Bear Grylls Survival Gear – Are There Better Options?

The Gerber private label Bear Grylls survival gear offers wilderness survival staples at pretty good prices. The one thing that I would caution you on, though, is that the branding comes with a cost: royalties. In order to brand their gear, they surely have to pay Bear a cut of the proceeds- which layers some cost into the price. Bear is the star of plenty of books and TV shows, like Man vs. Wild- but that doesn’t mean his gear is the best. He is well known for eating and drinking pretty much anything to demonstrate survival techniques.

Source: Giphy

I don’t necessarily have issues with the gear, since it is highly rated and a pretty good quality for the price. That doesn’t mean it is the best value on the market, however; so we’ll compare a few of the more popular Bear Grylls survival tools with other options. Prices may change after we do our comparison, so adjust your own decisions accordingly. Also keep in mind that Bear Grylls survival gear is priced to make survival and bushcraft accessible, so we are comparing for value and not necessarily the best piece of equipment. Let’s get started:

Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter vs. UST Spark Force Fire Starter

At the time I’m writing this, the Bear Grylls fire starter is a steal at $7. This makes it pretty hard to beat- even from lesser known brands. The Ultimate Survival Technologies Spark Force Fire Starter sits at a little over $7. The UST is a little lighter, weighing just 1 ounce; which is great for long distance bug out bags.

Gerber Bear Grylls Fire StarterUST Spark Force Fire Starter
Quality4.5/5 4.5/5
Weight 2.6 oz1 oz
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Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete vs. CRKT Halfachance Parang Machete

Parang machetes are great, giving better mechanical advantage to a chopping motion. Both of these are full tang and sport great reviews. While the Bear Grylls Machete is a little longer at 19”, the CRKT still gets the edge with better pricing, better reviews, and less weight.

Gerber Bear Grylls Parang MacheteCRKT Halfachance Parang Machete
Quality 4.5/54.5/5
Weight 25.4 oz20.5 oz
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Gerber Bear Grylls Canteen vs. Rothco Canteen

The Rothco comes in at a third the price and with better reviews and a carrying case. Don’t spend an extra $20 to get the orange accents and “BG” stamp on the canteen. Rothco is the clear winner in this comparison.

Gerber Bear Grylls CanteenRothco Canteen
Quality 4/54/5
Weight12.5 oz 12 oz
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Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Knife vs. Ontario Knife Co RAT-5

The ultimate pro knife is a pretty big upgrade from the regular Baer Grylls knife in that it is full tang and high quality steel. The blade measures 4.8” and comes with a fire starter and whistle. Unlike cheap ‘survival’ knives, you don’t store this stuff in the handle, but in the sheath and on the lanyard. One of the closest alternatives is the Ontario RAT, but it does carry a higher price tag. The RAT is legendary in the full-tang survival knife world and made in the USA. However, Bear’s Ultimate Pro Knife is a wicked value for the price. Due to the ‘get what you pay for’ aspect of this comparison, we would suggest either knife solution for a bug out bag.

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro KnifeOntario Knife Co RAT-5
Quality 4.5/54.5/5
Weight13.7 oz 11.5 oz
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Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet vs. Fiskars X7 Hatchet

We aren’t exactly comparing apples to apples with this one. The Gerber hatchet is a full tang 13” hatchet with a rubberized grip. The Fiskars comes from our friends in Finland with a composite handle, 14” length, and lighter weight. It is balanced to chop better due to the weight of the axe head vs. the handle. Like all Fiskars gear, they try to alleviate concerns with the composite material by offering a lifetime no-hassle warranty. The Fiskars comes in cheaper, so this comparison could come down to personal preference. Still, I would suggest the Fiskars hatchet due to its lighter weight and price tag.

Gerber Bear Grylls Survival HatchetFiskars X7 Hatchet
Quality 4.5/54.5/5
Weight 22.4 oz20.2 oz
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Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Bracelet vs. Survivalcord

I’m not a huge fan of survival jewelry but this is one of the best sellers in Bear’s collection. It is cheap, attaches 12 feet of paracord and a whistle to your body, and is fashionable (I guess?). I would simply counter this braided paracord with some legit Survivalcord. Braid it into a bracelet if you want, but Survivalcord offers more functionality and is customizable to your own look. Don’t be a walking Bear Grylls billboard- find your own path!

Gerber Bear Grylls Survival BraceletSurvivalcord
Quality 4/55/5
Weight 0.3 oz12 oz
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Gerber Bear Grylls Compact Compass vs. Bruton TruArc3 Compass

This branded button compass is just silly. I get that it being a zipper pull can keep it close to you at all times, but button compasses are notoriously crappy and you do not want to have to depend on one if you can help it. Enter the Bruton TruArc3. This thing just annihilates the Bear Grylls compass with its functionality and dependability.

Gerber Bear Grylls Compact CompassBruton TruArc3 Compass
Quality 3/54.5/5
Weight0.3 oz 1.1 oz
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Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Multi-Tool vs. Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier

Multitools are one thing that Gerber is good at, and the Bear Grylls signature version is no exception.  The problem is, is that they made pretty much the exact same multi-tool but without Bear’s name on it. The Suspension multi-plier has all the same tools and functionality but at a lower price. On this one, save some money and get the one without the name on it: the Gerber Suspension.

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Multi-ToolGerber Suspension Multi-Plier
Quality 4.5/54.5/5
Weight 8.6 oz8.6 oz
More Info HereMore Info Here

The Final Word

Slapping a famous survivalist’s name on a product doesn’t make it instantly a great product or good deal. You can stretch your dollars just with a little comparison shopping. Some of the Baer Grylls Survival Kit gear is legit, and merits consideration. Just make sure you’re not getting fleeced with a $30 canteen!  Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.

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Bear Grylls Survival Gear – Are There Better Options

Rusty Collins

I am an engineer, Air Force veteran, emergency manager, husband, dad, and experienced prepper. I developed emergency and disaster plans around the globe and responded to many attacks and accidents as a HAZMAT technician. I have been exposed to deadly chemical agents, responded to biological incidents, and dealt with natural disasters. Check out my full story here: Rusty's Story

One thought on “Bear Grylls Survival Gear – Are There Better Options?

  • I don’t begrudge a person for making a clean living on a popular idea. I also don’t have time for bear girly…just sayin’ ~=|


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