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Best Bear Spray of 2024

Sophie Anderson

Written by Sophie Anderson

A lifelong adventurer, Sophie has treaded every terrain from rocky cliffs to forest trails. She aims to spark a love for the outdoors in every reader.

This post was last updated on April 22, 2024.

Best Bear Spray of 2024

Encountering a bear on a trek can be as awe-inspiring as it is terrifying. In such situations, bear sprays are a lifesaver, striking the delicate balance between safety and respect for wildlife. On this note, let's tread on the path less trodden and shine a spotlight on Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Spray, which has earned its stripes as the best bear spray you can get your hands on.

Why Counter Assault? That's a valid question popping in your mind! With its potent formula, impressive spray duration, and effective range, it helps ensure you can maintain a safe distance from an advancing bear. Moreover, weighing in at just about right, it won't turn your backpack into a burden. The safety features also stack up nicely, minimizing the chances of accidental discharge.

Aside from Counter Assault, we've also tested a variety of bear detergents and nailed down two runners-up that really give the top pick a run for its money. To help you pick the best, we delve into the intricacies, breaking down each product based on several features and facets, without making it sound like rocket science. And if you're an avid camper, don't forget to check out our top picks for Best Camping Tents, Best 4-Season Tents, and Best Backpacking Backpacks for your next backcountry trip.

Our Top Recommendations

Our Top Pick

7.0 /10
Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Spray Bear Spray
Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Spray
Ease of Use
8
Spray Distance
7
Weight
6

The Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Spray reigns as our top pick thanks to its far-reaching 12-foot spray distance and rave reviews about its ease-of-use, even in high-stress encounters.

Runner Up #1

8.0 /10
Sabre Frontiersman Bear Spray Bear Spray
Sabre Frontiersman Bear Spray
Ease of Use
8
Spray Distance
9
Weight
7

The Sabre Frontiersman Bear Spray tops the list thanks to its remarkable 35-foot range and speedy deployment, which users praise for providing reliable safety in unexpected encounters with wildlife.

Runner Up #2

7.7 /10
Guard Alaska Bear Spray Bear Spray
Guard Alaska Bear Spray
Ease of Use
8
Spray Distance
9
Weight
6

Guard Alaska Bear Spray earns its top pick runner-up position with verified users praising its impressive 20-foot spray range and reliable effectivity in real-life bear encounters, setting it above the rest.

What you should look for

(and what we test for)

Range

Look for bear sprays that can reach a minimum of 16 feet; when a bear is charging, every foot of distance counts.

Duration

A bear spray that outputs for at least six seconds is crucial, to give you enough time to create a cloud of deterrent between yourself and the bear.

Strength

When selecting bear spray, you want a product with a minimum 1% capsaicin content; it’s the 'heat' that deters the bear, and anything less might not do the trick.

Safety Features

Ensure the bear spray has a safety cap to prevent accidental discharges, but which can be quickly disengaged when you need it in a split second.

7.0 /10

Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Spray

$54.99
The Best Bear Spray

Based on our research and testing, we think the Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Spray is the best Bear Spray on the market right now, for anyone looking to play hard outside.

Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Spray Bear Spray
Ease of Use
8
Spray Distance
7
Weight
6

Reasons to Buy

  • Long effective spray distance
  • Formulation with the highest allowed percentage of active ingredient
  • Bright safety color
  • Dependable shelf life

Reasons to Avoid

  • More expensive than other options
  • Size might be too bulky for some

Kicking off our list is the tough and reliable, Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Spray. Its impressive combination of reach, duration, and potency draws a lot of positive feedback from outdoor enthusiasts and professionals alike.

The first thing that strikes you about the Counter Assault is its long spraying distance. With a reach of 12 to 32 feet, it provides a safety buffer, allowing you to deter a potential bear threat from a decent distance. Customers have praised this feature, comparing it to having an extended arm

Next up is the spray duration. The Counter Assault holds its own with a 7-second continuous spray. This gives you ample time to react and spray again, if necessary, which customers have also appreciated.

Possessing a potent formula, the spray is designed to irritate the eyes, nose and respiratory system of a bear, deterring them without causing lasting harm. The 2% capsaicin and related capsaicinoid ingredients make this spray effective and humane. This is echoed in several customer reviews.

Moving on to its safety features, the Counter Assault comes with a glow-in-the-dark safety tie to prevent loss of the canister and a safety cap to help prevent accidental discharges. Many purchasers were pleased with these thoughtful and practical inclusions.

However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. This bear deterrent spray does have its cons. Notably, the size and weight of the Counter Assault may be a bit much for those looking to travel light. Some customers have noted it's not the most pack-friendly, especially for longer treks.

Another point worth mentioning that pops up in a few customer reviews, is the thicker-than-average fog produced by the spray. While this provides a denser barrier between the user and the bear, it also increases the chance of self-contamination in windy conditions.

Packaging-wise, the canister of Counter Assault bear spray is EPA registered and is hermetically sealed to prevent leakage. It's appreciated by many users for its durability and reliability even in harsh outdoor conditions.

Overall, it's apparent from customer reviews and feedback that the Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Spray is a popular choice. It offers a good balance of safety, effectiveness, and usability despite being a little heavy on the backpack.

8.0 /10

Sabre Frontiersman Bear Spray

Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Sabre Frontiersman Bear Spray is a great choice if you're looking for a bear spray to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Sabre Frontiersman Bear Spray Bear Spray
Ease of Use
8
Spray Distance
9
Weight
7

Reasons to Buy

  • Impressive spray range
  • Highly effective active ingredient
  • Secure safety measures
  • Long shelf life
  • Great value for money

Reasons to Avoid

  • Canister may seem bulky
  • High-powered spray can be impacted by wind

The Sabre Frontiersman Bear Spray is touted as one of the best in the market when it comes to bear deterrence and after reading through multiple customer reviews, it's not hard to see why. Many customers were keen on the safety features and potency of the spray, although few had the occasion to test it on an actual bear. Side note: That's a good thing!

Something that repeated customer comments highlight is the product's excellent range. One user mentioned this aspect specifically, 'Getting a clear, substantial distance between you and the bear is sort of the point, right? Well, this one delivers. Can reach up to 35 feet, which for me, is just amazing.' That extra space can be vital in a standoff when every foot comes in handy.

Another plus point pointed out by patrons is the spray cloud density. 'It creates an imposing barrier', one user describes, 'The dense fog that this spray releases could easily disorient the bear, giving you ample time to retreat safely.' A cloud density like that provides extra assurance that the bear would think twice.

We can't talk about bear spray without addressing the capsaicin content - the vital ingredient behind the bear deterring magic. Sabre Frontiersman comes with 2.0% Major Capsaicinoids, among the highest EPA allows. A user confirmed, 'Even a tiny direct burst sends them off running.'

On the flip side, some customers pointed out that the canister may have been a bit difficult to handle, particularly in stress-induced situations. 'In a stressful situation, I could foresee fumbling with the canister,' a user stated, suggesting that practice or familiarity with the product before a hiking trip could be beneficial.

While Sabre Frontiersman Bear Spray may be top-tier, it could be seen as a bit costly by some. 'Stellar product but a bit on the pricey end,' a user noted, 'not restrictive, but a few extra bucks compared to a few other brands.' However, most customers mentioned that they were more than happy to pay for the sense of security it offers.

The trigger is kept safe with an attached guard.
The trigger is kept safe with an attached guard.
The nozzle.
The nozzle.
The trigger with the guard removed.
The trigger with the guard removed.
The belt holder, which is often sold separately.
The belt holder, which is often sold separately.

No prices found. Check back later!

7.7 /10

Guard Alaska Bear Spray

Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Guard Alaska Bear Spray is a great choice if you're looking for a bear spray to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Guard Alaska Bear Spray Bear Spray
Ease of Use
8
Spray Distance
9
Weight
6

Reasons to Buy

  • Great effective range
  • Long lasting spray duration
  • Solid strength and active ingredients
  • Safety measures to prevent accidental discharge
  • Long shelf life

Reasons to Avoid

  • Can be heavier than other options
  • May be considered pricey by some users

Guard Alaska Bear Spray has been a top choice for many outdoor enthusiasts for many years. It offers a potent formulation and competent performance that stands up tall among its rivals. It's one of the few bear sprays registered with the EPA as a repellant for ALL bears. That's a big plus for those who venture into bear country.

Users rave about it's impressive 15-20 feet range, which gives you a bit of a safety buffer which can be crucial during encounters with an aggressive bear. For the non-technical folks, this basically means you can spray this stuff pretty far, enough to stop a bear in its tracks before it comes too close for comfort. It discharges a full 9 ounces in 9 seconds, making it a speedy and efficient tool for animal deterrence.

Nobody wants to accidentally spray themselves, and Guard Alaska has this covered with a finger loop handle with safety clip that prevents accidental discharges. Many users agree that this is a great feature that adds an extra layer of security.

It's also environmentally friendly since it doesn’t use any ozone-depleting chemicals. This has been highly rated by users who are conscious about their environmental footprint even in situations of self-defense.

But like all products, it's not without its downsides. Some users have found the spray to malfunction in colder temperatures. Others have reported the safety clip being too stiff or difficult to remove quickly during a stressful encounter. It's also highly recommended that users practice with it beforehand to understand the range, spread and to ensure the safety clip can be easily removed when needed.

Despite these minor discomforts, the Guard Alaska Bear Spray remains a favourite. Practicing proper use and understanding its mechanics can go a long way into making this piece of gear a life saver in the great outdoors.

No prices found. Check back later!

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