Best Gift Ideas for Night Runners [For Your Favorite Runner Friends In 2023]

Best Gift Ideas for Night Runners

Night running is a thrilling athletic activity, but people who don't know much about it might be clueless about what it entails and how it differs from regular daytime running. Thus, it could be hard to understand things from the runner's perspective.

If you find yourself in that bracket and you have a friend or loved one who's an avid runner with a birthday or special occasion coming up, then you could struggle with finding the right gift for them. After all, the market is flooded with running accessories and gadgets, and narrowing your search can be a hassle.

But don't worry, as we're here to help you find the perfect item for your favorite runner.

We've looked over a diverse set of useful night running items and came up with a list of nine necessities. So follow along for our take on the best gift ideas for night runners in 2023.

The Best Gifts for Night Runners: At a Glance

Here are our picks for essential pieces of night running gadgets and gear:

  1. NightBuddy™ 230º LED Headlamp - Best running headlamp

  2. NightBuddy Military Grade Tactical Flashlight - Backup flashlight

  3. Flood Light Buddy - For lighting up large areas

  4. Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GORE-TEX - Waterproof trail running shoes

  5. Noxgear Tracer2 - High-visibility sports vest

  6. Proviz REFLECT360 DRY BAG - Waterproof running backpack

  7. FlipBelt Classic Running Belt - Running belt to hold your items

  8. CamelBak Quick Grip Chill™ Handheld - Handheld water bottle

  9. Vargo Titanium Emergency Whistle - Near-weightless and loud whistle

What Kind of Things Do Night Runners Need?

What Kind of Things Do Night Runners Need

Night running involves specific gear for reasons like safety, visibility, and emergency preparedness. We're here to help you get an idea of the best items to complement a great running career.


A powerful and effective headlamp is an absolute essential for any night runner. In fact, it's so important that some daytime distance runners take them along in case they overstay their outdoor runs until it gets dark because it's simply too useful.

Many nighttime trail runners choose to traverse courses that are way off the grid compared to regular paved roads, so they often don't have the luxury of overhead lamp posts illuminating every yard of their paths.

But even if a night runner chooses a fully developed asphalt road, they might not want to rely completely on street lamps that might provide inconsistent lighting, especially when some lamps start to flicker or even go out entirely.

As such, every nighttime trail runner should grab a comfortable headlamp with a powerful enough torch to light up their path for at least several yards ahead.

Fortunately, sports headlamps can be so light that the runner doesn't even feel them around their head. And if you're night running in winter months, there are even beanies with a torch to keep your head warm in cold weather.

Running Gear

Regular gear isn't made to withstand the physical "abuse" that's inevitable in a running environment. Normal shoes will quickly wear out and fall apart if their wearer is often stomping hard for long durations, especially over time.

Comfortable running shoes can get expensive, which quickly turns people away. But they can withstand the running without getting torn, and they're fitted with cushions to absorb the impact upon each stomp, lessening the impact on your feet.

Some standard items, such as backpacks, can be used when running, but those are often too loose and will quickly get uncomfortable as you're running. Besides, many standard backpacks won't secure your items inside as well as running bags.

Reflective Clothing

High-visibility (hi-viz) clothing is another night running essential. Whether it's a running jacket, a reflective race bib, or a pair of fluorescent ankle tapes, you need to make yourself more visible to motorists to avoid potential accidents.

Similarly, this is why police officers often wear these super-bright yellow vests on highways.

And while you could get any classic yellow or orange bib from your nearest Walmart, there are better options specifically for runners.

A running vest can reflect the light brighter and make you look even more visible from a farther distance, which adds a layer of safety. Not to mention that they often look much more elegant than traffic bibs.

Water Bottle

Advanced runners who engage in long-distance running or marathons will appreciate a heavy-duty water bottle.

First, holding a regular bottle for your whole journey can heavily tax your arm muscles. We know that those small bottles are very light, but when you have to hold onto them and rock your arms back and forth for hours, it definitely adds up and can slow you down.

Speaking of slowing down, with a regular bottle, the runner would have to stop to sip from the bottle often. This can be very bothersome, especially if the runner is trying to achieve a race time goal.

Fortunately, a running bottle will typically have straps so that you don't have to clench your fist around it for hours. Moreover, instead of the regular hole to pour water into your mouth, they can have little caps that only allow water through when you suck on it, similar to baby bottles.


There are many electronic devices that can help a runner in their journey.

For example, a smart GPS watch can be one of the best gifts for runners, especially since it can be equipped with multiple helpful gadgets such as a GPS, heartbeat sensor, speedometer, and elevation tracker. These running metrics can also help you improve your workouts if you study them well.

And let's not forget the clock itself! It's still a timepiece, after all, and being able to tell the time or set alarms, reminders, or stopwatches can be helpful on the go.

Smartwatches can also allow you to view or answer calls and texts without taking your phone out. Combine that with a decent pair of running headphones, and you'll start seamlessly answering calls while running.

Speaking of headphones, those can also make amazing gifts to any runner. They can work by securing themselves around the ear to eliminate the risk of falling off. Or, for smaller in-ears, those can have strong buds that stay inside the ear and don't slip off during tension.

Emergency Items

Lastly, it's always important to consider emergencies when looking for night running equipment.

For example, carrying a loud whistle with you can be super helpful in grabbing as much attention as possible from the public. It can even be a life-saving tool if you get attacked by a wild animal or a malicious person or if you get injured and struggle to move around or lose your cell reception.

Night running emergencies can also mean getting stranded on a race day, and when you're dealing with limited battery life on most equipment, you're at risk of losing your source of light.

That's why you should consider a set of backup batteries that fit into your equipment. And if they're rechargeable, then they're even better.

Sometimes, you might also need to set up a camp for the night or stay still for a few hours. In those cases, an electronic camping lantern or a set of floodlights can help you illuminate a large area without wasting your headlamp or flashlight's batteries.

Top 9 Gift Ideas for Night Runners in 2023

Now that you're more familiar with night running essentials, we'd like to show you some of our favorite products to fulfill these different categories. We tried and tested these products and have found them to be excellent for trail running in the dark. So let's look at each of them!

1. NightBuddy™ 230º LED Headlamp - Best running headlamp

NightBuddy™ 230º LED Headlamp

We'll start off with the most vital piece of running equipment, and to bring you the cream of the crop, we have the NightBuddy 230º LED Headlamp.

For starters, the NightBuddy Headlamp isn't just a torch glued on a headpiece. Instead, it's a powerful chip-on-board LED consisting of numerous small lamps that compound together to give you strong and reliable light for 100 meters with 230 degrees of vision.

The headpiece is also something to gawk at. It's lightweight and comfortable to not bother you while running, and thanks to its bounce-free technology, your eyes won't tire as they track the light.

The battery lasts for three hours at maximum brightness and eight at minimum, which is plenty for any running trip. And thanks to super-fast charging, you can get it ready for the next night in no time.

2. NightBuddy Military Grade Tactical Flashlight - Backup flashlight

NightBuddy Military Grade Tactical Flashlight

Carrying a flashlight is always useful, just in case. And you won't find much better on the market than the NightBuddy Military Grade Tactical Flashlight, which can deliver an enormous coverage of far-away spots up to a mile. And you can combine it with a headlamp to increase the coverage even further.

The NightBuddy flashlight has a huge battery that can last for 8-12 hours of continuous use. And even if it's rainy outside or you're running on wet trails, the flashlight's water-resistant capabilities and hardcover make it withstand these harsh conditions.

3. Flood Light Buddy - For lighting up large areas

Flood Light Buddy

There are some situations where a flashlight or headlamp just won't do. For example, if you need to stop for a while for whatever reason, you'll need to illuminate a much larger area than a single lamp can cover. That's where the Flood Light Buddy comes in.

At just 0.71 pounds and with a battery that lasts up to three hours on high mode and six on medium, you'd be carrying around a pocket chandelier for the woods.

4. Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GORE-TEX - Waterproof trail running shoes

Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GORE-TEX

A trusty pair of running shoes is among the best running gear for any runner, not just night runners. And our choice for the best running shoe is the Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GORE-TEX, which offers a waterproof design specifically tailored for trail running.

The outside GORE-TEX layer prevents your feet from getting wet in muddier conditions, and there's just enough rubber and arch support in the shoe to deflect any damage that small rocks or debris might cause.

And the soles are durable enough to withstand running on smooth roads and trails, so run away and don't worry about sore muscles!

5. Noxgear Tracer2 - High-visibility sports vest

Noxgear Tracer2

A hi-viz vest like a race bib or fluorescent orange jacket is crucial for night running safety. But we prefer more fashionable vests like the Noxgear Tracer2, which uses colorful LED alongside fluorescence to help you light up like a Christmas tree from up to a quarter mile away.

The Tracer2 isn't an entire vest, either, so if you're not a fan of what the yellow and orange bibs look like, you'll enjoy the design here.

6. Proviz REFLECT360 DRY BAG - Waterproof running backpack


A highly reflective running bag like the Proviz REFLECT360 can also make you even more visible to motorists and cyclists while giving you the benefit of storing your items in a tight, secure, and waterproof container.

And despite its huge capacity of 28 liters, the Proviz REFLECT360 is a lightweight bag that won't hold you down during your runs.

7. FlipBelt Classic Running Belt - Running belt to hold your items

FlipBelt Classic Running Belt

If your running friend prefers the more lightweight approach of using a running belt instead of a bag, then you might want to surprise them with the FlipBelt Classic Running Belt.

This FlipBelt Classic is an adjustable belt that secures all the basic necessities, such as your phone, keys, in-ears, and cash, without you worrying about them falling or rocking about during long-distance runs.

Additionally, the reflective fabric on the belt adds more long-distance visibility, which works great with a hi-viz vest.

8. CamelBak Quick Grip Chill™ Handheld - Handheld water bottle

 CamelBak Quick Grip Chill™ Handheld

We talked about how those small mineral water bottles can be a bit cumbersome to carry on longer strides, and having to stop to take a sip so frequently can be inconvenient.

But with the CamelBak Quick Grip Chill Handheld 21-oz bottle, you can carry as much as you would like in a regular bottle! This bottle also keeps your drinks colder for much longer.

And when it's time to drink, the bottle fits smoothly in hand and delivers an excellent water stream through its trademark Jet Valve technology.

9. Vargo Titanium Emergency Whistle - Near-weightless and loud whistle

Vargo Titanium Emergency Whistle

A reliable whistle is always useful to carry around in case of an emergency. And the one that ticked all of our boxes is the Vargo Titanium Emergency Whistle.

At just 0.1 ounces "heavy" and with a strong and reflective lanyard to keep it around your neck, you can wear this whistle as a weightless necklace.

And with a loudness rating of 10 decibels, blowing this whistle will produce a sound equivalent to a helicopter flying by at 100 feet.

The Bottom Line

That's everything for this time! Make sure to consider what your running friends need before considering a gift. You can subtly ask them about how they're holding up with their current gear, and if they seem unhappy with it, get them a proper new replacement!

For example, with gear like the NightBuddy 230º LED Headlamp, you can guarantee maximum light coverage during their runs to ensure a safe and hassle-free trip. Meanwhile, a sturdy pair of trail running shoes or a belt can also go a long way.

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