Benjamin Orkin, Northern Canoe Gear Reviews

Putting the Bug Shirt to use in ideal insect habitat.

By Benjamin Orkin

The Original Bug Shirt: Elite Edition Review

($76, bugshirt.com)

If there is one item not to forget on a Northern canoeing trip, it’s your bug shirt. The Original Bug Shirt Elite Edition, designed in Canada with feedback from a wide variety of users, offers much needed protection from mosquitos, black flies, deer flies and any other bothersome insects that might be encountered. Unlike other bug shirts, the Original Bug Shirt is constructed primarily from cotton with mesh panels only under the arms and at the face. Such construction offers enhanced durability, while the cotton provides sun protection and the breathable mesh help keep you cool on those hot, windless days when the bugs seem to be most relentless. The face mesh incorporates two zippers so it’s possible to open just a tiny portion to eat, look through binoculars, or drink without letting all the bugs in. The hood has an adjusting cord to help manage the fit and the sleeves and waste have elastic cords in them to seal out the bugs. If in doubt, be sure to size up as the alternative is to have flesh exposed as you move around.

Lesson learned the hard way: Fire likes to sear and burn mesh panels so be careful while cooking or leaning over your campfire.

Field Tested: Canoe Gear for the North   Xtratuf Legacy 15 in. Boot