Aug 15, 2012 at 9:46 pm #1293025
I'm attracted to the Contender because it is the smallest and lightest hard-sided bear canister, it is approved, and it is big enough for a weekend. However, it seems to be out of stock everywhere, and has been so for some time. Does anyone know what's up — will it be back in stock, and when?
Ursack is lighter and smaller, but I do not trust it, especially after the recent thread about problems with it. Ursack + Liner may be good, and that is 8 oz lighter than Contender. It seems to me that the liner also takes up more room in the pack, though, which may be an issue for small thin ultralight packs.
Comments welcome.Aug 15, 2012 at 10:00 pm #1903122
You should email them and ask. Website has said check back in one week for a long time now. I have a Contender and an Ursack with liner. The Ursack is quite a bit larger. I can get the Contender in my Ohm sideways. The Ursack with liner eats up the majority of the room in there, and only fits vertically.
I like them both, but just bought a Bearikade Weekender also.
The Bearvault 450 seems like the next least offensive choice. Only a few bucks more than the Contender. And it is readily available. So is the Ursack.Aug 15, 2012 at 10:36 pm #1903132
I have a Weekender now, but it is overkill for a weekend. I am just trying to get lighter and smaller.Aug 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm #1903259
Bearikade does sell the Scout which is only a few onces heavier but has a internal volume of 500ci. The Bearvault 450 comes in at 450ci. bareboxer comes in at 275ci. All have about the same external size. If you have the money I would go for the scout since it has roughly the same external size, can cary twice the food, and is only slightly heavier than the bareboxer.Aug 16, 2012 at 12:49 pm #1903261
Steven, the Bare Boxer Contender has a much smaller external size as compared to the others. Diameter 7.4" and length 8".
Unfortunately, they can't make it any smaller or else a big bear could bite down on one and crush it like a strawberry.
The size is handy for a quick trip into bear country.
–B.G.–Aug 16, 2012 at 1:44 pm #1903274
anyone seen this? not certified tho. No connection to the seller/company.
Edit- suppose I could put the link in…Aug 16, 2012 at 2:14 pm #1903286
The 4.5 inch diameter might prove to be very chewable by a big black bear.
–B.G.–Aug 16, 2012 at 3:14 pm #1903304
Before I first posted I tried emailing both Bare Boxer and Detour Zone, asking about availability and to be put on an email list to be notified when available — no reply from either one so far. That's why I posted the question. I guess I could try phoning.
I appreciate the suggestions for alternatives, but none have been either smaller or lighter than Contender. As far as I know, Contender is the smallest and lightest approved canister. I doubt any will get smaller — as Bob G said, there is a lower bound on size, determined by what a bear can get its jaws around. I could easily imagine a future product being lighter than Contender, though — provided there is enough market for someone to develop the product.
I would not call Contender "ultralight", but it gets closer to that than any other bear canister does.
I'm not worried about the small capacity of Contender, or the fact that its weight/space is less efficient than the others. It is fine for a weekend and I already have a Bearikade Weekender if I want more capacity. What I *am* trying to do is downsize my pack, and Contender would help.
Contender: 7.4" dia x 8.0" long 1.6 lbs (25.6 oz) 275 cu in $39 (Detour Gear Zone) $60 (mfr)
BV 450: 8.7" dia x 8.3" long 2# 1 oz (33 oz) 440 cu in $65 (Amazon)
Scout: 9" dia x 8" long 1# 12 oz (28 oz) 500 cu in $195
BTW: has yellow-yellow opened a BV450 yet?
Curiosity question: do any of these bear canisters work with polar bears?Aug 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm #1903307
"As far as I know, Contender is the smallest and lightest approved canister. I doubt any will get smaller — as Bob G said, there is a lower bound on size, determined by what a bear can get its jaws around. I could easily imagine a future product being lighter than Contender, though — provided there is enough market for someone to develop the product."
I believe that BPL readers have demonstrated that there is a market for a lighter product. The only question is whether that market is big enough. I mean, if they could cut out eight ounces of weight, I would quickly buy one. By that, I mean buy another one since I already own the standard Contender.
They will probably sell some model that has a computer chip embedded in it, and you have to get the software upgraded every year!
–B.G.–Aug 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm #1903309
"BTW: has yellow-yellow opened a BV450 yet?" Yes, she has. For those who don't know about this yellow-yellow is a small, timid, genious female black bear in the Adirondacks who figured out how to open Bear Vaults. It sounds like it didn't take her much time to defeat BVs updated locks.
http://www.bearvault.com/bearvault_productnotices.phpAug 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm #1903315
I just called them. They said check back in two weeks.
It wasn't the most confidence inspiring call.
JimAug 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm #1903326
On May 9, I got this and never heard back. They are starting to BS people.
"We are working on our website at the moment. We are out of stock of the canister. We should receive more in two weeks. I will let you know as soon as we get them."Aug 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm #1903337
Wonder if the problem is here or in China.Aug 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm #1903343
> if they could cut out eight ounces of weight, I would quickly buy one
That would make one as light as Ursack + Liner — to me no contest for trips where the Contender holds enough. That''s a lot of the time if you believe most people mostly take weekend trips.
I have read that she has trained her cubs to open Bear Vaults as well, so she is no longer the only bear around who can do that.Mar 6, 2013 at 12:37 pm #1962209
@bagboyLocale: Palmdale, CA
I got my BB Contender last fall about 3 days after ordering it. I had sent an initial email asking about availability and received no reply. But the website didn't say they were out of stock, so I just decided to order it and see what happened. To my surprise, it arrived in warp speed!
I sort of like it and sort of don't. The locking mechanism is the most overkill thing you could imagine. There are three different HEAVY parts that keep it locked, and each of them require that you shove some piece of metal like a little screwdriver tip into it and rotate it to open it. In my estimation, only one of them is actually needed, and the other two seem like dead weight. I'm not the most lightweight guy in the world, but I was kinda irked at how heavy the lid with all the metal locking mechanisms felt in my hand. There HAS to be a better way. Still not sure what I think of it overall.Mar 6, 2013 at 12:48 pm #1962216
The steel discs used as part of the locking mechanism is some really heavy stuff. I had the same thoughts exactly. There's a pretty penny to be made if someone can make retrofit versions out of titanium or cnc'd aluminum. I doubt any safety would be compromised, since the polycarb would most likely break first before the locks failed, even if using lighter metals. Still, a very good value bear canister.
EDIT: Damn, looks like they jacked up the price since the last time I saw it…after shipping, it's more expensive than a BV450. That's too bad.Mar 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm #1962308
Weighs the same as my Bearikade Weekender.
That lid is the worst. The simple Garcia latches are apparently more than ample.
The Contender is perfect for those short trips.Mar 6, 2013 at 5:08 pm #1962370
@bagboyLocale: Palmdale, CA
My scales have my BB Contender (26.3oz) at 4.7 ounces less than the Bearikade Weekender (31oz). There's a pretty huge difference in capacity for a bit less than 5 ounces, but I can see a lot of folks liking the size of the Contender and its ability to slide much easier into packs (frameless especially). If they would just work on that darn lid of the Contender….. I'm not familiar with the locking mechanism of the Garcias unfortunately.
Konrad, I think you're right about using lighter materials on the Contender locking mechanism. Having just one latch instead of three along with lighter material for the latch itself would make for a better overall container.
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