Importance of Reflective Jackets
I caught up with an old friend today who is a big biker. Last month a utility van hit him, broke many bones, including his hip and pelvis, and he faces many months of rehabilitation. While he was going faster than any Class I, Class II or Class III electric bike, it still is a good reminder that we should take every opportunity to increase our visibility. If the driver had seen him 1 second earlier – he could have avoided being hit.
Pedal Bright is dedicated to making sure we do everything possible to be seen when riding your electric bike.
One effective way of ensuring safety is wearing a reflective jacket, which is crucial in making riders visible to other road users. This becomes especially important in urban and suburban settings, where traffic is denser, and visibility issues can lead to accidents. We have discussed many other steps to increase visibility and safety including tail lights, spoke reflectors, headlights, MIPS helmets.
Reflective Jackets Technology
Reflective jackets work on a simple principle of light reflectivity. When a light source, such as a car’s headlights, hits the reflective material on the jacket, it is reflected, making the wearer highly visible. This feature is indispensable in low-light conditions typical of urban and suburban settings where street lighting may be inadequate.
Comfort is another important factor. The jacket should be lightweight, breathable, and easy to put on and take off. It should also have adjustable features to fit comfortably over light and heavy clothing.
The market offers a variety of reflective jackets tailored for electric bike riders. For example, some jackets feature an integrated LED system for additional visibility. Others may offer weather-resistant features, making them suitable for all-weather use.
However, reflective jackets are not the only solution for enhancing visibility. Alternatives such as reflective vests, sashes, and bands can also be considered. These are lightweight, cost-effective, and can be worn over regular clothing. Similarly, accessories like reflective helmet covers, gloves, and backpack covers can add to the rider’s visibility.
Reflective Jacket Regulations
It’s also important to remember that local laws and regulations may require riders to use certain reflective gear. So, it’s always a good idea to stay informed about the local laws in your area.
Looking toward the future, we can expect to see advancements in the design and materials of reflective jackets. New technologies, such as smart textiles, could make jackets more reflective, comfortable, and capable of communicating with surrounding vehicles.
In conclusion, wearing a reflective jacket or other visibility-enhancing gear is a simple yet effective measure that baby boomers riding electric bikes can take for their safety, especially in urban and suburban settings.
- REI Co-op offers a range of reflective cycling jackets from various brands, such as PEARL iZUMi, Showers Pass, GOREWEAR and Fjallraven. You can filter by gender, size, color, price and rating.
- Amazon.com has over 1,000 results for reflective cycling jackets, including jackets with removable sleeves, integrated LED system, weather-resistant features and smart textiles. You can also find reflective vests, sashes, bands and accessories.
- Proviz is a specialist in reflective cycling gear, featuring the Reflect360 material that looks grey in daylight but reflects brightly at night. They have jackets, vests, helmets, gloves, backpacks and more.
Reflective Jacket Reviews
- Road.cc has a buyer’s guide for the best reflective cycling gear, including jackets, vests, helmets, gloves, and shoes. They also provide ratings and pros and cons for each product.
- The Independent reviews the best reflective cycling jackets for 2022, featuring waterproof and windproof hi-vis styles from Proviz, Pinnacle, Decathlon, and more. They also provide ratings and verdicts for each jacket.
- Discerning Cyclist reviews the best reflective cycling jackets for men and women, featuring jackets with different colors, sizes, and features. They also provide ratings and links to buy each jacket.
|Proviz||Reflect360 Performance Jacket||$140||Fully reflective material, breathable mesh lining, adjustable cuffs and waistband||4.5/5|
|Showers Pass||Elite 2.1 Cycling Jacket||$269||Waterproof and breathable fabric, reflective trim and logos, large back vent||4.6/5|
|GOREWEAR||GORE-TEX PACLITE Cycling Jacket||$200||Lightweight and packable fabric, water-resistant zip pockets, adjustable hood||4.6/5|
|BALEAF||Men’s Cycling Rain Jacket||$51.99||Windproof and water-resistant fabric, integrated LED system, back zip pocket||4.6/5|
|BALEAF||Women’s Running Rain Jacket||$51.99||Windproof and water-resistant fabric, detachable hood, zip pockets||4.5/5|
My wife and I use the Baleaf jackets, MIPS helmets, spoke reflectors, tail lights, turn signals, and headlights for our rides. The headlights and tail lights are integrated into Gazelle ebikes that we have, and we have added additional lighting and horns to help us “Pedal Bright.”