For this particular test, I wanted to try it out for hunting. Now, those of you that found your way here because you are runners and not hunters, it might still benefit you to read on. I have done both road and trail races in the past, and I run along a pretty busy highway. I like to run early or late, as I am not much of a hot weather runner, and the bugs usually are not as bad. Tying back into hunting: dawn and dusk are when you hunt (usually) and that means being out BEFORE the sun and after DARK.
First, the new video that they have released is awesome. I highly recommend taking a peek, and getting a sense of what they are all about. (This is based on running now, mind you.)
Check out this new video!
After watching it, now the hunters out there in the reader pool think about those cold, dark mornings, walking out to your hunting spot. You have your gear, your weapon, and if you are like me, your coffee. Your hands are full. Enter: GoMotion Reactor Lightvest. Not only can you run or walk safely on roads used by vehicles and be seen, you can also utilize the (conveniently orange) vest as a hands-free option for getting into your favorite backcountry camping spot or hunting grounds.
It doesn't sound major, but if I don't have to direct my forehead at the section of trail that I want to light up, then being aware of my surroundings is that much easier. This is a benefit to runner and hunter safety as well as a good tool to have so you can enjoy your coffee while you hike in without wearing it!
Some of the things I REALLY like about the vest:
- This is just a bonus to start---they INCLUDE batteries. That is nearly unheard of these days.
- The vest uses AA batteries, which I prefer to AAA because they are more widely available in a pinch
- Reflective surfaces are everywhere so others with you can follow you down the trail and vehicles can see you more easily
- Small in size overall (talking like surface area--not fit) -- the fit is pretty universal, feeling good over minimal running clothing AND over a light field jacket
- You are seen from front AND back
- You can adjust the width of your beam AND the angle -- this one is great -- you can make the light go to the level you need (both in brightness and angle) which is something even wearing a headlamp on your noggin does not excel at!
- Handy hanging loop on the inside top of the vest for storage
- Nothing to chaffe your underarm area on--BIG plus for running
- pouch that houses part of the unit is big enough for a small snack and car keys
- bungee cords and open stow pocket could hold certain types of water bottles (for this need, I'd pair a vest with a Waist Light Kit 100--holds a lot of water!)
- LOVE all of the options that GoMotion carries in its' product line.
- No wayward bugs in the face (I've been beaned by a June Bug ... good thing I don't go very fast, or that would have been much worse!)
- Not being a blinding beacon while trying to communicate with hunting partners or fellow runners (headlamps have a nasty habit of shortening conversations or giving that awkward feeling of staring to the side or below someone as they talk!)
- The red lights in the back are great for visibility--they alert vehicles especially to your presence
Some things that I didn't like AS much:
- Made in China
- A little hard to adjust at first, but then it was easy once I got the hang of it
- Did not see where I could make it compatible with a drinking hose, which would be neat -- but I did see you can use a lighted waist belt that holds water. [However...there are new releases including the Synergy Hydration Lightvest that allow you to stay hydrated and have these built in features!!]
I can see GoMotion being an asset to a Ragnar or ultrarunning event. These two things are races and events that I will likely never get to test my Reactor Lightvest out on...I just cannot imagine being THAT hardcore, but it's fun to dream, right?
I do think based on some of the other products in the "product tour" from the site that a better fit for hunting would be the backcountry vest, which DOES have a hydration port and more storage space, eliminating the need for an additional pack. I'm sold on the company, the vest is good quality, and I will likely get myself a waist belt for jogging in the future. The only thing that would make these products better would be having safety yellow and orange an option in each piece of gear (which is what initially drew me to the Reactor Lightvest, since orange is a requirement in many areas for hunting) and I love wearing neon yellow while running. I would also think if there is an option to create more of the vest and accessories in the USA, I'd be that much more likely to support the company. In a nutshell, this is great gear for MANY activities for those of us that are a bit more crepuscular than others!
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**Disclosure - GoMotion extended the day for me by providing me a Reactor Lightvest for this review. I was compensated in no other way. My opinions are honest and are my own. Thanks GoMotion!**