A pepper spray is one of the most common and most popular self-defense weapons. People, especially women, typically choose pepper sprays over any other self-defense tools
While a handgun is usually the choice of many people for obvious reasons, a pepper spray has its own advantages. And this makes a lot of sense. Of course, you can carry a gun, but there are situations where a gun is not feasible to protect yourself.
If you are not of legal age yet to carry a gun, are inexperienced of using one, are not allowed to carry one, cannot afford to buy one or do not simply believe in guns (because you think they will spark further violence), a pepper spray is the most ideal alternative.
Advantages of a pepper spray:
1. It is inexpensive
If you cannot afford a handgun or any other self-defense weapon, a pepper spray is definitely a cheaper alternative.
2. It is less subject to regulations
A pepper spray is ideal in locations or situations where carrying a gun is not allowed.
3. It is easier to carry
A pepper spray is small and fits the palm of your hand, therefore making it easier to carry and store. You can put it in your handbag, purse or pocket.
4. It is less intimidating
Carrying a pepper spray is definitely less intimidating than brandishing a handgun. Sometimes, it can be disguised as other items, such as an innocuous-looking lipstick or a cute keychain, your attacker won’t know that you’re carrying a defensive weapon!
5. It is effective
All types of pepper sprays cause painful eye irritation – even one short fine mist of it is enough to send your attacker struggling to open his eyes. In fact, even law enforcement agents and military personnel use pepper sprays because of their effectiveness.
What to consider when buying pepper sprays on the market? Consider these key factors as your guide in choosing the best product for you:
There are three common types of pepper sprays based on formula: OC, CS and CN. CS generally means tear gas which is used by the police or the military to control riots or to drive people out of a restricted area. This has a strong irritant chemical that once sprayed, it will cause mild irritation that will make anyone teary-eyed or even cause prompt vomiting or permanent skin damage. CN is pretty similar to CS in terms of effects. OS is the common and popular type of pepper spray which causes not only pain in the eyes, but also inflammation to the mucous membrane.
2. Spray pattern
Find the spray pattern that works best for you. A lot of pepper sprays have a stream pattern. This type of pattern has a longer range (typically 15 to 20 feet) which allows you to target your attacker while the distance keeps you safe at the same time. However, it cannot be inhaled immediately, which undermines the spray’s defensive effectiveness. Plus, it has a shorter range and doesn’t target your attacker, which means the pepper spray may blow at other people or even blow back in your direction. Foam patterns also have pretty much the same problems as spray or mist.
The size of the bottle or the canister is also an important consideration. Pepper sprays in key chains typically contain no more than half an ounce of the substance, which means you can use it to spray only for a few seconds and have a range of a few feet. However, they are more portable and accessible But if you want a pepper spray that’s more reliable, choose a bigger canister that holds at least two ounces of pepper spray – it can hold longer sprays and have a better range compared to key chain pepper sprays. Of course, you have to look at your state laws to see which size of pepper spray you are permitted to carry. For instance, a bottle should be no more than 2 ounces, and in North Carolina no more than 5 ounces.
The best pepper sprays on the market
Here are the top pepper spray recommendations:
Sabre is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to pepper sprays. The Sabre Red Pepper Gel is an outstanding product because, first of all, it is a gel (instead of the conventional liquid spray). Second, when you spray this towards your attacker, it does not atomize and therefore it does not come as a fine mist or spray; instead, it reaches its target and does not blow back at your direction. Last but not the least, it is a powerful pepper spray because it has higher levels of OC concentration. So effective is this pepper gel spray that even law enforcement agents use this, as Sabre claims.
This is a more traditional pepper spray from Sabre; nevertheless, it works just as effectively as its above-mentioned gel counterpart. It is 3-in-1 because it has the combination of OC-based pepper spray, CS tear gas and a UV marking dye to mark your attacker. It also provides a decent range which also keeps you at safe distance from your assailant at the same time.
As said before, pepper sprays are disguised as cute keychains, and this is the case of Sabre Kuros! Pepper Spray. It is small, lightweight and camouflaged as a normal-looking school or a stylish beauty accessory. You can attach it to the zipper of your bag just as you would with a regular keychain, making it quick and accessible for use in case of an attack. It is also created with a philanthropic purpose – a portion of proceeds from the sales of this product will support every woman living in a developing nation.
The Fox Labs Mean Green is so-called because it is one of the most potent pepper sprays on the market and it leaves a green UV marking dye on your attacker so that they can easily be identified and tracked under UV light. Considering its size, you will be surprised by a great number of shots and sprays it can produce. The Fox Labs Mean Green H2OC is also available in larger canisters and fogger spray types.
Although the formula is not as powerful as Fox Labs Mean Green, it is still enough to send your attackers down. It has an unusually longer range – 17 to 20 feet – compared to other pepper spray products. The downside is that its canister is slightly bigger than that of the other pepper sprays. It also contains the invisible UV day to identify your attacker.