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Reflective HiViz Safety Vest recommendation

Yogi

Maximum Pace
May 17, 2023
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I don't plan to cycle at night but my struggle with installing new tires has me thinking it might be prudent to have a HiViz reflective vest, especially during the cooler months where all my warm wear tops are black and my plans to go further from home. A little googling reveals there is a new EN17353:2020 standard for this but unfortunately not much EN certified cycling specific kit available in Japan other than this Apidura. Japan doesn't have Road Traffic Law standard so there are lots of other choices that are a lot cheaper. Any experience or recommendations?
 
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I use this vest by Audax Saitama which is fully compliant with randonneuring requirements (we need to wear a reflective vest during the entire ride, not just at night). It is also used by members of many other clubs in the Kanto area and is 1900 yen + 200 yen shipping.

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I bought mine at the start of a AJ NishiTokyo brevet when I had forgotten my other vest (from a DIY center).

I actually own two of them and wear one normally and one over a small backpack if I use one, so that I don't have to squeeze the backpack inside the vest (the backpack can't obscure the vest).
 
Nice, thanks Joe! Do I have to be a AUDAX member to order?
 
I would just contact them by email (on the link I gave) and ask. Besides the initial orders by members when they updated the design, they probably have some extra stocks to provide at events if someone needs one (forgotten, brought something that's not compliant) to pass the start inspection.
 
I end up getting this Rock Bros vest in size Large. I liked that it was US/EU sizing, had large reflective trim, a neck collar, jersey-style pockets and free returns if it didn't fit. I can also wear my HiViz Deuter Race 8 hydration pack over it and not block out the reflective parts.
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It's wise to prioritize safety, especially when facing challenges like installing new tires. Even if night cycling isn't in your plans, having a HiViz reflective vest is a smart precaution, especially during cooler months when visibility might be compromised. I've found that investing in hi-vis gear, like shirts from fullsource.com, offers peace of mind when heading out, particularly when my warm wear tops tend to be dark. While it's disappointing that there aren't many EN certified options in Japan, exploring alternative choices that still meet safety standards could be worthwhile.
 
I end up getting this Rock Bros vest in size Large. I liked that it was US/EU sizing, had large reflective trim, [...]
I've got a similar Rock Bros number -- perhaps an older model. Its weakest point is its zip(per). There's nothing wrong with this as long as I'm careful with it and don't completely open it. So I always put on the vest and take it off "over my head"; this way, it's trouble-free.
 
Yes, the zipper is a YCC #5, NOT my preferred YKK or Vizlon. But no problems so far and at least the collar does have a zipper garage. My concern is the stretchy HiViz fabric is a tight double knit and may be a little warm to wear over another shirt in high Summer. Actually it is more jersey-like so I might just wear it on its own on those hot August nights!🥵
 
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