I want to be seen at 6 a.m.
September 23, 2008 6:48 PM   Subscribe

Now that it's getting dark and wet here in the Pacific Northwest, what can I wear to be both visible and dry on our early morning and late evening dog walks?

I've looked at some reflective jackets online and there are so many to choose from; I'm looking for something that will make me very visible to cars in our no-sidewalk, no-streetlight suburban area, and still hopefully keep the rain from saturating my clothes. I've already ordered a reflective leash and coat for the pooch...what about for me? What have you tried and liked? My ideal jacket would be under $100 but I might compromise that figure for something you highly recommend.
posted by TochterAusElysium to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Just get hazard vest, that you can wear over any clothing you may already have.

The reflective tape on it is the most important bit.
posted by iamabot at 7:03 PM on September 23, 2008

I wear safety equipment for Acklands-Grainger, check out their catalog.
posted by Vindaloo at 7:06 PM on September 23, 2008

If it's shiny and dry you're looking for, look at cycling jackets. I like this one, the one I currently use isn't as reflective. You can easily find cheaper ones. Of course, they don't have hoods since they expect you to be wearing a helmet, so a hat or umbrella is in order.
posted by advicepig at 7:22 PM on September 23, 2008

You're in Seattle? Head up to Blumenthal Uniforms just north of 85th and Aurora. They sell hi-viz equipment for police and such, including a couple of nice looking jackets and parkas for around $130. They also have a good selection of vests if you have a good waterproof (but not reflective) jacket already.

Or, if you have a jacket you would like to add reflective stripes to, head a little further up the street to Seattle Fabrics, where you can buy sew-on or iron-on scotchlite strips.

Those two places are where I get most of my night cycling gear, anyway, and I'm very happy with what I've gotten from them.
posted by hades at 8:30 PM on September 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

I got a bright yellow Helly Hansen waterproof jacket and bright yellow Helly Hansen waterproof pants from REI.com (I think around $35 for the jacket and $25 for the pants). They are not breathable (but it will be COLD when I am wearing them, so I won't care). I also got vests for me and the dogs from VizVest.com (around $10 for my vest and I think $12 for each dog) I got a dayglow orange one. The dog vests only come in one color. They are dayglow colors plus have huge reflective tapes on them. They're awesome. I also wear a BRIGHT headlamp. I like reflective vests because then I can wear them over running clothes in the morning or over warmer (or waterproof) stuff at night. We walk in all weather, all year.

If you shop at REI be sure you look around for online coupons to get some percentage off or something.

I have blankets for the dogs to wear, but I made sure to get reflective vests that will fit over them. The dogs do not need to wear their coats unless it is really, really pouring rain or below 30 degrees Fahrenheit or super windy and also cold. They have really amazing fur (border collie coats are made out of Teflon, apparently) and stay pretty warm & dry most of the time.

In the past I have tried reflective leashes that also have blinking lights, light-up collars, very bright blinking things you attach to the collars or leashes (or yourself), glowsticks, all 3 of us wearing white or very light colors, and bandana type things with velcro that have reflective tape on them.

We walk on the road, and we have no sidewalks here, and people do not go the speed limit, especially on a rainy or windy night. We really need to stand out.
posted by AllieTessKipp at 9:48 PM on September 23, 2008

Lacrosse makes a really nice jacket. It's the bright yellow with retroreflective stripes. I bought mine for around $65-70 at sportsmens warehouse and i live in the burlington/mt. vernon area and work construction. it's kind of heavy but it definitely keeps me warm, dry and visible. other places you can check are whistle workwear, work'n'more(also has a website) and airgas. these places should carry vests and jackets. if you just want a cheap vest harbor freight has them for around $5-7. stay away from umbrellas though, you might be mistaken for a tourist. hope this helps.
posted by docmccoy at 11:12 PM on September 23, 2008

Many companies offer very similar breathable waterproof nylon jackets and pants that are similar to Gore-Tex. I wore one of these outfits (Red Ledge brand) for a winter in coastal northern California several years ago. I was a student, and did all my commuting, shopping and laundry by bicycle. I was really impressed with how comfortable it was. Spring for the models that have a mesh lining; without it the plasticy inner face of the nylon clings to you and feels clammy.
posted by jon1270 at 4:14 AM on September 24, 2008

I wear a hazard vest from Home Depot as I walk around the same no-sidewalk, no-streetlight suburban area. They're just a few bucks. I also clip a very bright, blinking bike light on the back -- I clip it to my jacket, though, not the vest, as the weight of it drags the vest back and annoys me.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:24 PM on September 24, 2008

Thank you all; your responses helped me figure out what I really wanted. I ended up getting this very reflective jacket, and it's great (and was a lot less than the fancier biking jackets).
posted by TochterAusElysium at 1:40 PM on September 28, 2008

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