Stay Bright On Darker NightsChoosing A Cycling Jacket
When the autumn chill tumbles in and the sun sets a little earlier than most of us would like, you might start to think about getting kitted up for cycling in this new season. Cycling jackets (or ‘jay-kets’ if you’re from the North) are great, they keep you warm, dry and can help you be seen on the road. But there are many different types of cycling jackets out there, so how do you know which one is right for you?
This season we want to help you be safe and be seen on the road. This blog will help you understand the differences between hi-viz and reflective cycling jackets so that you can choose the right kit for your autumn/winter riding.
Hi-Viz vs Reflective
For visibility, there are three basic types of cycling jacket:
1. Jackets with reflective elements:
2. Jackets with reflective elements combined with hi-viz colour schemes:
If a jacket is reflective or has reflective elements, at night the cyclist will be visible when they are in a direct light beam. When light hits the reflective elements on the jacket, the light is bounced back from the source, making the cyclist visible to the driver via the reflective material. These types of jackets are great for riding during dark nights.
Jackets which are hi-viz as well as having reflective elements have the added benefit of making the cyclist more visible during the day and in lower light conditions. If you’re worried about looking like an off the clock construction worker, cycling brands have topped their product design to make even fluorescent, hi-viz jackets look good.
It won’t come as a surprise when we say that kitting up with either a hi-viz or reflective jacket will help you to be more visible on the road.
For daytime riding, we recommend wearing a hi-viz with reflective elements. At this time of day it is not yet dark enough to get the benefit of a fully reflective jacket, and the fluorescent colour will stand out, increasing your visibility.
For night time riding, reflective elements work their best and we would recommend for cyclists to wear a fully reflective jacket. A study on ‘cycling visibility at night’ by Joanne M Wood et al. (2001) found that cyclists wearing reflective elements were recognised 90% of the time by drivers in comparison to being recognised only 2% of the time when wearing only black clothing.