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The 6 Best Bear Sprays for Hiking (Our Favorites in 2024)

The 6 Best Bear Sprays for Hiking (Our Favorites in 2024)

Are you thinking about taking a camping trip but are worried about a potential bear attack? We’re here to help you find the best bear sprays for every situation. So next time you find yourself facing down a bear, you can be prepared.

The Best Bear Spray: Quick Look

Bear spray works by inflaming the eyes and upper respiratory system of the animal. When used correctly, it’s an effective deterrent for an aggressive bear. Knowing the best out there will help you prepare for your next bear encounter.

Our Top 6 Picks for the Best Bear Spray:
  1. Best Overall: Udap Bear Spray
  2. Best for Basic Use: Personal Security Products
  3. Best Protective Fog: SABRE Frontiersman Bear Spray
  4. Best for Accuracy: Mace Brand Maximum
  5. Best Value: Griz Guard Bear Spray    
  6. Best for Intimidation: Counter Assault Bear Spray

Even though we’ve found what we think is the best bear spray out there, let it be noted for the record that any bear spray is better than no bear spray. If you find yourself face to face with a bear, you’ll be thankful to have anything that you can spray in their general direction.

Why You Need Bear Spray

Grizzly bear standing in the water for a piece on the best bear spray


You need bear spray because bears are big and dangerous. And even though unprovoked bear attacks aren’t necessarily common, you never want to be in a situation where it might happen and you find yourself unprepared. 

Being prepared for the possibility that you might encounter a bear is not a bad thing. Instead, preparing for the possibility that you’ll run into a bear on one of your excursions will make it easier if it does happen.

The bear spray acts essentially similar to pepper spray. It’s non-lethal, and it deters bear attacks. It irritates the bear’s eyes and respiratory system, causing extreme discomfort. And usually, it compels a bear to scram

The 6 Best Bear Sprays in 2024

We found the best bear sprays out there so that you don’t have to. Once you see why these particular bear sprays are so helpful, you can do the easy part: go buy some bear spray so you don’t get attacked by a bear.

1. Udap Bear Spray

Best Overall
UDAP - 7.9 oz. Bear Pepper Spray Deterrent
  • An actual bear attack survivor designed this 
  • Authentic; made in Montana where bears are common
  • Leads the industry in defense
  • Fog may travel into the user’s eyes
  • Loud sound may startle the user
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The Udap Bear Spray is the best out there. It’s a unique take on an old idea, designed by someone who had every reason to want it to work better than all other bear sprays on the market. Customers love Udap Bear Spray for its effectiveness and reliability, providing the right kind of protection and comfort hikers need. 

The product came from Mark Matheny, who survived a grizzly attack. Since his motivation was survival, you can trust that his product will promote your utmost safety. That means experience and knowledge back his product. 

Udap Bear Spray is more than just a hiker’s best friend: it is your constant companion, your long-lost love. There’s no need to panic when you’ve got this at your side. Traveling with this little orange canister will give you more comfort and confidence out there in the wilderness.

Best of all, Udap Bear Spray is made in Montana, in the heart of bear country. That means that every can you buy supports an American small business, American workers, and American industry. 

2. Personal Security Products

Best for Basic Use
Personal Security Products Outdoor Mace
  • Accurate and precise
  • Derived from natural ingredients
  • Incredibly easy to use
  • Not as powerful as other brands
  • Some customers report defective canisters
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If you’re looking for the best product that isn’t too expensive, the bear spray from Personal Security Products is the way to go. Customers rave about the accuracy, the precision, and how dependable this product is.

Customers report feeling safe and secure when they have this bear spray on hand. The maximum strength bear spray from Personal Security Products is known for its accuracy, precision, and timeless formula.

Using all-natural ingredients, the spray doesn’t do physical damage to the bear or to anyone who might accidentally get it on their hands (don’t rub your eyes!). The spray is highly affordable and highly effective. It made it on the list because it’s easy to use, and it doesn’t break the bank.

That means you can stock up and never run out again. So next time you’re planning a hiking trip, you can just grab a can or two and go. Bear spray from Personal Security Products is meant to be effective from up to 20 feet.

This bear spray is incredibly easy to use and highly effective. It comes from an old mace brand known for delivering high-quality products with extreme precision. You can feel safe and secure when you’ve got a can or two of this on hand.

3. SABRE Frontiersman Bear Spray

Best Protective Fog
SABRE Frontiersman Max Strength Bear Spray
  • Compact and secure
  • Maximum strength available for close range
  • Forms a large protective barrier
  • Customers report wrong orders arriving
  • Occasional recalls
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We call this one the best for protective fog, but it’s much more than that. Customers love the bear spray from Frontiersman because they have absolute confidence in their safety. The product from Frontiersman is well-known for its strength. 

The Sabre Frontiersman Bear Spray is more than just a manly name. It’s an effective defense tool that looks cool and gets the job done. Each canister contains maximum strength bear spray that won’t leave you hanging when you need something to get the bears far away from you.

Hopefully, you’ll never have to use it, but you can find confidence in this particular brand if you do. The spray works up to 10 feet closer than all other bear sprays out there, meaning that you can get even closer to the bear before you spray it.

But that’s not recommended. You should stay far away from any bear (or wildlife) you encounter within the wilderness. If the bear approaches you, however, that’s much different. 

With the bear spray from Sabre Frontiersman, you can feel confident that the bears will stay away. Even if you end up having to use it, you count on the rigorous testing that has taken place to make this one of the best bear sprays you can get your hands on today.

4. Mace Brand Maximum

Best for Accuracy
Mace Brand Bear Spray
  • Excellent for hiking or other outdoor activities
  • Easy to transport safely
  • Dual-purpose as pepper spray for self-defense
  • Some users say range not as far as advertised
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Customers love bear spray from Mace Brand. It offers maximum strength, is powerfully accurate, and is incredibly convenient for all circumstances. We call this one the best bear spray for accuracy, and that’s not for nothing.

Not only is it accurate as a result of design, but it’s incredibly easy to use accurately. That means you don’t have to be a bear spray expert to use it effectively. You never want to get too confident when you’re out in the wilderness.

After all, you’re on the bear’s home turf in a sense. As just a human, you need all the help you can get to survive an encounter with a bear. That’s where the Mace Brand maximum strength bear spray comes into play. It’s effective, precise, and highly accurate.

The OC bear spray formula used in this particular bear spray is highly effective, even from a great distance. It works under the same principle as other bear sprays, clogging its eyes, nose, and lungs.

Hopefully, the effect will deter the bear from making any more moves to you and simply to move on. A steady stream from this canister should deter any bear from thinking that you’re worth picking on. If you want to stay safe and stay comfortable when you’re out and about, this is the way to go.

5. Griz Guard Bear Spray

Best Value
Griz Guard Bear Spray & Griz Guard Holster
  • Compact & affordable
  • Strongest formula available
  • Easy to transport
  • A bit pricey
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This stuff works great. Customers love the Griz Guard for the convenience and the easy-to-use features. Even customers who never had to use their bear spray felt more confident knowing they had Griz Guard at their side.

The bear spray from Griz Guard comes with a nice holster that you can clip right to your belt. Easily accessible, this bear spray never has to leave your side while you’re out and about in the wilderness. The easier you can grab it, the better off you’ll be when you accidentally run into a bear.

We like the Griz Guard because it is one of the most accessible and functional bear sprays on the market. It’s highly effective as a bear deterrent, which is exactly what you want from a bear spray. You want your bear spray to work no matter the brand or price.

Not only is this bear spray highly accessible. But it utilizes the most powerful formula allowed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. That means you can trust the spray as it douses the bear’s eyes and face.

The dense fog that develops around the spray is proven effective for 30 feet, giving you plenty of time to flee. The bear spray from Griz Guard is one of the most trusted sprays out there.

Campers, hikers, hunters, outdoorsmen, and women of all kinds love traveling with this stuff in their bags. And for a good reason: the last thing you want is to be caught face to face with a bear and have nothing with which to spray it.

6. Counter Assault Bear Spray

Best for Intimidation
Counter Assault Bear Spray with Holster, 10.2 oz
  • Comes with a snazzy case
  • Can be ordered in different sizes 
  • Utilizes 40 feet of spray distance
  • Product cannot be returned
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All bear spray is useful for intimidating bears, but we find this one particularly effective. The name is only one reason. Customers appreciate the safety they feel when they carry Counter Assault Bear Spray, even when they are simply walking by neighborhood dogs.

This bear spray gets five-star reviews because it’s dependable and gives customers peace of mind. Counter Assault Bear Spray is an intimidating bear spray option for more reasons than one. Not only is the name epic.

But the spray itself is highly effective and works with a spray stream of up to 40 feet. Counter Assault Bear Spray is made in Montana, the heart of bear country, where the people know how to make an effective deterrent.

Bears don’t stand a chance up against this spray. It uses the maximum strength that is currently allowed and is accurate from a great distance. Campers and hikers love this stuff for a number of reasons.

Not only is it highly effective, but it works on all kinds of bears. So no matter where you’re hiking, and no matter what kind of bear you encounter, you can trust that this bear spray is going to get the job done. 

Finding the Best Bear Spray for You

Guy with a bottle of the best bear spray on his backpack

Photo Spirit/Shutterstock

The trick to finding the best bear spray is understanding why bear spray is effective and the important components that you need to have something worthwhile.

Keeping track of all the different bear sprays available today doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you’re looking for a good bear spray, then stop what you’re doing and start looking for the best bear spray.

There’s no need to settle for something that’s only secondarily useful. You might as well spend your energy looking for something that works better than all the other products out there.

How Long It Lasts

You want to make sure you find something that lasts for at least seven seconds. If it can last for more, that would obviously be better. But you definitely want the spray stream to shoot for at least seven seconds. Anything less than that would be insufficient to properly deter your bear encounter.

How Far It Goes

The next thing to consider is how far your bear spray can stream. The spray stream will naturally weaken the further it goes, so you want to keep the spray stream strength in mind as well. A general rule for the good bear spray is something that can go for at least 30 feet without weakening.

You obviously want to stay as far away from any bear as you can. Some bear sprays will shoot streams even farther than 30 feet. For instance, we talked about one that can get up to 40 feet. That’s much better all around, simply because it puts more distance between you and the bear. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Bear spray rental booth in Yellowstone renting the best bear sprays you can buy

Marco Curaba/Shutterstock

Still paranoid about running into a bear at the most inopportune moment? Rest assured, we have some additional answers that might help you sleep easier at night.

Does Bear Spray Work?

Yes, bear spray is known to be incredibly effective. The OC formula that is used in bear spray is similar to pepper spray, which clogs the throat and lungs and burns the eyes.

The upper respiratory problems make the bears uncomfortable. Usually, bear spray works pretty quickly. You can feel confident using bear spray to keep you and your family safe when you’re out in the wilderness.

Do Smells Repel Bears?

Yes, some smells do. Supposedly the scent of pine-based cleaners is particularly repulsive to bears. This doesn’t mean you should douse yourself in cleaner.

But if you happen to carry some with you or put it on your backpack, you’ll be in good shape. However, don’t get the lemon-scented cleaner. The lemon smell is more attractive to bears and will increase your likelihood of running into one unexpectedly.

Which Is Stronger, Bear Spray or Pepper Spray?

Bear spray is much stronger than pepper spray. It’s about three times as potent as regular pepper spray. This means you should never use regular pepper spray in place of bear spray. You’ll only make the bear angrier.

Do Bears Like Vinegar?

Apparently, there’s something about the smell of vinegar that bears just don’t like. So if you have a bear problem in your neighborhood, some vinegar-soaked rags might help keep the bears away.

How Long Will Bear Spray Last?

Depending on the kind of bear spray you purchase, it should last anywhere from three to four years. Make sure you check old bear spray before heading out with it, though. When it gets old, it starts to lose pressure. 

Our Overall Favorite Bear Spray

The Udap Bear Spray is the best bear spray overall for a couple of significant reasons that we’ve already addressed.

Best Overall
UDAP - 7.9 oz. Bear Pepper Spray Deterrent
  • An actual bear attack survivor designed this 
  • Authentic; made in Montana where bears are common
  • Leads the industry in defense
  • Fog may travel into the user’s eyes
  • Loud sound may startle the user
Check Latest Price
We may earn a commission when you click this link, at no extra cost to you.

However, there are a lot of great beer spray options out there that are just as effective in a pinch. Splurging a little on good bear spray is not a waste. Happy travels!