Now may seem like an odd time for a gear review review on a bug repellent as I just finished up a trail run in 6 inches of snow and subzero windchill, but really now is a great time to be thinking about your Spring adventures. Look at it this way, you likely just received some gift cards or had to take back the pink bunny suit so you’ve got a little expendable income right now. Think forward a few months to when you’re turkey hunting, camping, or doing a little Spring fishing and how awful the mosquitoes will be. At that point it will be too late and you’ll have to just grin and bear it. Take advantage of some great technology and make your upcoming outdoors activities just a little more enjoyable. Thermacell has been expanding their lineup of mosquito repellers continuously since hitting the market several years ago. One of their most recent offerings is the MR450 which I had the pleasure of testing out this past summer.
Before I jump into the details on the MR450 I want to explain a personal experience I had with Thermacell that absolutely sold me on their products. A handful of years ago I got the opportunity to go turkey hunting in the Thumb of Michigan with “Uncle Mike”. He had been pretty successful over the years so I jumped at the chance. We were of course hunting in the Spring and it just so happened that a portion of the property was swampland. We parked the truck and the second I stepped out I was no longer on top of the food chain. He had a pop up blind a 1/2 mile or so away that we needed to get to which, under normal circumstances would be a cake walk. Not on that day. It was absolutely one of the most miserable outdoor experiences I ever had. The mosquitoes just swarmed relentlessly. If they were just a little bit bigger they would have carried me away. Not much bothers me, especially when hunting, but this was bad. No way I was going to make it in that blind. You might as well have marked me on clearance at the meat market the way those bloodsuckers were attacking me. Uncle Mike pulled out his Thermacell and fired it up. I had only heard of Thermacell up to that point so this was going to be my first real experience with them. I didn’t have a lot of faith that it could ward off this barrage. Within minutes, there wasn’t a mosquito to be found in that popup blind. Had I not seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t believe it. I was in awe. We finished the hunt in comfort. The walk back to the truck was another story but while in the blind, with the Thermacell, the area was void of mosquitoes. Since that time, I have been in love with their products.
Now that you know how well Thermacell performs at keeping mosquitoes at bay I will tell you some of the specifics of the MR450.
Since most of us are pretty rough on our equipment, even when we try not to, the MR450 comes with rubber armor in key locations to help protect from unexpected drops. After carrying mine around in my pack and from one hunting adventure to another I’ve not had any issues with damage occuring to the MR450.
The MR450 is lightweight and the rubber armor also acts as a sure gripping surface in less than ideal conditions. The fairly small size makes transporting it a non issue.
Operating a Thermacell is a breeze. You slip in the mosquito repellent mat under the grill, screw in the butane cartridge, flip the switch to the on position, and hit the start button a time or two. Within 30 seconds you’ll be mosquito free.
One nice thing that Thermacell did add based on customer feedback is the blue Zone Indicator LED. What this feature does is let you know that the unit is indeed on and working. It requires a CR2032 battery but does give you a piece of mind that you did turn it on properly. Please note that a battery is not required for the MR450 to operate and repel mosquitoes. The battery only runs the blue Zone Indicator light to notify you its working.
According to Thermacell, the MR450 covers a 15’x15′ area in ideal conditions. Unfortunately I did not have any good analytical way to confirm or disprove this claim. However, based on my observations I have no reason not to believe it.
Each mosquito mat is rated to last 4 hours and a single butane cartridge is estimated to last 12 hours. I’m yet to use an entire butane cartridge during an outing and generally no more than two or three mats. While I do carry extras, the need to carry a ton is not there.
The MR450 is easy to use and effective at keeping mosquitoes off of you. That is exactly what it claims to do. If you’ve got some Spring and Summer activities planned, or even like to hang out on the front porch then you should definitely take a look at a Thermacell.
Disclaimer: I received this unit at no cost in exchange for a fair and honest review. To the best of my abilities I have delivered this. I get no additional money if you chose to purchase any Thermacell product. The example I used for this post is true and truly amazed me.