The Best Reflective Running Gear of 2022

Noxgear Tracer360's Illuminated Reflective Vest offers 360-degree illumination

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The Best Reflective Running Gear, According to a Running Coach

Verywell Fit / Joy Kim

If you like running at night or in low-light conditions, being seen should be your top priority. When on the road, it's best to carry a flashlight and put on reflective gear to ensure oncoming traffic can spot you. High-visibility athletic gear usually features bright and neon colors, reflective material, and LED lights.

Reviewed & Approved

Noxgear Tracer360's Illuminated Reflective Vest has 360-degree illumination and illuminates fluorescent lights. We also recommend Nathan Streak's Reflective Vest as a lightweight and budget-friendlier option.

"Staying safe while running in the dark is about two things—being able to see, and being seen,” says RRCA-certified running coach Heather Jergensen. “If we want to be seen, then the brighter, the better."

When looking for reflective running gear, consider reflective material throughout all garments, light or bright colors, and 360-degree visibility. Focus especially on illuminating your head, arms, and chest, since that’s what drivers will notice. “The eyes of the driver are going to go up, so above the waist is where you want the lights to be,” says Ben Delaney, RRCA-certified running coach, and director of training programs and operations at New York Road Runners.

We researched dozens of reflective running gear and evaluated them for reflective material, ease of use, and degree of visibility. We also spoke to running coaches to get their recommendations and tips on what to look for when shopping.

Here is the best reflective running gear on the market, according to running coaches.

Best Overall: Noxgear Tracer360 Illuminated, Reflective Vest

4.8
Noxgear Tracer360 Illuminated, Reflective Vest

Courtesy of Noxgear

Pros
  • 360-degree illumination

  • Adjustable

  • Sweat- and water-resistant

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Not easy to clean

We selected the Noxgear Tracer360's vest as our top reflective running pick because it offers a combination of 360-degree illumination, reflectivity, and fluorescence. Unlike other reflective running vests, the Tracer360 is designed with flexible fiber optic cables that alert drivers before their headlights hit you. Its unique LED light illumination can switch between multiple high-visibility color options and flashing modes with the touch of a button. The X shape of the lights provides visibility from over a quarter-mile in all directions.

With a slim, low-profile design, the vest is extremely breathable, water- and sweat-resistant, and allows for a full range of motion. Minimal fabric-to-body contact helps prevent overheating and chafing, while the quick-click buckle makes it easy to get on and off. The straps are adjustable, so the vest can be shared among people of different sizes and can fit over several layers or a thick jacket in cold weather conditions.

Compared to most reflective gear, you’ll pay more for the Tracer360, but if safety is your priority, it’s well worth the investment.

Price at time of publication: $60

Material: Mesh, plastic, fiber optic cable | Type: Vest | Sizes: Small, medium/large, extra-large | Sweat-wicking: Yes | Care: Hand wash belt, spot clean battery pack

noxgear tracer360 illuminated reflective vest jkim

Verywell Fit / Joy Kim

Best Budget Vest: Nathan Streak Reflective Vest

Nathan Streak Reflective Vest

 Nathan

Pros
  • Lightweight and breathable

  • 360-degree visibility

  • Adjustable

Cons
  • Reflective area is small

With 360-degree visibility at distances of up to 1,200 feet, the Nathan Streak Reflective Vest offers excellent visibility at a budget-friendly price. Featuring a neon yellow exterior, it has reflective strips on the shoulders and reflective patches on the chest, back, and waist. While some other running vests may have larger reflective elements or flashing lights, it gets the job done effectively.

The vest is crafted with a lightweight, breathable mesh fabric to keep you comfortable and dry as you’re running. It can be adjusted for an optimal fit, and because it's light and compact, it can be stashed in a small backpack or running belt during your run and put on when you need it. Another cool feature is that the reflective strips on the shoulders can hold clip-on lights if you want to add some more visibility.

Price at time of publication: $25

Material: Mesh | Type: Vest | Sizes: Small/medium, large/extra-large | Sweat-wicking: Yes | Care: Hand wash, hang dry

Best Headlamp: BioLite Lumen Headlamp 330

BioLite Lumen No-Bounce Headlamp 330

BioLite

Pros
  • Very bright

  • Doesn’t bounce or slip

  • Good battery life

Cons
  • Small power button

  • Not easy to wash

A must-have item if you run in the dark, a headlamp keeps you visible to oncoming traffic and also helps you see what’s in front of you. The BioLite HeadLamp is extremely powerful, with a max output of 330 lumens, and also includes red night vision and a flashing mode. It’s simple and straightforward to operate, although some users find the small power button to be clumsy at first.

Made with an ultra-thin band, it has a slim profile and sits on your forehead without bouncing or slipping. The band is also made with moisture-wicking Lycra to keep your head dry and comfortable. However, be aware that if the fabric starts to smell from sweat, it can be a bit tedious to hand wash since the lighting housing can’t be submerged in water. Easy-adjust clips offer a perfect fit every time, and runners appreciate the tilting front panel, lightweight feel, and rechargeable 40-hour battery.

Price at time of publication: $60

Material: Lycra, plastic | Type: Headlamp | Sizes: One size (adjustable) | Sweat-wicking: Yes | Care: Hand wash

biolite rechargeable headlamp 330 lumen jkim

Verywell Fit / Joy Kim

Best Budget Headlamp: Black Diamond Astro 300 Headlamp

Black Diamond Astro 300 Headlamp

Amazon

Pros
  • Very bright

  • Uses regular or rechargeable batteries

Cons
  • Battery case may be tricky to open

If you’re a dedicated runner who doesn’t let limited daylight hours keep you from running outside, you’ll appreciate the comfort, brightness, and budget-friendly price of this Black Diamond Astro 300 Headlamp. It’s lightweight and low-profile but extremely powerful, with a 300-lumen output. The headlamp’s three settings—including full strength, strobe, and dimming—let you customize it for your needs.

The dual-fuel design allows you to power it with three AAA alkaline batteries, which are included, as well as a rechargeable lithium-ion battery (not included). The headlamp also has a convenient low-battery light indicator to let you know when it’s time to change them. However, the battery case has a very small clasp, so it can be a bit tricky to open.

The headlamp’s compact size makes it easy to stash in a pocket just in case. With the adjustable strap, you can get a customized, comfortable fit. And the weather-resistant housing can withstand rain or sleet from any angle, so you’ll be prepared if conditions deteriorate.

Price at time of publication: $20

Material: Plastic, synthetic material | Type: Headlamp | Sizes: One size (adjustable) | Sweat-wicking: Yes | Care: Hand wash

Best Reflective Bands: HiVisible Reflective Bands

HiVisible Reflective Bands

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • No limit on range of motion

  • 360-degree reflectivity

Cons
  • Material may feel scratchy if placed directly on skin

For an affordable, low-tech way to improve your visibility and not have to worry about replacing or charging batteries, these reflective bands are an excellent option.

The lightweight, comfortable bands offer 360-degree reflectivity and high visibility. Versatile and fully adjustable, they can be strapped on your arms, ankles, or wrists without limiting your mobility. Once you secure them, they stay put, so you won’t get distracted by having to readjust them. Plus, the bands are long enough that they can easily fit over clothes, which may be the preferable way to wear them since some users note they can feel scratchy on bare skin.

The bands’ compact size means you can easily tuck them in your pocket or running belt, so you have them when you need them. Each set comes with four bands and a breathable mesh bag for storage.

Price at time of publication: $14

Material: Polyester | Type: Bands | Sizes: One size (adjustable) | Sweat-wicking: Yes | Care: Hand wash, air dry

hivisible reflective bands jkim 0115

Verywell Fit / Joy Kim

Best Jacket: PYRR Fully Reflective Running Jacket

PYRR Fully Reflective Running Jacket

PYR Reflective

Pros
  • Extremely reflective

  • Water-repellent

  • Excellent fit

Cons
  • Side pockets don’t have zippers

Rather than having reflective elements or trim on it, this entire PYRR jacket illuminates, creating a glowing, moving object that’s hard for drivers to miss. The jacket looks like a basic gray color, but once it gets hit with light, the whole jacket glows to an extremely bright, near-white.

Beyond its illumination, the jacket is comfortable, breathable, and water-repellent. It also has adjustable drawstrings on the bottom to achieve your ideal fit and keep out the elements. A hood with a cinch cord offers additional protection in inclement weather.

Two front side pockets can hold your essentials, although we’d prefer if they were zippered to make sure items are secure. This jacket is an ideal option for runners who want to make sure they’re seen at night, but don’t want a jacket with lots of reflective striping or elements on it.

Price at time of publication: $90

Material: Polyester | Type: Jacket | Sizes: XS to 2XL | Sweat-wicking: Yes | Care: Machine wash, hang dry

Best Budget Jacket: BALEAF Men’s Windbreaker

BALEAF Men’s Windbreaker

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Breathable

  • Good storage

  • Windproof

Cons
  • Not waterproof

While running jackets with reflectivity can be pricey, this one from Baleaf is extremely comfortable and functional, at a budget-friendlier price. With its bright fluorescent yellow color, it already stands out, but the reflective elements on its front and back enhance your visibility even more.

The jacket is windproof and features a ventilation system in the back, so you stay dry and comfortable. Although it’s not waterproof, it’s water-resistant and has features such as a high, stand-up collar and elastic cuffs that help keep out the elements.

The zippered large back pocket and two hand pockets are convenient for stashing essentials such as your phone. Additionally, two interior pockets are large enough to stash gear such as gloves or a hat. What’s more, the sleeves are removable, so you can turn it into a vest with a couple of pulls of the zippers.

Price at time of publication: $46

Material: Polyester | Type: Jacket | Sizes: XS to 3XL | Sweat-wicking: No | Care: Machine wash, hand dry

Best for Winter: Tough Headwear Skull Cap Running Beanie

Tough Headwear Skull Cap Running Beanie

Amazon

Pros
  • 360-degree reflectivity

  • Fits a wide range of head sizes

  • Breathable and moisture-wicking

Cons
  • Not good for extreme conditions

With a ring of reflective lines around it, this beanie hat will help you stay visible at night while also protecting your head during cold winter weather. It has a soft, brushed thermal lining that retains heat and a breathable outer layer that wicks away sweat, keeping your noggin warm and dry.

Made with a blend of stretchy polyester and spandex, it accommodates all head sizes—making it suitable for men and women. The beanie’s flat seam construction allows for a comfortable fit and a smooth surface if you want to wear a headlamp on top of it. The hat isn’t thick and warm enough for very extreme conditions, but it’s ideal for cool or cold weather and is thin enough to be worn during other activities, such as cycling and skiing. And with a budget-friendly price, it’s a nice option for adding to your winter running wardrobe.

Price at time of publication: $11

Material: Polyester, spandex | Type: Hat | Sizes: One size | Sweat-wicking: Yes | Care: Machine wash cold, hang dry

Best for Fall: Brooks Carbonite Reflective Running Vest

Brooks Carbonite Reflective Running Vest

Brooks

Pros
  • Waterproof

  • Secure storage

  • Bright and highly reflective

Cons
  • Runs small

  • Expensive

As the days get shorter and colder in the fall, this versatile Brooks vest provides extra warmth and visibility during your runs. It features 3M Scotchlite reflectivity in targeted motion zones to help drivers recognize a moving runner from up to 600 feet away. The white and neon yellow pops of color will also make you noticeable in cloudy conditions.

The vest is designed with a breathable DriLayer Seal nylon fabric that allows excess heat to escape without letting water and wind in. If you do want to unzip for ventilation, the draft flap snaps keep the vest in place. Additionally, with two zippered hand pockets and a zippered chest pocket, there’s plenty of room to keep your tech and valuables safe. The vest comes in a wide range of sizes but does run small, so you may want to size up.

Price at time of publication: $130

Material: DriLayer Seal nylon, spandex | Type: Vest | Sizes: XS to XXL | Sweat-wicking: Yes | Care: Hand wash, hand dry

Best for Summer: Amphipod Xinglet Strobe Plus Reflective Vest

Amphipod Xinglet Strobe Plus Reflective Vest

REI

Pros
  • Reflectivity plus strobe lights

  • Lightweight and comfortable

  • Adjustable

Cons
  • No storage space

In hot weather conditions, this lightweight, minimalist reflective vest is an ideal way for runners to increase their visibility without overheating. Its airy design features soft, adjustable straps that offer 360-degree reflectivity and allow for a full range of motion. Plus, the vest has integrated, bright three-bulb flashing LEDs in the front and back for added visibility zones.

With a convenient clip closure, the vest is quick and easy to get on and off. The super-efficient LEDs are simple to activate with the touch of a button and have a long battery life. One downside of the streamlined design is that, unlike other running vests, it doesn’t have any pockets or other storage options to hold your phone or other essentials. However, it’s an excellent option to make yourself seen without adding a lot of extra weight.

Price at time of publication: $55

Material: Nylon, polyester, elastic | Type: Vest | Sizes: One size (adjustable) | Sweat-wicking: Yes | Care: Hand wash

Best Running Hat: TrailHeads Performance Running Hat

TrailHeads Performance Running Hat

Amazon

Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Moisture-wicking and breathable

  • Machine washable

Cons
  • May not work for large heads

This bright running hat from TrailHeads is ideal for increasing your visibility and keeping you comfortable, no matter the weather. In cloudy and wet conditions, the vibrant neon yellow stands out, while the wide brim keeps the rain off your face. If the weather changes and the sun pops out, the dark underbill reduces glare and shades your face. Meanwhile, the reflective trim around the bill and on the rear closure enhances your nighttime visibility.

Made with super lightweight polyester, the hat protects your head without weighing you down. Even better, it’s breathable and moisture-wicking, so your head stays cool, dry, and comfortable. The adjustable Velcro closure delivers a custom-like fit and accommodates a wide range of head sizes, although it might be too snug for large heads.

Price at time of publication: $22

Material: Polyester | Type: Running hat | Sizes: One size (adjustable) | Sweat-wicking: Yes | Care: Machine wash cold on a delicate cycle or hand wash; air dry

Best Reflective Tape: Gear Aid Reflective Tape

Gear Aid Reflective Tape

Courtesy of Walmart

Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • Washable

  • Doesn’t peel off

Cons
  • No pre-cut shapes

Reflective tape is a simple, cost-effective way to add more reflectivity to running clothes and gear. This convenient peel-and-stick tape features high-visibility glass bead technology to help you be seen in low-light conditions. It’s washable, will stick to almost anything, and won’t peel off over time.

Though it comes in a convenient roll, it isn't pre-cut—meaning you'll have to use a pair of scissors to cut it into the shape you need for your next run. Durable and weather-resistant, the tape is easy to apply and sticks well to outerwear, running shoes, bikes, backpacks, and even pet collars. If you have a favorite jacket or other running apparel that you want to wear at night, it’s an easy, low-cost way to add more reflectivity.

Price at time of publication: $8

Material: N/A | Type: Reflective tape | Sizes: 3 x 20 inches | Sweat-wicking: No | Care: Machine washable, hang dry

Best Phone Armband: Tribe Reflective Phone Armband

Tribe Reflective Running Phone Holder

Courtesy: Amazon

Pros
  • Comfortable phone storage

  • Adjustable

  • Water- and sweat-resistant

Cons
  • Not easy to remove phone

In case of an emergency, it’s always a smart idea to carry your phone when you’re running, especially at night or early in the morning. This phone armband serves a dual purpose, giving you a place to comfortably store your phone while boosting your visibility.

It’s coated with a patented nano-sheen, reflective material that helps you be seen in low-light conditions. Made with a premium blend of Lycra and neoprene, the armband is comfortable, breathable, and adjustable, so you get a perfect fit.

The touchscreen cover allows you to easily access your phone while it’s in the case, which is helpful since it can be tough to remove the phone once it’s in there. Plus, the armband is water- and sweat-resistant, so your phone stays protected from water and sweat.

Price at time of publication: $15

Material: Lycra, neoprene | Type: Phone armband | Sizes: Small, medium, large | Sweat-wicking: No | Care: Hand wash, air dry

Best Clip-on Lights: Whole Human LED Safety Lights – 2 Pack

Whole Human LED Safety Lights

Courtesy: Amazon

Pros
  • Extremely bright

  • Secure hold

  • Three lighting modes

Cons
  • May not clip to very thick material

These lightweight, super-bright lights will help you stay safe and visible when you’re running after dark. They come with five high-powered LEDs per light and feature three lighting modes—steady, slow flash, or fast flash (strobe)—to help you be seen by oncoming traffic. Plus, they’re weather-proof, so they’ll keep working through rainy or snowy conditions.

With the strong, no-slip clip, you can securely attach them to your belt, shoelaces, bike, running gear, helmet, dog collar, or clothes. It may be challenging to clip them to thick or bulky materials, but the lights also come with two long, elastic Velcro straps to fasten them around your arms or ankles. Additionally, you get two sets of high-capacity batteries and a mini-screwdriver for easy battery replacement.

Price at time of publication: $13

Material: Plastic, stainless steel, Velcro | Type: Clip-on lights | Sizes: ‎2 x 2 x 1.5 inches | Sweat-wicking: No | Care: Not applicable

Best Running Belt: Level Terrain FlipBelt Reflective Running Belt

Level Terrain FlipBelt Reflective Running Belt

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Comfortable and lightweight

  • Doesn’t bounce or chafe

  • Excellent storage

Cons
  • Not water-resistant

This popular running belt is not only a comfortable, convenient storage option, but it also helps you stay visible when running in low-light conditions. Made with moisture-wicking, stretchy fabric and ultra-reflective 3M materials, the sleek, streamlined belt fits securely and comfortably around your waist without bouncing and fits over clothing for maximum reflectiveness. The high-visibility reflective stripes run all around the belt for 360-degree protection.

For convenient storage, the belt features a continuous main compartment with three openings to stash your phone, gels, or other items you need easy access to. Plus, the zippered pocket is perfect for securing valuables like keys, money, or medical devices.

Available in seven sizes that fit waists from 18-48 inches, the unisex belt stretches and pulls on like a pair of pants, so you can wear it wherever it feels most comfortable on your waist.

Price at time of publication: $39

Material: Micropoly, lycra  | Type: Running belt | Sizes: XXS-XXL | Sweat-wicking: Yes | Care: Machine wash, tumble or hang dry

How We Selected the Best Reflective Running Gear

We researched dozens of reflective running gear from popular, trusted brands for running and outdoor apparel and gear. We evaluated them for reflective material, design, ease of use, comfort, price, and degree of visibility. We also spoke to five running coaches to get their recommendations and tips on what to look for when shopping for reflective running gear.

What to Look for in Reflective Running Gear

Reflectivity

When it comes to reflective apparel, you’ll want to choose items that prioritize the largest parts of your body. “Your upper body specifically is the most important because it's the biggest, most visible surface,” says Matt Scarfo, NASM-CPT, a certified personal trainer and running coach. “This is where reflective running shirts, jackets, and hoodies come into play.”

Once that's covered, however, it's crucial to make other parts of your body reflective, as well. If you’re running in low-light conditions, try to have at least a small amount of reflective material on every body part. Runners should wear reflectivity on all sides of their bodies so that drivers can see them from every direction. “Front and back are key because you want to be seen from as many directions and angles as possible,” Delaney says.

Lights

Wearing or carrying lights, whether steady or flashing, will help you be visible and can also light the way for you. Unlike reflective material, lights will be seen even when headlights aren’t pointed at them.

“A good headlamp will help you avoid obstacles in front of you,” Jergensen says. “Adding additional lights to parts of your body that are moving will help identify you as a moving object instead of an inanimate object.”

Look for lights that are easy to securely attach to a body part or clothing or are comfortable to hold. A good battery life is also important because you don’t want to constantly recharge or worry about your light shutting off in the middle of a run.

Type

A reflective running vest is one of the most versatile items because you can wear it over all types of clothing and in various weather conditions.

However, “shoes, socks, shorts, pants or leggings, gloves, and hats or headbands with reflectivity are all relatively easy pieces of gear to acquire,” says Scarfo. “While it may seem like going overboard, it's always safer to be as visible as possible to passing cars or bikes when running in low light.” 

Material

When selecting apparel, such as vests, jackets, or hats, you’ll want items that are breathable and moisture-wicking. Look for synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester, but avoid cotton, since it absorbs sweat and can cause chafing. To further increase your visibility, select apparel that comes in light and bright colors, such as white and neon yellow or orange.

Comfort

If gear doesn’t feel comfortable or fit securely, you’re not going to wear it. Choose items that come in a range of sizes or offer some adjustability, so you can easily get the right fit. Streamlined, lightweight gear is also preferable since bulky or heavy items may be uncomfortable or restrict your running motion.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it safe to run at night?

    Running at night can be safe as long as you follow certain precautions such as running in well-populated, well-lit areas and doing your best to make sure oncoming cars can see you.

    “When running at night or in low light conditions, just assume that no one can see you, regardless of the reflective gear you may have on, and be aware at all times,” says Steve Stonehouse, a USATF certified running coach and director of education for STRIDE, an indoor running studio franchise. “I also suggest no headphones. It’s just too important to be able to hear what’s going on around you.”

  • What are the three classes of high-visibility clothing?

    The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) defines three types of high visibility clothing, including Type O (off-road), Type R (roadway), and Type P (public safety). 

    Type O provides the lowest amount of visibility and may be used in off-road situations where there is still moving equipment. Type R garments are for occupational workers exposed to roadway traffic. Personnel working with other potential hazards—like police, EMS, and firefighters—should wear Type P clothing, which offers the highest level of visibility.

    These three types of clothing help users and employers choose proper garments for the work environment and tasks conducted while on the job.

  • How much does quality reflective running gear cost?

    The cost of reflective running gear will depend on the type of running gear you're looking to purchase. A quality reflective vest will cost between $25-$60, whereas if you're simply looking to buy reflective bands or tape, you'll likely only need to shell out $8-$14. Generally, the more surface area of the body you're looking to illuminate, the more expensive the reflective gear. That's why jackets and vests are among the most expensive items on our list.

    The least expensive reflective running gear on our list costs $8, while our top recommendation, Noxgear Tracer360's Illuminated Reflective Vest, was $60 when we published this list.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

A certified personal trainer, running coach, gym buff, and fitness writer, Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, spends countless hours researching and testing the latest exercise gear and gadgets. She only recommends products that she can genuinely stand behind and believes would be a good investment for her readers.

1 Source
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. 3M. ANSI/ISEA 107-2020 Made Easier: A quick reference to the high-visibility safety apparel standard. 3M Technical Bulletin. 2020.