REPOST - OWNER REVIEW - BearVault B110B Bear Canister
- BearVault BV110B Canister Owner Review
Review Date: April 17, 2005
Name: Steve Paski
Height: 5' 7", 1.7 m
Weight: 170 lb, 77 kg
Email address: grzldvt@...
City, State, Country: San Jose, CA USA
I started backpacking in the summer of 1987. A vast majority of the trips have been in the Yosemite Area introducing my kids to the outdoor world. During the summers I generally hit the trail two times a month, doing weekenders or three day trips, with a major five to ten day trip towards the end of each summer.
The trips lately have been cross country into other locations in the Sierra, exploring areas that might not normally be seen and trying to find the rare big views.
My backpacking style ranges from light on the shorter trips to the kitchen sink on longer trips. I do enjoy small luxuries, chairs, lanterns, extra clothes, if I am out for multiple days and am willing to put time into physical conditioning to support the extra load.
Year of Manufacture: 2004
Listed weight: 2 lb 6 oz (1.08 kg)
Weight as delivered: 2 lb 6 oz (1.08 kg)
Diameter = 8 .5" (21.8 cm) Height = 12" (30.5 cm)
Opening Diameter = 7.25" (18.4 cm)
Volume = 693 cu in (11,356 cc)
Measured Volume = 693 cu (11,356 cc)
MSRP: $79.95 USD
The BearVault is a polycarbonate canister used to store food and other aromatic articles in areas where bears are prevalent. This canister can hold about seven days of food when packed correctly. To get seven days worth of food in a canister, I will rearrange bulky foods into several zipper lock snack size or storage bags. This gives me the flexibility to fill smaller open spaces versus having one big bag take up a large amount of space. Flat and flexible foods also add to the space savings as they will conform to the canister's shape and take up less room.
A real advantage to this canister is the clear housing. It allows me to find a particular item without having to pull everything out. I may have to take everything out anyway if the item is located at the bottom, but the clear housing really helps locate it.
The screw on top makes it easy to remove and put back on. It eliminates fumbling for an opening tool other brands of canisters need. Some canisters require the use of something flat (Quarter, dime, or small screwdriver) to unscrew the latches. I have a tendency to lose those, and end up rummaging through my pack looking for anything that might work or borrowing something from a fellow camper.
It is rain proof and will keep food dry if standing upright, eliminating the need for a plastic liner. However, it will slowly fill with water if tossed in a lake or river. With other canisters I have had to use a plastic liner to keep the food dry. The liner takes up unwanted space, reducing the volume of storage. I have turned other style canisters upside down to keep the food dry, but if it gets knocked around or turned over while raining, water will get inside.
The canister can be kept inside the pack or strapped to the outside. It has a roughed up band at each end that give the straps something to grab onto. According to the manufacturer this prevents the straps from slipping off and having the canister fall off the pack. I have not hiked with the canister strapped to the outside of my pack, but did come across someone who had, and he told me he did not have any issues with the straps slipping off the roughed up bands.
I used the BearVault last season on several trips and found it matched the manufacturer's claims.
Glen Aulin, Yosemite, CA
This was a three day trip and the first time using this canister. It is not a matter of "will" we see a bear, it is a matter of what time and how many. As with previous trips and other canisters, bears would come into camp, inspect it, and move along. We did have one bang it around a bit, but was unsuccessful in breaking it open and left. I suspect it had something to do with the clear base and food can be seen inside, giving it some hope of success. The fact that it did not hang around very long and force us to chase it off made me happy with the purchase.
Lake Tahoe Desolation Wilderness - October 2004
This was a six day trip, where the miles were not killer so we bulked up on food and did now worry too much about weight. It was great to be able to find the snacks I had cravings for without having to pull everything out. The small things had a tendency to drift to the bottom, so the clear housing was great for locating them. I did have some trouble getting the top unscrewed if dirt got into the threads. I used a towel to clean the threads and all was well again.
There was no problem getting all the food in the canister for a six day trip. I do my own bulky homemade dinners and had no problems getting everything in by breaking them up into smaller bags.
One morning I woke up to a noise that sound like someone was tapping on the canister. I looked out of my tent and there was a Steller's Jay, pecking away at the canister trying to get the food inside, one disadvantage of the clear housing.
I am a huge fan of bear canisters and I like the BearVault. The clear base makes it easy to find things. Its size definitely makes a difference on trips longer than six days. Previously we had to avoid areas where canisters are required, or stay out of an area until everything fit and venture back in. I find it fits inside my pack without too much difficulty, but can easily be strapped to the top. I like the fact that it is lighter than others in its size and price range. There are lighter ones available, but the cost is double to triple of the BearVault.
As a side benefit, if the top is screwed down tight, the canister can serve as a nice campstool. After forgetting to bring my campstool and potentially spending many days sitting on rocks and logs, this was pretty nice to have.
Things I don't like:
1.. Clear Base - Allows animals to see what's inside
2.. Threads on the top can get gritty and make it difficult to open
3.. A bit large for short trips
Things I do like
1. Keeps my food from being taken by animals
2. Screw on top is convenient - no opening tools needed
3. Clear Base - Allows me to find things inside much easier than solid colored bases.
4. The larger size allows me to get more in the canister, extending the trip length, and not forcing me to hang items that won't fit.
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