You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Product Review Nathan Reflective Gear

Baby it's cold outside! And dark, too so hopefully you own some reflective gear. If you don't and are wondering what you should buy, you should stop by Nathan Sports and check out their gear.

As you know I run on two lane country roads with little or no shoulder. The speed limit is 25mph on one road and 30 mph on the other - of course that means folks are driving at least 35 - 40 mph. A car traveling 40 mph needs 164 feet to stop completely and that's if they see you, realize you're a person and apply the brakes if they need to.

So what's a girl to do?
I can wait until the sun is up and go for a run then - and that is most often what I do.
I can also run on my treadmill - I save this option for yucky weather so I don't fall out of love with my TM.
I can make myself as visible as possible so drowsy, early morning drivers have no doubt a person is up ahead - and this is where Nathan Sports comes in.

I was killing time on Facebook a few months ago and saw a post from Nathan Sports asking what you do to be visible when you run. It said they'd choose a handful of winners for a 'reflectivity prize pack' later that day. Well, hotdog if they didn't choose everyone who responded and a few weeks later my prize pack arrived.

It contained:

an LED Safety Strobe
and it boasts the following features:
* Up to 2,500 foot visibility
* Multi-function: Steady On, Rapid Flash, Slow Flash, or Alternating Strobe
* Illumination can last 150 hours
* Replaceable battery
* Easily attaches to reflective vests, clothing, or bags
* Size: 1.5” x 2.5”

I attach it to the strap on my waist pack and forget about it. It's lightweight and doesn't bounce around or get in the way. Love it!

Snap Bands

Instantly add safety. Use as a minimal wristband to increase visibility, or slap onto your ankle to keep pants safely away from bike chain.

* Ideal for commuters
* Fully reflective up to 400 feet
* Comfortable backing
* Easily attaches to wrist, ankle, or strap of pack
* 2-pack
* One size fits all

These are a fun accessory and versatile, too. The 'comfortable backing' is slightly fuzzy and soft. I've tried to run with them on my ankles but didn't like the feel. They weren't too tight or anything. It just felt funny to have something on my ankles.  I use them mostly to hold up my arm sleeves which are too big and slip down (more on that in a minute). They do a pretty good job of holding the sleeves up and they don't bite into my arm.

and the last thing in the box was

The ultimate multipurpose running gear! Compression running sleeves are ideal for improving blood circulation, adding warmth, blocking the sun’s harmful rays, keeping warm at the start of a race, and adding visibility. As a bonus, they include a handy pocket for small essentials.

* No. 2028N Running Sleeves Data
* 1,200 foot visibility
* Form-fitting, ultra-stretchy fabric
* Silicone grip at the top of each sleeve prevents it from sliding down
* Reflective detail
* UV SPF 50+
* Small pocket
* Moisture wicking
* Available in two sizes: SM/MED & LG/XL
* Hand Wash (Penguin Sport-Wash™ recommended)
* Available in two sizes: SM/MED & LG/XL

I was super thrilled to see these babies. I didn't see a size chart on the website so I measured my arm at it's biggest most muscular part and included that in my email to the prize pack person. 11.75 inches if you're wondering. And they sent me the size LG/XL.
They're too big. I should have asked if I could exchange them but since they were free, I felt kind of funny doing that. I thought that maybe once the weather was colder I could put them on over another long sleeve shirt and then they'd stay put. Nope. Then I put them in dryer thinking they'd shrink. Nope. So I use the Snap Bands to hold them up and thate works pretty well.

I want to add that they are a great thickness, not too heavy or too light. I've worn them on their own and over a long sleeve shirt and they've provided just the right amount of warmth. They also wick sweat really well...I sweat even if it's just 20 degrees out, very feminine of me I know.
I do plan to one day remember to take them to my MIL's and ask her to sew a dart in them and see if that helps. Otherwise I may pass them along to someone with bigger arms.
So what did I wear before I won this cool stuff? Why Nathan reflective gear of course.

I was a runner in my early to mid 20's and my parents bought me a reflective vest for Christmas one year. I used it quite a bit and when I quit running in my late 20's, I put it away. When I started running again last year (that would be 11 years after I stopped running. I'm 41 now), I dusted off my orange vest and have worn it on probably 90% of my runs since.

I didn't even realize before then that it was made by the same company. It's in excellent shape for a vest that is at least 17 years old (I think I was 24 when they got it for me, but I may have been 23.). Heck it's in excellent shape period.


Aside from my sleeves being too big, I'm beyond thrilled with my Nathan reflective gear. Add reflective gear to your list of Running Must Haves. Put it on your Christmas list if you must, but don't run in the dark without it!

And don't think what I used to think...I'm wearing light colored clothes so cars can see me. Lindsay at Chasing The Kenyans has opened my eyes to the truth. Check out her blog and watch the video. Very enlightening.

I scored the stuff mentioned for free either from Nathan sports or my mom and dad. No one made me say anything nice, and the opinions are all my own.


Kovas Palubinskas said...

Funny timing. I went to my local running store to get a pair of Nathan sleeves and they didn't have any. They had others, but nothing reflective. Way to be safe!

The Green Girl said...

I love Nathan products.

I never noticed the reflective sleeves before, though - they are awesome!

When I run in the dark, I think I look like a Christmas tree because in addition to all my reflectors, I also have flashing red lights on both my arms. Heh.

Julie @ Hotlegs Runner said...

I see you! Me likey those sleeves =)


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