5 min read

Off! Deep Woods VIII Dry Review

We tested and reviewed Off! Deep Woods VIII Dry repellent to see if it's a safe and effective mosquito control option.

Main Product Details 5/10

  • What we like
  • Instantly dries; no greasy feeling on skin
  • What we dislike
  • Hard to find 2.5oz size
  • Doesn’t work well
  • Terrible smell remains after spraying
  • Can stops working after a few uses

Product Details

  • Efficiency/Effectiveness: Doesn't really do anything
  • Ease of Use: Leaves no sticky residue; nozzle can get stuck easily; strong smell
  • Safety: Near perfect; your standard DEET-based repellent

Our Verdict

     Even the best companies fail from time to time, and Off proves this with their Dry repellent. Credit where credit is due: it does dry fast and do the one thing that separates it from Off!’s other repellents. However, this comes at the price of effectiveness, quality control, and overall quality. Not worth it.

     Mosquito repellents are key to staying healthy—and sane—in areas unfortunate enough to house swarms of mosquitoes. 

     Despite the importance of repellents, not many people know what they’re looking for when shopping for them. A good place to start is Off!’s Deep Woods product line, starting with their VIII Dry Insect Repellent. But does this product make it to the finish line? 

Product Overview

     What separates the Dry repellent from the regular repellent Off offers is the application. Since Off uses 25% DEET in their repellents, it’s normal for them to make your skin feel/look greasy and/or oily. 

     The Dry product line aims to fix that, using a “powder-dry formula”. Don’t let this term confuse you though; the Dry repellents are sprays, just like the other repellent product lines. 

     Off promises an 8-hour window without having to worry about mosquitoes, gnats, fleas, ticks, and other insects with their Dry repellent, which should be an easy goal to reach, considering their use of 25% DEET. 

How it Works

     DEET confuses an insect’s sense of smell when applied. However, this won’t deter all insects, and this situation is where DEET excels.

     Once a mosquito lands on an area covered with DEET, they’ll taste the repulsive flavor of it and fly away, leaving you without an itch or disease. 

     Off’s Dry repellent only needs to be sprayed freely near your body, as it’s an aerosol spray. Since it’s instant-dry, you won’t need to worry about any waiting time or greasy feeling. 


     Off offers the Dry repellent in two sizes: 2.5-ounce and 4-ounce. Why the small sizes? Who knows, but what I do know is that finding a single count on Amazon was impossible, though I did find single counts for the 4oz on (the 2.5oz either wasn’t available or was too expensive to consider).

  • 2.5oz aerosol spray: N/A
  • 4oz aerosol spray: $5.88/bottle (Walmart); 4ct for $23.52 (Amazon)

     While the 4oz bottle isn’t traditionally expensive, it is expensive for the quality you’re getting in return. For the same price, you could buy Off!’s regular repellent line and find more success. Cheap, but not worth considering.

Does it Work?

     Off has never presented their products as high-end, but their repellents tend to receive favorable reviews. However, their Dry product line remains an exception, receiving harsh reviews for its inability to repel mosquitoes, its terrible smell, and its tendency to stop spraying after a few uses.

     Overall, no set of reviews I’ve seen paint the Dry products in a favorable light.


     A pros/cons list isn’t good enough, though. We need to score this repellent to either recommend or reject it. We grade these repellents in 3 areas, including:

  • Efficiency/Effectiveness (40%)
  • Ease of Use (25%)
  • Safety (35%).

     Once all 3 areas have been graded, a weighted graded will be given to the repellent.

Efficiency/Effectiveness = 2/10

     I only saw one review say this repellent worked “okay”, so there’s no way it’s effectiveness hits over a 2. It works, but only sometimes. Not much else to say here.

Ease of Use = 6/10

     The one thing this product does well is “drying”, hence the name of the product line. However, this product is marred by its terrible smell and defective can. 

Safety = 9/10

     DEET has been proven safe time and time again, so no reputable repellent should be giving you problems in this area. The instant-dry formula doesn’t raise any alarms any, so this is the one area this product succeeds in.