Amphipod's New Visibility Gear Makes Running in the Dark Easier (and Safer) Than Ever

A runner wearing the Amphipod Microstretch-Flash Waistpack while running at night

Fall is just around the corner, which means trading hot, sweaty runs for cooler ones. But it also means less daylight.

People often run or walk in the mornings or evenings when light is scarce, which makes it difficult for drivers to see them. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says almost 6,000 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in 2016—75 percent of those crashes happened in the dark.

So, if you run at night, it’s crucial that you run with visibility in mind.

“As drivers, we are well aware of the near misses,” says Keith Willows, Amphipod’s director of product design and engineering. “Just because you can see a vehicle, it doesn’t mean the driver sees you.”

If the standard reflective vest is not your favorite piece of running gear, we get it. Convenience and comfort top the list of reasons why runners don’t try harder to be visible on the run.

Amphipod tackled this challenge by adding visibility features to products runners are already using, like armbands and hydration packs, to make it more convenient and comfortable to stay safe in the dark.

A runner wearing the Reflective-Burst Armpod Smartview Sumo

Check out the Armpod Smartview series. The phone holder is secure, protects your phone and makes you more visible with reflective details.

Arms are one of the best places to put reflective detail because they move as you run, catching headlights and the eye of the passing driver. When a driver sees your arm or other body parts in motion it activates part of the brain that can identify a human form, even in the dark.

The Microstretch-Flash waist pack comes in a neon color with reflective detail and a light that can stay on or flash at different speeds. It’s lightweight, breathable, adjustable, stretchy and expands to fit a full-size smartphone, keys, gel and credit cards. Plus, the light is rechargeable.

Rechargeability is a game-changer.

Amphipod now has the products you will reach for every year, from headlamps and blinking lights to waist packs and rechargeable flashing vests. So you can trust that they will last through an ultra, an all-night relay or your usual training run in the dark.

The most effective way to be seen

A combination of visibility and reflectivity strategies is most effective for cars approaching quickly. Try products with a flashing and reflectivity combo to be visible from all different angles.

“Gear and apparel with reflective features and detailing allows car lights to ‘activate’ the retroreflective, visibility-enhancing features, improving the ability for the driver to see a runner,” says Willows. Add flashing lights and you have dramatically improved your chances of being seen.

Put on the Xinglet Optic Beam and you’ve got a party!

The Xinglet Optic Beam is an innovative product that is lightweight and uses a combination of light production, bright color and reflectivity. Inspired by Amphipod’s original Xinglet reflective vest, the new Xinglet Optic Beam was developed as a simple, ultra-light combination of three important features: 360 degree LED flashing elements, USB re-chargeability and reflectivity.

By Kate Schwartz. Schwartz has been running competitively for 20 years, and she currently runs with the Asheville Running Collective. She lives in Asheville, NC, with her husband, Alex, and their cat, Clementine.

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