10 Best Pieces of Mosquito-Repellent Clothing to Keep You Bite-Free
Mosquito repellent clothing is the smart solution to preventing bug bites and itching.
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Balmy summer days mean more time enjoying the outdoors, but it also means struggling to find ways to keep mosquitoes away. Even mosquito repellent plants don’t offer 100% protection in a backyard oasis. Turning to the best mosquito repellent can be helpful, but wearing mosquito repellent clothing is an even bolder line of defense that stops bug bites in their tracks. We spoke with an expert to find out exactly how these mosquito-repellent summer dresses, pants, shirts and accessories work to protect us against pesky bites.
How does mosquito repellent clothing work?
“Mosquito repellent clothing works by treating a desired article of clothing with a residual pesticide like permethrin,” explains Dr. Benjamin McMillan, a senior biologist at Thermacell. “These chemicals are often synthetic formulations that allow the chemical to persist on the clothing and remain effective after repeated environmental degradation like getting dirty, exposure to sunlight and repeated washing.”
How effective is mosquito repellent clothing?
Whether you hate bug spray or just think you’re heading into a mosquito war-zone like a swamp, mosquito repellent clothes are an excellent way to add valuable protection without much effort. “Permethrin is a great tool in the toolbox for providing protection against mosquito and tick exposure, but permethrin does not offer complete protection,” says McMillan. “Permethrin-treated clothing has been shown to provide a significant reduction in mosquito and tick bites for the wearer, but you should still use other insect repellents.”
Is bug spray still necessary?
The good news, you have options! McMillan stresses that other prevention methods are certainly necessary to prevent bites on exposed skin. Try a reusable device like a Thermacell Portable Mosquito Repeller (learn all about it in our review!), or rely on the magic of bug sprays and essential oil-based formulas designed to more subtly deter bugs. It’s important to stay protected, because mosquitoes live for several weeks and can easily survive well into the crisp evenings of fall. Either way, you’ll want to protect yourself from bug bites with the best mosquito repellent clothing options we found for your entire household.
Best overall mosquito repellent shirt for women
Exofficio BugsAway Button-Up
Choose from muted colors and sizes XS through XL in this easy-to-love BugsAway collared shirt that boasts protective long sleeves. The classic collared button-down style offers timeless appeal you’ll be happy to keep in rotation for years to come. The shirt’s permethrin-treated fabric keeps several types of bugs at bay, and washes in regular laundry cycles without worry. Reviewers note that it is ideal for everyday wear, hiking and adventures.
“It’s comfortable, light and soft,” shares one five-star reviewer. “It fits well, drapes very well and feels wonderful. Travels well—wrinkles shake out. Love the blue color, and the bugs don’t seem to like it, which is a plus.”
Best mosquito repellent shawl
Pang Wangle Bug Repellent Essential Wrap
Having several pieces of bug repellent clothing is ideal, but if you’re braving the buggy elements on occasion this Pang Wangle Essential Wrap is one of the best investments you can make in a bite-free lifestyle. It is an affordable one-size-fits-all shawl that comes in four colors to suit every personal style. It features Insect Shield technology that repels mosquitoes, ticks, flies, fleas and other creepy-crawlies for up to 70 washes. The extra-long format of this piece also makes it a vacation essential. It packs flat and looks just as gorgeous worn to outdoor dinner as it does as a buggy beach sarong that can be worn over the best bathing suits in your wardrobe.
Best mosquito repellent men’s t-shirt
L.L.Bean Insect Shield Field Tee
This L.L.Bean Insect Shield Field Tee is an almost-magic closet staple he’ll wonder how he ever lived without. It looks and wears like a typically cotton crew neck, but it’s really so much better. Made of a cotton-poly blend, it offers a slightly tailored fit with just the right amount of stretch. Available in three neutral colors and sizes small through 3XL, this top-reviewed piece keeps selling out in popular shades. The material’s Insect Shield technology is EPA-approved, invisible and odorless and lasts heartily for up to 70 washes. It is short-sleeved though, so remember to spritz exposed skin with bug spray or risk breaking out your Bug Bite Thing.
Best mosquito repellent hat
Jack Wolfskin Lakeside Mosquito Hat
Noggins need protection too, which is why this Jack Wolfskin Lakeside Mosquito Hat is a brilliant buy for outdoorsy types. It’s an easy-to-pack accessory that guards against several types of bugs thanks to mosquito-proof fabric with organic cotton. It also has mesh panels and UV protection of 40+ to protect against the sun’s harmful rays. Hikers, campers and gardeners rave about this hat as one of the best gifts for men—but it’s also wonderful for women.
Best mosquito repellent hoodie for women
Craghoppers NosiLife Sydney Hooded Top
Revel in full torso and head protection in this Craghoppers NosiLife Sydney Hooded Top. It’s a mosquito-repelling take on the classic hoodie and offers two zippered pockets. It also has reflective detailing that makes it ideal for dangerous hikes and nighttime walks, and the tightly-knit lightweight material is both mosquito repellent and protective. The soft, muted blue shade coordinates well with most other neutral wardrobe pieces as well.
Best mosquito repellent hoodie for men
Sitka Equinox Guard Shirt
The Sitka Equinox Guard Shirt looks straight out of a hunter’s closet, but it can be used for any type of outdoor activity. The camo print helps wearers blend into their surroundings (hello, birdwatchers!). It also keeps them ultra-protected from bugs thanks to a fitted hood with an added face mask. The face mask is made of a breathable mesh that adds the most protection we’ve seen yet—just about everything but the eyes and forehead. The extra long tail is designed to be tucked in for maximum protection, though it can just as easily be worn out. It’s also treated with Insect Shield for up to 70 washes of bug repelling protection.
Best mosquito repellent leggings for women
L.L.Bean Insect Shield Leggings
Take an outdoor yoga class without worry in these L.L.Bean Insect Shield leggings that are easily some of the best leggings on the market for outdoors fitness enthusiasts. They come in sizes XS through XL and are made of an abrasion-resistant fabric that also wicks moisture. The stretchy material also offers UPF 50+ protection and an Insect Shield permethrin treatment that lasts for up to 70 washes. Hikers take note: these also guard against ticks.
Best mosquito repellent pants for men
Jack Wolfskin Lakeside Trip Pants
Each pair of Jack Wolfskin Lakeside Trip Pants is made of a tightly-woven, lightweight mosquito repelling material that offers robust bug protection with the look of a smart flat-front chino. Wear them to work events and casual summer weddings by the water. They’re perfect for just about everywhere else that requires a more polished business casual dress code. The biocide-free fabric construction protects against mosquito bites while actively telling insects to bug-off.
Best mosquito repellent kaftan
Craghoppers Insect Shield Kaftan
Who says you have to sacrifice the summer styles you love to repel gnarly bugs? This chic Craghoppers Insect Shield Kaftan comes in classic neutral shades an extended size range. Choose from bright white, black or a bold red. Wear it on its own with your favorite pants or layer it on top of a strappy dress for added protection. The exceptionally lightweight material is ideal for hot summer days and nights. It’s also wrinkle-resistant and a cinch to throw in a regular laundry machine.
Best mosquito repellent top for kids
L.L.Bean Insect Shield Youth Hoodie
Send kids off to camp and long nature-appreciating days in this L.L.Bean Insect Shield Youth Hoodie that can be worn and washed up to 70 times without compromise. We’re impressed that this comfortable classic is offered in sizes 4T through 18. It also comes in a variety of neutral tones to suit adventurers of almost any stage and style. The lightweight weave can be worn solo or as a layering piece to take them through the crisp days of fall.
- Dr. Benjamin McMillan, Senior Biologist at Thermacell
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