Wearing hi-viz apparel is a great way to get motorists’ attention. Ultra-bright colors that don’t exist in nature catch their eyes, and that momentary “what’s that?” pause may make them think twice before pulling out in front of you. But what makes hi-viz gear appealing from a safety standpoint makes it unappealing in terms of style. Some people just can’t bring themselves to dress like a traffic cone.
For those who want the advantages of hi-viz without the financial or visual commitment of a complete jacket or suit, there’s the Blaze Safety Vest from Olympia Moto Sports. It retails for just $79.99 and is designed to be worn over any type of riding apparel, from your favorite textile gear to one-piece leathers. Put it on for your daily commute or trips into the city, then take it off when riding in remote areas where being noticed is less of a concern.
Made of lightweight rip-stop nylon with large ballistic airflow mesh panels, the vest doesn’t block vents or mesh underneath, and generous 3M Scotchlite reflective panels boost nighttime visibility. Designed to meet military specifications, there is an ID pocket on the upper left chest. A large zippered pocket on the left side of the torso doubles as a self-storage pouch, and inside is a cell phone pocket, which is where I keep my garage door remote. Nice details include a microfiber collar, an athletic mesh lining and three adjustment straps on each side.
Editor-in-Chief Tuttle and I have been wearing Blaze vests for months, and both of us notice a distinct difference when we do and don’t wear them. Whether we’re lane-splitting in rush-hour traffic or running errands around town, wearing the Blaze forces people to do a double take. And since we rotate through gear several times a month, we love the convenience of being able to wear the vest with whatever jacket or suit we have on. Cleaning bug guts and road grime off the rip-stop nylon is easy; just hand-wash it with a little detergent and hang it up to dry.
The Blaze Safety Vest is available in hi-viz yellow or orange in unisex sizes XS/S, M/L, XL/2XL and 3XL/4XL.
For more information: See your dealer or visit olympiamotosports.com