James Stanbury

See other accessory reviews written by James Stanbury

If you love freshly brewed coffee and tea on the road, read our review to discover the secret of The Bodum Travel Press – and Practical Caravan's verdict!

Overview

Pulling over into a lay-by, picnic spot or service station for a steaming hot coffee or tea is one of the simple pleasures of driving on holiday. While you have the caravan hitched up, a vast service station with a dedicated caravan and motorhome parking area, is the best bet. But the prices tend to be pretty eye-watering, especially when multiplied by the number of people in your family. 

Making sets of drinks in travel mugs for each person can save you a fortune! There's a colourful array of travel mugs available in the shops, so you could easily buy a different colour for each person to stick to. But are all travel mugs equally good (or bad) at their job?

To find out, we got a selection of promising looking travel mugs in and lined them up on the Practical Caravan test bench. We checked their relative pouring abilities and how easy they were to drink from. We checked to see if they would leak easily, and also for how long the drinks would stay hot inside them.

Hygiene can be a problem with some designs of flask lids with spouts and fiddly crevices, so we checked how easy these travel mugs and their lids were to dismantle and get clean.

We know that there are some people who dedicate certain flasks to 'tea only' or 'coffee only' and get very annoyed if anyone breaks the edict. Maybe you are like this yourself? This is because some materials seem to get tainted by flavours more easily than others. So we checked to see if the inner walls of these travel mugs were of a superior plastic, stainless steel or aluminium that will leave the drinks tasting as they should.

In this review we're shining the spotlight on the Bodum Travel Press, on sale for £24 at the time of our test. Up against it on the test bench, were the Aladdin Papillon, £12, the Outwell Vacuum Bamboo Mug, £6.99 and a cheerful red travel mug named Brugo, £15, which comes in 13 colours. There are six Bodum travel mugs and presses to choose from in the UK and you can order online. 

The Bodum Travel Press is the most expensive travel mug we tested and this is definitely the best travel mug for hot-drink connoisseurs.

It is available with covers and hand grips in either red, lime green, purple, black, or creamy off-white (pictured) and it has a wonderful secret inside. In essence, if you take our travel mug test winner, the Bodum Travel Mug, and graft in a cafetière-style push-down filter, you get this.

The built-in filter permits you to use proper coffee grounds, rather than instant coffee granules, when on the move. If tea’s more your thing, don't worry, we found that the design works well with loose tea leaves, too. 

We wondered whether the plunger and the hole it passes through in the lid would make this model less leak-proof than its all-conquering sibling. It doesn’t. The result is that the Bodum Travel Press is a fantastic all-round excellent travel mug and press that’s leak-proof, well-designed, and boasts excellent thermal properties. 

There are more travel mug reviews and other camping gear tests in Practical Caravan magazine and you can read the verdicts online

Technical specs

Capacity0.35 litres
BodyStainless steel
Lid and hand gripSlip-proof silicone
ColoursRed, purple, lime green, black, off-white
Height0.185m
Width0.08m
Depth0.09m

Verdict

The Bodum Travel Press is more expensive than its more straightforward sibling, the Bodum Travel Mug. So if you don't want to bother with tea leaves and coffee grounds on the move, get the cheaper one.

But for those of us who find coffee made from freshly ground beans irresistible, and can taste the difference between tea bags and loose tea, the Bodum Travel Press is a 'must'.

That's why Practical Caravan's expert testers gave the Bodum Travel Press four stars. 

Conclusion

Pros

  • Makes fresh filter coffee on the move
  • Makes tea with loose tea leaves
  • Leak-proof
  • Strong stainless-steel body
  • Well insulated
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons

  • Thin rim, so it's best to drink via spout
  • Cannot reheat in a microwave
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