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by BrimstonefromThe iPhone of reflective vestsNo doubt this is a cool-looking design, just like the world's favorite phone. Unfortunately like the iPhone after some use shortcomings surface. I bought this for utility biking.
- Good side visibility (surprisingly hard to find in visibility products)
- Good range of fit adjustment, especially toward the larger size end of the spectrum. Fits a not-so-svelte-anymore former barrel-chest freedom fighter pretty well.
- Elasticity allows a snug fit without swinging around. Adjusts well for different clothing thicknesses.
- No VELCRO!!! Are you listening clothing makers? Velcro is DEADLY to modern lightweight outdoor fabrics.
- Proper color (Killer/Shocking/Electric Yellow) for best visibility in all conditions.
- Well distributed reflective surfaces, with a reflective stripe running through all the elastic strips.
- Excellent axillary clearance with no arm rub.
- Heavy. Yeah, that's right. All those other people who are saying this is "light" either don't have a scale or are comparing it to something like road construction crew vests, not exercise vests. Some comps:
~ This item: 162g
~ Jogalite vest: 74g
~ New Balance vest: 65g
~ Amphipod High Visibility Vest w/pocket: 78g
Anything you leave on a bike will eventually be stolen. Anything you don't leave on the bike eventually must be carried. Weight matters, as does bulk. This item is at least 1/3 bulkier than all those mentioned above. Weight, packing and carrying are especially important considering the fabric is very:
- Absorbant. Absorbs sweat, absorbs rain, is not particularly quick drying. Shrinks and warps after drying (recommend stretching slightly around a chair back , or a cardboard torso form, when drying to mitigate this). The foam-Tricot covered reflective triangles are particularly spongy. Sweat smells great when it dries; my wife loves it when riding downwind of me. BTW the elastic material is absolutly not air permeable. Here in S.Florida I often found a suspender-shaped sweat impression on my shirt after riding. Although this item appears to have less coverage than a vest, I don't find it particularly cool (or hot). I think those reveiwers saying it's cooler than other vests don't get the "mesh" concept.
- Doesn't adjust down small enough for smallest wearers to get a snug fit
- Less than ideal coverage. The relatively thin strips of this suspender are easily obscured by arms or torso positioning or clothing, such as a bandana. Versus a vest which has a larger distribution of the material. Also the ribcage-level sizing does not do much for rear visibility when hunched over on a bike.
- Pricy. Jog-a-Lite vest can be had for <$8 and does about the same thing.
- So-So durability. I'm basing this on experience with elastic reflective military belts cdonstructed of the same or similar material. They crumple up and stretch out and the refelctive paint cracks and crazes after a couple of years of steady use.
Summary judgement: Meh. Returned; perhaps I would have kept it for special occasion use if it was less expensive. Currently evaluating the Xinglet High Visibility Vest with pocket. Looks good (it has side reflective hits!), but it also has....!VELCRO!. Dang, what's so hard about making the perfect reflective vest? Guess maybe designers just want to keep me buying near misses in pursuit of refelective vest Nirvahna.
Date published: 2012-02-18
Rated 3out of5
by ovals49fromBest I've owned........BUTI agree completely with the glowing reviews. This is, by far the best reflective safety item I've used. The big "BUT" comes due to a short useful life. I'm in my third winter bike commuting season and at this point I look like someone's errant wrapped gift. The elastic has deteriorated enough to make the once flat straps look more like curling ribbon. Not sure if I'll buy another, I came here tonight looking for a replacement.
Date published: 2011-12-14
Rated 4out of5
by Roab the RunnerfromSee me coming, see me going...I am very satisfied with the quality of construction and the reflectivity of the material. I don't like having to zinch down the waist belt in order to obtain a better fit. The shoulder straps tend to cause the belt to ride up around my stomach instead of my waist were I would prefer it. I expect the issue to resolve itself once the shoulder straps begin to lose elasticity. It is not a huge problem and I would definately buy again over a vest design that would trap heat and moisture.
Date published: 2013-03-20
Rated 4out of5
by AdinfromNearly perfectI actually have the pocket Xinglet, not this version, but REI seems to no longer carry that version, so I'm writing my review here. I got the Xinglet both as a reflective vest and for the pocket. Most of my running clothes don't have pockets, so I was looking for something that would let me carry my keys, ID, iPod, etc. while running. In terms of fit and reflectivity, the Xinglet is awesome. It's light and comfortable, and once I got it adjusted well I barely even notice that I'm wearing it. It's so convenient that I now wear it almost all the time when I run - even in broad daylight - just for the pocket space. That, however, brings me to my one complaint: the pocket on the Xinglet is much smaller than I expected it to be. It'll hold an iPod (barely) but then nothing else will fit inside too. I ended up solving this problem by attaching a second pouch (actually a Timbuk2 strap pouch that I had) to the back of the harness, and that gives me all the space I need. Having something hanging on the back of the belt also balances the weight better than only putting things in the pocket on the front. Once the weather warms up, I'm looking forwards to buying the amphipod snap-on water bottles and adding them to the Xinglet too.
Date published: 2011-12-30
Rated 4out of5
by dccyclistfromworks wellI use this for increased ability for after-dark commutes. It fits easily into a bag or pannier. I have no direct feedback about it increasing my visibility but assume it does based on what I notice about cyclists when I am driving my car.
Date published: 2012-04-12
Rated 4out of5
by El pasajerofromLow Profile, yet High ValueHaving to evade careless motorists in the allegedly "bike friendly" PDX for a half year encouraged me to swallow my pride and thrifiness and increase my visibility.
-Allow for greater lengthwise adjustment of the straps
-Allow conversion into a crowbar for selfish or careless other bikers, pedestrians, or motorists.
Date published: 2012-04-26
Rated 5out of5
by tmolloyfromGood reflective vestThis vest is superb for night time riding. It is highly reflective and stands out, more so at night than during the day. I use it for day time riding as well, but I would recommend someone use a full vest for day time riding and this xinglet for night time riding. I have owned it for almost a year and it has held up very well, though I'm worried that the plastic buckle is going to snap someday. For now, I'm just very careful with it.
Date published: 2012-11-11
Rated 5out of5
by Puddle JumperfromA must for any runnerIf you are a runner and run at night, this is a must. Cars easily see you and move away as a result. I also run Ragnar, and this is the best, most comfortable night-running vest I've tried on. It doesn't get in the way of my arm movement and once you tighten it, it stays in place pretty good. Occasionally, there is a little riding up, but I just make some adjustments and it works. I highly recommend it for any runner.
Date published: 2013-05-19
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