A compact safety device for solo hikes and runs
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BACKPACKER Gear 360 Review
This compact, gel-based pepper spray is the perfect size for runners and hikers who want peace of mind—and, if necessary, protection from would-be human assailants— when hitting the trail. The can is compact, and easily fit into the palm of our hand or into a pack pocket without feeling bulky or weighty. An elastic strap fits snugly around the hand without cutting off circulation—we were able to run with it and keep the spray handy without having to hold on too tightly or worry about dropping it. In addition, adjustable Velcro on the strap makes it easy to fit snugly onto most hand sizes.
We also like the idea of pepper gel instead of spray. While we never had to use it on an assailant on our solo runs around Boulder, Colorado, the gel is intended to be effective at longer ranges than traditional spray, and it’s not blown back into the user’s face as easily if there’s a breeze. We found the safety switch intuitive and easy to flick into spray mode at a moment’s notice.
Consumer Reviews from Around the Web
I’ve taken this spray into the woods a few times, as well as on dog walks. It’s a terrific pocket size. The strap is designed to wrap around your palm, making it easy to have on your hand and at the ready. This might be good for runners, but I don’t like having something in my hand at all times. I’d like to see a clip (like a belt clip, or a carabiner) of some sort to attach it to my person but still keep it easily accessible. I do like the safety toggle, which operates easily and quickly; just a quick flick with your thumb and you’re ready to spray. The spray goes about 10 feet (some trees might have been harmed as targets).
This compact unit measures approximately 3 inches tall and 1 inch wide, with an adjustable side loop. I took the gel hiking and on runs. The unit stayed firm but not tight around my palm, even when I was running and sweating. The holder is stretchy and allows for easy removal and re-holstering, even with one hand. I tried these actions numerous times and had consistent success. The safety lever stays in place when in motion yet is easy to maneuver (also one-handed) when needed. There was no kickback upon deployment of the gel. If you exercise outdoors alone or in remote areas, this might be a tool to add to your list.