10 Best Pepper Spray Options for Self-Defense: ingredients and why it burns

Self-defense is a concern for many of us today, and there are several different options for keeping yourself safe when out and about. You may find yourself tempted to follow the way of the fist and pursue an education in karate, but becoming proficient in a martial art can take a substantial amount of time (and money). Others of us choose to carry firearms. Instead, many people prefer the simpler, less expensive option: pepper sprays. These helpful devices can easily be thrown in your handbag, your pocket, or for the truly chic out there, your fanny pack.

So, what is pepper spray exactly? As the name implies, it’s a fluid made from peppers – really hot ones, which produce a substance called oleoresin capsicum. If you’ve ever eaten something made with chili peppers, you’ve tasted their heat; now imagine that same sensation in your eyes, dialed up to ten. Not pleasant, right? That is what pepper spray accomplishes. Aside from the hot stuff, it usually also contains some other ingredients, such as water or oil as a base and emulsifiers that hold the mixture together. The result is then placed into a canister with an atomizer. There are also some sprays on offer that utilize a gel solution rather than liquid, which generally has additional thickeners added; however, these are not as common. Different varieties of pepper spray will be marked as containing different percentages of oleoresin capsicum, but a higher number doesn’t necessarily indicate a more potent formulation. A concentration between 1 and 2 percent is typical and sufficient for most purposes.

There are a wide range of situations in which pepper spray may be helpful. It is common for people to carry it simply as a preemptive means of protection should they run into trouble – for instance, if someone attempts to rob or assault them. Sometimes, pepper spray is kept in the home for similar reasons. In addition, a lot of people who go hiking or camping in the wilderness bring it along as a means of defense in the event that they’re attacked by a wild animal. There are also many parts of the country where police officers carry pepper spray as a way to subdue violent subjects. The effect of using the spray is immediate: whatever skin it touches will start to burn right away. Frequently, people choose to aim for their target’s face, as the eyes, nose, and mouth are especially sensitive and will cause the most incapacitating pain.

Pepper spray can be easily purchased, and one of the best places to get it is Amazon. There’s an extensive selection, so it’s hard to know which to select. We’re here today to show you some of the best options available on Amazon so you can go out in public feeling safer.


1. SABRE RED Pepper Spray Keychain

Product

SABRE RED Pepper Spray Keychain with Quick Release for Easy...

SABRE RED

  • #1 PEPPER SPRAY BRAND TRUSTED BY POLICE AND CONSUMERS WORLDWIDE:...
  • GUARANTEED MAXIMUM STRENGTH: SABRE's professional-grade OC Spray...
  • MAXIMUM STOPPING POWER AT A SAFE DISTANCE: Impressive 10-foot...
  • EASY ACCESS IN STRESSFUL SITUATIONS: SABRE is one of the only...
  • STAY SABRE SAFE WITH FREE TRAINING: Feel confident and secure; In...

Our rating

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  • #1 PEPPER SPRAY BRAND TRUSTED BY POLICE AND CONSUMERS WORLDWIDE:...
  • GUARANTEED MAXIMUM STRENGTH: SABRE's professional-grade OC Spray...
  • MAXIMUM STOPPING POWER AT A SAFE DISTANCE: Impressive 10-foot...
  • EASY ACCESS IN STRESSFUL SITUATIONS: SABRE is one of the only...
  • STAY SABRE SAFE WITH FREE TRAINING: Feel confident and secure; In...

First up we have the SABRE RED Pepper Spray Keychain. The SABRE brand is well-respected and is used by police in New York, Chicago, and the United States Marshals. This model can be attached to a keychain so it’s easily at hand, and it comes in a few different colors – black, red, pink, and teal. The design is no-frills: you simply push the button to spray, no shaking required. This is a great all-around option and is suitable for people buying pepper spray for the first time.


2. Plegium Smart Pepper Spray

Product

Plegium Smart Pepper Spray (Black)

  • When fired, automatically calls and sends a text message with...
  • Great gift for your loved ones to ensure they are safe at college...
  • Put your fears to rest with Plegium Smart Pepper Spray in your...
  • Built-in 130 dB siren to attract attention, and strobe LED lights...
  • Don't leave home without your Plegium Smart Pepper Spray.

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  • When fired, automatically calls and sends a text message with...
  • Great gift for your loved ones to ensure they are safe at college...
  • Put your fears to rest with Plegium Smart Pepper Spray in your...
  • Built-in 130 dB siren to attract attention, and strobe LED lights...
  • Don't leave home without your Plegium Smart Pepper Spray.

These days, everything seems to come in a “smart” variety, or, in other words, Wi-Fi enabled. The moderately priced Plegium Smart Pepper Spray is really something because it connects to your smart phone with Bluetooth. When you activate the device, it can send a text message, a phone call, and your location to the emergency contacts of your choosing. That could be extremely helpful in a dire situation where you weren’t able to call for help on your own. Further, this model offers extra means of protection by including a light to help you aim the spray in dark conditions. It can even sound an alarm to further disturb an attacker or alert people in the area to the fact that an attack is taking place. This particular pepper spray comes in black or pink.


3. Mace Pepper Spray Gun

Details

  • Misc.

Most pepper sprays are packaged in upright canisters with a tab on the top. The Mace pepper spray gun is quite different, though, because it’s actually shaped like a small revolver. It also features a small light to assist you in accurate aiming, and the supply of spray is a removable component, so you can simply replace it when it runs out without the need to buy a whole new gun. It comes in black, pink, and silver, the last of which most resembles a firearm if that’s what you’re going for. It’s on the higher end as far as most pepper sprays go, but Mace is probably the best-known manufacturer of these items.


4. BlingSting Super-Cute Pepper Spray

Product

super-cute pepper spray Keychain for Women Professional...

Women's Pepper Spray

  • LAB TESTED - 1.4 % Major Capsaicinoids (MC); one of the highest...
  • POINT & SPRAY - direct stream with a distance up to 12-feet, and...
  • COMPACT - half-ounce, light-weight - sturdy clip easily attaches...
  • SAFE TO CARRY - non-lethal, UV-dye stains attacker, safety lock...
  • MADE IN THE USA - Legally cute. #1 brand of pepper spray gifted...

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  • LAB TESTED - 1.4 % Major Capsaicinoids (MC); one of the highest...
  • POINT & SPRAY - direct stream with a distance up to 12-feet, and...
  • COMPACT - half-ounce, light-weight - sturdy clip easily attaches...
  • SAFE TO CARRY - non-lethal, UV-dye stains attacker, safety lock...
  • MADE IN THE USA - Legally cute. #1 brand of pepper spray gifted...

If that last option wasn’t your style, this one might be more to your taste. BlingSting Super-Cute Pepper Spray comes in a bottle that’s been decorated with rainbow glitter, and as the name suggests, it really does look super cute. This model can also be a keychain, and if you already have some shimmery, colorful accessories attached to your bag, this particular pepper spray would fit right in. If you’re not a big fan of the polychrome look, the company does offer sprays with individual colors, too, and they’re all equally as sparkly. The price on this one is pretty average and won’t break the bank.


5. POM White Pepper Spray

Product

POM White Pepper Spray Keychain Police Strength OC Spray...

  • POMClear - Our propriety formula, measuring at 1.40% Major...
  • POM Key - Our traditional keychain model is designed to attach to...
  • POM Flip-Top - Our signature patented flip-top dispensing system...
  • POM Bands - We designed POM differently: for you. Emphasizing...
  • Peace of Mind - The perfect gift! Our goal is to bring you Peace...

Our rating

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  • POMClear - Our propriety formula, measuring at 1.40% Major...
  • POM Key - Our traditional keychain model is designed to attach to...
  • POM Flip-Top - Our signature patented flip-top dispensing system...
  • POM Bands - We designed POM differently: for you. Emphasizing...
  • Peace of Mind - The perfect gift! Our goal is to bring you Peace...

If you prefer simple, understated-looking products, this might be the one for you. Each one of these POM models has either black, white or gray as a base, with a single ring of an accent color. The white canisters, in particular, have a very modern and clean appearance that will appeal to those concerned with aesthetics. This is also a good choice for those of you who want pepper spray that doesn’t look like pepper spray. The POM device can easily pass for a unisex perfume or spray-on deodorant, keeping your self-defense incognito as well as stylish. This spray is especially useful if concealment is a major concern for you.


6. Little Viper Pepper Spray

Product

Little Viper Pepper Spray Bracelet, Adjustable Silicone...

  • ACCESSIBLE AND EASY TO USE: Backup protection device; Wear...
  • FASHIONABLE AND DISCREET: 8.5″ adjustable silicone band comes...
  • MAXIMUM STRENGTH: Contains 10% oleoresin capsicum (pepper spray)...
  • PEACE OF MIND ANYWHERE YOU GO: Great for college students,...
  • FREE TRAINING COURSE + REPLACEMENT PROGRAM: Includes free digital...

Our rating

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  • ACCESSIBLE AND EASY TO USE: Backup protection device; Wear...
  • FASHIONABLE AND DISCREET: 8.5″ adjustable silicone band comes...
  • MAXIMUM STRENGTH: Contains 10% oleoresin capsicum (pepper spray)...
  • PEACE OF MIND ANYWHERE YOU GO: Great for college students,...
  • FREE TRAINING COURSE + REPLACEMENT PROGRAM: Includes free digital...

This is another option for people who want to keep their pepper spray disguised. The Little Viper Pepper Spray Bracelet is a silicon bracelet that holds a miniature canister of spray, but at first glance, it looks very much like a standard fitness band or digital wristwatch. It comes in black, pink, or blue, with seven different levels of tightness to accommodate pretty much any wrist size. Do be aware, though, that this bracelet is more expensive than a typical canister, and it only has a range of three feet compared to the more common ten. However, it’s a great option for when you’re not carrying accessories or a bag, such as when exercising outdoors. This way, you know that wherever you go, your pepper spray goes with you.


7. SABRE RED Pen

Product

SABRE Red Pepper Spray - Police Strength - Discreet Pen...

Sabre Pen

  • MAXIMUM STOPPING POWER - maximum strength formula is backed by...
  • #1 BRAND TRUSTED BY POLICE AND CONSUMERS WORLDWIDE - including...
  • PROTECTION AT A SAFE DISTANCE AGAINST MULTIPLE THREATS -...
  • DISCREET & SAFE TO CARRY - looks like a pen; pen safety cap helps...
  • FREE TRAINING - packaging includes link to free training video in...

Our rating

Details

  • MAXIMUM STOPPING POWER - maximum strength formula is backed by...
  • #1 BRAND TRUSTED BY POLICE AND CONSUMERS WORLDWIDE - including...
  • PROTECTION AT A SAFE DISTANCE AGAINST MULTIPLE THREATS -...
  • DISCREET & SAFE TO CARRY - looks like a pen; pen safety cap helps...
  • FREE TRAINING - packaging includes link to free training video in...

If the bracelet design still isn’t discreet enough for you, consider the SABRE RED pen. It resembles a rather thick felt tip pen or marker, yet removing the cap doesn’t reveal a nib. Instead, it’s the top of the sprayer that will mist your assailant. This is another product from SABRE, so it isn’t too pricey. If you elect to get this pepper spray, though, you might want to spend some time getting used to the way it feels in your hand. You definitely do not want to confuse this for a normal pen! While you don’t want to make that mistake, anyone looking through your gear might well pass it over, making this a really concealable option.


8. Reax Lipstick Pepper Spray

Product

Reax Pepper Spray - Police Strength - Self Defense for Women...

  • PERFECT CAMOUFLAGE - It looks like a lipstick, or a small bottle...
  • PERFECT FOR WALLET and POCKET - Compact and lightweight, you can...
  • SAFE TO CARRY - Lipstick cap hepls prevent accidental jets
  • PROTECTION AT A SAFE DISTANCE - - impressive 10-foot (3M) range,...
  • SUITABLE in MANY APPLICATIONS - including personal self defense,...

Our rating

Details

  • PERFECT CAMOUFLAGE - It looks like a lipstick, or a small bottle...
  • PERFECT FOR WALLET and POCKET - Compact and lightweight, you can...
  • SAFE TO CARRY - Lipstick cap hepls prevent accidental jets
  • PROTECTION AT A SAFE DISTANCE - - impressive 10-foot (3M) range,...
  • SUITABLE in MANY APPLICATIONS - including personal self defense,...

Here’s an alternative to the pen that will work for any of you who carry makeup: the Reax Lipstick Pepper Spray. It’s pepper spray hidden in what appears to be a tube of lipstick – there’s even a rhinestone heart on it! Fun, right? This helps make it look more like a cosmetic product while also helping you recognize it as your pepper spray. Even more than the pen, this is something you do NOT want to grab on accident instead of a genuine lip product. This is another choice at an average price for pepper spray.


9. iWorldSafeTech Zenith

Product

iworldsafetech Pepper Spray Zenith Keychain Compact Size for...

Keychain Pepper Spray

  • The effect of the product is immediate. The criminal cannot...
  • Protection at a safe distance against multiple threats - more...
  • Being small and light, it is easy to carry. It is an excellent...
  • This product is convenient to carry around.
  • After use, please wipe the liquid around nozzle and close it by...

Our rating

Details

  • The effect of the product is immediate. The criminal cannot...
  • Protection at a safe distance against multiple threats - more...
  • Being small and light, it is easy to carry. It is an excellent...
  • This product is convenient to carry around.
  • After use, please wipe the liquid around nozzle and close it by...

As you may have noticed, most pepper spray canisters utilize more of a short and wide design. But iWorldSafeTech offers the opposite with their Zenith model: a spray that’s long and lean in a shiny, chrome-like case. This is another option for those who prefer a device that isn’t immediately recognizable as pepper spray, as this one is similar in appearance to a personal massager or flashlight. Currently, this item seems to be available in pink only, and it’s a slightly more expensive option; however, it has excellent reviews.


10. Frontiersman SABRE

Product

SABRE Frontiersman Bear Spray 9.2 oz (Holster Options &...

  • MAXIMUM STOPPING POWER, LABORATORY GUARANTEED: The only bear...
  • GREATEST PROTECTION AT SAFEST DISTANCE - 35 FEET: Maximum range...
  • GREATEST PROTECTIVE BARRIER PER BURST: Rapidly deploys the...
  • SAFER FOR YOU, THE ENVIRONMENT & EVEN THE BEAR: Frontiersman...
  • RIGOROUSLY TESTED & PROVEN EFFECTIVE FOR CERTAINTY & PIECE OF...

Our rating

Details

  • MAXIMUM STOPPING POWER, LABORATORY GUARANTEED: The only bear...
  • GREATEST PROTECTION AT SAFEST DISTANCE - 35 FEET: Maximum range...
  • GREATEST PROTECTIVE BARRIER PER BURST: Rapidly deploys the...
  • SAFER FOR YOU, THE ENVIRONMENT & EVEN THE BEAR: Frontiersman...
  • RIGOROUSLY TESTED & PROVEN EFFECTIVE FOR CERTAINTY & PIECE OF...

The Frontiersman is another product from SABRE, but it’s different from the previous ones mentioned because it’s meant specifically for use against bears or other large animals. With a range of 35 feet, the Frontiersman pepper spray packs a punch, so you can protect yourself while keeping a safe distance from an attacker. This gives you enough time to evacuate to safety without causing the animal any permanent harm, making this a safe and responsible choice. This is a larger and more powerful canister than the ordinary pepper spray, so the cost is higher.


Parting Shots

As you can see, there are numerous styles of pepper spray on the market. How do you decide which one is right for you? To figure that out, you will need to consider several things. First, what do you want the spray for? Most people just want to feel safer while going about day-to-day life, but if you have a specialized need or you are concerned about a specific environment, you will want to take that into account. It’s also necessary to keep in mind how much you care about the style of your spray because that can affect the cost. You’ll also need to think about whether you prefer your pepper spray to be disguised, and if so, what kind of cover makes the most sense considering what you usually carry with you. There are advantages to going either route: a pepper spray that looks exactly like what it is may serve as enough intimidation all on its own, but at the same time, a spray that appears to be something else could potentially afford you extra time to retrieve and use it. It’s really up to your personal preferences, and of course, only you can decide.

 

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All in all, pepper spray is a very effective means of personal protection. There are a multitude of reasons why it has become so popular. It helps people feel safer, which is extremely valuable. And, while most people who purchase pepper spray will never have to use it, another one of its advantages is the fact that it is a far more humane mode of self-defense. Unlike a knife, gun, or even karate, pepper spray will not cause long-term damage when used correctly – yet it provides you with enough time to escape and notify the authorities. Plus, pepper spray doesn’t require training or a license to use – you simply follow the directions that come with the model you purchased, and you are ready to begin defending yourself.If you’ve been finding it difficult to make a choice about which pepper spray is the appropriate fit for your life, we hope this article has been helpful to you. Now you can feel confident not only with the knowledge of what pepper spray is and how it works but also have seen some of the best options on the market today. Find the one that is right for you, and enjoy feeling safer and more secure!

By

Chris Frenchak has over 20 years of firearms experience between sporting and responsible concealed carry applications. Chris is a member of multiple pro-second amendment organizations including USCCA, NRA, and just as importantly, his local range. Chris is continuing a legacy of support for our rights by working with his family to increase firearms education and awareness as the lead editor of GunBacker.

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