Would you spend less than $150 to make sure you get home safely from your night runs? Of course you would — especially if you’ve tried endless ways to light up your presence on the road, like reflectors on your shoes, reflector belts, glow-in-the-dark tape on garments and other gadgets promising to keep you safe.
If your search for the ultimate solution remains elusive, maybe it’s time you thought about treating yourself to a Badger 360° LED jacket. Is it fashion-forward? Not exactly. But since it first appeared on the market in 2013, plenty of people have fallen in love with this garment.
Is it the most stylish piece of clothing in my closet? Hardly. But I decided to leave my fashion sensibilities at home and opt for my safe return, instead!
Unisex Badger 360° LED Jacket Features
The main feature, of course, is that you get to feel like a holiday tree in motion as you run and that’s a confidence booster. LED lights, running from the back to the neck area and across both shoulders, are imbedded in the fabric.
Due to the LED light distribution, it matters not whether you are approached from the front, back or side because 360-degrees of you will be visible. Here’s how it works: you venture forth and from the moment auto light hits you, you glow in a way that neither scares motorists to death nor causes you to react.
This jacket is very lightweight despite its versatility so I can roll, fold and stow it in my gear bag in a flash. Because this jacket has such unique features, the price could be troubling at $149.99; but if you search sites like Amazon, you could snare this bright yellow jacket for $129.99.
In addition to saving your life, the Badger 360° LED jacket is a veritable storage unit for your personal belongings. Thanks to two side pockets, a large zippered pocket fastened to the jacket back and a left chest pocket, I can stash everything but my Chihuahua in these clever compartments.
In my case, it’s cash, ID, smartphone and GPS tracker. There’s a hood I use when it starts to rain that is designed to be hidden away when not in use, and the lithium battery that turns me into a mobile Christmas tree weighs only 1 ounce, so nothing about this jacket slows me down. While I’m not up for running 8 hours in the dark, I take Badger at their word when they promise that the battery holds a charge for that long.
Recharging is a breeze: use the USB port to do the job and you’re good to go. Mind if I add a note of levity? I can set the jacket to flash in seven different tempos, so no matter what music I’m listening to, I can flash along with it. Fun, huh?
- What’s not to love about a product that’s styled to suit both sexes? Anyone willing to head out into the night wearing the colour neon yellow is invited to make this jacket their personal safety uniform!
- Want to make more friends? Don’t laugh, but the 360 is a matchmaker: I hardly ran half a mile before someone stopped to ask where I got the jacket. I understand this is par for the course as reported by other jacket owners who are stopped so often, they expect it.
- The amount of storage space available in the jacket pockets is amazing and handy. How many times have you wanted to stop at the store at the end of a run but realized you left your wallet and plastic back home because there was simply no way to tote anything but your ID?
- If you live, work and run in an area of the world that subjects you to very few hours of sunlight during certain seasons, the 360 qualifies as a running essential.
- The flashing light controller has no on/off button, so if you want to change the pattern of your flashing lights on the fly, you’ll have to press the button repeatedly, scrolling through them all until you get the pulse you seek.
- While that pocket attached to the back of the jacket is useful, it’s hard to reach if you’re in mid-run; ditto the controller that is also fastened to the back of the jacket.
- While I was wild about all those pockets, the side pockets (easiest to access) don’t have zippers, so I always run the risk of losing items stowed there and in the dark, it can be impossible to find them.
- The waist liner is a one-size-fits-all so if you’re extraordinarily thin or heavy, you could have to settle for a less-than-optimal fit. And can someone tell me why there’s a double zipper on the front?
- Runners who are exceptionally toned and fit could have problems around the shoulders. That doesn’t describe me, but I do have dreams about guys who are so buff, only Spandex can confine their muscles. Now, if I run into them myself, you bet I’m going to stop them and introduce myself as a fellow 360 fan!
The Unisex Badger 360° LED Jacket is available at its official online store for $149.99.
Are you more concerned about attention than safety? How likely are you to wear something that is very striking and be a talking point among your running peers?