The Nite Ize SnapLit is a clever, flexible nylon strip featuring LEDs and malleable spine, allowing it to morph effortlessly between brace/anklet and bag-tag.
Two modes are arguably all you'll need thanks to the large surface area and, measuring 34cm long by 4cm wide, it seems a universal fit around most wrists/ankles and calves. Ours has largely served its time snaked around the Univega's beefy cromo rack, emitting a warm beacon through the grey gloom before dusk demands the full 'Christmas Tree on Acid' ensemble.
However, I've a couple of minor gripes... Being single sided, the SnapLit can blow about, becoming obscured when clipped to luggage rather than curled around it. Similarly, access to the single CR2032 cell is fiddly in the extreme.
Powering up is a doddle thanks to the positive integral switch, easily engaged using a finger and thumb pinch in all but the thickest winter gloves. One prod induces a steady glow, pressing again selects flashing and a further press turns it off.
Drilled to accommodate luggage clips, it's easiest wrapped around straps or the person. Although faultless with denims and street-inspired cycling trews, it tends to slip when worn over Lycra. This is a shame because riding with a high cadence accentuates the eye-catching effect, extending visibility from around 300 to nearer 400 yards at 90rpm, even through town centre light pollution.
A runtime of 44hrs in steady mode and 85hrs in flashing mode from the watch-type cell falls short of the manufacturer's quoted 100hrs but is pretty frugal nonetheless. The electrics haven't shown any obvious weaknesses, resisting sleet, heavy rain and a soaking from the garden hose. However, a precautionary lick of Vaseline will stop any trouble before it starts, especially for riders shunning mudguards through the slimier months.
Clever and versatile back-up rider/bike lighting but battery replacement requires care to avoid damage
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Make and model: Nite Ize SlapLit
Size tested: n/a
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?
Here's what the manufacturers say:
"Remember slap bracelets, from when you were a kid? The Nite Ize SlapLit features that same "slap it to snap it" technology with an added dimension of LED illuminating functionality. Made of durable nylon patterned with a reflective spider web design, the SlapLit is powered by a bright, easy-to-activate LED that lights up the entire wrap. Turn it on, slap it on your wrist, upper arm, or ankle (or any tubular-shaped object, for that matter), and you've got instant nighttime visibility. Lightweight and durable, the SlapLit is perfect for after-dark lawn games; running, walking, or cycling at night; and outdoor evening concerts and events. Use and reuse countless times. The SlapLit can be straightened with a simple twist of the thumb and stored flat, or hung in its straightened form and used as an LED marker beacon"
It does just that.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
· Bright Red LED for Active illumination – Glow or Flash Modes
· Passive High Visibility Reflective Pattern
· Includes easily replaceable battery – Single 2032 3V Lithium Coin Cell
· Battery run time: 100 hours
· Product Dimensions: 13.9in x 1.5in x 0.4in
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The SlapLit is a really clever form of backup lighting that can be worn about the person or luggage. Effective to 300-400 yards, ours has provided particularly welcome support to USB charged LEDs. However, battery replacement isn't particularly easy by the roadside.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Convinience, simplicity and decent output.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Electrics felt a little vulnerable when peforming battery swaps.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 38 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)