How-to Choose the Right Pepper Spray for You

How-to Choose the Right Pepper Spray for You

04 21 2023

The world of pepper spray can be a confusing place. With so many options, how do you choose which one will best fit your safety needs? If you’re struggling to choose a pepper spray and have questions such as — what size do I need, how can I carry it, or can I use it indoors? — then you’ve come to the right place. Let the questions below serve as your guide to finding the pepper spray product that's right for you.

Pepper Gel with Detachable Safety Whistle Keychain

2-in-1 Pepper Gel with Detachable Safety Whistle Keychain, Black

Where do you live?

Although pepper spray is legal in all 50 states, some states and cities have  specific regulations regarding canister size, purchasing, and possessing pepper spray. Check the pepper spray laws in your area before making your purchase, and remember, these products are for defensive purposes only.

Do you want pepper spray or pepper gel?

pepper gel

2-in-1 Pepper Gel with Detachable Safety Whistle Keychain, Pink

Many people think pepper spray is deployed in a big cloud like an aerosol hairspray, which is where the concern that it could also affect you comes from. If this is your concern, you should know that SABRE pepper sprays deploy in a powerful stream to decrease the chance of it affecting or blowing back on you.

Pepper gel, as a slightly thicker, stickier substance than pepper spray, decreases the chance even more. It does not atomize in the air, reducing the chance that it will blow back toward you, which is especially important when sprayed in outdoor, windy conditions. Pepper gel is just as effective as pepper spray when it comes to disorienting a potential threat, and it only affects what it directly contacts by sticking to the target.

If indoor or at-home safety is your main priority, you’ll want to consider purchasing a pepper gel since it will not contaminate the air inside. Similarly, if you plan to carry pepper spray while running outdoors or in a windy area, pepper gel is ideal, as it reduces the chance of wind blowback.

Will you be carrying pepper spray during a specific activity?

glow in the dark pepper spray

Pepper Spray with Glow in the Dark Case

For running or biking, you can get pepper sprays and pepper gels that are made with these outdoor activities in mind. SABRE running pepper gel products come with either an ambidextrous hand strap or arm band for immediate access and cyclist pepper sprays come with a quick-tear holster that attaches to your bike. These different carrying options provide you with easy, accessible protection while you enjoy your favorite outdoor activities.

If you're walking home from work at night, or plan to keep your pepper spray inside a bag, purse, or nightstand, consider  pepper spray with a glow in the dark case. The glow feature makes it easier to locate your spray in the dark when you need it most and fumbling around could cost you precious seconds. When fully charged, it glows for up to eight hours.

How do you want to carry your pepper spray?

Pepper Spray with Quick Release Keyring, Mint

Pepper Spray with Quick Release Keyring, Mint

keyring or snap clip is the most common way to carry pepper spray to make it portable and easily accessible. For even more accessibility, you should choose a pepper spray equipped with a quick-release keyring that allows you to detach your pepper spray from your keychain at a moment's notice to use it instantly for your safety. This can come in handy if your keys are in your ignition, you are trying to unlock a door, or if your pepper spray is securely attached to your bag.

If carrying pepper spray on your keys isn’t preferred, an attachment clip is another option. The clip easily attaches to pockets or the inside of a purse or bag, plus it’s easier to conceal for discreet protection. You can also opt to carry your pepper spray with a belt holster. It makes your spray easily transportable and provides quick access to your safety device in an emergency.

Do you want a pepper spray with a finger grip?

Pepper spray with quick release key ring

Pepper Spray with Quick Release Keyring, Lavender

Pepper sprays with an  intuitive finger grip help you know which direction to point your pepper spray in by touch alone. Even if you’re not looking at your pepper spray, you can feel the correct way to grip it to help ensure you’re aiming it in the right direction. Intuitive finger grips make pepper spray easier to use and provide better aim and accuracy. Pepper sprays that are designed for concealment do not always have a finger grip option, but they do have a textured actuator that still allows you to feel when the product is facing you.

What pepper spray top do you prefer?

Lipstick Pepper Spray

Lipstick Pepper Spray

Pepper sprays with a flip-toptwist-lock, or cap-top that covers or locks the actuator in place, help prevent accidental deployment or discharge. These tops should not hinder your ability to deploy the pepper spray in an emergency—with practice, these pepper sprays can be handled with one hand—but these tops are strong enough to keep your spray from accidentally going off by jostling around in a purse or jacket pocket.

What size and color do you prefer?

Mighty Discreet Pepper Spray

Mighty Discreet Pepper Spray, Mint

Pepper spray comes in many colors and sizes, making it easy to match your style or help make your pepper spray more discreet. If you want a trendy, fashionable pepper spray, you might choose a bright, lavender-colored pepper spray or one with a sparkly, jeweled case. If your personal preference is to conceal your pepper spray, you might choose a black or gray color, a smaller pepper spray, like Mighty Discreet, or a spray that is disguised as lipstick. Whatever your preference is, there is an option for you.

What pepper spray will be the most comfortable for you?

Jeweled Pepper Spray

Jeweled Pepper Spray, White

The right pepper spray for you is the spray you are the most comfortable with. We recommend a  practice canister to get comfortable using your pepper spray. If you’re not comfortable and confident with your pepper spray or pepper gel, you’re less likely to use it properly and effectively in an emergency. Check out this step-by-step guide for how to use pepper spray.

To learn more about how to choose your pepper spray, David Nance, SABRE CEO and Personal Safety Expert, provides his tips and best practices to help you make the right choice for you in the video below.