The Best Bear-Proof Canisters and Containers (2021 Reviews)

Roman Herrick
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Many people like to camp in bear country. In fact, wherever there are national or state parks, there tend to be numerous bear warnings advising campers to keep their food safely contained in bear-proof containers.

That being said, if you have bear-proof containers it will also help protect against other mammals like raccoons, foxes, and even rodents.

Not only does keeping all of your food safely contained inside a bear-proof container make sense as a matter of practicality, but it also makes sense as a matter of ethics.

NameCategoryProduct
YETI Tundra 35 CoolerBest OverallYETI Tundra 35 Cooler
Hunters Specialties Scent-A-Way Scent-Safe Travel BagBudget PickHunters Specialties Scent-A-Way Scent-Safe Travel Bag
65 Gallon Bearicuda Stealth Bear-Resistant Garbage CanUpgrade Pick65 Gallon Bearicuda Stealth Bear-Resistant Garbage Can

1. YETI Tundra 35 Cooler

Our rating: 9 / 10

YETI Tundra 35 Cooler

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Heavy-duty
  • Brute strength
  • Tons of space for food
  • Tough handles
  • Stronger than most coolers

Downsides:

No real downsides… And if you need more ice retention, it's going to be a little spendy like all YETI products.

2. Eagle 1650 Yellow Blow-Molded HDPE Lab Pack

Our rating: 8 / 10

Eagle 1650 Yellow Blow-Molded HDPE Lab Pack

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Pros:

  • Large enough to keep your food safe from the bears at your campsite.
  • Somewhat lightweight, but certainly not as light as most other material.
  • Decent price point
  • Comes with a carrying strap for convenience.
  • Has a good sealing lid.
  • Works well with the right type of bears.

Cons:

  • Bears love this thing, period.
  • More expensive than the competition.
  • The carrying strap feels flimsy and fragile.
  • Even your home trash container will attract these creatures, more so than this bear canister.
  • Surprisingly, a very small plastic lid.

This mylar bag will stand up to the toughest zoo and wild animal conditions. When you are travelling with frozen or refrigerated food, you want a canister that will not allow your food to come into contact with outside odors, moisture, or heat.

This canister also has a zipper bag with measuring lines on it, activated carbon, and a sturdy carrying handle. It is useful for long or short term use.

3. Monoprice Emperor Cooler

Our rating: 8 / 10

Monoprice Emperor Cooler

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Pros:

  • Wonderful 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Durable and weather resistant large capacity cooler
  • Keeps your drinks cold and food fresh
  • Great for picnic or camping trips
  • Includes 2 removable-grade cut and puncture resistant rubber seals and heavy-duty wrap makes this bear resistant container safer than normal hiking backpacks
  • Made with the right materials to offer good insulation with a easy open latches
  • Built to last
  • Great quality cooler

Cons:

  • The solid rim feels out of place and limits space
  • The cooler is a little big for most back packs and it won’t fit perfectly.
  • A little too expensive
  • Your freezer will last longer than the cooler will

4. Eagle 1600SL Yellow High Density Polyethylene Lab Pack Drum

Our rating: 8 / 10

Eagle 1600SL Yellow High Density Polyethylene Lab Pack Drum

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Pros:

  • Very sturdy and tough
  • Convenient large lid handle makes it easier to carry
  • Exceptional construction quality
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty
  • You can track your shipment online through the manufacturer’s website
  • This container is very lightweight
  • The price is very affordable for the value of the product

Cons:

  • This container may be susceptible to denting and rusting
  • The lid is basically one big screw-on top, which means you cannot access the canister from the top. Many other products have both a top and a bottom lid.

14.125" Opening

A bear-proof trash can is a must-have item for everyone who wants to protect their household from bears. This can is ideal for campsites, hiking trails, and outdoor areas.

The lid of the can is made of plastic and screw-on. The can has a handle that makes it easy to carry. You can also use the handle when putting the lid back on. One good thing about this can is that its top lid is completely sealed so that you can access the waste from inside the can even while traveling. Bear-proof trash cans are the best because they are constructed from very thick HDPE. HDPE is material that is fundamentally resistant to rust or disease.

5. Selkirk Design Ultralight Food Bag Hanging System

Our rating: 8 / 10

Selkirk Design Ultralight Food Bag Hanging System

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Pros:

  • Use either in trees or on a limb
  • Extremely lightweight (under 2 lbs)
  • SO durable and incredibly well made
  • Easy to use and simple setup (5 minutes or less)
  • Made with quality, thick cord
  • The bag you can attach to the pulley is excellent
  • Very nice compartment for storing utensils

Cons:

  • The only con that I have had is that the loops that I use to secure the bag into the tree are rated to hold 25 pounds, but it is a little taut when using 50 pounds worth of food, so I placed a few extra carabiners into the loop to stretch it out a bit.
  • Since I got this bag, I have been able to use it both to hang a food bag and to hang my tent and to hang the tent of another camper who came to my campsite and asked if they could stay with us (thanks to the tent hanging features of the bag).

As I was reading all of the reviews of other bear proof bag hanging systems, I noticed that my set up was praised as being extremely light weight, but it is far superior to the others in many other ways, as well. The other reviews are in total awe of how great the quality of my Selkirk Bear Hanging System is.

6. RATSACK – Bear Bags

Our rating: 8 / 10

RATSACK - Bear Bags

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Pros:

  • Material is very lightweight and sturdy
  • Mesh bag makes it easy to view contents
  • Designed for bear-resistant zones

Cons:

  • Small size
  • Not very resistant to puncture
  • Handle is made of thin plastic and can break easily

The RATSACK is designed to keep bears out of your food pack. The sheer size of this bear bag will make it difficult for even some of the larger bears to get into.

The bag features reinforced nylon sides and bottom that will ensure this made in the USA bag stands up to the harshest weather conditions out on the mountain or deep in the woods.

The bag is designed to hang from a high branch or other tall point. A pedometer of 20 steps is all that it will take to quickly and easily secure the bag.

7. Orion Heavy Duty Premium Cooler

Our rating: 8 / 10

Orion Heavy Duty Premium Cooler

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Pros:

  • The lid has an easy lift tab for use
  • Perfect for everything from warm drinks to curries

Cons:

  • It has a loud fan
  • Accessories usually compliment the game better than the actual game itself

Microsoft Surface 5 Tablet, 5.

If you want to really impress your friends at a dinner party, this is the gift idea you've been looking for. The gold cigarettes are quite expensive, but if your budget can rust, then they're perfect.

Gaddget Love Lab: Science Kits for Couples: Volumes 1 and 2

8. 65 Gallon Bearicuda Stealth Bear-Resistant Garbage Can

Our rating: 8 / 10

65 Gallon Bearicuda Stealth Bear-Resistant Garbage Can

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Pros:

  • TSA compliant
  • Durable
  • Handles a lot of weight
  • Steel rope handles for transport
  • Great for large families
  • Great for picnics

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Don’t open as wide as some other garbage bins

The Bearicuda is such a great garbage can that it’s TSA compliant and can even hold up to 272 lbs. of trash. While that’s a great feature for large family or parties, it makes it a little difficult to move around. If you’re travelling, you will want to consider purchasing a smaller trash bin, or a few of them.

However, if you’re looking for a can that’s specifically designed to keep bears out of your trash, the Bearicuda is one of the best on the market. The Bearicuda uses a finely balanced latch, drop-thumb door lock, steel-strand cable and a rubber-gasketed lid to thwart any bear.

In addition to holding up to 45 gallons, this trash can is also much more resistant to rust than many other trash cans. It’s so insect-resistant that you won’t need to spray it with borax and water to keep away ants.

9. 32Gallon Bearicuda Classic Bear-Resistant Garbage Can Cart

Our rating: 8 / 10

32Gallon Bearicuda Classic Bear-Resistant Garbage Can Cart

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Pros:

  • Made from high quality, durable materials
  • An internal dual-trigger locking system
  • Bear locks into the canister will not open unless they are baited
  • Rugged and easy to clean

The Garbage Cans by the Bearicuda is a heavy-duty trash can for those who are frequently out in the wilderness. It has been designed to endure rough treatment and its contents would be protected from bears.

The can has been made with reinforced steel combined with synthetic rubber. This design ensures that it is able to withstand a rough treatment. It is also tough to beat, as it does not easily allow oxygen or moisture into it.

The latches come with bait holes to allow you to catch the attention of a bear. These holes can be accessed through the lid, and will not impede its closing. These locking devices are intended to hold the bear down even though it has attempted to open it. The Bearicuda bear proof garbage can is equipped with a dual trigger locking system.

10. Cascade Mountain Tech 80-Quart Rotomolded Cooler

Our rating: 8 / 10

Cascade Mountain Tech 80-Quart Rotomolded Cooler

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The main reasons to buy the Cascade 80-quart cooler are that they are made from lightweight and durable polyethylene that prevents cracking, breakage, or rusting and that they are designed with a rugged outer shell and double wall insulation.

This cooler is excellent for an overall day trip or an overnighter because it has plenty of space, the cooler can give you an additional 82-quart capacity with nearly double your volume, plus it is equipped with 4 triple-ribbed ice buckets for a superior ice lake.

It features a telescoping handle and two-wheeled rotation system for easy maneuvering and designed with a rubberized base that prevents the majority of the crack or breaking.

11. TrailMax Bear-Resistant Pack Pannier

Our rating: 8 / 10

TrailMax Bear-Resistant Pack Pannier

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This backpack is perfect for anyone who regularly spends time in the backcountry. It’s waterproof, so it’s great for keeping your gear safe on rainy or snowy days. Its many pockets and compartments give you plenty of space to store a variety of items. It has padded shoulder straps and waist straps, so it’s comfortable to wear, even when you’re carrying a heavy load. And seeing that it’s waterproof, it’s great for boating trips as well.

Twod Fifty Backpack with Anti-Bear Firearms Pouch, Black, 42L, with Chest Strap.

12. FRONTIERSMAN Bear Canister

Our rating: 8 / 10

FRONTIERSMAN Bear Canister

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Pros:

  • Best affordable option
  • Military grade rivets, hinges, and lock tabs
  • The food storage container is FDA-approved
  • Cannot be destroyed with brute force
  • A lightweight container when empty
  • Easily fits into backpacks and bags

Cons:

  • Somewhat expensive
  • Very heavy empty

The Frontiersman Food Canister is a lightweight container that's designed to hold up against attacks from bears and other animals.

13. Udap NO-FED-Bear Bear Resistant Canister

Our rating: 8 / 10

Udap NO-FED-Bear Bear Resistant Canister

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Pros:

  • Nicely designed
  • Light in weight
  • Easy to use
  • Super durable

The Udap NO-FED-Bear Container is an ideal option for people who are traveling in bear country. This bear-resistant canister is actually an aeroforce-style unit. When you are not using it, it can fold down easily and be used as a backpack.

The container is made from polycarbonate and can carry up to 6 or 7 days of food.

The lid comes with a cable-lock. You’ll want to keep the lid closed as much as you can because it’s when it’s open that it’s most vulnerable to attacks.

14. REYLEO Ice Chest

Our rating: 8 / 10

REYLEO Ice Chest

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Pros:

  • Durable, easy-to-clean rotomolded construction
  • Extra securing strap
  • Drain valve, recessed bottom
  • Bear resistant
  • Stylish
  • Hand wash recommended
  • BPA free
  • Easy open lid with drink holder as well as fish ruler
  • Lifetime Guarantee

Hunting, Boating, Beach, Tailgate, Canoeing, Kayaking | Great for Food Hiking.

Just like the Coleman previously reviewed, this cooler is a great pick for those who need to store unrefrigerated food to be stored for 2-3 days. You can easily fit a week’s worth of food for two people in this cooler.

The buyer stated that this cooler performed admirably without much fuss. They particularly loved the bottle opener and ruler. They could not find a single manufacturer problem, and therefore feel that this is a great buy.

15. Ursack Allmitey

Our rating: 7 / 10

Ursack Allmitey

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A favorite among thru-hikers, the Ursack is a bear bag without the bag. In other words, it’s a soft cylinder that you insert into an empty food bag, and then clip to any kind of rope.

A Velcro enclosure makes it easy to open and close, and to put inside a bear bag for that extra protection, but also to use with a bear canister.

Many hikers like the Ursack bear bag for its ease of use. Just unfold and drop your food bag inside. You can also access your bag while it’s inside the Ursack in case you forget something.

16. Siberian Coolers Alpha Pro Series 45 Quart in Granite Bear Resistant Includes Accessories

Our rating: 7 / 10

Siberian Coolers Alpha Pro Series 45 Quart in Granite Bear Resistant Includes Accessories

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Pros:

  • * Made of heavy-duty plastic

Bear Proof Cooler.

Bear resistant coolers are designed specifically to keep bears out of your food, so that you can keep it chilled and fresh until you need it. The Alpine Innovations vrsualVaultTm Top Load Cooler and Table comes with a built-in watertight seal to keep everything dry and safe from the rest of harm.

Multiple layers of insulation and a No Sweat design also help to keep things cold inside the coolers, even in extreme hot and cold conditions.

17. Ursack Major XL Bear Resistant Lightweight Flexible Food Sack Bag

Our rating: 7 / 10

Ursack Major XL Bear Resistant Lightweight Flexible Food Sack Bag

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Pros:

  • Can fit up to a tent or hammock in it
  • Durable and waterproof

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No color choices

This bear canister is the most lightweight one that weighs 1lb and can fit a lot for its size. It also features a lock that’ll make it so the bears can’t get it open themsleves, as well as have it have a handle for a sling so you can carry it with you easily.

This is the best option for people who are hiking and want to be able to store more in it like a sleeping back or a tent. It’s also good if you’re someone who likes to cook in the backcountry and you need to store your food.

18. Ursack Major Black Bear Bag

Our rating: 7 / 10

Ursack Major Black Bear Bag

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Pros:

  • You can use it to store food, trash, toiletries, and much more
  • Provides the maximum level of protection against bears
  • Has a double tie system to prevent theft

Cons:

  • Can give off an odor
  • An expensive bear canister

The Ursack Major with BV500 certification is made of very tear resistant material and claims to keep bears out even when they're really determined.

The bag is designed with a double loop system to prevent someone else from getting inside the canister. The bag also doesn't need to be stretched completely flat to be tied like other cans, making it far easier for smaller hands to use.

Considering the material is thick and strong, the Ursack should have a strong odor for the first few weeks. This bag will cost you around five times more than cheaper bags.

19. Lifetime 90820 55 Quart High Performance Cooler

Our rating: 7 / 10

Lifetime 90820 55 Quart High Performance Cooler

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Pros:

  • Large size
  • Sturdy, heavy duty plastic
  • Spacious, making it great for group outings, get-togethers, or campings
  • The lid fits properly, will not spill
  • Can hold ice for several days
  • Will keep contents cool for days
  • Easy to carry
  • Sturdy construction

Cons:

  • Not a bear-proof container. Do not use for storing your food if you live in bear country.
  • If holes for air flow are covered, the contents inside will be hot

Truck bed bins are a necessity for any camping trip. Without them, your vehicle’s bed will be piled high and overflowing with large bags and boxes and make it impossible to transport anything else. We found that the best truck bin for the money is the Lifetime 90820 55 Quart High Performance Cooler.

Coming in at a close second is Truxedo’s Truck Bed Bin. While Truxedo’s truck bed is a bit more expensive than the Lifetime cooler, the company offers a lifetime warranty on their bins, which are made from heavy-duty plastic.

20. Canyon Coolers Outfitter Series 55qt

Our rating: 6 / 10

Canyon Coolers Outfitter Series 55qt

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There are plenty of bears around in Canyon Coolers headquarters, so they need strong coolers to keep the beer in. And this 55-quart model is super-strong, weighing nearly 100 pounds.

Because it’s so heavy, it won’t tip over, which makes it easier to use than other, lighter coolers. The lid also opens at a wide angle, making it very easy to pack things inside.

At 25 pounds empty, this is a very portable cooler. It’s very easily moved around camp, even when filled.

21. LOKSAK – OPSAK Storage Bag

Our rating: 6 / 10

LOKSAK - OPSAK Storage Bag

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Pros:

  • The basket style opening makes it a breeze to put things in and take things out
  • In extreme temperatures the OPSAK won't let moisture in or out which protects contents from condensation and gets this 5-star BVREP product a perfect 10 out of 10 rating for weather resistance
  • This container is able to protect items safely down to 0 degree celsius
  • But in intense heat such as the United Arab Emirates, it keeps out the heat and won't let your high-perfume smelling contents out
  • The OPSAK is unaffected by carbonated liquid like beer, soda and champagne
  • The OPSAK doesn't just protect from the outside, it also protects from the inside as it's very difficult to try and cut through the thick 6.5 mil plastic. We also had to use a pair of heavy duty shears to get through the thick plastic
  • The OPSAK can also help you attack the "smell problem" where bears may leave a scent of your food from scent stealing or scent marking
  • The OPSAK is just large enough to hold a full can of spray, bug spray and a small two-battery flashlight with extra room to spare
  • The OPSAK is unquestionably the winner of our short term water test with zero leaks, even after we rolled it around on the concrete floor for a little while

22. Hunters Specialties Scent-A-Way Scent-Safe Travel Bag

Our rating: 6 / 10

Hunters Specialties Scent-A-Way Scent-Safe Travel Bag

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Pros:

  • Nice, simple design
  • Clear instructions and labeling
  • Requires no assembly
  • Durable construction
  • Good value and food-safe storage

Cons:

  • Does not device any way to completely eliminate odor
  • Good for minimal amounts of food

This first product is a Scent-A-Way Food Storage Bag created by Hunter Specialties. If you are looking for a scented container – you probably should not look here. If you have food that tends to smell, this would be a good choice. It keeps smells inside the bag because it creates a barrier between your food and any potential wildlife that want to get into it.

What makes this bag different, is that it is completely airtight. So the container, lined with Protexmesh, means that it differs from most on the market. It also features a YKK heavy-duty zipper for convenient access.

There is a small mesh pocket at the top of the storage bag, but it is sewn to its length. The idea is to make it easier to hold your hands to put food in or take it out. It comes with six adjustable straps. If you put stuff in one layer, it will be easier to close.

23. Ursack Allmitey Bear Backpack

Our rating: 6 / 10

Ursack Allmitey Bear Backpack

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Pros:

  • This is very convenient to use and very durable
  • This backpack is extremely sturdy and durable
  • It is well-designed and has excellent quality materials
  • This is very easy to use and it’s not heavy
  • It is large enough to fit a lot of your items
  • It has enough room for your food, and other necessities
  • It can be opened and closed easily
  • It is an excellent option for backpacking
  • It is bearproof and raccoon-proof

Cons:

  • It is a bit pricey and heavy compared to similar products
  • It is difficult to lock the clips
  • It can easily be punctured if you throw it down to the ground

This bearproof bag is incredibly strong and useful. It is made from nylon fabric. It has a full length zipper with dual slider pulls and handles that allow the backpack to be carried like a duffel bag.

The material is incredibly strong to last for a long period of time. It has a zipper and two steel frame clips that can keep a lid sealed. The backpack has enough room to fit a lot of items.

The Ursack Allmitey Backpack weighs 1.5 pounds and is larger than other products in this category.

24. Liberty Mountain 371486 Easy to Throw Bear Bag Hanging Kit

Our rating: 6 / 10

Liberty Mountain 371486 Easy to Throw Bear Bag Hanging Kit

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Pros:

  • Handy carrying pouch with handles
  • Lightweight, yet durable

Cons:

  • Ties can be too short; requires a longer rope
  • Bags are easily punctured

This kit is going to help you to get your food, toiletries, and other items out of the way. You can secure your items which you don’t want certain animals to get their hands.

The pouch of the kit is easy to carry and is durable for regular use. The kit is made of heavy-duty poly fabrics.

You might want to bring your own rope if you decide to get this product. You can store your items in either the 3 pack or the 6 pack bags provided with the pack.

25. Toter 64-Gallon Bear-Tight Two-Wheeled Cart

Our rating: 5 / 10

Toter 64-Gallon Bear-Tight Two-Wheeled Cart

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Pros:

  • Very durable
  • Made of high-quality materials by a reputable brand
  • Wheels (3) are easy to maneuver, and provide stability
  • Very reasonably priced

Cons:

  • Some have complained the instructions were unclear
  • Can be hard to lock

26. 30 Gallon Bearicuda Basic Bear-Resistant Trash Can

Our rating: 4 / 10

30 Gallon Bearicuda Basic Bear-Resistant Trash Can

Check Price on Amazon

Keeps Animals out, and Guards Against Raccoons, Squirrels, Rabies, and Other Vermin.

This can from Bearicuda is a great alternative to bear canisters. It features a dual-locking system in high, low, and mid sizes. The airtight lid means that there’s no chance of a bear or raccoon getting into it, and it is easy to lift and carry. With its heavy-duty screw-top locking lid, you can rest assured that not even the most animal-savvy beast is able to get its paws on your food.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which bear canister is best?

Bear canisters are the best containers for storing your backcountry food on overnight trips. They are the only way to not risk bears ripping your pack and running into the woods. We have reviewed some of the best bear canisters on the market today and the nine recommendations below are all worth considering.

Potential buyers must have clear ideas of the features and specifications they need and if they know about them they can choose the perfect bear canister for their trips. To help with that goal, we have detailed the reviews in such a way that helps you with all the information.

Are bear canisters smell proof?

I use a bear canister just for the smell proof factor. Black bears have an incredible sense of smell and can easily detect all sorts of human scents when they’re searching for food. How do I know? I come from a family of 4 generations of black bear hunters!

If you’re planning on backpacking with a bear canister, then you should definitely check out these stainless steel canisters. They’re more expensive, but they’re also highly rated and constructed from quality materials.

Do you really need a bear canister?

Yes. If you’re in bear country and planning on camping during your hiking trip, the only way to keep your food safe is to keep it in an airtight, bear-proof canister or container. The risks associated with bears and your food supply are just too great to do anything less.

Honestly, you don’t have to have a bear problem to need a canister or container. You can virtually guarantee that at some point during your camping trip, you will stub you toe and drop your grocery bag of chips, nuts, and dried fruit. And that’s how a bear can end up visiting your campsite.

Where should I store my bear canister?

Although bear cans are generally portable, they can’t be carried long distances. If you’re planning to move your bear-proof canister to a new location once a week, a bear vault is probably a better buy. Plus, bear vaults have a longer lifespan than canisters. That said, if you’re staying in your campsite for a long time and you don’t want to carry the canister every day, a bear canister may be the better choice for you.

Conclusion

All the bear-proof containers we researched gave a fairly equal level of protection if they are used by following the manufacturer’s instructions. But a few stood out to us as the safest and most effective for a number of reasons. We hope that our review and research help you decide which option is best for you.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
YETI Tundra 35 CoolerBest OverallYETI Tundra 35 Cooler
Hunters Specialties Scent-A-Way Scent-Safe Travel BagBudget PickHunters Specialties Scent-A-Way Scent-Safe Travel Bag
65 Gallon Bearicuda Stealth Bear-Resistant Garbage CanUpgrade Pick65 Gallon Bearicuda Stealth Bear-Resistant Garbage Can