Does REI Refill Propane Tank in 2024?

Does REI refill Propane tank

As of 2024, REI does not offer propane tank refill services in the traditional sense that one might expect, such as refilling customer-owned propane tanks directly at their locations. Instead, REI focuses on selling products that cater to outdoor enthusiasts looking for sustainable and reusable solutions, including propane and fuel canisters for camping and outdoor activities.

REI sells products like the Ignik Gas Growler Deluxe, a refillable and low-waste solution for outdoor heating and cooking, which suggests their approach to supporting environmentally friendly alternatives to single-use propane bottles​​. Additionally, REI offers a variety of fuel canisters and propane-related products, including refillable cylinders and accessories designed for outdoor use​​​​.

Although this does not equate to a service where you can bring in your propane tank for a direct refill, REI’s product offerings represent an alternative approach. Customers looking for propane solutions can purchase refillable cylinders and related accessories, aligning with REI’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.

For those specifically seeking propane tank refill services, it would be advisable to look at local or specialized retailers that offer direct refill services. REI’s focus seems to be more on providing sustainable, reusable options rather than operating refill stations.

Read related article: Does Harbor Freight Tools Refill Propane Tank?

Alternatives for Refilling Propane Tanks

When looking for alternatives to REI for propane tank refills, several options are available across different types of retailers and services. Each offers unique advantages and potential drawbacks, especially when compared to purchasing refillable canisters or other sustainable options that REI might offer. Here are some common alternatives:

1. Hardware Stores

  • Examples: Home Depot, Lowe’s
  • Pros: Widely available in many locations; often offer both tank exchange and direct refill services; competitive pricing.
  • Cons: Not all locations may offer direct refills; some may only offer exchange services.

2. Gas Stations

  • Examples: Local and national chains
  • Pros: Convenient for quick refills; widespread availability.
  • Cons: Prices can vary widely; not all gas stations offer refill services.

3. Specialized Propane Suppliers

  • Examples: AmeriGas, Ferrellgas
  • Pros: Expertise in propane and related services; can offer better prices for bulk purchases or regular customers; usually offer both refill and exchange.
  • Cons: Locations might not be as convenient as retail stores; hours may be more limited.

4. Outdoor and Sporting Goods Stores

  • Examples: Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s
  • Pros: Cater to outdoor enthusiasts, so might offer a range of related products and services; knowledgeable staff.
  • Cons: Selection and availability may vary; not all locations might offer refill services.

5. Grocery Stores and Supermarkets

  • Examples: Often have propane exchange services.
  • Pros: Convenient if you’re already there for groceries; simple exchange process.
  • Cons: Typically only offer exchange, not refill; can be more expensive than direct refill options.

Comparison with REI

Pros of Alternatives:

  • Direct refill services can be more cost-effective and convenient for individuals who use propane regularly.
  • Immediate service without needing to purchase a new canister or tank.

Cons of Alternatives:

  • Many alternatives primarily offer propane exchange rather than refill, which might not be as environmentally friendly as purchasing a refillable canister from REI.
  • The focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility is a significant advantage of REI’s offerings, emphasizing reusable over single-use options.
  • REI offers specialized products for the outdoor enthusiast that might be better suited for lightweight travel and camping, where traditional propane tanks are not ideal.

Choosing the best option depends on individual needs, including convenience, pricing, and environmental considerations. For those prioritizing sustainability and outdoor activities, REI’s products offer a compelling choice, while those needing standard propane refills may find convenience and cost savings with the alternatives listed.

How to Find a Shop Near Your Location

Finding an REI store near your location is quite easy. Here are the steps you can follow:

  • Visit the REI website: Start by navigating to REI’s official website at
  • Store Locator: Look for a link usually labeled “Find a store,” “Store Locator,” or something similar. This link is typically found at the top of the REI homepage.
  • Enter your location: Once you’re on the Store Locator page, you’ll see a field where you can enter your city, state, or ZIP code. You may also have the option to allow the website to use your current location.
  • Browse the results: After you enter your location, the page will display a list or map of REI stores near you. You can usually click on each store to view additional details, such as the store’s address, phone number, hours of operation, and any special services they offer.

Remember to check the operating hours and any COVID-19-related safety protocols before you plan your visit. Given the ongoing pandemic, it’s also a good idea to check whether the store is open and whether they have any special shopping hours or rules in place.

If there’s no REI store near your location, don’t worry. REI’s online store offers a wide selection of their products, and you can have your order shipped directly to your home.

Does REI Sell Propane Canisters?

REI does sell propane canisters. These include canisters designed for camping stoves and other outdoor cooking appliances. However, they may not sell larger propane tanks typically used for full-size grills or other large appliances.

The availability of specific products can vary by store location and time, so it’s always a good idea to check with your local REI store or visit their website for the most accurate and current information.

REI generally offers a variety of camping and outdoor equipment, and propane canisters are a crucial part of this offering. As of my last update, REI sells propane canisters from a variety of brands, including MSR and Jetboil, among others. These are usually isobutane-propane fuel canisters designed for lightweight and portable backpacking stoves.

It’s important to note that the size of the canisters typically sold at REI range from 4 oz to 16 oz. They are designed to be lightweight, compact, and efficient, which makes them ideal for hiking, backpacking, or camping trips.

Before purchasing, always verify the type of gas your equipment needs. Some outdoor gear may require specific mixtures of fuel, so always check your product’s specifications to ensure compatibility.

Lastly, for environmental reasons, consider purchasing a canister recycling device if you frequently use these types of fuel canisters. They allow you to puncture empty fuel canisters, making them safe to recycle where recycling programs for steel are available.

Remember that local availability and stock can vary, so it is always best to check directly with REI either by visiting their website, calling, or visiting a store in person.

Does REI Take Empty Propane Bottles?

REI does not accept empty propane bottles for recycling or disposal at their stores. It’s always best to check directly with your local REI store for the most up-to-date information regarding their current policies.

Empty propane cylinders can be considered hazardous waste, and it’s important to dispose of them properly. Many municipalities have special collection days for hazardous waste, and there may be other local recycling programs that accept empty propane bottles.

If you frequently use disposable propane cylinders, consider investing in an adaptor that allows you to refill them from a larger propane tank. Not only will this save you money, but it also helps to reduce waste. Remember to check if this practice is allowed and safe in your region.

Also, some companies sell devices that puncture empty canisters to prepare them for safe recycling, but again, always check with your local waste management facility to make sure punctured canisters are accepted.

Lastly, you might consider switching to a refillable propane tank, which has a longer lifespan and can be refilled numerous times. While the upfront cost is higher, they can save you money in the long run and are more environmentally friendly.

They Do Have Butane Bottles and Accessories

REI is known to carry a range of butane bottles and related accessories as part of their camping and outdoor equipment offerings. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, includes butane fuel canisters, as well as stoves and lanterns that run on butane.

In terms of accessories, REI also carries items that can be used with butane canisters, such as portable stoves, lanterns, and other camping gear. Some of these devices may be compatible with both butane and propane, but it’s important to always check the specific fuel requirements of any device you purchase.

However, please remember that the availability of specific brands and products can vary by REI store location and may also change over time. To get the most accurate and current information, consider checking with your local REI store or visiting their website.

Also, it’s important to note that butane may not perform as well in cold temperatures compared to propane. So, if you’re planning a camping trip in chilly conditions, propane might be a better fuel choice. Always remember to follow safety instructions when using these types of fuels.

To Make a Conclusion

REI does not provide propane tank refill services, but they do offer a variety of pre-filled propane canisters for purchase. These canisters are a convenient solution for powering camping stoves and other compact outdoor appliances.

While REI is a beloved one-stop shop for many outdoor enthusiasts, those looking to refill propane tanks will need to turn to alternatives such as gas stations, hardware stores, dedicated propane dealers, and certain supermarkets. Each of these options presents its own set of advantages, and your choice may depend on factors like convenience, cost, and the size of your tank.

It’s also crucial to remember that dealing with propane tanks – whether buying, refilling, or disposing – always requires a high degree of caution. Proper safety measures must be followed to ensure safe usage and transport of propane tanks.

While REI doesn’t accept empty propane bottles for disposal, there are several responsible ways to discard your empty containers, from municipal hazardous waste collections to specialized recycling programs. Some outdoor enthusiasts might also consider purchasing refill adapters for disposable propane cylinders or investing in long-lasting, refillable propane tanks to reduce waste and potentially save money over time.

It’s recommended to always check with your local REI store or visit their website for the most recent information on their propane offerings. With a focus on enjoying the great outdoors responsibly and sustainably, you can ensure that your adventures are fueled safely and efficiently.

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