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Riley Casey
12-28-2010, 12:01 PM
My chrome yellow wind breaker won't fit over my thick winter coat so I need a solution that will permit me to commute safely in the dark. What are some good options that will fit over a parka for this particularly cold winter?

Thanks for any suggestions

Joe Chapline
12-28-2010, 12:12 PM
They make pullover safety vests that are very thin and light, no problem to carry one with you until you need it. You might want to check the bike store first, to make sure the vest is big enough to go over your coat and compact enough to carry. Hard to tell those things online, but here's one of many (http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/15620-502_NTHCV6-2-Accessories-649-Commuter-Essentials/Nathan-Reflective-Cyclist-Vest-offer?utm_source=Googlebase&utm_medium=datafeed&utm_campaign=FTP&offer=IN210AMZ.htm&zmam=3075515&zmas=1&zmac=71&zmap=502%20NTHCV6) that are offered.

7rider
12-28-2010, 06:52 PM
I've gotten this one from STP (http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/,2894N_Carhartt-High-Visibility-Class-2-Vest-For-Men.html). Yeah, it's heavy on the "road construction" look - but it's effective, if watching the movement of cars away from me is any indication. They sure can see it. It fits easily over my winter jacket(s).

PrintError
12-29-2010, 08:17 AM
Are you cycling in your thick winter coat? I would actually recommend multiple thin layers to any one thick layer.

With the teen- and twenty-degree mornings we've had lately, my torso armor has been:
Jersey, arm warmers, light cycling windbreaker, hi-vis waterproof cycling jacket w/reflective strips, and my W&OD Trail Patrol vest over that because it has HUGE reflective strips on it.

If you insist on the big jacket though, go to Home Depot and grab a simple safety vest for a few bucks. Same kind construction and DOT workers wear. Yeah, it looks goofy, but I'd rather look goofy and be very, very visible than be another all-black Trail Ninja waiting to get plowed over (encountered another three this morning!)

Riley Casey
12-29-2010, 04:34 PM
That last suggestion was fantastic. I stopped by my favorite bike shop ( which shall remain nameless ) and a mesh vest which was barely yellow at all over a dark jacket was $25. A quick look at the Home Depot website showed a solid yellow nylon vest for $10. I'm going there tomorrow. Thanks

Mark Blacknell
12-29-2010, 05:02 PM
Riley, I'm not certain, but I suspect you'll find a difference between the two - namely, that the bike shop vest has reflective components, whereas the HD doesn't. Would be worth $15 to me. Let us know how it works out, yes?

Joe Chapline
12-29-2010, 06:25 PM
I see the Home Depot one, it does have reflective material. Also is an actual vest, with an open front, so would be easier to put on than a pullover. Let us know how it works out. In any case, it's clear that this does not have to be a high-dollar item. The vest I have was cheap (I don't remember exactly how much), and has lasted for many years. Like rain gear and warm clothes, this seems like an item that could come in handy for people that ever venture outside.

CCrew
12-29-2010, 11:44 PM
Good place for cheap hi-Vis clothing is here:

http://www.alertshirt.com/

No affiliation, just a happy customer. They're geared toward the industrial/contractor market so you're not paying the cycling premium that the bike shops seem to demand.

PrintError
12-30-2010, 09:02 AM
Another option is to join the W&OD Trail Patrol. Not only are you doing a good public service, but they give you a nice little vest with huge reflective strips on it. I wear mine when I commute a) because it promotes the Trail Patrol even when I'm not on it and b) because it's VERY visible.

HD does indeed sell reflective vests though.

BTW: While we're on the topic, I was rolling along this morning at about 20mph and never saw the ninja jogger until the moment of impact. By sheer luck, I was about 3" too far to the left for there to actually BE an impact, so in this case the ninja really, REALLY lucked out. I had my dual-halogen headlight on full blast and never even remotely saw the person. When will they learn?

Riley Casey
01-10-2011, 12:23 PM
Well it took trips to two different Home Depots to find the vest but for $10 it really can't be beat. It is slightly larger than the bike shop model and thus fits better over my winter wear, it it solid yellow fabric rather than the mesh material that turned very dark when worn over dark clothing and best of all it has substantially more reflective material than the bike shop version. I would still prefer that my arms where covered in bright yellow as well as they are when I wear my bike shop windbreaker but even that has 'stylish' black panels on the back that are not contributing to my visibility quotient. One minor downside is that the closure in the front is a single tab of velcro so it might come open easily but I have yet to really put any stress on it. Short of buying the rain coat version of this road workers vest that I have seen in use now that I am more cognizant of such things I think this vest will be a good investment for riding poorly lit side streets.



Riley, I'm not certain, but I suspect you'll find a difference between the two - namely, that the bike shop vest has reflective components, whereas the HD doesn't. Would be worth $15 to me. Let us know how it works out, yes?

Joe Chapline
01-10-2011, 12:32 PM
Thank you for reporting back.

PrintError
01-19-2011, 06:15 AM
One minor downside is that the closure in the front is a single tab of velcro so it might come open easily but I have yet to really put any stress on it.

My trail patrol vest has a 1" velcro strip. Tiny.
It's never popped open on its own, and it's small enough that I can pop it with a tug to get to my jacket zippers.