Bug repellant clothing designed for outdoor adventures isn’t anything new. In fact, at this point – it’s rather commonplace. Usually found in plaid or khaki patterns and colors, these clothes feature fabric that has been impregnated with chemicals designed to last a certain amount of washes and keep bugs like mosquitos, gnats, and chiggers away. Another general benefit of this type of apparel is that it’s usually fancy enough to be worn in the office – if you happen to be an office worker or executive type – and will garner nothing but applause on casual Friday. However, if you’re someone who spends time working out in the field, or even bushwacking – these clothes aren’t for you.
To summarize: Yes, they will keep insects from biting you. Yes, most have built-in SPF protection as an added benefit. Yes, some of them are made from ripstop. Yes, you will look damn good wearing it.
But no, these clothes won’t take a beating. In fact, some – not all – of that stuff is so soft and thin it probably won’t make it past the season.
Duluth Trading Company wants to change that. For the tail end of this spring – as we make a mad dash for summer – they are releasing their “No Fly Zone” collection of clothing for men and women. Just like the stuff that’s already on the market, these items will protect you from pesky bugs while giving you a layer of protection from the sun. What sets the “No Fly Zone” collection apart from what we’re used to seeing in this type of clothing is that it’s rugged too. Additionally, Duluth is putting their money where their mouth is and claiming that you’ll get up to 70 washes from each garment.
Here are some highlights from the collections:
Men’s DuluthFlex No Fly Zone Convertible Pants ($89.50)
Constructed from a 3.4 oz nylon/spandex blend, the No Fly Zone Convertible Pants feature a button waist with flexible sides for comfort on the move – as well as a gusseted crotch to aid in flexibility in the weird and wild outdoors. They feature seven pockets, UPF 30 protection, and a completely odorless barrier to protect you from anything that flies and bites.
Women’s No Fly Zone Insect Repellent Funnel Neck Hoodie ($59.50)
Fashionable hoodies – which often feature a fluff neck, shaped fit, and appealing colors – are all the rage right now, so why not extend their wear into the outdoors? The No Fly Zone Insect Repellent Funnel Neck Hoodie is the smart choice for life in the outdoors during the summer as it not only gives you a hood for protection, but the funnel neck and elongated bottom both synch down to keep the creepy crawlies from creepily crawling inside. Available in colors like Icicle Blue, Meadow Mist, and Pebble Gray, you’ll easily be able to blend your lifestyles.
No Fly Zone Insect Repellent Crew Socks ($26.00)
The flying vampire bugs always go for the ankles when you’re out on your deck or dock at night, and ticks – being the ground crawling succubi that they are – come up over your shoes to make their way into your nether regions. So what better product than a pair of socks designed to shut all of that down?
Made from a Marino Wool, Nylon, and Spandex Blend, these crew socks are comfortable, moisture wicking, and feature a reinforced toe-box and heel so you can make it up to 70 washes without worry. Note: These socks are being marketed for men, but will probably fit most women fairly well too.
I’m not a huge fan of repellant-impregnated clothes because they tend to look like you’re heading out to the golf course, or into the bank to get a mortgage on your house. They do look great when you’re out on the beach, or sipping Bellini’s on the deck of a big boat, but I prefer a different look when I’m scrambling up rock scree, or wiping bug guts off my hand while out fishing for brookies. Of all the factors they considered, Duluth didn’t aim to tone down the bright colors and the over-abundance of khaki. But, they did address durability and flexibility, and for that I’m grateful. On top of that, those socks are a game changer for sure.
With 17 products in total, Duluth has also include hats, shirts, and standard pants as well. Be sure to check out Duluth Trading Company’s No Fly Zone collections before you head out to woods, river, or next Sunday brunch with your grandparents.