"Bob - I feel like I've read a few reviews for the Bear Vault where users described having difficulty gripping the lower portion of the canister in order to remove the lid. Have you ever experienced any slippage/issues with getting in and out of your Bear Vaults?"
That is an excellent question. On one trip two years ago, I loaned my friend a BV450 to use. His mistake was to store a tiny bottle of olive oil in with the food. Due to altitude/air pressure on the bottle seal, the olive oil erupted inside the canister. So, imagine all of these plastic bags of food, and they are all just slightly slimy. Also, some of the olive oil started leaking out through the plastic lid joint. He discovered this in camp, and then put the lid back on. That's when the problem really began, because now he had a little olive oil on his hands. Without a lot of soap and water, that is hard to get off. His hands were just a little too slick to really grab the plastic canister. I tried, and I just made it worse. The lid was on to stay, and it took us 30 minutes to get the thing open. Now, that is not exactly the fault of the BV design, but if your opening techniques get compromised by olive oil, you may have a problem. With that in mind, I practiced opening it different ways until I found which one was best without the olive oil and with clean hands. If you got really concerned about this, apply some duct tape ridges to a few critical spots on the plastic to aid in gripping it for turning. That ought to help.