Pepper spray is a portable self-defense product which has quite a few benefits. It is available in a number of sizes, containers and formulations strengths.
There are a couple of units by which the effectiveness of a pepper spray can be measured, the 1st is SHU's (Scoville Heat Units). All organic peppers have ranges of 0 - 300000 Scoville heat units (SHU's). The main ingredient in pepper sprays is OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) which is basically the concentrated oil that is extracted from a pepper. When undiluted, it can reach ratings of as much as 15 million SHU's. The pepper species which is used for making the spray will be what determines its capacity for heat generation.
The higher the SHU, the better the pepper spray will be. Have you ever tried eating a hot pepper? There are some which will only cause slight burning sensations and others may make your eyes water. These sprays are all created in the same way, that's why it is important that you choose a good manufacturers. The best pepper sprays all have at least two million SHU's.
The second thing to see when choosing pepper sprays is the amount of OC in it. Even though the percentage isn't really going to change the level of heat, it will control how fast the spray can penetrate. This percentage will indicate the thickness of the formulation. A lower percentage will result in quick penetration which means your assailant will be affected quicker. But, these lower percentage sprays also dissolve quickly which means the recovery time will be lesser too. A good percentage would be anything between 10 and 18%. This will give you a spray that works quickly and doesn't have a quick recovery time.
Exposure to pepper spray will cause your eyes to shut involuntarily. It will constrict the throat and eliminate everything except basic breathing. It will even cause any uncontrollable cough and panic might set in. Even though this condition is a temporary one, it's quit debilitating.
This is why you should try to avoid getting any of the spray on yourself if you are planning on using it on an assailant. These sprays are available in various different patterns including gel, fogger and stream.
If you are staying in a windy area, the best choice for you would be the gel spray. This is going to minimize any possibility of blowback. This is basically back spray which occurs if you are spraying into the wind. You wouldn't want the pepper spray to be all in your eyes now would you.