A couple days ago, I posted a picture on my Instagram of some crazy purple skies that I took near where I grew up. Although it looks really cool, it comes across more impressive than it really is when you actually have the full context. You see, the sky looks purple here because this area of southern Ontario is filled with greenhouses which normally emit an orange glow in the evenings. I’m not certain as to why some have started switching up the colours, but this specific greenhouse was using purple. But Jeph, isn’t this a running blog? Why are you talking about greenhouses? Allow me to explain.
Greenhouses here tend to employ a lot of migrant workers that come from southern countries like Mexico, Jamaica and Haiti. They are unable to get drivers licenses and so they bike or walk everywhere they go. One of the growing problems in the area is these men getting hit by cars because they can’t see them when it’s dark out. As a runner, I know that this could easily be me in the dark, especially since all my winter running gear is black. Enter Brilliant Reflective.
*Disclaimer: I received Brilliant Reflective strips to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
That being said, these are great little add ons to any running apparel to help give visibility to motorists that you are out on the roads. Brilliant Reflective are reflective strips that can be added to your clothes, gear, water bottles, whatever, in order to make you more visible. In my opinion, for these to be of value they need to be an easily applicable, lasting solution to being seen. Here’s how they stack up to those standards.
Easily Applicable – There are two solutions you can use, stick on and iron on. Both state that they will last through the washing machine. These strips come in a range of colours including black, red, blue and purple. I put the stick on ones on my pants and they worked great. I went for a run right after, got covered in mud and had to wash them right away. They stay on! I had my doubts, but I was impressed with how well they lasted.
The applied the iron on ones to my jacket. They didn’t seem to hold quite as well, but in asking others, I was told they had no issues. Admittedly, I might have rushed through the application the first time around. The good thing is, even if they start to come off, you can always put the iron to them again and they will stick. I applied new strips to areas where they were lost, and touched up ones that were falling off. This time I made sure not to rush and had a much higher rate of success. Still not perfect, but another little touch up and they’ll be good to go.
For my money, the stick on ones seem to go on so easy and stay on through the wash, so I would….wait for it…stick with those ones. Get it? Stick? And they’re sticky… #dadjoke. Like I said, others I’ve asked had no issues with the iron on ones, so maybe it’s just my iron skills.
Long Lasting – Both sets are washer friendly. If one set was going to come off, or if I had to guess which would be most affected by the washing machine, I would guess the stick on ones. To date, I’ve had no issues with either, so that’s a huge win. Love the fact that they go right on and you don’t have to worry about them any more. Reflective gear can be expensive, so a little add on like this is a great lasting solution to save you some money.
Be Seen – This is obviously the most important aspect. I wanted to really test that these would get me seen. In order to test this, I head out on a back country road where there’s no street lights and lots of traffic and ran in the middle of the road to see if I’d get hit. The fact that I’m writing this post means that I lived to tell the story and they must have worked perfectly.
Ok, I didn’t actually do that. However, in a place where it’s dark over 14 hours a day during the winter, I do find myself in situations where the extra visibility is helpful. Brilliance Reflective strips not only worked really well, they also offer diagrams on where to strategically place them so that you are giving off maximum visibility.
Overall, I think these are a great product and solution to making yourself visible while out on runs without having to add extra running vests or pay more money for reflective gear.
If you’d like to order some, visit Brilliant Reflective and use coupon code “BIBRAVE25” before next Wednesday. For more discounts on other products and races, visit my Discounts page. Being a Bibrave Pro allows me to test some products on your behalf and give you honest feedback, as well as pass on some discounts for different races and products.