Whether you log miles in the dark or just want to be prepared for an emergency, there are steps you should take to stay safe on the run. Luckily, when it comes to reflective gear and digital devices, you have lots of options. Check out our top picks.
Somewear is a lightweight satellite communicator that is a must-have for adventure junkies. The hockey puck-sized device is a bit pricy—it retails for $350, plus you’ll need a satellite data plan that starts at $100/year—but if you’re a trail lover or run in an area with minimal cell service, the peace of mind is invaluable. The device pairs with a cell phone to provide text and email capability as well as emergency signals via GEOS Worldwide. And it defaults to cell or wifi data when in range, saving satellite data, and can send up to 1,000 messages on a single charge.
Nathan Sports ripcord siren personal alarm is a thumb-sized device that sends out a 120 dB alarm up to 600 feet away. It can serve as an SOS signal or a deterrent if you’re feeling unsafe. The alarm was named one of Time Magazine’s best inventions of 2019 and sells for a wallet-friendly $19.99. Carry it on its own or pair with one of Nathan Sport’s waist packs or phone holders–they have a special pocket built specifically for the alarm.
If you run before sunrise or after sunset, visibility is probably top of mind. Luckily, there are more reflective options than ever. The Swiftkick Aspire neon yellow sock offers slight compression along with a highly reflective colorway. The sock is made of lightweight Olefin fiber, which promises to wick away moisture and dry quickly—perfect for even the sweatiest runs.
If you’re looking for a reflective vest alternative, check out Oiselle’s lightning layer. The lightweight singlet can be worn as a tank or layered over a long sleeve when the temperature drops. It also features a side zip pocket and reflective panels on the back, hip and chest.
If your miles take you on dark roads, you’ll want a safe option to light the way. The BioLite headlamp 200 differs from many other headlamps in that it’s powered via micro USB instead of batteries. The lightweight and easily adjustable headlamp provides 3 hours of high beam light and 40 hours of low beam light per charge.
One of the sport’s most popular apps has its own built-in safety feature. Strava’s beacon feature allows your pre-selected contacts to see where you are during an activity in real time on a map. Throughout your activity, they can check to see where you are or if you’ve stopped. And if something were to happen to you, they’d be able to see your GPS location on any web browser. This feature is only available with Strava’s paid Summit plan.
If you want to stay aware of your surroundings without missing out on your favorite tunes, you’ll want to check out the Aftershokz headphones. These over-the-ear headphones use bone conduction technology, so runners can still hear what’s going on around them. Bonus: They’re sweat proof and a single charge provides over 6 hours of audio.
Finally, the RoadID is a mainstay when it comes to runner safety. Founded over 20 years ago, the company offers a variety of simple yet effective ID options for shoes, wrists, pets or your GPS watch. You can also get special tags to identify a specific health condition such as diabetes.
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