Bugs can ruin a hiking trip.Mosquitos, no-see-ums, ticks, black flies, horse flies, wasps. They’re all over the place when the temperature heats up. I do the majority of my hiking in the winter and spring when the bugs haven’t peaked yet.
Bug sprays sometimes work but some of them are full of chemicals like Deet. You have to ask yourself how much you care about getting bit by something. Will the long term effect of covering ourselves in chemicals beat out the short term effect of getting a mosquito or tick bite? Anyone who has Zika or Lyme diseases will likely tell you it’s more than worth it.
To help solve the bug bite problem and keep us hiking outside, a number of companies have turned to Permethrin treated clothing. Sprays are available to just coat the outside of your clothes every few washes before you go hiking. This can help but it doesn’t last long. A few washes and it’s gone.
Haeleum and Insect Shield are working to change that.
Hael – protection against attack
Haeleum is Seattle-based company going all in with Insect-Shield clothing to help hikers and travellers stay outside, even when the bugs are out. The root of their name, hael, is an old English word meaning protection from attack.With their UPF-rated Insect Shield clothing, we can stay outside longer and not be running away from all the bugs.
Insect Shield and Permethrin
Insect Shield is Permethrin-based protection against bugs like mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers and midges.The point behind the serious protection against bites from these bugs isn’t just the bite itself, however annoying they are. Many mosquitoes and ticks these days can carry diseases like zika, malaria or lyme disease.I can deal with mosquito bites on a trip but I want to stay as far away from lyme disease as possible.The advantage of Insect Shield over just spraying permethrin on your clothing is that it’s embedded in the fabric from the factory. It lasts at least 70 washes in your washing machine compared to the 4-6 washes that a spray lasts.It’s not yet approved for sale in Canada but Health Canada recommends permethrin-treated clothing when going to at-risk area for bug-borne diseases. Sounds like Insect Shield is currently looking for registration in Canada. It’s easy to find the US, approved for children and pregnant women, and is approved in many EU countries.
Rad Short Sleeve Shirt Review
Now we’re done with the sciency stuff. On to the Haeleum Rad review.
Everything from Haeleum uses some kind of Insect Shield fabric. The Rad short sleeve shirt is no different. Made from 100% DryTru polyester, it wicks moisture away from your skin very well. I’ve been running and hiking with the Rad for the last few weeks and it dries extremely fast. I love my dear merino for any kind of fast or slow adventure but a downside of it is that it doesn’t dry quickly like a synthetic does.The Rad and Reccan long sleeve both utilize the thicker 7oz fabric from Haeleum. It works well for the shoulder seasons when a little bit of warmth is welcome. The weather here has decided to become winter in a hurry so the extra thickness on a cool day has been nice.For the hottest days the 2oz fabric of the Faran and Braedan would work better.
The Rad and Reccan also use the textured Jacquard weave that will snag less on rocks and trees. It will also cling less to your skin. They also have a more relaxed fit than the Faran and Braedan.
If you want smooth and fitted go with the Faran or Braedan. If you want textured and relaxed fit, go with the Rad or Reccan.I got a medium Rad and it fits slightly larger than my comparable shirts from Helly Hanson or Icebreaker.
The bugs were already on their way out when I got the Rad t-shirt to review. My mission for recent runs were to find the most bug-infested puddles and swamps I could find. There were some bugs still around bug didn’t worry about any of them. Not a single bite after sitting near standing water. I’ll be continuing to test this one and posting again next summer when the bugs are back.One thing I wish Insect Shield did was protect against wasps. I haven’t run into any yet but I haven’t found anything on the internet that says it’s effective against biting and stinging insects like that.I do really like the idea that the permethrin lasts longer with the Insect Shield compared to spraying. I’m assuming the means less permethrin on my skin and in the environment.
If you’re thinking about spraying your clothes with Permethrin or already are, Haeleum clothing with Insect Shield are definitely worth a look. They’re easier to maintain than a spray and possibly safer to wear. In Canada they’re a bit harder to get but still fairly easy to order from the US.For warm trips where you need a very good wicking layer and bug protection on top of that, the Haeleum shirts would be perfect.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Haeleum Rad Shirt for free from Haeleum as coordinated by Deep Creek PR, an Outdoor Industry Public Relations Company, in consideration for review publication.In other words, I get gear from companies to test and review so I can beat the crap out of them and recommend the good ones to you guys. Every piece of gear can work well in certain situations and I work hard to find those and let you know.