Top 5 Best Bear Sprays for 2020

best bear spray

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If you are planning a hiking or camping trip into the wilderness, having the proper equipment is crucial. One of the items that you should never go without is a can of the best bear spray on the market for 2020. Experts agree that bear spray is more useful than even a gun when you encounter one of these large animals. The bear is a resilient, tough creature and the best thing you can do is get it to run off so you can escape yourself.

The issue is that there are a lot of different sprays for bears out there, which can make it challenging to decide which is the best. That’s why we did the footwork for you to seek out the bear spray that can handle the job better than its competitors. You’ll see five options below that can keep you safe if you end up in a situation where you need it.

Read further and we’ll also share the unique factors that set one spray apart from the next. This will provide all the information you need to pick the right product for your upcoming excursion, no matter where you are going or what you are doing. First, our product comparison table will give you the facts on these five top options for taking on big animals in the woods.

Best Bear Spray Reviews for 2020

 NameSpray RangeSpray Duration 
Counter Assault - EPA CertifiedCounter Assault – EPA Certified, Maximum Strength & Distance Bear Repellent Spray
Up to 40 feet8 seconds continuous sprayCHECK LATEST PRICE
Udap Bear Spray SafetyUdap Bear Spray Safety Orange with Color Griz Guard Holster
Up to 30 feet5 seconds continuous sprayCHECK LATEST PRICE
Sabre Frontiersman Bear SpraySabre Frontiersman Bear Spray 7.9 OuncesUp to 30 feet8 seconds continuous sprayCHECK LATEST PRICE
Mace Brand MaximumMace Brand Maximum Strength Bear SprayUp to 35 feet6 seconds continuous sprayCHECK LATEST PRICE
Guard Alaska 9 oz. Bear SprayGuard Alaska 9 Ounce Bear Spray Repellent & Pepper Enforcement Belt Clip HolsterUp to 20 feet9 seconds continuous sprayCHECK LATEST PRICE

Counter Assault - EPA Certified, Maximum Strength & Distance Bear Repellent Spray

Counter Assault - EPA Certified

One of the most commonly used of the bear sprays on our list is this one by Counter Assault. It’s a reliable, effective option for bears that comes at a decent price. It comes in a large can, offers a range of 40 feet, empties in about nine seconds, and gives you better control of the amount of spay.

This contender for the top bear sprays is the only deterrent for bears that meets the Significant New Alternative Policy requirements of the Clean Air Act in terms of ozone-depleting substances.

Pros

  • Bear spray can reach 12 to 40 feet and has a spray time of more than nine seconds
  • Features a long shelf life of up to four years, which is more than enough time for most
  • Comes with a simple to use safety cap to keep from accidental pepper spray discharge

Cons

  • Improper use can lead to shooting spray at user instead of bear

Udap Bear Spray Safety Orange with Color Griz Guard Holster

Udap Bear Spray Safety

Udap’s bear spray for the Canada wilderness has something interesting going for it since the creator of the product is a bear attack survivor himself. It’s made by someone who has firsthand knowledge of what the best spray needs to offer. It has a 30 foot range of effectiveness and has been used to prevent bear attacks by users in the past.

The formula affects a bear’s eyes, lungs, and nose immediately to prevent them from charging. However, it does only emit the product for about five seconds at a time.

Pros

  • Bear spray offers a 30 foot maximum spray and a maximum CRC of 2.0% for bears
  • Easy to use bear spray comes with Griz Grid holsters to turn a bear around in no time
  • Created by a bear attack survivor to work in situations where it’s needed the most

Cons

  • Duration of the spray is fairly low when compared to other bear pepper spray

Sabre Frontiersman Bear Spray 7.9 Ounces

Sabre Frontiersman Bear Spray

This Frontiersman bear spray is considered by many to be the best bear spray of all time. The strong pepper spray has a range of 30 feet, which is similar to many other brands on the market. The product creates a thick, heavy fog in the air to ensure your safety around bears. It has a superior efficiency and accuracy so you can trust it in situations where you need it do its job.

This particular product has been proven effective by Brown Bear Resources and Elmendorf Air Force Base and includes a chest holster for easy access.

Pros

  • Maximum strength bear spray offers exceptional protection from a safe distance
  • Heavy fog bear deterrent that has easy access courtesy of chest holster design
  • Proven effectiveness in the field by Brown Bear Resources and Elmendorf Air Force Base

Cons

  • Nylon sheath included with bear sprays may not be as high quality as expected

Mace Brand Maximum Strength Bear Spray

Mace Brand Maximum

Mace is one of the best manufacturers of bear deterrents and is comparable to Canadian Tire bear spray. It can deter and prevent bear attacks in a humane and safe manner. It uses a 2.0% capsaicin concentration to create a spray range of up to 35 feet. This product can protect you and your family when camping, hiking, or doing other activities in areas with bears.

This spray comes with a finger loop handle and a safety clip so you can access the product quickly whenever you need it.

Pros

  • EPA approved bear deterrent has a four year shelf life to last until you need it most
  • Features a spray of 35 feet with a 2.0% capsaicin concentration for efficiency
  • Simple to use bear spray comes with a finger loop handle on a safety clip

Cons

  • Some users have experienced issues with the pepper spray wafting back towards them instead of the bears

Guard Alaska 9 Ounce Bear Spray Repellent & Pepper Enforcement Belt Clip Holster

Guard Alaska 9 oz. Bear Spray

Guard Alaska bear deterrent has been tested in Alaskan wilderness against various bears to prove its high level of effectiveness. It has a fogger system that can cover a bear’s face in the nine seconds of time that it works. The bear sprays come in a nine ounce container and contain 1.35% capsaicin formula. It also has a range of up to 20 feet, making it one of the best bear sprays out there.

This product offers a 30 day money back guarantee and a four year life on the shelf so it will last until you need it.

Pros

  • Bear spray is appropriate for all species of bears with a simple to use design
  • Features a spray distance of 15-20 feet in a nine-ounce supersized bottle
  • Pepper spray comes with a free holster and a 30 day money back guarantee

Cons

  • Distance may not always be as far as expected due to other factors

A Buyer’s Guide to Bear Spray

When you are shopping different bear sprays, there are numerous things to take into account. You shouldn’t just pick up a random product, look at the label that says, “Bear Spray Canadian Tire,” buy it, and move on. Doing a little homework on the different options to repel a bear will go a long way to ensuring you stay safe if one of these animals crosses your path. Think about everything from shelf life to positioning and ingredients in the spray.

Bear Deterrent Positioning and Holsters

One of the first things you should be aware of when using a bear repellent is that you don’t want to shove it in the bottom of your bag. You can probably guess why this can be an issue when a bear strolls up to meet you. It isn’t going to wait around on you while you pull out the bear spray, take off the safety cap, and then use it.

Instead, you want your bear spray to be easily accessible at all times. The only way for this to happen is if the product is in a position where you can grab it when and if a bear crosses your path. Having the product in a holster is often the best option but you also need to be sure the holster is well-designed. It should have the following:

  • In an accessible location when a bear is spotted
  • Features versatile attachment options
  • Is easy to open and use in a situation where time matters
  • Offers durable holding power upon encountering a bear

The best holsters for bear sprays will let you attach them to chest straps, hip belts, and other places. They should make it simple to attach them to a belt or a backpack. In addition, they should keep the item secure, so you don’t lose it. Holsters need to be reliable and easy to open so you can use them immediately upon seeing a bear.

Active Ingredient in the Bear Spray

In most cases, the best bear sprays are based on a single ingredients: capsaicin. This ingredient is derived from chili peppers and will immediately stop a bear and send it running in a different direction. This is a temporary effect that makes a bear’s eyes, mouth, and nose feel as if they are on fire. It can cause sneezing, growling, and pain.

This kind of spray can also be painful to humans, which is why you should never point bear spray at a human. Aim it downwind and ensure it isn’t going to hit you while you use it. There are various concentrations of capsaicin and a higher concentration will be more likely to send bears away from you. This is especially true when you are going for a big bear like a grizzly.

While bear and pepper spray are similar items, bear spray is not as strong and is not intended for use on humans. You should not use pepper spray on a bear as the ingredients are different and the pepper spray is unlikely to have the intended effect.

After you use the product on an animal, you will have time to get away from the bear. However, that doesn’t mean you should assume you will be safe forever. It’s best to continue being aware of your surroundings and move quickly.

Spray Duration

Every canister of bear spray is only going to hold a certain amount of fluid. The fluid is high pressure and when you use it, the fluid only lasts a certain amount of time. The average can will last around three to eight seconds. This might not seem like a lot of time, but when you’re staring down bears, it’s longer than you might think.

However, it does mean that after using the bear product a single time, you’ll likely need to replace it. It might seem like the duration doesn’t matter but going for a longer duration is always recommended. This will offer you a greater level of safety if you happen to run across two or more bears during an outing.

Spray Distance

The final major factor to consider with bear spray is how far it will go. Even having the best holster won’t prevent poor performance if the bear spray doesn’t go far enough to reach the bears. Most of the products you find will last a distance of somewhere between 20 and 40 feet. Keep in mind that this is affected by accuracy and wind. When a bear is chasing you down, you might be surprised how easy it is to miss your aim.

How to Use Bear Spray Properly

First, be aware that you should use bear spray only when a bear is in the process of coming to attack you. It shouldn’t be used on your gear or clothing as this can attract bears to come toward you. The following tips will walk you through using the spray in a proper manner:

  • Make sure you practice with the bear spray before you ever have an actual reason to use it.
  • Always keep the product in a place where it is easy to access.
  • Do whatever you can to keep some space between you and the approaching bear.
  • Keep your focus on the bear at all times to avoid accidents.
  • When spraying, aim toward the eyes and nose of the animal.
  • Spray the bear until it turns and starts to walk away, this can take around five to seven seconds.
  • Keep to the minimum recommended spraying distance and only spray when the bear is close enough for you to hit it.
  • Only use this spray as a last resort, stay cautious and make some noise to avoid surprising bears to prevent an attack.

Wrapping Up

Now that you’ve read our recommendations for the best bear sprays, you can decide which one is appropriate for your needs. If you’re going to be out somewhere where you could encounter a bear, this is a must-have product. Remember that you shouldn’t skimp on the cheapest version, since it may not work as well in a clutch situation where it counts.

When you come across a bear, you’ll be glad you have a solid spray to back you up in the moment. Use our tips and reviews to find that option and have a good time out there!

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