In about mid-January you start to yearn for the longer days of summer. If you are a morning person, you like to get out early for your walk or run and it is probably still pretty dark outside when you begin. No matter your location it is always safer to be more visible. So, is there reflective gear that is considered a necessity?
I started thinking a lot more about reflective gear and being seen at night when I ran my first Ragnar Relay. The Ragnar is an overnight relay that typically extends about 200 miles. Teams of 6 or 12 rotate running different legs of the route. Each runner has at least one opportunity to run at night. The organizers of Ragnar are concerned with everyone’s safety so they require everyone to wear a reflective vest from dusk until dawn. They also require each runner to wear a headlamp and a rear blinking light while running. (More on headlamps coming in the Safety First – 2 of 2 post.)
My reflective vest is my only piece of reflective gear that I consider a necessity. Lately, I have worn it every morning because it is pretty dark for the first 30 minutes of each run. For whatever reason the majority of my running clothes are black. I am not very visible without my vest, to say the least! So, the reason I consider my vest a necessity is because I can wear it with anything. In the winter I put it on top of all of my layers and in the summer I can wear it over a tee or a tank.
I wanted my vest to be super light and minimal because of how often I wear it. I didn’t want it to add any significant bulk or weight to what I was already wearing. After trying numerous vests I now exclusively wear the the Xinglet by Amphipod, which is pictured at the top right of this post. I love it because it is more like straps than a traditional vest. One of the first vests I wore is pictured at the top left of this post. It ended up being just too much material. It would bounce when I ran and it was just thick enough that it actually felt like an extra layer.
The Xinglet could be described as almost the exact opposite of that first vest I owned. It is light weight and because the material has some elasticity it is very comfortable. I usually do not even notice it is on when I run. The straps adjust easily and stay in place once you have them set to a perfect fit for you. Like I said, if it is dark out, I never leave home without my Xinglet. Amphipod makes a few variations of the Xinglet now, which can all be viewed here.
So, what reflective gear do you wear and what do you consider a necessity? Let us know by commenting below and leaving a reply to this post.