Bear Vault BV450 Solo Bear Resistant Food Canister
Bear VaultBV450 Solo Bear Resistant Food Canister

You're not food. Let's keep it that way.

Nature is great. Until you get eaten by a bear. So next time you're on a solo trip into bear country, bring along the Bear Vault BV450 Bear Resistant Food Canister. With 440 cubic inches of space, this rugged polycarbonate container keeps up to four days worth of supplies and food out of the mouth of hungry bears. An extra-wide, tool-free opening and transparent design let you quickly find the grub you're looking for. Slip this lightweight Bear Vault canister into your pack or use the handy strap-guides to attach the BV450 to the outside of your pack and enjoy a safe trip.

Proposition 65 Warning for California Consumers: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and/or birth defects or other reproductive harm.

  • Food canister made for backpacking in places with bears
  • Smaller size ideal for solo storage
  • Innovative lock tabs within screw top for secure closure
  • Built-in guides tie the canister down in backpack for easy packing
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Seat and food security.

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I like that it's see through, definitely makes it easier to find what you are looking for. Great for a short trip to add stove and other gear. Size isn't great for an extended trip but overall satisfied with the product.

No Bear

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

No bears… Will I purchased this item to test it out for a future hike. I am used to hanging my food, to save ounces. I was not sure on the size I got the 550 first and realized how huge it was. I purchased the 450 one for ease to use in the back pack. I used in on a 4 day trip for an initial test. Was very impressed with it held the food great, had to use a stick in the cold morning to open. Will I will still hang food to save the bulk of backpacking 2lbs food storage a bit for me. However will plan on the using for the John Muir Trail in August of 2018, where it is a requirement.

Bear Vault

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

This works well for me on a solo trip, or for me and one other on a shorter trip. I have noticed that when it's cold out and my fingers are less dexterous, I can really struggle with the opening mechanism. Otherwise, it's functional and sturdy and doubles as a stool. Would recommend

No worries

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I bought this Bear Vault for backpacking while working for the Forest Service. The see-through design is nice since you don't have to rummage through all your food to get at something specific. This is a big advantage, especially at night. You don't need a tool to get into into it, but can require a little bit of muscle to get open. This is a good thing. It also works well as a seat because it doesn't mess up the thread as long as it's all the way closed.

"Tool Free Opening?"... has it's moments

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

weight was good and I love the fact that it's clear, so easy to spot your goods. Can't speak to effectiveness because, well, no bears. Only got 4 stars because opening it at home and packing wasn't a big issue. However, if you're tired, or hungry, or cold, or altitude sick, or a combination of some or all, it's a pain to open. I ended up just using my fixed blade to push in the nobs to get it open, which, I guess you want since it is a bear canister.

It's a Bear Can and a Seat!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is the perfect size for me and my extended weekend outings. If you wanted to pack it for a week it probably wouldn't hold enough. For me it is the perfect size. I even fit my stove and utensils with hygiene products and meals. And while I'm cooking, it doubles as a seat!

Regarding opening the is tough. It's REALLY tough when it's 20 degrees out and your fingers are numb to the bone. The plastic does seem to stiffen...or my fingers seem to weaken. I recommend leaving it in the sun when you stash it and then when it's time to open push directly on to the nub that locks it. I tried for 15 minutes on the indentation on the lid before moving to the nub. Much easier!

Thank you for the review!

Huh, hard to open. I 'spose that's good.

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

My plan is to use this vault as I spend some time this summer camping in remote Alaskan wilderness - coincidentally where the world's highest concentration of grizzly bears reside. For now, however, I am content to simply attempt to open this container, a feat I have yet to accomplish.

It is a great place to put food that you are sick of roommates stealing from you and eating.

Doubles as a seat

    Hell with the bears, keeps the darn marmots at bay.

    Doubles as a seat

    Keeps bears out

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    No bears in my food so far

    Bulky but Functional

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I'm sure everyone hates having to squeeze these into their backpacks, but hey it's worth not starving to death. These BV's keep your food safe and are pretty much indestructable. One gripe I have with the BV is when you wake up early and it's super cold outside, these things can be crazy hard to open up. I found a trick though! If you use the butt end of your lighter to press the tabs, while turning the lid with your other hand, it's so much easier! Give it a shot.


    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

    I have to give this canister 5 stars because it is the lightest of the affordable bear canisters, and it definitely does the job... most everywhere.

    I say most everywhere because there are at least two known bears in the upper Adirondacks who have figured out how to open these and it is highly advised to use another container in that area.

    That being said I am buying this to do the JMT which goes from yosemite to Mt. Whitney. From what I hear from people who have done the trail and from the forums online the bears in the sierra are some of the most tenacious in the world, but they have learned about these canisters. What they have learned is that they are a major pain to mess with and they rarely get food from them so they tend to see them and leave them alone in hunt of an easier grab.

    I haven't hit bear country personally with it yet but I am certainly confident that it is going to do it's job out on the trail .

    Be aware that when they say 4 days worth of food they are basing that on 2-3K calories per day.

    I eat nearly 3k per day when I am in the city being a lazy bones, so on my hike I will likely be burning 5-6k per day.

    I am going to be getting the larger container because while I CAN fit 4 days worth of food.... It is a TIGHT fit, and I still have to fit my other items that emit smell, like sunscreen, bug spray, etc. and I will have more than 4 days worth of food for a few days on the south end of the trail.

    If I could get away with this one I totally would, but I know I am a fat fat and need more food. I have seen the big one in person and it is the same quality though so I am just as confident it will perform....

    Now will it fit in my pack? (I will MAKE it fit)

    A bear won't be getting in here

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

    This canister works well. The size is a little awkward as I definitely have to strap it on my backpack (takes up way too much room in my pack). But I have to say, no bear is getting into that food, I can barely open it. I was told a trick to open it which helped a lot, you can take a credit card and use it as a little ramp, but definitely a plus that it is difficult to get into since bears don't carry around an AmEx.

    I should have gotten the larger size

      I eat a lot so the size is a little too small for me on a 4 day trip

      Backpacking Essential

        I'm looking to get back into some backpacking and having one of these out West in particular is essential. I've previously used the black Garcia Backpackers Cache canisters but didn't see any on stock here so decided to give this one a try. I like that it's transparent and has a wide mouth. The strap-guides seem like a nice feature but I'm not sure how much I'll actually use them. while the shape's a little awkward for packing, that's a peril of all canisters I've used. I haven't run into any issues with opening them yet. I'll try to report back if I do!

        Solid, light, clear

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times

        If you've gotta protect your food - and the bears - this is a good way to do it. Rainproof, solid, fairly light.

        The most common complaint about Bear Vaults is that they can be hard to open, especially in the cold. More flexible plastic at the 'push' sections of the screw top now make it simple, and I haven't needed a tool in mild freezing temps. Below that, I might still keep a coin or card handy.

        How much will it hold? Depends on what you put in there. No problem with 4 days of (freeze-dried or efficiently packed) meals for one person (or 2 for 2), plus toothpaste, soap, etc. I also squeezed in 5 days of solo-packing food , but it sure was tight.

        No bear nor human may enter...

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times

        So, I've been an enthusiast of the backcountry world for about five years now. However, it often takes me a while to make my purchases, especially on gear, because I want to make sure a)I really need it and b) I'm getting the right one. Gear can get expensive, so I've had to acquire mine over some time rather than all at once. For a while, I organized my trips in the Sierras and Sequoias around which spots had bear bins located at certain destinations so that I wouldn't have to worry about a bear canister. And on occasions where we would go somewhere that didn't have them, we would rent a bear canister from the ranger station.

        Finally, I took the plunge. I've used the bear canister before, rented from the ranger station, and figured I should finally start investing in one of my own. Now here's the thing...when I've rented them in the past, someone else was always the one to open it, so I never had to actually worry about it, but I knew it was a good canister, so I went for it.

        So the canister gets to my house a day before we're set to go explore a spot in southern Inyo National Park in the Sierras. I decide to try it out, and I realize I can't get the darn thing open. They've actually worked so hard to keep bears from opening it that I, too, could not get the thing to budge. I went straight to YouTube and luckily there were videos of people demonstrating. I still unfortunately couldn't manage to get it open on my own, but there was one video that showed a trick using a credit card (or something similar), and with that I was able to get it to work. So, I made sure to pack my expired blockbuster card with my camping gear.

        Luckily, somehow, on the trip that followed, I had no trouble getting it open. Maybe it needed to be broken in a bit...who knows! But, I can finally manage to get it open now so I can leave my blockbuster card at home. But, it does seem like this is an issue so if you decide to get this one, know that it may be difficult at first, but should get easier and if not, there's always that expired blockbuster card.

        The canister itself is great - has enough room for food for 2 people for a 2 night trip of meals, snacks, and toiletries (lightly packed). We always make sure to keep it about 100ft from our tent, just in case, but we haven't (knock on wood) had any bear troubles on any of our trips so far. And it's nice to have this on hand so that we don't have to deal with the line of people at the Ranger station in the morning waiting to rent one! It also fits nice and snug in my pack - the Ranger station often has those tall ones that make it more difficult to fit your gear, but this one is a great fit.

        No bear nor human may enter...

        No cans for Bears!

        • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

        Can works great. Enough room for 2 to 3 people for a 1 to 2 day trip. Basically the standard bear can. I like them better than the loaner ones because they are shaped more round than cylindrical.

        Bears can't get in this vault

          Took this on my Yosemite trip this summer. It fit everything we needed for 2 people. That includes bug spray, cooking pot, and of course the food. The clear plastic is great for being able to spot the snack of choice. Of course it's not "easy" to open but it gets easier and using something hard when it's cold or use teamwork.

          No food for boo boo bear

          • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

          I haven't taken this on the trail yet, but I will be taking it with me to Yosemite in early September and to the Presidential Traverse in NH in a couple weeks. The biggest problem with this canister seems to be opening it, but once you figure it out it's really easy. The soft spot to press on the lid is directly next to the stoppers and is only soft in that small specific spot. Once you find the sweet spot, it becomes a great food storage container. I was really nervous that I wouldn't be able to open it based on reviews here, but it really wasn't a problem. I'll probably be singing a different tune when trying to open in cold temperatures, though.

          The container has no smell, is see-through so you can see what's in there, and has a large mouth which makes using it a lot easier compared to a narrow canister. Oh, and you can also use it as a seat - bonus! I plan on buying the larger version as well.

          Great if you can open it

          • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

          Made the mistake of using this on Mt. Whitney. Near impossible to open when the plastic gets cold.

          That's exactly our experience although we figured out that the canister can be opened when you use a penny and push hard against the textured rectangles surrounding the two locking lips. Still, it's a hassle! We returned ours. On a cold morning, the plastic wouldn't give! You can't always count on sunshine to warm the plastic. Not good!