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 be your guide to finding the right pepper spray product for you.
Where do you live?
Although pepper spray is legal in all 50 states, some states and cities have specific regulations for canister size, purchasing, and possessing pepper spray. Familiarize yourself with the laws in your area before purchasing a pepper spray or pepper gel, and remember, these products are for defensive purposes only.
Will you be using pepper spray indoors or in a windy area?
If indoor or at-home safety is your main priority, you’ll want to consider purchasing a pepper gel product rather than a pepper spray. Pepper gel travels 20% further than traditional pepper sprays, which protects you from a further distance. Pepper gel also does not atomize in the air, meaning it will not contaminate the air inside and will only affect the intended target. Some pepper gels are even designed with home defense in mind and come with a wall mount for easy access in an emergency.
For outdoor use situations, pepper spray and pepper gel are both good options, however, if you’re running or in a windy area, pepper gel is ideal. Since it does not atomize in the air, pepper gel reduces the chance of wind blowback, and it also sprays 20% further than traditional pepper sprays.
How do you want to carry your pepper spray?
A keyring is one of the most common ways to carry pepper spray because your keys are always with you when you’re on the go, making your pepper spray portable and accessible. For even more accessibility, you can also consider a pepper spray equipped with a quick-release keyring. The quick-release keyring allows you to detach your pepper spray from your keychain at a moment's notice to use instantly for your safety. This would 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 to prevent someone from taking it.
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.
A belt holster is the preferred method to carry a pepper spray or pepper gel when you’re not carrying a bag. It makes your spray easily transportable and provides quick access to your safety device in an emergency.
Will you be carrying pepper spray during a specific activity?
For running or biking, you can get pepper sprays and pepper gels that are made with these outdoor activities in mind. Running pepper spray products can come with a hand strap or armband, and cyclist pepper sprays can come with a Velcro strap that attaches to your bike. These different carrying options provide you with easy, accessible protection while you enjoy your activities.
Protector® Dog Spray is another type of pepper spray, designed to be used on attacking animals, that comes with a hand strap for added convenience when walking or running with your furry friend. It provides humane protection, abiding by EPA regulations, by only temporarily disorienting the animal. It’s safe for you and safe for pets.
Do you have any of these common pepper spray questions?
Some of the top questions we receive regarding pepper spray usage include how to aim it, how to avoid accidental deployment or spraying yourself, and will the spray get on you if you spray it.
A pepper spray with an intuitive finger grip helps you know which direction to point your pepper spray in, even if you’re not looking at it, so you won’t have to worry about aiming it at yourself. 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.
If you’re concerned about accidental deployment or discharge, you’ll want a pepper spray with a flip-top, twist-lock, or a cap-top that covers or locks the actuator in place. This should not hinder your ability to deploy the pepper spray in an emergency—most can be handled with one hand—but these tops are strong enough to keep your spray from going off by jostling around in a purse or jacket pocket.
Many people think pepper spray is deployed in a big cloud like an aerosol hairspray, which is where the concern that it might also affect you comes from. If this is your concern, you should know that it’s actually sprayed in a powerful stream to increase target acquisition and decrease the chance of it affecting anything but your desired target. To decrease the chance even more, you can also consider a pepper gel product. As we mentioned earlier, it does not atomize in the air, reducing the chance that it will blow back towards you, which is especially important when sprayed in outdoor, windy conditions. Pepper gel is also just as effective as pepper spray when it comes to disorienting a potential threat.
What size and color do you prefer?
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 fun, fashionable pepper spray, you might choose a bright, neon pink or one that has a design on the label. 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?
The right pepper spray for you is the spray you are the most comfortable with. Consider a practice canister to get comfortable using your pepper spray, because if you’re not comfortable and confident with your safety device, you’re less likely to use it properly and effectively if an emergency arises. The SABRE Personal Safety Academy also provides video demonstrations of how to correctly use a pepper spray and other personal safety tips.
To learn more about how to choose your pepper spray, watch this YouTube video where David Nance, SABRE CEO and Personal Safety Expert, provides his tips and best practices to help you make the right choice for you.