BearVault New Canister Sizes: BV425 & BV475

BearVault New canister Sizes BV425 BV475

BearVault, makers of the BV450 and BV500 bear canisters, has come out with two new bear canister sizes: the BV 425 and the BV475 which can fit horizontally into a much larger range of backpacks than the original BV500 and BV450. It also means that you don’t have to lug around an oversized canister full of dead air when a smaller volume bear canister will do. Both the BV425 and the BV475 have the same locking lid as the BV450 and BV500.

 BV425BV450BV475BV500GarciaBear Boxer
Weight (ounces)28 oz33 oz36 oz41 oz44 oz26.6 oz
Capacity (cubic inches)305 ci440 ci565 ci700 ci614 ci275 ci
Length (inches)6 in8.3 in10.5 in12.7 in12 in7.4 in
Diameter (inches)8.7 in8.7 in8.7 in8.7 in8.8 in8 in
Days of Food1-2 days3-4 days5-6 days7 days6 days1-2 days

The new BV425 bear canister is sized for 1-2 days trips. While it is lighter weight than the BV450, it’s designed to fulfill the needs of weekend backpackers and campers who don’t need as much storage volume as a long-distance backpacker. As more and more people venture into the backcountry, this smaller size will help ensure that they’re using an IGBC-approved canister to prevent bears from becoming habituated to human food.

While the new BV475 bear canister has slightly less volume than the BV500, it’s also shorter, giving backpackers out on longer trips the option of packing a canister horizontally in a much wider range of backpacks. Carrying a bear canister horizontally in the extension collar or even lower in the main compartment makes it much easier to stow your other gear than if you have to pack a BV500 vertically and wedge your gear around it.

For example, check out the following table of backpacks which shows whether you can pack the specified bear canister horizontally or vertically – I tested all four of the BearVault sizes, as well as the Garcia and Bear Boxer canisters, with each of the packs listed. A lot of the packs that only fit a BV500 vertically, can now fit a BV475 horizontally.

 BV425BV450BV475BV500GarciaBear Boxer
Zpacks Arc Haul Ultra 60HHHVVH
HMG North Rim 3400HHHVVH
Gossamer Gear Silverback 65 (2022)HHHVVH
Gossamer Gear Gorilla 50HHVVVH
Granite Gear Crown3 60HHHVVH
Osprey Atmos 65 (2022)HHHVHH
Mystery Ranch Bridger 55HHHHHH
REI Traverse 60HHHHHH
ULA Ultra 24 CircuitHHHVVH
Ultimate Direction Fastpack 30HHVVVH
H=Horizontal, V=Vertical

The new BV425 and BV475 bear canister sizes are only available from the BearVault store at the moment, although I expect they’ll be sold by other retailers eventually.

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30 comments

  1. Have you switched from the Ursack to a canister? Also, what do you do with a canister at night?

    • There will come a day when we have to use hard sided canisters in the whites, but until then I’ll use an Ursack. This news and analysis is to benefit people who are required to carry them. At night, you still have to store the canister far away from your campsite. Can’t tell you how many people I see with canisters next to their tents on platforms. That isn’t a good idea.

  2. Have you had the 475 in your hands for testing? I currently have the Garcia canister, I’m curious if the volume is a little more useable due to the lid design and straight sidewalls. The reduced weight and horizontal carry options are pretty appealing!

  3. Put a little reflective tape on it in case you need to find it at night. Otherwise, you have to follow the sound of the bears playing volleyball…

  4. Nice scoop! Expanding that table as opportunity permits, if possible, would make it a top-notch resource.

    • I just need every backpack company to send me a backpack…NOT!

    • Since the BV475 will fit horizontally into the HMG Northrim 3400, does that mean it will also fit horizontally into the HMG Junction 3400?
      Great info and thanks for putting this out there.

      • You’d think. I have a southwest 3400 where it doesn’t fit and a North Rim 3400 where it does. I’m not totally sure why that is. My Southwest is a few years old and the North Rim is brand spanking new, although the specs haven’t changed.

  5. It is worth noting that the Bearvault canisters, known locally as “blue canisters,” are not allowed in the Adirondacks High Peak Wilderness Area. Rangers and trail stewards there routinely ask to see backpackers’ canisters and will reject Bearvaults.

  6. Bill in Roswell GA

    Per Philip’s comments on bear cans in the Whites, increased bear activity has ramped up annually the past few years along the AT from VA to GA. Lots of bureaucratic discussion on requirements in Pisgah NC expanding from current Shining Rock restrictions. GA/NC border is rampant w black bears and numerous issues via NFS warning signs posted on trail. The Smokies need to install food lockers at AT shelters or require canisters. I still use an Ursak but know hikers that have had food crushed into uselessness, not to mention massive bear slobber covering the Ursak. Seems crazy to spend hundreds to drop a few pounds but then need a 2+ pound bear can. But I had rather have food than let Mr Bear take it!!

    • I’ve used an Ursack for the past 11 years or, up and down the LT, the AT, and the Whites/maine and never once has it been even inspected by a bear. The only time I have had an issue is with rodent damage when stored in bear boxes.

  7. REI has this one on sale right now for $35 through July 4. Kind of a weird shape and reviews are polar. For the money it’s almost disposable if your don’t end up liking it. While not in your stable of cans, what are your thoughts on this one Phillip?

    https://www.rei.com/product/193202/grubcan-bear-resistant-container

  8. Will bv475 fit into waymark lite horizontally?

  9. have been hiking the sierra’s for 48 yrs and carrying the Garcia can since we test drove it for NPS when it was being introduced in Sequoia/kings. Why on earth do you feel the need to put it so far from your tent put it nearby stack your dishes on top and yell at or blow a whistle at the bear IF you do have an encounter. He runs away and you don’t have to look for your can in the morning,also don’t camp near the messy people and they will have the encounter. These things work, the number of tourist feeding the bears in SEKI is way down the bears don’t seem to bother anymore. Excellent camp chair with a small piece of closed cell foam on top.Keeps the other critters out and I sleep all night without all the work of hanging food bags. Carry a Ti spoork and you have a key for the lid, don’t lock it in your pack when carried vertical and you have easy access at break time, lock it at night with spoon keep spoon handy for midnight munchies. 3 oz difference in the BV not enough to worry about . Don’t know what your eating but I’ve put nine days worth of food in my Garcia

  10. thank you Phillip W! Very helpful. How does the little one (425) compare to the little Bare Boxer Contender? I’m thinking specifically about packability (in a zpacks Nero or similar). The capacity difference isn’t much so it’s really diameter V length. Am thinking since neither will probably fit horizontally, that the BBC will be better vertically but the 425 could potentially go in side ways??? Not sure if that would be efficient though. Any thoughts, comments, opinions most welcome.

    • oops – actually since I’ve hike with a WI Weekender in the Nero I guess either would actually fit horizontally – just a question of how much of the horizontal space is used and how big is the front to back bulge (its pretty bad with the Weekender)

    • The 425 is a few inches shorter than the Bare Boxer. It fits in all orientations inside my Arc Haul Ultra 60 if that helps. Don’t have a Nero handy, sorry. I’m finding that the 475 fits horizontally in quite a few packs as well, but more in the 50-60L range.

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