Late at night, when the kids have run you ragged and you’ve had a beer or two, 8s can look like 3s. I found this out last year when I was reading about California’s plan to ban single use propane canisters in 2028 (the governor has since torpedoed the idea). At first, I read it as 2023. Since I do way, way more truck camping than backpacking these days, I panicked. How am I supposed to cook my (unnecessarily) elaborate camp meals without propane? So I went out and procured an Ignik Gas Growler Deluxe. Then I realized the law would change in 2028, not 2023. Then the governor vetoed the bill that would ban single use propane canisters. Oops. No matter, the gas growler is so much better than fumbling around with those little green canisters. I’ve always felt a little guilty about using disposable propane canisters anyway, so this was a big upgrade.
At my local outdoors store, a single 16 ounce propane canister is about six bucks. At my local gas station, filling up my 4.5 liter gas growler is…about six bucks. I’m not gonna do the math here, but that’s way, way cheaper. Since I’ve had it, I haven’t refilled the growler once. That’s a summer and a half of use. For six bucks. I also have not dropped off a single propane canister at the landfill.
Mine, in use.
It really only takes using this thing once to realize disposable propane canisters are hilariously wasteful. It’s easy, cheap, and just plain feels better to use. It threads right into your camp stove just like the little green ones do, but it’s easier because it attached with a four-foot hose, so you don’t have to deal with the canister right next to the stove. It comes with an insulated case, which is apparently helpful if you’re camping in snow, but I don’t do that, so I can’t speak to whether that actually matters or not.
What I can speak to is that it simply feels better not to just rip through disposable metal cans. With the deluxe growler you get a nice tank with a carrying case that you will have for the rest of your camping life. Each refill takes the place of something like five disposable canisters. Use it long enough and the Ignik tank will take on some dents, scratches, maybe you put on some stickers, and it becomes a cherished part of your camping kit, imbued with memories and dirt from favorite experiences. That’s priceless.
MSRP on the growler is about $150, but looks like they're on sale everywhere for less than $100.
Words by Justin Housman