Best Reflective Gear for Runners

There has been a real shift over the past few weeks and it’s definitely starting to feel more wintery. It’s dark when my alarm goes off now which is a bit bleak. On the bright side (literally), it does mean getting to see some great sunrises on morning runs.

As the days get even shorter, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to stay visible during those early morning and evening runs. There are tons of options, from fully reflective jackets to clip on lights you can pop on over your clothes. New reflective technologies mean that you don’t have to just be decked head to toe in fluorescent kit either. Now darker colours can still be highly reflective, while looking a bit more subtle during the day.

I really like the Oiselle Reflective collection especially the Firecracker Reflective 3/4 leggings and shorts.

Sweaty Betty also have a gorgeous new collection of reflective kit. The 7/8 Power Reflective Leggings.

Proviz Running Jacket

Proviz REFLECT360 Running Jacket

This Proviz reflective running jacket has previously come out top in the Women’s Running Product Awards. The front and arms are fully reflective with extra strips on the back, giving 360 degree visibility. Made of innovative material formed from millions of tiny, highly reflective glass beads this jacket reflects light back from vehicle headlights, making it a great choice if you run near busy roads a lot.

As well as being reflective, this jacket is super lightweight with a soft, moisture-wicking lining. This helps you control your temperature and avoid getting too sweaty. Which can be an issue with some winter running kit. 

I’ve got the cycling jacket which I find a bit boxy but was useful on run commutes in early morning/evening hours. Can’t wait to run commute again but for now I”m still avoiding public transport wherever possible. And my 25 mile commute is just a little too far to run each way 😉 

Brooks Carbonite 7/8 Tight

The high-visibility material on these Brooks reflective running tights is intentionally placed around the lower legs, the area where there is typically the most movement when you’re running. This helps drivers to recognise you as a runner in motion. The 3M™ Scotchlite™ Carbon Black Stretch runs around the whole bottom half of the leggings for 360 degree visibility. 

They are made with Brooks DriLayer® technology and aim to give a second-skin fit that won’t overheat. You can also get the matching jacket. Being mostly black and white, neither will look too out of place during the day either.

Brooks Reflective leggings

FlipBelt Reflective 

This FlipBelt is dual purpose, allowing you to store all your essentials (keys, phone, gels, etc) while providing you with good visibility as well. It comes in two colours: black or neon yellow. The black one is great as in daylight the reflective strips just look grey, but come night time they provide three metres of 360 degree visibility, meaning you can be seen from all angles. 

Another bonus is this reflective running belt is that you can wear over any other gear you have. This makes it more affordable than buying lots of new kit and means you can dress for any conditions, then simply pop this on top.

LightupU Reflective Vest With LED Lights

This running vest from LightupU doesn’t just reflect light, it also contains its own light source, giving you ultra high visibility. And you’ll not only be seen by others, the inbuilt lights will also increase your ability to see yourself in unlit areas. The LED lights will give you up to 60 hours of running time, so you don’t need to worry about charging them all the time. 

It’s a one size fits all model, and should easily slip over any other kit you have, making it a great, affordable, versatile option.

Nathan Hydration Safety Gear 

I have a variety of Nathan gear, including the Streak Vest, Strobe Light (you can clip those onto your shoes, jacket, bag or leggings).

Best Reflective Gear for Runners

SAFETY SKIN Reflective Skin Spread

A bit like a reflective Body Glide, apply this reflective ‘skin spread’ anywhere on your body to create a reflective stripe, highly visible in low light to headlights and other lights. This looks like a great option if you’re running somewhere dark but still warm. And you don’t want to be decked out in hats and jackets but still want to be seen. 

A Headtorch 

A decent head torch is crucial to keep you on your feet (watch out for any bumps in the pavement/tree roots/deep puddles) and to be seen. You’re looking for either a re-chargeable USB head torch or something with small batteries that provides a bright light that can be angled towards the ground. So that you don’t have to run with your head bent downwards. I like having an extendable stop so that it can be worn directly on your head, over hats. Or even pulled right down and worn around your waist! Petzl have a great range at a variety of price points.

Best Reflective Gear for Runners | running in the dark - how to stay safe

What’s your favourite reflective running kit? How do you stay visible in the dark?

3 Comments

  1. October 20, 2020 / 7:06 am

    Those reflective jackets look so good for visibility. I have a sort of string vest thing that’s reflective (don’t know how else to describe it) that I can wear over anything, so if it’s not too cold I can still be seen. And a chest torch because the pavements around here are terrible for tree roots- it has a red light on the back so it helps to be seen too. It takes so long to get ready for a dark run!

  2. Jessica
    October 29, 2020 / 1:22 pm

    I usually really enjoy reading your blog, but lately it’s beginning to seem like nothing but a paid advertisement. I know the pandemic makes it difficult to post stories about runs or travel, but is there other running related content you could write about that doesn’t involve buying gear?

    • charlotte
      November 8, 2020 / 1:31 pm

      Thanks for your feedback, I’ve been struggling recently to balance full time NHS work with the blog so haven’t been blogging or running as much! I hope to be able to share more running content over the next few months. I’m sorry you feel like it’s just been ‘buying gear’ but none of these posts have been paid advertisements – I don’t get paid for reviews!

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