Gifts, Running4It

Why you need a hi-viz running jacket!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…. Especially if you are a runner! You get the pavements to yourself, and a sense of satisfaction unlike anything else when you come home cold and wet to warm up on the sofa! But one evening last week whilst I was out running I approached a set of traffic lights.  As they were at red I stopped to take a breath and to look at the other runners and cyclists around me. It was dusk, and through the gathering gloom, I realised that there were 11 other people running or cycling around me, and I was the only person not wearing something with hi-visibility or reflective gear. I was wearing a light grey jumper thinking “well, don’t they all look at bit silly in their loud running jackets”.

I carried on to the next set of lights, I had an epiphany… I might think they look silly, but right now I’m the one that the drivers can’t see!  So then and there I decided it was time to invest, whilst taking care crossing roads as I finished my run.

As it is the season for gift giving (even to myself!), I had a look round to try and decide what would last me right through until the light nights return and I came up with three key points.  What I needed had to:

  1. keep me dry,
  2. keep out of the wind and
  3. make sure I was noticeable in the dark (early or late).

So from this, for me the best investment was a hi-vis running jacket.

I’m glad to say the running jacket I chose does all of these things. The Ronhill Vizion Photon Jacket, which I have in neon yellow, is bright as well has having reflective strips on front, back and sleeves. These multiple reflection points mean a passing car – in which ever direction it is coming from – will pick you out in the dark. It feels nice to wear as it is quite lightweight but it is thick enough to be reassuring that it will keep the wind and rain out.  And yes I have tested it thoroughly on both of those points – it is Scotland after all.  It is also quite breathable, so you don’t feel like you are wrapped in a binbag – which is good for those distant days when you can’t tell until you are outside whether or not it is a jacket day.

There is one pocket, which is handy and means that I only carry the essentials however on the really cold days it does mean you only have one pocket to put your hand in! Slightly strange but of course the need for that doesn’t last that long once you get on the move.

The best thing about this running jacket is the lights. These press button led lights, have three or four settings from blink-really-fast to steady beam, and mean that with the bright colour, the reflective and lights, there is no excuse for you not being seen.

And as Snow Patrol (or Leona Lewis) said “light up, light up… as if you have a choice…” which as a runner you do, and you should, to make sure you run safe this Winter!

Hi-visibility running jackets – Check out our selection.


Helen Wilkinson

Helen Wilkinson

Helen took up running in 2010 after having an epiphany watching the 2009 Great North Run. It turned out 13.1 miles was a lot further than it looked on the tv! But since then she has completed events from the Santa Dash 5k to the full 26.2 four times in some pretty cool cities. She is an average runner, who strives to do her best, beating her own PBs, even though Olympic Gold maybe just out of reach! She hopes her musings on everyday running are things that you will also feel about running, and will re-assure or inspire you to get out there and just run!

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