Proviz Hi Visibility Light Emitting Vest   £35.99

7/10

Great safety aid for training and commuting through the gloomy months

Weight 271g   Contact  www.todayscyclist.co.uk

by Shaun Audane   November 23, 2011  

Proviz Light Emitting High Visibility Vest

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The Pro-viz Electro Luminescent Vest was designed by two brothers who commuted daily through the cut and hustle of London's mean streets and it shows. Looser cut than their gilet for a better fit over street clothes, it doesn't feel like a tent atop training jackets.

Integral lighting steals the show but is flanked by Scotchlite detailing and old school orange/yellow day glow so the 'Sorry mate, didn't see you' defence won't wash. Alas, nor does the fabric thanks to the impregnated technology. Sure it can be wiped down and will have repaid the meagre investment and possibly saved your life several times over by the time 4,000 hours chimes time on the electricals.

In essence it's a fluorescent orange/yellow polyester vest with clever strips hard-wired into the fabric and connected to a battery pack cum switch that sits in an integral pouch. AA batteries aside, the lack of user serviceable parts might have doubting Thomas and Theresa shaking their heads. Pro-Viz had pondered the use of LEDs but the greater likelihood of bulb demise persuaded them otherwise. Engaging the switch rewards with a soothing blue light accompanied by very low humming sound characteristic of this technology, which has been around in Sam Browne belts and similar accessories for some time now.

The background noise is no more intrusive than from those lights typically adorning our Christmas trees and quickly forgotten. Three modes (steady and two flashing) return between 40 and 70 hours from a set of alkaline cells, although this dropped by 20% with NiMH rechargeables. A handy mesh stash pocket complete with Velcro tab saves rummaging in panniers for keys, wallets, multi tools and other everyday nick-nacks while doubling as a handy point for a blinky-should you not feel suitably conspicuous.

Bombing along on the drops, the tail offers some additional protection from rain/chill without buffeting like the proverbial builder's tarpaulin but the fabric has a tendency to absorb moisture which could lead to chill worn with an office shirt. Round town, the fastest setting proved most effective, especially joining the flow of traffic or exiting roundabouts, although toggling between settings on the fly takes some practice. Wager on being seen from four hundred yards or so-even on the darkest nights.

Verdict

Great safety aid for training and commuting through the gloomy months.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Proviz Hi Visability Light Emitting Vest

Size tested: Orange/Yellow L/XL

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?

"The PROVIZ high visibility cycling vest is designed to be worn over your usual cycling gear to ensure you are highly visible at all times. Including our electroluminescent lighting system, this vest is the first light-emitting vest on the market. When it gets dark, simply switch on the battery pack in your inside pocket and vehicles will immediately know where you are on the road". Does exactly what it says on the tin.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Light emitting strips, powered by AA batteries, reflectives comply with CE EN 13356, polyester construction.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Frankly, the vest is one of those products that does exactly what it says on the tin- a brilliant safety aid whether cross town commuting or training on the open road. Visible to distances of around four hundred yards on the darkest nights, toggling between steady and flashing modes is a bit tricky on the fly and I'd love this technology to become available in a machine washable format but these are very minor points.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Nicely designed and executed by people who genuinely understand urban riding.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

Also available as a plain (washable) vest without strips.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

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,

 

2 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Can you tell us how many hours of use you gave this for review purposes?

Point being, that 4,000 hours is the sort of figure that we abbreviate to "forever" but actual durability on basically disposable electricals is a bit of an issue.

Cheers,

Jon

posted by BigDummy [298 posts]
24th November 2011 - 12:50

49 Likes

If it had been me testing then you'd be looking at about a month of commutes and night rides. I'd be very surprised if Shaun put in anything less. He's also pretty hot on testing the waterproofing of stuff (usually with a hosepipe) hence his trademark instruction to slap vaseline on electrical contacts. We do our best to give things a hard time and if it hasn't broken within the test period then it's probably ok.

The trouble with testing unto destruction or end of working life is that in many cases you won't get a review for a couple of years or more...

Rob Simmonds's picture

posted by Rob Simmonds [253 posts]
24th November 2011 - 21:42

47 Likes

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