6 min read

REPEL Insect Repellent Sportsmen Max Formula Spray Review

We put REPEL's Sportsmen Max bug spray to the test to see if it is a safe mosquito repellent that actually works.

Main Product Details 0/10

  • What we like
  • Extremely effective
  • Very cheap, especially considering the performance
  • No grease; scent quickly dissipates
  • What we dislike
  • Inconsistent, strange pricing
  • No mention of how long it repels insects

Product Details

  • Efficiency/Effectiveness: Perfect for those who spend a lot of time outdoors; protects against all kinds of insects
  • Ease of Use: Simple, non-greasy spray with a light scent
  • Safety: Uses 40% DEET, so not the most family-friendly

Our Verdict

    Repel’s Sportsmen Max Repellent presents itself as the perfect repellent for the regular outdoorsmen. However, it’s effectiveness, cheap price and clean application make this repellent one of the best mosquito repellents for anyone…except kids, due to the 40% DEET mixture. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, this is definitely a mosquito repellent to consider. 

    The world is full of annoying insects, and one, in particular, threatens the sanity of any person who is unlucky enough to run into them: mosquitoes.

     Try as we might, mosquitoes find themselves everywhere. Until we as a collective find the solution for mosquitoes, we’re forced to rely on certain products to deal with them, one of these products being repellents.

     However, finding a perfect mosquito/insect repellent is more difficult than it probably should be, but don’t worry, we go over the most popular repellents so you don’t have to. 

Product Overview

     Repel’s Sportsmen Max Formula uses 40% DEET instead of the standard 20%-30%. This high concentration won’t hurt you, but younger children (under 7) may experience skin irritation, though the chances of that are pretty low. 

     REPEL markets this repellent towards outdoorsmen, backpackers, athletes—anyone who spends a lot of their time outdoors. The repellent is designed to resist perspiration for maximum effectiveness while outside. According to the product page, this repellent will repel most insects: mosquitoes, flies, chiggers, gnats, flies, etc.

     The length of time the repellent will keep insects away is unclear, as REPEL doesn’t list it anywhere, however, DEET tends to last around 8 hours, so we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now.

     One last thing to note is REPEL’s claim of this repellent being non-greasy. A lot of DEET repellents cause a greasy look on targeted skin, so we’ll have to see if REPEL is telling the truth here.

How it Works

     Mosquitoes love the taste of blood but hate the taste of DEET; if a mosquito lands on a DEET-slathered arm, the taste will immediately disgust the mosquito and fly away.

     WIth 40% DEET, REPEL’s Sportsmen Max Formula repellent may be a bit more effective than standard repellents, but once you go past 30%, gains start to diminish.

     However, the concentration doesn’t affect its application. All you need to do is spray it on any exposed body part and you’ll be good to go.


     Unlike many of REPEL’s products, their Sportsmen Max product line is available in a few different forms and sizes. Here’s the list below: 

  • 0.475oz pen pump spray: $3.81/pen (Home Depot)
  • 6oz pump spray: $3.56/bottle (Amazon)
  • 6.5oz aerosol spray: $3.47/bottle (Amazon)

Availability and pricing are inconsistent across online retailers; the bigger the size you get, the cheaper the repellent becomes. That’s not a bad thing, but it is weird and I prefer prices being consistent across all sizes and retailers.

Does it Work?

     Fortunately, the inconsistent pricing is nothing compared to the greatness of this repellent. Countless reviews rave about the success of this repellent. 

     There aren’t even that many low-star reviews, which most repellents seem to suffer from. The Sportsmen Max repellent stands leagues above REPEL’s other offerings, and I can, fortunately, say it does its job well. 

     Reviews don’t mention a grease-like application either, so Repel is two-for-two.


     We rate our repellents on 3 key areas, each area receiving a score between 1-10. These 3 areas include

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

     Once each area is graded, we will use the average of all the scores as the overall grade. Since we believe some areas are more important than others (effectiveness versus price), we use a weighted grade system, so the grade honestly reflects the quality of the product. 

Effectiveness/Efficiency = 10/10

     While the other REPEL products we’ve reviewed ranged from ok-uneffective, their Sportsmen Max repellent exceeds expectations. Buyers show nothing but joy in their reviews, and from the research, I’ve done, their marketing is 100% honest.

     If you need a repellent to ward off all types of insects and you’re outside often, this is the repellent for you.

Ease of Use = 9/10

     No grease plus a quickly dissipating scent equals joy. However, I would’ve liked to see mention of how long this repellent will keep mosquitoes and other insects at bay.

Safety = 8.5/10

     REPEL’s insect repellents all succeed in the safety area, as most repellents should, but 40% DEET may cause irritation to younger children. Chances of something happening are slim but is something to take note of.

Overall Value

     If you’re buying through Amazon, this repellent is dirt cheap—cheaper than Cutter’s repellents. I love that. However, I don’t love the inconsistent and strange pricing, but that may just be me. 

     Despite the inconsistency, this repellent succeeds in this area.