Nite Ize: Light Up Your Run!

Meagan0 Comments

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Running in the dark can be a wonderful pastime. I’ve always found pounding the quiet, pre-dawn pavement or jogging around the nighttime streets to be peaceful and relaxing. (It’s also a great way to beat the heat during the summer!). However, if you are a runner who enjoys running in the dark, or who must because of scheduling restrictions, safety is an important consideration. One of the easiest safety measures you can take is to use reflective and/or illuminated products to ensure that you are visible to cars/bicycles and that you can clearly see obstacles in your path. Luckily, there are some great products out there to help you do just that. Some of our favorites come from Nite Ize, and I wanted to share a few with you that we’ve been testing out this summer!


LED Run Vest

IMG_5379Price: $35.99 (available for $24.83 on Amazon)

Key Features:

  • Bright Red LED light strips on the front & back
    • Lights can be set to Glow or Flash mode
  • Also has passive reflective features
  • Includes zippered pockets for storage
    • Mesh & weather-resistant pockets
  • 100 hr battery life
    • Batteries are replaceable
  • Available in two sizes: S/M and L/XL

My Thoughts: The LED Run Vest definitely does its job of making you visible–there’s no missing the neon yellow fabric and the built-in bright LED strips. Additionally, the vest is well made and lightweight. The weather resistant pocket on the front of the vest is a definite plus, and is large enough to fit most cell phones (although I note that my iPhone 6+ is too big for it). My only real qualm with the Run Vest is that the seams and mesh are a little scratchy, so you’ll want to make sure you wear a shirt that covers your shoulders where the vest might chafe. It’s also worth noting that for the average runner, the vest is probably overkill. However, if you do a lot of running on dark roads without sidewalks or on trails in the dark, it would be a great safety item, and would also work well for those of you who cycle in the dark.


SlapLit LED Slap Wrap

IMG_5383Price: $11.99 (available with free shipping from Amazon)

Key Features:

  • Bright Red LED light
    • Light can be set to Glow or Flash mode
  • Also has passive reflective features
  • 100 hr battery life
    • Batteries are replaceable

My Thoughts: Wearing the Slap Wrap bracelet makes me feel like a kid again and I love it. It’s super versatile–it can be wrapped around your wrist, upper arm, ankle, or it can be hung straight as a beacon using the grommet on the end. Like the Run Vest, it is also very bright and noticeable. The price is definitely right, too. A pair of reflective armbands from Brooks will run you $15, and they don’t come with the added visibility benefits of LED lights. The only criticism I have of the Slap Wrap is that the end of the bracelet with the battery and on button is a bit bulky and sticks out when I wear it on my wrist.


BrimLit LED Hat Light

Image from niteize.com.

Image from niteize.com.

Price: $16.69 (available for $11.20 on Amazon)

Key Features:

  • Bright White LED lights
    • Output 14 Lumens in High Mode, 8 Lumens in Low Mode
  • 8 hr battery life in High Mode, 16 hr battery life in Low Mode
    • Batteries are replaceable

My Thoughts: The BrimLit attaches to the brim of a baseball hat, and is a good alternative to a headlamp. It provides adequate light coverage (albeit less than a headlamp) and being able to wear your own hat is, in my opinion, more comfortable than wearing a headlamp and is also a little less goofy looking. There are a couple of downsides to the BrimLit, though. First, I felt that it’s a bit heavy, so you will definitely notice the added weight on your hat while you’re running. In addition, the battery life leaves something to be desired, especially relative to headlamps. For example, the Petzl Tikka headlamp, which I also use for running, lasts for up to 120 hours. Regular use of the BrimLit could potentially require a new battery every month (16 hours = 21, 45-minute runs), depending on how often and how long you run. The required batteries for the BrimLit run about $6-7 for a pack of 5 (the BrimLit uses 2 at a time), so although its initial cost is cheaper than a headlamp, the cost of batteries would quickly add up. Because of this battery issue, this product is probably best for the runner who only occasionally needs to run in the dark.

Meagan is a geology professor and prides herself on being an avid volcano and pie enthusiast. Her free time is spent running, blogging, playing with her two pet bunnies, and watching too much TV. Meagan started running in May 2011 and ran her first half marathon in October 2012 and her first marathon in October 2013. She is currently making a long-overdue return to running and is preparing for her first ever trail race in September 2017.