Do you have several half-filled fuel canisters taking up space in your gearbox?
I always seem to wind up with partially-filled canisters at the beginning of each backpacking season. But it’s hard to rely on them, so I’ll often just purchase a new canister. What if you could use something like the FlipFuel™ fuel transfer device to consolidate?
That seemed like a pretty good option to me, so let’s check it out in this FlipFuel™ review.
What is the FlipFuel™ Fuel Transfer Device?
At just 1.5 ounces, the FlipFuel™ fuel transfer device is a lightweight backpacking accessory that helps you safely transfer fuel from one canister to another. The company was started in 2021 by a group of Arizona backpackers.
It’s designed for isobutane fuel canisters, such as those from the likes of MSR, Jetboil, and Snow Peak. Ideal for consolidating fuel canisters at the beginning and end of the season, it’s also compact enough to be used on long-distance trips like the PCT, JMT, AT, or CDT.
When you resupply, you can consolidate canisters instead of leaving valuable backpacking fuel behind.
How to Use the FlipFuel™ Fuel Transfer Device
I’ll admit, it took me a few tries to use the fuel transfer device properly. But I’m admittedly not always the best at reading instructions thoroughly.
After a little practice, here’s my step-by-step process for transferring fuel:
1. Make sure the receiving canister is cooler than the sending canister (more on this below).
2. Thread both canisters into the device with the receiving canister on top (the side labeled IN) and the sending canister on the bottom (labeled OUT).
3. Open the valve to start the fuel transfer and listen for a hissing noise.
4. When the hissing noise subsides, close the valve and detach the receiving canister first, followed by the sending canister.
5. Once disconnected from both canisters, depress the VENT button on the device to purge any remaining fuel inside.
How to Create the Needed Temperature Difference
FlipFuel™ recommends placing the receiving canister in the freezer or, for wilderness applications, in the shade of your backpack. You can then place the sending canister in the sun and let both sit in their respective locations for about 5-10 minutes.
There must be a temperature difference between the canisters to achieve a successful transfer. That difference doesn’t have to be extreme, but it’s vital to the device’s operation. Here are a few methods to create that temperature difference:
On The Trail
Set one canister in direct sunlight and place the other in the shade of your backpack, a boulder, a tree, or any other convenient object. FlipFuel™ recommends waiting at least five minutes, but my testing suggests that a longer wait time may aid in creating a more successful transfer. Turning the canister in the sun at 180° after five minutes may help it warm up more evenly.
At a Resupply
Politely borrow a cup of ice from a beverage stand or pizza joint (not the only two options, obviously). Place one canister in the shade and surround it with ice. Place the other canister in direct sunlight. Wait 5-10 minutes before connecting the device to transfer fuel.
Place one canister in the freezer and leave the other out at room temperature. Wait five minutes and then complete the transfer.
What to Do with Your Empty Canisters
One of the best parts about this device is the ability to reuse, repurpose, or recycle those old fuel canisters. The ability to refill empty canisters allows you to reuse or repurpose them instead of throwing them away or letting them collect dust in your garage for years.
When it comes to recycling, a lot will depend on your local or municipal regulations. But in order to recycle old isobutane canisters, they must be completely empty, which is where the FlipFuel™ device comes in handy.
From there, FlipFuel™ advises poking a hole in the canister before disposing of it according to local regulations. Outdoor Element makes a great tool to help you easily poke a hole in your fuel canisters before recycling them. Here’s a quick video demo:
What Do You Think After Reading This FlipFuel Review?
Let me know what you think about this transfer device in the comments below!