I have one of the orginal Bear Vault BV100's with the upgraded lid
making it a BV110 (A no hassle free upgrade from Bear Vault). As
reported that lid can be hard to open or close.
That said the new models the BV300 and BV250 are very easy and quick to
open and close. I've purchased a BV250 to use on short trips not so
much because of the weight savings but because of its smaller size.
The Backpacklinglight Yahoo Group thread on this topic is fairly
enlighting since Bearvault has responded there with information on
the "reported" failures. They've also posted a notice on their site
regarding potential issues with the lids on the BV300 and BV250.
The BV300/350's have some tolerance issues that require the user to pay
attention when closing lids that are slightly out of tolerance.
It so happens that the display model in the REI where I purchased my
BV250 had this tolerance issue. I was able to have hands on experience
compensating for it and didn't find it a big deal.
I also have a Garcia and find the new BV300/250 models much easier to
work with than the Garcia. My perception right now is that the
BV300/250 especially the BV250 are the best bang for you buck approved
bear cannisters on the market today.
Here's the link to the Bear Vault notice.
Bill in Sacramento