Backpackers: This Is the Only Coffee Mug You Need

The GSI Outdoors Infinity Backpacking Mug is cheap, effective, and light. I’ve been abusing one for several years, and it just keeps on working as the best coffee mug for hikers and backpackers.

OK, so coffee mugs aren’t exactly high-tech equipment. You won’t die if one fails. Or will you? Some of us really like our coffee in the morning.

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But when backpacking, weight is a big concern. A lot of people skimp on bowls, plates, and utensils. I certainly do. But there’s one container that goes on every hike with me: the GSI Outdoors Infinity Backpacking Mug.

First off, it weighs just 3.5 ounces. While yes, that is some weight, it’s worth every gram. Second, this is a heck of a value, costing just $10. And third, it holds 17.5 ounces of fluid (enough to use as a bowl in a pinch).

Best Light Coffee Mug for Campers: GSI Infinity

While there are tons of great mugs for everyday use from brands like Stanley and YETI, those double-wall insulated containers are heavy. For backpacking, this superlight product is perfect.

The rigid interior cup is BPA-free, non-leaching polypropylene. GSI wraps that with a cloth-covered, insulated neoprene sleeve. On the bottom, nonslip footing keeps it secure on slick surfaces.

The insulation is just right for a quick pre-dawn coffee while hunting or even for leisurely camp coffee. Stuff stays hot long enough to allow me to continue getting ready for my day while sipping drinks over a half hour or so.

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It has a good lid that seals tightly enough to cause suction when changing altitude. A small tab opens to allow you to sip your coffee or tea without opening it entirely. It’s avoided many spills.

Finally, a sturdy webbing handle offers a grip. It collapses flush for storage.

The plastic doesn’t seem to hold onto flavors much, and I’ve used this thing for coffee, oatmeal, wine, whiskey, water — you name it — over years of backcountry abuse. The outside sleeve is dirty as heck. But beyond that, it works as good as the day it was new.

I’m sure there are other good mugs on the market. But after using this for dozens of big hikes and backcountry hunting trips, I cannot imagine how one could be better. I see really no flaws in this, and for $10, you really can’t go wrong.

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Sean McCoy
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Editor-in-Chief Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.

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