Light Up the Night: Gear Essentials for Nighttime Runners


Running at night is dangerous business. There are cars to avoid, wild animals to encounter, and rocks just waiting to trip you! Arm yourself with the latest nighttime gear arsenal, and be prepared for whatever comes at you after hours. Then when short winter days force you to hit the road past sunset, you’ll be ready, not worried.


Brooks Nightlife Essential Run Jacket II

Brooks Nightlife Essential Run Jacket II Testing as the brightest of the bunch, this jacket, covered in 3M™ Scotchlite™ retroreflective hits, glows when struck by light. Redesigned with side stretch panels for easier movement, it’s windproof with a DWR coating to keep water out. Rear venting prevents clamminess, and the moisture-proof media pocket ensures your iPhone stays dry. $85

Pearl Izumi Fly Reverse Jacket

Pearl Izumi Fly Reverse Jacket Neon isn’t flattering on everyone, and when the sun is up you may feel ridiculous in day-glow hues. Solve the problem with this reversible jacket featuring reflective yellow on one side for night and basic black on the other for day. The breathable, water and windproof softshell fabric make it your best choice for stormy weather. Also made for women. $180

Relax Reflect Tee

Relax Reflect Tee Look sharp and be seen in a reflective top of your own design! Pick the fabric, color, and print. A newbie in the running world, Relax Reflect’s tops offer the best visibility of anything we tested because the designs are entirely reflective. If designing your own sounds too daunting, leave it to the experts and pick from their stocked gallery. Prices vary.

New Balance NBx WindBlocker Jacket

New Balance NBx WindBlocker Jacket Winter winds trapping you inside? Get back out in this windproof, water resistant half-zip jacket with a heat-reflective interior coating to keep you warmer. High-visibility details on sleeves and the zipper make you easy to spot. Our favorite feature is the front pouch pocket with organized interior compartments for stowing gadgets while leaving space for both hands. Love this jacket’s fit, but buy a size down as it runs big. $110

Saucony® Beanie

Saucony Beanie If you’re not into head-to-toe fluorescents, just try it on top. Available in Vizipro orange or pink, this fitted, flashy beanie has reflective accents and DryLete fabric to regulate your body temperature. For men and women. $22

Saucony® Omni LK Tight II

Saucony Omni LK Tight II Finding a night-ready run tight can be a chore. Saucony makes it easy with this full-length race tight with 3M™ reflective piping and Vizipro neon down each leg for incredible visibility. The fit is snug without being uncomfortable. Gripper elastic at bottom keep them from climbing your legs when you sprint. $65

New Balance 3-inch Split Short

New Balance 3-inch Split Short While not a dedicated nighttime running bottom, this versatile short does have a few small but highly-reflective accent graphics on both the front and rear panels. It’s lightweight, breathable fabric and minimal cut make it ideal for runs of any length or as a layering piece in cooler temperatures. $38





Moving Comfort Run Hat Moving Comfort® Run Hat

Some of us just like to run with hats…even at night. This cute topper uses reflective piping on the brim and has a wicking headband inside to keep your face sweat free. $18

Saucony® Vizipro NMD Vest

Saucony Vizipro The highlighter-like hues of the new Vizipro collection are the brightest we tried, and the highly-visible accents illuminate you in the dark. Toss this fluorescent vest on top of anything, and the windproof front panel and temp-regulating fabric keeps your core warm without overheating. You’ll love this vest’s luxe fabric and tailored fit so much, you may not want to wear anything else. $90

New Balance 360 Jacket

New Balance 360 Jacket Glow in the dark with the 360, which has well-placed reflective elements on all sides. This mesh-lined windbreaker is best for windy fall runs, or in winter on top of a long-sleeve shirt. The fit is loose, but it can be tightened down with interior drawstrings. $77

Athleta Dipsea Jacket

Althleta Dipsea Jacket Who says hi-viz elements need to be boring? This jacket’s backside flower artwork shines with light on it for a dazzling nighttime effect. No over-the-top colors means you can rock this cozy piece post-run too! The stretchy softshell fabric blocks wind and water, making it ideal for winter runs. $118

Brooks Nightlife Infiniti Half Zip

Brooks Nightlife Infiniti Half Zip Choose this vivid top for early morning and evening runs. The soft fabric and flattering fit make it a treat to wear! Unfortunately, the bright reflective details are on the sides of the jacket, so it isn’t our favorite for runs in total darkness on busy streets. A handy arm zip pocket stores a key or gel. $80

Moving Comfort® Endurance Tight

Moving Comfort Endurance Tight

Pop in your tunes, and take on the cold in these full-length tights with light-reflecting lines and logo. Fitted but comfortable, they’re perfect for long training runs and races. The rear stash pocket is big enough for an iPhone or Droid, and the flat waistband is comfy on your tummy. $58


Athleta Contender Skirt Capri

Athleta Contender Skirt Capri Run without showing off your assets in this ruched, cute skirt with built-in capri. The modest cut and great fit make them perfect for all body types. Reflective accents on the skirt offer low-light visibility. A water-resistant pouch fits in the rear stash pocket and keeps money and electronics dry when you’re drenched in sweat. Get this skapri at Athleta’s first Salt Lake store, opening this fall at City Creek. $79


Saucony® Ulti-Mitt

Saucony Ulti-Mitt Transform these mitts into fitted gloves by simply tucking the mitt cover into the built-in stash pocket. A rechargeable USB Led light clips on top of mitt and offers an hour of bright or blinking white light with a 20-minute charge. Visible from 300 feet away. $50

Nathan™ Photon LED Vest

Nathan Photon LED Vest Don’t want to invest in an assortment of fluorescent duds? Get this vest with 360-degree reflectivity, and you’ll be seen from 1,200 feet away. Removable LED strips light up your front side for 150 hours, and a zippered pocket stores a gel or phone. Adjustable to fit all, so you and a differently-sized spouse or friend can share. $35

Puplight™ 2

Puplight 2 Keep your pooch safe in the dark by clipping this LED light on a reflective band to any collar. It lights a path 200 feet ahead for you and your furry friend. Batteries last 150+ hours. $20

Dog-e-Glow Leash

Dog-e-Glow Leash See Spot run. See Spot glow using this innovative leash with an LED tube sewn into it. The lights blink or burn steadily and are noticeable from 1000 feet away. Each leash is six feet long and available in many colors and styles. $30


Aaron Lovell contributed to the reporting of this article.


About Author

Jenny Willden is the Managing Editor of Outdoor Sports Guide and a self-proclaimed gear and grammar nut. She's a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association and the Adventure Travel Trade Association. A lover of adventure and travel, she's happiest when riding horses or snowboarding in Utah’s mountains. Follow Jenny’s exploits on Twitter @jennywillden or Instagram @jlwillden.

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