I don’t really care about repelling mosquitos until I get those first few bites in early summer and find myself itching at night when I should be sleeping. It’s those miserable moments, like when you can’t get the AC adjusted like you want it and the pillow won’t conform to your skull and you ask yourself, “this is the same pillow I sleep on every night and it’s fine, so WHY?”

It’s then that I really start to curse the itchy bites and resolve to remedy the issue first thing the next morning.

This led me to one of the latest Thermacell Repellers, the MR450. I got it late last year. By then, the summer season was behind me when there was no itchiness or fitful nights at the forefront of my mind. Now those motivators are back and, early one morning in late May, I stood in the hallway looking at the Thermacell box I’d just dug out of the closet.

Overview

The Thermacell MR450 portable repeller creates a 15-foot zone of protection against mosquitos.

The MR450 was first introduced last summer. It’s enough like the MR300 (which most of you know, even if not by the formulaic product name) that it’s familiar to Thermacell users, but upgraded enough to make the new model worth it.

This repeller is small enough to carry along anywhere, but large enough and potent enough to cover a zone, 15 feet by 15 feet. The first thing I’m going to do is take the repeller to the driving range where there’s an inexplicable number of mosquitos and no-see-ums. Then, it’s going with me in the garden during evenings for that chore. And, finally, it’ll come along in the woods when we’re swapping out trail cameras mid-summer.

Upgrades and Features

At first, I would have said the rubber armored exterior was my favorite upgrade. It’s useful, but it also looks cool. And the Thermacell team who engineered the product say the rubber over-mold isn’t just about protection from drops, but it also makes such mistakes, silent mistakes. This is a big selling point for hunters. It’s also going to be handy for me at the driving range where the Hushed, Serious Guy is always nearby, which ensures I’ll drop some stuff and they’ll glare.

Still, the thing that’s going to be biggest problem solver come fall and deer-hunting season will be the new ignition, which is a lot quieter. Before, this was a pain. In certain situations, you almost hated to turn the thing on.

“We’ve muted the ignition by 80 percent,” said Adam Goess of Thermacell. “So long gone are the arm pit starts and you don’t have to worry about spooking game.”

The grill has been redesigned too, so air flow is more efficient.

Finally, there’s the ZoneCheck Indicator. From a techy point of view, this probably beats out the new, quieter ignition. This is true especially if you’re not taking the Thermacell along on hunts where stealth is critical. The indicator illuminates blue once the MR450 is up to temperature and the zone of protection is actively established.

Specs

  • Added features include: Rubber armored, ZoneCheck, Belt clip, Quiet ignition, Reengineered grill and switch, Improved ergonomics, and Accessory mounting system
  • ZoneCheck provides a visual indication when zone of protection is created
  • Ideal for repelling mosquitoes from the backyard to the great outdoors
  • Portable and lightweight
  • No spray and no mess. Scent-free and DEET-free.
  • No open flame, no smoky candles
  • Package contains: One MR450 Repeller, One belt clip, One CR2032 battery, and 12 hours of refills – three repellent mats and one fuel cartridge

MSRP: $34.99

Featured Photo: Luke Hatfield