As we head down the road to Winter and the nights draw-in I thought it would be a particularly good time to reflect on the latest in hi-vis clothing for riders. It's good to see most horse riders are at least sporting a hi-vis waistcoat or jacket if not going for the whole matching kit 'n' kaboodle. Of course there are still a few who think florescent clothing shrieks 'happy hacker' and it's just not cool, well let's get real, it's not cool having a collision with a vehicle IS IT!
Fortunately designs have really improved since the honeycomb pull-over-your-head vests of years ago. I particularly like waistcoats and jackets which have been shaped into the waist with the addition of flattering black side paneling. The HyVIZ waistcoat (above) is a good example, get's across the message PLEASE PASS WIDE & SLOW and is a very affordable price at only £11.99.
It's been proven that hi-vis makes horse and riders far more visible on the roads and it's worth knowing that even though we might look prettier in pink, it's yellow that gets top marks in the visibility game.
I'd also like to add that from tried and tested experience there are a few design ideas that make drivers take greater care as they drive past.
One of them is the EquiSafety 'Polite' range. This design really does work and is particularly effective if you're riding a big horse-I can testify to that! At one point there was some controversy over whether you could get into trouble for impersonating a Police Officer, because of the combination of reflective checkered bands and of course the clever use of the word POLITE, but I'm pleased to say that has all been sorted out-yeh! I've got one of their waistcoat's but have the Aspey jacket (above) on my wish list. It's fully waterproof with a lightweight quilting inside and even though a lot more expensive at £79.99 I think it's mix of performance and style is worth it. I also recommend completing the 'Polite' look with the checkered hat band £11.99 too.
A reflective vest my husband has also given some extensive road testing to with positive results, is the RiderCam Pro, £22 (above) from Elegance a Cheval. Now, this doesn't top the style rankings when it comes to shape but having more surface area does make it more visible and it definitely DOES make people slow down and pass sensibly, even if you haven't got a camera on at all. It also sports some very handy pockets including a clear plastic one in which you can put safety details.
Alternatively, the Camera Air Waistcoat £24.99, designed to go with the Action Camera £79.99, although of course you can use any video camera, is far more flattering and I like the fun 'smiley' idea but I'm not sure if it has the WHOA factor of the Ridercam.
Which reminds me, the other thing you can wear to help improve horse and rider safety on the road for all of us is a SMILE and a THANK YOU! And the bonus is, it's absolutely FREE!