Bear Canister Opinions

Scott Chandler

Wildness is a necessity- John Muir
Jan 4, 2014
I am starting to get to that point where purchasing a bear canister might be wise, just to make things easy. It seems more and more areas are becoming savy to requiring bear canisters instead of hoping people know how to hang food plus they are pretty nice even in areas that don't require them I'm sure. Before jumping into researching them too fiercly, I wondered what the BCP community is using, and what folks like and dislike about their bear resistant gear. Any and all reviews are appreciated!

Thanks in advance everyone!
I picked up a Ursack. I am hoping it works well, as it will be my primary defence against bears and critters on my trip to the Winds next month.

I wish they made the sack a bit larger though....
I don't have one, but I think i'd go with the Ursack like Blake did. Or you could lug one of these around (just saw this on and couldn't resist).

We used the BV450 first. Liked it enough that we also bought a BV500 that we use for longer trips. And for really long trips we take them both.

We like the fact that you can see through the sides, so it's easier to find things---no more digging around for hours, or taking everything out to find that one package of soup.

Then again, they all seem to have some issues with taking on water in a rainstorm. We now cover ours with a plastic bag in rain or hail....

see the related thread on these boards.
I just bought two Ursacks. I have the BearVault 450 but I'm going to be out for a week with my wife so I needed something bigger. Anyone want a BV450?
They are required in an area I frequently backpack but I've often used it even where not required just for the ease of not having to hang. Here's a post I made once on the canister I use...

Not sure which 36L pack or which canister you are using but I can fit my canister (bare boxer contender) which is 7.4" diameter by 8" length into the main compartment of my 36L Kestral along with my tent, sleeping bag, jetboil, and extra room for clothing. If you don't want to go up in pack size you may want to take a look at it, it's relatively cheap ($55) and pretty light at 1.6 lb (25.5 oz).

Problem is it's only big enough for a long weekend at best. I'm looking for something bigger for longer trips.
I have a feeling that over the next few years we are going to see more and more areas require hard-sided canisters like the Maroon Bells - Snowmass Wilderness Area just did. Too many people out there are not hanging their food properly or keeping a clean camp and causing problems for others. This seems to be the easiest solution for land managers to take. But I guess we'll see...
I've been using a Ursack on my last couple of trips, and really like it. Much lighter than a bear canister. Like Blake said I wish they made bigger ones. I've been renting these from the backcountry office in Glacier. So they are approved for grizzly country.

I've owned a bearikade, and really liked it. Much lighter than the other bear canisters, and also more expensive. They had 3 different sizes as well. My only caution is some parks (Grand Teton National Park is the only one I know of) don't approve of the Bearikade. But I would still use it there.

Now I own a Vault, and like that a lot more than the Garcia or Keg brands.

But I'm probably going to buy a Ursack in the near future to use instead of the canisters.
I don't have tons of experience with it yet, but I have the Garcia Backpackers Cache and it suits me fine. No complaints about it that wouldn't apply to all other bear canisters.
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