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Ben’s Invisinet Head Net with Insect Shield Review

Ben’s XTRA Invisinet head net with Insect Shield Review

Ben’s Invisinet XTRA Head Net with Insect Shield is a black colored head net that’s pretreated with Insect Shield to keep insects from biting your head and neck. While you can slather DEET or Picaridin on your head, face, and neck, I’ve found I get much better insect protection by wearing a head net for hiking during bug season. Ones with black colored netting are best because they’re the easiest to see through, so much that you hardly notice they’re there.

I’ve been using head nets and hiking clothes treated with Insect Shield for many years because it repels mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers, and midges (no-see-ums). Insect Shield is an industrial process that binds Permethrin Insect Repellent to clothing and lasts much longer than treating them with Permethrin yourself. See Treating Your Clothes with Permethrin for more information.

In my experience, you want to wear a mosquito head net with a hat to keep the netting off your scalp, face, and neck for added ventilation and on the off-chance than an insect bites you through tiny holes in the netting. Although they are porous, head nets retain a surprising amount of heat when worn and the extra airflow will keep you more comfortable.

The Ben’s Invisinet Head Net that I review here is specifically designed for use with front billed caps and has an extended drop front so you can keep the front of buttons of a hiking shirt open for extra ventilation. It also has an elastic band in its crown that wraps around the round part of your head when you wear a ball-style billed cap. It’s designed to keep the head net centered on your head, but, I find rather uncomfortable to wear because the elastic band squeezes my head. I have a small head, so I can only imagine the amount of pressure that you’ll experience if you have a larger hat size than me.

The elastic crown of the Ben’s INVISINET bunches up on top of wide brimmed hats reducing neck and upper chest coverage
The elastic crown of the Ben’s INVISINET bunches up on top of wide-brimmed hats reducing neck and upper chest coverage

If you try to use the Ben’s head net with a wide-brimmed hat, the elastic band causes the head net to pile on top of your hat (see photo above) and reduces the amount of face and upper neck coverage you get. That threw me for a loop because I just assumed that all hats would be compatible with it. Pulling it down snuggly also results in the head squeeze you experience when wearing a ball cap.

The Sea-to-Summit Mosquito Head Net with Insect Shield is a much better solution for wide-brimmed hats or bills caps in my experience and is the headnet I’ve been using for many years (click for review). It also has high visibility black netting and more extra interior volume to keep the netting off your face and neck. If you want a head net that’s compatible with any type of hat and is pre-treated with Insect Shield, I’d recommend getting that instead of Ben’s Invisinet Insect Shield Head Net.

Disclosure: Ben’s provide the author with a sample head net for an honest review.

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  1. Funny. Just goes to show it is possible to over-engineer even something as simple as a bug net.

  2. Thanks for linking the StS net review. I had been trying to make sense out of the reviews for the StS and this on the REI website, but your posts make the buying decision clear.

  3. Permethrin is not an insect repellent. It is an insecticide. It does not cause insects to stay away from the treated clothes but it does cause insects that land – and linger – on properly treated clothing, to die. That is an important distinction that even Sawyer’s advertising and labeling doesn’t make clear.

    • Yeah, I used to think the same thing. But if you watch insect shields knock down test videos which is how they measure Permethrins effectiveness, it’s clear that it also serves a repellent function. Of course the best repellent is solid fabric. Wear long pants!

  4. How about black flies.

  5. I’m a ball cap wearer and got one of these headsets to try. I’m a deet 100% guy, with permethrin on everything that I can put it on, so figured I’d try this new head net design. It has two features that I really appreciate. The first is the elastic band that holds the net tight to the rim of my ball cap. The second is the long triangle with the reinforced corner that hangs in front. That helps keep the net down, and makes it easy to tuck into a shirt of jacket.

    Yes, the sides will contact the ears and neck but I find that true with any net I wear over a ball cap. Mostly I like a net cause it keeps the buggers from crawling on me and down my shirt. The deet usually stops the biting.

    I would recommend this head net to any ball cap wearer.

  6. I tried an older version of Ben’s last year and it was not big enough to fit around my full brimmed hat, so I wore a baseball cap. But I hated it because the bugs would find my ears and neck. My son fared better since his hat had a neck covering.

    So we got some called Even Naturals from that website named after a south American river. They were really large and easily fit over my REI Paddlers hat brim as well as my son’s hat with the neck covering. They are also cheaper than Bens. And, since they don’t have the elastic that’s supposed to hold it down against the crown, there’s no bunching.

    I did use a larger version of a Ben’s a couple years ago (which is why I got that first), but both my son and I like these much better.

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