If you want to be able to protect yourself at any time, you need to carry the right self-defense tools.
The problem is that many people are uncomfortable with using weapons such as guns and knives for self-defense.
This can lead to situations where people don’t have the means to protect themselves when they are in danger.
Luckily, there is an alternative to carrying traditional weapons for the purposes of self-defense.
Pepper spray is legal in all 50 US states and will deter an attacker without causing lasting damage, so it has several advantages over other methods of self-protection.
However, when choosing pepper spray, it’s important to select only the best products to ensure that you have a reliable and effective method of getting out of dangerous situations.
In this guide, I’ll be reviewing the top 5 pepper sprays according to my research and explaining how to find the best ones by looking at the main features of the product.
I’ll also be answering some important questions about pepper spray later on, so be sure to stay tuned for that.
Top 5 Pepper Sprays
SABRE Tactical Pepper Gel With Belt Holster
In my opinion, if you’re going to buy just one pepper spray to protect yourself, it should be the Tactical Pepper Gel from Sabre, which comes with a belt holster for ease of use.
The first reason why this pepper spray is superior to competitors is that it’s a gel rather than a standard liquid formula.
The problem with regular pepper spray is that its trajectory is easily impacted by wind, which means it can blow back toward you when you use it.
This pepper gel, however, is wind-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally spraying yourself.
Sabre’s Tactical Pepper Gel is maximum-strength, so you can trust it to work efficiently, unlike some weaker-strength sprays that may not always produce the desired effect.
Plus, with an 18-foot range, there’s no need to risk your safety by letting an attacker get too close before you can use your pepper spray.
Because the canister for this pepper gel is constructed according to a flip-top design, it’s easy to open and deploy in seconds. It even comes with a belt holster so that you can easily carry it on your person in a way that’s practical and accessible.
My only criticism of the canister’s design is that the grip strips run vertically down the container, whereas if they were horizontal, it would be easier to get a strong grip on the canister to remove it from the holster.
- Gel formula – Wind-resistant
- Maximum strength – Highly effective
- 18-foot range – Works from a distance
- Flip-top canister – User-friendly
- Belt holster included – Easily portable
- Vertical grip strips on canister – Not the easiest to remove from holster
Also Available At
Mace Brand Triple Action Pepper Spray
The Triple Action Pepper Spray from Mace is one of the most trusted pepper spray products on the self-defense and home protection markets, and when I tried it out myself, I was impressed with the quality and functionality of the spray.
This spray formula is a combination of pepper spray and tear gas, so in addition to impairing the attacker’s vision by causing tearing, this spray will also cause shortness of breath, increasing your chances of being able to escape the situation.
Additionally, because the Mace Brand Triple Action Pepper Spray also contains UV dye, law enforcement will be able to identify your attacker after the incident.
What I love about this pepper spray is that it’s compact, so it fits easily into your pocket, unlike some of the bulkier pepper spray products from competitors that are impractical to carry. Alternatively, you can use the built-in belt clip to fasten the pepper spray to your belt.
No matter how you choose to carry your pepper spray, you will always be able to open the Mace Brand Triple Action Pepper Spray easily and quickly thanks to the flip-top cap.
Unfortunately, I have to say that this is not the best pepper spray out there if you want to be able to protect yourself from a good distance. It only has a 10-foot range, which may require you to let an attacker get too close for comfort before the pepper spray can be effective.
While the effectiveness of the tear gas, pepper spray, and dye combination means that the limited range isn’t too much of a safety concern, it may still be a deal-breaker for some.
- Pepper spray and tear gas – Impairs vision and breathing
- Releases UV dye – Identifies attackers
- Pocket-sized – Easy to carry
- Flip-top cap – Convenient design
- Built-in belt clip – Practical
- Only 10-foot range – Not the best for use from a distance
Also Available At
SABRE Advanced Pepper Spray Keychain
Another pepper spray from Sabre that I highly recommend is the Sabre Advanced Pepper Spray Keychain.
Because this pepper spray product comes on a keychain, it’s easy to carry without your hands, whether you attach the spray to your keys or a loop on your belt.
This advanced pepper spray formula contains pepper spray, tear gas, and marking dye. This means that when you use it, you’ll incapacitate your attacker both visually and in terms of their breathing while making it easier for them to be identified after the fact.
Many pepper spray canisters only work for a few uses, but this one will last you up to 25 sprays, which is about 5 times more than the average pepper spray from competitor brands.
The built-in finger grip on the top of the spray makes it easier for you to establish a firm grip on the canister, improving speed and accuracy as a result.
A feature that I particularly appreciate about this spray is the fact that it comes with a practice unit.
This is a canister without any actual pepper spray inside that allows you to practice your movements and aim before you’re in a high-pressure situation.
This increases your chances of being able to use your pepper spray effectively if the time comes.
Again, though, like the last product I recommended, the range isn’t the best out there. With a spray range of 10 feet, you won’t get to keep as much distance between yourself and an attacker as you would with Sabre’s tactical pepper gel, for example.
Ultimately, whether you are comfortable using a spray with a 10-foot range as opposed to an 18-foot range is up to you.
- Tear gas and pepper spray formula – Maximum effectiveness
- Contains marking dye – Allows for identification
- Lasts for 25 uses – Long-term protection
- Built-in finger grip – Improves accuracy and grip
- Includes practice unit – Ensures maximum preparation
- 10-foot projection – Not for use from significant distances
Also Available At
SABRE RED Pepper Gel Spray For Runners
The final product I will be reviewing from Sabre is the Pepper Gel Spray for Runners. This spray has been designed specifically with runners in mind, so if you often run outside, especially at night, this might be the best choice for you.
Like the Tactical Pepper Gel Spray by the same brand, Sabre’s Pepper Gel Spray for Runners prevents dangerous blow-back with its gel consistency.
The formula is rated at maximum strength, so it’s extremely potent and will definitely stop an attacker in their tracks.
You can continue to use this pepper spray for up to 35 sprays, so buying this product would be a long-term, reliable investment into your safety for several years to come.
The range for this pepper spray isn’t as great as the Tactical Pepper Gel Spray, but it’s more than the other products I’ve reviewed so far, at 12 feet.
From my perspective, though, what really makes the Sabre Pepper Gel Spray for Runners stand out is the adjustable hand strap.
Because the strap is adjustable, you can easily carry the canister in your hand while running without having to maintain a strong grip since the strap does most of the work for you.
This means that the spray can be ready in your hand if you need to use it at a moment’s notice, unlike other portable sprays that need to be attached at the waist.
The second or two you save by not having to remove your spray from a holster or your bag could be the difference between a positive and negative outcome.
Sadly, the reason this spray doesn’t rank higher on my list is that some customers have reported that the activation tab breaks or stays pressed down after use, making it impossible to use the spray again.
This isn’t an experience shared by all buyers, but it does indicate a problem with quality control, which is something to seriously consider with a safety product like pepper spray.
- Gel consistency – No blow-back
- Maximum strength – Very potent
- 35 uses per canister – Good investment
- 12-foot range – Allows for enough distance
- Adjustable hand strap – Extra-safe design
- Some faulty activation tabs – Less than optimal quality control
Also Available At
LLC Fox Labs Mean Green 1.5 Ounce Pepper Spray
Finally, before you decide which pepper spray to choose, you should check out the Mean Green Pepper Spray from LLC Fox Labs.
The strength of this pepper spray is rated as 3 million Scoville Heat Units. For context, the maximum strength for pepper spray is 5.3 million units while typical pepper sprays start at around 2 million units, so this is a decently potent spray that will be useful in an attack.
This spray also contains bright green dye, meaning that it will be easy for police to identify your attacker afterward.
Using the Fox Labs Mean Green Pepper Spray makes you feel safe and in control of the situation because of the 15-foot spray range.
Thanks to the flip-top design of the canister, discharging this spray is not difficult or time-consuming, allowing you to act fast in an emergency.
However, I think this product would be a better purchase if it came with a spray, clip, or keychain to attach somewhere on your body.
Because the current design doesn’t have any of these features, you will either need to purchase a separate holster or carry the spray in your hand, pocket, or bag.
- 3 million SHU – High potency
- Contains dye – Marks attackers
- Flip-top canister – Easy to discharge
- 15-foot range – Protects from a distance
- No keychain or clip – Not the easiest to carry
Also Available At
- Self Defense Products Inc.
- Alpha 41 Outfitters
- Pro Distribution
- Pepper Spray and Stunguns
- The Home Security Superstore
Choosing Pepper Spray For Self-Defense
Here is everything you should consider before deciding which pepper spray will be the best choice for your safety:
The first thing you should make sure of before you commit to a pepper spray is whether the spray is potent enough to be effective.
The strength of pepper spray is measured in Scoville Heat Units (SHU), and most pepper sprays fall between 2 million and 5 million on this scale.
Anything within this range is likely to be potent enough to stop an attacker, but if you want to be extra safe, I recommend choosing a formula closer to 5 million than 2 million on the Scoville scale.
Remember to look at all the ingredients in your pepper spray! Not all pepper sprays are alike, and some contain tear gas and dye in addition to pepper spray.
A 3-in-1 pepper spray with dye and tear gas is very effective because it also makes it difficult for your attacker to breathe, making it less likely that they’ll recover from the spray in time to stop you from getting away.
However, it’s important to note that some states have restrictions in place on the purchase and use of tear gas, so make sure you’re well-versed on the law in your state before you buy this kind of spray.
You will also need to consider whether you want to use regular pepper spray or gel pepper spray.
Gel pepper spray may be more expensive than standard spray, but the major benefit of using gel spray is that it’s not as susceptible to gusts of wind, meaning that you’re not as likely to accidentally affect yourself with the spray due to blow-back.
Number Of Sprays
Pepper spray canisters can last for anywhere between 5 and 35 sprays. The more times you can use your spray, the more chances you have to defend yourself if you miss your attacker the first time, and the longer you can go without needing to replace your spray.
Always make sure that the pepper spray you choose to buy is easily portable.
The whole point of pepper spray is to be able to access it easily in case of an emergency, so if you have to dig your spray out of the bottom of your bag, it’s not going to be the most useful.
Look for an attached keychain, belt loop, or hand strap that allows you to keep your pepper spray accessible at all times without impeding your ability to use your hands.
Pepper spray range typically starts at about 10 feet and can go up to 18 feet.
10 feet is enough distance to keep yourself safe as long as your spray is fast-acting and potent enough, but you’ll definitely feel safer and more in control with a distance of 18 feet between you and your attacker.
Essentially, it comes down to how much trust you have in the potency of your chosen formula and how comfortable you feel.
Ease Of Use
A good pepper spray product should also be easy to use. That means that in addition to being portable, it should be easy to discharge.
Features that make pepper spray easier to use include grip strips on the canister, finger grips on the trigger, and a flip-top design.
Additionally, you may want to purchase a pepper spray that comes with a practice unit so that you can learn to use the spray effectively before you need to.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Pepper Spray Legal?
In all 50 US states, it is legal to carry and use pepper spray for the purposes of self-defense. However, it’s important to note that many states have restrictions in place on the use of pepper spray, including different age limitations.
Some states require pepper spray to be purchased from a licensed, local firearms dealer while others have restrictions on the strength of the pepper spray that can be used.
Because of this, it’s crucial to research the pepper spray legislation in your state so that you can defend yourself without breaking the law.
Is Pepper Spray Safe?
If you buy high-quality pepper spray from a reputable manufacturer, it should be both non-toxic and non-flammable, meaning it won’t cause permanent damage to you or anyone else.
Is Pepper Spray Better Than A Taser?
Tasers are non-lethal weapons, but they do carry a small risk of cardiac arrest. Pepper spray may be the better choice for self-defense because it doesn’t carry this risk.
I hope that my guide to the best pepper sprays has helped you to arm yourself with the tools you need to keep yourself safe.
Remember, pepper spray is an important and potentially life-saving purchase, so consult the buyer’s guide for tips on choosing pepper spray before you make up your mind.