The 8 Best Running Safety Gear to Buy in 2018

Stay safe while you exercise

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Common sense is key to staying safe on the run, but having the right gear can also help you avoid or deal with dangerous situations, like cars or unwanted strangers. If you frequently run alone or run in dark or low-light conditions, it’s especially important that you take precautions with some essential items, that can not only help you be seen, they can also help you be heard if necessary. From reflective apparel to lights and ID bracelets, we’ve found the best safety gear for runners. Take a look to see how you can stay safe when you’re out pounding the pavement, because safety always comes first.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: LED Reflective Belt

This bright belt is a very effective and affordable option for keeping you seen and safe when running in low-light conditions. It gives you 360 degrees of visibility, and you can change the light between "flash" and "glow" with just one click. The straps are elastic and easy to adjust for a comfortable fit. The belt also features a USB rechargeable (cable included) battery that gives up to 20 hours of illumination in flashing mode. It’s so lightweight and comfortable, you may even forget that you have it on. An added bonus is that you can use this belt to clip on some other safety devices such as a personal alarm for added security.

Best ID Bracelet: Road ID Bracelet

If you get hurt while running, how will someone be able to identify you and get in touch your emergency contact? A sports ID bracelet solves this problem. Road ID bracelets are laser-engraved with your name, address, phone number, and an emergency contact. So, if you’re unconscious or confused and need to go to the hospital, first responders and medical professionals get the information they need to alert your loved ones.

This essential safety item includes a silicone band with a stainless-steel clasp and faceplate. Unlike an ID card or piece of paper, it’s durable and permanent, so it won’t get torn, crumpled, or damaged. It’s available in black, red, blue, and lime, and can be cut to fit all wrist sizes.

Best Headlamp: Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

A headlamp can not only make you more visible to oncoming traffic but it also helps you see what’s coming in front of you, to prevent you from tripping and falling. This Black Diamond Spot Headlamp has an extremely powerful bulb, featuring one quad power LED and one double power white LED, which give off 300 lumens. You can choose from seven different lighting modes, such as red night vision, strobe and dimming, to customize for any situation. The adjustable strap provides a snug, but comfortable fit, so it won't slip off your head.

Besides running you can use this headlamp for various other uses like camping, or reading at night next to your partner. Your kids will also have a fun time trying this on for size.

Best for Self-Defense: Sabre Pepper Spray

It's never a good idea to go running alone in the dark or deserted areas. But if you're worried about potential attacks by strangers or animals, at any time of day, you may want to carry pepper spray. It's non-lethal but causes an immediate closing of the eyes, difficulty breathing, runny nose, and coughing in your attacker, whether he's a person or animal.

These Sabre pepper sprays are small enough to hold in your hand or keep in a pocket while you're running. With a 10-foot range, you’ll get protection from a safe distance. Just be sure to keep these locked away from your children.

Best Phone Armband: Trianium ArmTrek Sports Exercise Armband

Running with your phone means you can call for help if you’re injured or find yourself in an unsafe situation. Your phone will also be protected in this durable, sweat-proof, weather-resistant armband. If you do need to call someone quickly, it’s easy to operate your phone through the clear, touch-sensitive panel. The armband features an adjustable Velcro strap, so you can customize it for a secure and comfortable fit, plus cutouts for a headphone jack and a charger.

Best Reflective Vest: Nathan Streak Reflective Vest

With 360-degree visibility at distances of up to 1,200 feet, the Nathan Streak Reflective Vest makes sure you’ll be seen and stay safe when running on the road in the dark or low-light conditions. Made of a lightweight, breathable fabric, it features reflective strips on the shoulder and reflective patches on the chest, back, and waist.

The vest’s minimalist design allows for a full range of motion and won’t ride up as you’re running. It’s easy to adjust and will fit over all types of clothing, including winter jackets. This vest folds up easily and doesn’t take up too much space, so you can keep it in a running belt or pocket during your run, and take it out when necessary.

Best Personal Alarm: Vigilant 130dB Personal Alarm With Backup Whistle

If you don’t like the idea of carrying pepper spray, you may prefer a personal alarm for some protection from strangers, dogs and wild animals while you’re out running. This one from Vigilant features a 130dB alarm as well as a security screamer whistle that serves as a backup in case the battery fails.

You don’t need any special training or skill to operate the alarm—just press the button on the back of the unit and it emits a loud alarm. It’s small enough to fit in your pocket and can be easily attached to your keys with the keyring or to your running belt or backpack with the bag clip.

Best Budget: LED Safety Lights – 2 Pack

These lights are a simple and very affordable way to make yourself more visible and safe when running in the morning or at night. They come with three high-powered LEDs per light and feature two different lighting modes—steady and strobe, which are accessible by just one click.

The lights clip on easily and securely to your running belt, pockets, running vest, or backpack. They also come with an elastic Velcro strap that you can use to strap the light onto your ankle, wrist or arm. Weather-resistant and versatile, these lights are so lightweight, you’ll barely even notice that you have them on.

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