The Best Tick Repellent Clothing for Men, Women & Kids
Since you’re reading this, we probably don’t have to lecture you on the scary health hazards of tick bites, like Lyme disease. But you might not know that a recent study found that tick repellent clothing really works! Here’s our picks for the best tick repellent fashion for women, men and kids.
Tick Repellent Clothing for Women
1. White Sierra Women’s Bug Free Jersey Long Sleeve Crew
This women’s tick repellent long sleeve tee from White Sierra is treated with long lasting permethrin to protect from tick and other bug bites, and the long sleeves also provide a physical barrier to insect bites. We love this tee because it’s comfy, flattering, quick drying, and comes in a rainbow of pretty hues.
2. ExOfficio Women’s Bugsaway Lumen Hoodie
Long sleeve hoodies are a great option for tick protection, particularly if you’re not fond of hats– just pull the hood up to keep your head protected.
This women’s tick repellent hoodie from ExOfficio features great lightweight physical coverage and their permethrin based Insect Shield repellent.
3. Solstice Apparel Women’s Insect Repellent Convertible Pants
Solistice Apparel’s tick repellent pants for women are treated with permethrin to keep away ticks, mosquitos, flies and more. They’re comfy and designed with function in mind– we especially love that they feature zip off legs to convert into shorts for breezing into town or just cooling off once you’re out of tick territory.
4. White Sierra Women’s Bug Free Sun Hat
White Sierra’s sun hat is a great multi purpose outdoors hat for women that uses permethrin based Insect Shield to protect from ticks and mosquitoes while providing shade and shielding your skin from the sun. There’s a nice variety of colors, and it’s packable and moisture wicking, making it our go-to hat for anytime we’re in tick or mosquito territory.
Even more protective clothing for women:
Tick Repellent Clothing for Kids
1. DrFrid KidsWear Tick Bug Protective Tracksuit
Dr Frid’s full coverage tracksuit is one of our favorite ways to keep active kids safe from tick and mosquito bites. The ultra lightweight fabric means kids will keep the suit on, even in summer weather. They’re available in sizes for toddlers through teens.
2. Bug Smarties Kids Long Sleeve Cotton Shirt
Bug Smarties long sleeve tee for kids is an awesome go-to basic. It’s a breathable 100% cotton that’s treated to repel ticks and mosquitoes through 70 washes.
3. Bug Smarties Cotton Long Sleeve Hoodie With Insect Shield
Another awesome basic for kids, this tick and mosquito repellent hoodie is one of our faves because the long sleeves and hood offer full protection.
And it’s not just for girls; in addition to pink, it comes in navy and white.
4. Baby Tick Repellent Mosquito Net For Strollers
For little ones the easiest bet can sometimes be a stroller net rather than tick repellent clothing. It fits a wide variety of strollers, and provides a chemical free physical shield from ticks, zika-carrying mosquitoes and more, while allowing for plenty of fresh air.
Even more protective options for kids:
Tick Repellent Clothing for Men
1. ExOfficio Bugsaway Tarka Long Sleeve Top
ExOfficio’s men’s tick repellent long sleeve tee is one we reach for again and again. It’s high quality, quick drying with odor-resistant tech, and of course features built in Insect Shield repellent.
2. White Sierra Men’s Bug Free Base Camp Hoodie
We might have belabored the point by now, but the physical coverage that hoodies provide make them the perfect choice for protection against ticks and other bugs. White Sierra’s tick repelling hoodie for men is lightweight and moisture wicking, so it’s perfect for summer weather.
3. White Sierra Men’s Bug Free Base Camp Pants
These fantastic men’s tick repellent pants from White Sierra don’t just keep away bugs, they’re well made with great features. Quick drying and packable, they feature articulated knee darts for easy movement, and mesh venting.
4. ExOfficio BugsAway Mesh Brim Hat
Our final clothing pick is actually great for men or women. ExOfficio’s tick repellent hat comes in two sizes and features a full coverage mesh veil that packs into the hat when you’re not using it. We can’t tell you how often the mesh comes in handy when the swarms of bugs are out, and the Insect Shield treatment makes a huge difference as well.
Even more protective clothing for men:
More Ways to Keep Ticks Away
1. Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent
If you’d rather spray the clothing you already have, or need touch up your tick repellent clothing, grab a bottle of this spray. Sawyer’s Permethrin spray is good through 6 washes, and repels ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers and mites. It’s also great for spraying your tent and other outdoor gear to keep bugs away.
2. Atwater Carey Tick Repellent Mosquito Net Treated with Insect Shield
One last item that we love: sometimes a physical shield is the best bet, doubly so when you’re trying get some shut-eye. That’s why we love mosquito nets. This one is treated with permethrin for extra protection.
Natural Tick Repellents
1. Nantucket Spider Natural Tick Repellent Spray
Nantucket Spider’s essential oil tick repellent formula is DEET and permethrin free. We like that the spray works to repel flys and other pests as well!
It can be applied to skin, hair, clothing and gear. We think it smells great thanks to the essential oils, but those who are sensitive to strong scents should take note that it’s not exactly subtle.
2. Herbal Armor
Another great natural tick repellent, Herbal Armor’s spray is also essential oil based, but with a slightly different formula that many swear by. And no worries, it’s DEET and permethrin free!
It’s gentle on sensitive skin, and can be applied to clothing and gear as well. As with the other natural repellent listed here, opinions vary on the scent, which in this case is more dominated by citronella. (Citronella isn’t an ingredient in Nantucket Spider’s formula, so if you know citronella works for you, stick with Herbal Armor).
Most tick repellent clothing is treated with permethrin, a snythetic form of a compound found in chrysanthemum flowers. In addition to repelling other insects like mosquitoes that can carry Zika, permethrin interferes with tick’s ability to move and bite, and often causes them to drop off completely.
But is it safe for humans? The EPA says that permethrin is not well absorbed through the skin, and, particularly with the low concentrations found in tick repellent clothing, it does not pose a health hazard. Given the known dangers of tick bites and mosquito-borne Zika, we feel that the benefits of permethrin far outweigh any dangers at this point.
Does permethrin treated clothing smell like bug spray?
Nope! Tick repellent clothing smells like any other fabric, you won’t notice an odor.
This varies by manufacturer, but generally around 50+ washes. Compare this to about 6 washes if you’re spraying your clothing yourself, and it’s easy to see the rationale for permethrin treated fabrics.
Tick repellent clothing is generally better infused with the insect repellent than you’re likely to achieve from simply spraying. However, if you don’t mind re-applying according to the directions on your bottle of tick repellent spray, this is definitely something you can do! You’ll get more thorough coverage (and avoid getting the spray in your mouth or eyes) if you lay out your clothing and spray it before getting dressed.
If you’re not comfortable using permethrin treated clothing, there are some natural options to prevent tick bites.
The number one most effective method is physical coverage of your skin. This means long sleeves, pants, socks, shoes and even a hat. The upside of all this coverage is that you’re protected from other bug bites, poison ivy, and more when out in nature. Of course, the downside can be having to wear so much clothing in the summer heat. Natural, breathable fabrics like linen are your best bet, and Eddie Bauer’s Cresta technical fabric is lightweight and comfortable summer wear.
We’ve also listed a couple of natural tick repellent sprays above that are worth giving a try.
No matter what tick repellent method you use, always do a quick physical check for ticks at the end of the day. Generally, a tick must be attached for at least 24 hours in order to transmit Lyme disease. So you do have a short window of time where you’re likely not in danger, but quick removal of any ticks is imperative.
You might also be interested in: