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Best Bear Canisters for Hiking, Small & Affordable

Last updated: September 03, 2022

Bears are highly adaptive and opportunity-seeking animals. Nevertheless, a bear just has to acquire human food once before it starts regularly looking for us as prospective food sources. Using a bear canister to keep your food is something you should absolutely think about if you’re travelling overnight in an area where bears are known to live.

It is the easiest and most reliable approach to keep bears away from your food. By doing this, you not only contribute to the safety of your food but also that of the wildlife or bears.

In the past, people used to hang their food from trees when camping to protect it from bears and other predators. The most practical substitute, however, quickly entered the market: bear canisters- they are simple and efficient to use and plus, safeguard the overall bear population as well as you, your food, other hikers, and other bears.

Since bears have the world’s greatest sense of smell, they can detect your meal even when you are kilometers away. However,  a sturdy container called a “bear canister” can shield your food and fragrant goods from bears and other animals while you’re on an outdoor adventure. It’s sometimes also referred to as a bear barrel or bear bin.

We have tested some of the most popular bear canisters that are available to purchase and made this list of best bear canisters for hiking, these are specific only for hikers. Bear canisters tend to be in different sizes, and for hiking, you cannot take a big canister with you. 

These are the best bear canisters for hiking:

  • BearVault BV425 Bear Canister 
  • SABRE Frontiersman Bear Canister
  • Garcia Backpacker’s Cache – Bear Proof Container
  • Udap Bear Resistant Canister
  • Bearikade Scout Bear Can

Best Bear Canisters for Hiking

To reduce the likelihood of a bear encounter, food must be stored in a bear canister. One of the greatest smelling senses on the planet is attributed to bears. As per myth, grizzly bears can locate animal remains even 20 kilometres away.

As a result, you must be trustworthy enough to safeguard your food from these ravenous bears. Investing in the finest bear canister for your expedition is the best course of action.

In the meanwhile, there are many brands on the market, which ultimately confuses people. In that regard, I’ve listed the top 5 bear canisters that I’ve personally tried and discovered to be the greatest choice among all the alternatives available on the market.

I’ve reviewed them personally and also included the benefits and drawbacks of utilising them.

Best Bear Canisters for Hiking

Image and Rating

Name and Features

Price

BearVault BV425 Bear Canister
1. BearVault BV425 Bear Canister
SABRE Frontiersman Bear Canister

2. SABRE Frontiersman Bear Canister

Garcia Bear Proof Container

3. Garcia Backpacker's Cache - Bear Proof Container

Udap NO-FED Bear Bear Resistant Canister

4. Udap Bear Resistant Canister

Bearikade Scout Bear Can

5. Bearikade Scout Bear Can

1.BearVault BV425 Bear Canister

FEATURES

This Bear vault BV425 may be your ideal travel companion for anything from fishing to hiking to camping to kayaking, and the fact that it is available in various sizes enables you the ability to choose the canister that best suits your needs.

Its most reliable feature is its durability, trust me it is extremely durable and won’t be damaged by whatever your feeble human hands or strength can muster.

This thing is resilient, so you can beat the heck out of it. The bears, however, raise some ambiguous issues

However, the two notches on the lid and the tab, which are both parts of the canister and must be depressed to open the can, would be the only “moving parts.”

The makers have made this canister with clear plastic polycarbonate, which ultimately makes it possible to view inside your bear canister without having to open it.

Perhaps these canisters’ most useful feature is that it makes a great seat. Nevertheless, in order to protect the bear can, it is advised that you fully seal the lid before settling down.

Despite barely weighing 2 lbs, it is unquestionably far too light to tote. But you don’t want to be forced to lug around this canister in your rucksack.

If you know you’ll be taking one, make sure it can fit into your bag horizontally before picking on a backpack, in my view. Alternatively, you could always fasten it to the exterior of your pack.

Even though the BV500 has been certified for use with bears, there have been instances of bears being able to access this canister. The canister’s cover has been unscrewed by some bears, while the canister itself has been broken by others and that is nothing short of a disappointment.

The weight is the other downside of this canister, it can be the heaviest item of equipment in your pack at 1.162 kg. Additionally, it’s one of the bear canister alternatives that weighs the most.

Though for many newbies, this weight might look less compared to other camping gears, when it comes to bear canisters, this can’t really be prevented considering there are several alternatives that weigh much less than this.

PROs & CONs

PROs

CONs

2. SABRE Frontiersman Bear Canister

FEATURES

This Frontiersman’s Insider Bear Safe stands apart from other products at first sight. It is a tall, rounded triangle-like object weighing three pounds that measures 18.9 x 9.2 x 6 inches at the bottom.

As a result, the canister may be stored in a more sensible way. It glides inside a pack rather than sticking out as a big, thick lump, allowing additional goods to be crammed around it.

Further, the canister’s design also enables it to serve as a comfortable stool, which is handy after arduous hikes or in wet weather when the ground would ordinarily be soggy.

However, in my opinion, despite the development and modification made to this canister, the creators were unable to provide the pleasure they sought, and realistically speaking, this canister has a number of drawbacks that are indisputable.

The lid of Frontiersman’s is fastened with three bolts and in order to remove it, these screws must be fully undone, and in order to secure the lid, they must be fully tightened. This literally takes ages and in this situation, there are far better alternatives that might be considered.

Moreover, the captive washers on the bolts do not allow you to use this as a chair. The washers must be totally removed, or the lid must be bolted on tightly. The likelihood of losing them, nevertheless, is fairly great.

Despite having a high packability, the storage capacity is outstanding. It has a capacity of just under 12 litres, which, provided toiletries and other stuff don’t take up too much room, is plenty for a devoted packer to carry enough food for a full week on the trail.

Its tapering shape, however, makes it difficult to take the pack off quickly, unless you’ve developed some creative packing methods. And As soon as you take the canister out, all of your possessions will just fall over and take up the new space. It was also a promotional point, which blatantly contradicts the hype.

Moreover, it is incredibly resilient, somewhat lightweight, and constructed in part from recycled materials and has also undergone testing and received approval for use in a variety of locales. This, if not taken into account with the design, is fantastic.

PROs & CONs

PROs

CONs

3. Garcia Backpacker's Cache - Bear Proof Container

FEATURES

Among affordable bear canisters, the Garcia Backpackers’ Cache is another solid option. With its rounded edges, shape and smooth plastic, bears can have a difficult time accessing the Backpackers’ Cache.

Given the pricing, it is one of the finest products on our list. However, in order to comprehend more, we need to evaluate its features in greater depth and compare it with its contemporaries.

With a weight of 2.12 pounds and a volume of 614 cubic inches—roughly 100 cubic inches less than the BV500—it can contain enough food for four days. Simply put, up to 10 litres of food and toiletries can fit inside this canister.

By including an additional layer of protection of food-grade plastic bag wrapping, the manufacturers have truly taken food security into consideration while designing it.

By shielding the food from air, which can speed up oxidation and ultimately decomposition, this extra layer preserves food quality.

Due to the added stiffness and hardness of the ABS polymer, this canister is so robust that it may easily be used as a camp chair. Additionally, if you’re a gym freak like me, you may use it in place of the foam roller to target your muscles after a hard day at work.

Plus, thanks to its smooth sides and rounded corners, it gives bears a difficult time navigating it.

Since it opens and shuts with a lift-off screw-operated lid, the stainless steel locks provide it considerably greater security. which a coin or screwdriver can be used to open with ease by you, but bears could have trouble doing so.

Built-in America, this Garcia provides outstanding quality for your storage needs, albeit it is limited by the edge of the lid. The BV500 is noticeably superior in this regard. The weight is another downside; nevertheless, for certain hikers and backpackers, it can be significantly heavier.

All in all, this all-black, bear-resistant Pop-Tart container is neither elegant nor enticing. Moreover, It’s merely a simple device to deter bears from raiding your food storage by keeping them preoccupied.

PROs & CONs

PROs

CONs

4. Udap Bear Resistant Canister

FEATURES

For people on a budget and those who only have time for short trips into bear country, this compact yet robust canister is indeed the optimal choice. The container, created by UDAP Industries, fills a market need for smaller bear canisters.

This canister is somewhat smaller in size than its contemporaries, measuring 10.4 x 8.5 x 8.5 inches, yet despite this, I was able to keep enough food within to last for three days—something I never would have considered possible when I initially saw it.

All in all, though, it was workable. We just had to remove the air from all the food packaging to make room for them.

The quality of this canister, I must say, is really high. Its construction was made of durable plastic, which makes it strong and able to withstand any difficult outdoor setting.

It does, however, add a small amount of weight (1.32kg), which eventually strengthens and increases the dependability of this canister and enables you to use this as a stool too.

When it comes to the lid, has two screws that are part of a locking system that must be opened with a coin or another sharp object. When I first got it, I couldn’t find the screws, so I contacted customer service.

They quickly sent me a new lid with much deeper grooves, so I’d like to commend them for their excellent and prompt service.

The top opening of the Udap canister is large enough to allow you to slip your hand within the canister to take your foodstuff. Still, it is not as spacious as the other possibilities

Opening the lid is a little challenging, though, and if you stuff the canister too tightly next to the locking system, it will become even more daunting. So bear that in mind when you pack.

However, this canister’s drawback is that it is not at all waterproof, which means it might ruin all of the food and other stuff you keep in it. Depart from the water, therefore.

Moreover, its black tint also makes it difficult for you to locate it in the dark; however, you can paint it a more vivid colour or cover it with tape; Although this is not particularly severe, it might nevertheless cause you problems from time to time.

Given its attributes and functions, you can be assured that it is a tremendous incentive for your time and money altogether.

PROs & CONs

PROs

CONs

5. Bearikade Scout Bear Can

FEATURES

This carbon fibre bear canister, the smallest of Wild Ideas’ four Bearikade types, protects significant quantities of food from bears while adding the least amount of weight to your pack

The Bearikade Scout is a significantly smaller version of the Expedition and weighs only 28 ounces while holding 500 cubic inches of room. This canister is extremely lightweight and, based on its dimensions, makes up exactly half of the Bearikade expedition. Price-wise, the canister, nevertheless, it’s far too steep.

The 500 cubic inches of storage space allows you to keep food and other necessities for 2-3 days. Moreover, with a 9ft circumference and an 8inch height, it can easily fit in sideways.

It is compact, and cylindrical in shape. When trying to wrangle it into and out of your pack, the metal edges at the top and bottom provide a very slight amount of grip.

The fact that the top opening of this canister is so huge– as broad as the canister—makes it particularly convenient to get items in and out, which I personally appreciate.

Similar to the majority of the alternatives, the lid’s locking mechanism consists of three screws that may be opened or closed using a coin. Nevertheless, keep in mind that the screw occasionally becomes sticky. It doesn’t, however, lead to any significant issues.

Moreover, the wire that is affixed to the canister secures the lid, preventing it from slipping off or becoming misplaced.

Pro tip: If the screws are positioned improperly, the lid won’t fit correctly. As a result, turn all of the screws until they are in the open position before placing the lid in place and tightening the screws.

Its flat top and bottom make it a fantastic alternative for seating during the expedition, which I loved. However, because it’s significantly shorter in height, you could struggle if you’re tall.

PROs & CONs

PROs

CONs

Hiking Bear Canister Buying Guide

You must exercise caution while selecting the finest bear canister for your unique needs among the many that are offered on the market today. Keeping an eye on the aspects stated below will undoubtedly make your choices a lot easier and tailored, and should be considered prior to make a decision.

  • Weight: The first and very crucial aspect of any bear canister is its weight.Choose a canister that weighs no more than 3 lbs, as per recommendations. In the end, carrying a heavy canister makes your trip difficult and burdensome.Therefore, for a lengthy run, choose a weight that you can manage effortlessly.
  • Volume: Before going ahead with the brand, the other crucial aspect to look out for is the volume of the canister and the duration of your journey will help you make a beneficial and perfect choice. Take a 600 cubic inch bear canister, for instance, for a 6-day hike.
  • Quality: For the highest level of satisfaction possible, you must select a high-quality bear canister.More significantly, you can be sure that you’re not spending money and time on a bear canister that simply does not work up to your expectations. So go with the canister of the highest calibre.
  • Price: The price, which varies for different bear canisters, is the last but not the least and the most significant aspect. You must thus choose a bear canister that precisely fits your budget. There are several economical yet high-quality bear canisters available for you to pick from if you’re a frugal outdoor lover.

Simply taking into account these crucial elements will enable you to get the best bear canister plus offer you convenient storage for your outdoor activities.

Final Verdict

9.8/10

TOTAL SCORE

Given the state of the industry today, there are certainly multiple adversaries in the competition. However, since anecdotal experience seems to be more beneficial and credible, I’ve listed the exquisite canisters on the market that I’ve personally tried and can attest to their superiority in the canister market.

I genuinely enjoyed utilising each one of these, consequently, if you were to approach me to choose one, I might find it challenging. So, I’d better subdivide them as per the use, trip, price etc.

If you’re a seasoned camper willing to invest some more bucks, the Bearikade Scout is unquestionably the one for you. This canister tops every list of desired qualities in terms of quality, weight, and volume, but its best features come at a steep price, and you could really purchase two other alternatives for that much.

Garcia Backpacker’s Cache – Bear Proof Container can be the other best option if you’re looking for a canister at a reasonable cost. It is sturdy, has a sizable 10-litre capacity, and includes a food-grade plastic bag for further protection.