To keep your concentration on the river and not on the bugs buzzing around your head, we recommend Hook & Tackle’s Insect and Sun Shield Shirt, which has UPF 30 sun protection. The lightweight fishing shirt is quick drying and breathable, and has plenty of loops and pockets to store your supplies and lures. The sleeves can be rolled up and secured, and a large, vented back will help to keep you cool when the sun is out. ($59, insectshield.com)
For a cooler alternative to jeans around the campfire, we recommend White Sierra’s Swamp Pants, complete with Insect Shield technology. The bottoms provide a slimming, stylish fit and have two zip-closure pockets to secure IDs and keys. Durable enough for day hikes or a few days of camping, the Swamp Pants will ensure that you stay tick and itch free. The moisture-wicking pants also have UPF 30 sun protection. ($60, whitesierra.com)
For a day on the green or at a family barbeque, the Zorrel Sonoma Dri-Balance Polo will help you clean up your look (no, a dirty hiking shirt isn’t family-get-together appropriate) and ward off pesky bugs. The odor-free fabric, infused with Insect Shield technology, has moisture-wicking capabilities to help you stay sweat-free when hunched over the grill or while running around with the kids. The fabric is soft and comfortable—not what you might typically associate with bug-repelling clothing—but keeps the mosquitoes from biting. ($50, zorrel.com)
Outdoor Research’s Sentinel Shirt, which incorporates Insect Shield technology, is a lightweight hiking top—only 8.3 ounces—with the added bonus of keeping bugs away without the spray. The slim-cut, stylish shirt is made from breathable material, and even has mesh vents sewn under the arms. In our tests, the shirt kept the pests away and didn’t get too sticky or heavy with sweat because of its dri-release cotton, which helps with moisture management. The sleeves can be rolled up and secured, and the zippered pocket has a media port for your iPod. The bug-repellent infused fabric also has UPF 15 sun protection. ($85,outdoorresearch.com)
Although Columbia’s Bug Shield Sporty 1/2 Zip is cute enough to wear whenever you want to sport an athletic look, we recommend limiting its use to trail running, hiking and camping—when the bugs are guaranteed to be a pain—so you don’t use up all of the bug-repellent properties in the fabric.
Columbia’s Insect Blocker technology is similar to Insect Shield and works just as well—the comfortable cover-up is odorless, protects against mosquitoes, ticks and other biting bugs, and lasts for up to 70 washes. The top kept the bugs away in the evening, while also providing just a bit of warmth once the sun went down. It has UPF 50 sun protection, a specially shaped collar to protect the back of your neck from harmful rays, and longer sleeves to cover wrists as well. Although the shirt provides full coverage and protection, the material is lightweight and breathable, and the lengthy zipper yields plenty of ventilation on warmer days. ($70, columbia.com)