Product Review: Ex Officio BugsAway Bandanns

By: Levi Opsatnic

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With June finally underway, I’ve began to notice that I just can’t go outside without at least some form of insect protection. Gone are the days of April and early May where you can go outside without insect repellent and then return home without a single red, itchy bump. Even though those days are gone, it doesn’t exactly mean that you need to spend summer’s entirety losing your mind over annoying buzzers and biters. To help your sanity, I’ve decided to talk about one of my favorite non-spray bug defenders: Ex Officio’s BugsAway Paisley Bandanna.

If you’re not familiar with Ex Officio’s BugsAway line, this next paragraph is just for you. Utilizing the Insect Shield technology, this line of products is treated with Permethrin as the active ingredient; this treatment works to block ticks, mosquitoes, flies, chiggers, midges, and ants. Luckily, Permethrin is free of odor, doesn’t come with an unpleasant feel, and lasts about seventy washes (however, keep your BugsAway products away from the dry cleaner as dry cleaning will zap their bug repellency quicker than you can count to three) before it loses its insect repelling goodness.

Now back to their BugsAway Bandanna. I’ll preface this review by saying that the vast majority of my outdoor life is spent wearing waders and some form of long sleeves while casting flies to fish of all species. As a result of this, my neck and head are the real problems when dusk begins to roll in and so do the bugs. However, with Ex Officio’s Bandanna, that magical hour before darkness is a lot less miserable. Simply enough, I tie this bandanna around my neck and go about my evening while staying bug free. Sure, this may not be the most stylish way to wear this accessory, but I can assure you that it’s a lot more attractive, and a lot less annoying, than being covered in bug bites. During the day, whenever the bugs are a bit more dormant, I stuff this bandanna into a very small pocket of my pack and forget it’s there until I need it.

As far as maintenance goes for this bandanna, it’s about as low as can be. I’ve had it for nearly two years, and although I only use it during the warmer times of the year, I’ve only needed to wash it once. And when I did wash it, I just threw it into the washer with the rest of my clothes and found that it came out a lot more clean and just as effective as it was whenever I took it from its package.

While I really only have a use for a BugsAway Bandanna, I’d recommend those of us who aren’t clad in waterproof waders to check out the rest of Ex Officio’s BugsAway line. Although I can’t exactly speak out of experience, I can only imagine that these products work just as well as this bandanna in freeing you from the annoying summer itch.


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