Dark evenings and rural roads can make running in the winter a dangerous hobby so I always make sure I’m wearing reflective gear to help keep me safe. Just wearing a head torch isn’t going to help me be seen by a car coming from behind so I try to have as much of me on show as possible. Thankfully, there is a huge choice of reflective gear available nowadays including tops, coats and leggings so we’ve no excuse for disappearing into the darkness.
Zakti Active is a sister company of Mountain Warehouse and is home to Kimberly Wyatt’s activewear range. For those of you who aren’t down with the kids, Kimberly Wyatt is a professional dancer and ex Pussycat Doll. I was tempted by some of her leggings but decided to be sensible and stock up on reflective kit instead, It really pained me to buy a load of black clothes but as I do most of my running in the evening I figured I should probably put safety first!
If you follow me on social media you’ll know that I took part in RED January for the mental health charity Mind which involved me running every day for a month. This gave me plenty of time to road test my new kit from Zakti! The weather has been particularly horrendous throughout January so the Flash Forward Running Jacket was certainly put through it’s paces, with mostly good results. The jacket is fully reflective and I’m assured I light up like a human torch as soon as any headlights hit me! Considering it is water resistant rather than waterproof. it kept me pretty much dry even in the heaviest of downpours.
The only downside of this jacket is the noise. I know it can’t be helped with that kind of material but the constant swooshing is a little bit annoying when you’re trying to chat with your running buddy! It didn’t annoy me so much when I was running alone, though, and this is definitely the first jacket I go to if it’s raining.
For the days that I don’t need the jacket I make sure I’m wearing either the See the Light Leggings or the Get Up and Glow Leggings both of which have a subtle reflective design on them. Now, I’m quite picky about my leggings; they have to have a high waist and stay put when the mum-tum is jiggling about, so admittedly I wasn’t holding out much hope for these. But how wrong I was! I would even go so far as to say they are on a par with my Tikiboo ones. I flipping love them!
They come up nice and high, about 2 inches above my belly button and don’t move a millimetre when I’m out pounding the pavements. There is also a circular drawstring which means you don’t have the ends of the laces dangling about or indeed getting lost in the washing machine. It drives me mad when the drawstring comes out in the wash! No chance of that with Zakti’s clever design, though.
When I run I always wear a hat, either a baseball cap to keep the rain off my glasses or a woolly hat if it’s really cold. I never thought I’d be a headband kind of a girl but having tried this one from Zakti I may well be a convert. It keeps my ears warm and my fringe out of my face but I don’t overheat or get super sweaty. This was a big bonus when I was running everyday; i was getting so sick of washing my hair! As an added bonus the reflective panel has a rainbow effect when light shines on it.
I’ve also been testing out the Flash Reflective Running Gloves which are great as a pair of gloves but don’t seem particularly reflective. I do wear them a lot though thanks to my bizarrely snotty nose. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like or if I’m full of cold or not, as soon as I start running my nose does, too. Maybe it’s trying to outrun me? Anyone else have this problem? It’s so annoying and means that I always wear gloves to wipe my nose on! Running is such a glamorous hobby.
I’m so pleased with my Zakti gear*, particularly the leggings. I honestly can’t recommend them enough! And if you can cope with the noisy coat then you should definitely get that ordered, too.
Stay safe out there, ladies!