Get Lit up for Hood to Coast: Some great night gear recommendations from Run Oregon

From 6:00pm through 7:00am, runners/walkers while participating must:

  • Wear a reflective vest (through 9:00am for reflective vest only)
  • Carry a flashlight (headlight or similar)
  • Wear one front and one back LED flasher

Teammates/support personnel are highly recommended to wear a reflective vest and LED flasher (when not inside the race vehicle), on the course or at any exchange, from 6pm – 9am.

All participants are encouraged to wear high visibility colors on Legs 19-35, during all hours.

This is the direct wording from the Hood to Coast website, explaining the importance and necessary of reflective gear. You don’t want to be DQ’d by not being prepared, so we wanted to highlight a few of our favorite light-up safety gear to get your hands on in the next 3 weeks.

Road Noise:

So what is RoadNoise? Well, it’s a reflective vest with speakers built into the shoulders. The speakers are right below your ears, and the sound is positioned upwards, with sound loud enough to play your music without being overpowering, and allows you to hear ambient noise around you. You can remove the speakers for easy washing after a sweaty run (race, relay, etc) and it comes in a few colors to almost appease us who like to color-coordinate.

What the website says: “RoadNoise vests give you the ability to hear your footsteps, your breathing, and your surroundings along with your favorite music. There are no dangling cords while you run. Just plug-in your device and you’re off running.” This vest accommodates IPods or your Android smartphone.

I am so glad I have this option, and the ability to use it, in so many settings. In fact this vest is going to get a lot of use, not only while I am at military bases, but also for my Hood to Coast relay in August. This vest has truly been wonderful for me!

Glimmer Gear:

I am an early morning runner.  If I miss my morning workout, I might miss it the entire day, so I run early.  Unfortunately, this means running in the dark 70-80% of the year except for a few long days during the summer.

Now, I love to be seen! In fact, I worry more about being seen at night than I worry about other running in the dark issues. I am enjoying all the new technology coming out with LEDs and flashing lights which are great for costumes or night races, including the Glimmer Gear Strap-on Bands.

This product features that same “slap it to snap it” technology, but adds in LED lighting to make it a simple, yet prime night running accessory.

All-in-all, this product worked exactly how I expected it to – and that is positive in itself. With a simple one-button push, it lights up brighter than anticipated, with subsequent button-presses yielding blinking modes.

It was comfortable and out-of-the-way.  It was not too tight, but also not too loose where I felt it was going to fall off. I also ran with it on my upper arm and around my ankle as well, just to try it out.

Overall, this is an extremely inexpensive and solid option for running.

LED Lenser NEO Headlamp:

When I received the NEO Headlamp I was really impressed with how light it was, 1.9 oz.!! I also figured out that there was a blinking red light on the back of the headlamp built into what I can only assume is the battery pack, you’re seen from the front and back without having to jimmy rig another blinker on the back (Hood to Coast ready, just sayin’!).

The light beam in the front is a white light that has an ultra wide beam and 90 lumens of light. The weight of this is something that we need to talk about again. So, I have found that when I wear this headlamp I definitely forget that it is even there. It just feels like it’s a part of my head and at no point feels like I need to adjust it.

The price point, $20.00, is now even more amazing to me considering all that this lovely little headlamp can do and if you’re in the market I would just stop the search and go for this. I am usually the first to pipe up about things I don’t like – but this headlamp was made for runners or anyone that needs to be outdoors at dark o’clock. The LED Lenser NEO comes in many different great colors: green, pink, blue, yellow, orange – go buy yours today!


About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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