Does the Bug-Repellent Hunting Clothing Actually Work?

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I firmly believe spring turkey season is the most wonderful time of the year. (Sorry, Christmas! Move over.) Not only do I love the chance to get back in the woods after the long hiatus following deer season, but the spring woods are extra special. It’s utterly fulfilling to watch the world wake up from its long winter nap, busting out in almost neon shades of green. And I haven’t even started on what I love about chasing turkeys.

However, the big challenge with spring, especially in the south, is that just as the trees and shrubs and grass are coming to life, so are the freakin’ bugs. Sure warmer temps are nice, but the rising mercury also means you have to contend with mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, and biting flies if you even step a toe outside.

They all suck (quite literally). I loathe them. Biting bugs can turn an otherwise fine hunt into sheer torture at just about the same time the turkeys are flying down off the roost.

Because I love turkey hunting but hate the buzzing, creepy-crawling, blood-sucking pests that accompany it, I was ready to do backflips of happiness when I learned about Forloh’s Insect Shield line, especially since the company is offering it in women’s sizes right out of the gate.

Female turkey hunter wearing Forloh Insect Shield pants and shirt setting up decoys
Me in my Forloh Insect Shield ‘fit setting up decoys. (Photo/Alice Jones Webb)

I got my hands on a pair of the Forloh Insect Shield Lightweight Pants and Hooded Long Sleeve Shirt and headed into the turkey woods to see if the duo could really ward off the swarms of ticks, mosquitoes, and chiggers I typically have to fight my way through in eastern North Carolina during April and May. Here’s my honest review of what has become some of my favorite insect-repellent hunting gear.

Quick Overview

Specs (Shirt)

  • Sizes: S to 3XL
  • Colors: White, Deep Cover Camo, and Exposed Camo

Specs (Pants)

  • Sizes: 28 to 44
  • Lengths: Regular and tall
  • Colors: Forloh Green, Gray, Exposed Camo, and Deep Cover Camo

Forloh Insect Shield SolAir Lightweight Pants on white background

Pros

  • Effective at keeping away mosquitos, ticks, and other flying insects
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Lightweight yet durable
  • Packed with high-tech performance features including cooling technology, scent control, and UV protection
  • American-made

Cons

  • Not a fan of the bright white hood lining

Testing Results and Analysis

Fit and Comfort

The fit of both pieces was nearly flawless. I am 5-foot-4 and weigh just over 130 pounds after a beefy breakfast. I ordered a size 4 in the women’s pants and a medium in the hoodie (both in Deep Cover).

The pants are made with articulated knees, a gusseted crotch, and a soft, stretchy polyester/Spandex fabric that really enhances mobility. Crouching and crawling were no problem. The material is so lightweight and comfortable it almost feels like you’re moving through the woods in silk pajamas, which felt luxurious although slightly unsettling. I’ve never ventured out hunting in my jammies.

Female hunter wearing Forloh Insect Shield Pants
The Insect Shield pants were very comfortable for the duration of my hunt. (Photo/Alice Jones Webb)

My main complaint is that the underside of the hood on the long-sleeve shirt is a shiny white material. While it is basically invisible when the hood is up, it sticks out like a sore thumb when it’s down.

If I’m being super picky, I kind of wish the hoodie had a built-in face mask and maybe a quarter-zip feature. And the pants pockets could definitely be deeper (I need more room for snacks). However, none of these are deal-breakers; they’re just things I’d add if a genie popped out of my box call to grant me three wishes.

Durability

I was skeptical about how the PJ-esque pants would stand up to river-bottom green briers. Despite the somewhat flimsy first impression they made, the pants proved surprisingly durable. I blazed through several pre-dawn brush patches and the fabric never so much as pulled.

I got nipped by a few thorns, but the pants made it through the ordeal completely unscathed. After my initial hunt, I opted to wear them as a mid-layer under some tougher pants to help prevent scratches and excessive blood loss. My calves and thighs were much happier.

Insect-Repellent Effectiveness

Forloh’s Insect Shield insect-repellant apparel is permethrin-treated clothing that claims to safely and effectively deter a host of pesky insects, including mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers, and midges (no-see-ums). The repellency is EPA-registered to last for up to 70 trips through the washing machine, which is much longer than the expected lifetime of other similar garments out there.

After hours spent sitting in soggy mosquito and tick-infested woods, I can confidently say this technology works like magic. I survived the first week of the season without a single chigger or tick bite.

While some mosquitoes seemed interested in me as a menu item, only one was brave enough to land on the sleeve of the Forloh shirt. I’m happy to report that that particular insect rethought his food choices and buzzed off to find another meal without taking a bite.

I never thought I would make it out of a North Carolina turkey hunt without at least a dozen bug bites, but here I am.

Temperature Regulation

Both pieces are made with Forloh’s flagship hyper-wicking, brrr Pro technology, which incorporates cooling minerals into the fibers to reduce skin temperature by 3 to 4 degrees during outdoor activity. The technology makes the fabric feel cool to the touch, which would be a welcome feature for later season hunts where afternoon temps sometimes climb well into the 80s.

The cooling tech may have been overkill for NC’s foggy mid-April mornings. I had to add some layers to keep from shivering through those early morning minutes before the sun hit the tops of the trees. However, both garments functioned well as base layers, and I can see how stripping down to that baselayer would be refreshing on a hot, active hunt.

Close-up of the tag of Forloh Insect Shield Solair Pants
The cooling technology of these Forloh pants would be great for warmer weather hunts. (Photo/Alice Jones Webb)

Plus, Forloh’s brrr Pro also expands the fabric’s wicking properties by more than 300%. That means it dries fast and keeps you from feeling super sweaty.

UV Protection and Scent Control

The company also added SolAir UV protection to both the pants and the shirt. It gives them a 50+ UPF rating, offering almost armor-like sun protection. It’s obvious these are hot-weather garments, and I can’t wait to see how they work surf-fishing North Carolina’s Outer Banks this summer.

The pants and shirt also feature antimicrobial and scent control systems. Polygiene StayFresh inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria, while Odor Crunch uses natural silica particles to capture the odors that cling to fabric fibers. The result is less human stinkiness. Your hunting buddies will thank you, but these features also mean your human funk will be less detectable to game animals and their keen senses of smell.

Bonus: Because of the built-in odor protection, there’s really no need to toss it in the laundry after every single use. Unless it ends up bloody or muddy, you can get at least a couple of average hunts out of it before running it through a wash cycle.

American-Made

One of the coolest things about the Forloh brand is its uncompromising dedication to offering fully American-made products. Every single step of the manufacturing and design processes—from engineering and technology components to sourcing raw goods and fabric creation to cutting, sewing, printing, and distribution—happens within the United States. That’s something few other brands can claim.

Verdict

Forloh’s Insect Shield line offers a rock-solid insect barrier that even North Carolina’s ravenous swarms of mosquitoes and ticks didn’t dare attempt to penetrate. The brand also goes above and beyond by somehow squeezing in even more features like sun protection, cooling technology, and odor control. The result is some seriously versatile insect-repellent gear capable of earning its keep in the turkey woods and beyond.

I wore both the pants and hoodie through pre-season scouting and the first week of the North Carolina turkey season. While I didn’t tag a gobbler during the early season, it had nothing to do with Forloh and everything to do with the stubbornness of Edgecombe County turkeys (and probably some overzealous calling on my part).

Cooling technology, odor control, and bug deterrents mean these will definitely be back out for the early archery deer season.

Why Trust Us

For more than 125 years, Field & Stream has been providing readers with honest and authentic coverage of outdoor gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outdoors, and that passion comes through in our product reviews. You can count on F&S to keep you up to date on the best new gear. And when we write about a product—whether it’s a bass lure or a backpack—we cover the good and the bad, so you know exactly what to expect before you decide to make a purchase.



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