There are few pleasures like cooking on the tailgate of your Land Rover in some beautiful wilderness place. But you know what is annoying? Running out of propane in your one-pound canister, and the accumulation of empties that all lasted just a few days. The Ignik Gas Growler fixes these problems, with a five-pound refillable propane canister and adapter hose to connect to any propane camp stove.
I tested the Gas Growler out on my recent trip out west in my LR3. I was going to live largely out of the truck for almost four weeks, and I was looking for something a bit easier to work with than green propane bottles. I attached it to my JetBoil HalfGen one-burner stove, which was the perfect size for tailgate cooking for one.
The Gas Growler Deluxe is a five-pound canister, far smaller than the twenty-pounders that most backyard grills use. That makes it much smaller and easier to tote around camp than the common large canisters, and that’s made easier by the carrying case it comes in – a canvas and leather number with molded interior to keep the canister secure in transit, with a strap on top.
The Gas Growler Deluxe comes with hose and convenient carrying case.
A Standard Gas Growler (without the carry case) is also available for those that don't need the case or are looking to mount their tank on a trailer, etc. Each Gas Growler comes complete with an adapter hose that connects the standard output on the tank to a camp stove’s Coleman green container attachment or propane lantern connector, etc.
The Standard Gas Growler is the same tank with hose, but without the carrying case.
The tank is rated to appropriate DOT specifications to be safe to carry inside your truck, no matter if you get the Standard or Deluxe.
Setup is quick. Set up the stove, open up the lid of the Gas Growler Deluxe case, pull out the adapter hose, connect it to the tank and stove, and open up the valve. After that, using the stove was like normal – flick the starter and it’s cooking time.
The economics of a tank like this depends on how much you use it. One fill-up will cost you a few dollars. So you pay when you buy it, but it should also be noted that propane tanks smaller than the common twenty-pounders are usually more expensive than the standard size to begin with – supply and demand sets the price. The tradeoff comes in the cheap cost of refilling – usually the cost of one green Coleman canister gets you five times the propane. If you camp a lot, you can break even relatively quickly. If you use a propane heater, the economics are even better, as they are thirstier than a stove.
There’s also the economics that comes from not wasting gas in a refillable, and larger, container. Many people have probably run almost out of gas in a green canister and put it aside, never to get finished up. That throws your economics even more out of whack, as you’re not even getting your full pound of gas out of your purchase. Refillable containers remove that – who cares if a bit is left, it’ll all mix up in the next fill.
There’s also a far reduced environmental cost. The small green tanks you buy are one-time use tanks, which results in a huge amount of waste. It's just not eco-friendly to use them. A whopping 48 million green propane canisters end up in landfills every year – that's a massive amount of waste, and metal that usually isn’t even recycled. Even when people try and recycle them, the cans should be purged first; otherwise they can explode in recycling plants when they get mixed in with cans and bottles. Rightfully, your local recycling plant doesn't want to see these in your single-stream mix! (Note: Some people do refill the one-time use greenies with a special filling adapter and they will tell you it's safe to do and they have never had a problem. The fact is the green containers are not made to be refilled and doing so repeatedly is a safety risk. We don't recommend it.)
Some overland camp splurges are worth it, and the Ignik Gas Growler certainly was on my trip. The convenience, ease of refilling, and ease of use all add up to one of my new favorite bits of gear!
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