Inspired by a local overnight relay race’s rules requiring wearing a reflective vest 6pm-7am and also prohibiting above-the-shoulder sound playing devices, this running vest with built in speakers was developed by a group of Oregon runners looking for ways to listen to music while following the race regulations.
I first heard about the RoadNoise running vest from one of my Hood to Coast teammates in 2011 when she wanted to keep listening to her music despite the no-earbuds rule of the race. She used the original RoadNoise vest and had nothing but good things to say about it. Now, RoadNoise has added another model to its lineup: The Long Haul Sound Vest. It has a larger pocket for the sound-playing device (allowing room for bigger phones than five years ago), mesh pockets in the front for gels, blinky lights, and water bottles (e.g. RoadNoise soft flasks), as well as a criss-cross adjustable bungee on the back, which can hold a hydration reservoir or a light jacket.
The vest fits very well and once on, I barely feel it. The snaps on the side are a little higher than for other vests (bottom of the rib cage) which makes the vest sit tight. The criss-cross bungee on the back also helps with making it fit snugly without binding. The front pockets sit firmly against my body and don’t bounce, even when loaded with snacks and water. The detachable rear pocket can hold another water bottle (which bounces while running but would work well while riding. The front zipper pocket for my phone has plenty of space, and if you have a phone without headphone jack, the vest also comes with a Bluetooth amplifier and volume controller.
The RoadNoise original vest is a great solution for being visible and safe while running. The Long Haul version, with its many pockets, combines safety vest, music amplifier, and fuel/hydration storage all in one, which still being lightweight and comfortable. A great addition to a runner’s gear.
Product:Long Haul Sound Vest ($90-125)
Colors:Hi-Viz Green, Black, Pink