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How Long Does a Coleman Propane Tank Last?

Coleman makes one of the best outdoor accessories and a Propane tank is one of them. The propane tank is perfect for camping, traveling, and outdoor activities and is used for grills, barbecues, and even for space heating.

These propane tanks come in different sizes (see all available options HERE)

It is particularly used with tabletop grills, propane stoves, torches, lanterns, outdoor camp stove ovens, heaters, and other portable propane appliances. Its design makes it easy to transport. They are less polluting, less toxic, and safe to carry.

As handy and useful as a Coleman Propane tank is, it can’t last forever and you will have to refill or replace it sooner or later. You might wonder how long does a Coleman propane tank last? This article will answer this and many other questions you might have on the topic. Read along.

How long does a coleman propane tank last?

The most commonly used Coleman propane tank – the 16.4oz or 1lb small tank – will last for two hours when used with a small 75,00 BTU stove with both burners on high flame.

A 16.4 Oz propane tank contains roughly 22,000 BTUs. So to calculate how long will it last with certain equipment, just divide 22,000 with the equipment’s per hour BTU consumption and you will get the number of hours your 16.4Oz propane tank will last (this is a very rough calculation and the actual burn time greatly depends on the efficiency of the equipment.)

How long does Coleman propane tank last

Apart from a cooking stove, the Coleman Propane tank can be attached to different kinds of equipment like a heater, lantern, camp oven, etc. The below table summarizes the burning time of a small 16.4 oz Coleman Propane tank when used with different equipment.

Common Camping Equipment16.4Oz Propane tank run time
Coleman Propane Lantern13.5 hours
4000 BTU Space Heater 3 hours
3000 BTU Outdoor Camp Stove Oven7 hours at 350-degree Fahrenheit
Coleman 2-Burner Fold N Go Propane Stove2 hours over high flames
Weber Q 2200 gas grill1 hour and 48 minutes
1lb (16.4oz) Coleman propane tank use time with different types of equipment

Types & Sizes of Coleman Propane tanks

Coleman Propane tanks or cylinders come in different sizes and capacities. You can select one based on your usage and need. (check all options here on their Amazon page)

The most common one used for outdoor activities is the 1lb or 16.4Oz canister. It weighs 453g and is ideal for carrying along with you on a camping trip. It can be found in single or multiple packs with a refill cylinder.

11Ib and 5lb are also available in the market. Those are usually called cylinders. 5Ib is less in diameter than 11Ib, but the height is the same. The large-size tanks come in 100Ib, 40Ib, 30Ib, and 20Ib capacities.

This table summarizes the further details of different tanks.

Coleman Propane Tank SizeDimensionsWeight
100 Pound 15×48 x15 inches177 lb (filled)
40 Pound 12 x12 x29 inches68 lb (filled)
30 Pound 12 x12 x24 inches52 lb (filled)
20 Pound 12 x12x18 inches31 lb (filled)
1 Pound (16.4Oz)8.6 x4 x3.88 inches1.13 lb (filled)

How to make Propane tank last long?

When you are out there in the wilderness, you would want your fuel tank to last the longest. No one likes to be left without heat on cold nights. Here are a few useful tips that can help you better utilize your propane tank. By using these hacks your tank can last longer. These are very simple and easy to implement.

  • Pre-cook and vacuum seal your food at home and use your campsite propane tank to just reheat them.
  • Cook the food in small portions as large portions consume more energy and time.
  • Bring just add water meals to cut down cooking time.
  • Turn the heat off when you are not utilizing the heater.
  • Always clean the nozzles and connecting pipes (if any) before using the tank.
  • Use equipment with better burn rates (higher efficiencies) to maximize tank usage. Some equipment burns more fuel to produce the same amount of BTUs.
  • Each time you connect a manual grill with your Coleman propane tank, it wastes a little amount of propane gas. To prevent this, use a grill with auto-ignition.
  • Keep your thermostat down 10-15 % and shut off the heat when you are not around.
  • If the weather isn’t very cold, use warm clothes & quilts to keep yourself warm instead of a space heater. You can also put up a nice campfire.

Measuring level of propane tank

Every time we use our propane tank for cooking or heating in the wild, we always wonder how much gas is left in the tank? Will I need a refill soon? There is a pretty neat hack to check the level of propane in your cylinder and this works with almost all cylinders – big or small. All you need is a hot cup of warm water.

Step 1: Simply take a cup of water and heat it to a moderate temperature.

Step 2:  Pour the boiling water over the side of the tank slowly. Make sure the water flows from top to bottom of the tank surface without breaking contact.

Step 3: Put your hand on top of the tank surface and slowly move down feeling the temperature of the metal surface.

Step 4:  The surface will be hot where the tank is empty but as soon as you reach the filled area, you will feel a drop in surface temperature. That’s your level of remaining propane in the tank.

How to refill Coleman Propane Tank?

It’s far economical and environmentally friendly to reuse the same propane tank or canister again and again instead of buying a new one every time. When your smaller tank runs out of propane, you can refill it from a larger cylinder. The good news is that refilling a smaller propane cylinder is easy and you will be back to cooking (or whatever you were doing) in no time.

You can refill your smaller Coleman tank from any larger propane cylinder. All you need is a standard propane refill adaptor (like this one) that you can get from any hardware store (or order from Amazon here).

Follow the following simple steps to refill your Coleman propane tank from a larger cylinder.

1. Position the cylinder correctly

Place the larger tanks on the hard supporting surface safely. Make sure it is upright and in a stable position.

2. Connect the adapter

Screw the propane tank refill adapter on the large refill propane cylinder nozzle. It must be hand-tight. Make sure the main tank valve is turned off before you screw in the adaptor.

3. Connect the empty tank

Screw the Coleman propane tank on the propane cylinder. Keep it in a stationary position. You don’t need to use any tool to tighten the smaller tank in. A hand tight will do just fine.

4. Invert the cylinder & tank upside down

Invert the connected tanks. The large tank (refiling propane cylinder) must be over the small tank (Coleman propane tank). Although the transfer occurs due to pressure difference, inverting the larger cylinder on top of the smaller one speeds things up a bit.

5. Open valve on larger tank

Open valves and you will hear the pressure transfer between the cylinders (for some reason, it’s very satisfying to listen). Usually, it takes 5-6 minutes for the tank to fill. But it is completely safe to leave it longer. The transfer will stop when both cylinders are at equal pressure.

6. Shut value and disconnect filled tank

Once the smaller tank is full, you can shut the valve and remove the tanks from the adapter.

PRO TIP: Trapped air reduces the volume of the cylinder while refilling. To remove the trapped air and fill the cylinder completely, remove the smaller tank from the connector, use a screwdriver to bleed some air by pressing the nozzle and reconnect with the cylinder and continue refilling. For 16.4Oz, doing this once midway during refilling is enough.

If you appreciate a video tutorial, the below video is very helpful

How to safely carry and store Propane tanks while travelling?

While camping or traveling, we have tons of things in our backpacks. The propane tanks can easily bang up with things or can fall while handling. This may cause leakage and damage.

To prevent these problems a Coleman propane rubber carrier can be used. It will maintain the integrity and prevent any kind of damage while traveling. It has a connector and a handle for easy upright carrying. It can carry 2 tanks at once. Check it out on Amazon [ link ]

Your safety always comes first. Few instructions should be kept in mind for safety purposes while using propane tanks.

  1. Always keep the cylinder away from direct flame or source of heat. Usually, the tanks are pretty well-built but in case of any leakage, they can catch fire.
  2. When not in use, always store in a cool and dry place.
  3. While using the tank, make sure it is placed in an area that is well ventilated.
  4. Do not expose them to heat above 120 degrees directly. Pressure increases inside the tank when exposed to heat and can explode especially if the tank is old has developed integral flaws in welds.
  5. Each tank has an expiry date written at the bottom or side. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and best practices.

I have written a detailed blog post on how to store propane tanks when camping.


Coleman propane tanks are one of the essentials for any outdoor activity, be it camping in wood or just a simple backyard barbecue party. You can get the tank in different sizes that can last from 1 hour to several hours depending on the size, usage, and equipment connected to it.

Coleman Propane Tank – FAQs

How to connect propane tank to Coleman road trip grill?

To connect the Coleman Roadtrip grill to the Coleman propane tank or canister, you can use any compatible regulator adaptor. You can find one very cheap off the shelf in your local hardware store or get one from Amazon easily.

What is a Coleman propane tank made of?

The Coleman propane tank body is made of Stainless steel to make it corrosion-proof. Stainless steel construction also makes it strong enough to store high-pressure gas inside.

What is the price of the Coleman Propane Tank?

The price of the Coleman propane tanks depends on their size. The greater the size, the greater will be the price. The prefilled 1 lb (16.4Oz) Coleman propane tank price is around $12. The per-gallon price for other propane tanks is around $4 per gallon.

Do Coleman propane tanks have an expiry date?

Yes. Every Coleman propane tank has an expiry date written on it. If unopened, the tank can have a shelf life of up to 7 years. After you open it, the gas should be used within 2 years before you need to vent and refill it.

Where to store Coleman propane tank?

The ideal place for keeping the Coleman propane tank is a well-ventilated area. The temperature should be room temperature. Avoid placing the propane tank near direct sunlight.

16.4 oz propane cylinder how long does it last?

A standard 16.4 oz or 1 lb propane cylinder will last for two hours if used with a 7,500 BTU stove on full flame.

how long does a propane tank last?

A propane tank made from galvanized steel will last for up to 30 years if taken care of properly. The outer surface of the tank is painted to repel moisture that can otherwise induce corrosion and weaken its structural integrity.

Recommended Camping Gears: I have compiled a list of my favourite camping gear in one place. The selection is based on my own personal experience using them for many years camping as well as feedback from fellow campers. Check them out on my Recommended Camping Gears page

Recommended Camping Gears: I have compiled a list of my favourite camping gear in one place. The selection is based on my own personal experience using them for many years camping as well as feedback from fellow campers. Check them out on my Recommended Camping Gears page