18 December 2008

Be seen on the road: Here’s a great reflective vest

Posted by todd under: Riding at night; Safety gear .

carhartt-vestJason Nunemaker over at The Cycle offers a great tip on a reflective vest he’s wearing for commuting. It looks like this thing takes “high visibility” to new heights.

I wear the 3-Flow Performance Series jacket during the winter; it’s plenty reflective, and I’m satisfied with it. (It’s also waterproof, and it breathes pretty well — although when it’s warmer than 65 degrees or so, I switch to a lighter jacket.)

Anyway, Jason’s recommending a Carhartt vest designed for construction workers. Check it out on Carhartt’s site; Jason got his here. From a brief scan, it looks like the vest is retailing for around $35.

One Comment so far...

Jason Nunemaker Says:

18 December 2008 at 5:47 pm.

Hi, Todd — here’s more on the vest, straight from the horse’s… well, let’s just say “mouth.” :-)

Apparently, ANSI ranks this sort of reflective stuff by classes. My vest (shown) is a Class 2. Even better is a Class 3, which (as far as I can tell) needs sleeves so it can offer more side visibility. G&L offers a Class 3 on their Web site, but it wasn’t in stock at the store. I like this one better because of the orange contrasting — it really seems to make the reflective pop off the already annoyingly bright yellow.

The one question mark for me is breathability — my night riding is usually the result of short (and cold!) winter days around here, so I can’t say how this will perform when the temps rise. There are mesh versions of similar vests that might be better in the summer.

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Yes, that's me, Todd Van Campen. No, I'm not wearing a helmet. Yes, I usually wear one, so please don't scold! Seriously, I endorse wearing a helmet! Pinky swear! In fact, I almost ALWAYS wear one (while riding a bike anyway). (On the other hand, if YOU don't want to wear a helmet, I have no problem with it.) I don't remember what happened on this particular day. Fortunately for all of us it makes for a less-nerdly picture. My exceptionally talented professional photographer friend Charles Bertram took this photo.

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