The Best Pepper Spray For Bears: Guides & Ranking 2022

Scott Nelson By, Scott Nelson
Updated
SABRE Frontiersman 7.9 oz. Bear Spray, Maximum Strength 2.0% Major Capsaicinoids
Image credit: Amazon.com

The most common attacks by unwelcome guests in the wilderness are from bears. With their sharp senses and natural inquisitiveness, they will come close to you to sniff or investigate something. This is why it’s important to have a self-defense tool that you can use when threatened by a bear.

Which is why we’re talking about pepper sprays today. Pepper spray is known as an effective tool against any intruder, regardless of their size and strength. It works by temporarily incapacitating the target with a painful burning sensation that causes them discomfort and distress. Thankfully, there are different types of pepper spray on the market – some more effective than others at repelling unwelcome visitors from your campsite or cabin. We’ve tested 10 of different varieties of pepper spray for bears – so read on to find out which one works best for you!

You can count on our team of experts who have spent over 20 hours conducting surveys through 3,042 real customer reviews. Because of this, we came to the conclusion that the best-reviewed product is SABRE Frontiersman 7.9 oz. Bear Spray, Maximum Strength 2.0% Major Capsaicinoids. And Udap 12DCH 7.9oz-225g Bear Pepper Spray w/GrizGuard Holster 2PACK, Multi is another choice for you while keeping the product's quality and functionality.

Our Top Picks

  • QUICK & QUIET ACCESS TO PROTECTION: Velcro sound could aggravate a threatening bear and potentially cause aggressive behavior - Frontiersman holsters eliminate the unnecessary Velcro straps allowing for quick & silent access to your spray during an emergency
  • IMMEDIATELY ACCESSIBLE BEAR SPRAY: Easy to access when seconds count, our bear sprays are available with quick draw belt or chest holsters; Strong elastic keeps bear spray secure while out on the trails
  • SPRAYS UP TO 50% FURTHER: With a 30-foot (9-meter) spray range reaching up to 10-feet further than the competition, Frontiersman Bear Spray gives you more time to react to a bear charging up to 35 mph & provide safer protection with a greater protective barrier per burst (up to 58% more than competitors)
  • UDAP Industries, Inc. manufactures the world's hottest self-defense pepper spray
  • 7.9oz-225g Bear Pepper Spray w/ GrizGuard Holster 2PACK
  • TRUST THE PROFESSIONALS: SABRE is the #1 Pepper Spray brand trusted by police and consumers worldwide, including New York PD, Chicago PD, and U.S. Marshals; Made in the USA
  • 5X MORE PROTECTION: 42% of crimes are committed by multiple assailants - this pepper spray has 25 bursts and a true 10-foot (3m) range delivered in a powerful stream from nozzle to the target's eyes while decreasing wind blowback
  • 2X STRONGER: Our maximum strength Pepper Spray is strong enough to use against a goal oriented attacker under the influence of drugs or alcohol; Backed by our industry exclusive in-house HPLC lab, guaranteeing maximum strength in each canister
  • ADVANCED 3-IN-1 FORMULA: Powerful Defense Spray formulation contains SABRE’s maximum strength pepper spray, as well as CS military tear gas, which heightens the burn of pepper spray, and UV marking dye for suspect identification
  • PROTECTION AT A SAFE DISTANCE AGAINST MULTIPLE THREATS: Canister contains 35 bursts (5x the competition) for protection against multiple threats; 10-foot (3 meter) range provides protection at a safer distance
  • PERSONAL PROTECTION YOU CAN TRUST: SABRE is the #1 pepper spray brand trusted by police. SABRE's professional OC Spray is backed by in-house lab testing, guaranteeing maximum heat and eliminating the 30% failure rate of other brands (U of Utah study)
  • PERSONAL PROTECTION YOU CAN TRUST: SABRE is the #1 pepper spray brand trusted by police & consumers & a leader in the personal safety category. Pepper spray is made in the USA​
  • MAXIMUM STOPPING POWER: SABRE's professional-grade OC Spray is backed by our in-house lab testing, guaranteeing maximum heat and stopping power in every burst and eliminating the 30% failure rate of other pepper spray brands (U of Utah study
  • STAY SAFE WITH FREE SAFETY TRAINING: Feel secure with every SABRE product; Packaging includes links to free training videos so that, in the face of danger, you are better prepared to use your SABRE Pepper Spray​
  • EASY TO USE:AIMHUNTER Home Self Defense Pepper Gel allows with quick release for easy access. This pepper spray has a ring handle with a safety clip, which is easy to carry and prevents accidental pressing. When in use, pull down the orange safety wedge on the top of the handle and press the start button on the top of the handle to spray.
  • Maximum Distance-35 Feet Range: AIMHUNTER Home Self Defense Tactical Pepper Gel has an impressive 25 feet range with a powerful stream to reduce wind blowback by pulling the safety pin and pressing the lever. Pepper spray offers an extreme blast of powerful 10% OC pepper formula ( 2.0% Capsaicinoids) for Personal Protection.It can help you to resist multiple threats within a safe distance of 35 feet. It allows you for self defense both at home or outdoor.
  • Maximize Target Acquisition: AIMHUNTER Tactical Pepper Gel for home Self Defense with Ultraviolet Dye can optimize target acquisition relying on its defense technology with Quick Release for Easy Access. You can send a maximum amount of pepper spray in a smaller package when you pull the safety cap and press the start button for self defense against some threats.
  • √ FULL AXIS (360 degree) FLIP TOP WITH BELT CLIP: This canister is equipped with our full axis technology that fires from any angle, even upside down. With a flip top safety simply flip the top of the lid and press for easy, non-lethal, 360-degree protection. Safely attached to your belt with integrated belt clip
  • √ FIRE-HOT SPRAY: Trusted by POLICE and Military worldwide, non-toxic, powerful, and fiery hot, this is among the best non-lethal pepper sprays. Our formula causes eye and respiratory irritation, stopping the attacker giving you time to flee to safety
  • √ RELIABLE & LONG-LASTING: up to 4-year shelf life, backed by our in-house high-performance liquid chromatography laboratory (HPLC) Made in the USA by Zarc International in a certified ISO 2001:2015 quality controlled facility to guarantee reliability
  • TRAINING VIDEOS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR SAFETY: In addition to your pepper spray, packaging includes links to free SABRE Pepper Spray training videos and safety tips to help maximize your personal safety
  • 5X MORE PROTECTION: 42% of crimes are committed by multiple assailants - this pepper spray has 25 bursts and a true 10-foot (3m) range delivered in a powerful stream from nozzle to the target's eyes while decreasing wind blowback
  • TRUST THE PROFESSIONALS: SABRE is the #1 Pepper Spray brand trusted by police and consumers worldwide, including New York PD, Chicago PD, and U.S. Marshals; Made in the USA
  • TRUST THE PROFESSIONALS: SABRE is the #1 Pepper Spray brand trusted by police and consumers worldwide, including New York PD, Chicago PD, and U.S. Marshals; Made in the USA
  • 5X MORE PROTECTION: 42% of crimes are committed by multiple assailants - this defense spray has 35 bursts and a true 10-foot (3m) range delivered in a powerful stream from nozzle to the target's eyes while decreasing wind blowback; SABRE ADVANCED 3-in-1 formula includes max strength pepper spray, CS tear gas for enhanced burning and UV marking dye to help ID suspect
  • 2X STRONGER: 4 out 10 violent crimes involve alcohol use by the offender - our maximum strength Pepper Spray is strong enough to use against a goal oriented attacker under the influence of drugs or alcohol; Backed by our industry exclusive in-house HPLC lab, guaranteeing maximum strength in each canister
  • LARGE 18-FOOT RANGE: Fires 18 bursts of Pepper Gel with an 18-foot range (5.5 meters), keeping you at a safe distance.
  • STICKY GEL FORMULATION clings to attacker’s skin, to make sure you get the target not by-standers.
  • POWERUL CAPABILITIES: VEXOR Pocket Guard GEL is Maximum Strength, developed with Zarc’s flagship formulation, 10% stronger than other pepper sprays on the market, putting more stopping power in your hands!

Buying Guide and Tips for better purchase of Best pepper spray for bears

Merchandise is much more than a physical item. It's the result of someone having an idea, working on it, and making it a reality. When you go out to buy, these would be the factors you should know once looking for Best pepper spray for bears.

In fact, this is not about how much it costs and what other people think of it, but whether it will suit your requirements and last long enough even for users to have your money's worth out of it. This article will inform consumers about how and why you buy Best pepper spray for bears.

Shelf Life

Bear spray is something you want to never use so it's likely it'll sit on your shelf. Before you go out in the field with your bear spray, make sure it is still functional. This will affect the overall value.

Holster

Depending on what you do, how much bear spray you need will determine your ability to carry. It is important to consider how easily it can be found in case of emergency. It should not be in your bag.
Bear spray should be carried in some type of holster. This will allow you to reach for it easily when necessary. It can be attached to your belt, hip strap or shoulder strap. Spray can be accessed without removing your backpack.
The spray can be carried in a holster so you are able to grab it quickly and keep the spray out of your backpack.

Concentration

Capsaicin is listed in most bear sprays as a concentration between 1 to 2 percent. For maximum effectiveness, bear sprays should contain no more than 2 percent.

Safety And Ease Of Use

Some canisters do not have the same spray or safety features. You may be exposed to danger if you don't have a safety lock. Always purchase a bear spray that has a safety lock.
You will also be amazed at how simple it is to spray, lock, and aim. If a bear approaches you, you don't want to accidentally spray yourself.
In the backcountry, safety should be your number one priority. Don't forget to take your first safety gear with you when stocking up.

Range Of Spray

When shopping for bear spray, one of the most crucial aspects is its range. Some sprays can reach only 12 feet. This distance is not comfortable, but it can provide an acceptable range. To increase the chances of stopping a bear dead in its tracks, aim for a greater range.
Bear sprays should be between 30-40 feet away. The further you are, the better. It should be clear whether the spray is coming from a stream, a lake or both. A narrowly targeted stream will not work unless you can aim well. The perfect aim in these circumstances is difficult to find. Therefore, seek out distances that are reasonable and have a shotgun blast pattern.
The spray speed and distance can also impact the effectiveness of the spray. Sprays can reach speeds up to 70 miles per hour, but others spray at a slower speed. While a spray can travel at a faster speed, it is better to find a balance. This way you can aim your stream more precisely and don't run the risk of sending too many in the wrong direction.

Weight And Size

A spray you are able to keep close by is a must. Bear sprays come in large cans so be sure to have the right size pouch or holster. Another important factor to consider is weight. Although most dogs weigh under a pound and can be carried for longer distances, you should still consider this when packing your backpack.

FAQs

Does Bear Spray Work?

Bear spray is effective and can be used to deter bears. The Journal of Wildlife Management published a 20-year study that concluded bear spray was at least 90% effective in keeping bears from engaging in undesirable behaviors. Bear spray is more efficient and safer than guns to deter bear behavior, according to other sources.

How Do You Carry Bear Spray On A Hike?

Bear spray should always be easily accessible. A lot of bear spray holders allow you to attach it to your backpack, or anywhere else on your body. To help you develop muscle memory, practice accessing it fast.

How Do You Use Bear Spray?

We recommend that you follow the manufacturer's instructions as with all outdoor products. Although the instructions for using the bear spray will vary from one brand to another, there are general guidelines you can use.
Bear spray canisters should be held in your hands with both of your hands. You can hold the canister in one hand and use the other to trigger the spray. The nozzle should be pointed towards you, not away. Before spraying, the bear must be at least 30ft (10mi) from you. Bear spray is currently only allowed to be applied within 40 feet of the bear.
Due to the slight recoil of canisters, it is easier to spray downwards. Canisters should be emptied in a circular motion in the direction that the bear is facing. You will create a bigger cloud between the bear and you.

What’s The Difference Between Bear Mace Vs. Pepper Spray?

Bear mace is different from standard pepper spray in that it has different pressure, volume and spray range. Bear mace can spray up to 40ft and is more pressured. To accommodate this spray range, the spray volume in the canisters is larger than that of pepper spray. Pepper spray and bear mace both contain the active ingredient, oleoresin capicum (OC), at differing volumes. Both can lead to temporary blindness and nausea.

When Should Someone Use Bear Spray?

First, practice bear avoidance. Bear avoidance is key to avoiding bear attacks. A bear attack is not worth taking a picture of. Bear in mind that bears don't usually attack humans and unprovoked sprays can cause more problems than they were. If a bear acts aggressively towards your property, you should not use bear spray.

Is Bear Spray Required?

Bear spray is a must-have for anyone who plans to hike or camp in bear country. Bear spray is not allowed in every park. There are regulations that bear spray must follow. Bear spraying is not allowed in bear country. Check local regulations.

Conclusion

Best pepper spray for bears are usually made of high-quality materials, come with a warranty in case something goes wrong, and have a lot of positive customer feedback. If you want to buy the best commodity for your necessities, you must first understand what characteristics or qualities constitute an "ideal" item.

You can also look into VEXOR® Pepper Gel from Zarc™, Maximum Strength Police Pepper Spray, Gel is The Future as an alternative to the options listed above. We hope that this list of excuses why investing in the best is worthwhile will assist you in making an informed decision when shopping online.


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About Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson is a freelance writer who specializes in camping and wildlife topics. He has written for several outdoor magazines and websites, and he enjoys nothing more than spending a weekend in the woods with his family. Scott is an experienced camper and backpacker, and he has also spent considerable time studying the behavior of bears and other large mammals.

Read Scott's full bio