The best mosquito repellent device for camping is made by Thermacell. In fact, they’re the only brand we would recommend.
There are sprays and lotions by Sawyer, and Citronella torches by TIKI, but they either use harmful chemicals, make you smell really bad or feel sticky, or just don’t cut it when it comes to repelling mosquitos.
Thermacell products create a large zone around you. The zone is created by a synethic copy of the natural repellent found in chrysanthemum flowers called allethrin.
Nothing comes close to the effectiveness of allethrin in repelling mosquitos.
Most Thermacell products create a 225 sq. ft. zone around you. That’s large enough to protect a decent sized camp spot, allowing you to move around, cook and relax in a mosquito free bubble.
What’s more…Thermacell devices are budget friendly along with their replacement refills and repellents.
In a hurry? Here’s our top 3 picks for best mosquito repellent device for camping.
How do Thermacell mosquito repellent devices work?
Best mosquito repellent device for camping
A budget-friendly, convenient mosquito repellent device
The Thermacell MR BPR 2.0 was the winner of the 2017 Digital Trends Outdoor Awards for most innovative gear.
While it functions in the same way as most other Thermacell mosquito repellents, it allows for you to use standard camping gas canisters as opposed to Thermacells own gas refills.
This is great for backpackers as it is one less thing to have to worry about carrying with you. But it’s also convenient for any style of camping you do.
Instead of having to think ahead and ensure you have plenty of the Thermacell refills with you, you know you can nip to any camping store and pick up a camping canister if you run out.
One 4oz gas cannister can power the device for up to 90 hours.
The MR-BPR is heat-activated (using the camping fuel) and scent-free. It uses odorless repellent mats to repel mosquitos. The mats visibly turn from blue to white when they need replacing.
Each MR-BPR comes supplied with 4 repellent mats, but no camping fuel. Each mat provides roughly 4 hours of relief, but can be purchased cheaply on Amazon (linked at the end of this article).
Perfect 2-in-2 mosquito repellent device and lantern
The Thermacell Scout mosquito repellent lantern is perfect if you’re looking for a 2-in-1 solution.
The lantern aspect of the Thermacell Scout uses 4 AA batteries to operate, while the mosquito repellent aspect uses Thermacells butane refills.
The neat thing about the Scout Lantern is that you can use one or the other of the two functionalities. You can simply use it as a mosquito repellent if you don’t want the light on or the batteries run out, or you can use it solely as a lantern if you don’t need to repel mosquitos.
The lantern provides 220 lumens and has four intensity settings – low, medium, high and SOS strobe. The light that is gives off can be soft and subtle if you want to relax or bright and powerful if you need to see clearly.
Using fully charged batteries the lantern can last up to 40 hours.
The Scout comes supplied with 3 repellent mats and 1 fuel cartridge which provides roughly 12 hours of protection. Each mat provides 4 hours of mosquito protection, and 1 fuel cartridge provides enough power for 12 hours.
You can buy both replacement mats and cartridges cheaply on Amazon, links to the specific ones you need are at the end of the article.
Other neat features include a built-in hanging hook for easy hanging, a durable rubber and ABS construction to protect against water and impacts, silent in operation and no open flames.
A battery-powered, long-lasting mosquito repellent device
The Radius 2.0 works differently to the other Thermacells on this list.
Unlike the others, the refills used for the Radius are the repellent and not the fuel. And instead of fuel canisters it runs off a USB rechargeable battery.
The refills can be purchased in 12-hour and 40-hour capacity. The 40-hour refill is much more convenient if you are camping for a week or so, or go camping often.
The rechargeable battery lasts 6.5+ hours on a full charge, can be fully recharged in 5 hours and can be operated while charging.
There is also a battery life indicator on the body of the device, so you know when you need to find access to a charger.
The Radius 2.0 is TSA-approved for air travel, can be locked while travelling so it doesn’t accidentally start, has an optional shut off timer or can operate continuously.
Suitable for use with Thermacell Backpacker.
Contains: 12 repellent mats (48 hours worth of protection).
Suitable for use with Thermacell Scout Lantern.
Contains: 3 Repellent Mats, 1 Fuel Cartridge (12 hours worth of protection).
Suitable for use with Thermacell Zone Radius.
Contains: 1 repellent refill (40 hours worth of protection).
Suitable for use with the Thermacell Backpacker.
Provides up to 90 hours of power.