If you’re in a hurry and just want to know what the best French Press travel mug is, my top pick went to the Bodum Travel Press!
I spent a very long time going through the hassle of preparing my French Press each morning. First I’d brew the coffee, then I’d clean out my travel mug, and then I’d fill up before heading to work.
Little did I know there are actually some very effective travel mugs that have the French Press mechanism built-in!
To help you save a little of your own time time each morning, I’ve reviewed half of a dozen of the best French Press travel mugs you can buy today.
(Head back to my massive home coffee brewing guide when you’re done for more help with this side of kitchen life!)
These are the very best of the bunch. I’ll be reviewing each one individually in this article, so read on if you’d like more detail.
- Bodum Travel Press – BEST OVERALL
- ESPRO P1
- KOHIPRESS Portable French Press Maker
- GSI Outdoors 30 Fl Oz – BEST CAMPING
- Bobble French Coffee Press
- Stanley Classic Travel Mug
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Before I start reviewing individual mugs, it’s worth highlighting some of the reasons why buying a French Press travel mug makes such good sense.
Why French Press coffee?
While it’s true that you could whip up a quick mug of instant coffee, the French Press method produces far tastier coffee.
You get a delicious, smooth, robust and full-bodied drink that beats pretty much any instant coffee you can buy.
It’s not even hard to do. If you’ve got a few extra minutes to spare in the morning, you just add your coffee grounds, pour hot water in, wait, then hit that plunger.
With that done, you’re ready to start your coffee-drinking day in much finer style!
By building the brewing process directly into the container, these mugs provide an extremely convenient way of producing a better morning brew.
You’re putting in a little bit of extra effort to produce a morning drink that will make your commute a lot more pleasant!
There’s no doubting the convenience factor of swinging by a Starbucks on the way to work each morning.
Good progress has been made on reducing the burden of disposable coffee cups on the environment, but it’s still not an ideal situation.
Investing in a long-lasting travel mug means you’re reducing that footprint further. Many of these mugs last for years if you have look after them properly.
We all have our favorites, but abandoning the morning coffee run for your own French Press opens up a world of coffee drinking opportunities.
You can keep a selection of French Press blends at home, for example, then dip in and out of whatever you want, whenever you want it.
Money In Your Pocket
Then there’s the money factor to think about.
If you add up the cost of a daily takeout coffee over the working year, it represents an astonishing amount of money.
Although you have to buy the mug up-front – then buy your coffee beans – you’ll still save a decent chunk of change over the long term.
…But check the materials
When you’re looking at this sort of travel mug, it’s important to buy one that’s made of the right stuff.
Stainless steel is the best option here, as it does such a good job of retaining the heat. These tend to be a little more expensive though.
One thing you should definitely avoid is buying a French Press travel mug that has a largely plastic build.
These can seriously detract from the taste of your coffee, which all but ruins the point of going down this route in the first place!
Beyond the materials used, there are a few other design bonuses to keep an eye out for.
For a start, a double-walled design will ensure your French Press coffee mug remains hotter for longer. It’s pretty much a standard for these things, but its absence should certainly be a huge red flag.
You should also make sure that the lid fits securely, and provides a tight vacuum seal. That’ll stop the heat escaping – as well as the coffee while it’s in your bag!
Finally, check the capacity and shape of the mug. If you like a bigger morning brew, you’ll obviously need a bigger mug. Just make sure it’ll fit in whatever you plan to carry it in.
The mechanical design of these things mean you’re a little more limited when it comes to volume.
They’re also a little bit more work to clean than a traditional travel mug too. The mesh filter needs a good cleaning out every day, for example.
It’s tougher to add cream and sugar to these things as well. You can lift the plunging section out to make this easier, but just be aware you can make a little mess by doing so.
In the next section I’m going to review each of my personal picks individually.
Bodum’s signature travel French Press is often cited as the market leader, and with good reason.
First of all, if it did nothing else right, it’s just about the most stylish option, and that design is achieved at a very affordable price point too.
Obviously, looks only go so far! The really good news is that it makes very impressive French Press coffee.
The seal is absolutely rock solid pre-plunge. Once you’ve added coarse grounds and hot water, it’s just a question of getting the lid on fast and waiting a few minutes.
You’ve two options when it comes to insulation too. The plastic double walled option keeps the drink hotter for longer, but there’s a stainless steel option too.
If I’m honest I’d ditch the plastic and go for the stainless steel version. It’s more than good enough for the average user, and you won’t get a plastic aftertaste either.
As for capacity you can get a maximum of 15oz of coffee in this travel mug. There are larger mugs on the market, but in terms of portability versus capacity I think this is about as good as it gets.
It’s quite comfortable to hold, thanks largely to a silicon grip which sits around the outside. For a little extra pizzazz you can also opt for a lemon or red lid and sleeve.
The plunger recedes into the lid of the cup too, which means you’re not going to poke yourself in the face every time you take a sip.
All things considered I think this is the best all-round French Press travel mug. If you’re just buying one for the morning commute, you can stop reading right here and dive straight in.
- An all-time favorite, very dependable French Press travel mug.
- Many people who own one have had years of use from it.
- A very secure lid. I’ve not experienced any spillage from it.
- Some feel it insulates a little too well, leaving the coffee very hot to drink. Not so much of a problem if you’re taking your time.
- Will not really tolerate anything less than a coarse grind. Make sure you have access to a good grinder or a good source of pre-ground coffee.
- You don’t quite get the full capacity as there’s quite a big gap between the bottom of the press and the filter.
ESPRO isn’t quite the household name Bodum is, but I was pretty impressed with their portable French Press nevertheless.
One of the things that sets the ESPRO apart is the design of the mesh filter. It has a double-filter built into the plunger, which works a little harder to keep the grit out of your coffee.
Once you’ve brewed the coffee and pushed the plunger down, the P1 has a really solid sealing lid that goes over the top of the device. It’s a bit like a thermos in that respect.
Now, I don’t exactly recommend shaking your freshly-brewed coffee around the place! Still, that extra protection makes the thing practically spill-proof. It’s really impressive stuff.
The flip side? This travel mug is only good for making around 10 oz of coffee. Personally I need a little more than that before I set foot in the office, but you’ll have to weigh that up for yourself.
It’s a little bit pricier than other options here as well. If you really can’t handle the thought of sediment in your morning drink though, that double mesh filter might be worth the extra investment to you.
In terms of overall design, this is quite an industrial-looking thing. That said it is available in white and grey variations if pure black really isn’t your look.
- Double filter all but eliminates sediment in your coffee.
- An extremely solid, hard-wearing build.
- Absolutely, 100% spill-proof.
- A comparatively small maximum capacity.
- Can be a little fiddly to clean.
- The mesh filter isn’t as hard-wearing as the exterior – take care not to damage it during cleaning.
KOHIPRESS’ Portable French Press does a pretty good job of whipping up a batch of piping-hot French Press coffee. It will also keep your cold drinks cooler for a bit longer too.
You’ll find that useful if you’re looking for a particularly versatile mug / thermos for commuting – or whatever outdoor adventures you like getting up to!
In terms of capacity, it’s a smaller offering than the Bodum mug that I really like. You’ll get about 12 oz from this though.
As for French Press brewing this is quite a meaty contraption, but it’s not unwelcome in that regard.
Rather than having to thumb down a small plunger, you can use the whole grip of your hand to push the French Press cylinder down.
You’ll also like this one if you want something that’s particularly easy to clean.
Once brewed, the grounds are completely locked away from the drinking chamber. All you have to do is chuck them out (or make good use of them around the home), then give the insides and the mesh section a quick rinse under the faucet.
It’s really solidly designed too, and doesn’t feel at all cheap in the hands. This is a minor consideration, but if you’re looking to buy one of these devices as a gift, the KOHIPRESS comes in a ridiculously fancy looking box!
- Nesting cylindrical design makes the plunger very easy to use.
- Easier to clean than many other mugs.
- No sediment makes its way through to the actual drink.
- The 12oz capacity is only marginally better than the ESPRO.
- The small spout makes it quite difficult to sip from comfortably.
- Makes a little mess when you’re cleaning it out.
The main selling point of GSI’s French Press mug is it’s absurdly high capacity: 30 oz in total.
I think of this one as more of a thermos for a couple of thirsty hikers, heading out from the campsite for a walk.
It’s got the capacity to get that job done, but it goes without saying that means you’ll have a larger load to bear.
Check the dimensions carefully before deciding whether this is one you’re going to be able to stash easily enough during your outdoor adventures.
The device is well insulated and double-walled, which should keep the coffee warm for at least a couple of hours.
It’s got a very different design to the other travel mugs I’ve reviewed as well. Rather than having a silicon sleeve, this “mug” has an insulating cloth jacket.
It’s really comfortable to hold, and if nothing else it’s nice to see someone taking a different approach to solving this problem.
It’s probably not suitable for a single drinker, due to its size, but for an outdoors couple it’ll do a really good job of keeping you both caffeinated.
- One of the biggest mugs on the market at an impressive 30 oz!
- Effective insulation in an original design.
- Extremely durable, making it ideal for outdoor adventures.
- Not really suitable for the solo coffee drinker who doesn’t have broad shoulders!
- Quite a big clean up operation once you’ve finished drinking from it.
- If you’re pouring from the mug it splashes a little.
The Bobble press is quite a primitive brewer, but what it lacks in functionality it more than makes up for in style.
No need to settle for stainless steel silver here. The Bobble mug is available in pretty much every color of the rainbow. There’s even a festive themed snowman edition!
The mesh filter does a pretty average job of keeping sediment out of your brew, but the biggest selling point here is the insulation method that’s used.
This mug is actually triple-walled, and so offers some of the best heat retention of any other mug I’ve looked at.
Whether that matters to you or not will, of course, depend on how quickly you tend to chug through your coffee when you’re on the move.
If you’re really passionate about your coffee, you might appreciate the more precise temperature protection this travel mug offers. Once you’ve brewed at the optimal temperature, you obviously don’t want it to drop too quickly.
It’s another easy mug to clean as well. You won’t notice any wear and tear after running it through the dishwasher, for example.
The simplistic design makes it very easy to wash by hand though, and if you’d rather not take any chances.
- By far the most design options of all the mugs I’ve looked at.
- Triple-walled insulation keeps the coffee hot for absolutely ages.
- Extra insulation maintains the coffee at its optimal brewing temperature.
- A very primitive design without any of the bells and whistles found on other mugs.
- Doesn’t work as a loose tea brewer quite as well as the other travel mugs.
- More prone to leaking.
Stanley’s coffee press reminded me a lot of the KOHIPRESS mug in many ways. It’s got that same imposing, super-study design – something like a thermos and a travel mug all in one.
It’s also very good at keeping hot drinks hot and cold drinks cool. You’re looking at around four hours for your coffee, five hours for your colder sodas and juices, and up to 20 hours for iced drinks.
This, then, is another one of those mugs that’s useful if you want to use it for different purposes, and don’t want to build an entire collection of portable drink containers.
The filter is about as effective as you could hope for from one of these things, and it’s a deep chamber that has a handle to make the plunge extremely easy.
That’s something you might find a big bonus if you’re buying one of these for someone who has limited strength in their hands, for example.
There’s good news on the seal as well. The lid / sipping section screws tightly into the mug, and then there’s a fold-over cap that puts the final seal on.
You could take this thing on a rollercoaster and I doubt you’d spill a drop!
As for how much coffee this one can hold, you’re looking at a comfortable 16 oz. That’s about par for the course.
- An absolute tank of a travel mug. This one will last forever!
- Great heat retention for the coffee and a solid cooler for cold drinks too.
- Almost impossible to spill once the main lid has been secured.
- Some owners have reported a plastic aftertaste from the coffee.
- Quite hard to sip from.
- Metal handle isn’t so comfortable for carrying.
Each of these mugs has their own useful applications, and so you’ll need to pick the right one for your own circumstances.
Still, as an all-round French Press travel mug I personally prefer the Bodum overall. It’s got the capacity, insulation and design locked down, and it’s not even one of the higher-cost models on the market.
Click here to read more reviews of this evergreen favorite.