As the days grow shorter, you might find yourself lacing up for a run in darkness. However, just because you run during the witching hours doesn’t mean you should banish yourself to a treadmill for winter. Nocturnal running can be a great choice—as long as you stay safe. It’s important to be visible, especially if you run near traffic. The proper gear can help you stay seen so you can focus on what matters: logging miles.
- Versions: Women’s
- MSRP: $85
Thanks to a polyester-elastane blend, the 7/8-length Sunara tights fit like a second skin. An extra-thick waistband offers ample coverage and prevents the Sunaras from sliding down while hiding a small internal mesh pocket for stashing car keys. A second, larger pocket lives on the side of the right thigh, easily fitting gels or a cell phone. But, it’s the reflective feature we love most: The versatile ankle cuffs roll up, exposing strips of reflective material.
Salomon uses proprietary fabric in the Agile to ensure windproofing and breathability for chillier runs. Front and back venting flaps encourage airflow to minimize sweat build-up, and a water-resistant coating means you can head outdoors even if Mother Nature is feeling sassy. A 360-degree strip of reflective coating wraps around the left bicep so you are easily seen while running against traffic (because you follow traffic laws, right?).
- Versions: Women’s
- MSRP: $105
Who knew a wind jacket could be so versatile? This 100-percent polyester featherlight weighs 4.8 ounces but protects against the worst wind gusts—and traffic, thanks to the reflective swirly pattern. Elasticized cuffs stay put whether you wear them down or up your arm, and a small interior pocket on the right hem stashes small items like car keys. The hood rolls up and snaps down to eliminate bouncing, but the versatility shines with storage: The entire jacket packs up inside an interior pocket that can be worn as a small backpack.
- MSRP: $49.95
Not only will a headlamp help you be seen, but it also helps you, well, see. Using five white LED lights, the headlamp provides up to 330 lumens which amounts to roughly 250 feet of visibility on the highest setting. This ’lamp is also comfortable for running: It weighs a negligible 2.5 ounces (with battery), and its slim, sleek design keeps the light flush against your forehead, minimizing jostling. (The battery pack sits on the back of your head.)
- Versions: Men’s
- MSRP: $75
Men love the Spartan pants for their versatility in inclement weather and all-around comfort. A polyester-spandex blend wicks moisture away from your skin while moving with your body’s natural motion. The fitted cut and tapered ankles keep extra material out of the way (and nix the dreaded swish-swish sound), while the elastic waist with a drawcord keeps them secure and comfortable.
- MSRP: $30
Sometimes a headlamp isn’t enough for cars approaching from your backside. In those instances, the 6-lumen LightBender armband is the perfect solution. Multiple settings offer a steady stream of illumination or blinking lights, and runners can choose between three colors: red, green or blue. The entire kit is water-resistant, and thanks to a lithium-ion battery, you can recharge the band via USB. Heads up: The LightBender only fits arms with a circumference of 9 inches or bigger—measure before buying if you’re unsure.
- MSRP: $29.95
Consider the Xinglet your last line of defense. If lights and reflective strips aren’t enough visibility for your run, kit up with this neon-yellow shoulder-and-waist strap that is lined with 360 degrees of reflective material. The front clip makes removal a cinch. Plus, the waist accommodates sizing from 27 to 47 inches (with an additional 6 inches of stretch), so it comfortably fits a lot of body types.