Hi Vis Jackets are a type of personal protective gear that comes with highly reflective colors making them easily visible, especially in the dark. These are the kind of yellow jackets you most often see emergency services wear as well as those worn by railroad and highway workers, airport workers, traffic enforcers, hunters, and even typical riders of motors and bicycles.
Wearing these Hi Vis Jackets is recommended to protect traffic and night workers from any work hazards. Studies have shown that Hi Vis Jackets helped workers to be identifiable even from a distance allowing for minimal risks of traffic accidents. This also helped minimize collision accidents among motorcyclists.
How to Choose For the Best Hi Vis Jacket
Consider the environment you’ll be using the Hi Vis Jacket. The primary purpose of the Hi Vis Jacket is to provide protection to anyone wearing it by becoming so easily identifiable through the bright colors even in low light conditions. This comes in very handy to workers at night especially in busy traffic areas.
This doesn’t mean that everyone who wears a Hi Vis Jacket for work uses the same type of jacket. The top consideration for a Hi Vis Jacket is the environment the wearer will in. There are four classes that identify each Hi Vis Jacket and they are:
ANSI Class 1: Workers in an environment away from traffic and where vehicles do not exceed 25mph can wear the ANSI Class 1. For example, these jackets are best for parking lot attendants, shopping cart retrievers or warehouse workers.
ANSI Class 2: Workers in a public highway must don Hi Vis Jackets of this class. These are for traffic enforcers, railway workers, airport ground crew, and the like.
ANSI Class 3: Class 3 Hi Vis have more stringent visibility standards and are usually for emergency service personnel, construction workers, utility workers or survey crews.
ANSI Class 4: Hi Vis of this class are designed to be shorter for quick and easy access. They also come with additional features to make them even more functional for work purposes.
Consider the material for your Hi Vis Jacket. You may want to consider the type of material most suitable for your Hi Vis Jacket. The different types of materials used in Hi Vis Jackets are fluorescent, retroreflective, reflective, and combined-performance retroreflective material.
What to Look For in a Good Hi Vis Jacket
The right size and coverage
Hi Vis Jackets that are larger, brighter, and have more coverage for the body provides more visibility from all viewing directions.
The right fit
A Hi Vis Jacket should be the right fit for you. It should be comfortable to wear with no rough or sharp edges that may cause irritation and injuries. It should also be light enough to wear as an additional garment.
The right brightness
Hi Vis Jackets with bright colors are most effective during daylight. Hi Vis Jackets with fluorescent colors are most effective in low light conditions. Whereas, Hi Vis Jackets with retroreflective colors are most effective in total darkness.
The right design
A Hi Vis Jacket should be consistent with the designs dictated by the CSSA standard such as the standardized pattern for the stripes and bands’ designs.
The right color
The CSSA also specifies colors of background material and combined-performance retroreflective material for Hi Vis Jackets.
Pearl Izumi’s Elite Barrier WXB Jacket is your high-end waterproof cyclist Hi Vis jacket. Even though it may be a bit pricey compared to the rest of the line, users will be satisfied with the purchase and claim that the jacket’s breathability and waterproof features more than justifies its cost.
Features of Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier WXB Jacket
Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier WXB Jacket is form-fitting with waterproof, fully taped internal seams, and uses two-layer technology with three layer technology in the sleeves. These features provide protection from rain and body comfort with freedom of movement for the wearer.
Waterproof fully taped internal seams – The Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier WXB Jacket is waterproof to 15m of pressure with high-quality seam sealing and also has a garage and an internal draft flap to keep external water out.
Two-layer technology with three layer technology in the sleeves – The two-layer technology is made of polyester and polyurethane fabric that provides freedom of movement for the wearer. The three-layer technology in the sleeves is made of nylon for skin comfort and also keeps your bare skin underneath the jacket feeling warm. Pearl Izumi claims that they used a Titanium thermo-regulating technology with the fabrics for superb waterproof and breathable protection.
Form fit – Form fit refers to the jacket’s ability to fit perfectly and comfortably to the wearer’s body. The Elite Barrier’s style of cut is also bike-specific with lengthy arms, high close-fitting neck, and an extended tail. The form fit also allows the Elite Barrier to be stretchy to accommodate even someone with a bulkier build.
What’s great about the Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier WXB Jacket is that it is very effective in keeping the water out. It is also highly breathable, comfortable and snug to wear, and has good visibility, too.
Things of Concern
What’s not so great about the Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier WXB Jacket is that it still lacks ventilation. The jacket can be relied on to keep the water out, but not on keeping itself dry when you’re sweating hard inside. The Elite Barrier can get damp if you’re really sweating or when the weather’s really warm.
Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier WXB Jacket is a high-end Hi Vis jacket that is also highly efficient as it is waterproof and very breathable. It’s also slim and has a nice design, altogether justifying its expensive cost.
The Mavic Sprint Thermo Jacket is the sponsor for last year’s team, which was formerly known as Rapha Condor JLT, making it one of the most popular choices for riders. This attractive cycling jacket has fluorescent coloring, can withstand variable temperatures, and is also highly breathable.
Features of the Mavic Sprint Thermo Jacket
The Mavic Sprint Thermo Jacket is designed with a rider in mind as it comes with features such as large zip pulls, mesh back section, rear zip section, and Velcro tabs on cuffs.
Large zip pulls – The Mavic Sprint Thermo Jacket’s large zip pulls allow the wearer to easily put on the jacket when wearing gloves.
Mesh back section – This mesh back section is underneath the waterproof outer layer and is designed to vent low down on the back with minimal flapping of any loose material. This allows room for greater breathability since the design doesn’t allow your back to touch the outer waterproof layer.
Rear zip section – This zipped back section on the Mavic Sprint Thermo Jacket has three jersey-like pockets where the wearer may stash their mobile and power bars.
Velcro tabs on cuffs – The Velcro tabs on the cuffs is great for allowing no gaps between the cuffs and hand gloves especially in frosty weather or during summer downpours.
Warm and comfortable in different temperatures – What’s great about the Mavic Sprint Thermo Jacket is it can be relied on to keep you warm and comfortable even in a wide range of temperature which is great for cyclists and riders.
Highly breathable – The jacket is also breathable so you don’t need to worry about moisture seeping in and soaking your skin or clothes. It’s able to dry the moisture right away and stop condensation from building up.
Fit and snug – The Mavic Sprint Thermo Jacket is fit and snug to wear with its ergo-cuff design and the trusted Mavic quality material.
Things to be Aware of
The Mavic Sprint Thermo Jacket is highly breathable but, unfortunately, this comes at the expense of the jacket’s lack of waterproofing. It’s not resistant to water and also a bit on the expensive side. Otherwise, this jacket is perfect for riding.
The Mavic Sprint Thermo Jacket is an almost perfect cycling jacket as it’s stylish and attractive, breathable, fit and snug, and can withstand a wide range of temperatures. You just need to pair it with a rain cape in case it rains.
The Louis Garneau Electra 2 Jacket is geared toward cyclists and runners to use during the fall and spring. This Hi Vis jacket is convertible and windproof but it’s not waterproof nor can it keep you warm by the time winter kicks in.
Features of Louis Garneau Electra 2 Jacket
The Louis Garneau Electra 2 Jacket is a Hi Vis jacket made of MicroAir fabric, Mesh Airdry fabric with UPF 20, and MicroMesh fabric. It also has zip-off raglan sleeves, a semi-form fit, full two-way zipper, zippered pockets, and adjustable drawstring hem and elastic cuffs.
Zip-off raglan sleeves – The Louis Garneau Electra 2 Jacket has zip-off raglan sleeves or detachable arms that make it a convertible jacket or a two in one. You’re getting two tops, a sleeved windproof, and a gilet. This is also designed to make it more adaptable to the changing weather.
MicroAir fabric – The Electra 2 Jacket is made of MicroAir fabric which is soft, lightweight, breathable, windproof, and uses a DWR finish to repel water.
Mesh Airdry fabric with UPF 20 – This Mesh Airdry fabric with UPF 20 found on the side panels and improves the jacket’s breathability and moisture-wicking.
MicroMesh fabric – The jacket’s upper back is made of MicroMesh fabric which allows excellent ventilation and moisture management.
Semi-form fit – The Louis Garneau Electra 2 Jacket has a semi-form fit to maintain your riding comfort.
Full two-way zipper – The jacket’s full two-way zipper has an inner flap and chin guard to maximize airflow, protect against the elements, and eliminate zipper rub.
Zippered pockets – There are zippered pockets at the chest and at the back. The zippered back pocket has a flap to stash in the detachable sleeves or cycling gear.
Adjustable drawstring hem and elastic cuffs – The adjustable drawstring that stays in position is particularly good for marathon training. The elastic cuffs are long enough to cover your arms when you’re biking.
Reflectivity – The Louis Garneau Electra 2 Jacket is a good Hi-Vis apparel with reflective logos on front and back and reflective piping for added visibility.
What’s great about the Louis Garneau Electra 2 Jacket is its versatility. It’s also a light and comfortable windproof.
Things to be Aware of
The Louis Garneau Electra 2 Jacket has good and practical features but it could be made better if it was also waterproof.
Cyclists and runners will find this Louis Garneau Electra 2 Jacket windproof and will like its lightweight comfort and versatility, especially in spring and autumn seasons. Unfortunately, this is not the jacket to wear during winter or when it is raining.
The Proviz Hi Visibility Waterproof jacket is perfect for someone whose priority is keeping safe while commuting short distances at night and in traffic. As the name suggests, the jacket’s main features are its high visibility and waterproof designs.
Features of the Proviz Hi Visibility Waterproof
The Proviz Hi Visibility Waterproof has a 100% waterproof layer, plenty of reflective panels and electroluminescent strips to create high visibility. It also has a fleece collar, pit zips and back vent, and a good sized rear zip pocket.
100% waterproof layer – The Proviz Hi Visibility Waterproof is made up of a 100% waterproof layer with a mesh liner which you’ll find effective at keeping any water droplets from getting in.
Reflective panels – This Hi Vis jacket has massive side panels to protect from roundabout corners or junction roads, thick stripes by the arms, and front and rear reflectives to make it more visible in the dark.
Electroluminescent strips – The Proviz Hi Visibility Waterproof is one-of-a-kind in the market and has blue electroluminescent strips as a unique feature. You can set the strips for constant or flashing mode. In flashing mode, two strips each on the front and back alternately flash on and off. Proviz also claims that these lighting strips are also 100% waterproof and have a battery life of 4,000 hours that will make the strips function long after the jacket has worn out. The stripes are powered by AAA batteries.
Fleece collar – The fleece collar on this jacket will prevent drafts from running down your neckline.
Pit zips and back vent – The Proviz Hi Visibility Waterproof jacket’s pit zips and back vent help keep the air moving in order to create breathability throughout the jacket.
Rear zipped pocket – A zipped pocket can also be found at the rear section of the jacket where you can stash in your mobile phone, power bars, and keys.
Proviz Hi Visibility Waterproof deserves accurately reflects its name as it is highly visible – probably one of the most visible jackets of its type – and is also reliably waterproof. You can ride in the rain with this jacket on and still keep dry.
Things of concern
Because of its electric lights, the Proviz Hi Visibility Waterproof is not machine washable like the other jackets are. You need to wipe or scrub it with a damp cloth and soft cleaning agents in order to keep it clean. You may want to watch out what happens to the jacket’s inner liner after a long time if you do not wash it.
The Proviz Hi Visibility Waterproof provides good value for your money as it will keep you highly visible and waterproof. The lighting strips also adds to its value – though the inability to machine-wash the jacket makes it difficult to keep clean.
Polaris Ladies Aqualite Extreme Jacket
The Polaris Ladies Aqualite Extreme Jacket is great for ladies who want to keep it safe and fashionable on their daily commute. This jacket comes in highly visible and fashionable colors. You’ll find that it has lots of reflective patches, can be packed down small, and is light and inexpensive.
Features of the Polaris Ladies Aqualite Extreme Jacket
The Polaris Ladies Aqualite Extreme Jacket comes in high visibility colors, is made of 100% polyester fabric, and has elasticated cuffs, a drawcord hem and collar, full-length front zip with storm flap, zipped front pocket, and folds for easy storage.
100% polyester fabric – The Polaris Ladies Aqualite Extreme Jacket is made of 100% polyester fabric, making it a lightweight waterproof cycling jacket with fully taped seams.
Elasticated cuffs and a drawcord hem and collar – This Hi Vis ladies’ jacket has elasticated cuffs and a drawstring hem and collar to make sure it will always fit you perfectly.
Full-length front zip with storm flap – The Polaris Ladies Aqualite Extreme Jacket’s main zip is waterproof and has an internal storm flap and garage to make sure you’re comfortably tucked in.
Integral stuffsack – This jacket can folded small enough so that you can pack it into your sleeve or back pocket. This makes it very convenient to bring with you anytime and wherever you go.
Zipped front pocket – The Polaris Ladies Aqualite Extreme Jacket has added some fun features like a zipped front pocket that has a media port where you can tuck in your MP3 player.
What’s great about the Polaris Ladies Aqualite Extreme Jacket is it comes with well-designed features and a stylish look. It also provides a snug fit and can reliably shield your from any downpour.
Things to be Aware of
What’s not so good about the Polaris Ladies Aqualite Extreme Jacket is that a few users have complained about its lack of breathability. They claim that it can quickly get damp underneath the jacket which can make for a very uncomfortable experience.
The Polaris Ladies Aqualite Extreme Jacket has many nice features, high visibility, and can shield you from any rain showers. The downside to this jacket is its lack of breathability reported by many users which gives a low level of comfort. If saving money is your priority, you may consider this jacket for your daily commutes or short trips.