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Old 11-23-04, 03:03 PM   #1
Konakazi
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Hi vis/Reflective Vest for dark jacket?

OK I just accidentally closed the window on a longer winded version of this post so here's the nutshell.

I commute in NYC and recently have been paranoid that my visual profile is too dark. I would like to balance my visibility with practicality in terms of the gear that I have and what I'd supplement with.

I have a North Face jacket that I love and wear as a shell but it's much too dark. I recently ordered an Illuminite jacket but a) it was too small b) I wasn't sure it would cut it as a similar quality shell, especially in the winter.

I've thought about simply getting a reflective vest to put over my jacket when I ride, but then again I wear a messenger bag which would partially obscure it.

I do ride with lights (Serfas front blinkie, PB blinkie on my bag, blinkie armband), have my helmet pretty much covered in reflective stickers, and actually just ordered some more lights ( PB Super Spot , and helmet blinkie ) that I'm picking up today.

Do you guys think a colored vest would be enough? If so what recommendations would you give?

Thanks and sorry if I seem over cautious , but better than safe than sorry.
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Old 11-23-04, 03:06 PM   #2
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It can't hurt to get one of those DOT or similar vests. Besides once they're worked in the look pretty cool. They'll look good over a dark jacket for sure, and any more scotchlite that shows up is a bonus.
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Old 11-23-04, 03:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by SamHouston
It can't hurt to get one of those DOT or similar vests. Besides once they're worked in the look pretty cool. They'll look good over a dark jacket for sure, and any more scotchlite that shows up is a bonus.
I love the concept. I'd be psyched to have one that actually said "TRAFFIC" , haha.

Any other suggestions? Links are appreciated!

Last edited by Konakazi; 11-23-04 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 11-23-04, 03:38 PM   #4
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I have this one in orange. It is very small, light and you don't even know it is on. Slips over helmet and probably a messenger bad i presume.


Last edited by Portis; 11-23-04 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 11-23-04, 04:10 PM   #5
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I have this bag in the larger size, same color:
It's pretty bright in the day time and isn't dark at night. Another benefit is that it matches the color scheme of a lot of the seats on the subway so people think it's cool, heh.
You know, with the amount of money you spent on lights and stuff you could've bought a Niterider taillight too. I can't stop raving about it. Every time I'm at the front of the line waiting for the light with cars and I turn around, I see this huge red spot in the face of the driver behind me. It's about as bright as one of those LED rear lights on the bus.
Or you can have a blinking or solid center red light on the back. Then attach two cheap ($15) amber lights on solid on the back on each side of the stay. Makes you wider and cars seem to recognize orange/red/orange as caution, slow moving vehicle.
Or my personal favorite, a HID with a red lens mounted backwards. Blind everything for 1/4 mile behind you.
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Old 11-23-04, 04:13 PM   #6
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Do you guys think a colored vest would be enough? If so what recommendations would you give?

I was in Modell's the other day and saw these running vests that had some reflector dealies on 'em and they were under 10 bucks...maybe that coupled with some tape on your bag.
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Old 11-23-04, 05:55 PM   #7
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Tape on the bag is a good idea. I have a Timbuk2 also but I got black/black/red...didnt' even think about visibility. At least it has those reflective flaps and I attach a blinkie to the provided strap.

What's all this Niterider talk? I'm pretty happy with the red PB LEDs I've got going. I just attached the helmet mounted one to boot, so I think I'm decent on that level.

The Super Spot is insanely bright on the front! Whoo!

I see Modells is selling that same Nathan's vest. In orange I think I could handle it... The price is certainly right.
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Old 11-23-04, 08:03 PM   #8
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I just bought these gloves that the police use directing traffic. They are spandex and super thin. I wear them over all my other gloves. A winter glove with insulation might pack down, but I think they are worth the effort.
They are great for signaling. It is dark and raining here, I just rode in front of my friend in his truck and he said they looked great.

I also picked up this vest today for $8.00. It is ok for the the price. I tried it on the road and my friend said it was ok, better from the front. The problem is it is not long enough to really go down your back when bent over, but it still works. That is one very nice feature about the nathan's vest. The one I have is also very lightweight mesh, so it will not get hot in warmer temps.

I really would like to get this vest. It is made to much higher standards with scotchlite reflective material, which works great. They are out of stock at the moment and I am not sure if it will be too short in the back, but it sure would be hard to miss.

Someone had posted this website in another thread. They sell 3M Silver Retro-reflective Fabric Tape by the roll to sew on. I cannot tell if it is scotchlite or not, but it looks like it. I might just get a roll and add a horizontal strip to the cheap vest I have. I could always hang one down the back too and see if it work.

I really like the gloves, hand signaling in the dark always seemed pointless since most gloves have very little reflective material, with these there should be no question, plus I think it puts motorists on high alert. They are not used to seeing it and they pay attention (hopefully) a bit more than normal.

Galls.com also has a lot of other vests and scotchlite adhesive reflective material in an assortment of colors, sizes and lengths. My next project will probably be adding some to my helmet.
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Old 11-23-04, 11:08 PM   #9
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Galls has a lot of really good stuff. Dad used to get the catalogs constantly.
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Old 11-23-04, 11:36 PM   #10
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Best sig ever!
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Old 11-24-04, 12:52 AM   #11
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http://www.glowdog.com/products/p00055.htm
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Old 11-24-04, 09:37 AM   #12
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Harbor Freight! Cant beat it at 5.99. More reflective material than the 22 dollar vests.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=3604
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Old 11-24-04, 02:20 PM   #13
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Looks good. The only reason why I would lean towards the BikeALite / Crateworks one is the rear length which is a great design concept for bikers. A longer vest means my bag would have less chance of obscuring it entirely.
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Old 11-24-04, 02:23 PM   #14
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http://www.infinityproducts.com/Refe...afetyVests.htm

Choice of text it seems. All you have to do is buy 12
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Old 11-24-04, 02:27 PM   #15
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or, http://www.southwestpublicsafety.com/refsafves.html

less options, but you only need to buy one - and one does say Traffic Control
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Old 11-24-04, 03:32 PM   #16
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Put a dog safety vest on your bag, or sew reflective tape on it. Then a vest for you as suggested by many others here.

I use a hi vis that was sold for hiway workers, but I also have a hunting vest that has lots of pockets, and I plan to add reflective tape to it. Then I can keep my gloves, balaclava and blinkies in it when I am not riding.
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Old 11-24-04, 05:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica
Put a dog safety vest on your bag, or sew reflective tape on it. Then a vest for you as suggested by many others here.

I use a hi vis that was sold for hiway workers, but I also have a hunting vest that has lots of pockets, and I plan to add reflective tape to it. Then I can keep my gloves, balaclava and blinkies in it when I am not riding.
Dog safety vest? Now that is one of the best ideas I've heard in a long time!!!
I wouldn't go for the regular orange colors, though. Since I started reading threads like this I've been looking out for what cyclists are wearing, not just cyclists. Orange doesn't stand out that much to me, but the white and neon yellow/green really do. Add reflective striping and they're super.
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Old 11-24-04, 09:09 PM   #18
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We've got a Harbor Freight outlet a few towns over. Was over there last week, and picked up a reflective flagman's vest that is so bright it almost hurts. Open mesh. Will fit over anything.
$5.99
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Old 11-25-04, 12:12 AM   #19
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Neon orange doesn't stand out to you? Madness!

Thanks for all the responses! For the short term I think I'm going to go with the Bikealite vest. I'm sold on the length and specific reflectors for the biking pose.



And if need be maybe add some tape to my bag or bike. The dog vest is a pretty clever suggestion so brownie points!
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Old 11-25-04, 12:38 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Konakazi
Tape on the bag is a good idea. I have a Timbuk2 also but I got black/black/red...didnt' even think about visibility. At least it has those reflective flaps and I attach a blinkie to the provided strap.

yeah I caved and bought one of those suckers today but it's all black. :/ guess the concern was more on not being seen. still, a good bag.
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Old 12-03-04, 06:12 PM   #21
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I saw an ad in a British Bike Mag for a cover to go over your bag that is bright yellow with lots of reflective tape on in. I'll see if I can find a web address. I have put my bright yellow pannier cover over my back pack. That works.I have also just put a regular safety vest over the back pack. Just wrap it over and bungee it on.
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Old 12-03-04, 06:42 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ch0mb0
yeah I caved and bought one of those suckers today but it's all black. :/ guess the concern was more on not being seen. still, a good bag.
Where'd you get it? I'd return it, go to the Bag House on broadway and get the bright version.
I had a black bag and the new orange/yellow/orange can be seen from like 10 blocks away.
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Old 12-05-04, 02:41 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Where'd you get it? I'd return it, go to the Bag House on broadway and get the bright version.
I had a black bag and the new orange/yellow/orange can be seen from like 10 blocks away.

haha, that's where I went in the first place! But it grew on me, and plus it's easy to match with stuff.
Fits real snug when riding, which is great, but I hope the lining doesnt tear too easily.
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Old 12-05-04, 01:27 PM   #24
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The lining doesn't tear in my experience. But just make sure you have it closed tightly in the rain otherwise you'll get a nice puddle perfectly preserved in your waterproof bag.
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Old 12-05-04, 07:23 PM   #25
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From experience on the "receiving end" (driving a car behind cyclists), I would not worry so much about reflectors on your torso so much as reflectors on your arms and hands (if you use hand signals, that is -- if you're a non-believer please stop here).

I have seen many guys lit up like christmas trees on the body, but with black arms, gloves, etc.. When they go to make hand signals you simply cannot see their hands or arms, effectively making the signals useless. I think excessive lighting on the torso exacerbates that problem, you're so busy looking at the body that you don't see the hands.
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