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Best Insect Repellent for Kids

Finding the best insect repellent for kids and your family shouldn't require a science class or intensive research. We've researched and considered the 10 top products available with consideration on which chemicals are recommended by experts as safe and effective for children. We tested each repellent in a variety of circumstances for efficacy, ease of application, smell, and more to help you determine which options are the best for your family or bug-repelling goals.

Best Overall Insect Repellent for Kids

Sawyer Insect Repellent

Effective Ingredient: 20% Picaridin
Application Method: Spray

  • Effective on many bug types
  • Easy to apply
  • Smell evaporates when dry
  • Smaller spray area
  • Bottle can leak without the cover lid

Sawyer Insect Repellent is a versatile 20% Picaridin spray that is easy to use. We like the smell, which disappears when dry, and the insects it is effective on is vast. We find Sawyer to be effective against most creepy crawlies, and it is suitable for skin and gear. It has a double-lid system container to help prevent leaks, and the smaller bottle fits almost anywhere, i.e., cup holder or backpack.

The bottle has two lids to fight against leaks, but two things to keep track of is annoying, and we think you'll likely lose one or more of them before the bottle is empty (we did). The smaller bottle also won't last long if you use it for a family of four or more on a regular basis. While it comes in a two-pack, it would be nice to get a little more product for your money or at least larger bottles, so you don't need to carry two. Overall, we really like this effective and easy to use spray that leaves behind no strange feel and no scent. We are willing to work with the smaller bottle and dual cap to get the protection we need.

Continue reading the entire list and plenty of other helpful information when making decisions on which bug repellent is best for kids written by Wendy Schmitz here.


December 3, 2023

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Baby Gear Lab

Media Mentions from Baby Gear Lab provides the world's best reviews and ratings of products for babies age birth to 1 year. Founded by a pediatrician and Mom.

Founded in 2012 by Juliet Spurrier, MD, a board certified pediatrician, BabyGearLab’s mission is to become the world's most credible and detailed source of side-by-side baby product comparison reviews. Dr. Spurrier, along with the expert staff at BabyGearLab, test leading baby products and review them using a meticulous and objective rating system. The website also publishes informative buying advice guides based on their testing experience, as well as health and safety articles for new parents.

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Media Mentions

Sawyer has an alternative [to DEET] made with Picaridin, which works just as well without spoiling your clothes.

James Wong
Freelance Writer

Media Mentions

Zinzi Edmundson, the founder of Treehouse newsletter, who gardens in Maine, suggests spraying your shoes, especially (she uses Sawyer’s permethrin).

Laura Fenton

Media Mentions

I carry bottles of water, but I also have a Sawyer squeeze water filter. Also, if it’s cold, make sure you sleep with your water filter in your sleeping bag, so it doesn’t freeze.

Shilletha Curtis