How Long Does a Coleman Propane Tank Last?

Camping is a great way to connect with nature, unwind, and enjoy the great outdoors. One essential item you’ll need for your camping trip is a reliable source of fuel for cooking and heating. Coleman propane tanks are a popular choice for many campers, but one common question is, how long does a Coleman propane tank last? In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at this question and provide you with some helpful information.


What is a Coleman Propane Tank?

Looking out of a tent at the forest trees

Before diving into the question of how long a Coleman propane tank lasts, it’s important to understand what a Coleman propane tank is. A Coleman propane tank is a portable cylinder that contains propane gas, a clean-burning and efficient fuel source for camping stoves, lanterns, and heaters. Coleman propane tanks come in a range of sizes, from small 16.4 oz. cylinders to larger 20 lb. tanks.

Factors that Affect the Lifespan of a Coleman Propane Tank

The lifespan of a Coleman propane tank can vary depending on several factors, including:

  1. Temperature: Propane tanks perform best at temperatures between -44°F and 120°F. If the temperature falls outside of this range, the pressure in the tank may decrease, affecting the fuel’s flow rate.
  2. Altitude: At higher altitudes, the air pressure is lower, which can cause propane to evaporate faster. This can lead to a shorter lifespan for your propane tank.
  3. Usage: How often you use your propane tank will affect its lifespan. If you use it frequently, it will run out faster than if you only use it occasionally.
  4. Tank Size: Larger propane tanks will generally last longer than smaller tanks.
  5. Appliances: Different camping appliances require varying amounts of propane. For example, a camping stove may use less propane than a camping heater.
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How Long Does a Coleman Propane Tank Last?

The lifespan of a Coleman propane tank will depend on the factors listed above, as well as the size of the tank and how often you use it. Here are some general guidelines for how long you can expect a Coleman propane tank to last:

  • A 16.4 oz. propane cylinder will typically last for 1-2 hours of continuous use.
  • A 1 lb. propane cylinder will typically last for 2-3 hours of continuous use.
  • A 20 lb. propane tank will typically last for 18-20 hours of continuous use.

It’s important to note that these are just general estimates and your propane tank’s lifespan may vary depending on the factors listed above.

Tips for Maximizing the Lifespan of Your Coleman Propane Tank

If you want to get the most out of your Coleman propane tank, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Store your propane tank in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
  2. Use the appropriate regulator for your propane tank and appliances.
  3. Don’t overfill your propane tank.
  4. Keep your propane tank clean and free from debris.
  5. Check for leaks regularly.
  6. Use your propane tank in well-ventilated areas to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide.


In conclusion, the lifespan of a Coleman propane tank can vary depending on several factors, including temperature, altitude, usage, tank size, and appliances. While there are general estimates for how long a propane tank will last, it’s important to keep in mind that your tank’s lifespan may vary. By following the tips outlined above, you can help maximize the lifespan of your Coleman propane tank and ensure you have a reliable source of fuel for your camping trip.

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