When you’re all about that active life, you can’t let winter weather get you out of your groove. But, if you’re a cyclist or runner who can’t quit the streets for the warmth (and boredom) of the gym, it can be a dangerous time! Fog, bad weather, and short days make it hard to run or cycle in good visibility, and you probably don’t want to put your life in the hands of the average driver.
Fortunately, you can stay visible and safe out on the streets without looking like a Christmas tree. There’s plenty of tech accessories to help you stay safe without taking anything away from your workout, including some brand new gear that you should definitely check out!
Lighting is the most important thing to have if you want to stay safe on the roads, but it’s easier for cyclists to pull that off than runners. A good option for the latter is RunLites — it’s like having a headlamp, but you don’t have to wear a headlamp when you run! RunLites are gloves with snug pockets holding very bright LED lights that can shine out up to 40 feet ahead of you in a 135-degree arc. If you want to make sure you’re visible without adding a ton of weight, this is as good as it gets.
And, here’s another thing we love — all the different styles! RunLites come in fingerless and fully-fingered gloves, and in loads of different colors. They’ve even got one style that has a small pocket in the gloves for keys or a card or two, so you don’t have to put things in your pockets or use an armband if you don’t want to.
We don’t have to be shy about it anymore — you want your exercise gear to look fashionable. Yeah, full on visibility vests are by far the safest way to go, but that’s a hard look to pull off. Fortunately, someone’s working on a lighted jacket that looks great while making certain that you’re still visible.
It’s called the Nova jacket, and it’s a tight, form-fitting hoodie with two strips of LED lights running down the front and back. But, they’re not just tacked on — the lights are interwoven with the fabric, which helps keep the jacket looking great. And those lights? Super bright. The team behind Nova says the lights can be seen from 450 feet away and will stay on for up to eight hours straight. There is a battery, but it’s tiny and light. It fits in one of the jacket’s pockets and won’t add much weight.
The jacket ticks a lot of other boxes. It’s weather-resistant, machine washable, and the hood can be zipped away on non-rainy days without making the collar too puffy. The team behind the Nova jacket is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, so,assorted warnings about crowdfunded projects apply! But, if all goes well, the jacket should help you out this winter — they plan to ship in early 2018.
Just putting LED lights on gloves is useful enough for safety, but Zackees go one step further. These cycling gloves act as turn signals — each glove has an LED pointer arrow that can be activated by a press on the glove itself. They’re powered by tiny coin cell batteries and the insides of the gloves are well padded, so they should be comfortable for most to wear, too.
The only knock on them might be that they are currently only available as fingerless gloves, which isn’t the greatest prospect during the freezing winter months. They’re probably not super great for runners, either, although the extra lights certainly couldn’t hurt!
Fingers crossed, you’re never involved in an accident. If you are, there are devices that can send out alerts without you needing to do anything. A company called ICEdot makes a crash sensor that can be strapped to the back of a helmet or worn on the body — if the sensor detects an impact, it will trigger your phone to emit an alarm while sending out a message to any emergency contacts you’ve designated.
If you’re not seriously hurt, you can simply use your phone to prevent the alerts from going out. But, it could be a lifesaver if you’re ever involved in an accident and sustain a serious injury. There is a yearly membership fee you have to pay to use that service, but the first year is free with purchase of the crash sensor.
Sadly, listening to music while running isn’t exactly something we’d ever describe as safe. Not being able to hear what’s going on around you can be very dangerous for road runners and cyclists, but there are some products you can use to make things a bit more safe. They’re expensive, but the Jabra Elite Sport true wireless earbuds have long been a favorite of ours when it comes to fitness tech.
For starters, we like that these earbuds include fitness tracking and a heart rate detector — getting audio readouts right from the buds is a lot safer than being tempted to fiddle with a smartwatch or wrist-worn fitness tracker on the road. Not only that, but these earbuds have a setting that will use microphones on the buds to pipe in background noise, so you can listen to your tunes while being able to hear the sounds of traffic around you clearly.