Thermacell Repellents, Inc. is all about keeping probing mosquitoes away from your skin in a simple, push-button way. New Atlas uses one of its lantern repellers regularly and has found it excellent for creating a "no fly zone" without any unwanted sounds, smells or hassles. The company has been expanding its product lineup to appeal to new users, having launched a backpack-friendly repeller last year. Now it trades butane power for rechargeable lithium-ion power in the new Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent.
Thermacell's traditional mosquito-repelling devices rely on a butane cartridge to heat an allethrin-based mat to keep pests away, creating a no-mosquito zone around you. We like the technology because it's virtually silent and odorless and quite effective. It's definitely preferable to drenching oneself in bug spray or having the thick smell of candle or torch smoke filling your nostrils.
The compact new Radius trades out the butane cartridge for a USB-rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts up to six hours per charge. Thermacell says this offers several advantages, including steadying performance at higher altitudes, where butane systems suffer because of low oxygen levels. The entire Radius system can also travel on airplanes, whereas regulations prevent passengers from carrying butane cartridges.
Using a built-in rechargeable battery also means that users will need only replace the repellent, not both the repellent and butane cartridges. That's not a huge advantage since Thermacell repellent mats and butane cartridges can be purchased together online or at major retailers like Walmart, but having one less component to worry about replacing, packing and carrying along on trips does streamline things a touch.
On the downside, the battery's six-hour runtime is half the 12 hours each butane cartridge provides. That could prove too short if you're spending extended time outdoors in mosquito country, as you probably would on a camping trip. Charging a battery is also likely to prove more difficult than just swapping out a cartridge on such a trip. The Radius can operate while charging, though, so if you do have somewhere to plug it in, you can fire it right back up.
Thermacell says its latest model offers a silent, scent-free protection zone, just like its other repellers. It doesn't list a specific area, however, so it's not yet clear if it's the same 15 x 15-ft (4.6 x 4.6-m) zone advertised on the butane products.
Fully sealed repellent refills last up to 36 hours and can be turned on and off repeatedly as needed.
Thermacell will be showing the Radius at this week's Outdoor Retailer show and will launch it in early 2018 for US$49.99.