If you're going to be outdoors for long periods of time, reviews indicate that 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent 12 Lotion is a good choice for bug repellent. The high concentration of DEET (34 percent) and slow-release formulation helps it to last for up to 12 hours, but is higher than the 30 percent level recommended for children. 3M Ultrathon encapsulates DEET in a polymer, which makes it water resistant and safer to use by limiting absorption into the skin. Unlike other DEET products, it also doesn't contain alcohol, which can irritate skin and lead to greater absorption. As is the case with all products containing DEET, it should be washed off after returning indoors. Products containing DEET can also damage plastic or painted surfaces. For those who prefer a DEET-free mosquito repeller, Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent (*Est. $8 for 4 oz.) is effective for up to eight hours.
Backpacker magazine includes 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent 12 Lotion in its evaluation of 15 mosquito repellents. ConsumerReports.org editors include 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent 8 Spray, which has a lower concentration of DEET than the lotion, in their lineup of 10 bug repellents. A 2004 study in the Canada Communicable Disease Report compares the effectiveness of 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent 12 Lotion with other products and types of active ingredients. Editors at U.K.-based Which? magazine compare the duration of 19 repellents using mosquitoes contained in a box. Finally, user reviews at Amazon.com, REI.com and Drugstore.com provide information about scent and how 3M Ultrathon feels on the skin.
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1. Backpacker Magazine
Although this 2007 review is older, many of the products are still available. After 15 repellents are tested on a lone subject using a tank holding 200 mosquitoes, they are ranked according to effectiveness. 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent 12 Lotion lasts for six hours and ties for the top spot. The review also provides feedback on how it each mosquito repeller feels on the skin and smells.
Review: Bug Off! Get the Straight Dope on the Best Mosquito Repellents, Berne Broudy, June 2007
2. Canada Communicable Disease Report (CCDR)
An older study published in the Canada Communicable Disease Report makes recommendations for preventing and treating malaria. A chart clearly shows that 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent 12 Lotion is longer-acting than products with a lower concentration of DEET or natural ingredients.
Review: Canadian Recommendations for the Prevention and Treatment of Malaria Among International Travelers, Editors of Canada Communicable Disease Report, June 2004
Which? magazine in the U.K. performs consumer products testing similar to ConsumerReports.org in the U.S. Editors recommend 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent 12 Lotion among three repellents after conducting laboratory testing on 19 products. Ultrathon is effective for seven hours, which is longer than any of the other products. This is shorter than the manufacturer claims, but only one test subject was used, and effectiveness can vary from person to person.
Review: Insect Repellents: Insect Repellents Compared, Editors of Which?
This recent review by editors at ConsumerReports.org includes 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent in its comparison of 10 bug repellents. Two species of mosquitoes and deer ticks are placed into cages to gauge effectiveness on four different test subjects.
Review: Best Way to Keep Bugs at Bay, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, July 2010
3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent 12 Lotion receives a high average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 from more than 30 users at Amazon.com, plus another listing with similar results. All but one user say it's highly effective and seems to be truly water resistant. Several reviews say it worked well against insects in other countries.
Review: 3M SRL-12 Ultrathon Insect Repellent Cream, Contributors to Amazon.com
3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent 12 Lotion is one of the bug repellents sold by this outdoor retailer. Approximately 20 users give it an average rating of 4 stars out of 5. Users say it's effective but expensive and feels greasy on the skin.
Review: 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent - 34.34% DEET, Contributors to REI.com
Drugstore.com publishes user ratings and reviews of bug repellers. A handful of reviews for 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent 12 Lotion are overwhelmingly positive. One user notes it's easier to apply to the face than sprays, but contact with the eyes should be carefully avoided.
Review: Ultrathon Insect Repellent Lotion, Contributors to Drugstore.com