Bear Vault BV500 Bear Resistant Food Canister
|Price:||$66.95 - $79.95|
- Every ounce matters, light weight design. (BV450 - 2lbs 1 oz, BV500 - 2lbs 9oz.)
- 440 Cubic inches container holds up to 4 days worth of food, 700 cubic inches capacity is 7 days.
- Made from rugged transparent polycarbonate material that resists shattering upon impact
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Bear Vault Bear Resistant Food Canister Camp without worry with the Bear Vault Bear Resistant Food Container. These lightweight canisters are super rugged and canhold up to 7 days worth of food. Features: Every ounce matters, light weight design. (BV450 - 2lbs 1 oz, BV500 - 2lbs 9oz.) 440 Cubic inches container holds up to 4 days worth of food, 700 cubic inches capacity is 7 days. Made from rugged transparent polycarbonate material that resists shattering upon impact Open and close without any tools Extra wide mouth opening for easy access
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Despite the fact that my attached pictures say "bears in the Eastern High Peaks" I imagine bears aren't much around the country (except bigger, making it even easier for them to get inside). The point is, this canister is NOT bear-proof.
As a result, I had to rent a different, bear-proof container at the lodge, which was fortunate since we heard a bear heading through our campsite to inspect it and claw marks around the area where it had tried to get it out and fool with it.
The only reason I can think of for ANY positive reviews on this container at all is those who gave it a positive rating must not have actually had SEEN any bears or had any try to get into it. Also, this is a very wide, fat container that would be awkward anywhere, including on the outside of the pack. The black, thinner models are easier to slide into a backpack and are actually bear-proof.
Fortunately, Amazon honored my return...
First, ignore the instructions that say open it with your finger nail. Use the dull back end a plastic pen such as a cheap Papermate, or a small hard stick, or other implement that is soft enough that it doesn't harm the canister plastic. You have to press in the black plastic tooth while rotating the black canister top. This means deforming the lower edge of the black canister top such that its locking tooth passes the locking tooth on the clear bottom. Frankly, this is a pain until you get the hang of it and it is difficult to do when the plastic is cold and stiff.
Second, tie some strong cord, such as climbing accessory cord, around the canister using one of the grooves in the middle of the canister. Use the cord to tie the canister to a tree. If you do not tie it down, animals will roll it around and it will be somewhere else in the morning. Don't put it out at night near a steep hill, boulder field, or water if you want to see it again.
If an animal tips it over, rain can seep inside. Adding your own gasket makes it too difficult to open so skip that idea. If your canister is new and you have screwed it down tight to keep the water out, you may have trouble opening it after a change in altitude. This is really baffling the first time it happens. Bang the side of the top on a tree trunk to break the seal. Once the edge of the clear part is roughed up from use this is no longer a problem. Where I camp in the mountains the threads get wet and freeze making it difficult to open. I wiped the threads with silicone and that helps. If it looks like rain, put the canister out at night in a waterproof stuff sack or plastic bag, and if it does freeze, thaw it in your sleeping bag.
Here the answers,
1) It is advertised that BV450 has space for 3-4 days of food. I can definitely fit more food than that.
2) I have REI flash 62 . BV450 easily fit in to it.
3) Opening can be tricky but not difficult. Before go to my trip i toke a little IKEA wrench ( has rounded edge so doesnt puncture ) I didnot have to use it. I could open with my fingers and a small branch.
When i read the reviews it was the biggest concern. After I bought it, i realized, its no big issue. In fact if there is no animal as big as bear, you dont need to fully close it.
As covered at other reviews I could also use it as a stool. Even BV450 has enough height for me ( i m 5'.8")
BV450 is good for rodents as well. I will no longer keep the food inside my bag at the camp area.
Last thing, weight was ok.
Overall 100% recommended.