Best Gas Cans for Prepping and Survival

In times of emergency or survival situations, having a reliable and secure fuel storage solution is essential. Gas cans designed specifically for prepping and survival can provide peace of mind and ensure you have a readily available fuel supply when it matters most. Fuel up your generator or bug out vehicle reliably, knowing that you can trust your gas storage solution.

There are many brands and types of gas cans to pick from. This is where we come in. We’ve researched the best gas cans, put them to the test, and now the results are in: the overall best, a budget option, and a jerry can option. If you want to stay fueled for an emergency, one of our picks will keep you moving.

Contents (Jump to a Section)

Eagle UI-50-FS Galvanized Gas Can

The Best Gas Can

Eagle UI-50-FS

Durable, Proven, and Effective

Skip the complicated nozzles and plastic jugs for the galvanized solution that has always been the best.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

You may recognize this gas can because as it turns out, this tried and true galvanized gasoline storage is the best. Ditch the complicated gas spigots for a simple latch and funnel for easy filling and pouring.

This design is recognizable as it’s in automotive garages and military installations everywhere as an easy-to-use and highly durable solution.

Here is how the gas can measures up:

  • 5 gallons
  • Spring-sealed lid with a removable yellow funnel
  • 24 gauge (0.635) galvanized steel with powder-coated red finish
  • Strong and low-center-of-gravity cylinder shape
  • 12.5″ D x 13.5″ H
  • 5.25 pounds

With a great price and top-notch quality- it’s easy to see why the Eagle UI-50-FS Galvanized Gas Can is the best.

No-Spill 1450 Poly Gas Can

Best EPA Gas Can

No-Spill 1450

EPA, California, and CPSC Compliant

It checks the boxes for compliance with the easiest nozzle to realistically use practically.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

If you’re going to use an inexpensive EPA-compliant gas can, this is the one to get. The push button spigot nozzle is leagues ahead of the ‘nozzle push’ types. This gas can is easy to manage and hard to spill unless you are really trying.

Whether you are conserving gas in an emergency, or just not making a mess around the garage- this gas can is the bare minimum of what you should have.

Here is how it measures up:

  • 5 gallons
  • Precise push-button spout
  • 3 gal/min high flow rate
  • EPA, CPSC, and CARB certified
  • 13.8″ H x 11″ W x 14.3″ L
  • 2.0 pounds

If you are looking for an inexpensive, compliant gas can, the No-Spill 1450 Gas Can is what you need.

Wavian USA Jerry Can

Best Jerry Can

Wavian Jerry Can

Versatile, Proven, and Durable

A quality Jerry can is tough to beat, and this steel leader is the best of the best.

*Each price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

This Jerry can from Wavian USA can check all of your boxes- it’s a standard steel NATO can that’s built like a tank. Powder-coated thick-walled steel with a removable EPA-compliant nozzle makes it easy to fill and pour while allowing it to be bought anywhere.

Here are the full specs:

  • 5.3 gallons (20L standard NATO size)
  • Pin-lock cap with removable spout
  • 0.9mm cold-rolled powder-coated steel
  • EPA and CARB certified
  • 18.5″ H x 13.5″ W x 6″ D
  • 4.7 pounds

If you are looking for a portable, versatile, and durable fuel storage solution, get a Wavian Jerry Can for your bug out vehicle or garage.

Everything We Recommend

Eagle UI-50-FS Galvanized Gas Can

Eagle UI-50-FS

Skip the complicated nozzles and plastic jugs for the galvanized solution that has always been the best.

Where to Buy

$90* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

No-Spill 1450 Poly Gas Can

No-Spill 1450

It checks the boxes for compliance with the easiest nozzle to realistically use practically.

Where to Buy

$38* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

Wavian USA Jerry Can

Wavian Jerry Can

A quality Jerry can is tough to beat, and this steel leader is the best of the best.

Where to Buy

$86* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

The Gas Cans We Compared

Our research narrowed the field down to several brands and types of gas cans that we compared: Wavian, Eagle, Surecan, No-Spill, GarageBoss, Justrite, and more.

You can see our full list of review criteria below in the What to Look For section, with an explanation for each.

We considered a wide range of gas cans but ended up comparing around the 5-gallon range. There are larger gasoline storage options, like in-place or wheeled containers but the versatility of 5-gallon solutions can’t be ignored.

There are also smaller containers typically used for small engines, mixing, or running out of fuel that can work for specific scenarios

We’re always looking for new and better gear, so if you have a Jerry can that you swear by, let us know in the comments. We review most of our tested gear annually so we can try to get it in the next roundup round and see if it will beat out our top picks.

What to Look For

The best gas cans for survival have several important features to look for:

  1. Value
  2. Steel vs. Poly
  3. Pour & Fill
  4. Size & Weight
  5. Quality

When you get the right blend of these, you can find a gas can that you can rely on for dependable gasoline storage. Below, we break down what each of these features means for the gas cans that truly set themselves apart.

Value: Cost vs. Benefit

The amount of money you spend on something like gas cans shouldn’t blow out your entire budget. If you are getting a container that you will keep empty for a survival kit rather than regular use gas storage, it may not make sense to spend much on an expensive container just to use it infrequently.

You never want to spend too much money on one thing when it comes to storage containers. It’s better to diversify your spending and budget to make sure you are covered for a wide range of scenarios.

Steel vs. Poly

One of the first choices is whether you are going with steel or poly (plastic) gas storage. They each have their own benefits that we’ll line out:

Steel Gas Cans

  • Durability – it’s hard for plastic to match the durability of steel cans when it comes to rough handling and impact forces.
  • Fire Resistance – steel cans provide an added layer of safety in the event of a fire.
  • UV Resistance – steel will not degrade and become brittle over time, like plastic exposed to sunlight.
  • Longevity – steel gas cans typically last much longer than plastic cans, especially if they are quality-made and are powder coated to prevent corrosion.

Poly (Plastic) Gas Cans

  • Lightweight – plastic cans are lighter than steel, making them easier to carry (even when filled).
  • Inexpensive – plastic gas cans typically cost less than steel.
  • Fuel Visibility – Many plastic gas cans have fuel level indicators, or you can hold them up to the light to see how much fuel is in them.

Ultimately, the choice between steel and poly gas cans depends on individual preferences, intended usage, and specific requirements.

Pour & Fill

It can be frustrating to try to pour a Type II ‘spill-free’ gas can, just for it to leak or spurt gas everywhere. A smooth pour from any container requires venting, to allow air to flow in while liquid flows out.

Type I gas cans typically achieve this just by having an open funnel and a large opening to the can itself. It’s as simple as pouring a glass of water- you just need to make sure you don’t overfill what you are pouring into.

The shape of the gas can affects the pour rate and stability of the can as well since it is holding liquid. Low-center of-gravity cans are easy to fill with less risk of tipping, and they can also be easy to pour if you rotate them correctly.

When it comes down to it, being familiar with your gas can type is the best way to master pouring and filling without spilling gas- which is the goal for everyone, whether it’s us or the EPA.

Size & Weight

Gas is about 25% lighter than water, coming in at about 6 pounds per gallon.

That weight savings definitely comes in handy when you are toting Jerry cans around, which can total 31 pounds each (at the NATO standard of 20L). These would be over 40 pounds each if you were to fill them with water.

When compared full, the weight difference between plastic and steel gas containers is negligible since it is less than a few pounds.

This makes size the big differentiator when you are selecting a gas can. We’ve found the 5-gallon or 20L NATO Jerry cans to be the most versatile size, balancing storage volume and portability.


Plastic or metal cans might seem like they could indicate quality, but there are poor-quality examples available for both. Thin material can easily bulge under the pressure of evaporated gas, which weakens the durability of the container.

Good seals and welds are needed to ensure that a gas can weathers any abuse- even if it’s just the temperature changes of the gas. Lower-quality gas cans just aren’t worth the risk. They can jeopardize both your fuel storage and your safety.

What is the Difference Between Type I and Type II Cans?

There are two different standards for portable fuel containers.

  • Type I: Type I cans, also known as safety cans, are designed for storing and transporting flammable liquids with a self-closing lid and pressure relief mechanism.
  • Type II: Type II cans, known as spill-proof cans, have additional safety features like flame arrestors and controlled pouring mechanisms to minimize spills and leaks.

Both types comply with specific regulations to ensure the safe handling of flammable fuels. Type II cans are sometimes annoying in how they attempt to minimize spills since some cheap designs can make them spill more than a steady hand and funnel.

Who Needs a Gas Can?

Almost everyone already has a gas can- whether it’s for lawn equipment, generators, or vehicle emergencies. The difference between your existing container and the options we’ve reviewed is whether you would want to depend on your existing gas can for an emergency.

We suggest a quality gas can for these survival kits:

Gas cans are always useful, and our suggestions can last generations.

How We Review Products: We research thoroughly before selecting the best products to review. We consult experts in the field for a better understanding of what makes the gear great. Hours on end are spent field testing gear in stressful conditions. We assign performance criteria and impartially rate each tested item. You can support us through our independently chosen links, which can earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. After our review process, some of the items reviewed end up in our giveaways.

Sources and References

All of our experience and the testing we do to determine the best gas cans are useless without listing our research sources and references. We leaned on these for the book knowledge that we paired with our hands-on testing and practical survival experience:

Batterman, S., et al. (2006). Concentrations and emissions of gasoline and other vapors from residential vehicle garages. Atmospheric Environment. Volume 40. Issue 10. Pages 1828-1844. (Source)

Wilson, R. (1987). Gasoline Vapor Controls: Pros and Cons. 13 EPA J. 23. (Source)

Zhu, L., et al. (2012). Experimental analysis of the evaporation process for gasoline. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries. Volume 25. Issue 6. Pages 916-922. (Source)

The Final Word

Gasoline is an important fuel for vehicles and generators, so it’s a good idea to have a safe and effective storage solution on hand. It would be a frustrating experience to spill gas when every drop matters, or worse: suffer a leak in your gas can. Hopefully, our guide has shown you the importance of quality containers for both safety and peace of mind.

Here are a few other guides and reviews our subscribers have found helpful:

We presented quite a lot of information, but as always: if you have any questions let us know and we would be happy to help. Our research and testing found the Eagle UI-50-FS Gas Can to be the best option given its value, material type, pour/fill, size/weight, and quality.

Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.

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The Best Gas Can

Rusty Collins

I am an engineer, Air Force veteran, emergency manager, husband, dad, and experienced prepper. I developed emergency and disaster plans around the globe and responded to many attacks and accidents as a HAZMAT technician. I have been exposed to deadly chemical agents, responded to biological incidents, and dealt with natural disasters. Check out my full story here: Rusty's Story

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