Gas cans aren’t the most complex product in the world, but thanks to strict modern safety regulations, most new cans are so packed with safety features that they're downright difficult to use. We wanted to find a can that met all the safety standards but didn’t sacrifice the basics like convenience, durability, and portability, so we compared 19 fuel containers and judged them on these traits. For most people, we’d say the No-Spill Poly Gas Can is the best gas can around. It has several modern safety features to comply with all the regulations, but it’s still easy to use, durable as ever, and has a few additional perks that help prevent spills, overfills, and sparks. Article Summary
Gas cans are one of those things that everyone should have at home. Some people use them all the time, others hardly ever use them – but the point remains that gas cans seriously come in handy the day you find you need one. Loved one ran out of fuel on the way home? Grab your gas can and save the day! Lawn mower needs a quick fill up to cut the grass before a barbeque? Your gas can has you covered. Headed out for a long road trip, or maybe a camping trip with your motorcycles and ATV’s? Throw a few cans in the bed of your truck and you’re covered for the weekend.
But what makes a gas can good? Won’t you be able to make do with any container that will hold a few gallons? Well, not necessarily. Gas cans are often stored in places where they can get knocked around, so durability and spills are important issues to consider. Remember, you’re storing a highly flammable liquid, so the last thing you want is for it to be easily spilled. In addition, gas cans have “evolved” quite a bit in the last decade due to government safety regulations, and some have much better designs and features that make them easier to use and more portable while still meeting all the required safety standards.
We looked at several aspects of 19 different fuel carriers to see which ones offer the most ideal design. As noted above, we considered aspects like safety, durability, ease of use, and transportability. We also considered different uses, knowing that some people just want a good can to store in the back of the garage, whereas others are looking for cans that can be thrown in the bed of the truck every other weekend for trips to the desert, lake, or track. No matter what your needs, we ended up with the following three as the best gas cans on the market.
The best gas can overall
At first glance, the No-Spill Poly Gas Can might not look any different than the dozens of other cans you can find online. But this container is far from basic. This is the perfect example of how gas cans have “evolved” from what they once were – it has the same recognizable design, but is packed with modern efficiency like a gas control button, an Auto Stop nozzle, and even flame mitigation to prevent fires. Best of all, these features actually work as intended, unlike many of the other new “safety cans” out there.
As you can probably guess from the brand name ‘No-Spill’, the main attraction to this gas can is the fact that it is completely leak and spill-proof. Not only is the body made of a thick, durable plastic, but No-Spill has developed a unique spout with a thumb button that lets you manually control exactly when and how much gas you want to release, which means no more accidental spills all over your tank or garage floor. You can literally turn this can completely upside down and it will not release a single drop of gasoline until you press the button.
Another great convenience that goes along with the ‘No-Spill’ brand name is a removeable nozzle with an Auto-Stop feature. In other words, you know how a pump at a gas station will automatically stop filling your car with gasoline once the tank is full? This nozzle works the same way. However, there is one trick to be aware of here – the thumb button has to be completely pressed down for the Auto-Stop to work. Many people only press the button halfway down, but this prevents the Auto-Stop from doing its job, so make sure you’re fully pressing the button in (most of us monitor our tanks as we’re filling them anyways, but just something to keep in mind if you plan to rely on the Auto-Stop with every fill).
While spill prevention is the No-Spill can’s claim to fame, we think their most valuable feature is the Flame Mitigation Device (FMD) they recently added to their cans at the beginning of 2017. The FMD is a cup-like instrument that attaches to the base of the nozzle inside the can. Using a series of screens and holes, this instrument manages the air-to-fuel mixture ratio within the can which helps to prevent spark or flame from developing. As we all know, gas is highly flammable, and although it’s only a small possibility that a flame would spark within the can, it’s still a possibility nonetheless. This goes to show that No-Spill is extremely dedicated to the safety and efficiency of their products, which is a huge value in our eyes, and part of the reason we named it the best gas can overall.
With all things considered, the No-Spill Poly Gas Can covers every aspect of safety and efficiency when it comes to fuel containers. You can buy it in several sizes and applications depending on your personal needs, but in all cases, you can expect a can that’s easy to use and built to last for years.
A more portable fuel carrier
If you’re more of a weekend warrior who’s constantly out in their truck, dune buggy, or ATV, you’ll probably be looking for a can that’s more geared towards portability. The AULLY PARK Poly Gas Can would be our top recommendation in this case. With a much flatter design than most traditional fuel containers and a series of handles and holes through the middle, this container can easily be mounted or tied down anywhere while remaining relatively low-profile and out of the way.
If you’ve ever tried to carry a regular gas can with you on your motorcycle, dune buggy, or ATV, you know how much of a pain it can be. Not only do you have to use five different tie-downs just get it to stay put, but the big bulky design can be inconvenient and even dangerous if it somehow comes loose.
This is why the AULLY PARK container’s design is so valuable. First off, it’s much flatter, which means it stays out of the way and gives you more space for other carry-ons. Second, and most importantly, it’s been designed with multiple handles and an arrangement of holes specifically for secure mounting purposes (there’s one hole in the middle of the 0.75-gallon and 1.3-gallon cans, two holes in the middle of the 2.6-gallon can, and five holes in the 5-gallon can). The smaller cans (0.75-gallon and 1.3-gallon) are able to be mounted to your motorcycle or vehicle using a special pack mount from AULLY PARK, but the bigger ones (2.6-gallon and up) should be mounted with standard ratchet tie-downs.
Portability isn’t the only thing this can is good for, though. Considering this was designed for the weekend warrior lifestyle, it’s incredibly durable. Most gas cans are made from multiple pieces of plastic that are then connected together using plastic seams. The AULLY PARK can, on the other hand, is made from a single injection molding of super-tough plastic, leaving no seams as potential “fault lines” in the design. It’s impact-resistant, anti-static, anti-corrosion, and anti-ultraviolet as well.
While this container doesn’t have any fancy thumb button like the No-Spill container we just talked about, its multi-handle design makes it very easy to manage your pouring. The spout itself is leakproof, which prevents the majority of spill issues, and there’s also a flexible filler hose that you can insert into your gas tank before you start pouring to make sure every drop of fuel goes into your tank and not all over yourself or your vehicle (whatever that vehicle may be). To back up their leakproof promise, they even offer a lifetime warranty against leak issues.
With a super-convenient design and extreme durability, the AULLY PARK Gas Cans are the ultimate weekend warrior fuel containers. They’re a little on the expensive side, but given their strength, convenience, and the fact that they’ll last you a lifetime, we think they’re well worth the investment.
A tough metal gas can
Our two picks above are pretty dang durable, but at the end of the day, nothing is stronger than a big hunk of steel. That’s exactly what the Eagle Type I Safety Can is. This steel can has a rather retro look to it, and while it’s not quite as efficient as either of our other picks, it’s built to last a lifetime and offers a great value for the dollar for those who just want a solid gas can in the garage for occasional use.
Metal gas cans have their pros and cons, which we’ll talk about later in this guide. The most important takeaways are that it’s more durable than plastic, as expected, but also much heavier. To put into more practical terms, this container can take all the abuse in the world and still do its job completely fine, but it can be kind of a pain to lug around. A full gas can is heavy enough on its own, but when you add the weight of galvanized steel, it adds quite a bit of extra heft. As long as you don’t mind the weight or don’t plan to use it too often, this obviously isn’t a deal breaker.
Being made of steel, Eagle had to get a little creative with their parts and design in order to make this container easy for pouring. There’s a handle at the very top of the container, and the funnel extends long to the side, making for a sort of tile-forward-and-pour action. The beauty lies in the handle, though. It features a patented trigger release that opens and closes the lid using a spring, allowing you to easily control when and how much gas you pour (similar to the No-Spill container’s thumb button). While it sounds slightly more difficult to use, customers have reported it’s very easy to get used to and very handy in managing pours. Eagle has even certified the mechanism to be 100% leak proof, and customer reviews back that up nicely.
One of the biggest value-adds to this can is its flame arrestor screen. Similar to the No-Spill can’s Flame Mitigation Device, the flame arrestor screen helps to prevent sparks from developing inside the container, thus preventing fires. Like we said before, the risk of a fire starting within your gas can is slim, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Made right here in the USA, the Eagle Type I Safety Can is a tried and true fuel container for any average household need. Don’t expect to strap this to your dune buggy because of the weight and bulky design, but it’s more than capable of handling any other purposes with ease.
How we picked our top three
We chose the best gas cans based on several aspects that had to do with their quality and general usability. We also had different applications in mind (common household needs versus people like motorcycle riders or off-road drivers who need more unique design), as well as safety and storage.
Getting a gas can that can be knocked around without busting a leak is important for obvious reasons. Not only is gas expensive, but it’s dangerous, and the last thing you want is a burnt down truck or house because your container sprung a leak and spilled three gallons gasoline all over the floor. Most fuel containers are either plastic or steel. With steel, you really don’t have to worry too much about durability – steel is tough. With plastic, however, there’s the need to check type of plastic, thickness, seams, and more. We verified that each container we picked offered superior durability and the ability to withstand certain levels of impact so that it will last you for years and keep your fuel stored safely.
One of the biggest annoyances with gas cans is spillage. We’ve all been through the situation where we go to insert or remove the nozzle from our tanks and gasoline spills onto our car paint, ourselves, or something else. Many carriers are made with cheap nozzles that drip and leak as you’re pouring, so we specifically looked for nozzles with good seals and leakproof designs. We also looked at customer reviews for this bit of research, just to verify which models actually work as claimed. Each of the picks in our guide have been tested and proven to be 100% leakproof, backed with customer reviews for reassurance.
Gas cans have a wide variety of usage, but in all cases, portability is key. Whether you’re hauling it by hand or have it strapped to a rollbar on your Jeep, you want it to be easy to carry or tie down. One of the biggest factors in portability is weight – finding something that’s light enough to carry yet still highly durable. Another factor is shape and design – finding something that’s not too bulky and built with extra loops or holes for tie-downs. Since we had different applications in mind when choosing containers, we feel we’ve picked the perfect set of options so that you can find truly the best gas can for your lifestyle and needs.
Gasoline is flammable. We all know that. Because of this, gas cans (or portable consumer fuel containers as the government calls them) must be made to certain standards in order to maintain safety (see official ARB page for most recent info). In addition to meeting state and federal regulation, though, we also looked for additional safety features to help prevent sparks or fires from arising. Spark within a gas can is relatively uncommon, but for the sake of safety, we still wanted to identify any preventative measures. Two of our picks (No-Spill and Eagle) contain a form of flame arrestor, so if safety is a top priority for you, be sure to check these first.
Plastic vs. metal gas cans
Gas cans are commonly made of two materials – plastic or metal – and each has their pros and cons depending on how you plan to use it. We’ll break down each material and talk about common applications to help you choose the right one.
Plastic gas cans are by far the most common – you can pick one up from almost any gas station. Given that plastic is a material that can have many different forms and intricacies, there is quite a bit of variability with quality in a plastic gas can. Many are made from separate pieces then joined at various seams throughout the body, while the higher-end models are created from a single injection molding. The feed system, nozzles and hoses all have quite a bit of variability as well – this is generally what sets each model apart from its competition.
Plastic cans, as an advantage, are very light, which makes them pretty easy to get around. There are even available models that have tie-down or mounting mechanisms so that you can secure them to your vehicle when you’re on the move (like our second pick from AULLY PARK). Plastic models can also be an extremely good value if you know what you’re looking for.
Metal gas cans, as you may imagine, are at the heavier end of the spectrum when stacked up next to plastic. Although they can be bulky and a bit tricky to maneuver (many of them are round and require an unnatural pouring motion), the durability factor with metal gas cans goes through the roof. While there are some plastic gas cans out there with material that the manufacturer claims is “unbreakable”, they simply won’t stack up to galvanized steel, which is what most metal cans are. Metal containers can be high or low in pricing depending on the brand and design, but for the most part, they are relatively cost-friendly.
Things to consider before buying
Since there is quite a bit of variability in container design and quality, choosing the best gas can depends largely on how you personally plan to use it. Think about the following questions first to ensure you pick the right style.
What will be your primary usage?
Are you buying a gas can just for the sake of having one in the garage to use on an as-needed basis? Or are you more of a weekend warrior who’s constantly taking trips to the desert to drive your dune buggies or ATV’s? How you plan to use your new container is the number one most important question in finding the right design. If you’re just using it around the house, design really isn’t crucial. You can pretty much buy whatever you want. However, if you plan to be transporting often, you’ll want something relatively low-profile that’s easy to tie down or carry.
How often will you need to transport it?
To go into a little more detail on the question above – if you do find yourself needing to transport your gas can, how often will you be doing so? And what will you be transporting it with? If you’ve got a truck with a ton of bed space and only need to take your container with you once a month, you’ll be much more open to different designs. However, if you plan to take your little reserve tank on ATV rides, there are several models out there that are specially made to be tied down, attached to brackets, or otherwise directly attached to your vehicle. These bracketed designs can cost a pretty penny, but they’re worth it in the long run if you have a need for one.
How much gas do you really need to store?
Since there are different sizes available in almost every model, think about how much fuel you actually need to store. It’s almost always better to go too big instead of too small since more room is never a bad thing, but there’s no point in spending the money on a 5-gallon jug if you’re only going to need a simple half-gallon of space.
Will you need to store other types of fuel?
Gasoline isn’t the only type of fuel in the world! Other common types are diesel or kerosene, but there are plenty of other mixtures for niche purposes as well. If you’re buying a gas can specifically for another type of fuel that is not gasoline, first check to see if the brand you’re interested in sells a version of the container that’s specific to that fuel. For example, our top pick from No-Spill offers several different versions for diesel, kerosene, and multi-purpose fuel. Each version isn’t any different in form or function, but they are labeled according to each fuel type, which can help you keep your fuels straight if you have multiple types in the garage.
Wrapping it up
Gas cans aren’t the most intricate thing in the world. With that said, there are all sorts of modern designs and safety features that may make one container more suitable than others for your needs, so putting a bit of thought into a few different aspects can save you a lot of hassle in the long run. After taking the time to do our own research, we believe the three cans in our guide should cover the majority of usage people will experience, from basic garage fuel storage to weekend trips in the desert. They are durable, reputable, and most importantly, safe.