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Top 12 Night Visibility Items


Updated May 25, 2014

Be safe - be seen. It's only your life that depends on it. Night walking means taking extra care that cars can see you. For the best safety, your entire outline should be reflective and you should carry a light or wear a flasher.

1. Reflective Vest

Wendy Bumgardner ©

I carry one of these in my car to quickly slip on for night walking. Choose one made of mesh so it is breathable and lightweight. The vests usually come as one-size-fits-most. The reflective strips on front and back provide safety. If you get one in orange it provides day safety as well.

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2. Petzl TacTikka Plus LED Headlamp

Petzl TacTikka Plus Headlamp
Photo courtesy of Pricegrabber
For hands-free night walking, this headlamp is an essential. It is lightweight, bright, and it runs on 3 AAA batteries that last for 150 or more hours. That's far better than a flashlight that is drained in just a few hours. You can adjust the angle of the four super bright LED bulbs. I has three brightness settings, plus a flashing setting. There is a red filter to flip over the lights if you prefer. It has a single strap, but kits are available to add an over-the-head second strap.

3. Glo Glov

Glo Glov reflective safety gloves
Wendy Bumgardner ©

These open-fingered gloves have big reflective triangles on the palm and the back of the hand, plus reflective strips down each finger. I love the visibility these gloves give me, especially when crossing the street. I flash the triangle on my palm to waiting traffic.  You can wear alone or over other gloves. They are breathable enough to wear at night in all seasons.

4. Panther Vision LED PowerCap

Panther Vision LED PowerCap
Wendy Bumgardner ©

This hat with three built-in ultra-bright, ultra-light LED headlamp bulbs is a great walking or running accessory in dusk, dawn, or after dark. It fits and feels like any other good cap, and you can wear it anytime. After dark, just push in the button to use a front spotlight and/or two under-brim lights that will illuminate your walking path. The lights add no weight at all.

5. Reflective Armbands and Anklebands

Nathan LED Wristrunner
Courtesy of Pricegrabber

Reflective anklebands and armbands are a good choice if you don't want to wear a vest. They will show you are a moving object.

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6. Iron-on Reflective Transfers

See-Me-Run Reflective Iron-On Transfers Patches
Wendy Bumgardner © 2008
Use these reflective iron-on transfers to add a measure of night safety to your favorite walking gear. I put them on my Camelbak and my favorite cold weather walking hat. Don't want to wear a reflective vest? Use these transfers on your favorite jacket on the back, sleeves and front and you will have improved your night safety. Designs are available from FunReflector.com or you can make your own designs with iron-on reflective tape.

7. Velcro-Adhesive Reflectors

Sillshield Personal Reflector
Wendy Bumgardner © 2012
Why didn't I invent this? These are flexible reflectors you can wrap around any strap, dog leash, or stick to your knit cap or sweater. They use hook-and-loop fabric (such as Velcro) to attach. The reflectors are highway-grade reflectors. This is a great safety item to use whenever you are out after dark.

8. Pelican Mini Flasher Safety Light

Pelican Mini Flasher
© Pricegrabber
Attach these super-bright, lightweight LED lights to your waistband for night safety. Cars can see it over a half-mile way in clear night conditions.
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9. Reflective Hat

Illuminite Runner's Cap
Courtesy of Pricegrabber

The hat you wear walking at night should have reflective strips, at least. Illuminite hats have a weave of reflective fabric throughout the hat, yet it is subtle in daylight. Shine at night, look normal by day.

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10. IllumiNITE Jackets, Shirts and Pants

IllumiNITE fabric has reflective threads throughout, giving you 360-degree visibility. Jackets include fleece, lined, lightweight, etc. in many styles. Get performance and be reflective. They look normal by day, glow by night.
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11. LED Hat Clip Lights

Courtesy of Pricegrabber
If you already have a favorite hat with a bill and just want to add a clip-on head lamp, these LED clip lights are ideal. I have the same problem with these as with the LED hats - it's not easy to adjust the angle of the light, so you may not be spotlighting your path as well as you wish. In my case, I walk with my chin up and the light ends up too far in front of me. I prefer a real headlamp where I can fully adjust the angle.
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12. Dog-E-Glow Leash

Dog-E-Glow Leash and Collar at Night
Photo Provided by Dog-E-Glow
Don't forget your best friend when you are out walking. Your dog collar and leash should be reflective to give you an extra measure of visibility. Even better, the Dog-E-Glow leashes have LED lights in fun patterns such as bones or the school designs of 50 NCAA Division I Universities.
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