The Best Reflective Running Gear: Stay Safe and Stylish Outdoors

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Running outdoors can be an invigorating experience. In fact, many runners prefer the natural breeze, gradual elevation changes, and dazzling scenery of the outdoors over the more static feel of a treadmill. But of course, running outside can also come with some risks. Specifically, running in low-light conditions can increase your odds of getting struck by a fast-moving vehicle.

One way to avoid this outcome is to stock up on defensive products, including reflective jackets and other high-visibility running gear. This type of apparel can be especially useful when running early in the morning, late at night, or during winter weather.

So, what should you look for as you shop for reflective running gear? Consider a few suggestions from the ACTIVE Reviews Team.

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The Best Reflective Running Gear - Our Top Picks

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What to Look for When Shopping for Reflective Running Gear

When seeking any kind of reflective running gear, there are a few things to look for:

  • The presence of reflective bands, decals, or logos
  • Light and bright colors, such as yellow
  • 360-degree visibility (ensuring you can be seen by cars to either side of you)
  • Ease of motion
  • Breathable fabrics and materials, ensuring proper air circulation as you work out

Best Reflective Vest - Nathan Streak Reflective Vest

Nathan Streak Reflective Vest

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If you do a lot of running in low-light conditions, you really ought to have a reflective vest in your wardrobe. That's because it's always easy to throw on a vest, no matter what else you're wearing, ensuring high visibility in any kind of weather.

The Nathan Streak Reflective Vest is your best bet in this category; it's lightweight and breathable and comes in a form-fitting shape that will enable a full range of motion. Reflective details are present all around the vest, enabling 360-degree visibility. And if nothing else, this is a very cost-effective way to enhance the safety and visibility of your workout garb.

PROS

  • Allows a full range of motion
  • Promotes air circulation
  • Can work well in any weather
  • A lot of reflective detailing
  • 360-degree visibility
  • A simple way to enhance workout safety

CONS

  • No color options
  • Sizing may be a little imprecise

BUY: Nathan Streak Reflective Vest

Best Headlamp - BioLite HeadLamp 330 No-Bounce Rechargeable Head Light

BioLite HeadLamp 330 No-Bounce Rechargeable Head Light

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Another easy way to turn any workout attire into something safe and reflective? Add a headlamp. As an added bonus, this can also increase your own ability to see and to take in your surroundings. The HeadLamp 330 No-Bounce Rechargeable Head Light is an especially good option in this category.

There are a few factors that make this headlamp easy to recommend: With a maximum output of 330 lumens, it offers plenty of visibility. A red night-vision option is also included. You can easily recharge your headlight via USB, and each charge will give you up to 4 hours of battery life. Also note that this headlamp is very lightweight and has a small profile, so it shouldn't disrupt your run too much.

PROS

  • Up to 330 lumens
  • Helps you see your surroundings better
  • Lightweight
  • Low profile
  • 4 color options
  • Decent battery life
  • Red night-vision mode

CONS

  • May still need some reflective clothing to ensure 360-degree visibility
  • Running with a headlamp can take some getting used to

BUY: BioLite HeadLamp 330

Best Clip-On Lights - Whole Human LED Safety Light 2-Pack

Whole Human LED Safety Light 2-Pack

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In lieu of or in addition to a headlamp, you can also clip some LED lights onto your wrist, ankle, or waistband. This is yet another way to add a little reflectivity to any outfit. The Whole Human LED Safety Light 2-Pack provides runners with a simple and cost-effective way to increase safety during low-visibility conditions.

These little lights can easily clip on to just about anywhere; you'll have no shortage of options and no lack of flexibility. Choose from a number of high-powered lighting modes, including strobe or pulse. Also note the decent battery life and no-fuss battery replacement process.

PROS

  • Multiple color options
  • Multiple lighting modes
  • Lots of ways to add reflectivity to your running clothes
  • Easy to replace the batteries as needed
  • 1-year warranty
  • Very modest price point

CONS

  • May still desire some reflective clothing to ensure 360-degree visibility
  • Can be frustrating if your batteries die mid-workout

BUY: Whole Human LED Safety Light 2-Pack

Best Flashlight - GearLight LED Flashlight

GearLight LED Flashlight

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Of course, the tried-and-true way of enhancing your visibility is to carry a flashlight. Doing so can also increase your own situational awareness, helping keep you safe as you run through unfamiliar terrain. The GearLight LED Flashlight is our pick for best overall flashlight for runners.

You'll get two flashlights in this reasonably-priced box, and each one is powered with standard AA batteries. These flashlights don't do anything fancy, but you really don't need them to. They're durable, compact, well-sized for running, and sufficiently illuminating.

PROS

  • Uses simple AA batteries
  • Compact
  • Modestly priced

CONS

  • Running with a flashlight may be inconvenient
  • Losing battery power mid-run can be frustrating
  • You'll probably still want some reflective clothing to ensure full visibility

BUY: GearLight LED Flashlight

Best Phone Armband - TRIBE Reflective Running Phone Holder Armband

TRIBE Reflective Running Phone Holder Armband

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The TRIBE Reflective Running Phone Holder Armband allows you to kill two birds with one stone: One, it makes it easy to keep your phone close by, without needing to hold it or have it clanging around in your pocket. And two, it adds a dash of reflective material to your workout apparel.

This is an especially good armband because of its durable, flexible, comfortable, snug-fitting material. Highly reflective, multicolor materials enhance your visibility, and there is plenty of adjustability built into the band.

PROS

  • Adjustable
  • Built-in key pocket
  • Robust, long-lasting materials
  • Highly reflective and multi-colored
  • Makes it easier to transport your phone
  • Modest price point

CONS

  • Can be uncomfortable if you're not used to wearing your phone
  • You'll probably still want some reflective clothing to ensure full visibility

BUY: TRIBE Reflective Running Phone Holder Armband

Best Reflective Bands - Rena Chris Reflective Bands

Rena Chris Reflective Bands

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Consider the Rena Chris Reflective Bands to quickly and easily enhance the visibility of any outfit. With very large reflective areas, these bands really help to illuminate your frame during any low-visibility workout.

These reflective bands are made for ongoing use—you'll definitely get more than a single workout out of them—and they make an excellent option for anyone who wants something lightweight and battery-free.

PROS

  • Multi-use
  • Modestly priced
  • Very reflective
  • Flexible and adjustable
  • Lightweight
  • No need to worry about batteries

CONS

  • No color options
  • It may become tiresome to use multiple bands every time you head out for a run

BUY: Rena Chris Reflective Bands

Best Reflective Jacket - BALEAF Reflective Running Jacket

BALEAF Reflective Running Jacket

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Looking for something that will keep you well-lit and help with warmth and waterproofing? Look no further than the BALEAF Reflective Running Jacket. This is a high-quality windbreaker that just happens to be made with highly reflective materials.

Among its features, the BALEAF Reflective Running Jacket offers big pockets, removable sleeves, and a built-in ventilation system to help regulate your body temperature. And it comes in a full range of colors and sizes.

PROS

  • Several color options
  • Plenty of size options
  • Big pockets
  • Ventilated
  • Removable sleeves
  • Waterproof
  • Made with reflective materials

CONS

  • No hood
  • Not ideal for really warm or really cold temperatures

BUY: BALEAF Reflective Running Jacket

Best Reflective Tape - Gear Aid Tenacious Tape Reflective

Gear Aid Tenacious Tape Reflective

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When all else fails, there's always tape. Gear Aid Tenacious Tape Reflective works well in a pinch, providing a quick and easy way to cover yourself in some reflective materials. This peel-and-stick tape works well on helmets, jerseys, jackets, or bikes. It won't peel off over time and holds up well in inclement weather. And you can cut and size it however you like.

PROS

  • Easy, affordable solution
  • Can cut and size however you like
  • Fairly weatherproof and long-lasting

CONS

  • Not necessarily a permanent solution
  • Not everyone likes dealing with tape

BUY: Gear Aid Tenacious Tape Reflective

FAQs About Reflective Running Gear


How can I be reflective when I'm running?

There's really no substitute for reflective gear. Make sure you find shoes, jackets, and vests with reflective details. Headlamps or flashlights may also be useful.

What should I wear when running in the dark?

The more reflective materials, the better. Again, shoes, jackets, vests, and headwear can all come with reflective detailing. Headlamps or flashlights can help you be seen while also helping you see better.

What is a reflective band?

Simply put, reflective bands increase your visibility to those around you when you're in low-light conditions. They are made with materials that reflect light, making them easily visible when hit with direct light, such as a car's headlights.

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