To ensure you stay safe, seen (and stylish) when out on the roads this season, the WR team has been busy testing out the latest high-visibility running jackets. Here were our five favourites that ticked all three boxes.
What we love about this jacket is that it’s far less garish than most traditional high-vis running jackets. Instead of focusing on a bright colourway (which, actually, isn’t going to do a great deal in the dark), Brooks has subtly integrated all-over reflective detail, barely visible in daylight, into the lovely charcoal grey fabric. This is ideal if running by the roadside at night as it reflects the light very well, and can be worn in the daytime, without turning heads! It also offers excellent water and wind resistance and has water-resistant pockets so that, however heavy the downpour, you know your valuables will stay dry. The inner elasticised pocked inside the right-hand pocket even has a wire guide for your headphones to stop your headphones bouncing around when you’re running.
You’re definitely not going to go unnoticed with this number from Ronhill. In addition to the aluminous green colourway, you’ve got 360° reflectivity, with a reflective band around the body and on the arms, and also two safety lights. All of which work together very well, both reflecting and giving out a good level of light. As the jacket is quite lightweight, it’s ideal for autumn running; the wind-resistant fabric does a good job of protecting you against wind chill and you can rely on it to keep you dry. We loved the fit, too. The jacket features an elasticated drawstring at the waist, which not only helps to keep the wind out, but offers a flattering (and slimming) fit.
When Proviz launched the original version of this jacket last year, the brand asked us to take a picture of ourselves in a dark room to see what happened. Provis wasn’t lying when it said the results would impress; our experiment revealed an image of a blindingly bright silver silhouette, and did just the same when tried out on the roads under car headlights. However, while we loved its visibility, we were disappointed to find the jacket uncomfortable to run in. The fabric felt heavy and lacked breathability, making it overbearing to run in…even in winter! However, we were thrilled to discover that Proviz decided to revamp the jacket for 2016, for this exact reason. The fabric is now much lighter and has plenty more ventilation, thanks to the soft-mesh panelling on the back and under the arms. It might not be our first choice for style but, for safety, it sits at number one.
At only £29.00, we were intrigued to see how this jacket compared to those at the higher end of the price spectrum. And, after some rigorous testing, we couldn’t believe our eyes… literally. We were amazed by its luminosity when out on the roads at night and were impressed by the level of light given out by the reflective detailing. This jacket is fully waterproof with taped seams to prevent water getting in, yet features a breathable membrane to keep you sweat-free on the inside. Designed primarily with a dual run/cycle commute functionality, it has a scooped back for extra cover while cycling and two decent-sized pockets to store your valuables. We loved the vibrant orange and pink colourways, too, and had no complaints about the fit. Budget, style and safety friendly, we give it a big thumbs up.
Saucony ticked all the boxes with this jacket. First and foremost, it exceeded our expectations for visibility. Looking at it in daylight, we didn’t expect it would give off much light when night fell, but we were totally proved wrong. It features a super subtle reflective patterning on the front and back, which performed exceptionally well on the roadside under light from oncoming traffic. It delivered on comfort, too, providing fault-proof wind and water resistance when our tester gave it a whirl in a blustery downpour. And, while it has more of an over-sized fit in comparison to the more figure-hugging jackets we tried, because of the added length, it looks bang on trend when teamed up with some bold pattered leggings. We would have just liked for the pockets to have been bigger!