A blog by runners. For runners.

Illuminate the night: running gear for the dark

Illuminate the night: gear for running in the darkMost of us choose running gear based on three factors: comfort, cost, and appearance. While it’s a nice perk to look cute when out on a run, the appearance factor takes on a whole new meaning when running in the dark.

Bright colors, reflective gear, and/ or illumination devices are essential for running in the dark so others see you and so you see the road ahead. Here are some of our picks for enhancing your visibility:

Amphipod Vizlet LED Reflectors. Amphipod Vizlet LED Reflectors. These bright, clip-on reflectors with a built-in red, LED blinking light are a simple way to stay visible. Simply clip the reflector on to your hat, shirt, waistband, or hydration belt (it stays put thanks to a dual magnet). Consider using a few so you’re visible from several directions. The blinking light easily shuts off with a press of a button.
Reflect Compression ™ Leg Sleeves Zensah Reflect Compression Leg Sleeves. Sold in neon colors that are more visible in darkness, the Zensah Reflect Compression Sleeves feature reflective technology that shows up in the dark.
New Balance Glow Beacon Vest. New Balance Glow Beacon Vest. The Glow Beacon Vest is a must-see. It enhances visibility in three ways: its neon color, 360-degree reflective trim, and unique glow-in-the-dark technology on the shoulders and back. Charge the vest under direct light for 10 minutes and watch the vest glow in the dark. It’s also available in a jacket.
GEL-NIMBUS 16 LITE-SHOW Asics Gel-Nimbus Lite-Show. These neutral, special edition running shoes come in an ultra-bright yellow color and are made with all-over reflective material and glow-in-the-dark cushioning. It would be impossible for others to miss you in these flashy kicks.
Petzl Tikka Headlamp Petzl Tikka Headlamp. Petzl usually gets the highest reviews for headlamps for runners. The Tikka model is comfortable, it comes with several lighting modes so you can choose which you see best in, and it features constant lighting technology. Instead of the light getting dimmer as batteries die, the constant lighting feature warns you (with a blinking light) when the batteries are almost sapped – so you won’t get caught in the dark, literally.
Nite Beams LED Caps and Visors Nite Beams LED Caps and Visors. These one-of-a-kind caps and visors feature ultra bright LED lights in the front and back of the cap. The four front lights are so bright that they illuminate the road for 20 feet in front of you. The two lights in the back make you visible from up to 1/4 mile from behind.
Knuckle Lights. Knuckle Lights. Knuckle Lights are a good alternative for those who dislike headgear. These weatherproof gadgets fit securely on your hands with adjustable straps and light up the road in front of you with each arm swing. Knuckle Lights come with three settings: high, low, and blinking. They provide an even, steady stream of light that doesn’t bounce or move around.

How do you stay bright on runs in the dark? Share your favorite products with us!

Written by Jen Matz. 

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