Best Bear Spray For Hiking: 2022 Edition
Update – January 2022 [We have added a new bear spray brand at #7 to make this list more up-to-date. Another quick heads up, products #1,2,3 and 5 are discontinued on Amazon for now.]
If you’re looking for a quick verdict, here you go:
[We analyzed a total of 7 prominent bear spray brands for over 10 hours. And finally came up with the winner. The SABRE Pepper Spray Keychain is the best bear spray out there for you and your family. Its operation range provides you maximum stopping power from a distance of upto 10 feet. You get an access to their online collection of self-defence training videos too with this purchase.
You can get an affordable deal with the FRONTIERSMAN Bear Spray with Chest or Belt Holster under the 25 dollars price range. It has a good range of spray and strength that makes it a smart budget buy.]
For a detailed analysis of how we arrived at the above verdict, make sure you read all product reviews till the very end. This will equip you to make the most-informed final buying decision.
Factors To Consider Before Buying
A bear spray is something that will come in handy when you and a grizzly bear unintentionally meet at the crossroads. And in this case, they are hardly as scared of you as you are of them. So the smart and humane thing to do here is to use the famous magician’s trick! Create a bear spray fog cloud and disappear into it to prevent yourself from being the bear’s dinner.
Not all bear sprays are as efficient as your favorite brand. But if you are a first-time buyer or planning to try a different one then just take care of the following main factors:
Depending upon your preferences and budget, you can easily find the bear spray of your choice. The standard one comes for around 35 dollars and weighs approximately 9 ounces. Then there are the ones that come with belt holsters and other convenient features.
You might like the one with the glow-in-the-dark feature that helps you under all lighting conditions. They come in customized packs to make their use all the more comfortable for you. The better the features, the more you will need to pay. But, it is worth the price if it perfectly fits your requirement.
Most of the bear spray brands advertise their range to be 12 – 35 feet. But, in reality, it will always be around 15 – 20 feet. You should at least go with the one that has about 16 feet range. Else, you will not be able to effectively use the bear spray until the bear comes too close.
You must always maintain a good distance with the bears even while spraying the product. This way you will be able to remove yourself from the situation with minimal damage. And, maintaining a good distance will also prevent you from paralyzing with fear at the moment.
The bear sprays are the improvised versions of the pepper sprays. They have the same active ingredient called Oleoresin capsicum (OC) in their composition as that of the pepper sprays. The hot peppery nature of the world’s hottest pepper is determined by the level of major capsaicinoids (MC) concentration.
The allowable maximum strength for self-defense reasons fixed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is 2 percent. You will find the strength of the bear sprays to be in the range of 1 – 2% MC. It has the strength of 0.18 – 1.33 % MC for the average pepper sprays.
Number of Cans
One is not enough when it comes to life and death. Though, we hope the situation never gets that extreme still it is always better to be extra careful. You might lose or run out of just one can during your trip. At that time, it will not be possible to get it delivered in 30 seconds or less!
So it’s better to travel with a couple of bear sprays. And give at least one can to each one in your team so that they can defend for themselves no matter what. You will thank your farsightedness later when this smart move of yours helps save you or someone else in the time of need.
An average bear spray has the shelf life of 3 to 4 years. You might want to check that first while buying it. If you buy them in bulk or have not been to any outdoor adventure in a long while then you might forget about them completely.
Chances are that you will one day discover then while cleaning. And decide to take them with you on the trip next day. Always check their expiry date before packing them up for the trip. There is no guarantee of their range and strength after they have expired.
The bear spray manufacturers have come up with a number of amazing features over time. You have the glow-in-the-dark technology that helps you a great deal during nighttime safaris. The safety lock prevents accidental discharge so that you don’t spray it all over yourself or someone nearby by mistake.
The belt/chest holster is there to make it handy for you. You don’t need to carry it in hand and risk dropping it in the river or valley by mistake. Nor, do you need to waste the precious seconds emptying your bag trying to find it the second you are under attack.
These are some of the many features that will help you make a smart purchase every single time.
Best Bear Spray Reviews
Let us take a look at our top picks of this season. We have mentioned their main features, pros, and cons to guide you better in the buying process.
1. FRONTIERSMAN Bear Spray with Chest or Belt Holster
The bear spray has been approved by the Elmendorf Air Force Base in Elmendorf in Alaska as well as Brown Bear Resources in Missoula in Montana. It is easy to use and comes with a number of latest features to make your journeys into the wild all the more carefree at just under 25 dollars.
- Use it with proven effectiveness against brown, black and polar bears.
- Has been the preference of New York Police Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the US Customs and the Border Protection.
- Offers the 30 feet range and 2% CS strength for optimum performance every time.
- Some users have complained about getting faulty cans that won’t spray.
2. RUGER RB0100 Bear Pepper Spray System
Packed compactly in the 9 oz can, you can use it to defend yourself against a variety of bears. Its fog cloud penetrates even the wet fur to provide better protection in all kinds of scenarios. You can order one for yourself today for just around 38 dollars.
- Offers 9.2 seconds of continuous spray for maximum protection.
- The spray range is 20 feet to keep you at sufficient distance from the attacking bear.
- Its compact design makes it a useful choice in almost every dangerous situation.
- You can get a replacement or refund within only 30 days from the date of purchase.
3. 10.2 oz. Counter Assault Bear Deterrent
Priced within the 50 dollars mark, it offers you the best in terms of strength, range, and ease of use. At 10.2 oz, it boasts of being one of the biggest cans in the market to provide you with the strongest security cover, always.
- The spray range is 12 – 32 feet approximately.
- At 2.0% MC, it has the strongest formula in the market.
- Comes with the belt holster and glow-in-the-dark safety features.
- Strapping on the holster might be a bit difficult for the buyers.
4. Bear Guard Alaska Bear Pepper Spray 9 Ounce Can with Nylon Holster
Effective around all the prominent bear species, you will feel even more assured about your safety while traveling with it. It comes with proper attachments to carry it around with ease and is known to be gentle on the surrounding ecosystem at a price of around 36 dollars.
- Being EPA registered makes it safe for the environment while protecting you completely.
- Has the spray range of 15 – 20 feet for maintaining maximum distance from the bear at all times.
- Large sized can amplifies your security net for complete peace of mind even on long trips.
- The complaint of leaked cans has been received from a few of the customers.
5. Mace Brand Bear Attack Survival Spray With Mace Bear Defense Spray, Matching Carry Holster
You get a useful, humane and safe way of dealing with unruly bears with the help of this spray. With a price tag of under 35 dollars, you surely get your money’s worth with its latest and time-tested features.
- Its fogger spray style creates a thicker barrier between you and the bear.
- One of the strongest EPA – approved bear spray formulas in the market at present.
- Comes with a carry holster for easy access at the time of need.
- You might run out of it sooner than you expect.
6. UDAP Bear Spray With Camo Hip Holster
You can score a great deal under 40 dollars with this trusted bear spray. It is not lethal to the environment or the bear. It will just help in the prevention of any harm to you from the wild bear without threatening its life.
- The quick release safety cap helps you act faster while facing danger.
- Comes with the 30 feet spray range.
- You get a camouflage hip holster to keep it with you conveniently.
- The non-durability of the holster makes it useless.
7. SABRE Pepper Spray Keychain, 25 Bursts of Maximum Police Strength OC Spray, Quick Release Key Ring for Easy Access, Finger Grip for Accurate Aim, Twist Lock Safety, 10-Foot Range, Assorted Color
The ergonomic and easy to carry SABRE Pepper Spray Keychain allows you to be discreet and completely in control with your personal safety. You can order one for just 12 dollars right now!
- It is a professional-grade OC Spray and comes with maximum heat and stopping power.
- The spray functions on a 10-foot range with a capacity of upto 25 bursts.
- You get a Quick Release Key Ring with this spray to keep the accidental hit incidents to a minimum.
- Its twist-lock design gives a messy and unreliable performance.
These are our top selections among the vast number of bear sprays that you encounter day in and day out.
Benefits of Using A Bear Spray
There are a number of ways in which bear sprays make your travel better each time. Take a look at the select few below:
Better than Guns
Guns are hardly ever the answer. And in case of bears, they have been proven to be far less effective than a conventional bear spray. You don’t need to aim accurate or suffer from the guilt of killing a living creature with these sprays. They are extremely easy on nature while co-existing in your biosphere.
Non-Lethal to Bears
Most of the times, the bears are attacking you as they assume that you are out to hunt them. They are amazing wild creatures that enrich the ecosystem with their presence. The bear sprays make sure that you incapacitate them for a short duration till you can escape the situation. You don’t cause any fatal injury to them with the sprays.
Environmental – Friendly
You can rest assured that you are not harming the flora in any way with its use. They are tested properly and created to allow only eco-friendly usage. The environment is completely safe when you use them on a bear for self-defense.
Good Shelf Life
These sprays come with a good shelf life for obvious reasons. Most of us today hardly go on an outdoor trip into the woods once or twice a year. So it makes complete sense that the bear sprays will be made to last for at least a couple of years so that we don’t need to finish every new one within the next few months.
Easy to Use
One of the many reasons that the bear sprays have become a hit outdoor accessory is that they are extremely user-friendly. It is almost as simple as using a deodorant bottle where you are aiming somewhere close to the bear! Still, it will be better to practice at least once before with any additional holster that it comes with.
These are few of the benefits that make bear sprays a must-have item for everyone in your circle on your next trip into the woods.
There a number of ways in which the outdoor life refreshes your mind, body, and soul. Don’t let few silly issues prevent you from enjoying the camp life to the fullest. Just be smart and vigilant while on the move to have a safe and fun time. In our opinion, SABRE Pepper Spray Keychain is your best bet at present. Its formula is 2 times stronger and 6 times more overpowering than other bear sprays. It has a 4-year shelf life and is fully manufactured in USA.
How about sharing this valuable information with your friends and family too? Simply share it online with them to make them as aware as yourself today. Comment below to let us know your thoughts on bear sprays along with your favorites!