7 of The Best Bear Sprays of 2018 – Buyer’s Guide and Reviews

best bear spray

Excursions in the wilderness can be a lot of fun. The enjoyment can turn to danger if you encounter a bear. Bear attacks are usually preventable, but you must be prepared to avoid having a bad experience. Bear spray can give you an advantage for buying enough time to get out of the way of an angry or hungry bear. We've put together a guide to help you find the best bear spray. We've also included a review of the seven most highly recommended products to help you find the spray that will ease your concerns and make your next wilderness trip safe and enjoyable.

List of The Best Bear Sprays

RELATED: What if you don't have a bear spray with you? Read our article on "How to stay safe from bear".

Review of The Best Bear Sprays

Here are the top seven bear sprays on the market right now. These are the most highly recommended products by customers who give them excellent ratings for quality and dependability.

Our Rating:

Large sized canister gives you a steady stream of powerful bear spray to repel the most stubborn animal. Quality testing assures that the Sabre brand is up to 30% more reliable with fewer failures than some other brands.

Easy access:

Sabre Frontiersman bear spray comes with an included holster that may be worn on the chest or belt. This makes the repellent easy to carry in a place that you can get to fast in an emergency. Enjoy the peace of mind that hassle free access brings.

Maximum strength:

Most formulations are 1.0% capsaicinoids. Sabre Frontiersman features 2.0% active ingredient which is the maximum that Health Canada and the EPA allow by law. Increased strength means fewer failures and greater safety when in bear country.

Extra spray distance:

The spray reaches bears at a distance off up to 35 feet. This means you can remain at a safe distance when using. Stop a bear long before he reaches you.

Proven effective:

Field testing of this product confirms that it is effective for repelling polar bears, black bears and brown bears.

Special safety feature:

Sabre Frontiersman bear spray is made with a glow in the dark feature. This allows you to find the canister when you need it most, regardless of the lighting conditions.

Free-standing tent style sets up quickly and easily in just minutes.

Our Rating:

Frontiersman Bear Spray in the 7.9 oz size offers a generous 30 foot range for repelling bears from a safe distance. Stay safe in bear country with the reliable effectiveness of Frontiersman.

Maximum strength:

A generous two percent is the strongest allowed formulation by Health Canada and EPA. This strong formula is thirty percent more effective than most other brands.

Total coverage:

Spray power reaches bears up to thirty feet away from you. Keep a safe distance between you and the bears. Stay safer from bear attacks and threats. Sprays up to 45 grams of bear spray per second for maximum penetration that keeps you safe.

Field tested:

Testing in the field has shown this bear spray to be effective with proven results. Deters Polar bears, black bears and brown bears. Stops bears from advancing on you fast.

Easy access:

Chest holder makes it easy to reach this product when you need it the most. The addition of a glow in the dark makes it easy to locate in any lighting conditions from broad daylight to the darkest night. You won't be caught by surprise.

Our Rating:

Keep bears at a safe distance with strong repellent. Impressive firing distance and effective deterrent.

Impressive firing distance:

Counter Assault bear deterrent sprays at a distance between 12 and 32 feet. This gives you the advantage of distance to prevent bears from reaching you.

Safety cap:

Accidental discharges can disable you for 20 to 90 minutes. The special safety cap guards against accidentally discharging the repellent when used properly and with caution.

Rapid discharge:

Spray discharges at a fast rate for maximum fur penetration. Contents empty in approximately 9.2 seconds to douse would be attackers and disable them before they have the chance to reach you.

Fast and easy access:

The holster feature allows you to wear in a convenient location on the body. Suitable for chest or waist carrying to keep the bear deterrent in a spot that allows fast and easy access when you need it the most.

Our Rating:

The complete bear deterrent system keeps you safe from bear attacks on outdoor excursions in bear country. Top rated bear spray keeps the bears away.

Survivor developed:

UDAP bear spray has been developed by the survivor of a bear attack. The utmost of care and consideration for human safety in bear country was made in the development of this highly effective bear deterrent spray.

Powerful fog:

UDAP discharges a powerful fog discharge of bear spray to make the most persistent bears stop in their tracks.

Trusted brand:

UDAP is highly rated as one of the most trusted brands of bear deterrent on the market today. It uses the hottest formulation of bar spray that is legally permitted for manufacture and sale. This increases the effectiveness against bears and keeps you safer in the woods.

Easy access design holster:

This bear spray comes with an exclusive Griz Guard holster for fast and easy access.

Our Rating:

Travel with greater safety and peace of mind in bear country with Tornado Pepper spray for deterring bears.

Continuous release feature:

The 9 ounce can offers a constant spray that lasts up to 9.2 seconds for delivering a high dose of bear deterrent quickly in emergency situations.

High penetrating:

Tornado pepper spray delivers a strong fog of deterrent that penetrates even the thickest bear fur quickly for effective protection against attacks.

Long distance range:

This formula is contained in a canister that reaches up to 20 feet away to keep you at a safe distance from threatening bears. A fog cloud pattern ensures that your target is well covered for the best possible results. Effective on multiple varieties of bear.

Don't let smell attract bears to your camp, use smell proof backpacks. To find out more, check our Review on "Best Smell proof Backpacks"

Our Rating:

Deluxe coverage for multiple hikers or campers with a convenient two pack of Guard Alaska bear spray repellent.

Dual protection:

Two 9 ounce canisters of strong bear repellent offers extra protection for campers, hikers or backpackers traveling through locations populated by bears.

Fast and easy access:

The two-pack of Guard Alaska bear spray repellent with the Firemaster canister comes with two metal belt clip holsters for convenient carrying on belt. This puts the bear spray in a place where you can get to it fast.

Strong and effective formula:

Pepper Enforcement delivers a potent spray that stops bears from advancing to attack. A strength of 1.34% makes this powerful bear deterrent highly effective in dissuading bears from pursuing you.

Fast discharge:

Spray dispenses quickly to cover threatening bears with strong capsaicinoid bear deterrent. This gives you time to get away and avoid injury.

Long range spray feature:

Guard Alaska's Firemaster canister delivers up to 9 ounces of bear deterrent in a rapid stream for maximum coverage. Stay at a safe distance from bears with a spray range of between 15 and 20 feet.

Our Rating:

Don't get caught in bear country without protection. Mace brand bear pepper spray offers effective bear deterrent for reliable results.

Fogger type:

You'll appreciate the maximum coverage benefits of the fogger spray type system. Covers would be attackers with a fog of repellent that stops them from advancing quickly.

EPA approved:

The strong formulation of pepper mace is a safe and humane deterrent for threatening bears. You get the protection you need in an emergency situation and when the spray wears off, the bear can go about his business with no harmful after effects.

Fast fire rate:

Pepper Mace bear spray discharges at a rate of 260 grams in a matter of just 5.4 seconds.

Long spray range:

Stay at a safe distance when using this product. The spray is effective for deterring bears from a distance of up to thirty feet.

Considerations Before Buying

Before you buy bear spray, think about the size that you can comfortably carry.

Choose the size that is the most convenient. You should be able to carry it in a location that is easy to reach in an emergency situation.

Some bear sprays have a longer firing range than others. This can be anywhere from 8 to 35 feet. The longer the spraying distance, the better when you need to fend off an attack.

Another consideration to make is to read the instructions for use. Antidotes are available to provide relief if you inadvertently spray yourself. You must avoid coming into contact with the spray because it can cause pain, burning and interfere with eyesight until the active ingredients wear off.

What Is a Bear Spray?

Bear spray is a form of pepper spray, but it is different. It contains an ingredient called Oleoresin Capsicum. Bear spray is not as strong as pepper spray, but it is effective in deflecting bear attacks. Some are oil based and others are water based. It is a non-lethal way to defend yourself when bears threaten to attack.

When sprayed in the eyes, the pepper spray temporarily disables the bear without causing permanent damage. The effects last between 20 and 90 minutes.

Why Should You Keep Bear sprays With You?

You never know when you'll come across a bear when you're outdoors. While most bears prefer to go the other way when they see humans, not all follow this rule. Bears have been known to attack people they feel threatened or if they have cubs nearby. If you plan to be in bear country, bear spray could save your life.

What Quality Do I Need? Will Cheaper Brands Work?

The price of bear spray depends on the brand, the size of the canister and the vendor selling it. Some state and national parks offer a limited number of cans for free or reduced rates. It's best to choose a brand that has good reviews. Not all bear sprays are created equally. Some formulations are weaker than others. Another concern is dependability.

The canister and spray mechanism should be reliable. If you find a review that indicates spray failure, avoid the product because it may let you down when you need it the most. Cheap doesn't always mean inferior, but a good rule of thumb is to go with a moderately priced product because in most cases, you get what you pay for.

How Do I Carry Bear Spray? Do I Need a Holster?

If you buy the smaller size, you can either carry it on your belt or in a purse. The larger sized containers are made to be carried in a holster so if you don't want to use a holster, it's best to choose a smaller sized canister. Some bear spray products are even made in a key chain size, but you may only get one use out of this miniature sized container.

Final Verdict

Traveling in wilderness areas that are populated by bears doesn't need to be a frightening experience. Equipping yourself with a high quality bear spray can give you extra protection from bear attacks and peace of mind in knowing you're covered.

Our selection of the best bear sprays offer the most popular and highly recommended brands of bear spray from people who have used and given their opinions on the value of these products. Each was chosen for their dependability and effectiveness in emergency situations.

Before making your final decision, we recommend that you take a look at the features described in each product review. You'll find differences formulation strength, product size, discharge rate and spray range to give you a variety of different options.

Choose the option that best suits your needs, become familiar with the recommendations for use and safety warnings, and prepare for to defend yourself against bear attacks before your next trip.

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