No items found.

The best bug sprays in 2021

Cutter, Proven, Natrapel and more: the best insect repellents for every outdoor summer need.

Summer's right around the corner and already here in some parts of the world (hello from 90-degree Miami). In a lot of places, hot weather means bugs. I'm talking mosquitos, ticks, chiggers, gnats, biting flies and no-see-ums. Yuck. (And ouch and itch.)

Having grown up in Louisiana and now living in Florida, I've spent a lifetime dousing my skin and clothes in insect repellent. Bug spray is a staple in the south, to say the least.

If you plan on spending any time outdoors this summer, and especially if you plan to go camping or visit any marshy areas, it's best to go prepared with insect repellent. These are some of the best bug sprays available right now, as determined by my testing of more than 20 products in the South Florida heat.

Best insect repellent for clothes and gear

Sawyer permethrin aerosol and pump spray insect repellent


I'm obsessed with these permethrin insect repellents from Sawyer. I sprayed all of my fabric patio furniture and the tarp covering my home gym equipment. Permethrin is an insect repellent designed for clothes and gear -- it is not to be used on the skin or on clothes while you're wearing them. Seriously, heed the safety instructions.

The aerosol permethrin creates a nice wide, even, fast spray. I coated my outdoor furniture with this easily in a few seconds. The pump spray is less convenient, but still good.

While the bottles say the product is odorless, I noticed a slight odor while using the sprays. It smelled similar to spray paint, but far less potent. These bottles aren't something I'd want to travel with -- they're rather large -- so I would recommend spraying your gear before you head out for a camping trip or other outdoor adventure.

Sawyer's permethrin spray lasts up to six weeks or through six washes.

Head here to learn more about Amanda Capritto's best bug sprays for 2021.

LAST UPDATED

May 7, 2022

Written by
Photo thumbnail Blog Author

CNET

Media Mentions from CNET

CNET tells you what's new and why it matters.

We believe you can create a better future when you understand new ideas. Our experts give you news, tools and advice that help you navigate our ever-changing world. Because when you understand what’s going on, you can do something about it.

MEDIA MENTIONS

My only complaint is that eventually, backflushing won’t be enough. These can clog up after some time and no amount of back flushing will fix its low flow. I went through 2 on the AT. However, it will attach to Smart Water Bottles and most bladders!

Anna Hamrick

MEDIA MENTIONS

Built for backcountry reliability and portability, the Sawyer Squeeze filter is our pick for the best portable water purifier.

Pete Ortiz
Writer

MEDIA MENTIONS

The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
Media Mentions from Halfway Anywhere