A face to face encounter with a grizzly is one of the scariest encounters one can have in bear country. And the fact that a split second is a difference between life and death makes it one of the most adrenaline-inducing experiences of your life. While your first instinct may be to try and run, bears are known to be faster than humans. Which makes your chances of survival minimal, especially low.

Quite frankly, your best chance of survival is based on your ability to scare off the bear. Studies show that bear deterring sprays have a higher chance than even guns. This is because the lethal dose of capsaicin in the bear spray causes them to recoil and retreat. That said, here are the best bear sprays for grizzlies.

Top 5 bear sprays for black bears (grizzlies)

NameCapacityHolster Included?Price
SABRE Frontiersman Bear Spray9.2 oz double packOptional
Counter Assault Bear Repellent Spray10.2 ozYes
SABRE Frontiersman Practice Bear Spray7.9 ozOptional
Udap Bear Spray Safety Orange with Griz Guard Holster7.9 ozYes
Mace Brand Maximum Strength Bear Spray9.2 ozNo

SABRE Frontiersman Bear Spray

SABRE Frontiersman Bear Spray

This is one of the best bear sprays for black bears.  It has maximum stopping power, and it is 50% stronger than police strength pepper spray, which helps eliminate the 30% fail rate experienced by other brands. It is also the only bear spray with an in-house HPLC lab to guarantee maximum strength.

The spray can travel up to 15 feet (4.6 m) farther than other bear attack deterrents. It produces a thick fog of 1.84 oz (52 grams) per 1-second burst. This is up to 84% more than other brands, which helps maximize your safety. By deploying a massive barrier of protection to help deter a charging bear.

The spray is E.P.A. and Health Canada approved and has been field-tested and proven effective against all types of bears by the Elmendorf Air Force Base and Brown Bear Resources.

Features

  • 84 oz (52 grams) per 1-second burst
  • 0% Major Capsaicinoids
  • Fires up to 35 feet
  • Time to spray: 5 seconds
  • Maximum Range
  • ISO 9001:2015 Certification

Pros

  • P.A. and Health Canada approved
  • Non-flammable
  • Ozone-depleting chemicals free
  • Maximum Stopping Power
  • Proven effective at deterring charging bears

Cons

  • Short expiration period

Counter Assault Bear Repellent Spray

Counter Assault Bear Repellent Spray

The Counter Assault bear repellant spray is the industry leader and is touted as being the farthest-reaching bear spray on the market today. It is effective up to 32 feet without losing the capsaicin effect. The spray was awarded the 1998 Grizzly Bear Stewardship Award.

It contains 2% capsaicin and related capsaicinoid products. Which temporarily disables a bear’s abilities to smell and see. The formulation used is effective against all eight species of bear, including polar bears.  The canister can provide up to 7 seconds of continuous spray, which is longer than any other brand with the same size can.

The spray has been leak tested for quality and has a 4-year shelf life. It also meets all EPA requirements for S.N.A.P. Certification.

Features

  • Spray distance: 32 feet
  • 7-second continuous spray
  • Can size: 10.2 ounces and 8.1 ounce

Pros

  • 4-year shelf life
  • Meets all EPA requirements
  • Won the 1998 Grizzly Bear Stewardship Award

Cons

  • Fragile top

SABRE Frontiersman Practice Bear Spray

SABRE Frontiersman Practice Bear Spray

When hiking alone in a bear country, disarming a bear can be challenging, which is why you need to practice who to do it while running for your life.  This practice bear spray is safe for practice and does not contain pepper irritant.

It allows you to build familiarity and confidence while learning how to use bear spray in a safe environment effectively. The Inert Practice Spray increases your safety through muscle memory.

It helps you to be prepared before you begin your hike by practicing with this inert training unit. The practice spray features the same spray pattern and deployment mechanism as its active FRONTIERSMAN Bear Spray counterpart. Which enables you to know what to expect should you encounter a bear.

It also comes with free online training videos with step-by-step visual instructions.

Features

  • Pepper irritant-free
  • Build familiarity and confidence
  • 2 oz. canister _res up to 35 feet
  • 9-ounce canister _res up to 30 feet
  • ISO 9001:2015 Certification

Pros

  • Features the same spray pattern and deployment mechanism as a bear spray
  • Free online training videos
  • Step-by-step visual instructions are available

Cons

  • Short spray distance

Udap Bear Spray Safety Orange with Griz Guard Holster

Udap Bear Spray Safety Orange with Griz Guard Holster

This is one of the most effective bear sprays on the market. It comes with an exclusive Griz Guard Holster. Udap is one of the most potent bear spray fog. A bear attack survivor developed it.

It is also the hottest bear spray allowed by law. The Pepper Power Fogger is the most efficient way to dispense large amounts of spray in the shortest period. It features an enhanced range, broad spray pattern, and inhalable particle size. This makes it lethal to bears and safe for the user.

Features

  • It comes with a Griz guard holster.
  • Hottest bear spray allowed by law.
  • Shortest dispensation period

Pros

  • Enhanced range
  • Broad spray pattern
  • Inhalable particle size

Cons

  • Difficult to open

Mace Brand Maximum Strength Bear Spray

Mace Brand Maximum Strength Bear Spray

This bear mace spray is a formulation of oleoresin capsicum (OC), a natural ingredient derived from hot peppers that is EPA regulated. The compound causes the membranes of the eyes, nose, and lungs of a bear to engorge, which results in temporary loss of sight, restriction of breathing, and a painful burning sensation.

The spray has an actuator button on the top of the handgrip. It also comes with our bear spray holster for easy carrying. It has a three-year shelf life.

Features

  • Net Weight: 260g
  • Formula: EPA-registered
  • Range: Up to 35 feet

Pros

  • EPA approved
  • Empties in 6 seconds
  • Powerful fogger

Cons

  • Spray back streams which ends up blinding the user

How effective is a bear spray on grizzlies?

According to research, bear spray is 90% effective at deterring bears compared to using long guns and handguns. Additionally, using a spray while on the move is more effective than a gun. There are also fewer chances of an accident caused by a stray bullet than an inaccurate bear spray stream.

Lastly, the noise from a gun may further aggravate the bear leading to a deadlier attack. Bear spray, on the other hand, is silent making it more effective at diffusing the attack.

How to use bear spray

  • Pull out the bear spray from the safety clip and aim it at the approaching bear.
  • Make sure you take the wind direction and strength into account to avoid hindering yourself due to bear spray back stream.
  • Hold the spray firmly and hit the trigger with your thumb.
  • Deploy the spray in 2-3 second intervals when the bear is at least 30 feet from you for maximum effect
  • Aim the spray towards the bear head for the spray stream to hit the bear in the eyes and nose
  • Keep spraying if the bear spray keep getting closer but save some for later use
  • Once the bear is incapacitated, keep running while monitoring the bear.

Does pepper spray work on bears?

No. The amount of capsaicin on the spray is too low to be lethal to bears. You need to buy a bear spray specifically labeled bear repellant. This is because bear spray contains compounds other than capsaicin that are strong enough to incapacitate an 800-pound bear.

Check this too: Using Pepper Spray for Animal Attacks

Conclusion

The best bear spray for grizzlies should be easy to use, effective against different bear types, and have a longer spray distance. Additionally, it should come with a safety cap to prevent accidental dispensation. A good holster would be an added advantage. The spray should also be inhalable to reduce used incapacitation. Lastly, the spray should be non-toxic.