Best Reflective Vests for Running 2022
Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet
Reflective vests are a necessary component to almost any runner’s or walker’s gear kit. If you run outside during the winter or just late at night, chances are you will be running some in the dark. You want to be seen by others wherever you are running, and one of the easiest ways is to throw on a reflective vest.
So whether you walk your dog before the sun gets up or are packing for a Ragnar Relay, we have the best reflective vests for running and walking:
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Reflective Vest
- Light up, reflective or both: There are some vests that primarily light up with LED lights for visibility. The downside to these is that you have to remember to charge them and they tend to be heavier. A reflective vest without lights tends to cover more of your body with visibility components and is lighter weight.
- How easily can you put it on and adjust: You want a vest that is easy to take on and off. No one wants to struggle with taking off a sweaty reflective vest. Mother nature can be fickle, too; you may need to wear the vest with a T-shirt one day and three layers the next. You want a vest that can fit comfortably in both situations.
- Breathability: Similar to clothing, you want a reflective vest that wicks away moisture and is breathable. Some non-running reflective vests trap the moisture in and make you uncomfortable.
- No bouncing, flapping, irritations or chafing: You want a vest that fits closer to your body, like another layer, so it isn’t distracting when you run. You don’t want a vest that flaps around—either the vest itself or the ends of the adjustable cord. Similarly, you want a vest that fits well, so it doesn’t irritate your skin and cause damage.
- Freedom of movement: You want to be able to swing your arms and have full range of motion while running. You also don’t want a vest that is too tight and restrictive.
- Do you want it to pull double duty: There are reflective vests that are actual pieces of clothing to keep your core warm and/or protected from the elements. Similarly, there are vests with added storage options. It is up to you if you want a more minimalist vest or something with added bells and whistles.
[This is part of our Best Running Gear & Accessories Guide 2022. Check out our guides to the Best Running Lights and Best Running Headlamps.]
Amphipod Xinglet Optic Beam Rechargeable Vest
The Amphipod Xinglet Optic Beam Rechargeable Vest is a lightweight vest that features 360 degrees of LED illumination and reflectivity so you can be seen in the dark. There are reflective boosters in the front and back for extra visibility too. Throw the USB rechargeable vest on before your run; it has three modes and a battery life of five hours when flashing and three hours when solid. The number of options make this a simple choice for anyone who is walking or running in the dark.
Nathan Streak Reflective Vest
The Nathan Streak Vest is a classic reflective vest that is perfect for running. It has 360 degrees of reflective optimization and 1200-foot visibility. This vest was made for runners, featuring an anatomical shape that offers full range of motion without interrupting arm swings. This vest has unisex sizing and you can dial in the perfect fit with the VELCRO®-closure tabs.
Nathan Vibe Reflective Vest
For runners looking for a minimalist, comfortable and super reflective vest, look no farther than the Nathan Vibe Vest. This vest provides 360-degrees of visibility and safety for low-light conditions. It is easily adjustable shoulder straps and waist belt provide a customized fit for most body types. The design is made for running, hugging your body and giving you full range of motion, so you can run unencumbered.
Amphipod Xinglet Sumo Pocket
Combine your reflective vest with storage for an all-in-one solution on the run. Even with maximum versatility, this multitasking vest is still minimalist and lightweight. The front zippered pocket expands to fit most plus size phones and doesn’t bounce, and the vest provides full 360 degrees of reflectivity with a soft, comfortable stretch design.
It is easy to adjust whether you are wearing a tank top for a summer night run or many layers for those morning winter runs. The front access Swift-Clip™ release is designed for you to easily be able to take it on or off. Plus, the design doesn’t trap sweat and breathes easily. For more storage options, check out our Best Running Belts Guide.
Brooks Run Visible Insulated Vest
If you want your reflective vest to also provide warmth and protection against the elements, then try out the Brooks Run Visible Insulated Vest. This vest is made to keep you visible while running in the dark—Brooks strategically placed fluorescence, high contrast and 3M Scotchlite Carbon Black Stretch reflectivity in critical motion zones to help drivers recognize you as a runner in motion.
Your core will stay warm and dry no matter the conditions since it’s water and wind resistant and contains Brooks’ DriLayer® Seal fabric, a breathable fabric that lets excess heat out without letting the elements inside. Designers also added Thermolite Insulation in critical areas to keep you warm all run long.
Check out our Best Reflective Clothing Guide for more reflective clothing options.
How We Picked the Best Reflective Vests for Running
With more than 45 years of experience, Fleet Feet is the expert in running. What makes the ideal reflective vest for a runner comes down to the personal experience, goals, running surface, preferences and style of that runner. At Fleet Feet, we have been helping runners pick out the right gear for decades and want to pass that knowledge onto you.
We use a combination of real-life use, quality of materials, seasonal trends and our own top-seller lists to pick out the best reflective vests for running. With all that in mind, we picked gear that lived up to our personal (and professional) expectations and we think they will live up to yours as well.
Standing Behind Our Picks
We picked the best reflective vests for running based on what we think will work for the most people in the most situations. If you buy any gear from us and you don’t love the way it looks, fits or performs, bring them back within 60 days for a full refund. That’s our Happy Fit Guarantee.
Plus, we offer free shipping on all orders over $99 on fleetfeet.com, and we’ll match a lower price from a qualifying retailer.
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