DEET is still the most widely used insect repellent in use today. It is available in multiple concentrations ranging from 10 percent up to 100 percent. The main difference between the different concentrations is how long they remain effective. For example, a concentration of 30% will repel mosquitos and ticks for about 6-8 hours, while a concentration of 100% will last 8-10 hours.
The smell of DEET is highly offensive to mosquitos who avoid the scent. Maximum protection is achieved at 30% DEET formulations, so there is no need to use a higher concentration like 100% DEET if you’re willing to apply it slightly more frequently.
|Product||Active Ingredient||Concentration||Hours Mosquito Protection|
|Ben's 100 Max Formula Insect Repellent||DEET||95%||10|
|Ben's Insect Repellent Wipes||DEET||30%||8|
|Ben's Eco Spray Insect Repellent||DEET||30%||6|
|Coleman 40% DEET Sportsmen Aerosol Insect Repellent||DEET||40%||8|
|OFF! Deep Woods Insect Repellent VII||DEET||25%||8|
|Repel Sportmens Max Insect Repellent||DEET||40%||10|
|Repel Sportsmen Insect Repellent Wipes||DEET||30%||10|
|Repel 100 Insect Repellent||DEET||98.11%||10|
|Sawyer Products Premium MAXI DEET||DEET||98.11%||10|
|Sawyer Jungle Juice 100 Insect Repellent||DEET||98.11%||10|
|Ultrathon Insect Repellent Lotion||DEET||34.34%||12|
DEET can damage plastic and synthetic gear items, so wash hands thoroughly after use and be careful about it coming into contact with your gear particularly watches, sunglasses, and smartphones. DEET will also dissolve waterproof/breathable fabrics it comes into contact with so careful using it with rain gear.
Some DEET formulations are also available in a slow-release formula, such as Ultrathon, which has a 34.34% concentration of DEET. It is designed to maintain its effectiveness for up to 12 hours, significantly more than products that have a 100% DEET concentration. Controlled-release DEET an excellent option for people seeking to minimize DEET concentration levels on themselves or their children. As a bonus, controlled-release DEET also minimizes the DEET’s effect on plastics and synthetics.Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the affiliate 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 and independent gear reviews, beginner FAQs, and free hiking guides.
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