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Reviews > Health & Safety > Insect Repellents > Adventure Medical Kit Natrapel Repellent > Test Report by Rebecca Stacy

Adventure Medical Kits

Natrapel 8 Hour Insect Repellent

Initial Report May 6, 2008

Long Term Report August 26 2008



Natrapel (41K)



Reviewer Information
Name: Becki Stacy
Age: 35
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 3" (1.6 m)
Weight: 150 lb (70 kg)
Email address: becki_s_19 at hotmail dot com
Location: Royal Oak, Michigan, USA


Background:
I got bitten by the backpacking bug in 1994 when I was a volunteer at the Grand Canyon. My first backpacking trip was the same week I arrived, with gear borrowed from trail crew supplies. My husband and I enjoy car camping and backpacking, mostly in Michigan. We've pared down our pack weight a bit, switching to a tarptent and smaller/lighter backpacks as part of our effort to re-work our gear list to cut weight without giving up the luxury items we enjoy (such as food that involves more than boiling water).


Basic Product Information

Product: Natrapel 8 Hour Insect Repellant 3.5 oz Spray Bottle
Manufacturer: Adventure Medical Kits
Manufacturer website: www.adventuremedicalkits.com
Year of Manufacture: 2008
MSRP: $5.99 US
Active Ingredient: Picaridin (20%)
Net contents (stated): 3.5 fl oz (104 ml)
Weight as measured: 4.8 oz (136 g), 4.75 oz (135 g) [2 bottles were given to test]
Bottle Size: 2.13"x1.13" (5.4x2.9 cm) oval by x6.25" (15.9 cm) tall

Natrapel is a non-DEET insect repellant that, according to the bottle, will repel mosquitoes, ticks and other insects. The website also claims that Natrapel will keep black flies away. The back of the bottle lists information regarding disposal of the bottle, that this product is flammable (I should not store it near heat, sparks, and open flame and I should not smoke when applying), instructions for first aid if I get it in my eyes or swallow some, and directions for applying the product. The inactive ingredients are not listed, and the bottle does not have an expiration date on it.

The directions say to re-apply every 8 hours, but to not exceed two applications a day. The instructions state that I should apply this sparingly around my ears, apply it to my face by spraying a small amount on my hands and using that to spread on my face, that I should avoid contact with lips, cuts, wounds, excessively sunburned skin, and that I should not use this on my clothing.

Initial Impressions


Since I am a mosquito magnet, I am always looking for a good insect repellant, especially if it does not contain DEET. The flattened oval shape of the bottle looks like it would easily fit inside several of the pockets on my backpack. When I first spray the Natrapel on my skin it has a smell similar to rubbing alcohol (which I think may be one of the inactive ingredients, since there is a very slight initial cooling when I apply the Natrapel), but after a few seconds I can only pick up a hint of scent. The scent is not strong enough for me to think of anything it smells like, though the smell that I can pick up is not unpleasant. The fluid is clear and not greasy, and after it dries my skin feels pretty much normal.

The spray pump works well in an upright position, but it is a little difficult for me to apply the repellant on my own legs while standing. I either have to sit or have my husband spray me down, which isn't much of a problem for me since I would prefer to use a pump spray than an aerosol propellant, for the overall health of the environment.

Aside from the potential medical issues regarding the use of products with DEET, another reason I started looking to switch away from it is because one time a bottle leaked on me and melted the soft plastic on a mini-magnetic chess/checkers set I had, and melted the plastic lining of my backpack's pocket. I applied a drop of Natrapel onto a spare piece of soft plastic I had lying around, and it had no apparent effect on it. I would not intentionally spray it on something and let it sit, but it is good to know that it won't immediately melt soft plastics if I accidentally spray something.

One thing I'm curious about is why I can't use this directly on my clothing (while a DEET based product that I have says it can be used on clothing), since in areas that are really mosquito-infested, the buggers can get me even through my shirt. The bottle does not state whether the reason for this is that it could potentially damage clothes, or if it is simply ineffective when sprayed on clothes. One thing I will be paying close attention to is if this works well enough to keep them away from me in general, or only from the areas I specifically apply the Natrapel to. I will also spray some on a couple of shirts that I use for gardening and yardwork since they are already past the point I would wear them for anything else, to check if it would damage the cloth if I inadvertently sprayed my clothes.

Although many bug repellants do not list the inactive ingredients, I personally like to know what is all in the products I use. If this product does have isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol as one of the ingredients (which I think it might, because of the initial scent when I spray it on), this is information I should probably have on hand if someone I know gets the Natrapel in their eyes or swallows some, since the alcohol is poisonous in its own right. There is a phone number on the bottle that is listed to call for disposal instructions, if there is still some Natrapel left in the bottle when I want to get rid of it. When I called the number it did have an option for me to press a number for "all other emergencies" (the previous "emergency" had to deal with ordering emergencies), though that actually directed me to Tender Corporation's (the parent company of Adventure Medical Kits) security office, and not poison-related emergencies like I had thought, since it was after business hours.

Overall, I am hopeful that this product will work well to repel mosquitoes and other bugs, as it already has several aspects I find encouraging.

Likes:
Hardly any scent
Not oily


Dislikes:
Lack of emergency hotline for full information on product should the need arise.


This concludes my Initial Report.


Long Term Report

I have used the Natrapel on an overnight backpacking trip and a day hike at Pinckney Recreational Area in Michigan (about 7 miles/11.3 km each day), day hiking on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (I carried it on a 4-night Rim-to-Rim hike, but did not encounter any mosquitoes), and numerous times in my backyard.

The mosquito densities I have encountered would be considered light to moderate, although if I am untreated I will attract mosquitoes even in places where I didn't see any before I got bit. I have not been to any areas with black flies, and the areas I have visited I have not encountered ticks before, so I can not report on the effectiveness against those.

In all the cases I applied the Natrapel, I did not get bit. It works very well for me (about as well as deep-woods strength DEET), and appears to be effective on me for about the 8 hours as stated by the manufacturer. For this type of product, Natrapel has a relatively good feeling on my skin. The best thing besides the effectiveness of this product is the fact that there is little smell once I apply it, and when I can smell it after application it is not an unpleasant smell. My husband loves the fact that I no longer reek of DEET when we are hiking together. The shape of the bottle is nice, and is easy for me to stuff in various pockets of my backpack. I have not seen any melting or marking of items I am wearing that accidentally get the overspray when I am applying it.

The only problem I have had with the Natrapel is that I can't spray it with the bottle upside-down, although this is a problem with any pump-to-spray bottle. I don't mind the pump-to-spray bottle, since overall it is more environmentally-friendly than cans that use propellants. If I'm by myself I'll usually just spray a good amount on my hand and rub my legs with it.


Likes:
Works well for me!
Hardly any scent
Not oily
Uses a pump-to-spray system (better for the environment)
Does not melt plastics

Dislikes:
Lack of emergency hotline for full information on product should the need arise.

This concludes my Long Term report. I would like to thank Adventure Medical Kits and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the Natrapel 8 Hour Insect Repellent.

Read more reviews of Adventure Medical Kits gear
Read more gear reviews by Rebecca Stacy

Reviews > Health & Safety > Insect Repellents > Adventure Medical Kit Natrapel Repellent > Test Report by Rebecca Stacy



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