want to either.

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Comparison of Best Traveling French Press Mugs

Image Product Details Cost ($$$$$)
Stanley Classic Travel Press
  • 10.3 x 5.06 x 5.06 inches
  • Weighs 1.3lb
  • 16oz capacity
  • 9.75 x 3.75 x 3.75 inches
  • Weighs 1.4lb
  • 24oz capacity
AeroPress Go
  • 5.3 x 3.9 x 3.9 inches
  • Weighs 0.72lb
  • 8oz capacity
Espro Ultralight
  • 8.1 x 2.8 x 2.8 inches
  • Weighs 0.5lb
  • 12oz capacity
Bodum Travel Press
  • 9.1 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches
  • Weighs 0.9lb
  • 15oz capacity
Infographic: Travel French Press Pros & Cons
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What to look for in a travel French press

There are a few things to consider when picking out your French press travel buddy.


How much coffee do you need to make? If you’re brewing for 2 or more people then 12oz of joe isn’t going to cut it. Similarly, you don’t want to be carrying something designed for 24oz when you only need 10. Choose the size that will make brewing easy for you.

Heat Retention

Are you drinking your coffee straight after brewing it, or are you going to enjoy it slowly over a few hours? Good insulating costs money, and tends to be heavy. So don’t pay for it if you don’t need it. If you’re planning on filling up your travel French press for the day though, you want that coffee hot all day. Even if it means spending more and carrying more weight.


Are you going to be taking this hiking, backpacking, camping, on a plane, or in a RV? Weight is a consideration for all these activities, some a lot more than others. You don’t want to be carrying 1lb more of travel French press than you need to. Those using it for business trips may be more flexible on how heavy it can be, depending on how full your carry-on is.

Style of Coffee

Maybe a little obvious, but French press is an oily and rich style of coffee due to the steeping method. It will be be full-flavored but the texture isn’t for everyone. If you’re into your cafe coffee drinks, then you’ll be more used to espresso which is very different. It is possible to get a portable espresso machine, but they come with their own set of challenges.

Psst.. To get the best out of your Travel Coffee Press, you need freshly ground coffee beans. Check out our grinder guide to complete your on-the-go coffee setup:

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Stop the Press

Depending on exactly what you’ll be using your traveling French press for there are some amazing options out there. And they’re all fairly inexpensive too, which is great.

If you’re a camper, hiker, commuter, office worker, backpacker, or just someone who likes to wander with their coffee then you’ll be able to take your travel coffee game to the next level.

Armed with the best travel French press, you no longer have to forgo caffeine or be at the mercy of what is available on your way to work or where you’re staying. Win, win.


Matt Woodburn-Simmonds

Matt's coffee obsession started in 2006 when working as a Barista. A tendency to turn up to work hungover kickstarted his coffee journey which quickly turned into a love affair. As he moved on to work as a Restaurant Manager and Sommelier, the obsession continued to grow. Now, his passion is helping others to enjoy better coffee at home.

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