We recently put the Haeleum Reccan through its paces. The Reccan is an insect repellent shirt, which if you plan to be doing any outdoor activities during a Canadian summer, could prove to be a very useful piece of kit.
No one likes getting bitten by a mosquito or their fellow bugs, and Emma and myself are no different. I feel like I have an extra reason to avoid getting bitten though, as I have been known to have mosquito bites that massively swell up (see exhibit A, below)!
So, as summer 2017 approached, I was on the lookout for a light, comfortable and stylish long sleeved shirt, that I could wear on camping trips in Ontario and beyond, and hopefully avoid some big, itchy bug bites.
I looked in a few places, but to no avail, I couldn’t find anything I liked. But eventually I got my hands on the Haeleum Reccan and was able to use it for a couple of trips before the worse of the bugs went away with the dying of the summer.
Putting the Haeleum Reccan to the test
The first time I wore it was at Presqu’ile Provincial Park, a lakeside park 2 hours to the east of Toronto, and home to marshes, sand dunes and forest. Any questions about whether this area was home to mosquitoes was put to bed when we walked past an information board that told us all about how insects, including mosquitoes, live in the wetlands.
So did it work? I guess it did, as the only bite I got was on one of my legs as I was wearing shorts.
Second time of wearing was at Rouge National Urban Park, on the eastern outskirts of Toronto. On our previous visit here, we had both picked up bites, so there is no question to whether the Rouge is home to mosquitoes. While I escaped from our trip bite-free, Emma, who had been with me all day, got bitten a couple of times on the arm.
So yes, I guess that the shirt does do a good job of repelling insects!
This is definitely a good thing. They have been plenty of insects in Ontario this year, with warnings of West Nile Virus spread by mosquitoes, and the threat posed by Lyme disease-carrying ticks.
The only downside to the shirt I found was its sizing. We ordered the small size, but found this to be a little on the large side.
What’s special about the Haeleum Reccan?
To ensure that it protects against the insects, having long sleeves is not the Reccan’s only design feature to keep bugs off your skin. It comes with built in Insect Shield Permethrin insect repellent, which is expected to remain effective in the garment all the way through to 70 washes (not that we can vouch for whether that’s accurate until we’ve washed it another 68 times!).
I was worried that by wearing a long sleeved shirt on a warm day, that I would get too hot, but I was pleased to find that I stayed just as cool as if I had just been wearing a normal t-shirt thanks to the lightweight, breathable and moisture-wicking nature of the material. The plus side to the long sleeves too is that on a sunny day, it will shade my pasty white British skin from the sun, as it offers 40+ UPF sun protection.
Our final thoughts
I’m looking forward to wearing the Haeleum Recan again next year for the entirety of summer and avoiding mosquito bites. Maybe the bugs will just congregate on Emma instead!
The shirt is available directly from Haeleum’s website for US $39.99.
Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the Haeleum Reccan for free from Haeleum in consideration for a gear review. As always, our opinions are entirely our own and we would highly recommend the Haeleum Reccan.