When you’re biking — especially in low-light conditions — wearing a reflective vest can help keep you safe while you're sharing the road with cars. Not only will the best reflective vests for cycling be made with material that’ll make you visible to drivers, but they also won’t restrict your movement as you ride. From full-coverage vests to simple sashes, they come in multiple styles, so you can find one that works best for you.
The first thing you'll want to consider is the style of vest you want, which is definitely a matter of personal preference and comfort. Most vests offer fairly full coverage and slip over your head or zip up. If you want extra protection on windy days, you can choose a windbreaker vest that comes up above your shoulders to shield your neck. However, if you’re commuting to a destination and don't have a ton of space in your bag for stashing gear when you arrive, you can opt for a strappy vest or even a sash — but note that these will offer a little less coverage.
As far as color goes, most reflective vests are bright neon for daytime visibility, with reflective points for low-light conditions, but if you prefer a more understated look, you can opt for a simple, neutral vest with reflective points to keep you visible at night. Also keep in mind that most vests are reflective only when a car’s headlights are on you, so if you want drivers to see you at all times at night — even if they've forgotten to turn on their headlights and around a turn — choose a vest the that's illuminated with colored lights for visibility, like the number five pick on this list. (Of course, you may want to pick up some bike headlights too.) With all that in mind, scroll on for the best reflective vests for cycling — which are all available on Amazon — so you can ride safely, even after dark.
1. The Fan Favorite
With more than 2,000 five-star reviews, this affordable reflective vest is a fan favorite for cyclists. Made from lightweight mesh, the pullover vest falls to just below the chest and offers 360-degree coverage with low-light reflective points at the waist and shoulders. The adjustable Velcro tabs on each side let you get the perfect fit, and the front zippered pocket is perfect for storing essentials like your phone and keys. And while water-resistance is isn't mentioned, the vest can be used in all weather conditions. You'll also get two reflective armbands and a breathable storage bag.
- Available sizes: X-Small - XX-Large
According to a fan: “This vest works incredibly well. I highly recommend it for cyclist and people such as myself who like to run at night. The reflective arm bands add an additional layer of safety especially when using your arms to hand signal while turning during cycling."
2. A Reversible Windbreaker Vest With Night & Day Options
For extra protection on windy and chilly days, this reversible reflective vest comes all the way up to cover your neck. Even better, the vest is reversible to enhance safety, no matter what time of day you're riding. During the day, wear it as a neon yellow vest for maximum visibility; at night, flip it inside out for a material that offers 360-degree, bright white reflection. The shoulders are fitted, and the vest features an elasticized hemline and pockets on the chest and back. The waterproof zippered vest is also available in black with a reversible reflective side, but keep in mind that this option will offer less daytime visibility.
- Available sizes: 2 - 12
According to a fan: “This is good quality, fits really well, and as it is a gilet I can wear it over different jackets & tops depending on the weather. I was aware that drivers seemed to notice me more in the dark as soon as I started to wear it. Handy zip pocket for keys/phone. Really glad I bought this.”
3. An Alternative To Neon
If you prefer a more subdued look that’ll still keep you highly visible at night, this black reflective vest might be the one for you. The waterproof zip-front vest is made from reflective 3M material and breathable mesh and features 360-degree reflection, as well as adjustable elastic straps for comfort and fit. Plus, there’s a large zippered pocket to keep your phone, keys, and other small items secure while you ride.
According to a fan: “I do deliveries at night but don’t want to wear the neon vests because sometimes I will walk into a public area and don’t want to stand out. This vest is awesome. The amount of reflective material is immense.”
4. The Best Budget Pick
As an alternative to a standard vest, you can opt for this budget-friendly reflective vest with lightweight elastic straps. Available in yellow or pink, it provides 360-degree reflection with reflective stripes on each strap, and since the stretchy straps are adjustable, this option will fit comfortably over summer and winter gear alike. There’s an emergency contact label on the interior for even more safety, and according to a reviewer, the vest is water-resistant.
- Available sizes: Kids - X-Large
According to a fan: “I commute on a bike in NYC, and this is a must have. This thing is great during day and night. Its easy to put on top of my parka during winter and fits in my small bag when I don't need and weighs almost nothing.”
5. A Vest That Lights Up, So You’re Always Visible
Most cycling vests only reflect light when headlights are on you, but this highly rated illuminated reflective vest features colored LED lights with 360-degree visibility to ensure you’re more likely to be seen by passing motorists. You can toggle between six solid colors and five flashing modes, and the battery life lasts for up to 40 hours, depending on which lighting mode you use. (AAA batteries are included to help you get started, but you may want to stock up, depending on how often you bike.) The fiber-optic cables are ultra-slim and lightweight, allowing for maximum mobility, and the adjustable elastic straps ensure a snug fit over T-shirts, jackets, and even heavier coats. The vest is also waterproof, but one thing to consider: The LED lights will be less visible in the daytime, so this option is best for low-light use.
- Available sizes: Small - X-Large
According to a fan: “I've been wearing it for about the past month and I am the best lit rider on the trail! There is one other person I see out running with one of these vests, and she's the only one I can see clearly from a distance. The vest is so lightweight and comfortable that I don't even notice it once it's on.”
6. A Reflective Sash That Takes Up Less Backpack Space
If you're commuting to a destination and have limited storage space once you get there, check out this reflective sash that's easy to fit into a bag or backpack. The lightweight sash is made from two layers of durable polyester webbing, with a reflective stripe along the length, and since it simply drapes over the shoulder, it requires no adjusting once you put it on. There’s also a keyring and carabiner for storing keys, a flashlight, and other essentials, but there’s no mention of water resistance. You can choose from neon yellow-green or dark gray.
- Available sizes: Mini - X-Large
According to a fan: “Easy and convenient. Convenient to pack away and easy to put on. Clip at end is a bonus. Use it all the time."