Best Pepper Sprays: Maximize Your Personal Safety

Get yourself out of harm's way with these top pepper sprays

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Self-defense tactics coupled with a few self-defense tools can be useful in a sudden attack. But before you invest in self-defense classes, think about purchasing a bottle of pepper spray. It’s a quick and easy way to stay safe when you are walking or running alone on a lonely road. It can also come in handy if someone tries to attack you in your car. Here are some of the best pepper sprays to up your safety game. 

  • Best Overall
    OLICE MAGNUM Pepper Spray
    Summary
    Summary
    A pack of three pepper sprays with a 10-foot delivering power that keeps you at a safe distance from the threat.
    Pros
    Pros
    Attractive hot pink color. Easy one-hand operation. Keychain included in each piece. Features a UV perpetrator-marking dye to identify the suspect. It causes no permanent damage. Nonflammable. Nontoxic.
    Cons
    Cons
    Fragile plastic casing. The safety lock may slip into an “off” position when in operation. No directions for use. 
  • Best Value
    SABRE Advanced Compact Pepper Spray
    Summary
    Summary
    An affordable three-in-one pepper spray with a reinforced trigger to prevent accidental spraying.
    Pros
    Pros
    It has a 10-foot operating range. It can produce up to 35 spray bursts. Features a UV-marking dye and burning tear gas. Lab-tested for maximum performance and user safety.
    Cons
    Cons
    Has a shelf life of only four years. The content may ooze onto your hands and burn you. The spray nozzle may fail. 
  • Honorable Mention
    Wrist Saver Pepper Spray
    Summary
    Summary
    A lightweight wristband pepper spray designed to offer protection to joggers, dog walkers, and runners.
    Pros
    Pros
    Easily accessible. Fits comfortably on the wrist. Features a built-in emergency ID card and money holder. Features an LED light and a reflective edge for maximum visibility at night. Leaves a burning sensation.
    Cons
    Cons
    The spray or LED light may fall off during intense runs. The wristband material may irritate your skin.

Tips

  • Enroll in a self-defense class if you are not confident about your skills and reactions when you are in the face of danger. They will help you build your strength, and you will learn new skills to combat attackers. 
  • Always carry your pepper spray whenever you go out. It should be a permanent part of your daily luggage, and consider hiding one in your vehicle’s glove box. 
  • When in an elevator or any enclosed space, liquid pepper spray may splash all around, and you may end up getting burned. Consider using a gel spray that typically shoots out in one direction. 
  • Never relax after spraying the attacker. The spray takes a few seconds to start working. You should run or start defending yourself immediately after you spray it. 
  • If you don’t want to attract attention to your pepper spray, consider buying one that’s shaped like lipstick or an attractive keychain, which is harder to suspect. 

FAQs

Q: Can pepper spray blind a perpetrator? 

A: Most pepper sprays aren’t designed to cause permanent retinal damage. It only works to disorient the attacker and give you enough time to escape to a secure place. It can, however, cause temporary blurry vision, which can be cleared off with cold running water.  

Q: How long does the pepper spray effect last?

A: Depending on the concentration of the irritant, the effects can last for about 45 minutes after 10 seconds of contact. The redness and eye irritation can last for an hour, and if the spray has a UV-marking dye, it can last for 24 hours. 

Q: What’s the impact of pepper spray on a perpetrator?

A: Pepper spray typically causes a strong burning and itching sensation upon contact no matter if the perp's eyes are open or closed. If it gets into the eyes, it can cause them to tear up and lead to temporary vision loss. If inhaled, it can burn the mucous membrane and cause severe coughing and shortness of breath. 

Q: How do I protect myself from the effects of the pepper spray?

A: Keep your distance, and spray with your arm stretched out. Maintain a minimal shooting range of about five feet if you can. You should also note that if there are strong winds blowing, some of the fluid may splash on your face.

Final Thoughts

Our top pick is the POLICE MAGNUM Pepper Spray. It will always be with you on your keychain, and the hot pink color makes it seem more like an accessory as opposed to a weapon.  

A more affordable pepper spray is the SABRE Advanced Compact Pepper Spray. Its compact design can fit in a purse or in your pocket.