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Reflective running gear: 8 products to boost your visibility

Sometimes you just can't avoid running in the dark or in low visibility conditions. To stay safe on your session, take a look at this essential reflective running gear for exercising in the dark.

Essential gear for running in the dark

Night running can be a dangerous activity, especially in cities or along trails with hazardous roots and obstacles. But it is, however, a necessity for people who work shifts or unsociable hours and don’t have a treadmill.

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That’s where safety kit for running plays an important role, with reflective running gear being a vital purchase if you exercise after dark.

Ensuring you’re prepared for any eventuality when out on a run is a smart move. To help you get prepared, we’ve rounded up our top pieces of reflective running gear that we recommend you invest in to stay safe during your training.

Reflective running gear to improve your visibility

Ledlenser H5R CORE LED Headtorch

H5R-Core_502121_standard_laying sq
Credit: Ledlenser

A powerful headtorch is key for remaining visible and being able to see the path as you run. The Ledlenser H5R Core has a claimed 50 hours of battery life and a mighty 500 lumens.

The torch is adjustable, so you can point it downwards when passing someone on paths or forest trails to avoiding blinding them with the strong 500 lumen beam, which Ledlenser says can reach up to 200m.

The headset is also said to be waterproof and durable, with the adjustable headband allowing a secure fit to the head so it doesn’t bounce about when in motion. 

Ledlenser says it’s extremely simple and easy to charge the H5R Core, too, thanks to a magnetic-fit USB charger. It’s worth noting that the battery pack sits at the back of the headset (or the side if you have adjusted the band for a smaller head size), which can feel a little odd at first, but we quickly got used to this after a few runs. 

Check out our guide to the best head torches for running.

Gato Adjustable Chest Light

High-VIZ-Chest-Light-Adjustable-Front-GATO-Sports
Credit: Gato

If you don’t like wearing lights on your head, this comfy and adjustable Gato chest strap is ideal for hands-free movement.

At 250 lumens, it’s not as powerful as the Ledlenser and you can definitely notice this when on the trails. Yet, if you don’t like a sweaty band on your head, grabbing a chest strap could be the way to go for you.

Just be aware that a chest light will move about more than a head light due to the extra movement that your torso experiences compared to your head.

That being said, we liked the reflective strips and dual front and back lights on the Gato, which were particularly useful in alerting cars behind us to our presence. Gato claims the battery lasts for 5 hours, though we found we had to re-charge after each run to get the best use out of it.

Though the Gato has three light intensity modes, we stuck to the brightest beam it offered when on the go. 

Proviz Hi-Vis Jacket

Womens Yellow Front hr
Credit: Proviz

Protect yourself from cold, wet and windy weather in a visible and durable run jacket. We loved the quality of this reflective running jacket. The seamless design and waterproof fabric kept us dry even in torrential downpours.

The jacket’s material is stretchy and draws in at the bottom to keep you snug in any weather. Available in a huge range of colours, each with the classic Proviz hi-vis detailing, we felt safe and protected when sporting this jacket out on the roads and trails. 

Gore Windstopper Beanie

GORE WEAR Unisex M Windstopper Beanie
Credit: Gore

One quick and easy way to let drivers know you’re in the road is to wear a reflective running hat. This one is made with neon yellow fabric, so it’s the perfect piece of headwear for night runs. 

Made with 100% polyester, this is a versatile beanie designed to be worn all year round. Its thin construction makes it suitable for use during a range of different sports, but still protects you from the wind and rain. It’s said to be breathable, too, so it should be comfortable to wear for long periods of time. 

Buff CoolNet UV+ Reflective Buff

Buff Coolnet Reflective Buff
Credit: Buff

You can never be too safe, so there’s no harm in wearing reflective running accessories on top of brightly coloured clothing – especially if it’s cool outside. This reflective Buff serves the dual purpose of keeping your neck warm while making sure you’re visible to traffic up to 150m away. 

It’s also seamless, which means it shouldn’t irritate your skin as you move. Once you’re back home, just throw it in the washing machine to freshen it up. 

Proviz Hi-Viz Running Vest

Proviz Hi Viz Running Vest
Credit: Proviz

If you don’t have a high-vis jacket, an easy and affordable alternative is a neon vest. Just pop it on over your outerwear to give you that extra visibility. This one fits both men and women, and has plenty of room for movement as it doesn’t restrict your arms.

Proviz says the vest’s moisture-wicking fabric is highly breathable and lets heat escape quickly, while the bright reflective panels help to make sure you’re seen from far away. 

Dhb Flashlight Long Sleeve Jersey

Dhb Flashlight Long Sleeve Jersey
Credit: Dhb

When investing in reflective running gear, it’s always a good idea to go for clothing made entirely with bright fabric, as opposed to items with small sections of colour. Not only is this long sleeve jersey made entirely from yellow fabric, but it also has reflective patches to provide even more visibility on the road. 

Dhb says this jersey is also comfortable to wear thanks to its high-wicking inner and soft marl finish. You can even use it for cycling, as it has a dropped hem for extra coverage when you’re on a bike. 

Reflector snap-on bands 

reflector snap-on bands
Credit: Amazon

As a last-minute solution, you can’t go wrong with reflective snap-on bands; they’re durable, effective and easy to attach to most items. Just snap them onto bags or your wrist, arms or ankles. You can even attach them to pet collars to keep them safe in the dark. 

These ones are 30cm long and come in packs of 16. They’re made with an internal steel plate for durability, and they should flag your existence to people up to 300m away. 

More tips for running in the dark

  • If you don’t have reflective running gear, dress in yellow, light green, red or silver, as these are the most visible colours at night
  • Add bright or reflective accessories to your arms and legs if possible, as passers-by will be naturally attracted to the movement
  • Make sure you have reflective patches on your front and back, so people can see you from both directions
  • Run on well-lit paths whenever possible to avoid tripping over tree roots and other obstacles
  • Always run towards the traffic, so you can see when vehicles are approaching you
  • Take care when crossing busy roads and don’t assume drivers will see you and stop
  • Keep a small first aid kit with you – we recommend the one below from Lifesystems

Lifesystems Nano First Aid Kit

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Credit: Lifesystems

Be prepared with a compact first aid kit, such as the waterproof Lifesystems Nano, which is ideal for off-piste adventures. Though small, the kit should cover most minor first aid incidences.

The pack includes: guaze, sterile swaps, plasters of various sizes, zinc oxide tape, blister pads, and much more. The extremely lightweight outer bag has loops, where it can be attached to your bike or run belt/bag. A great little kit at a very reasonable price, we take this with us on all our multi-sport adventures. 

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For more tips on running in winter, check out our guidance on running in the cold, and find more of our recommendations for gear in our running clothing section.