You may recall that back in February we shared our list of tools to stay safe out on the road. Soon after, we were invited to check out another safety product that also fit the bill. Enter the Roadnoise Vest.
Music can be a very powerful tool for many fitness endeavors. However, blasting music in your ears makes for a potentially unsafe circumstance for both you and others when you take your fitness to the streets. The Roadnoise Vest features integrated speakers that sit in the upper portion, just below your ears, requiring no batteries. Even with built-in speakers, a large vest comes in weighing 5.7 ounces, which I didn’t very noticeable when worn during activity. Speakers can be easily removed for cleaning the vest.
The fit of the vest is very snug compared to other reflective vests I’ve worn where my arm has caught the armhole mid-swing. It has an adjustable velcro strap that was easy to modify while in motion. Reflective material is placed around the vest creating 360 degree reflectivity.
A two-layered-pocket system in the front allows for a couple items to be stashed away – such as a phone or other media device, keys, ID, etc. (I was using my Samsung Galaxy S5). You simply plug in your device to the built-in cord and your music will play from the speakers. After plugging my phone in, the weight was much more apparent on my upper body but nothing that would hinder my workout.
The volume will not get incredibly loud but will be enough that you can clearly hear your music. I tested the sound in various locations – busy streets during high traffic times, suburban settings and on the Olentangy Trail. In high traffic areas you’ll be able to hear your music until a car comes within a reasonable distance. Music will be completely drowned out by the sound of a car approaching, weakening when a car was far enough away that you would be able to move if need be.
I didn’t particularly like wearing it in high foot traffic areas, I felt rude. I don’t personally like to hear other people’s music when I’m running and some music choice may not be appropriate for everyone. The vest doesn’t currently have the technology to pause with a button, you’d have to take your phone out of the pocket and turn it off that way, not allowing you to pause in an instance when someone approaches if you wish.
Also to note, when wearing a heart-rate monitor, using a phone in the Roadnoise will put a noticeable amount of pressure on your chest. I found this to be quite uncomfortable after three miles. My hydration pack on top of those also increased irritation during my run (however, I do wear a women’s specific vest which has two sternum straps).
The Roadnoise retails for $55 and comes in four sizes and three colors: lime green, pink and black. For anyone looking for reflective gear and a way to listen to music while outdoors, for safety’s sake I say give it a shot.
The Roadnoise can be purchased at roadnoise.com, Amazon and various retailers.
Disclaimer: Roadnoise provided the vest free for the purpose of review.