The OFF-ful Truth

Our writer is not impressed with the design of new wearable mosquito-repellent fan.

Fanny-pack and belt-buckle-cell-phone-holster users, get excited! OFF! has just come out with a summer 2009 super-gimmick: a clip-on mosquito repellent for fanning the bloodthirsty beasts away one refillable disk (and two AA batteries) at a time. How does it work? Metofluthrin, a relatively new repellent chemical not intended for skin contact, is blown out of the bottom of the unit as air is drawn into the center, releasing a pesticide current around the user. According to most consumer reviews, however, product functionality is poor; and according to yours truly, the product design is heinous. The cobalt-blue extruded-plastic unit looks like a birth-control pack on steroids–a clunky, embarrassing accessory for your summertime get-up. Even if you’re into walking around with a glorified Glade PlugIn clipped to those cut-offs, the waist-height placement seems problematic for cookouts. Believe me, you don’t want to be the party-fouling picnicgoer blowing pesticide all over the fried chicken.

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