Small green propane bottles


Active Member
We have all seen these things and most of us have probably used them. For me they are a necessity in that I need them for my mid sized Buddy heater, my Weber Go Anywhere gas grill and for the igniter burner on my Weber Performer charcoal grill. But they are becoming bloody expensive! They often come in packs of two and yesterday I saw them at Walmart for about $6.64 a pack. I saw them sold as singles in another store for $4.48 apiece. (It pays to shop!)

Looking at the numbers-a 20# propane tank is supposed to hold 4.7 gallons or about 600 ounces. A one pound green bottle holds about 16.2 ounces. Dividing 16.2 into 600 goes about 37 times so theoretically you should get the equivalent of 37 small green bottles out of a standard 5 gallon propane tank.

37 times $3.32 is around $120-see the problem? Filling a 5 gallon tank is currently somewhere between $15-$20 so to buy the same amount of fuel in small green bottles would cost about another $100.

That bothered me so I ordered up a fitting to fill the little bottles from the big one-about 10 bucks. I had saved up about a dozen of the little bottles and tried refilling them. The procedure is to place the big bottle top down-I set it on a couple of sawhorses-screw the little bottle into the fitting and turn on the valve. Filling takes but a few seconds and you can tell by the sound when the gas stops flowing. A new bottle weighs right at 30 ounces on my scale and I am refilling them to about 27.5 ounces or about 92% full. For pennies on the dollar.

Okay, there are a lot of numbers on this post but the bottom line is that you can refill those bottles for a fraction of what you will pay for new ones. To get the best fill the big tank should be warm and full and the little ones cold. Right now I am just putting the little guys in a snowbank and leaving the big tank indoors overnight. Later in the season I'll use the freezer to chill the little bottles and just ambient temp for the big one. Remember to save your black caps.
Nice! I have the adapter so I can run off my bigger tank at home or camper camping but I still use the little guys river camping. I'll have to get one of these rigs.

Its also nice not to throw away all those green bottles. I don't think they can recycle them.

Fun story: Driving cross country one year we were camped in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico. We were drinking around the campfire and had a bunch of fireworks. Great place for it since there was zero brush, just dirt and sand. After a few roman candle battles we decided to go big and blow up one of those green bottles. We set up a bottle over the fire on a couple of sticks so it took a minute to drop into the flames and ran like crazy behind a small hill. We sat there giggling like little girls waiting for the massive explosion. Imagine our disappointment when the relief valve finally gave way and a 3" flame shot out the side for about 10 minutes. Yeah, we weren't the smartest kids that day...


Well-Known Member
I've read about the adapter fitting, and it's a good deal economically. I don't use propane for anything, so I haven't gotten one. But if I do get a propane camp stove, I sure will follow up.

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Thanks, Ive. I don't have any gas appliances that use the larger propane tank, but I may eventually get some, and this is good to know. I have a lantern, a camp stove, & a SportCat heater that use the green bottles. I may just go purchase one of those 20# tanks for economical refills. I'm going to be saving all my green empties from now on.


Active Member
I have been refilling the little green bottle for many years.

A sidenote: check the bottles for S L O W leaks.
I noticed some lost propane, did a test and the slowest of leaks was the culprit.
I dont fill them until i need them.
From time to time, I think about a forced air propane heater for our garage (about 500sq ') A 5 gallon container here costs just over $8 to fill. :eek:;)
I use plenty of these 1 pound bottles throughout the year. Unfortunately these adaptors can't be found in Canada although a person might be able to get one through the mail from the U.S. The little bottles up here run about $18.99 a 3 pack for the Coleman brand. I've seen them as high as 12 bucks at remote locations which is basically criminal.


Ignored Member
From time to time, I think about a forced air propane heater for our garage (about 500sq ') A 5 gallon container here costs just over $8 to fill. :eek:;)
I use a forced air, open flame propane heater to heat my shop. It is little over 700 sq. ft. Mine is an uninsulated pole building with two overhead doors and not even close to being air tight. I have a carbon dioxide detector in it and haven’t set the detector off yet. I can slightly smell the “exhaust” from the heater so I know it lowers the air quality. I wouldn’t use one in anything more air tight than my pole building.

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