Simple and effective is all I think I need to say about this product. There is nothing more aggravating when car camping than having to choose between being devoured alive by no see ums, gnats, mosquitoes, and biting flys or having to suffer in stagnate air in your vehicle. My family and I have spent countless hours and dollars building our perfect escape pod that will take us away from them masses and deep into the backcountry only to be thwarted by the sanity pushing, almost silent humming and the quickly forming welts left all over us by these winged devils! I have been looking at ways to have the best of both worlds without resorting to all out chemical warfare ala DEET, Eucalyptus oil, and the myriad of other “guaranteed to work” marketing shenanigans.
Now perhaps this stuff works for most, but for us “sweetbloods”…it is of little use to the deranged biting creatures that torture us. What we had settled on was making or buying a screen system for our van. And while I am no Martha Stewart, I’ve been known to thread a needle and get down with sewing, although my projects always has “personality” which I assume is the kind way of saying none of my lines are straight nor are the stitches tight. And the idea of trying to sew screen material definitely had me questioning if I was up to the challenge. So instead of trying my hand at sewing a set of screens I decided to use the Google for all that it was worth and find a set, which I did, and when I did my jaw dropped!!! Most of these “custom” screen sets were way, way out of my price range, which is when I discovered my families discomfort does have a price. So just when I thought I’d have to try my hand at sewing something together my wife came upon the Skeeter Beaters.
Skeeter Beaters are exactly what I was looking for, they are very reasonably priced at $55/pair for my Ford van and they are measured and cut to the dimensions of my front windows plus a few inches. They have strong magnets sewn into little pockets to keep them spaced appropriately, and they pack down reasonably well so that I can stow them out of the way without a ton of added bulk. Installing them was interesting as magnets like to do what magnets do and let me tell you having 22 magnets all in close proximity can be an exercise in patience, which is something we all need, right? To be honest slapping the beaters on really wasn’t that bad I just got a few magnets on the side of the door and slowly worked my way around, because Skeeter Beater uses magnets in individual posts you can easily tension the screen around the window to ensure a snug fit. I will say that most modern vehicles seem to have a shroud around where the sideview mirror attaches to the door and this is plastic which the magnets do not care for very much. I was able to mitigate the gapping issue with a little more sliding of the surrounding magnets to achieve what I consider a phenomenal fit!
After using the Skeeter Beater a few times in various bug infested areas I have a few suggestions. Leave your windows rolled up until you have attached the Skeeter Beaters, other wise you are not really helping yourself out. Spend a few extra seconds to spread out the magnets so the screen between them is fairly taut, while I don’t think any of the tiny gaps I neglected to seal the first few times had any effect on allowing the bugs in I just feel better with this snug. Lastly I will say that these are well worth the money, seriously, few things in this world of vehicle based nomads has had a more positive effect on the enjoyability of escaping deep into the backcountry than this simple, effective wonder!