PRODUCT TEST: ARROWHERE REFLECTIVE CLOTHING

Stay safer by staying seen

 

As cyclists who are often on the road, the need to maintain maximum visibility by motorists is more important than what bike we ride. Since cyclists make up just a fraction of a driver’s view, the more visible we are, the safer we can be. Wearing brightly colored clothing can help with visibility during the day, as can a high-vis vest. But, not everybody wants to wear something like that when riding.

David Pinkman, who lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is a daily commuter and has noticed that not every driver knows what to do when they approach a cyclist. He thought there should be a way to passively communicate with drivers to make things safer for both parties.

His concept was an arrow, directing traffic around him. The arrow is universal, it works across language barriers, and drivers are used to looking for them and know what to do when they see one. That’s when he started ArroWhere, providing jackets and a lot more to make cyclists visible and communicate the safest path around them.

The jackets are made of lightweight, breathable materials. There are windproof shells and waterproof jackets, and a waterproof backpacking jacket. They make men’s and women’s styles, as well as vests for kids.

 

DETAILS 

The waterproof jacket uses a 2.5-layer, waterproof, breathable fabric with taped seams, sealed zippers with a storm flap to keep out rain and wind, a drawstring hem on the bottom, and Velcro-adjustable sleeves to help keep you dry. There’s a fleece-lined, zippered breast pocket and invisible side pockets. The collar is also fleece-lined and comes pretty far up your neck. It has pit-zips for ventilation and a low tail to protect your backside from water while you ride. It feels like a lot more quality than you’d expect for the $90 retail price.

Then there’s the retro-reflective details. There’s a stripe down each side, reflective piping and reflective arrows on the sleeves. But, the biggest and most important feature is the large arrow on the back pointing left. The reflection is so bright, actually on all reflective parts, that it looks like a special effect from a movie. It is a reflective material made by 3M and it is bright! They claim it’s 2000 times more reflective than a white shirt and 12 times more reflective than a license plate. It’s designed to be seen clearly by low-beam headlights from a quarter mile away, and it will definitely do that.

INTO THE DARK

The high-vis jackets are the ultimate in visibility, but for those who want don’t think they look good in neon yellow, there’s an entire line of what ArroWhere calls “Dark Viz” jackets that are black or charcoal with a red retro-reflective arrow that views as bright white when lights hit it.

The jacket is very comfortable and feels a little large for the claimed size when you put it on, but when riding, it feels like you’d actually expect that size to feel. There is room for additional layers underneath as well if you’re riding in colder weather.

There are jackets of various weights, sleeveless vests that don’t look like you’re on a construction crew (but they do have those as well) and even an innovative backpack cover. This is brilliant, because if you wear a high-vis jacket and put a backpack over it, you’re all but defeating the purpose.

For UK and similar users who drive on the other side of the road, all this gear is available with the arrow pointing to the right as well.

For more information, visit www.arrowhere.com.


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