Finding the most important gear for running is something that can take a while. One item at the top of your list should be a reflective running vest, as they can come in quite handy. Keep reading to see some of the best reflective running vest options out there.
Purposes for Running Vests
Do you always run at the same time of day?
Many runners vary the times they run from day to day and week to week because life can be chaotic sometimes. This ties into one of the main purposes of running vests. They allow you to be seen by other runners, bikers, and cars, no matter what time of the day or night you happen to be on a run.
They don’t have to be used just for running, though; you can utilize them if you are a cyclist, biker, or even if you work outside. Professions like crossing guards or mail carriers might also find these vests useful.
One more reason to own one is so you can stash it in your car or purse, so it can be used in an emergency. Imagine if you have a flat tire and need to change it. Using a vest of this kind should allow you to be noticed when you’re working on your car or stranded on the side of the road.
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Besides being visible to motorists, running vests may allow you to be seen if something happens to you. For example, if you have an accident and injure yourself, the reflective material on your vest should be noticeable to passersby, so they can render aid or call an ambulance.
Another advantage is that they are usually made of lightweight material, so they won’t bother you by adding a lot of extra weight and bulk. Some models are actually able to help keep you cooler, by keeping the sweat off of you and allowing better air flow.
Things to Look For
There are a few things to keep your eye on when you’re shopping around for this type of running gear.
- Ability to be seen day or night. Most of the best products in this category are able to be seen from hundreds of feet away. You should be able to been seen easily during all hours, so you should consider a vest that is a vivid color. Some options even have LED lighting to allow for something a little bit different.
- Different sizes available or ability to adjust. One of the most important features is how adjustable the item is. If you want one that is a one size fits all model, you’ll need to check the measurements to see how big or small it can be adjusted to. On the flip side, there are some that are fitted, so you can look at sizing charts to be sure that you find the right size for your body type.
- Extras available. Who doesn’t like getting something for free? There are options out there that come with carrying sacks, wrist cuffs, and even a special pocket. If you can find one that gives you a little something extra, you would use it regularly. Having a pocket can save you from having to carry a purse or fanny pack, so think about that when you’re browsing items.
- How to care for it. As you probably know, if you aren’t sweating while you’re running, you’re not doing it right. This is the main reason why you should be sure that the item you choose is easy to clean and care for. You probably don’t want to lug around a smelly vest each time. Some products are able to be washed in your home machine, while others can be washed only by hand.
- Doesn’t interfere with your exercising. This is arguably the most essential thing that you should consider. You have to be sure that the vest isn’t rubbing on you anywhere and that it fits properly, even if you happen to be running dozens of miles a week. Unfortunately, the best way to do this is by trying it for yourself, so see if you can find some gear with a great return policy or guarantee, in case you run into a problem.
Other Aspects to Consider
There are a couple other things to keep in mind while you’re shopping for the best reflective running vest you can find. You should test it out in different conditions to make sure it’s working properly, even if that just means running through your house with the lights on or off. This will show you what others see when you’re using this outdoors.
If you purchase a model with lights that illuminate, you’ll also want to make sure that the product is always working well before you use it, or take extra batteries just in case.
You should also account for the fact that you may want to use your garment in different types of weather. Choose one that isn’t too snug, so you can wear it over a coat or jacket if you have to.
Here is a look at some of the best reflective running vests out there.
Flectson Reflective Vest
- Comes in sizes that accommodate men, women, and kids. This vest comes in 3 different sizes. There’s probably a size that will fit all the runners in your household.
- Has 2 Velcro waist straps, so it can fit more securely. There are 2 straps at the bottom, so you can get a better fit. This could be useful if you need to wear it over a bulky sweatshirt or something like that.
- Has a zippered pocket. One of the best features about this product is the zippered pocket that is placed in the middle of it. It should keep all your favorite gadgets safe.
- Has a visibility of over 600 feet. When you wear this vest, you will be able to be seen from quite far away. This is extremely important if you run by yourself at night.
- Is very lightweight. This one doesn’t weigh much at all, so you may not even notice you’re wearing it.
- Vest is machine washable. If you get this one wet or dirty, it is no big deal. Simply put it in your washing machine.
- Is not attractive. You probably won’t turn heads when you wear this vest, since it is rather utilitarian and not necessarily good-looking.
- Sizing runs small. It is possible that this product runs small, so you might want to order a size up if you can.
Evolike Original Reflective Vest
- Comes in different colors. This product comes in yellow, pink, or green, so you’re able to choose the one you want. This may come in handy if there are 2 runners in your house and you need to be able to tell the difference between you and your mate’s gear.
- Has a money back guarantee. If you find out that you don’t like this product, you can send it back within 30 days for a full refund.
- Has high visibility day or night. My favorite feature of this item is that it can be seen at all times of the day and night.
- Comes with wristbands and a bag. There are a couple of bonuses with this purchase. You get two wristbands that match the vest, and a bag to put your necessary items in, and you can wear the bag on your back.
- Seams may come unraveled. Even though this one can be worn at any time, if you wear it a lot and are rough with it, the seams may start to come undone.
- Side straps can come unfastened. Again, if you are using this product to run each day, the straps may start to become unfastened or uncomfortable.
Tuvizo Reflective Vest
- Has a built-in identification label. There is a special place to write your most pertinent information right onto this vest, so you won’t have to worry if you are in an accident or you don’t like to keep your driver’s license on you.
- It a non-traditional design. Unlike items that are designed more like a traditional vest, this one looks more like a pair of suspenders. This makes the vest easier to put on.
- Easy to adjust. With the simple design and the hardware on the product, it is not difficult to get it to fit you just right. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, you should be able to get it to sit correctly on your body.
- Easy to wear over clothes of all types. Since it isn’t bulky at all, you are able to wear it over most types clothes that you like to wear running. This includes things like wearing it over your favorite workout shirt, or over a heavy jacket in colder temperatures.
- Straps may bother skin. If you plan on using this product each time you run, you may experience some chafing or rubbing because of the plastic parts on the straps of it.
GlowGuard Reflective Running Vest
- Can be replaced for free. This accessory features a lifetime guarantee, so if it ever stops being reflective or the seams break down, you can get a new one without having to pay for it out of pocket.
- Is made with 3M Scotchlite. The reflective aspect of this vest is constructed of 3M materials. This means that you should be able to be seen from very far away, and in day or night conditions.
- Will keep you cool. It’s made of mesh, so it has a lot of ventilation. It won’t make you sweat so you’ll likely be able to stay cool when you’re wearing it.
- One size fits all. There’s no worrying about what size you’ll need when you buy this one. It has straps at the shoulders and waist to be sure that it fits the wearer properly.
- Comes with extras. With this product, you also get a lot of extras. It has a pocket for your phone that zips up, and comes with reflective wrist straps and a carrying bag, which are all color coordinated.
- Must be hand-washed. Since it’s made from unique materials, you probably don’t want to place this one in your washing machine.
- Better for broad shoulders. Runners with broad shoulders will get a better fit than those with slimmer frames. This is due to the unique strap placement.
Noxgear Tracer 360 Illuminated and Reflexive Vest
- Adjustable chest strap. There is a wide chest belt portion of this product that allows for you to adjust it through the middle for a good fit.
- Resistant to weather conditions. Even though there are straps and batteries in this model, it is still waterproof to a degree and able to stand up to the elements.
- Contains LEDs. Instead of just focusing on reflective strips, this one also has LED tubes, which essentially make up the straps, as well as a lighted back portion to ensure that you can be seen from virtually any angle. The LED color can be customized from any color you want, and has 5 different modes.
Batteries last a long time. This item runs on batteries, but they last for weeks or months at a time when this item is cared for properly.
- A bit pricey. This product costs a bit more than other types of vests. It may not be a good fit for people that just run at night from time to time, instead of on a regular basis.
Hard to clean. The unique design means you have to get creative when it comes time to clean it.
I believe that the best vest is the GlowGuard Reflective Running Vest. Not only does it have 3M branded reflective material, but also two sets of straps, so you don’t have to worry about finding the right size. You’ll likely be able to get a good fit each day and with all types of clothing.
Other things that make it unique are that it comes with wrist straps, a bag, and a pocket on the actual vest, which is made of breathable mesh, so you can stay cool at all times. My favorite aspect is that it also comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee, so you may never have to purchase a vest again after purchasing this one.