The purpose of this study was to establish whether the "bottle assay", a tool for monitoring insecticide resistance in mosquitoes, can complement and augment the capabilities of the established WHO assay, particularly in resource-poor, logistically challenging environments. Laboratory reared Aedes aegypti and field collected Anopheles darlingi and Anopheles albimanus were used to assess the suitability of locally sourced solvents and formulated insecticides for use with the bottle assay. Using these adapted protocols, the ability of the bottle assay and the WHO assay to discriminate between deltamethrin-resistant Anopheles albimanus populations was compared. The diagnostic dose of deltamethrin that would identify resistance in currently susceptible populations of An. darlingi and Ae. aegypti was defined. The robustness of the bottle assay during a surveillance exercise in the Amazon was assessed. The bottle assay (using technical or formulated material) and the WHO assay were equally able to differentiate deltamethrin-resistant and susceptible An. albimanus populations. A diagnostic dose of 10 microg a.i./bottle was identified as the most sensitive discriminating dose for characterizing resistance in An. darlingi and Ae. aegypti. Treated bottles, prepared using locally sourced solvents and insecticide formulations, can be stored for > 14 days and used three times. Bottles can be stored and transported under local conditions and field-assays can be completed in a single evening. The flexible and portable nature of the bottle assay and the ready availability of its components make it a potentially robust and useful tool for monitoring insecticide resistance and efficacy in remote areas that require minimal cost tools.