The Visijax LED Sports Belt is a two-mode elasticated belt that can be worn unobtrusively around most adult waists, and comes in a choice of four captivating colours. I found it generally effective and surprisingly unobtrusive to wear; wearable tech is nothing new, but build quality has moved on quite considerably.
Traditionally, I've found Sam Browne and other belts something of a faff and slightly restrictive, though the broad 5cm elasticated Sports Belt is adjustable to accommodate adult waists between 86 and 115cm (33.8 and 45.2 inches), and the sturdy nylon fastener mates with a reassuringly solid click. It can also be worn as a sash, and around luggage such as messenger bags and rucksacks; I've even had some success with smaller 14 litre panniers.
Unlike Visijax's gilet and jackets, the switch and lithium-ion battery are integral fit-and-forget affairs – although I will confess I was tempted to see what lay behind the tiny Phillips screws... This precludes machine washing, but mud and other organic stuff is easily dismissed with a damp cloth and a quick shot of bike wash.
The switch is a small but easily located, ribbed design that's reasonably intuitive, even in gloved hands – slide upwards, once engages flashing, twice constant, two stops down for off.
The USB charge port is tucked away at the side, out of mucky moisture's way, so I haven't felt inclined to add a trace of silicone grease to the cover. It follows the Visijax pattern rather than more universal ones, but that's only likely to be problematic for workplace recharging. Talking of which, full zero to hero charges take around 2 hours 45 minutes and return almost 12 hours (within 4 minutes) constant and a jaw-droppingly frugal 60 hours (quoted) for flashing. I haven't come near that latter threshold just yet, but like many similar systems, it gives a fast, intermittent flash when reserves are dwindling.
Worn around the lower back, the warm orange base and retro-reflective graphics align perfectly with driver eye-levels – at least those of super minis and saloons. Being a wraparound design, peripheral bleed was better than I had expected, especially in flashing, which improved presence when turning right or negotiating roundabouts. Wrapping it, sash-style, around a messenger bag certainly seemed to help snare the attentions of bus and truck drivers and SUV pilots sooner.
Obviously, this is a tertiary system, enhancing visibility, so I was also running at least one post-mounted blinkie and wearing gloves with retro-reflective detailing at the palms and fingers, bolstering hand signals.
Visibility in town and suburbs is to around 100 metres at dusk, give or take. On clear nights along unlit lanes, 150 metres is tops, 70-odd when run in constant mode.
Those really looking to get their money's worth will be pleased to note that it works well in other outdoor contexts, running and dog walking being the most obvious, although a horse-rider said she liked the concept and reckoned it worked well.
Bottom line, the Visijax LED Sports Belt does exactly what it says, and so long as you get along with wearable tech, it represents decent value for money.
Useful form of safety light, but a replaceable battery for a little extra cost would improve it
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Visijax LED Sports Belt
Size tested: 86cm/33.8in Max Length: 115cm /45.2in Shortest Diameter: 27cm/10.3in Extended Diameter: 36.6cm/14.4in Height: 5cm/2in
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?
Visijax says: "Our range of rechargeable LED Sports Belts allow for up to 12 hours of brilliantly bright visibility for every activity. Lightweight and easy to carry, you choose the time and place to add an extra sense of security with just one clip.
"The LED Sports Belt is both elasticated and adjustable and can be worn in a variety of ways, including around the waist or as a sash. It also comes in four high visibility colours: Lazer Lemon, Flamingo Pink, Outrageous Orange or Electric Blue.
"Whether you're walking the dog, horse riding, cycling or even in an emergency, you decide your own comfort with highly reflectively material when turned off, as well as constantly lit or flashing illumination settings."
My feelings are that it's useful tertiary illumination that is surprisingly unobtrusive to wear and generally effective.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Adjustable clip-fastening
* Two mode settings: flash and constant
* Durable webbed fabric
* USB Cable supplied
* 12-months warranty
Available in single elasticated adult-size:
Shortest Length: 86cm/33.8in
Max Length: 115cm /45.2in
Shortest Diameter: 27cm/10.3in
Extended Diameter: 36.6cm/14.4in
Generally well made, especially given the asking price.
Seems fairly rugged compared with wearable LED tech a few years back.
Rugged yet unobtrusive.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Visijax LED belt is a simple but surprisingly effective piece of wearable tech that is comfortable and unobtrusive to wear. I was aware of it for the first 20 minutes but haven't noticed it since, even riding a low-slung TT-biased fixed. Run-times should be good enough for most contexts, although as might be expected, flashing is the most extrovert.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Simple, seemingly rugged design, distinctive colours.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Taking price into account, nothing.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Worth a look if wearable tech was their thing.
Use this box to explain your score
Surprisingly useful tertiary/emergency lighting with decent run-times.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike 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, mountain biking
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)