£45 may seem a lot for a reflective waistcoat/vest type affair, but there are a few ways in which the Vesp from New York designers Vespertine differs from the average.
First off, it packs down into its own integral pouch to less than the size (and weight) of a pair of gloves, making it super easy to pop into a pocket and therefore usefully available, rather than never where you need it to be when you need it.
At first glance, this Vespertine Sash-ay Scarf is a fairly low-key, grey tweed woolen scarf along the lines of centuries worth of old fashioned posh school scarves.
Sure, it has a nicely woven pattern and it even has a cunning buttonhole and button partnership, allowing for easy securing of this wayward item of winter clothing.
The first thing everyone is going to notice about this Vespertine Road Hog Reflective Waistcoat is the price. It's hard to see past a price tag of over £200, but designer Sarah Canner has not produced a run of the mill piece of safety equipment, here, nor even an average cycling gilet - this garment comes with a genuine New York designer pedigree, and results from a desire to fuse fashion and function.
There's no denying the Dashing Tweeds Reflective Tank Top is an expensive item of cycling attire. £165 is a lot of money in anyone's book, BUT this is, after all, a truly unique and innovative piece of clothing, lovingly hand knitted on a small scale in England from pure new lamb's wool.
The really impressive bit, though, and probably another reason for the hefty price tag, is the fact that the whole shebang is reflective, thanks to special yarns being knitted in with the wool.
The Buff is a classic piece of kit for outdoor enthusiasts of all persuasions - a tube of fabric that turns into a scarf, hat, bandana, balaclava or face mask – and most popular with cyclists to go under a helmet or round the neck on winter days. This reflective version is your standard Buff with the addition of two strips of Scotchlite silver tape which'll bounce back the beam of car headlights when riding at night.
Techno-freaks won't get excited about the Vizavee retro-reflective Union Jack vest - it's essentially a very thin polyester waistcoat dressed in heat-transferred Scotchlite strips with Velcro closures.
While I missed refinements such as mesh pockets for keys, the medium was bang-on size-wise, weighed next to nothing and folded small enough to fit in bigger wedge packs.
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.
Hand made by Katie Barton in London, these cute little SpotMe reflective badges are covered in a highly reflective Scotchlite-esque material. They come as a set of three, with four different hand-stitched designs available: ‘Love’ (hearts), ‘Whistle’ (squiggly lines), ‘Arrows’, and the racy ‘Oh la la’.