Bear Canisters

Bear canisters are required in some areas. Check with the National Park Service or U.S. Forest Service to see which model(s) of bear canisters are approved for use in the area you'll be visiting. Regulations vary and change.

Read "Hiking and Camping Safely in Bear Country" for more information on bear safety.


Counter Assault
Backpackers' Cache
Bare Boxer
Wild Ideas


less than $25
$25 - $49.99
$50 - $99.99
$200 - $299.99
$300 and above

Recent Bear Canister Reviews

Garcia Backpackers' Cache

rated 4 of 5 stars This is a very good value. It's not the lightest out there, but it's also not the most expensive: with reasonable gear choices, I can afford the extra weight. Unless you have room inside your pack, you'll need the optional carrying case. I bought this can several years ago, when I returned to backpacking after a too-long hiatus. Bear cans are mandatory through much of the Sierra Nevada. Although I prefer the wide opening and clear body of the BearVault, just opening one in the store was a real—wait… Full review

BearVault BV400

rated 3.5 of 5 stars It's required in bear country and it does the job. That's about all I can say. It's heavy, cumbersome, small, and sometimes hard to open in freezing temperatures. It's difficult to review bear canisters because they are an absolute necessity in bear country and it doesn't matter what you think about them, you gotta have one. With that said, there are a few different ones out there and I decided on the BV400 because I am a solo hiker most of the time and not out for more than 5 days at a time, and… Full review

BearVault BV500

rated 4.5 of 5 stars All bear canisters are heavy and bulky, but this one makes up for some that by being transparent, secure, versatile, and fairly priced. If you're in a place that requires a canister then this is an excellent choice. I've had my Bearvault BV500 for many years now and have used it several times in the high Sierra of California. It's my guess that no one wants to carry a bear canister due to their bulkiness and weight, but the BV500 has some features that make is a good choice when you have no choice… Full review

UDAP No-Fed-Bear Canister

rated 3 of 5 stars Kept bears and critters out. Intermediate size fit my pack and my needs better than other brands. Hard to decide how many stars to give this, but it is an average bear canister, great size, and has excellent customer service. This is an approved and certified bear canister that meets the requirements along the John Muir Trail. I chose this particular canister because the intermediate size fit my backpack and my needs better than the other brands.  Unfortunately the locks on the lid seized up during… Full review

BearVault BV450 Solo

rated 3.5 of 5 stars The Bear Vault Solo is a quality product that satisfies its functional requirements well. The BV450 serves its purpose well. I have heard of only one sow in the Adirondaks that has figured out to open it. I have been using this product for the past 5 years when I am in bear country. Although untested by bears it has kept my food supply safe and dry. The convenience of not hanging a bear bag and having a good camp stool compensates for the 2 # added to my pack. Full review

BearVault BV450 Solo

rated 4 of 5 stars Best bear canister solution available — at least of those that I know of. All bear canisters are a nuisance, but the BearVault design addresses the critical problems with the designs that require a coin to open. Large opening and transparent sides make it easy to load and retrieve the contents. We picked up two BV450 BearVaults three years ago and have used them several times on trips to the Wind River range in Wyoming. We use two instead of a single large one. This allows for redundancy in case… Full review

Garcia Backpackers' Cache

rated 2 of 5 stars Better than nothing. I've used the Garcia product a few times. While it may serve the need, it is difficult to load, due to the small opening. Who in the world carries a coin while backpacking. The screw-like closure is a pain to open. Is it effective? If it is hard for me to open and get stuff out, it will certainly be so for a bear. Full review

Garcia Backpackers' Cache

rated 4.5 of 5 stars This moulded ABS plastic bear-proof container is perfect for preventing a confrontation between your food, yourself, and a curious bear. Great for use as an additional storage container, and tough enough to be used as a food cache Absolutely essential for all overnight trips in the back country where bears or large wild animals reside. Recommended by many Park Rangers - so don't leave home without it!! This is the **ONLY** canister that is allowed in the Adirondacks. If a ranger stops and wants… Full review

Wild Ideas Bearikade Expedition

rated 4 of 5 stars This is a review of the Bearikade Expedition MKII model by Wild Ideas. As bear cans go (especially for one of this capacity) it's lightweight. As a result it is the canister of choice for long-distance through-hikers on trails like the PCT and JMT. I borrowed one and used it for a 30-day John Muir Trail through-hike in 2012. This is a review of the Bearikade Expedition MKII by Wild Ideas.  As bear cans go (especially for one of this capacity) it's lightweight.  As a result it is the canister of… Full review