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Just ask any mosquito: I’m a delicious meal, the perfect sweet treat for blood-sucking critters. Any time I enter a wooded area, mosquitos swarm me like rabid fans of a big-time celebrity. So you can imagine my skepticism in trying a bug-repellant jacket on a recent camping trip.
I donned outdoor apparel brand ExOfficio’s lightweight BugsAway Damselfly Jacket —which features moisture-wicking material, an adjustable hood and all-over mesh for ventilation — and waited for the vampires to attack. I stood still as twilight approached, expecting the usual mob of freeloaders, who I was sure would ignore my attempt to thwart them.
Instead, the jacket’s Insect Shield technology — which uses the chemical permethrin to provide odorless protection from insects including mosquitos, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers and midges — kept the bugs at bay, and I found nary a mosquito bite on me at the end of the trip.
With insect-borne viruses such as Zika and West Nile causing traveler anxiety, apparel treated with Insect Shield — which is endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to repel biting insects such as mosquitos — can both help keep globe-trotters protected and empower them to continue seeking new experiences.
The BugsAway Damselfly Jacket also includes elastic-bound sleeves and can be stuffed into one of its pockets for easy packing. It retails for $80 and is Environmental Protection Agency-registered to last through 70 washes.