Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Cook and Food Storage Gear > Bear Resistant Containers > Bare Boxer Contender > Owner Review by Lori Pontious

By Lori Pontious

September 5, 2010

Tester Information

NAME: Lori Pontious
EMAIL: lori.pontious (at)
AGE: 43
LOCATION: Fresno County, California, USA
HEIGHT: 5'7" (1.7 m)
WEIGHT: 165 lb (75 kg)

I backpacked, camped and fished all over the lower 48 states with my family as a kid, and then life happened. I restarted these activities about four years ago - I dayhike or backpack 2-6 times a month. I am between light and ultralight. I have a hammock system and own a Tarptent. I am a side sleeper and typically use a NeoAir on the ground. My base weight depends upon season and where I go.

Product information

Manufacturer: Golf City Products
Manufacturer URL:
Dimensions: 7.4 in (18.80 cm) wide by 8 in (20.32 cm) tall
Listed Weight: 25.6 oz (726 g)
Actual weight: 26 oz (737 g)
Volume: 275 cu in (4.51 L)
MSRP: US $39.95

Product Description

The Bare Boxer Contender is made of black plastic, very slightly tapered on each end (the center of the canister is 7.4 inches (18.80 cm), each end is 7 inches (17.78 cm) wide), and has a semi-circular opening with a tab to lock it in place. There are three latches, each with a label and an arrow to clearly indicate unlocked/locked status of each. The latches are circular with two short slots; a pressure switch in one slot must be pressed down in order to turn the latch.

This is the smallest bear resistant canister I have ever seen. It is also the cheapest and lightest I have ever seen. It is on the list of approved bear canisters for Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. These parks require backpackers to carry food storage containers from a specific list of canisters that have been subjected to rigorous testing and proven to be bear resistant. Wilderness office rangers will issue permits only if you have (or rent) one, and backcountry rangers walking the trails will check and fine those who do not have approved canisters. Bears in these parks have proven to be very persistent in getting people's food.



Field Data

The Bare Boxer has come out with me on numerous backpacking trips. Here are a few trips into known active bear areas from the last six months:

July 2-4, Ostrander Lake, Yosemite National Park, California: two nights. About 12 miles (19 km) round trip, elevation 7,000 - 9,000 feet (2100 - 2700 m). Subalpine, coniferous forest.

August 3-5, Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, Yosemite National Park, California: two nights. About 30 miles (48 km) one way, elevations ranging from 4,300 to 9,000 feet (1300 - 2700 m), from meadows to coniferous forests to low elevation oak/pine forests.

August 21-23, Dinkey Lakes Wilderness, Sierra National Forest, California: two nights. About 20 miles (32 km) on a loop hike with short side trips, elevation range 8,000 - 9,500 feet (2450 - 2900 m) through meadows, subalpine lake basins, coniferous forests and granite slopes.


There is a lot to like about having a small bear canister. As a Californian, I face food-seeking creatures of all sizes - raccoons, rats, squirrels, bears. In many regions bear canisters are mandatory for backpackers. Large heavy bear canisters are irritating when I'm trying to keep the pack light as possible, so I did a lot of shopping and comparing.

The Bare Boxer Contender is the smaller of two models. I already had a canister; however, the price point and the small size of the Bare Boxer made it too appealing to pass up. It has fit in all my packs and is the perfect size for up to three days on the trail, if I am careful to eat everything on my first day out (a common tactic with bear canisters is to leave the first day's food out of the canister). The Bare Boxer Contender will sit horizontally in my 40 liter backpack with my liter-sized pot against one end, with room for rain gear stuffed down behind them.


In the above pictures: more than enough food for my three days into the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, including an 8 oz (240 ml) bottle of rum and a spork, right before it all went into the Bare Boxer Contender, minus the first day's dinner and snacks. (The second bottle is fuel and did not go inside.)

I am not aware that any animal has attempted to get into the Bare Boxer. Each night I use it, I place all food, soap, toothpaste, trash and anything else that might catch the attention of a bear into the canister and make sure all three latches are locked, then place it a good distance from my shelter. The canister fits quite a bit inside if I pack it well, using foods that flow together instead of vacuum sealed bricks. The latches require me to use a tool to depress the switch built into them; I usually use either a flat bladed screwdriver on a multitool or Swiss army knife, or the tip of the closed blades on my Leatherman Micra. After about a year of use the latches are still in good working order, and other than scratches from repeated contact with granite, the canister body is intact.

This canister is so small I often take it with me even when bears are not an issue. Hiking on the coast also has food storage challenges, either rats or raccoons depending on location, and while I am not so careful about placement of the canister there (I often leave it within a few paces of where I sleep) it has kept smaller pests at bay and I do not have to worry that I will snarl up my rope in trees trying to hang food bags. I never fail to impress other backpackers with my wimpy throwing and complete inability to hit what I aim for, so have no problem justifying the extra weight of the Bare Boxer.


Adequate storage for most short trips if I pack carefully


Not wide enough for me to use as a camp stool

Read more reviews of Golf City Products gear
Read more gear reviews by Lori Pontious

Reviews > Cook and Food Storage Gear > Bear Resistant Containers > Bare Boxer Contender > Owner Review by Lori Pontious

Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

All material on this site is the exclusive property of
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson