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At Outdoor Retailer we got a sneak peek at Columbia Sportswear‘s 2011 line of Bug Shield™ clothing which almost sounds too good to be true. While Columbia may not be the first to integrate insect repellent into clothing, they do claim to be the first to offer a full bug-protection outfit from socks to pants to shirts.

Apparently Bug Shield is so new that Columbia hasn’t provided a ton of info about the technology beyond what we found in the 2011 press kit:

This synthetic version of a natural insect protection found in certain types of flowers turns clothing into long-lasting and effective insect protection. Insect Blocker keeps bugs at bay so you can enjoy the Greater Outdoors in peace.

We’ll keep digging to find out more (like how many wash cycles it lasts, how effective it is, etc.). Here’s a video talking about a women’s outdoor shirt that features Bug Shield™.

Columbia is also introducing a set of water shoes that sounds like a great alternative to open-toed sandals and Croc-like water shoes. The idea came from seeing fisherman in Florida who used water-logged, old tennis shoes out on the water (and who probably suffered from chronic cases of trench-foot).

The Drainmaker offers great traction on wet surfaces and features a fully drainable midsole (!) to flush out water. The mesh upper is ventilated, durable, and quick drying – everything you’d want in a water shoe. We’d love to try these whitewater rafting out on the river! Video below.

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