Wednesday, February 12, 2014

RoadNoise Safety Vest Review

Through the organizer of the excellent Texas Independence Relay I found out about the RoadNoise. As is shown in the following video, the RoadNoise is a safety vest with small speakers in the shoulders which allows the runner to safely listen to music while remaining clearly visible. I will use it on the next Texas Independence Relay, as headphones (but not the RoadNoise) are appropriately prohibited as it is run primarily on the shoulder of public roads shared by high speed traffic.

To test the product's visibility I wore it after dark while running on the shoulder of the road, observing when approaching vehicles first saw me - evidenced by their moving over or slowing down. I was delighted to see every approaching vehicle do so while at least one hundred yards away. Conversely, in prior evening runs despite wearing a bright yellow running shirt a couple of drivers clearly did not see me - thus proving that bright colors alone do not make a runner visible!

While engaged in this experiment I enjoyed music via the RoadNoise's built-in speakers connected through the earphone jack of my iPhone, which is held securely in place in a Velcro enclosed pouch sufficiently large as to accommodate devices up to a Samsung Galaxy 3. I was impressed that the audio quality was not bad, once I set the equalization to "small speakers" (an important item to test on any new speaker system.)

I was also impressed that even with music played sufficiently loud to clearly hear the lyrics that I was still easily able to hear approaching vehicles and pedestrians. So, I have no hesitation recommending that runners try the RoadNoise. Particularly at this time of year, when days are still relatively short yet the improving weather encourages us to go outside, we need to be ultra-cautious with the potentially deadly combination of heavy vehicle traffic and increasingly distracted drivers.

The RoadNoise is well constructed and designed, and its mesh construction does not restrict air flow so allows you to run cool. Note, however, that as its speakers are powered from your device, you will find its battery to drain much more quickly than normal; consequently, be sure to fully charge it before your run. Also, though the RoadNoise's speakers are water resistant, the vest offers no weather protection for your electronic device, so be sure to protect it (I recommend via a clear plastic sandwich bag.)

From my experience exchanging my previously ordered medium, which proved too snug, to a large I found that RoadNoise's customer service is both courteous and prompt. I received neither a promotional product nor an incentive for this review. Bottom line, I highly recommend RoadNoise!

1 comment:

  1. I got mine, but had to send it back for a different size. Now I am really looking forward to its arrival.