Our Review: BearVault BV450 Bear Canister (For Peace of Mind)

BearVault BV450 Bear Canister
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This is a part of our review series, where we give detailed reviews of all of the gear that we use on our trips. You can see the full list of gear here.

Whether it be a grizzly or a black bear, neither are the type of visitors you want dropping by while camped out in the backcountry. One of the most effective methods of avoiding unwanted bear interactions is to use a bear canister. 

Bear canisters take the temptation out of foodstuff and other scented items like lip balm, deodorant, and toothpaste. And as a bonus, bear canisters also double up to protect these items from moisture and other inquisitive creatures.

While we’re out and about exploring the best of the backcountry, we use BearVault canisters to both keep our food items safe and adhere to National Park regulations. That’s why in this post, we’re going to share our experience with the BearVault BV450 and break down its specs and most notable features.

Overview: BearVault BV450 Bear Canister

Perfect for: hikers, hunters, and campers exploring areas that are within grizzly and black bear habitats

small bear canister


  • Appropriate for both black and grizzly bear
  • Large capacity
  • Suitable for Yosemite and Rocky Mountain National Park


  • The BV450 isn’t as big as BearVault’s larger model, the BV500, but it will still take up a substantial amount of room in your pack
  • Not as lightweight and space-saving as a bear sack. Although to be fair, bear sacks don’t always meet some land management regulations


Capacity440 cubic inches / 7.2 liters
Weight2 lbs. 1 oz. / 0.94 kg
Dimensions8.7 x 8.3 inches / 22.1 cm x 21.1 cm
Container opening6.9 inches / 17.6 cm

Who the BearVault BV450 Bear Canister Is For

Aside from the obvious advantages of reducing bear encounters, the BearVault BV450 is an excellent choice for hikers and campers that plan to make a trek through areas managed by land management authorities. Land management authorities often require visitors to store foodstuff and scented items in a bear canister – the BearVault BV450 being the perfect solution.

BearVault BV450 Bear Canister Key Features

Alongside the BearVault BV450’s innovative patented design, it has a ton of outstanding features that are sure to be appreciated while out exploring bear country.

Stopper Nubs

To keep bears and other critters out, the BearVault BV450 employs a tool-free locking system that’s like a pill bottle. This system uses two stopper nubs that, unless pushed inward while unscrewing the lid, will catch on a locking tab. For the average hiker, they’re simple enough to open but sufficiently difficult enough to keep bears out.

This locking system has proven again and again to stand up to hungry bears. Although in cooler temperatures, the BV450’s locking system can make things a little interesting. In cold weather, leading to a stiff lid and noncompliant, fumbling fingers, a credit card or the back of a knife can be used to push the stopper nubs past the locking tabs.

bear vault bv450

Extra Wide Opening

Once open, the BearVault BV450 offers an extra-wide opening of 6.9 inches or 17.6 cm. This is big enough to fit your hand into pack or unpack it with all of your favorite tasty meal and snack options. 

And if you wish to empty the bear canister of all its tasty treats, the extra-wide opening is also sufficiently large enough to allow the canister to be tipped on its head to empty all its contents at once.

Large Food Storage Capacity

The BV450 is large enough to store a sufficient amount of food for two people for around two to three days – perfect for weekends trips. And if you’re backpacking solo, the BV450 will comfortably allow you enough food storage for up to five days. 

Although if you are headed out for longer or need to feed more than two people, the BV500 is likely a more suitably sized food canister, as it features a larger capacity. The downside is, the BV500 is significantly larger than the BV450 and not as pack-friendly.

bear vault canister

Polycarbonate Housing

The BearVault BV450 is a bear-resistant canister that is made from super-durable polycarbonate housing. The polycarbonate material is approved by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee and is the official bear-resistant canister for Rocky Mountain National Park. The BV450 has undergone extensive testing in the field to ensure it meets the IGBC’s stringent requirements.

Warranty Info

BearVault offers a lifetime warranty that will apply to any of its products sold on or after January 1, 2017. This means that if the materials used to construct the product undergo a manufactured defect, they will repair or replace it at their own discretion, free to the owner. Additionally, BearVault states that if any of their products are compromised by wildlife, they will honor the product’s warranty and offer repair or a replacement.


How to use a bear canister?

The best way to use a bear canister is to start by tightly packing in larger items and then fill in the gaps with smaller items. Once the bear canister is full, attach the lid and pack it at the bottom of your backpack.

How to carry a bear canister while backpacking?

When full, a bear canister will probably be the heaviest item in your backpack. This means that you’ll want to pack it at the bottom. That way, all the weight will be concentrated on your hips and not your upper back and shoulders.

Final Thoughts

The experts at BearVault have done their research and created a bear canister that you can use to safely and effectively keep both grizzly bear and black bear out of your camp. The BearVault BV450 Bear Canister makes a super-portable and lightweight alternative to a bear box and is a more durable option than a bear bag.

We love the BearVault BV450 Bear Canister because it’s super-reliable, lightweight compared to other bear canister alternatives, and made right here in the USA. We’ve used our BearVault BV450 in Yosemite National Park, and it took the rough terrain and tough conditions like an absolute champion.

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