Nighttime Workout Gear

For the last couple of years, I’ve been working from my home office. So I’ve been fortunate to have the flexibility to do my bicycle rides and runs during daylight. But now for the short term future, I’ll be in an office other than my own. That means I’ll need to do some workouts in darkness. Time to dust off the nighttime gear.

The bike is the easy part, since I already have what I need. The Cygolite Expilion 250 headlight that I bought back in 2010 works well, but due to advancements in LED technology in the past few years, it will be updated to the much brighter Cygolite Expilion 800. The Planet Bike Superflash rear LED taillight, along with the old Vistalight backup, remain unchanged.

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I only started running about a year ago, so I had no nighttime gear. I was concerned about wearing a reflective vest that would be too warm for Southern California. So after some research, I picked up the Amphipod Ringlet. It’s really just a bunch of straps rather than a vest, but just as reflective (or more so).

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Then it was time to look for lighting. Looking online, I really liked how this article covered the key points. Although he liked the Petzl headlamps, when I went to my local REI, I really became a fan of the Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp. With the weight split between the battery pack in the rear and the light in the front, it felt really comfortable. And, as a bonus, it has a rear red LED. It wasn’t cheap at $70, though it was available on Amazon for $50.

My one complaint (echoed by others online) is that the strap is a little short, though it fits comfortably on my head with the strap at its maximum length. If I ever needed to wear a hat underneath (only when traveling, never necessary at home) it might be a little too tight.

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Well, here’s to not letting darkness get in the way!

Edit 4/20/14: I ordered a couple of lightweight Nathan LED lights, which are made for clipping on clothing or other things (without needing a mounting bracket, as is often the case for bicycle lights). For now I’ll clip them on the “vest”.

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