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The Best Bug Repellents

We’re currently testing two new sprays—Ben’s Tick Repellent and Proven Insect Repellent—and two new lotions, the Proven Mosquito and Tick Lotion and Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent.

For a bug blocker that’s safe and effective—and won’t stink or leave a puddle of oil on your skin—skip the DEET and get a picaridin formula like Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent with 20% Picaridin. It’s the best bottle of bug spray we found after testing 15 repellents and talking to everyone from the EPA to the American Mosquito Control Association.

Read the full guide from Doug Mahoney on Wirecutter's website here.

LAST UPDATED

May 6, 2022

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Wirecutter

Media Mentions from Wirecutter

Wirecutter’s mission is to recommend what really matters. Each year, we independently test and review thousands of products to help you find just what you need. Our goal is to save you time and eliminate the stress of shopping, whether you’re looking for everyday gear or gifts for loved ones.

We strive to be the most trusted product recommendation service around, and we work with total editorial independence. We won’t post a recommendation unless our writers and editors have deemed something the best through rigorous reporting and testing.

MEDIA MENTIONS

While DEET products may be more familiar by name and their chemical smell, sprays with 20 percent picaridin, like Sawyer Products, offer comparable protection without the harsh odor and oily feeling on your skin.

Kevin Brouillard
Travel & Leisure

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

MEDIA MENTIONS

SAWYER MINI WATER FILTER, $22 This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. -Logan

Bikepacking Team