You may not be running in the dark to frequently this time of year, but relay season is coming up and I’m willing to bet that you don’t have a ton of summer running clothes that’s reflective. Of course, you can wear a reflective vest … or, you could put reflective strips on your favorite summer running gear.
Brilliant® Reflective uses 3M™ Scotchlite™ and an exclusive colorization process to create strips that come in iron-on and stick-on options to make anything a highly “retroreflective” item of gear – visible at 300 meters, according to the company’s website. I tested some out – both the iron-on and stick-on – and according to my neighborhood running/walking buddy, they’re super-bright. With one pack of stick-on and one pack of iron-on, I was able to try them on four articles of clothing, with plenty left over to doctor up my winter running gear. I put strips near the bottom hem of some capri tights (horizontally), on the sleeves of a short-sleeve tech shirt (vertically), on a running hat (in a half-circle above the ponytail hole in the back), and in an X-formation on the back of a running jacket that, despite its neon green color, has very few reflective details. It’s one of my few running jackets without a hood, though, so on crisp, dry days, it’s my go-to.
The strips are easy to cut, so you could easily spell out a word or create a shape like a heart. They literally take just a few seconds to apply (for the stick-on). Both versions are available in black, blue, red, and purple, so you can apply them to integrate with a current design or create something that looks cool in the light, as well. Placing the strips on the lower leg, thigh, or arms – all places that move more quickly when you run or walk – will catch the attention of drivers and other people running or cycling with headlamps.
The iron-on version is best for gear that has no screening, which can melt even at low temperatures. You’ll want to check the label on your tech material before ironing it, anyway, but you definitely don’t want to iron over a screened-on logo. Both iron-on and stick-on are designed to stand up to laundering without peeling, fraying, or losing any of their reflective power. In addition to your running and walking gear, the strips would be really good for a dog’s leash or a kid’s jacket (or Halloween costume).
To determine which option is better for your gear, I asked the company how people should choose between the iron-on or stick-on. The iron-on strips are best for materials you’ll wash frequently – like your tights or shirts – as they’re manufactured to withstand 50 washings. The stick-on strips are best for non-fabric surfaces like bikes, helmets, and water bottles, but they can also be used on jackets like I did, since they’re not washed as frequently.
Brilliant Reflective Strips can be purchased directly from the company’s website here for $14.99/package.