update 2016: After closing down for a year or so, Spectrum is back under new management with a Kickstarter to start production again, this time at a lower price and some small updates to the product. Take a look and check it out!
I've already added my name to the Kickstarter with 2 additional vests. One in black/gold for Goldie and one in black/silver for the man.
SPECTRUM ULTRA SPORT HI VIZ VEST
- OLD Price: $99 - $129 (depending on style/color)
- Sizes: SM-XXL, true to size (I'm wearing Small)
- Vest Colors: Black, Green, Orange, Red, Pink, Blue, Yellow, Silver
- 2 reflective tapes with day/night visibility
- Chrome tape is the standard white
- Reflexite has a slight shimmer to it and is the most expensive on the market
- Full velcro adjustments on the torso to expand up to an additional
- Made in San Francisco, CA. Materials sourced in the USA
- Vest constructed from Cordura Nylon
- Black Series is for extreme night vision, dusk till dawn, and for sunny days only
- Hand washable
- Where to Buy: www.spectrumultrasports.com
- Sample provided by Spectrum for review
- Review Date: May 2013
When Michael, the founder of Spectrum Ultra Sports asked me to try one of his vests, I was hesitant.
I am just not a reflective vest person! I know they're more visible, and there's no denying the fact that reflectives and bright colors are more visible than darker ones.
But, whether or not it's safer is definitely the big argument among motorcyclists. Myself included. I'll admit, it's really difficult for me to wear it every day. I don't want the false sense of security, I'm not saying that it creates one but it does make you think twice. If I don't wear it today, what's going to happen? Who knows? But, I'm wearing it way more often than I thought I would when it was first sent to me and than the one I have hidden in the back of my closet.
These vests were created in mind to utilize the best materials on the market, and with a design that's very different from what's available from its competitors. One reason many riders (myself included) don't wear them is because well, they make you look like a crossing guard or one of those people picking up trash on the side of the road. The best thing about these is that they're well, kind of cool. I'm wearing the Blitz Series, Size Small, Red with White Tape.
Ok, they're not the coolest piece of gear on the planet. But for a vest, doesn't it remind you of a certain kickass, iconic band member from the 80s? I have one of the really inexpensive MSF ones, all black with white vertical reflective stripes. I haven't thought about wearing that in months.
The Spectrum hangs in my gear closet, right by the front door. Anytime I go on a long trip, group rides or do any night time riding I'll be taking it with me. It's super lightweight and easy to wear over any jacket in your closet. There are 2 velcro adjustments on the side that let you fully adjust the vest up to 4-5 inches in width along the torso. So it'll fit over anything.
It's ridiculous to put all of your trust into one garment or piece of gear. A loud horn, bright lights, bright gear. It's all of these things plus common sense, continuous training and good judgment that are all important in keeping us safe and out of harm's way. Think of a reflective vest like this one as another piece of ammunition to add to your defensive driving arsenal. No, it's not a 100% guarantee (like any gear) that it'll protect you from everything. But, hopefully it'll make a difference to that one person who's texting and sees your bright white flicker before changing lanes without turning on their blinker.
Yes it's more expensive than something you can buy at the hardware store. But it's an all weather, well made, durable vest with incredible day AND night reflectivity. You also *don't* have to wear prison suit orange or construction yellow in order to be visible. Another nice thing is that you can use it for other active sports; bicycling, skiing, sailing, hunting, etc. It also conveniently rolls up to a small poster size rollup so you can store it anywhere or keep it with you.
If you want a lightweight vest that looks cool, has the most visibility, durability and is made locally by hand, then you'll love this vest. It's priced competitively with similar safety vests but definitely is the cool kid on the block.