Reflective Running Clothing And Running Gear For Running In The Dark
Best running gear for the dark?
Here's your complete list!
There are many reasons why you would want to run when it's dark. By choice, you might want to do fitness running at night or early in the morning.
Despite the low-light conditions, you'll find that doing your "thing" at these times is stress-free and enjoyable.
Then again, whatever time of day you may want to train outdoors, some potential threats and dangers can befall you. Running in the dark poses more of these.
You thus have to take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe while fostering your health and fitness. Among them, and the most crucial, is wearing reflective running gear.
Why Is Reflective Gear Or Clothing Important?
Reflective clothing is used in the workplace as well as when doing sports or workouts in the dark where there are low-light conditions. These include biking, running, or hiking. Reflective gear signals the presence of the wearer under these circumstances that in turn, wards off potential threats to their health and safety.
If you are running or riding a bike or motorcycle in low-light conditions, you must wear reflective material. Studies have shown that nighttime drivers can recognize visibility factors when pedestrians don reflective material. This thwarts the possibility of accidents.
As a runner, you must sport reflective clothing when exercising outdoors in the dark. Below is a handy list of essential reflective running gear and the features to look for when purchasing them.
Your Handy Guide For Choosing The Best Reflective Running Gear
#1 Reflective Safety Vest
Reflective vests are must-haves for the avid nighttime runner. It is a reflective item that finds its rightful place in your running wardrobe. Light vests come in a variety of materials and bright colors and are often designed with light-up straps. If you prefer to buy only a single item of reflective clothing, it's worth it to have one or two reflective vests.
Look for a lightweight material when shopping for this gear. Make sure, of course, that it is super reflective for extra visibility. A vest that's light can be worn as an extra layer to the other layers of clothing that you might need.
#2 Running Headlamp
This reflective item is a staple if you're a mountain biker or regularly run in the dark. It keeps you visible while allowing you to see the trail ahead.
Go for a running headlamp that's lightweight and snug to use. The NightBuddy LED Headlamp has features that makes it handy for running in low light conditions.
A feature to be particular about is a reflective strap over the top of the headlamp to prevent bouncing. It's worth it to choose an item with a backlight so that you'll be visible to cars from behind.
A wave sensor is helpful for your running headlamp, too. Whenever necessary, you can just turn it on and off with a wave. No need to fumble for the switch, especially in urgent situations.
#3 Reflective Running Hat
Cars have to see you when you're running in the dark, and they tend to do so at your head level. That's why a reflective running hat must be on you. Reflective running hats are like running headlamps that give you high visibility.
You need to wear it together with your other reflective garments. When out to shop for this item, look for a lightweight and comfortable fit that doesn't feel too tight.
Most people deem hats as ideal gear for daytime running- mainly as protection from the heat of the sun. However, wearing it at night also helps to trap some heat and regulate your body temperature.
Some brands even have reflective elements such as zippered pockets where you can store your keys. As visibility gear, a reflective running hat is truly functional.
#4 Reflective Running Jacket
When temperatures are cooling and the daylight hours are becoming shorter, you'll find good use of a reflective jacket as a nighttime runner. You have numerous options for its design, including those with reflective stripes.
Your early morning runs can be safe with a visibility jacket that has sufficient reflective details and a reflective print. You can pick the design that you want from various color options.
Reflective details that you should consider for this apparel are element of visibility on the sleeves, chest, and back, such as reflective strips and reflective logos.
When you're out with your fellow runners or else you are a pack of trail runners, this visibility gear is imperative. It has to be made of breathable fabric and moisture-wicking materials and above all, weather-resistant.
#5 Reflective Running Tights
At the early time of day or late in the evening, it makes sense that you wear high-vis running tights. They cover a huge part of your body protecting you from the chill and in the same way assuring your safety.
A wide range of coverage is provided by this gear, making it exceptionally functional. An excellent option is reflective tights that are made of moisture-wicking fabric and stretchy fabric as well.
A smart purchase for this gear features functional pockets. Likewise, be keen on the best reflective detailing on the garment. Premium brands are available for men and women and in a wide range of sizes.
#6 Reflective Running Shirt
For the most part, good-quality running shirts are made of moisture-wicking materials. As visibility apparel, reflective running shirts are not as common as their vest, jacket, and headgear counterparts. Nevertheless, they are functional as another safety layer when running in dark conditions.
The reflective version of running shirts is at hand with a lot of visibility designs, such as stripes, strips, logos, and other print details. Shopping for this item needs you to be particular about breathability, stretchiness, sweat-wicking properties, and effective reflective features. Neon high-vis shirts can be worn at any time of the day.
#7 Reflective Running Shorts
Not high on the priority list, you can go for budget options for your extra visibility running shorts. For all your countless hours of running, especially when you're a pro, you'll realize that reflective running shorts are not as essential as reflective hydration vests, jackets, hats, and headlamps.
The good thing about reflective shorts, nonetheless, is that they are multi-purpose. You can wear them either in the daytime or the nighttime.
Your color options abound for this reflective clothing, and they are available for men and women fellow runners. Reflective shorts are likely to have small reflective details and may not give you a high degree of visibility. You must wear them with other substantial visibility gear.
#8 Reflective Running Shoes
You have to look for extra visibility features in your running shoes. Some brands have less and more of these than others. For example, if the element of visibility on this gear happens to be just a single strip, then don't expect it to provide you with an ample and solidly safe degree of visibility.
Your shoe-buying decision, in this aspect, should be a fully reflective version of running shoes. If you are not keen on buying reflective shoes, primarily equip yourself with light vests, hats, tights, and headlamps. Sport reflective gear that's most comfortable and gives you a wide range of motion.
If you do decide on buying reflective shoes, consider dependability, comfort, efficient cushioning, and waterproof features.
Final Thoughts! Look For Comfort and Functionality
Testing is crucial after purchasing your reflective running gear. You can do this with your fellow runners or family members, among others. Be particular about this aspect because your safety depends on it.
Aside from ensuring the efficiency of your visibility apparel and accessories, mind that they are also dependable, comfortable, and functional. If you want to be fashionable, go ahead! You can shop for a reflective running garment that suits the right body types, too. In terms of comfort, guarantee that it is pliable, allowing you a full range of motion.
Color options are in the offing but see to it that overall, you're getting a premium quality product. You cannot compromise your safety, so it's worth it to pay for quality for your visibility running gear.
These items are suitable for runners, yes, but they also work for hikers and mountain bikers along with other outdoor sports enthusiasts. Biking in the dark is an especially critical motion, so it is of prime importance to use the right reflective gear.
As an affordable solution, stick to the essentials. You certainly don't need to cover your entire body with reflective clothing and accessories. A reflective vest, jacket, hat, and headlamp can suffice, together with accessories such as a reflective running belt, or running sleeves. If you run long distances, a hydration vest is practical.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is "reflective" different from "hi-vis"?
When you go shopping for reflective running gear, you're apt to come across the terms "reflective" and "hi-vis". As reflective materials, these two should not be interchanged.
Hi-vis is a reflective material that's made of florescent fabric, and a good example is neon clothing. The best time of day to use this is early in the morning because this material improves visible natural light.
Reflective refers to material that reflects light directly back to its source, that's why it is ideal for fending off potential danger at night when there are low light conditions. However, they can be used for daytime running as well.
Can I ensure my safety when running at night?
For the most part, yes. That's what this article is here to guide you for. There is always a potential danger when running both in the daytime and nighttime hours.
That's why, when running in the dark hours, especially, you have to make yourself as a runner visible. Hence, this valuable and practical list of reflective running gear and additional items to consider.
Is it difficult to sleep after night-running?
It generally depends on how close to your bedtime you're doing your run. Science supports that you shouldn't do a heavy workout one hour before going to sleep, or else you'll feel hyperactive.
Otherwise, if you run beyond this time frame, you'll find that nighttime running improves your sleep. If this schedule is tough for you, you can opt to wake up at pre-dawn where you'll be perky and ready for school or work afterward.
At any rate, be aware of what you should do to ensure your safety and well-being as you aim to improve your health, fitness and quality of life.