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The Best Pepper Spray

Last updated on January 30, 2023

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Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

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Our Picks For The Top Pepper Sprays

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

Zarc Vexor Integrated Belt Clip Pepper Spray, 3-Pack

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Vexor Integrated Belt Clip Pepper Spray, 3-Pack

Protect yourself from a distance with this spray, which can reach 20 feet away. The product comes in a pack of three cartridges, so you can distribute them to your loved ones, too.

Overall Take

Longer Range; Better ResultsEveryone can be covered with this three-pack of pepper spray.

 Runner Up

Mace Oleoresin Capsicum Formula Pepper Spray


Oleoresin Capsicum Formula Pepper Spray

This Mace-brand pepper spray features a flip-top cap for simple opening and to protect you as the user. The product includes a UV dye to help law enforcement identify your attacker.

Overall Take

Easy-Open CapGet ready to defend yourself in mere seconds with a pepper spray that's a cinch to activate.

 We Also Like

BlingSting Glitter Keychain Clip Holder Pepper Spray


Glitter Keychain Clip Holder Pepper Spray

Your attacker won't know what hit them when you whip out this cosmetic-inspired pepper spray. The tube is glittery black and looks like a lipstick, so it's easy to conceal. It projects 10 to 12 feet for your protection.

Overall Take

Looks Like LipstickStay safe and fabulous all at the same time with this attractive pepper spray canister.

 Also Great

AIMHUNTER Reinforced Trigger Twist Lock Pepper Spray


Reinforced Trigger Twist Lock Pepper Spray

This pleasantly pink container of pepper spray can reach a target an impressive 10 feet away from you. Plus, it shoots in bursts of 25, which is as much as 500% better than other brands.

Overall Take

Farther and More PowerfulKeep yourself or a loved one safe with this effective and stylish pepper spray.

Buying Guide

Pepper spray is used primarily as a self-defense tool. It causes intense burning and irritation in the eyes, nose and throat, making it difficult for an attacker to see. This allows the person who used the spray to escape or call for help. Pepper spray also serves as a deterrent: when perceived attackers realize that their target is carrying pepper spray, they may be less likely to attempt an attack.

The active ingredient in pepper spray is oleoresin capsicum, a natural extract derived from hot peppers that contain capsaicinoids. Additionally, some pepper spray products contain UV dye which can help identify an attacker later. In addition to traditional pepper spray, there are other variations such as mace, tear gas sprays, foam sprays and gel-based sprays. These alternatives offer different levels of intensity and duration, allowing the user to choose the type of defensive spray that works best for them.

It’s important to realize that many states have laws dictating which types of pepper spray may be legally used and carried. You should consult your local laws and regulations before purchasing any self-defense product to verify what you plan to buy is legal in your jurisdiction. Note that tear gas or sprays containing it are illegal for civilian use in many places.

Pepper spray can be a great way to protect yourself in certain circumstances; however, it is extremely dangerous in the wrong hands. Thus, it is vital that only responsible adults who understand the product’s dangers and know how to use it properly have access to it.

Pepper spray should only be used as a last resort, never as an aggressive act. When using pepper spray, point the nozzle away from yourself and others. Store the product in a safe place out of the reach of children or unauthorized individuals.

If pepper spray is deployed accidentally, you should seek immediate medical attention. While waiting for help to arrive, cleanse the affected area thoroughly to remove any residual irritants. If you have access to an eye wash station, use it to flush your eyes.

If you have any further questions or concerns, it is always best to consult a professional before deciding to purchase or use pepper spray.

What to Look For

  • When shopping for pepper spray, it’s a good idea to both vet the seller and verify that the stated ingredients are legal in your area.
  • You can test your pepper spray outdoors on a day with no breeze to learn how it works. Wear goggles and a face mask when you do so.
  • If you have children or pets, keep your pepper spray on a high shelf or in a locked cabinet when it is not in use.
  • Check regulations before traveling with pepper spray. It is not allowed on some public transportation and must be kept in checked baggage for most flights.

More to Explore

Alan Litman, a 29-year-old inventor from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, invented mace. Alan’s wife, Doris, had a colleague who was mugged in their city, and Alan wanted to help. The Litmans discussed the sorts of things a woman could carry with her and use for self-defense, and the idea of mace was born.

At the time, pocket-sized pepper sprays did exist, but mace was the first to include capsaicinoids and tear gas and package them for civilian use. Necessity is the mother of invention, indeed!

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