Vargo Titanium Travel Coffee Filter
Works well enough, but it is fiddly and messy. Requires extra cups and by the time the hot water has passed through it did not produce the warmest cup of coffee I have ever drunk.
- Lightweight (just over an ounce)
- Fits inside a small mug
- Filter coffee is better than instant
- Takes time, so coffee is not as warm as I'd like
- Can be messy
- Requires extra cups/pots
I really like the idea of this in principle, but in practise it was a little disappointing. It does the job of filtering fresh ground coffee but I soon found a few drawbacks, so I am not sure this is a bit of kit I would use that often.
There are better ways to make a fresh brew, but some may like the fact this weighs a great deal less and takes up less space, so the hassle may be worth it. It is eco-friendly as it does not use paper filters, but I would question this as the energy needed to produce titanium may be far more than that needed to produce paper bags which are biodegradable. Furthermore, titanium needs to be mined from a hole in the ground unlike paper from wood pulp which is sustainable. That said it should last a long time if it is looked after correctly.
It is simple enough in its design and use and being made from titanium it is lightweight. Also, I like the fact it fits inside my MSR Titan or Vargo Ti-Lite mug. Simply place the filter over a cup (the tripod configuration means it will fit pots and cups such as an MSR Titan or mug with small or large diameters), fill with ground coffee and pour hot water into the filter.
Do not be tempted to rush this otherwise it will overflow and make a mess. Also do not over fill the filter with coffee grinds as this increases the likelihood of spillages. The trouble is I have found that the process takes so long that the coffee is often too cool for my taste, especially if attempting to brew in windy conditions.
Furthermore, the filter does not have the greatest capacity so the resulting cup of fresh coffee is quite small and is only enough for one person. Yes, it could be reheated afterwards, but I have found that doing this affects the flavour of the coffee and it is extra time and hassle so would not suit speed merchants who are keen to be on the move quickly.
It is easy enough to clean and store. For me it is just too much hassle and the end product does not justify the resulting cup of often tepid coffee.
There are other products on the market which though heavier produce a warmer cup of coffee with less mess and in greater quantities. Then there's what to do with the coffee grinds in a sensitive outdoor environment. I am happy to sacrifice my daily fresh brew and use the time to get back on the trail a little earlier. Dawn is after all a magical time to be outdoors and on the move. Then there is that $49 price tag.
If you are in no particular hurry and enjoy a relaxed approach to hiking etc and do not require a huge mug of hot coffee in the morning to get you going then this might be for you. If, like me, you leave things to the last minute to stay in a warm and cosy sleeping bag you would be better off looking at a speedier if heavier solution.
Used on the trail and on walks in Southern England. Also before work (camping overnight on DofE expedition assessment).
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $32
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Current Retail: $49.95
Historic Range: $49.95
1.27 oz / 36 g
3.5 x 2.8 in / 87 x 71 mm