The 5 Best Gas Cans of 2023

The best overall is the No-Spill 1450 5-Gallon Poly Gas Can

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The 5 Best Gas Cans

The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

With the price of gasoline seemingly changing every day, you might want to keep a supply close at hand to fill up your snow blower, lawn mower and other home and garden machinery. If you plan to keep gasoline, make sure you select a product that has been approved by a qualified regulatory entity such as Underwriters Laboratories, or the California Air Resources Board (CARB), whose standard the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted for national use in 2009. After you’ve satisfied yourself that your short list of products meets approved specifications, select a gas can that’s solidly constructed to avoid potentially dangerous leaks, easy to fill and pour, and doesn’t take up a lot of space.

Always stress safety over convenience, stresses Andrew Gross, National Public Relations Manager for the Automobile Association of America (AAA), and avoid the temptation to keep a gas can in the trunk of your vehicle as assurance you never run out in bad weather. “Having a can of gas in your car is hazardous!” he stresses. “If you are worried that bad weather could negatively impact your trip, that’s a good indication you might want to stay home!” 

For this roundup, we considered only CARB or other entity-approved products, paying particular attention to their safety features, as well as ease of use, and how well they dispense fuel. Our top pick, the No-Spill 1450 5-Gallon Poly Gas Can, prevents spills while also filling tanks quickly without overfilling.

Here are the best gas cans for every need.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

No-Spill 1450 5-Gallon Poly Gas Can

4.5
No-Spill 1450 5-Gallon Poly Gas Can

Amazon

What We Like
  • Valve closure

  • Automatically stops pouring

  • Fast flow rate

  • Additional handle for assistance

What We Don't Like
  • May be heavy

  • Requires one hand to operate the valve

Spilled gasoline in your home is a fire hazard. We like the No-Spill 5-gallon gas can for its auto-stop feature, which halts the flow when the tank is full. You can monitor the flow while you’re fueling. The process begins with a press of a thumb-operated pushbutton, which starts the 3-gallons-per-minute flow through the removable nozzle. Release the button to stop the flow.

Its wide footprint makes the gas can more stable than many, and this product holds 5 gallons, the recommended limit from our expert, Andrew Gross of AAA. But its size and capacity may be too heavy for some. (The manufacturer has included a center handle designed to hold and control the can better.) You also can buy this style of can designed specifically for diesel and kerosene.

Price at time of publish: $52

Capacity: 5 gallons | Material: Plastic | Features: Pushbutton, automatic stop

Best Budget

No-Spill 1405 2-1/2-Gallon Poly Gas Can

No-Spill 1405 2-1/2-Gallon Poly Gas Can

Amazon

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Valve closure

  • Automatically stops pouring

  • Fast flow rate

  • Built-in handle

What We Don't Like
  • Requires one hand to operate the valve

Our top choice also comes in a smaller size that is more affordable and can be easier to carry and pour. It still has all the features we like, including the valve nozzle that prevents spills; the automatic stop feature to make sure that you never overfill; and a built-in center handle. It costs less than its larger options but still holds plenty of gasoline for most at-home uses.

The smaller size and lighter weight may make it easier to manage than its larger counterpart, especially when you consider that you need one hand free to operate the nozzle. But because it is smaller, you may need to keep more of these on hand if you want to have enough extra gas for emergencies or to run a generator. It is narrower than the 5-gallon version but takes up more space overall when you store the same amount of gas.

Price at time of publish: $30

Capacity: 2.5 gallons | Material: Plastic | Features: Push button, automatic stop

Best Galvanized Steel

Eagle Galvanized Safety Can

Eagle Galvanized Safety Can

Amazon

What We Like
  • Fire retardant materials

  • No-weld seam on bottom

  • Spring loaded lid

  • Meets all safety standards

What We Don't Like
  • Heavier than plastic cans

We recommend metal gas cans because plastic can leach chemicals. We recommend this metal can because it is made of galvanized steel. The red exterior clearly marks it as gasoline (yellow is for diesel fuel, blue for kerosene, and green for mixed flammable fuels). The yellow pour spot is designed to prevent leaks, as is the can’s no-weld construction. A spring-loaded lid helps ward off accidental spills. Double welds on the bottom are designed to prevent leaks, and the manufacturer asserts that the flame arrester feature prevents explosions.

We have noted that as the gas warms inside the tank, the pressure may become unequal, resulting in gas “shooting out” if the lid is opened too quickly. Many users recommend keeping the can on the ground and opening the lid slowly. 

This gas can costs more than many other cans we’ve researched, but should last for many years.

Price at time of publish: $65

Capacity: 5 gallon | Material: Galvanized steel | Features: Spring loaded lid, metal materials, fire arrester

Best Small Footprint

Justrite 5-Gallon Safety Can

justrite-safety-can

Amazon

What We Like
  • Narrower profile

  • Made of alloy steel

  • Trigger-squeeze pour mechanism

  • Two openings

What We Don't Like
  • Costs more than most

  • Must be lifted manually to pour

Metal gas cans are the best for long-term storage, but you may want something that fits together nicely and takes up minimal space. The Justrite 5-gallon can takes up less floor space but still holds 5 gallons of gasoline. Its trigger-squeeze opening lets you control how much and how quickly the gas dispenses. There are also two openings, one for pouring and one for spilling. This design also allows you to vent the gas can as you pour, which reduces the "gulps" that can cause spills.

This gas can is quite expensive but lasts a long time. You should label it with the month and year you filled it with gasoline, especially if you plan to keep it in long-term storage.

Price at time of publish: $115

Capacity: 5 gallons | Material: Alloy steel | Features: Trigger squeeze pourer, two openings

Best for Lawn Mowers

GarageBOSS Press 'N Pour 5 Gallon Gas Can

GarageBOSS Press 'N Pour 5 Gallon Gas Can

Lowe's

What We Like
  • Long spout

  • Push button dispenser

  • Affordable

  • Very portable

What We Don't Like
  • Spout may become dirty over time

If the only machines in your garage that need re-fueling are lawn-care tools, consider this product. Because lawn mowers don’t take much gas, you can use this easy-pour gas tank that is cheaper than metal alternatives and saves space. It is also easy to lift and pour into the lawn mower, no matter where the tank is located. The Garage Boss GB351 Press ‘N Pour gas can also has a long spout, so you can get the gas into the tank of your lawn mower, weed eater, or any other lawn care tool. All you have to do is line it up and press the dispense button.

This gas can holds five gallons, so its size is perfect for most lawn tools a lot or a riding mower.

Price at time of publish: $28

Capacity: 5 gallons | Material: Plastic | Features: Push button dispenser, long spout

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the No-Spill 1450 5-Gallon Poly Gas Can. It is easy to use, affordable, and reduces spills and leaks which can be very dangerous. If you want something costing less, consider the smaller No-Spill 1405 2-1/2-Gallon Poly Gas Can. It has all the same use and safety features in a 2.5 gallon capacity can.

What to Look For in a Gas Can

Compliance

“Always use a [Department of Transportation]-approved container to transport and store gasoline,” strongly advises Andrew Gross, National Public Relations Manager for the Automobile Association of America (AAA). That’s because the agency, known as the DOT, defines a  safety can as “a container with a capacity of 5 gallons or less and equipped with a spring-closing lid and spout cover, a means to relieve internal pressure, and flash-arresting screen.” Regulations assure that the container can keep gasoline, as hazardous material, under safe conditions. Another agency that evaluates gas cans for compliance is the California Air Resources Board (CARB), whose standards the EPA adopted for national use in 2009. Underwriters Laboratories also approves gas cans.

Size

Gas cans typically come in capacities of 1, 2.5, or 5 gallons. The most common size is 5 gallons, which is often compatible with third-party pouring spouts and other accessories. The federal Department of Transportation doesn’t recommend gas cans that hold a larger amount of fuel.

Material

Most gas cans are made of plastic or metal. Plastic is cheaper but should be durable enough to prevent leaks. Over time, however, plastic can break down or leach some chemicals into the gasoline, rendering the fuel inoperable. If you decided on a plastic gas, select one that has been certified as safe for its materials. Metal gas cans, which resist leaching, are typically made of galvanized or alloy steel. These are more durable but heavier and cost more. They are commonly used for longer-term storage.

Design

Gas cans can be simple, consisting of just a pour spout, and a reservoir to hold gasoline. Extra design features, such as no-spill spouts, can make them less spill-prone; and others, such as built-in handles, can make them easier to use and carry. A metal can designed without welds has fewer avenues to invite leaks.

Color

Containers designed to hold gasoline are colored red by federal regulations. Other fuel containers are colored differently based on what they hold: yellow for diesel, blue for kerosene, and green for mixed flammable oils. 

FAQ
  • Where should you store a gas can?

    Gas cans contain flammable liquids and should be stored far from anything that could ignite them, says Andrew Gross of the American Automobile Association. “Do not store a gas can in the house,” he says, referring to the living area. To store a gas can in the basement, he adds, make sure it’s in a well-ventilated area, away from any types of ignition sources such as pilot lights. Further, Gross emphasizes, store only what you need—less than 5 gallons—and ensure that the can is out of reach of children.


    Finally, avoid the temptation to keep a gas can in the trunk of your vehicle. “Vehicles already come with safe containers for gas—called gas tanks!” Gross says. “Having a can of gas in your car is hazardous. In terms of ‘winter assurance,’ if you are worried that bad weather could negatively impact your trip, that’s a good indication you might want to stay home.” 

  • Where do you dispose of a gas can?

    According to Andrew Gross of AAA, a gas can is considered past its prime when it allows the fuel to deteriorate to the point where it is ineffective or can even damage engines. “Gasoline has a finite shelf life,” he says. “Without adding an additive, gasoline typically goes ‘bad’ after a while. You can tell bad gas by the smell.” If you have to dispose of a gas can, do not throw it away in your regular trash! Not only is this bad for the environment but it also can be dangerous because your trash service doesn’t monitor those items for exposure to heat or nearby points of potential ignition. Depending on local regulations and your waste sanitation department, you may need to arrange for a special pickup or drop off of your used gas can. 

  • Do gas cans need to be vented?

    Gas cans do not require vent openings, but having one can make pouring the gas easier. Type 1 gas cans only have one opening and are not vented. Type 2 cans have a pouring opening and a ventilation opening. This prevents the liquid from developing bubbles that can lead to spills as you pour. Today, gas cans are designed with sealable openings that are optional ventilation.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was researched and written by Katie Begley, a freelance writer specializing in home and family products. Katie has been writing for The Spruce since 2019. To compile this list, she considered how easy it was to use and store gas cans, as well as any special safety features. We also consulted with Andrew Gross, National Public Relations Manager for the Automobile Association of America (AAA), for additional expert insight.