Monday, June 21, 2010

Bearvault BV500 Bear Can: Gear Review

"The BearVault BV500 is the best, most light weight, bear can money can buy, but before paying top dollar know it does have its flaws."

The Stats:
Price: $79.95
Weight: 2lb 9oz
Capacity: 11.5 liters (group sized)

Pro's: Easy to Open, Translucent, Durable, Seals in Odors, Easy to Clean

Con's: Swallows up Pack Space, Not Multi-Purpose

The Full Story:
There is no way around it, if you're hiking into bear country you need to carry a bear can and they don't make them light weight. For years I thought I hated my bear can until I rented one. The BearVault is the top of the line, no wasted weight, easy to open, tough. The largest problem with the BV500 though is that it just devours pack space. It's so large that it can't be used on solo weekend trips without a very large and heavy pack as well. When paying top dollar though I usually expect multifunctionality from a product. The manufacturer does make efforts to combat this by designing the exterior of the bear can to ride well on the outside of a pack. Since it would no doubt be the heaviest item carried when full with food, quickly the pack becomes very unstable. I have yet to find a pack where the can can easily be squeezed in sideways (which would help save a lot of space).

The easy to open design should not be ignored. The simple plastic lock is easy to open and does not require any kind of a key or coin to open. The translucent plastic makes it easy to grab exactly what you are looking for inside the can. The size of the can does pay of in one respect too: It makes a comfortable stool.

For More: BearVault:

Test Locations: Mt.Lassen Backcountry, Mt. Whitney

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