Best Pepper Spray For Runners in 2021

Natalie Cecconi
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For security and self-defense, there is nothing better than pepper spray. Modern pepper sprays are very effective at disabling attackers for 20 to 30 minutes with burning, choking, tearing eyes, coughing and fainting. Extremely versatile … you can carry it on your keychain, or a belt loop, or your dog’s collar. Modern pepper spray also comes in easy to grip barrels. Some high-potency sprays can be very effective for up to 20 feet away!

A pepper spray allows you a quick, easily deployed option for self-defense.

However, a pepper spray is not a replacement for something like a tactical knife or handgun. Pepper spray is an option for people who want something that maintains a low profile, is relatively inconspicuous and easy to carry, and is a reasonable self-defense option.

In this article, we will review some of the best pepper sprays available, explain how they are used, and what you should look for in a canister.

NameCategoryProduct
SABRE RED Compact Pepper SprayBest OverallSABRE RED Compact Pepper Spray
Halt! Dog Repellent 1.5 ozBudget PickHalt! Dog Repellent 1.5 oz
Mace Brand Self Defense Pepper Spray Gun 2.0Upgrade PickMace Brand Self Defense Pepper Spray Gun 2.0

1. SABRE RED Compact Pepper Spray

Our rating: 9 / 10

SABRE RED Compact Pepper Spray

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Pros:

  • Small and compact for ease of carry
  • Non-flammable
  • Certified for effectiveness by the US military and mall security consultants
  • Stays potent for 4 years

Cons:

  • Sacrifices a LED strobe function
  • Maximum range is less than 10 feet (3m)

Out of all the pepper spray products we reviewed, the SABRE Red was the best option for runners who want to ensure their safety at a reasonable price.

At 1.3 ounces – slightly bigger than a candy bar – the SABRE Red can be carried comfortably in your bag or a pocket without making any noticeable difference. This is a compact model unlike other canisters which are bulkier.

The SABRE Red also has a compact trigger mechanism and a nozzle that offers a wide range of spray – up to 12 feet. This improves your ability to defend yourself against threats without compromising your ability to run away.

2. SABRE RED Pepper Gel Spray

Our rating: 9 / 10

SABRE RED Pepper Gel Spray

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Pros:

  • Maximum Police Strength Pepper Spray
  • Adjustable hand strap for quick access… even while running
  • Optional clip-on 120 Decibel Personal Alarm w/LED Light
  • Recharges with Charger

Cons:

  • A little pricey
  • Strong pepper spray may irritate the eyes

When it comes to personal security, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Many people use pepper spray (also called OC spray or OC gas) as a way to protect themselves against hostile situations.

Now, the question arises: do you choose a pepper spray that’s a gel or a spray? While it might seem like a minor detail, it actually makes a big difference.

Spray pepper spray is usually more popular at… it’s a stronger product. It’s also generally more effective and it’s easy to use. But, it’s not really ideal for runners as it’s bulky and may not be very easy to carry while running.

3. SABRE RED Pepper Gel Spray

Our rating: 8 / 10

SABRE RED Pepper Gel Spray

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Maximum Police Strength Pepper Spray
  • Adjustable hand strap for quick access… even while running
  • Optional clip-on 120 Decibel Personal Alarm w/LED Light
  • Recharges with Charger

Cons:

  • A little pricey
  • Strong pepper spray may irritate the eyes

When it comes to personal security, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Many people use pepper spray (also called OC spray or OC gas) as a way to protect themselves against hostile situations.

Now, the question arises: do you choose a pepper spray that’s a gel or a spray? While it might seem like a minor detail, it actually makes a big difference.

Spray pepper spray is usually more popular at… it’s a stronger product. It’s also generally more effective and it’s easy to use. But, it’s not really ideal for runners as it’s bulky and may not be very easy to carry while running.

4. Guard Dog Instafire Runners Pepper Spray

Our rating: 8 / 10

Guard Dog Instafire Runners Pepper Spray

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Pocket sized
  • Reliable finger cap safety
  • Slide safety will prevent accidental discharge
  • Very potent UV red pepper formula
  • Works up to 15 ft.
  • Very easy to use
  • Comes with a convenient keychain light
  • Paravent with a protective case
  • Smaller, lighter, and shorter than the competition
  • Multiple uses: runners, joggers, bicyclists, and walkers

Cons:

  • Only available in 3 sizes
  • The UV keychain light is cumbersome
  • Doesn’t fit a wide variety of pepper spray laws

The Guard Dog Instafire pepper spray comes with a handy and a compact paravent with a protective case. The case is available in 3 sizes: 4 inch, 9 inch, and 2oz size. You must pick the appropriate size to comply with the pepper spray laws of your state. Please check your local or state and federal laws.

There is a handy small LED keychain light on the side of the paravent. The paravent opens up to reveal a protection cap on the inside.

5. Halt! Dog Repellent 1.5 oz

Our rating: 8 / 10

Halt! Dog Repellent 1.5 oz

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Pros:

  • Proven to keep dogs away
  • Leaves a nice, natural smell behind
  • Works well on all dogs including Pit Bulls
  • Can safely be used on animals – animal control authority approved
  • Contains 1.5 oz can of spray – offers security for a long time
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • Will take about 20 hours to kick in
  • Works by spraying the dog’s face when they try to attack … which means if you run through a densely populated area where there are many dogs you might end up with the same problem
  • Some people have complained that their dogs will just run away if its in their area or if the owner is not physically present.

Aerosol Spray

Halt! Dog Repellent is a great natural way to get rid of pesky dogs from your life. Unlike a lot of other sprays that just act as a temporary masking agent, the natural repellent spray actually helps train the pet dog to stay away from you and your running routes. The spray can be used both indoors and outdoors, and since it’s made from natural citronella and geraniol, it leaves a very pleasing smell behind.

6. POM Pepper Spray Flip Top Keychain

Our rating: 8 / 10

POM Pepper Spray Flip Top Keychain

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Pros:

  • Affordable and widely available
  • Pocket-friendly
  • Small, convenient, and portable
  • Can use for almost any situation
  • Easy to use
  • The flip key feature is quite convenient
  • The pepper spray effectively swarms unwanted assailants

As runners, we want to use the tools that will be most effective in keeping us safe on the street. The best pepper spray has been proven to be a great choice for runners. It’s small, compact, easy to carry, and most importantly, effective. Here’s our pick for the best pepper spray in this year.

When it comes to self defense, pepper spray is an effective way to protect yourself from an attacker. What’s more, unlike some other defensive tools, pepper spray can be used indoors and outdoors.

This pepper spray has a range of up to ten feet, and can shoot up to 25 bursts. Like with all defensive sprays, there’s a good warning label on the side of the can that states that you should be at least six feet away from the target when sprayed.

7. Mace Brand Self Defense Pepper Spray Gun 2.0

Our rating: 8 / 10

Mace Brand Self Defense Pepper Spray Gun 2.0

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Effectiveness of 2 million SHU
  • 20-foot range
  • Delivers more pepper spray per unit than other brands
  • Replaceable cartridge
  • Holds 5-20 bursts
  • Can be used as a flashlight
  • Can run for up to 1 minute continuously
  • 2 Replacement cartridge included
  • Less expensive than other brands, but still effective enough to use as a deterrent
  • Wide spraying pattern that covers a large area

Cons:

  • Says it is 2 million SHU which is more than other brands but has not been tested or proven
  • Lacks the tingle feeling that other brands cause
  • Does not come with a holster for you to attach to your key chain
  • Has not been tested in a laboratory, so it is unknown how well it will actually work in an attack

8. Mace Brand PepperGard Sport Pepper Spray

Our rating: 8 / 10

Mace Brand PepperGard Sport Pepper Spray

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Pros:

  • Available in 2 packs
  • Includes UV detection dye
  • High concentration
  • Quick spray release mechanism
  • Long-range spray reach
  • Fairly small and light-weight

Cons:

  • You have to discard the spray canisters after using it
  • Might not work in extreme cold conditions

The Mace Brand PepperGard Sport Pepper Spray is 40 percent more powerful and includes a UV detection dye. It also has a key chain and point counter to ensure complete usage.

Most pepper sprays are only available in single packs, but Mace Brand has made this pepper spray available in a 2-pack to make sure you have adequate protection. It should also be noted that this product uses the same spray mechanism and UV dye found in police-grade pepper sprays.

It only takes .3 seconds for this product to reach its maximum spray distance of 10-foot, which is more than enough to stop an attacker.

9. World’s Only Laser Sight Pepper Spray

Our rating: 7 / 10

World’s Only Laser Sight Pepper Spray

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Pros:

  • The capacitor increases the effectiveness of the blowback spray by around 10x
  • Almost instantaneous activation in high-pressure stream or spray
  • Micro-encapsulated resin formula
  • Higher concentration of oleoresin

Cons:

  • The maximum strength must be used in short distances; if the attacker is too far away or the wind is blowing it will have no effect
  • If too much is applied the canister can become clogged
  • The cannister is not refillable

A good pepper spray not only keeps you safe while you running but it also allows you to carry the spray with you while you do a lot of other things during the day. Guard Dog AccuFire 28% Pepper Spray is unmatched when it comes to user-friendliness. The small design and the compact trigger switch make it very easy to use for people with a lot of things on their hands. No one wants to struggle with applying pepper spray. It was designed to make self-defense easy.

The cannister can fire a spray almost instantly which makes it a great option for runners. Whether you are on a treadmill in the gym or running on the street at night safety should not be left to chance. Guard Dog AccuFire was created to give you the freedom to go anywhere and do anything without worrying about your safety.

10. Guard Dog Security World's Only All-in-One Stun Gun

Our rating: 6 / 10

Guard Dog Security World's Only All-in-One Stun Gun

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Pros:

  • Easy to carry and conceal
  • 20 times brighter than most competitors
  • Dual safety
  • Decent battery life
  • Easily rechargeable

Cons:

  • Very loud when turned on
  • Chunky
  • Not very comfortable to hold
  • You usually have to remove the bottom part just to use it as a flashlight

Activated LED – Rechargeable, Loud Alarm, Optional Disable Pin Code, Rechargeable Batteries Included.

The Guard Dog Security World's Only All-in-One Stun Gun – Pepper Spray – Flashlight, Olympian Activated LED – Rechargeable, Loud Alarm, Optional Disable Pin Code, Rechargeable Batteries Included is one of our top picks in the pepper spray category. It is pricey, but made from the highest quality materials. It is made in the USA and comes with a purchase locking mechanism, disable pin, loud alarm, and the company offers 25 year warranty.

What’s really unique about this stun gun is that it has a built-in flashlight that can project an additional twenty times brighter illumination as compared to other products. With this device, you can scan your surrounding area and locate the intruder rather quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best pepper spray for runners?

This is actually a pretty straightforward question to answer. The best pepper spray for runners is the one that you can carry with you that will have the greatest chance of deterring an attacker. That is the best pepper spray, no matter what anyone else thinks.

We all want super hot pepper spray to instantly disable our attacker whether they simply belong to a street gang or are a psychopath who has absolutely no compunction about taking your life. However, that is not realistic.

We are all more likely to run into something else in the world and we don’t want to wait for an attacker to do us bodily harm if we can use pepper spray to get away and put distance between us and an attacker.

So, the best pepper spray for runners is going to be the one that:

Should runners carry pepper spray?

Carrying pepper spray isn’t required. But it’s highly recommended by runners. Whether you run early in the morning or late at night, every runner should carry a pepper spray. In fact, a lot of pepper sprays are designed with runners’ needs in mind.

Pepper sprays are a good way to protect against potential attackers. They are easy to carry, safe, and easy to use. In addition, some pepper spray brands also come with a UV flash that can help identify the attacker.

Most pepper spray brands are designed to spray up to about 10 feet. This means that it can help you defend against assailants who are away from you. Pepper spray is also a great tool to have with you when you are running outdoors.

What is the strongest pepper spray you can buy?

The highest concentration of pepper spray you can buy legally in the US is 10%. However, 15% is also a widely available concentration, and you often have to buy it directly from a company to get it. The main issue we found when purchasing different pepper sprays is their effectiveness and durations.

For a pepper spray that is effective for longer periods of time, look for a high concentration of OC. But, it isn’t without its drawbacks. The higher concentration of OC, the longer the duration of the spray before it is effective again. Usually, brands will boast about the spray lasting 20-30 seconds, but this is a very inaccurate representation of the spray.

We found that the sprays lasted much longer than claimed. We noted the pepper spray was effective for 3-5 minutes out of the 5-minute mark. Without question, the pepper sprays were effective.

How long does it take for pepper spray to stop hurting?

The pepper spray formula can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. However, the overall time it takes for the pain to subside does remain relatively consistent. You won’t need to worry about constant burning or stinging.

Pain from pepper spray usually begins within 7 seconds of direct exposure.

It becomes extremely agitated and unresponsive within 25 seconds.

Pain is temporarily incapacitating 5 to 10 minutes.

Greater than 55 percent of users experience pain for a little over an hour. Although, many notice the pain subsides within 15 minutes.

Conclusion

The key to choosing the best pepper spray for runners is to look at its quality and effectiveness. Escaping an attacker is only as good as your ability to get out of the way of danger. This is where pepper spray can help you.

A runner’s path is never clear – there are times when a runner may find people in the way, and an encounter with them may turn out to be more harmful than beneficial. Also, the runner could be attacked by a stray dog, a cat, or even a wild animal.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
SABRE RED Compact Pepper SprayBest OverallSABRE RED Compact Pepper Spray
Halt! Dog Repellent 1.5 ozBudget PickHalt! Dog Repellent 1.5 oz
Mace Brand Self Defense Pepper Spray Gun 2.0Upgrade PickMace Brand Self Defense Pepper Spray Gun 2.0