If you use Colmane propane tanks when camping, you may wonder if they are refillable when empty. The small, 1-lb. canisters seem to be use-and-toss, but is there a way to avoid the waste and refill them?

Coleman 1-pound propane tanks are not refillable. While it is possible to refill the using a larger tank, it is not recommended because it is not safe. Instead, empty the canister completely and then dispose of it according to local hazardous waste procedures.

You’ll see videos online that show you how to refill these one-use containers using a larger propane tank, but we don’t endorse it. We’ll tell you why. And we’ll also discuss some other options below.

Why 1-lb Coleman Propane Canisters Are Not Refillable

Coleman’s pre-filled propane canisters are not refillable. While you can go through the motions of refilling a canister, it is dangerous. If the cylinder is accidentally overfilled, it could fall off the grill and be severely damaged or worse — causing injury to you or a bystander.

However, there are refillable options available to you. You can buy a 5-lb. refillable propane tank if it is compatible with your camp stove or grill.

What Types of Propane Are Refillable?

There are refillable propane canisters available for camping, ranging from 1 lb. to 5 lbs. You can expect to use 1/2 to 1 lb. or propane for each day of camping, so the larger cylinger can really come in handy.

Does Coleman Sell a Refillable Propane Tank?

Coleman only sells pre-filled, small camping canisters. You can buy them in a single pack, double pack or other multi-pack set, but you won’t see a 5-lb Coleman canister out there. They just don’t make them.

How Long Will a Coleman Propane Tank Last?

The small, 1-lb. camping propane tank will last up to 2 hours. When you are camping for a week, you can see why you’d need to bring several tanks.

In terms of shelf life, a Coleman tank is expected to last about 5 years unopened. Once opened, it’s hard to tell how much is left and how long it will last.

Can You Connect a Camping Grill to a Big Propane Tank?

If you want to connect a small camping grill to a 5-lb. propane tank, you’ll need a hose and regulator. If you are going to use a bigger tank on your grill, make sure it’s safe and that you have the correct connector and gauge.

How Do You Fill a Larger Camping Propane Tank?

If you don’t know how to fill a propane tank, take it to a refill station and let a professional do it. If you are used to refilling propane and have a larger tank to fill from, go for it.

What Do With Damaged Propane Tanks?

If your propane tank is damaged, you need to get rid of it. Old cylinders should be disposed of at a refill station or hazardous waste facility. Never throw a little camping tank in the garbage. Old tanks might still contain gas and pose a fire or harm danger if mishandled. If you are not sure where to go with an empty canister, call your local hazardous waste facility and find out.

Why Is It Dangerous to Try to Refill Coleman Propane Tanks?

A refillable cylinder is designed to be refilled by a professional with pure, filtered propane. Coleman fuel is prefilled and already mixed and adjusted for use. Trying to rig up a system to refill a disposable container is unsafe and is not recommended.

What Is the Best Way to Store Coleman Propane?

Coleman propane – and any propane – should be stored outside, never in an enclosed area. Make sure it’s not too hot or too cold. Propane can freeze and can overheat. Never use or store propane near heat or flame. If you store your propane correctly, it is safe to store.