Top 5 Best Small Refillable Propane Tank For Camping

When it comes to camping, there a lot of better options for fuel for your camping stoves than those oh-so-familiar green one-pound cans. Sure, they work. The problem is that they are needlessly expensive and bad for the environment.

An estimated 40,000,000 of those one-use cans are sold in America each year, and virtually none of them are recycled. But there is a better way. Small refillable propane canisters for camping solve both the issue of cost and disposal.

By using refillable tanks, you can reduce waste, save money, and minimize your environmental impact. In this blog, we will explore the top five eco-friendly refillable small propane tanks for camping enthusiasts, as well as the benefits of switching to reusable options.

Why Refillable Propane Tanks are a Game-Changer for Camping

Rusable propane tanks are a game-changer for camping trips. Unlike disposable tanks, which are designed for single-use and end up in landfills, refillable tanks can be reused multiple times. This not only reduces waste but also provides convenience for campers. Instead of constantly buying new tanks, campers can simply refill their existing tanks, saving both time and money in the long run. Additionally, refillable tanks are more environmentally friendly, as they eliminate the need for constant production and disposal of disposable tanks.

Reducing Waste with Refillable Tanks

Switching away from single-use propane tanks is an excellent way for campers to reduce waste and minimize their environmental impact. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Refillable tanks can be reused over and over again, eliminating the need for single-use disposable tanks.
  • By using refillable tanks, campers can significantly reduce the amount of waste generated during their camping trips.
  • Refillable tanks are a more sustainable option, as they can be refilled instead of being thrown away after each use.
  • Choosing refillable tanks demonstrates a commitment to environmental responsibility and promotes a greener camping experience.
  • Refillable tanks are compatible with a wide range of camping appliances and can be easily integrated into any camping setup.

The Environmental Impact of Disposable vs. Refillable Tanks

When it comes to the environmental impact, refillable propane tanks have a clear advantage over disposable tanks. Let’s compare the two options:

Environmental ImpactDisposable TanksRefillable Tanks
Waste GenerationHighLow
Landfill ContributionSignificantMinimal
Resource ConsumptionHighLow
Carbon FootprintLargeSmall

Disposable tanks are designed for single-use and contribute to a significant amount of waste and landfill space. On the other hand, refillable tanks can be reused multiple times, reducing waste and minimizing the carbon footprint associated with propane production and disposal. By choosing refillable tanks, campers can make a positive impact on the environment and contribute to a more sustainable camping experience.

Cost-Effectiveness of Switching to Refillable Options

While I like doing my part to protect the environment, the primary driver for me to switch what tanks I use was cost.

The initial investment in purchasing reusable tanks is higher, but if you camp a lot, they quickly pay for themselves. A the time of writing this, 1# single-use propane tanks on Amazon were about $8 each. The most expensive propane refills in my area are about $3.50 a gallon.

This means that at 4.2 pounds per gallon, the cost to refill a one-gallon tank, is a meager $0.83.

If you have any math sense at all, you can see how quickly reusable propane canisters for your camping trips will pay for themselves.

Why Not Just Use The Standard 20# Tanks?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with using standard-size propane tanks, aside from the fact that they are heavy when they are full. I do still take my big tanks along if I’m going to be out and about for an extended period of time, and plan on running my propane fire pit, or Fire Disc a lot.

The advantage for small propane tanks in the 3-pound to 11-pound range is that they take up less room and are just generally easier to move around. This can be a big advantage if you are car camping and trying to fit everything in.

5 Best Small Refillable Propane Tanks for Camping Enthusiasts

Now that we have covered the benefits of abandoning disposable propane cans, let’s take a look at five of the best small refillable propane tanks that are perfect for weekend camping trips. These portable propane cylinders offer convenience, sustainability, and durability for your camping needs. From innovative designs to reliable performance, these tanks are sure to enhance your camping experience. Here are our top picks:

Flame King’s Green Innovation: The Eco-Friendly Choice for Campers

Flame King 1# refillable propane bottle

Let’s start small with Flame King’s refillable one-pound propane cylinder. Traditional one-pound cans are not rated to be refilled, but several manufacturers have come up with designs that are. While I am not a fan of these because of their high cost to volume, you may want to consider these for fueling things like your propane lanterns or propane heaters that you don’t want to be tethered to a tank

My Heater Fuel Keg

Mr Heater Fuel Keg

Mr. Heater is possibly the most well known name in the portable heater game, so it only makes sense for them to roll out their own line of one-pound refillable propane bottles. These are of course designed to work on their heaters. What is special about these vs the Flame King? I’m going to guess that they are black vs green. The name is also odd because I’ve never considered anything this small a keg, especially if you consider that our next option is 3 times bigger and is only considered a ‘growler’.

Ignik Gas Growler Deluxe: Combining Portability with Sustainability

Ignik refillable propane tank

Rocking that hipster vibe, the Ignik Gas Growler Deluxe is a fantastic option for campers who value both portability and sustainability. This refillable tank comes packed in a durable, easy-carrying canvas case, making it perfect for car camping trips. In addition to this darling 3.8 pound version, they make 5 pound and a 10 lb. (2.5 gallons) versions as well. It also comes with a four-foot hose for easy connection to standard propane appliances. Refilling the Gas Growler is affordable and environmentally friendly, making it a top choice for eco-conscious campers.

Flame King 5-Pound Propane Tank

Flame King 5# Propane Tank

If you don’t want to be as stylish as the hipsters with their Ignik tanks, you can get more or less the same tank from Flame King. A well known manufacturer of propane tanks, you can get these in 10-pound sizes as well. If you really want the cool carrying case and a hose, they do sell those as a kit as well. Do note that, unlike the one-pound cans, you will need an adapter hose to hook this up to your propane cook stove or heater.

Dr Shrink Composite Propane Tank

composite propane tank

When you are more worried about your propane tank being light than how much it costs, you might want to consider a composite propane tank. Instead of being made out of steel like most tanks are, these are made from resin, making them 50% lighter. A Great option for anyone that hates carrying heavy tanks!

Can’t I Just Refill My One Pound Tanks?

The official answer to this is no. The normal one-pound tanks are only rated to be used once by the DOT. They say no refills for those.

That being said, there are lots of videos out there on how to refill your non-refillable propane bottles. All you really need is a refill adaptor. However I prefer to use a scale as well so I know how much put in my cans.

If you choose to refill your old propane bottles, don’t tell anyone I told you to do it and do so at your own risk. That being said, here is an instructional video and some things you might find handy

Tools For Refilling Propane Tanks

These are the items I would suggest using if I were setting up to refill propane bottles at home.

A stand makes it a lot easier to turn your main tank on and off without it falling over. There are a lot of adaptors for filling propane bottles, but I find that it is a lot easier with one that has a hose and shutoff at the bottle. A scale is handy because that way you can be sure you put the right amount of propane in your tank! Lastly, screw on bottle caps help keep dirt out of the valves and prevent leaks from my bottles.

Bringing It All Home

Using refillable propane bottles is just a good practice, both for the planet and for your pocketbook. There is no reason we should be manufacturing all those bottles, just to thrown them away. Personally I use a combination of small refillable propane tanks and re-filling my one shot cans on my camping trips, depending on how long I’m going to be gone and what all I’m running.

Use whatever combination you like, but I think you will find the long term cost savings of refilling your propane tanks is well worth it.

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