The Original Bugshirt Company

The Original Bug Shirt Company


Here what others are saying about The Original Bug Shirt. You’ll find in-depth video, personal and media reviews. From hard core backcountry adventurers to newly weds, everyone seems very satisfied. We hope you will be too!

Here are some great personal stories from the field, including a marriage proposal!

Review from Michael Goldstein

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We’ve had the Original Bug Shirt for three years (we spoke on the phone back then!), and completed the following canoe trips in them: Coppermine River (1998); Hanbury-Thelon Rivers (from Artillery Lake to Beverly Lake in 1999);Yellowknife River (2000); Hood River (2000). We have told many about your wonderful bug shirts (all 4 of us last year and all 6 this year used them). They have held up well, albeit after a few moments sewing on the trail. Melissa Parker (my canoe partner for these three summers) and I decided to get going toward the next step of our lives. We plan to be married in the late spring. See the enclosed picture, taken a few moments after she said yes. It was on the wonderful summer journey down the Hood River, in Nunavut, Canada, and we stand at the brink of the largest waterfall north of the Arctic Circle (Wilberforce). It was after 150 miles of paddling and portaging, and on this afternoon, it was sunny, windy, and bug-free. A perfect moment in the north country to pop the question (it was also before the 2 mile portage around the falls and canyon!). I was thinking about the photo, however, and saw us wearing the bug shirts. We only take them off at night in the tent, and generally wear them all day every day of a trip. Thought you’d like to see this picture.


“Whatever else people might say about Paul Arsenault and Bob Collingwood – and their colleagues said a lot – they were always prepared. The two-man ident team arrived on the scene behind Nishinabe Falls in hiking boots, khakis and bug shirts. Bug shirts come with a hood and veil too fine for flies to penetrate, and elastic at the cuffs. As they moved about the falls, now reaching up to examine a stain, now kneeling to collect miniscule objects, they looked like a pair of beekeepers.”

An excerpt from “Blackfly Season” by Giles Blunt, Canada’s master of detective fiction.


Dear Bob and Sara,

I just returned from two weeks in Alaska. If I didn’t have your bug shirt I would have come back a week earlier. Your product did everything you said it would. We were dropped off by plane at Judd lake where we put our raft together and packed all of our gear up. The black flies were soooo bad that if you stood still is sounded like it was raining. During the trip four people tried to buy the shirt off my back. One guy offered me $100.00 if I would give it to him on the spot,”sorry” I said but there isn’t enough money in Alaska to make me take this shirt off. Thanks again for your great shirt and you’ll be hearing from me.


Gardner T. Smith


Hello all you marvellous bug shirt people!

We’re back from our Arctic adventure (, which we survived in large part because of your magical bug shirts. It was a life-changing trip in many ways with scenes so beautiful I wanted to cry. We’d go again in a heartbeat, in spite of the fact we were unlucky with rain and bugs…more of both than our guide has seen in 30 years at this time of year.

I was going to write a regular thank you but you probably receive hundreds of these every week from happy customers, so thought instead I would include my trip journal and ask you to perform a search on “bug shirt”….that way you can see for yourselves just how abjectly grateful we were to have brought them with us!

Just think of how many vacations you salvage for people. It must feel good.

Thank you!



I have to tell you about a phone call I received recently. A lady called me from Quebec – her daughter had mistakenly thrown away the garbage bag full of laundry, thinking it was garbage. Oops! And in the bag of course was an “Original Bug Shirt”. Since this was purchased in 1992 it was almost the “ORIGINAL” “Original Bug Shirt”.

She had kept her bill, and so had my phone number, and called for a replacement. She was delighted to find the price was the same now as it had been in 1992, although she actually ordered the new “Elite Edition” for a little extra money, because of all the new features.

She told me her old one had been washed hundreds of times, and was still in excellent shape, and she was lost without it.

Her daughter attempted to compensate her for her mistake by ordering an all mesh shirt from a catalogue. That one she told me was much too hot and just didn’t do the trick. She was sending it back, and we shipped her replacement the next day.


Hi Folks,

I just wanted to tell you how much we appreciated the bug shirts we bought. We live in Florida, and visit South East Vermont, in the deep woods, in mosquito and blackfly season, May to August.

Our place is a breeding ground and very bad, we often can’t go outside. This year, not only are we able to be outside, but we spent two days wallowing in the adjacent marsh, attempting to direct water out of the incipient swamp. The bugs were vicious.

But we survived, thanks to the Original Bug Shirts. They couldn’t get to us.

We couldn’t have done it without you.

Bruce and Liz. Winter Park, FL.



I bought one of the “other shirts” for a +/-40 mile canoe trip & portage in the Five pond Wilderness in The Adirondack park, NY. It’s a black fly factory up there. I saw your shirt a few weeks before we left at the Adirondack Paddlefest in Inlet NY, and immediately saw how much better designed your shirt was. It cost a few bucks more and I already owned the other shirt… but bought yours on the spot anyways. Yes that’s one more than I need, but the added cost was for superior features & materials, it obviously cost more to make and was better thought out.

The shirt performed exactly as advertised, we lived in them for 5 days, it rained and we got them completely soaked, they dried out very fast when it stopped as we wore them. We portaged through old thick underbrush with no damage, we portaged for 4 miles, they were not “hot”. And when the bugs attacked in swarms, the worst problem was getting the ones that got inside before you zipped up (we found a thorough rubbing of face & neck vigorously with net zipped, got ’em).

I saved the receipt of the “other” shirt and will return it unused. Thanks guys, instead of talking about how bad the bugs were, we tell them how pretty it was, bugs are now and forever a non issue.

Rich & Tom, Barneveld, NY
May 23, 2005

From the Media


“Yes, the hooded bug shirts you see in canoeing magazines (the Original Bug Shirt, still the industry standard, can be ordered by calling 800-998-9096 or online at, with their fine mesh face masks, will make you look like an astronaut from a ’50s sci-fi flick. So what? You’ll be catching small mouths while your companions run screaming into the boonies.”
Keith McCafferty, Field and Stream, Page 74, July 2002


“Effective bugproof clothing can make living with insect hordes a lot more bearable. The Original Bug Shirt Company . . . manufactures the design I like best.”
Jerome E. Robinson, Field and Stream, June 1996


“Anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors during the bug season – …gardening, farming, hiking, yard cleaning and tree planting – will like it.”
Harrowsmith, June 1992


“Tired of using chemicals to ward off hungry bands of insects? Made for adults and kids, this shirt is constructed of a tightly woven fabric impenetrable to mosquitoes that’s bridged with panels of a polyester no-see-um mesh for ventilation. The mesh is designed to hang away from the body and be zipped away at the face. I remember one long night in a malarial jungle in Laos when I would have traded anything for this shirt.”
Kevin Vallely, Outpost, Annual 2006


” . . . reclaim your favorite bit of back country from the winged nemesis.”
Backpacker – Gear, May 1992


” . . . this could be the answer to your prayers.”
Outdoor Photographer, August 1994


” . . . guaranteed to put plasma back into your paddling.”
Paddling, November 1992


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