The best reflective running gear

They’ll have a harder time finding your body if you’re not wearing reflective gear.

Best Headlamp

Petzl Swift RL

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Best Vest

Amphipod Xinglet Reflective Vest

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Honorable Mention

Salty Lance Glow Belt

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On average, a pedestrian gets hit by a car every 75 minutes. I don’t know how often they do it on purpose, but I can confidently say reflective running gear could reduce the risk. I know that’s some 60 percent of the time, it works every time logic, but it doesn’t make it untrue.

To avoid pedestrian and motor vehicle collisions or unintentionally evading search and rescue teams when you’re lost in the woods, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that you carry a flashlight or wear reflective clothing. In this article, we’ll highlight the best reflective running gear to cover yourself from head to toe, just in case.

Best Headlamp

Petzl Swift RL

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Best Vest

Amphipod Xinglet Reflective Vest

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Honorable Mention

Salty Lance Glow Belt

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Best Jacket

Proviz Reflect360 Running Jacket

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Best Clip-On Light

Nathan Running StrobeLight

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Best Flashlight

Nathan Terra Fire 400 RX Hand Torch

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Things to consider before buying reflective running gear

There isn’t much to know about reflective running gear other than it makes you more visible in low visibility situations. When you consider buying reflective gear, make sure it reflects light or emits light. It may seem silly, but it’s better to wear it than to be one of the 7,000-plus people hit by cars each year or the 1,600 poor souls who have gone missing on public lands. 

With that said, both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Parks Service recommend a few other things as well if you plan on doing a little night adventuring. Besides wearing the proper clothing and bringing the right gear, they recommend using common sense. Their tips include knowing your route, obeying signage, looking both ways before crossing roads, not staring at your phone while you’re walking, and avoiding strenuous activity while impaired by drugs or alcohol. 

FAQs about reflective running gear

Q: Should you wear reflective clothing when running during the day?

A: No, you don’t have to. In fact, the Army recently said you can stop. However, it’s good practice to wear reflective clothing when there’s low visibility outside, like during a rain or snow storm or heavy fog. 

Q: How many lumens do I need for running at night?

A: It depends on your preferences. While a higher lumen count will give you more light, it’ll also drain the battery. Therefore, you’ll want a light with a few hundred lumens that has adjustable light levels, so you can have greater visibility when you need it and save battery power the rest of the time. 

Q: Should I run with a headlamp?

A: Yes, it’s often recommended that you wear a headlamp if you go trail running at night. But if you’re running in a well-lit place, then it’s unnecessary, but totally up to you.

Final thoughts

If you only buy one thing from this list because you need some reflective clothing, buy the Amphipod Xinglet Reflective Vest. It’s a highly reflective vest that you can use year-round. If you want to buy something else for visibility, then buy some Nathan Running StrobeLights. They’re easy to use and, again, you can use them year-round and for multiple activities. 

Methodology 

For this article, we looked at government data to learn more about what you should wear and do to avoid injury during low-visibility hours. We also relied on our research team to identify product categories. Using those categories, we combed through e-commerce sites and independent publications to find the best recommendations. After compiling a list of five to 10 items for each category, we narrowed the selection by reviewing the products ourselves or reading user reviews. 

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Daniel Terrill

Commerce Editor

Daniel Terrill is the commerce editor at Task & Purpose, where he helps manage a team of staff writers and contributors that cover purpose-driven gear and services for purpose-driven people. He lives with his family in suburban Chicago.