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.
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.Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support SectionHiker's unsponsored gear reviews, articles, and hiking guides.
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