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on December 19, 2012
We recently went on safari at two game reserves outside of Kenya, Africa. Insects LOVE me :-( and was really worried about being exposed to any number of insect-spread issues.

This repellent from 3M was amazing. Apply a small amount on exposed areas and trust me that nothing will land on you....no insect will come close! Do yourself a favor and get the bottle with the applicator sponge built into it for easy application and no messy hands.
15 helpful votes
16 helpful votes
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on October 1, 2011
This lotion works well and goes a long way, but it can be a bit heavy and greasy. That's what makes the sponge applicator good. You don't have to use your hands. The down side is it takes a couple minutes to apply the lotion. It's not fast like a deet spray. But most sprays stink, and this is mild in the odor department. And it repels well - we were in India for 2 weeks, and I never got a bug bite while I used this lotion.
20 helpful votes
21 helpful votes
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on August 14, 2013
For a two-week trip around Costa Rica this August, I thoroughly researched the best insect repellents, especially as I am highly allergic to mosquitoes (I get massive welts that itch--and are often hot to the touch--for days). I also worried about the no-seeums and sand flies. We planned to trek through multiple rainforests and spend some time in the hot, humid Caribbean, so I wanted to be well covered! Originally, I thought I needed a 100% DEET product, but after much research, I learned that it was not necessary to have such a high concentration (which could also cause adverse reactions). I decided to go for products in the 30-40% DEET range, and ended up buying three different ones: the Repel Sportsmen MAX pump spray, the Repel wipes, and the Ultrathon cream.

I am writing this review to say that ALL of them worked well, BUT I HATED using Ultrathon. Like some reviews said, it is very sticky (does not absorb into skin). Therefore, everything sticks TO you! Dirt, sand, bugs...you name it. AND once stuck, it is almost impossible to get things like sand and dirt off without a heavy-duty scrubbing (brushing only smears everything). When you are already in a hot, humid climate, bug repellent makes you feel dirty as it is; Ultrathon, however, made me feel the ickiest. The Repel pump spray and wipes never had the sticky problem, worked very well, and did not smell offensive (except a little when you first apply them--outdoors, of course). Therefore, I'd recommend them instead.

I'd actually recommend getting BOTH Repel products. The wipes are good for carrying in a pocket and using quickly. They are especially good for small areas like your neck. I also tucked them in the bottom of my hiking pants (which cinched) to ward off sand flies while looking at turtles nesting on the beach at midnight. I even used them to wipe down for a little extra protection when in some of the more "rustic" accommodations at night. The Sportsmen MAX spray, however, was good for a more hands-free application (with Ultrathon and the Repel wipes, you have to wash your hands THOROUGHLY for several minutes after using them--especially with Ultrathon). The Repel spray was also good to spray on clothes (for things I either hadn't pre-treated with the Sawyer permethrin spray or things that were water-proof so that the permethrin wouldn't sink in). I think it was also easier to cover larger areas of skin.

I hardly got any bites at all, even when walking through swarms of mosquitoes! Most of the ones I got were indoors in bathrooms (when I wasn't wearing anything). I only got, maybe, 3 or 4 outdoors (two of them on my butt through untreated hiking pants--that's when I started spraying a little Repel on my clothes, too!).
56 helpful votes
57 helpful votes
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on July 29, 2013
Though the pair of these I ordered from Amazon never arrived (I provided a physical address for the expedited shipping I requested that does not accept USPS mail, but Amazon's "FedEx 'Smart Ship'" attempted delivery via USPS), I ran out and bought a couple of these at a local retailer.

Family members who used this 30% DEET stuff, repeatedly, enjoyed few mosquito bites while others were literally besieged, while on vacation in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The "hands-free" sponge applicator is convenient. The smell's not that noticeable. The lotion is a little greasy, though not bad.

Interestingly, we enjoyed similar success with a 5% DEET "stick" we purchased, locally, in Croatia, as well. I therefore can't offer significant comparison with other comparable products.

4 stars instead of 5, because we did not escape bite-free.
1 helpful vote
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on January 25, 2015
Best long-lasting repellant ever! I get eaten alive by mosquitoes everywhere I go, even if there's just one mosquito in the entire area. This creamy, thick repellant is a little hard to spread but that's because it works to protect your skin all day long. I didn't need to reapply even when sweating. It will stick to leather products like a purse or seats, but it can be wiped off without damaging it. I can't complain because this stuff really works and it doesn't smell bad like most deet products. I also bought the product without the foam applicator to apply by hand much quicker.
1 helpful vote
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Works well in all but the most mosquito-filled situations. I haven't tested the claimed 12 hour effective period, but it does last for four or five hours for sure. Easy to apply and not too much odor.
1 helpful vote
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on August 21, 2010
Tried a natural repellent, didn't work. Didn't want to use 100% deet, so the 33% deet offering 12hr protection seemed to be a less toxic alternative. Applied sparingly, Ultrathon worked very well. Reapplied after swimming. The sponge top did not really work that well. Next time I will buy the bottle of lotion instead.
17 helpful votes
18 helpful votes
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on August 21, 2013
I agree with some of the other reviewers; the applicator sponge is totally useless. The repellent squeezes through a hole in the center of the sponge applicator but the sponge itself is pretty hard and non-absorbent; the sponge just streaks the repellent on your skin. We ended up just applying the Ultrathon directly to our palms and them rubbing it in with our hands. Since we would apply it before leaving our hotel room, it was just as easy to use our hands and then wash them after applying the lotion.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on March 13, 2013
I bought this as recommended by my travel doctor. It's a little pricey, but a little bottle goes a long way. I took three bottles for a week in the Amazon, but really only used one. I wore pants and longsleeves for protection and put this repellent on my arms, neck, and shoulders. One village we went in was swarming with mosquitos and this did great. After an entire week I only had a couple of bites and they were around my ankles (where I didn't put any of this on). Great stuff, I will definitely use it again.
11 helpful votes
12 helpful votes
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on May 27, 2016
used this when I was in Ecuador last year and it worked great. normally I get eaten alive by bugs but even in the Amazon rain forest i dint get bitten once. Gave it to my husband as well it it worked for him too.
1 helpful vote
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