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Reviews > Health & Safety > Insect Repellents > ParaKito Sport Band and Rollon > Test Report by Alyssa Kimber

Para'Kito Mosquito Repellent
Sport Band and Roll-on Gel

Test Series by Alyssa Kimber

Tester Information
Name: Alyssa Kimber
Age: 25
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 10" (1.8 Meters)
Weight: 130 Pounds (59 Kilograms)
Email address: alyssakimber at hotmail dot com
City, Province, Country: Fernie, British Columbia, Canada

Backpacking Background: I started backpacking last year after moving from the prairies to the Kootenay region of British Columbia. I’m relatively new to backpacking but I have significant outdoors experience having enjoyed camping and day hiking for many years. My trip length is generally one to three nights and ranges from prairie hikes to mountainous terrain. I am a 3-season hiker at present but I plan on extending my trips into the winter season as I pick up more gear. My pack weight varies depending on the trip, but I tend to sacrifice weight savings for comfort.

Initial Report

June 23, 2018

Product Information & Specifications
Manufacturer: Para'Kito USA Corporation
Year of manufacture: 2018
Manufacturer web site: https://www.parakito.com/

Manufacturer's listed measurements - Sport Band:
    Weight, strap: 0.3 oz (10 g)
    Weight, pellet: 0.04 oz (1 g)
    Length: 12 in (305 mm)
    Circumference, min: 6 2/3 in (170 mm)
    Circumference, max: 10 5/8 in (270 mm)
    Thickness: 1/17 in (1.5 mm)
    Width: 1 3/8 in (35 mm)
    Available Colours: Fuchsia, Blue, Orange, Black
Actual Measurements - Sport Band:
    Weight, strap: 0.3 oz (9 g)
    Weight, pellet: 0.1 oz (3 g)
    Length: 12 3/8 in (314 mm)
    Circumference, min: 7 in (178 mm)
    Circumference, max: 11 in (279 mm)
    Thickness: 1/17 in (1.5 mm)
    Width: 1 3/4 in (45 mm)
    Tested Colour: Black
MSRP from web site, strap: $19.98 USD
MSRP from web site, 2 pellet refills: $13.00 USD
Expiry: 01/2020

Manufacturer's listed measurements - Roll-on Gel:
    Weight: 0.67 fl. oz (20 mL)
    Length: 4.5 in (115 mm)
Actual Measurements - Roll-on Gel:
    Weight: 1.9 oz (54 g) (including gel and applicator)
    Length: 4.5 in (115 mm)
    Width: 1 in (25 mm)
MSRP from web site: $19.50 USD
Expiry: 12/2019

The Para'Kito products arrived in good condition and as advertised. The package included the sport band, roll-on gel, two refill pellets for the sport band, and an educational sheet (see photos below of products). The educational sheet describes Para'Kito as a mosquito repellent line that specializes in using natural-based active ingredients. The pellets operate by releasing a blend of essential oils that interfere with mosquitoes' sense of smell, thereby reducing their capacity to identify their prey. The gel works as both a barrier and a mask as it forms a physical barrier between skin and mosquito. The natural oils' active ingredients are released into the air which also helps to mask the scent of breath and body. The Roll-on Gel is specifically marketed for mosquito-infested areas. Both products are described as "Minimum Risk Pesticides" that qualify for exemption from regulation under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

Products Boxed    Products

Sport Band

The Sport Band is black Lycra with silver reflective accents. It contains a mesh pocket designed to hold a mosquito repellent pellet. On the back side of the strap is a small slot for a medical ID tag (included). The strap is designed for use on the wrist, ankle, or other secure object located near you. The box notes the Sport Band is also waterproof. The Sport Band included two pellets in the box and two refills were included in the shipment. The box lists the pellet ingredients which include:
  • Citronella Oil (34%)
  • Rosemary Oil (22%)
  • Geranium Oil (21%)
  • Mint Oil (10%)
  • Clove Oil (2.5%)
  • Peppermint Oil (1.5%)
  • Cinnamon Oil (1.0%)
  • Vanillin (8%)
The oils are listed as active ingredients and the vanillin is listed as an inert ingredient.

Roll-on Gel

The Roll-on Gel is a rigid plastic cylinder shape, tan in colour, with a twist off cap. Under the cap is a silver roll-ball which administers the gel through a rolling action on the skin. The plastic cap has a red lanyard made of a stretchy material attached to it. The roll-on gel would not fit easily into one of my pant pockets but could fit in a purse, backpack pocket, or be attached to a hook or loop using the included lanyard. The box lists the gel ingredients which include:
  • Citronella Oil (2.475%)
  • Rosemary Oil (1.950%)
  • Geranium Oil (1.650%)
  • Mint Oil (1.080%)
  • Clove Oil (0.210%)
  • Peppermint Oil (0.135%)
  • Water, glycerin, glyceryl stearate, lecithin, sodium benzoate, gum tragacanth, guar gum, citric acid, sodium citrate (92.5%)
The oils are again listed as the active ingredients with the remaining ingredients being inert.

Reading the Instructions
The Sports Band directions for use include: inserting the pellet into the band, wearing the band on the wrist or ankle or keeping it near you, and replacing the pellet as needed or after 15 consecutive days. The band and pellets can be disposed of as ordinary waste without risk to the environment. The pellets should not be swallowed, licked, or ingested and should be kept out of reach of young children when not in use. Hands should be washed after handling. The band should not be worn in bed when loaded with pellets. A final "Caution" notes that the efficacy of the product can vary depending on many variables and the use of the product does not guarantee to prevent a mosquito bite from occurring. The Para'Kito website contains the same information as listed above and also states the efficacy of the refill pellet is not affected by placing it in water. The website also includes a video showing the band in use in different running scenarios.

The Roll-on Gel directions for use include: shake closed applicator before use, remove cap, then roll on neck, arms, legs or other exposed areas. Reapply after 5 hours or after swimming. Apply more frequently over larger skin areas depending on mosquito infestation levels. The box states the efficacy has been tested against Tiger mosquito up to 5 hours in laboratory. However, the efficacy of this and any mosquito protection product is impacted by many variables and therefore this mosquito product does not provide 100% protection from mosquito bites. It also states the gel has been dermatologically tested and is not irritating to skin.

The applicator should be stored closed and out of reach of children. The applicator should not be reused and should be discarded in trash as ordinary garbage. The gel should not be applied on or near eyes, mouth or on wounded or irritated skin areas. It is not recommended for children under 6 months and should not be applied to the hands of children. Prolonged and repeated use may cause allergic reactions in some individuals. The website notes the gel is not waterproof. The website also includes a video showing the gel being applied to the skin.

Trying It Out
I tried on the Sports Band on my wrist, ankle, and upper arm. It felt super light-weight and comfortable. The band had about 1 inch of extra circumference when placed on the upper arm (and I have pretty skinny arms) so it wouldn't fit many shapes and sizes of upper arms. However there was lots of circumference left for both the wrist and ankle. I like the smell of the pellet, it smells mostly like citronella with an almost sweet undertone.

I tried the Roll-on gel on my wrists. I like the smell of the gel better than the pellet - I pick up mostly a mint or peppermint odour. The gel rolled on comfortably and dried in a couple of minutes. After it dried, I couldn't tell it was on my skin except for the odour.

Initial Impressions
I'm super excited to try out both these products. I feel great knowing they contain only natural ingredients and they both smell pleasant. The Sports Band seems comfortable and durable and I was impressed that both the band and the pellet were waterproof. I like that the Roll-on Gel is small enough to easily carry around with me, especially while hiking (as opposed to a typical can of bug spray). I also like that the gel didn't leave a noticeable residue on my skin (as opposed to bug spray which often leaves my skin feeling sticky). I also really like that the sports band is reflective so I can use it while riding my bike or running at night and increase my visibility.

Summary
The Para'Kito mosquito products are made of natural ingredients with the active ingredients in both products being essential oils. The sport band and pellet works by masking the human scent making it difficult for mosquitos to find their prey. The Roll-on Gel not only masks scent but also provides a physical barrier between skin and mosquito. The Sport Band can be attached to a wrist, ankle, or a nearby object and is waterproof. The Roll-on Gel is applied directly to the skin and is meant for mosquito-infested areas. The gel is not waterproof. Both products smell good with the pellet having more of a citronella odour and the gel having more of a mint odour. Both products felt comfortable to use and wear. I'm really excited to test both of these products while hiking, biking, and running!

Pros
1. Natural ingredients
2. Sports band is light weight and gel is small and easy to store
3. Smell great

Cons
1. None yet

Long Term Report

October 8, 2018

Field Report Test Locations and Conditions

During the test period I have used the mosquito repellent products on two backpacking trips, one overnight car camping trip, two day hikes, as well as during various physical activities such as running, mountain biking, and road biking. All my activities were located in the East Kootenays, British Columbia or the Crowsnest Pass region of Alberta. My trips were in mountainous terrain with vegetation typical of subalpine forest and alpine conditions. Elevations ranged from 3300 ft (1000 m) to 8000 ft (2400 m).

Location of Trip #1: Heikos Trail near Fernie, British Columbia, Canada
Length of Trip: 2 days, 1 night
Distance: 21 km (13 miles)
Elevation Gain: 4000 ft (1200 m)
Weather: Cloudy, stormy
Pack Weight: 25 lbs (11 kg)
Precipitation: Mix of heavy and light rain, hail at times
Temperature: 2 to 20 C (36 to 68 F)

Location of Trip #2: Window Mountain Lake near Blairmore, Alberta
Length: Day trip
Distance: 7 km (4.5 miles)
Day Pack Weight: 5 lb (2.3 kg)
Weather: Partly Cloudy
Precipitation: None
Temperature: 28 C (82 F)

Location of Trip #3: Top of the World Provincial Park, British Columbia
Length: 2 days, 1 night
Distance: 28 km (17 miles)
Elevation Gain: 1300 m (4300 ft)
Pack Weight: 30 lbs (13 kg)
Day Pack Weight: 5 lb (2.3 kg)
Weather: Partly Cloudy
Precipitation: None
Temperature: 10 to 29 C (50 to 84 F)

Location of Trip #4: First Peak near Jaffray, British Columbia
Length: 1 day, 1 night
Distance: negligible - car camping
Weather: Partly Cloudy, thundershowers in evening
Precipitation: about 2 mm (0.1 in)
Temperature: 15 to 31 C (59 to 88 F)

Location of Trip #5: Spineback and Goldilocks Trail near Fernie, British Columbia
Length: day hike
Distance: 9.5 km (6 miles)
Elevation Gain: 750 m (2500 ft)
Day Pack Weight: 5 lb (2.3 kg)
Weather: Mostly sunny but smokey
Precipitation: None
Temperature: 20 C (68 F)

Testing also included several trail runs, mountain biking and road biking excursions.

Performance in the Field

I tried to alternate between using the sport band and the gel depending on what activity I was doing. I generally wore the sport band while running, mountain biking, and road biking (shorter, sweatier outings) and the gel while hiking (longer, more relaxed outings). I generally wore the band on my ankle as it seemed to fit better there. The strap is just wide enough for my bicep but I find it a little tight and uncomfortable on my upper arm. I find it too wide and uncomfortable for my wrist. The band sits comfortably on my ankle and I don't notice it there. The pellet that slides into the band has a pungent odour of citronella. I don't mind the smell but it easily transfers to any material around it. For example, I stored the sport band next to an arm band I use for running, and the running arm band still smells like citronella weeks after.

I found the sport band worked "ok". It was obvious that it provided some repellent qualities but it did not provide enough relief to use the band on its own in high mosquito infested areas. I specifically recall one mountain biking excursion where I took a break for a few minutes in the trees. I could not keep the mosquitoes off of me, despite wearing the sport band on my ankle. I took the time to notice I was being bitten mostly on the upper half of my body. It seemed possible the sport band just didn't have a far enough reach. I moved the sport band from my ankle to my bicep to see what would happen. I continued to get bitten on my upper half but it seemed to me it may have prevented a few mosquitoes from landing on me. In the end, it didn't provide enough relief to be worthy of using again in a highly infested area. I will note I was using a new pellet that day. I also tried out the band after the 15 day expiry period because the pellet still smelled very strong. However, it did seem like it had lost some of its effectiveness.

I liked the gel applicator and found the application an enjoyable experience compared to traditional mosquito sprays which always seem to get in my mouth and on my hands. The gel has a nice odour and rolls on easily and clear. It does not leave any residue after it dries. I usually apply the gel behind my ears, on my neck, my arms, wrists, and legs. I wouldn't apply it all over my skin - just one swipe in each area. I felt good applying it to my skin since it's made up of essential oils. My skin never had any kind of reaction to it. I reapplied based on smell; if I could no longer smell the gel on my wrists I would reapply it. This was generally every three to four hours.

I thought the gel worked reasonably well. It didn't keep every mosquito off of me but it provided enough relief that I will likely continue using this product in the future. If I was in high infestation areas I would apply the gel more often (every one to two hours) and in more places (maybe three swipes around my arm instead of one). However, I did notice on multiple occasions that the gel does not provide relief from other insects. I was constantly swiping at black flies, horse flies, and other flying insects that didn't seem affected by the gel at all. Even though the Para'Kito products are not advertised to repel anything except mosquitoes, it is a significant downside compared to traditional "bug sprays" that are marketed to keep all kinds of bugs away.

I found the roll-on applicator super convenient for backpacking. It's small enough that it can fit inside the pocket on my hip belt for easy access. It also came with a loop and carabiner that I would attach to one of the straps on my backpack if my hip belt pocket was full.

Summary

Pros
1. Made of essential oils (all-natural ingredients)
2. Gel smells nice, pellet smells "ok"
3. Gel works reasonably well, even in higher infestation areas
4. No residue left on skin
5. Roll-on applicator is convenient for backpacking

Cons
1. Does not repel all bugs, only mosquitoes
2. Sport band does not provide enough relief from mosquitoes
3. Odour from sport band pellet clings to nearby materials

Thank you Para'Kito and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product. This concludes my report of the test.



Read more reviews of ParaKito USA Corp. gear
Read more gear reviews by Alyssa Kimber

Reviews > Health & Safety > Insect Repellents > ParaKito Sport Band and Rollon > Test Report by Alyssa Kimber



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