Run Light

in Safety Gear

I promised you all a review of my new running safety gear!  And here it is.

photo 3 (2)

I’ve been doing loads of nighttime running lately and have become very aware at how…well… how I don’t naturally glow in the dark.  Hah!  I’ll creep up on dog walkers, scare drivers parked at stop signs.  I try to wear light-colored clothing, but the fact of the matter is that runners blend into the night.  And that can be mighty dangerous for many reasons.


First things first… It is 1:48 PM and I have not changed out of my pajamas.


Secondly, I’m LOVING my new reflective vest from Nathan.  It’s very lightweight and breathable, and the shape means that your arms don’t rub up against it as you run.  It’s also very easy to slip on – it attaches in the front with two Velcro closures.  There’s also a hidden key pocket.


According to the Nathan website, when you’re wearing the vest, cars can see you from up to 1,200 feet away. I felt like it was SO BRIGHT when I ran in it at night.  There is no way a driver won’t spot you in this vest.


My only complaint is that I wish the small was more snug. 


My other new piece of safety gear is the New Balance Tri-Viz LED Cap.  It’s a hat that literally has lights built into the brim.  There are three settings; the third is when both of the lights are on. 


The area I run in has streetlamps but some portions of the sidewalk are pretty dark.  Using this hat made it easier to see where I was running, but this hat does NOT replace a traditional head light.  The lights simply aren’t powerful enough.  The illumination extends about 6 – 8 feet in front of you and is equal to a crappy handheld flashlight.  But for urban running, I think it does the trick.  Not only was it easier to see the sidewalk, but I also think it made me more visible to cars. 


I must admit – I think this hat will come in handy the most around my house during power outages.  Or when I want to read in bed in the dark. 


I am very glad I bought the vest – and to a lesser degree, the hat – and now I feel much more confident running at night.  Safety first!



  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats October 5, 2012, 2:05 pm

    The hat would be perfect for reading in bed!! And I need to get a vest!

  • Robyn October 5, 2012, 2:10 pm

    I don’t know if you do much camping, but I have a similiar hat and it is PERFECT for middle of the night potty trips to the woods!

  • Abby W October 5, 2012, 2:43 pm

    I use a NiteBeams arm band when running at night on the blinking setting and I feel very safe running with it because I know cars/bikers/other runners can see me. Cheap and lots of colors (I have blue)

    • Abby W October 5, 2012, 3:59 pm

      I just realized that the website lists these at $20/each. I got mine for $5 or
      $10 at a pre-race expo.

  • NinaGo to October 5, 2012, 3:04 pm

    By “I wish the small was more smug” do you mean the sizes run a little large, or it kinda fit funny?

    • Caitlin October 5, 2012, 3:44 pm

      Lol!!! Snug!!!

      • Caitlin October 5, 2012, 4:30 pm

        I think the small is fine for a woman my size, I just wish it was more fitted.

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More October 5, 2012, 3:34 pm

    I love the safety first! Definitely important when running outside, but especially when running at night!

  • Karen @ Runner Girl Eats October 5, 2012, 5:41 pm

    I like that the vest doesn’t bother under the arms. I need to get some running safety gear since my extra daylight hours are about to run out :/ I think that hat would be perfect for camping!

  • Sam @ Better With Sprinkles October 5, 2012, 6:33 pm

    I would definitely be using that hat to read in bed, that’s awesome!

  • Sarah (The Simple Dietitian) October 5, 2012, 6:52 pm

    I’m in love with the Nathan vests too! I have one that has light up beams, which can be pushed “on” or “off”. It makes me even more noticeable to oncoming traffic, which is great for country road runs at night.

    I’ll have to check out that hat! 😀

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama October 5, 2012, 7:49 pm

    I do most of my running in the dark now too. I wear a headlamp and a flashing red light on my back. I think I should get a vest too. Safety first for sure!

  • Deborah October 5, 2012, 8:51 pm

    What a brilliant set up. I’m starting to get back into running, and I love your blog. It’s been a while, but something about the cold air gets me excited to dash around the neighborhood.

  • Sarah October 5, 2012, 9:35 pm

    You are TOO cute! Yes.. the vest is a great investment… the NB hat w/lights??? If you really truly want to gave a visor/hat with lights it is doable… but it is is SO annoying. Seems to me you’re doing what works for YOU 😀 that is what truly matters most 🙂

  • amandarunsny October 5, 2012, 9:58 pm

    Since I live in NY and run in Central Park, I don’t worry too much about wearing a headlamp (although I’m all about wearing light colored with reflective stripes). But now that you mentioned that the hat is good for reading at night…I might be buying one.

  • Aja October 5, 2012, 10:18 pm

    Whoah, I want a hat that lights up! That would be great just for walking from my dorm the dining hall for a late night snack!
    I feel you with wishing the small would be more snug. For some reason certain things in small still seem too big. I think they’re changing the sizes on us.

  • Caitlin October 5, 2012, 10:27 pm

    You know how when you run in the dark and a car coming towards you with its lights on will blind you, since your eyes have adapted to the dark? Does having the light right there on your hat help to prevent the blindage from headlights? I use to run super early in the morning and hated being faced with head lights and being unable to see the side walk in front of me. Fortunately I never face planted.

    • DadHTP October 6, 2012, 10:13 am

      Hold up a hand to block the headlights – I always had the same problem cycling at night. If you block the direct beam your eyes will readjust much faster.

  • Amanda October 5, 2012, 11:40 pm

    I have a reflective vest, but its super old school. It used to be my dads when he was a runner in his 20s! I also have a blinking light and made .. Makes me feel more safe.

    • DadHTP October 6, 2012, 10:17 am

      take it outside, at night, put it on a fence and make sure it’s still reflective – washing will deteriorate the brightness, and some material lose reflectivity just by being wet. Items that are marked CE Compliant are usually superior

  • Amanda October 5, 2012, 11:40 pm

    I mean mace!

  • Cher @ Weddicted October 6, 2012, 10:54 pm

    I can’t really run without headphones at night, but I always feel SO unsafe. Do you run with headphones at night? I’m even uneasy during the day in more remote places (ie; a path near my house where there are no homes close/rarely people).

    • Willow @ My Own Trail October 11, 2012, 9:00 am

      I also have to run with headphones, and I run early in the morning when it’s still dark. I’ll either turn the music down a little so I can still hear what’s going on around me, or I only run with one headphone in (I have earbuds). That way, I can still hear my music but I’m also aware of what’s going on around me.

  • Helen October 9, 2012, 4:51 am

    Ditto Cher, I was just going to ask the same thing about the headphones – I train a lot at night with my running club and headphones are really discouraged….

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