Haeleum Braeden Insect Repellent Shirt Review

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Haeleum Braeden Insect Repellent Shirt

Product Description

The Haeleum Braeden is a long-sleeve, crew neck synthetic shirt designed to be worn close to the skin. It acts as a moisture-wicking base layer that can be used year-round. The material has been treated with Permethrin and provides EPA-approved protection, tested by the manufacturer to last through 70 launderings— the expected lifetime of a garment.

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Overall Impressions and Updates

Over the past few months I’ve had the pleasure of testing the Haeleum Braeden shirt. Haeleum isn’t a brand I was familiar with, but it appeared to have all the tech I would look for in any name-brand clothing. I wore the shirt in a few different activities: backpacking, cycling, canoeing, hiking, and sleeping. In a word, I really like it. The shirt has performed above my expectations in areas where I didn’t have much hope. The last long-sleeve synthetic wicking layer I purchased was a disappointment: it retained all kinds of funky odors after only a few uses. I eventually threw it out. With this background in mind, I agreed to test the Haeleum Braeden to see how it would perform against that benchmark. One set of tests included wearing the Braeden every day during my bicycling commute for a few weeks, and wearing it to bed as a night shirt. Every day it would get sweat-soaked and air dried. I would check for odors every evening and morning. I was actually really surprised at how little odor the shirt retained. It might seem curious to lead with this detail when the shirt is primarily marketed with its bug protective feature (I’ll get to that), but for me, any garment I wear needs to be comfortable to wear and smell—especially during active use. I eventually resorted to having my wife to the smell test as I was worried I was missing something. As much as she protested, she couldn’t detect much odor either. Win!

The shirt has a nice hand. The weave is comfortable and lays flat without wrinkling or collecting static. This is a great base layer. It’s just thin/thick enough to regulate warmth and cool and isn’t bulky so it fits under other layers easily. I loved the UPF sun protection, coupled with the evaporative cooling effect. The shirt dries fairly quickly and hasn’t felt overly hot even in hours with direct sunlight.

As far as bug protection goes, on a week-long trip to Moab, Utah, we were surrounded by mosquitos and flies at our campground every evening. Each morning, family members would count up their bites. I wore the Haeleum shirt almost exclusively during our trip and I made it through the week unscathed and itch-free. It was remarkable.

Recommendations and Review

Criteria Rating Notes
Bug Protection ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  Worked great as far as I could tell. No bites.
Construction and Craftsmanship ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  I love that there is no hang tag, flat-felled seams, and overall great craftsmanship for a garment.
Fit and Comfort ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  Great drape, no wrinkling, and feels good against my skin.
Aesthetics ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  The electric blue goes well with my eyes 🙂 I like that the screen print is on the back. I’m not a fan of being a walking billboard, and it’s easy easy to have my back covered with a pack.
Price and Value ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  The price is in line with other brands.
  • Manufacturer:  Haeleum, LLC, made in Haiti
  • MSRP: US$44.95

Available Features/Specifications

Features

Specifications

  • 4.2 oz/140 GSM
  • Sizes: S to 3XL
  • 100% natural stretch DrýTru Polyester
  • Treated with Permethrin


Disclosure of material connection: The author (Derek Hansen) was provided with a free sample from the manufacturer for testing and evaluation purposes. The comments in this post (written & spoken) are of my own opinion, which I formed after personally handling the gear.

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7 Responses

  1. Mark says:

    Light reflective “earth tone” colors like tan would be ideal to avoid overheating in the sun without attracting unnecessary attention.

  2. VINCE P. says:

    How correct is their sizing? Ex. If you normally wear a large, did their large fit you fine?

  3. Oliver Marc says:

    I’ve just looked up on Permethrin, the chemical used on this product and it according the Wikipedia it is bad for the environment killing bees, (less honey and fruits) also it can have side effects in humans.

    • Derek says:

      Yes, but it is all in the application. Applies to clothing, permethrin doesn’t have those negative environmental or human impacts. Don’t apply it directly to your skin (it isn’t designed for that). When used correctly it is an effective tool. Like many things, when used incorrectly it is not good.

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