How Long Does A Coleman Propane Tank Last? (Find Out Now!)

Jessica Stone
by Jessica Stone

Coleman is known for producing some of the greatest outdoor products, including their 16 oz propane tank. This fuel cylinder is ideal for use at the park, a tailgate party, in your backyard, while traveling or camping, and more. It is lightweight, compact, and is used in tabletop grills, lanterns, heaters, and propane stoves, torches, and other portable propane appliances.

These tanks are easy to transport, safe to carry, less polluting, and less toxic than alternatives. Although Coleman propane tanks are incredibly handy, they don’t last forever and you will need to refill or purchase a replacement tank sooner or later. So, how long does a Coleman propane tank last?

Although there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, the 16.4 oz or 1 pound, Coleman propane tank will last two hours when used in a small 7500 BTU stove with both burners on high flame. Continue reading to learn more about how long Coleman propane tanks last, the various types and sizes, how to measure the remaining fuel level in a tank, and more.

Do You Need Water or Fuel Tank Installation or Replacement?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

How Long Does a Coleman Propane Tank Last?

In order to calculate how long your Coleman propane tank will last with specific equipment, simply divide 22,000 by the equipment’s per hour BTU consumption and this will yield the number of hours that your propane tank will last. This formula comes from the fact that a 16.4 oz Coleman propane tank, the most common variety, contains about 22,000 BTUs.

So, with a small 7500 BTU stove, a 16.4 oz Coleman propane tank will last approximately two hours with both burners on high flame. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this is a very rough estimation and the actual burn time will vary considerably based on the efficiency of the equipment.

In addition to a cooking stove, a standard Coleman propane tank can be paired with a variety of types of equipment including a lantern, heater, camping oven, etc. The following table outlines the estimated burn time for a small, 16.4 oz Coleman propane tank when used with different forms of camping equipment:

Common Camping Equipment16.4 Oz Propane Tank Burn Time
Weber Q 2200 gas grill1 hour and 48 minutes
Coleman 2-Burner Fold N Go Propane Stove2 hours over high flames
4000 BTU Space Heater3 hours
3000 BTU Outdoor Camp Stove7 hours at 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Coleman Propane Lantern13.5 hours

Types & Sizes of Coleman Propane Tanks

The 16.4 oz Coleman propane tank weighs 453 grams, which makes it ideal for taking along with you on a camping trip. It is available in single or multi-packs with a refill cylinder. Although the 1 pound or 16.4 oz canister is the most common Coleman propane tank size for outdoor use, there are a number of other sizes and capacities.

These tanks, also called cylinders, should be selected based on your intended usage and need. The following table summarizes the various types and sizes of Coleman propane tanks:

Coleman Propane Tank SizeDimensionsWeight
1 Pound (16.4 oz)8.6 x 4 x 3.88 inches1.13 lb. (filled)
20 Pound12 x 12 x 18 inches31 lb. (filled)
30 Pound12 x 12 x 24 inches52 lb. (filled)
40 Pound12 x 12 x 29 inches68 lb. (filled)
100 Pound15 x 48 x 15 inches177 lb. (filled)

How to Make Propane Last Longer

When you’re out camping in the wilderness, you ideally want your fuel tank to last as long as possible. The last thing you want is to be left without heat on a cold evening. We’ve outlined some helpful tips that you can implement to make the most out of your propane tank and use it in the most efficient way possible. By using the following tips and tricks, you’ll be able to make your propane tank last longer.

  • Cook food in small portions, as large portions will consume more time and energy.
  • Consider using ‘just add water’ meals to reduce cooking time.
  • Always clean nozzles and connecting pipes before using your propane tank, if applicable.
  • Pre-cook and vacuum seal all of your food at home and only use the tank to reheat it.
  • Use high efficiency equipment, or those that have better burn rates, to maximize tank usage. There is some equipment that burn more fuel to yield the same number of BTUs.
  • Opt for grills with auto-ignition, as manual grills waste a minimal amount of fuel each time they are connected.
  • Try to turn to warm clothes, blankets, and campfires and save your space heater to be used as a last resort.

How to Measure Level of Propane Tank

It can be helpful to know how much fuel is left in your propane tank. That way, you can plan ahead for when you will need a refill or replacement. Follow these steps to measure the level of fuel that remains in your tank:

  • Boil about a cup of water.
  • Pour the boiling water slowly over the outside surface of the propane tank, ensuring that the water flows from the top to the bottom without breaking contact.
  • Slowly move your hand from the top of the tank surface to the bottom, making note of the temperature of the metal.
  • The tank surface will feel hot to the touch where the tank is empty. Once you reach an area that has fuel, you will detect a drop in temperature. This indicates the level of remaining fuel in the tank.

Do You Need Water or Fuel Tank Installation or Replacement?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Related Questions

How much do Coleman propane tanks costs?

The cost of a Coleman propane tank depends on the size. As you might expect, the larger the tank, the more expensive it will be. The cost of a pre-filled 1-pound (16.4 oz) Coleman propane tank is about $12, on average. Whereas, the per-gallon rate for other tanks is roughly $4 a gallon.

Do Coleman propane tanks expire?

Yes, most Coleman tanks come with an expiry date. If left unopened, the tank will expire after seven years. After the tank has been opened, the fuel should be used within two years before you will have to vent and refill it.

What are Coleman propane tanks made out of?

The body of a Coleman propane tank is made from stainless steel. This construction makes Coleman propane tanks resistant to corrosion and strong enough to house high-pressure gas inside.

Jessica Stone
Jessica Stone

Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.

More by Jessica Stone