Best Bug Spray: Say Bye to Insects and Bites with our Picks
Don’t spend your precious time swatting away bugs and scratching bites. Here’s how to find the best bug sprays for you, and some top picks.
If you’ve ever zipped yourself into a tent with a hoard of mosquitos or found your legs bitten up by no-see-ums, we share your pain. The buzzing and biting can ruin even the most pristine outing or campout. But it’s not just the inconvenience that makes us want to swat away the bugs—it’s the risk of disease. Unfortunately, mosquito bites can transmit infections such as Zika, West Nile virus, and malaria. And itchy bites from any bug can get infected if you scratch them and introduce bacteria into the skin.
Below we’ve listed some of our favorite bug repellent products for keeping different kinds of irritating buggers at bay. But if you want to shop for yourself, know that picking the best bug spray comes down to asking yourself a few simple questions: What active ingredient do you want? Who’s it for? And what bugs will it work on?
May 5, 2022
In my side pouches, you can find tent poles (right) and a SmartWater bottle (left). A sawyer squeeze is placed inline from the SmartWater bottle and attached to my Osprey mouthpiece to drink fro, as I walk.
The EWG sees picaridin as a reasonably good alternative to DEET—although it hasn’t been tested as long, it doesn’t have the same neurotoxicity concerns. They recommend a concentration of 20 percent for Lyme protection. Common brands include: OFF!, Cutter, Sawyer, Natrapel, Insect Guard.
Fill them up with tap water and it slowly passes through a filter system. Then the main reservoir below collects the filtered water.