The best bug repellents, according to Amazon reviews

Hilary Giorgi, CNN Underscored
Updated Wed July 24, 2019

Don't you hate it when you're outside, enjoying a nice barbecue or tackling a tough hike, and suddenly you hear that faint buzz? Then, you feel that sudden prick. Before you know it, you're swatting and slapping away at a pest that's already long gone.

We never want you to go through that again. So, we scrolled through Amazon's nearly endless pages of bug sprays and repellents and found some of the top picks based on very enthusiastic reviews.

Users by the thousands have flocked to these product pages to leave high ratings and rave reviews about the products we chose. And if a few thousand people give an enthusiastic thumbs up, that should give you comfort knowing you're buying a decent product that will allow you to spend less time swatting and more time enjoying yourself.

1. Clothing Repellent by Sawyer ($29.99; amazon.com): Whether roaming through the jungle or clearing a thicket, reviewers of this clothing repellent couldn't stop singing its praises. All you do is spray it on your clothes — or chairs/outdoor furniture — and be amazed at how bugs from ticks to mosquitoes stay away. It's billed as odorless and harmless to clothes.

2. Repel 100 ($7.47; amazon.com): With Repel you get 10 hours of protection with a spray formulated for the most severe insect conditions. Because it's heavily concentrated DEET, it shouldn't be used directly on skin or on plastic, but the compound is extremely effective against mosquitoes and other insects. The reviewers were quick to praise the product, but also cautioned to not misuse!

3. Natrapel Repellent ($6.49, amazon.com): If you're looking for a DEET alternative that actually works, Natrapel is your answer. This 12-hour repellent has hundreds of 5-star reviews, so it seems people love it. Some reviewers think the spray is made with wizardry, but in actuality it's just a CDC-recommended solution of 20% picaridin, which is made to protect against ticks, mosquitoes and other blood-suckers.

4. Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard ($10.99; amazon.com): This is more than just bug repellent. This lotion is moisturizing, has an SPF of 30 and also effectively wards off bugs of all types. One reviewer bought it for a trip to Thailand and another picked it up to keep the mosquitoes away from a 6-year-old daughter. Both gave this lotion a 5-star rating and raved about the three-products-in-one benefits.

5. Bug Soother Spray ($17.94; amazon.com): If gnats are your problem, this natural bug spray has a lot of fans, with hundreds of reviewers saying it's the best natural product on the market for repelling those annoying pests. The spray is also useful against no-see-ums and mosquitoes. Plus, it's made with essential oils and is 100% DEET-free.