Gas is never more than a drive away for most people, but sometimes you just don't have time to stop on the way to work or another important appointment. Or maybe you've run out of gas at an inconvenient moment, leaving you stranded. That's why it's important to have a gas can full of the good stuff that makes your car go. But you shouldn't just buy any gas can. You'll need one that can be transported safely between the gas station and your home. That means you'll need to be able to carry it and use it on your own -- and you definitely don't want any gasoline vapors leaking from it.
There are plenty of gas cans on the market to choose from, depending on your needs. From gas cans that will live in the garage to jerry cans that can live on your vehicle, I've rounded up some of the best gas cans available today based on hands-on experience by the CNET Cars staff and user reviews at popular shopping sites. Whatever your needs, you should be able to find the best gas can for your individual situation below. After sifting through our favorite fuel can picks make sure to read on afterwards for some helpful gas can tips.
We like this Garage Boss Press 'N Pour 2+ plastic gas can for its size, price and safety features. Two gallons is enough to keep on hand for your lawn-care toys and it features a child safety cap and a flame mitigation device. To pour just press a button forward and watch the fuel flow through the translucent spout. Further, this plastic gas can is EPA and CARB compliant, so you don't have to worry about fumes escaping. Out of 5,000-plus buyer ratings on Amazon, 71% are five stars. All this for just $17. The Press 'N Pour gasoline can is also available in a 5-gallon model.
This Midwest can is one of the plastic cans a few CNET Cars staffers have in their garages. We like it for the 2-gallon size and the fact that it exceeds CARB and EPA requirements for storing flammable liquid. What can we say? We like cars, but also the environment. Our only quibble is with the safety nozzle. On first glance it's not apparent exactly how it works, but a quick YouTube search provides the answer and there's no gas spillage from then on out. If you need more gas storage capacity, the plastic Midwest Can is also available with a 5-gallon capacity.
If you're looking for a metal gas can that is made in the USA by a family-owned company, look no further than the Eagle 5 Gallon Red Safety Gasoline Can. This galvanized steel fuel container features a flame arrestor screen with spring-loaded closure lid and integrated funnel. A neoprene gasket vents at 3-5 psi and there are no top or side seams to spring a leak. Further, these metal cans are both OSHA and CARB approved.
Do you just need to store a little bit of fuel? Check out this 1-gallon Scepter SmartControl Gas Can. The spout is child-proof and requires a bit of finagling, but it also allows the user to control the flow resulting in less unwanted fuel spill. This plastic gas can is CARB and EPA certified and comes with a flame mitigation device.
If you have more than one vehicle to top off, you'll need a large gas can. This fuel tank from Scepter holds 14 gallons and it's on wheels for when you need to bring the gasoline to the car or boat, not the other way around. A 10-foot hose with two shut-off valves make this can even more versatile. When full, you're probably not going to be able to lift it, the company says the unit weighs 112 pounds when full, so this is a siphon-based system. As such, it's not particularly fast being capable of dispensing just two gallons per minute from the nozzle.
This Inclake metal gas can carries over 5 gallons of fuel, so feel free to roam a bit further and wider. This fuel tank is rust-resistant and has three handles so it's easy to have two people lifting it. Remember, a gallon of fuel weighs about 6 pounds. There are no safety spouts to mess around with and the metal fuel cans comes with two spouts and extra o-rings for the cap, spout and vent. And for what it's worth, it's actually pretty good-looking gasoline can, too. If you're looking to haul even more fuel, Inclake also offers these gasoline cans in 8-gallon and 10-gallon models.
If you're racing, fuel stops need to be quick. Why do you think it is called a dump can and not a gasoline can? This guy can dump 5 gallons of fuel in under 5 seconds with a 2.25-inch male dry break. Get it? We use this 5-gallon dump can when just a splash of fuel is needed, and I also have a 11 gallon can for big jobs. Gallon markings are molded on the side, so you know how much you've used and the long handle makes it easy to grip. My pit crew also likes the square shape of these plastic fuel tanks as it's easier to hold on to when adrenaline is running hot.
If you're looking for a more affordable motorsports-only fuel can, look no further than the VP Racing Fuels Square Racing Utility Jug. Punching in at around $43, these 5-gallon plastic storage containers are sturdy being made from high-density polyethylene and come in a variety of colors. The included hose and rubber gaskets for the container's cap make pouring a secure, spill-free exercise. This is a container that accompanies several CNET Cars staffers trackside on weekends.
Rotopax offers a pricier fuel can with a 10-year leak free warranty, but these FuelPax gas cans with a 5-year leak free warranty have served some CNET Cars staffers incredibly well. This 2.5-gallon gas container can mount easily to your rig with the (sold separately) Rotopax mount. It's dimensions 20-inch-by-14-inch-by-3.5-inch is pretty flat, so it's easy to find a place for it, whether full of gas and attached to your bed rack or empty and stacked in the garage for storage. In fact, we originally bought these specifically because of a very small area to mount some fuel containers in the back of a Rolls-Royce Cullinan for the Rebelle Rally. The company recommends you vent the tank of gas fumes once a day if elevation or temperatures fluctuate.
If you own a Ford product with a capless gas tank, be sure to grab one of these funnels.
When it's Mopar or no car, grab a funnel made specifically for Dodge, Ram, Jeep and Chrysler vehicles.
While these claim to be general fuel fillers, be sure to check your manual for the proper dimensions before you buy. Then again, at $3 it's a cheap mistake to make.
Comparison of the best gas cans for 2022
|Best gas can overall||Garage Boss||Press 'N Pour Gasoline Can||2 gallons|
|Best gas can overall runner-up||Midwest Can||2300 Gas Can||2/5 gallons|
|Best metal gas can||Eagle||Galvanized Steel Type 1 Gasoline Safety Can||5 gallons|
|Best small gas can||Scepter||SmartControl Gas Can||1 gallon|
|Best big gas can||Scepter||Flo-N-Go Fuel Caddy||14 gallons|
|Best gas can for overlanding||Rotopax||Fuelpax Fuel Container||2.5 gallons|
|Best gas can for overlanding runner-up||Inclake||Stainless Steel Gas Can||5/8/10 gallons|
|Best gas can for racing||Hunsaker USA||Quickfill Dumpcan Racing Jug||5/11 gallons|
|Best gas can for racing runner-up||VP Racing Fuels||Square Racing Utility Jug||5 gallons|
Why won't my new car take fuel from a gas can?
This is a problem you may have and not even know of just yet. Newer cars without a separate gas cap have two flaps: one that acts as a closure at the top and a second one further into the filler neck. Often times the spout on a gas can isn't long enough to penetrate that second flap. Further, there is no standardization in terms of how long or how narrow a spout needs to be to deliver gas. Some manufacturers include a funnel with the car, some do not. The last place you want to figure this out is when AAA comes to deliver you a gallon of gas on the side of the road.
Some funnels are made for specific brands, some claim to be a one-size-fits-all. We've included some funnel options above. However, since there is not any standardization, be sure to check your car's manual to find out how long and how narrow the funnel should be before ordering.
Gas can FAQs
What is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 gas cans?
Type 1 and Type 2 cans are different kinds of safety cans that are necessary if your business is storing fuel. Thank OSHA for this one, folks. Safety cans are metal, hold five gallons or less and self-vent when exposed to fire. These cans also have a spring-loaded closure. Type 1 cans use one spout to fill and dispense. Type 2 gas cans fill from a separate spout. That spout often does double duty as a vent. Type 2 cans, with their vents, are easier to pour from.
Are metal gas cans or plastic gas cans better?
It all depends on how long you will be storing your fuel. For long-term fuel storage, opt for metal gas cans. The metal cans won't expand or contract with changes in temperature and unlike plastic containers there are no chemicals to leach into the gas, keeping it fresher for a longer period.
However, there is no danger of plastic fuel gas cans developing rust and in case of fire the plastic gas container will just melt, while on the other hand a metal can potentially explode. We don't know about you, but the idea of possibly having a gas can bomb in our garage isn't ideal.
Where is the best place to store a gas can?
Extra fuel should be stored in a well-ventilated garage or shed. You should not store gasoline in your house, no matter what kind of can it's in. It's also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher nearby because nobody wants to be known as the Safety Third neighbor. Keep in mind that fuel cans are color coded so you shouldn't ever get them mixed up. Red is for gas, yellow is for diesel, blue is for kerosene and green is for oils.