5 Best Pepper Sprays of 2018: Reviews & Guide

Despite the fact that aerosol self-defense devices, which include gas cartridges are less effective means of self-defense than, for example, an electric shock or a traumatic gun, they are the most popular among self-defense means. Unfortunately, not all of them are equally reliable and effective. To distinguish the best pepper spray among numerous self-defense means without having studied the market is very difficult. A person who does not know which sprays are considered to be the best, risks of remaining without a reliable means of self-defense can result in serious consequences. Fortunately, today you have a real chance to learn everything about pepper sprays, their classifications and reviews of the best products.

What Is Pepper Spray and How Can It Help You

The pepper spray is an aluminum container of small volume filled with a mixture of organic solvent active ingredient (usually alcohols, benzene, ketones, chloro organic) and propellant substances (for example, Freon-P or Freon 12), used to create high pressure in the spray bottle.

It happens that mixtures of gas cartridges also include “weighting” additives of mineral or vegetable oil, which increase the effectiveness of the pepper spray, slow the process of evaporation of the active substance from the affected surface.

The mixture in the pepper spray is under a pressure of 8-10 atm. The release of the spay’s content is naturally done by means of pressing the button on the valve. The active substance of the best pepper spray is an irritating agent. Such agents are also called irritants. In small concentrations, these substances cause a short-term loss of the fighting power due to irritation of the mucous membranes of the eyes, upper respiratory tract and sometimes even skin.

The lethal effect for irrigants is possible only when very high doses of these substances enter the body, in tens – hundreds of times exceeding the minimum and optimally acting doses.

Types of the Best Pepper Sprays

So, best pepper sprays are designed to stop the violent actions of the offender and allow to escape from him. They are divided by the nature of spraying and all of them have their pros and cons. Let’s try to differentiate and to analyze all of them.

Steam Pattern

A stream pattern is based on a liquid and resembles a water gun. This variant of the pepper spray is the most suitable to be used outside the house because it has a really great range about 10 feet. It is absolutely weather and wind-resistant, so such pepper spray won’t affect you instead of the offender. The use of devices of this type requires a proper concentration on a target if you really need to hit it.

Fog Pattern

Fog pattern type is the most common form of self-defense. The best pepper spray of this type creates a gas curtain of the smallest particles for the offender, and thus provides additional time for escape. The use of an fog-irritating substance makes it possible to hit several people at once with a single push, without much effort. The range of damage is up to 25 feet. This type of pepper sprays is considered to be the best protection against dogs, surpassing the efficiency and convenience of using electric shockers and ultrasonic scarers. The latter do not have a stable effect on the animal. Causing physical pain or irritation of the nervous system, such pepper spray can cause even more aggression in your direction. Among negative sides there could be the insecure application in a headwind or in a confined space.

Foam Pattern

A foam pattern was designed specifically for the indoor use and resembles a shaving cream in consistency. It is very thick and sticky pepper spray. Usually it will be extremely hard to hit the target as it’s range of action is only 6 feet.

Gel Pattern

The newest version of foam pepper spray is a gel pattern that resembles a sticky gel and contains multiple advantages over the other devices. The gel sticks to the skin and eyes, thereby accelerating the effect of the irritants. The stickiness of the composition prevents this pepper spray from quickly getting rid of it, which makes the offender difficult to breathe for a relatively long period of time. In addition, the gel pepper spray is equally effective both indoors and outdoors. Its main advantages are the accuracy and range of application regardless of the direction of the wind and its location in the hand. In addition, a gel pepper spray does not poison the air, so you can safely use it indoors. The main disadvantage is the inability to use this type of lifesaver against several offenders at a time.

Comparison of the Best Pepper Sprays

We chose the best pepper sprays in several categories that can be used by anyone. Based on characteristics of our TOP 5 review you will easily choose a device that will be able to protect you in this or that dangerous situation.

Best for Runners: SABRE Red Pepper Spray—Runner

Pros

  • Compact size of 35 shots.
  • Excellent high-strength formula.
  • Equipped with a hand strap.
  • Is active within 4 years.
  • UV dye is present.

Cons

  • Unreliable safety that could stuck

What we think

Jogging in the park on a dark evening can be dangerous – for your peace of mind it’s best to carry some protection means with you. SABRE Red Pepper Spray—Runner is the best-selling and popular model on the Internet. It is strict, simple, clear and doesn’t look like toy in your hands. Saber use a 3-in-1 scheme, that is, it is not a simple usual pepper spray, but a mix of several substances: red pepper, tear gas and a fluorescent tinting liquid. A full bottle will be enough for 35 shots, that’s why it is on the highest position in our review. The range of a shot of such a pepper spray is 10 feet. How it turned into a bestseller? The matter is that Sabre products have long been used by policemen from different countries of the world, and the production of such a level of funds is already an indicator of quality.

Best Green Marker Dye: Fox Labs Mean Green H2OC

Pros

  • Unique high-strength formula.
  • High stream of 15 feet.
  • 18 Shots max.
  • Includes a permanent green dye.
  • Convenient nozzle

Cons

  • Limited 3-year life.

What we think

Fox Labs Mean Green H2OC is another best pepper spray in our review. It contains a unique Mean Green H2OC with s green marker dye to identify the offenders at once. The product is represented in a form of the spray in 1.5 oz balloon, but it is also possible to buy a smaller-sized variants. A convenient opening nozzle allows to spray enough of gas at once. Thanks to the perfectly-developed formula OC spray is very effective and works as a real weapon in dangerous situations. Unfortunately this product has a shorter life is to compare with its competitors – only 3 years. Still, most of manufacturers recommend to buy a new best pepper spray after it stays open for 2 years.

Best Pattern Range: Fox Labs Flip Top

Pros

  • The best pattern range of 20 feet.
  • Excellent discharging nozzle.
  • Presence of flip top safety.
  • UV dye visible in blacklight.
  • Perfect strength formula.

Cons

  • Limited shelf life.

What we think

This is another invention by famous Fox Labs. It offers the longest pattern range of up to 20 feet and is sold in a 2-oz canister. It is equipped with a flip top safety which prevents from discharge. As with the previous device, this pepper spray also includes Fox-specific invisible UltraViolet dye. It becomes visible only in black lights and also helps to identify the offender quickly. Shelf life of this best pepper spray is also reduced and is only 3 years. If it is not the case for you, you can easily buy this pepper spray on affordable price and it will help you to feel well-protected from unexpected dangers.

Best Pepper Gel: SABRE Red Pepper Spray Gel

Pros

  • Excellent MC rating.
  • A long range of action.
  • Goes with a holster.
  • Can be used indoors.
  • Is active within 4 years.
  • UV dye is present.

Cons

  • Requires a proper concentration on the target.

What we think

If you use a pepper gel in a tight space, there always will be a risk that it can fall on you. SABRE Red Pepper Spray gel is specific for such purposes. Their main advantage is that it does not splash, and can be used in a tight space (elevator or car) or in windy weather without the risk of falling on you. The second difference is a more viscous and sticky consistency, which is much harder to clean. The offender will have to live with it for a long time, so you will have enough time to escape. The range of this excellent pepper gel is more than of some classic sprays – 18 feet.

Best Volume: Defense Technology First Defence Pepper Spray

Pros

  • Excellent strength.
  • Best OC spray.
  • 360-degree stream.
  • 25 shots in 3 oz bottle.
  • Range of the stream is 12 feet.
  • Is active within 5 years.

Cons

  • Doesn’t include UV dye.

What we think

This steam pepper spray developed by famous solid brand Defense Technology – perfect in terms of strength, volume, and spraying pattern options. The model under review perfectly meets the expectations of the effective pepper spray. 360-degree means that your position is not important when you need to deploy this self defence spray and you can any special place to spray effectively in order to hit the target. For training purposes Defence Technology offers a training sample of this pepper spray that can be purchased on Amazon. The volume of the can is 3 oz and it remains live within 5 years.

What Is in Pepper Spray: How Strong Is It?

Let’s consider the characteristics of the irritants currently used in pepper sprays:

CN Substance

Chloroacetophenone is a typical lacrimator – tear irritant. Lacrimation occurs at an initial concentration of 0.0005 mg / l. In its pure form, CN is a colorless crystalline substance with a pleasant smell of flowering bird cherry.

CS Substance

CS – dinitrile o-chlorobenzylidene malonic acid – is an irritant of mixed action, irritating both the eyes and the respiratory tract. The effect of CS is manifested in the form of abundant lacrimation, painful burning sensation in the nasopharynx and chest pains.

OC Substance

OC – oleoresin capsicum – is an irrigant of natural origin, usually an extract of a particularly burning red pepper variety. The degree of physiological effect of the extract depends on its concentration and on the stiffness of the raw material. OC has a very powerful effect: a person who falls into the zone of action of such a pepper spray, immediately closes his eyes, experienced almost uncontrolled strong coughing and spasms in the throat.

Pepper Gas

This gas is much more effective than tear gas. It instantly disables the criminal and does not have any side effects. Pepper gas is produced from a natural product called capsium oleoresini – cayenne pepper. If the pepper gas is applied correctly, then it will completely disable the person of any physical and emotional condition for a shot time.

Precautionary Measures of Pepper Spray Usage

Pepper Spray for self-defense allows to ensure complete safety, but it is necessary to remember the important rules of its use:

  • Suddenness – it is an unexpected application that allows you to neutralize the offender, causing him to cough and watery eyes, giving time to escape or call for help.
  • Convenience – the pepper spray should be placed in your hand as comfortably as possible, only in this case you will get the greatest effect of the chosen tool.

Check before use – a preliminary check of the valve will avoid unnecessary hitching at the time of application of the pepper spray, which will ensure a sudden reflection of the attack.

It is worth remembering that the main advantage of pepper sprays over other means of self-defense is the effect of surprise, so do not threaten with them. If you understand that the situation is out of control, find the best pepper spray in your pocket and immediately direct into the face of the enemy.

It is extremely important that the jet hit precisely into the opponent’s eyes – only then you’ll get the fastest and most effective result. The negative side of using the pepper spray consists in the time of use. To achieve the result, the substance should be sprayed for 5-8 seconds. With each meter, the concentration of the active substance is reduced. Optimum distance for spraying is up to 10 feet. It doesn’t seem too long, but very few people will allow others to splash a pepper spray into the eyes of GB.

After you have withstood the right time, act on the principle of hit and run. Do not pretend as if you are a hero and fly with your fists against the enemy. Even the strongest pepper spray do not work right away, they just give you an additional 50 feet of advantage.

What If You Were Affected by a Pepper Spray?

If you affected yourself with pepper spray, do not panic. Definitely, the offender received most of the burning composition. Try to hide in a safe place, then go to the nearest hospital, or go home to get rid of effects at home. How to treat a burning place on the body? This is simply to do: apply milk (the fatter it is better) to the place of burning, after which the unpleasant sensations will begin to come to naught. If the eyes got a bigger dose – visit the nearest hospital.

Which Pepper Spray to Buy?

The choice of the best pepper spray depends on where and how it is planned to be used.

A Pepper Spray for Home Use

If you want the spray to be stored at home, which can be used, for example, in the entrance, or against the aggressor who is already in the door, then it is best to choose between a 0.75 or 3 oz pepper sprays. The best pepper spray very effective in relation to aggressor, while also very safe in relation to other people in the room.

A Pepper Spray for the Car

If you want to carry a pepper spray in the car, and be able to protect yourself from a group of bad people on the road, then it is also better to choose large cans of of up to 3 oz. But in this case it can be used some great balloon with the strongest powerful jet.

A Pepper Spray for a Girl

If you are a girl or you are going to purchase the best pepper spray for a lady, it is best to buy specially-designed pepper sprays that are available in a pretty pink design. They will be extremely effective in composition and universal in type of spraying.

A Pepper Spray For a Man

If you are a man and buy a pepper spray for yourself or for a friend to carry it with you, especially if it’s the first device in your life, it’s best to take a pair of effective means of an aerosol-spray type – the most convenient and versatile.

A Pepper Spray for Experienced Users

More experienced users usually have 2 pepper sprays with various characteristics with them. For example, it is possible to buy a small variant of a pepper spray that will always help out if someone attacks. For the second device you may choose a gas spray that acts on dogs, has the most terrible respiratory effect and will be able to fight off immediately from a large number of attackers.

In general, the combinations may be different – 2 pepper sprays are always better than one, but at the same time, one is better than zero. The main thing is to not forget that to carry a pepper spray in a pocket is not enough to repel an attack – you need to be ready to apply it. For this you need to practice at least once. In order to practice you can buy a cheaper pepper spray as it doesn’t contain irritants.