June 2013
by ConsumerSearch
Est. $16 for 24 oz.
Sawyer Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent

Best insect repellent for clothing and gear

  • Long-lasting
  • Odorless (after drying)
  • Highly effective
  • Doesn't stain
  • Can get expensive
  • Must be applied hours before use
Where to Buy

Bottom line

If you're venturing into the great outdoors and could be exposed not only to swarms of bugs but potentially dangerous diseases like West Nile Virus, Lyme disease or malaria, a spray or lotion for your skin may not offer enough protection. Sawyer Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent is a powerful repellent (and killer) of insects that can be used on clothing, tents, sleeping bags and other items made of synthetic materials.


Repels and kills bugs. Sawyer Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent is popular with campers and outdoor enthusiasts because it can be used on clothing, tents and other outdoor gear to repel and kill ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers, mites and more than 55 other kinds of insects. The product can get expensive, however: a bottle covers four outfits (shirt, trousers and socks) and lasts for six washes or six weeks.

Because permethrin isn't safe for the skin, the label states that sprayed clothing must be dried completely before it's worn. While it doesn't have professional reviews, consumers say it's very effective at fending off ticks and preventing bites from mosquitoes, flies and chiggers even in the harshest and most humid environments.

Feel and smell

Odorless synthetic protection. One of the things consumers like best about Sawyer Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent is that it's hardly noticeable. The scent isn't pleasant when it's first applied, but once dried it's odorless. There aren't any complaints about it irritating skin once it's dried, but again, Sawyer advises keeping the product away from your skin.

A few say the spray bottle drips, and so disposable gloves should be worn during application to keep the permethrin off your hands. It absorbs well but one reviewer had an issue with it staying on her waterproof clothing. It doesn't stain or discolor materials.

Where To Buy
Featured StoresStore RatingNotesTotal Price
eBayeBay rated 3.83 (1281 reviews)1,281 store reviewsIn Stock. Buy it new & now! with eBay Buyer Protection$21.99

Our Sources


Over 200 users have written reviews about Sawyer Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent, giving it a high average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Consumers like that it's effective, odorless and easy to apply.

Review: Sawyer Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent Trigger Spray, Contributors to, As of June 2013


REI reviewers give Sawyer's Permethrin Pump Spray 4.5 out of 5 stars in about two dozen reviews. Many of the reviews from hunters, fishers or travelers to mosquito-infested climates overseas are detailed and specific, reporting that Sawyer Permethrin is odorless and does its job well.

Review: Sawyer Permethrin Pump Spray - 24 oz., Contributors to, As of June 2013

3. Backpack Gear Test

This is an in-depth review from a single tester who used Sawyer Permethrin Clothing Repellent regularly in her outdoor adventures. Griffith says the product repels mosquitoes well and seemed to hold up nicely through six washings, but finds it doesn't resist gnats.

Review: Sawyer Clothing Insect Repellent, Nancy Griffith, March 11, 2010


Bass Pro Shops customers give Sawyer Permethrin Insect Repellent for Clothing a 4.9 out of 5 stars in about 30 reviews. Many reviewers are impressed by the repellent's ease of use and its ability to ward off ticks.

Review: Sawyer Permethrin Insect Repellent for Clothing, Contributors to, As of June 2013

5. writes an informative article detailing the benefits of synthetic permethrin clothing, noting that the U.S. military in Afghanistan uses it. There isn't much written on individual products including Sawyer Permethrin Insect Repellent for Clothing, but the author states that it "effectively deters mosquitoes, ticks, flies, fleas, and other annoying and dangerous insects for six weeks or through six washings."

Review: Keeping Bugs at Bay: Does Bug-Repellent Apparel Actually Work?, Tom Barlow, Aug. 28, 2012

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