Safety vests probably aren't going to win any awards at the next fashion show (although who knows, perhaps fluorescent is this years florals) but there is no denying their ability to make you seen on the road. Craft's offering is well cut and designed, with features like a meshed backing and plenty of reflective material showing their prestige as a quality clothing manufacturer.
The vest fits well with elastic along its edges ensuring you won't balloon up as you get moving. Rather than go down the Velcro route of some safety vests, this vest is zipped down the chest, again, saving any chance of flapping in the wind. The elastic means it will also fit comfortably over how ever many layers you have on. A high collar provides an added element of side-on visibility.
The main market for vests like these is commuters, riding in heavy, aggressive traffic. Its lightweight design though makes it a useful addition to those riding for pleasure or training too. You can pack it away in case of being caught out by the sun going down or even for when your ride reaches busy streets. A meshed backing section a is feature added to many riding specific gilets and enforces its compatibility with more than just commuting. The material is thin; it does provide an element of wind protection, but I'd have liked it to be a touch heavier.
On the visibility front, beyond the fluorescent material, two reflective strips encircle the torso. Craft's logo is also found down the sides and chest in reflective paint. It's hard to quantify how much more visible it makes the wearer but car drivers would certainly have a hard time pushing the 'sorry mate, I didn't see you' line.
Craft's safety vest is a good offering. Whilst it is not as cheap as a budget work vest, it does offer some performance features, verging more in the domain of the gilet. Visibility is high on the agenda and it does this well but elasticated edges, zipped chest, mesh backing and packability make it more than just a safety vest and good value at its £25 list price.
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Make and model: Craft Active Run Safety Vest
Size tested: Neon - M
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
'An essential safety item ideal for cycle commuting, running and any sporting activity in low light when visibility is key'
Pretty much on the mark there - not just for commuting, can be packed away for when light starts to dip.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Elastic edges, high collar, zipped chest, two reflective bands, meshed back.
Can't find any faults with it, seams are well finished.
Hard to quantify visibility but the meshed rear does a great job at allowing the wearer to cool down.
Again, build is good with well finished seams; doesn't look like it is going to fall apart any time soon.
Very lightweight and pack-able.
Not much wind protection but elastic cuffs ensure there is not chaffing and meshed rear keep wearer cool.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Well, I didn't get pulled out on once!
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Material a bit too lightweight on the wind protection front.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 23 Height: 184cm Weight: 66kg
I usually ride: Orbea Onix (Carbon) - Summer, Orbea Asphalt (Alu) - Winter My best bike is: Orbea Alma G10
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, club rides, mtb,