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The Cyclist guide to hi-viz style

Cyclist
23 Feb 2016

Being visible needn't mean being a Day-Glo dork. Just check out our guide to the best looking hi-viz outfits.

It’s nice not to be run-over, but it’s equally important to look cool. There was a time when to achieve the former, you had to dress like a lemon or sport a builder’s hi-viz waistcoat. Luckily, those days of fluoro folly are behind us. Improved technology means reflective fabric can be applied in subtle ways and without compromising other qualities of the garment, such as stretch and breathability – significant reflectivity can now be built into clothing that appears stealthily understated until hit by a car’s headlamps. Cycling is still very safe and drivers failing to spot riders due to dark clothing is cited as a contributing factor in only a reported 2.5% of accidents. But as long as the kit looks good, we see no good reason not to light up your wardrobe. 

Here are the five best reflective cycling kits

Altura

Altura Peloton NightVision jersey

Despite the Altura being the colour of night, this top is peppered with a generous helping of reflective detailing, making it simultaneously stealthy and conspicuous. Tags on the arms highlight any turn signals.

£60, altura.co.uk

Altura NightVision windproof gloves 

Thin, cosy and dexterous. Shiny silicone grippers on the palms and subtle, striking neon yellow accents between the fingers make these gloves far too nice to keep solely for commuting.

£35, altura.co.uk

Abus In-Vizz helmet

With the flick of a switch, this clever helmet deploys a polycarbonate lens to protect the wearer’s eyes, à la Speed Racer. It’s not its only party trick either, thanks to reflective details on the back.

£130, zyro.co.uk

Altura Peloton NightVision bibtights 

A little geeky on their own, but when twinned with the matching top, the perfectly aligned detailing really looks the business, creating a cool-looking Tron-style effect that coverscovers the entire rider.

£80, altura.co.uk

Castelli

Met Sine Thesis Helmet

The rear of this top-end head topper includes a super-neat and very bright integrated light. Used in its scrolling mode, it gives the pleasing impression that your brain is downloading.

£190 met-helmets.com

Castelli Mortirolo Reflex jacket 

Made of Gore’s fleecy Windstopper material, this jacket is extremely breathable, something boosted by two zippable vents. Being Castelli, it’s flatteringly cut, but only if you’re built like a racing whippet.

£160, castellcafe.co.uk

Sugoi Zap SubZero gloves

Having used these over the worst of the winter months, we can confirm that they will indeed keep your pinkies happy down to below freezing. Covered in reflective dots, nobody will miss you should you choose to flip them off.

£45, sugoi.com

Castelli Sorpasso Bibtights

These bibtights are a Cyclist favourite thanks to their very comfortable Progetto X2 chamois pad. They’ve not too much going on after dark, although details on the zips add some reflectivity.

£140, castellicafe.co.uk

Giordana

Giordana Trade Tempo Vero

Fleecy, but not entirely windproof, this is one for milder days. Nothing’s mild about its colouring though. Bright enough to really stand out at night, this effect is boosted by additional reflective tabs.

£66, yellow-limited.com

GripGrab Hurricane gloves

Conscientiously cut and extremely well put together, these are among the best mixed-weather gloves out there. Not too loud, some subtly added reflectivity does nothing to spoil their business-like appearance.

£30, wiggle.co.uk

Louis Garneau Quartz II helmet 

An internal structure buried within the helmet aims to boost its brain-protecting credentials, while a warning light fixed to the back aims to ensure that you never need put it to the test.

£100, evanscycles.com

Giordana Trade Tempo Vero bibtights

We loved the way these Italian-made tights make it look like you’re wearing shorts and legwarmers, Belgian-style. Small tags on the hips mark out your undulating behind to overtaking drivers.

£70, yellow-limited.com

Proviz 

BOLLE THE ONE Helmet

Like a Transformers toy for adults, individually removable panels allow you to convert this helmet for aero duties or just to keep your head warm.
The large built-in rear light is a nice touch.

£109, bolle-europe.co.uk

Proviz Pixelite softshell jacket

The PixElite fabric that makes up around half of this jacket is covered in a layer of tiny, but highly reflective dots. Grey looking in the daytime, when hit by the glare of a car’s headlights it suddenly becomes unmissable.

£120, provizsports.com

Proviz PixElite Windproof Gloves

These gloves mean no driver has an excuse for missing you – they're by far the most reflective on test. Cosily fitting Lycra cuffs help keep out the chills.

£40, provizsports.com

Proviz PixElite Bibtights

Using the same tech as the jacket, sizable chunks of reflectivity on the calves boost visibility. As your legs
pump, their movement helps capture the attention of anyone following.

£75, provizsports.com

POC 

POC AVIP softshell jacket

Yes, it’s expensive but what price style? Well, in this case £250. Not only does it look stunning, it also packs in a dazzling amount of reflectivity. Hi-viz and high-performance? The POC has both.

£250, 2pure.co.uk

Polaris RBS Hoolie gloves

RBS stands for Really Bright Stuff and these certainly live up to that billing. A substantial build will definitely keep you warm, although they’re not the most dexterous we've had on test.

£30, polaris-bikewear.co.uk

POC Octal Raceday helmet 

This ridiculously lightweight helmet is also phenomenally well-ventilated, making it as unobtrusive a lid as you can buy. Small reflective details on the reverse are a nod to night-time safety.

£190, 2pure.co.uk

POC AVIP Thermal bibtights

No chamois padding here, just pull them over your regular shorts when it gets nippy. With neon calf panels and a reflective bum, they also make your legs look like a pair of orange neon lollipops.

£140, 2pure.co.uk

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