Does your job involve working in a place that makes you close to dangerous and fast-moving traffic? Then you may want to get a hold of the best high visibility jacket in the market today as this has a major contribution to your overall safety. You need this type of safety jacket so people can see you even from a distance.
The good thing about high visibility and reflective work jackets today is that you can find lightweight options and those intended even for warm weather. You can also find the top-rated hi-vis jacket not only for workers but also for late-night dog walkers and cyclists. By wearing such a protective jacket, you do not have to be too concerned about your safety.
Keep in mind that wet roads and vehicles tend to produce harmful working conditions. Rainy weather might obstruct the vision of drivers and cause tire traction. This might put workers close to traffic and vehicles to be put in danger whether they are working at night or during the day.
You can prevent any potential accidents by ensuring that you stay visible through the most dependable safety jackets for construction and other industries and work environments. With this safety gear around, you can increase the level of your safety by improving your visibility to drivers.
A high visibility waterproof jacket can also help you remain dry during heavy rain or bad weather apart from keeping you safe. However, if you want to make sure that you are getting the most reliable waterproof safety jackets, you have to shop while being fully knowledgeable about this item.
You can begin your search with the following warm hi-vis jackets designed to keep you safe irrespective of your work.
Table of Contents
- Top-Quality High Visibility Jacket Reviews of 2023
- 1. Pyramex Safety Bomber Jacket
- 2. New York Hi-Viz Workwear H9012
- 3. Carhartt Waterproof High Visibility Jacket
- 4. JORESTECH High Visibility Safety Rain Jacket
- 5. KwikSafety High Visibility Safety Jacket
- 6. Tingley J26112 Bomber II Jacket
- 7. JORESTECH Waterproof High Visibility Jacket
- 8. Ergodyne GloWear 8377 High Visibility Jacket
- What is a High Visibility Jacket
- How Does It Work
- Types of High Visibility Jackets
- Why Do You Need a High Visibility Jacket
- Buying Guide
- Care and Maintenance
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top-Quality High Visibility Jacket Reviews of 2023
1. Pyramex Safety Bomber Jacket
Another quality choice for high visibility winter jackets that you can also use at work and in any other seasons is the Pyramex Safety Bomber Jacket. You will never go wrong from selecting this item from Pyramex because its overall construction based on the combination of polyurethane and polyester materials is of top-notch quality.
I like the combination because it results in a highly durable yet comfortable jacket that I can wear in the majority of occasions and seasons. I am so glad about its polyester shell, which is weatherproof. This means that it can withstand whatever harsh condition you are regularly and constantly exposed, too.
Such shell also has a quilted lining for comfort and convenience. I am also very happy that this Pyramex jacket added a weatherproof band known for its elasticity at the wrist and waist portions. I am in favor of its lime color because I noticed how helpful this shade is in bolstering your visibility.
Add to that the 2-inch reflective material of the jacket and you will no longer have to worry about other people not being able to see you even in the dark. I am also delighted to announce that this jacket comes equipped with five pockets on its exterior shell. This helps in bringing a lot of important stuff at work without extreme discomfort.
I am also impressed with this jacket’s concealed and detachable hood. Other nice and remarkable inclusions I truly like about this high visibility jacket are the zipper front closure, the mic tabs, and the pencil pocket.
Furthermore, there is a radio or cellphone chest pocket, which features a clear panel.
2. New York Hi-Viz Workwear H9012
You will not also feel disappointed if you choose the H9012 High Visibility Class 3 Sweatshirt from New York Hi-Viz Workwear. There are plenty of things to love about this high visibility sweatshirt – one of which is how light and comfortable it is. It also comes in an extra-large size, so it will surely fit even if you wear it on top of some clothes.
The lime color is nice because I think it is a big help in making you more visible and easier to spot in dangerous places. It is also visible enough that it meets the standards set by ANSI for Class 3 protective jackets and sweatshirts. I am also happy that it has reflective tapes that are around two inches each because these contribute to the sweatshirt’s visibility.
It is constructed out of 100 percent polyester material, which is great because it is not only durable but also comfortable to wear. I noticed that this sweatshirt also features a black bottom, which seems to function well when it comes to concealing dirt. It has a fleece lining inside, which does a good job in adding warmth during the winter.
I am also satisfied with its waterproof and water-repellent capabilities. It has an elastic knit that you can find at the waist and wrists, promoting extreme comfort in almost all occasions. I am also glad of it has a full zipper front hood. I also find the cuffs favorable because they are made of dual-materials while remaining soft and comfortable.
3. Carhartt Waterproof High Visibility Jacket
Do you wish to invest in a properly insulated high visibility jacket? Then this Class 3 well-insulated Sherwood jacket from Carharrt is an incredible choice. It left a positive impression on me as I noticed how it is perfectly designed to handle heavy-duty tasks, especially in the law enforcement industry and when dealing with high-speed traffic.
I like the polyester-based exterior of this jacket, which is also known for being water-repellent. There is even a waterproof membrane to allow it to perform its function of protecting you from the rain and excessive moisture. I am also satisfied with the material used in creating the jacket because it can resist stains.
It can help fight difficult-to-wash stains. It also features a collar with a quilted lining designed to offer comfort. I am also glad that with the built-in hood as it comes with a quilt fabric inside designed to make you feel warm. This hood also features a draw-cord adjuster. I like the left pocket integrated into this jacket as it also features a waterproof zipper closure.
With this, I am sure that all your work-related stuff will be fully protected. Apart from its waterproof membrane and water-repellent finish, this jacket also features taped seams that make it the ultimate solution in case you want to be completely protected from the wet weather while you are on the job.
The color is truly visible plus it has reflective strips designed to adhere to high visibility standards. With this, I am sure that people can easily spot you even in the worst situations and instances.
Expect to experience extreme comfort from this jacket, too, with the aid of its sleeves that have ergonomic openings and stretch-polyester storm cuffs.
4. JORESTECH High Visibility Safety Rain Jacket
You will also have peace of mind knowing you have a higher chance of keeping yourself safe if you choose this waterproof reflective high visibility safety rain jacket offered by JORESTECH. I am so happy that I came across this safety rain jacket because I discovered how good and functional it is.
It can keep you fully protected, dry, and active no matter what the weather is because of its weatherproof and solid structure. I am satisfied with the 150D polyester material used in its structure. This material is lightweight while also being coated with polyurethane to enhance its waterproofing capability.
I like the dual-layered structure of this high visibility jacket, too. It has a waterproof external shell while mesh material is used for its interior lining. With such a structure, it can work effectively in protecting you from harsh elements without being clammy. I am so glad of how visible and reflective this jacket is, too.
It is constructed with a high level of reflectivity plus it is equipped with fluorescent elements and materials created in such a way that it can improve the visibility of its structure and provide it with a stylish, clean, and professional look. Furthermore, this jacket boasts of its easy-to-access pockets that you can use to hold various items.
These include work equipment and instruments, tools, phones, and radios. The ruggedness of its structure also plays a major role in making it work both indoors and outdoors. It is also versatile that you can use it in a wide range of applications, including highway road work, construction, landscaping, surveying, manufacturing, and transportation.
It even allows you to stay safe if you are interested in outdoor activities, like jogging, hiking, sailing, fishing, hunting, and motorcycling.
5. KwikSafety High Visibility Safety Jacket
The next protective and high visibility clothing I intend to suggest wearing is the KwikSafety UNCLE WILLY’S WALL Anti Pill High Visibility Reflective Safety Jacket. One thing I find remarkable about this high visibility reflective safety jacket is that it is multipurpose. I noticed how great it is in a wide range of environments, work applications, and activities.
Among the industry applications where you can use this reflective safety jacket to are construction, baggage handling, landscaping, emergency, airport, police, surveying, sanitation, and security. It also adheres to all the safety requirements and standards specified for reflective safety jackets, especially those set by ANSI.
With such compliance, you can fully trust its high level of safety. It is also classified as safe for use on the roadway. It can provide better night and day visibility, making it truly useful for utility, roadway construction, forestry, airport, and survey workers. I am also delighted that this jacket utilizes a material with a fluorescent yellow background.
Combined with retro-reflective bands, this background was able to deliver the much-needed visibility that most workers need. It has silver reflective strips that are around two inches wide. You can see them being strategically placed at the arms, back, and front, further improving user visibility.
I am also impressed with the anti-pill material because it is proven to be soft and devoid of sharp edges that make users prone to injuries and irritation. Furthermore, this jacket features a black front zipper combined with elastic cuffs, side panels, and pull tab that gives it a clean finish and makes it warmer and more secure.
6. Tingley J26112 Bomber II Jacket
The next product that I think deserves to be recommended to anyone looking for a high-quality and functional high visibility jacket is the Tingley J26112 Bomber II Jacket. You can expect several good things from this well-made and high-quality protective jacket. One of these is the fact that it is compliant with all the strict standards and requirements set by ANSI as far as high visibility jackets are concerned.
It is also a hundred percent waterproof so you have an assurance that it will not let you down when it comes to keeping you dry and safe from the heavy rains. In terms of visibility, you can’t find any fault from this Tingley protective jacket. Coming out in a lime green color, your visibility is guaranteed every time you wear it.
It also takes pride in its fluorescent background, further enhancing its visibility during the daytime. Add to that its silver reflective tape, which is around two inches, and it has something that can effectively reflect light. This can promote 360-degree conspicuity at night.
Another thing that truly captured my interest in this high visibility jacket is the use of the quilted polyester lining in its structure. I find this lining helpful and beneficial because aside from being comfortable, it also adds warmth. The way this jacket is constructed also promotes freedom of mobility due to the high level of comfort it offers.
I like the dark-colored front it has because of how effective it is in hiding dirt. Furthermore, it features front pockets with secure closure designed to store some of your essentials, especially the ones you use for work.
7. JORESTECH Waterproof High Visibility Jacket
Another product from JORESTECH designed to make you feel at ease because of the level of security it offers in places that require your visibility is its waterproof reflective high visibility safety bomber jacket. I immediately sensed how this jacket is constructed while prioritizing the needs of outdoor enthusiasts and workers.
With these users’ needs in mind, this jacket is surely capable of withstanding the majority of weather, including rain, snow, wind, and cold. It can supply a high level of protection against such conditions while still ensuring that users feel extreme comfortable upon wearing it. I also love the fact that this jacket is built with multiple pockets.
The presence of these easy-to-access pockets guarantees extreme convenience if you are looking for a place to store some essentials, like your tools, radios, phones, and flashlights. It also takes pride in its unique and edgy style without losing its ability to offer a high level of safety through its reflective and high visibility colors.
It has a solid and rugged construction, making it perfect for both indoor and outdoor uses. The high visibility lime-yellow fluorescent reflective material and 360-degree reflective coverage of the jacket also allows it to fulfill its promise of making you noticeable and visible whether you use it at daytime or nighttime hours.
I am impressed with its detachable hideaway hood, too. It is equipped with an adjustable face aperture designed to provide additional protection and shield. It also takes pride in its ability to lessen the bulk with the aid of its elastic knit waist and wrist.
Furthermore, it boasts of its black bottom, cuffs, and collar designed to prevent dirt, especially in areas that are in great contact to it.
8. Ergodyne GloWear 8377 High Visibility Jacket
I am also very impressed with the GloWear 8377 High Visibility Thermal Bomber Jacket offered by Ergodyne. One reason why I got impressed with this high visibility jacket from Ergodyne is that it serves as an effective barrier from the cold and wind during the winter season. I am also glad that it made use of 300 denier Oxford polyester material for its outer shell.
It is because I discovered how strong and sturdy this material is. Such an outer shell also features a PU coating designed to help resist the water and wind. One nice thing about this jacket is that it features a highly visible lime color. With this, you will no longer have to complain about people not seeing you when you are working in dangerous spots.
The level of visibility is enhanced even further with the 2-inch reflective material added into the jacket. It also comes integrated with a black material, which gives the jacket a cleaner look for a prolonged period. I am also happy to announce that this thermal bomber high visibility jacket boasts of its lightweight insulation.
Even with such insulation, this jacket is still capable of holding and retaining heat. It offers all-day warmth with the aid of its quilted thermal insulation. It is highly breathable, too. I am so happy with its dual-mic tabs as well as the pockets integrated into the sleeve and chest. Another nice benefit is its weatherproof structure.
This allows it to handle all sorts of weather. Furthermore, you can find black accents in the high wear areas of the jacket’s front portions and the sleeve. Aside from lime, you can also get a variation of this safety jacket in the shade of highly visible orange.
Portwest Waterproof Rain Jacket (Outdated)
You will also be amazed by how good the Portwest Waterproof Rain Jacket is. I like this jacket specifically because it is constructed in a way that it can keep you safe, dry, and highly visible when you are out working or doing something you like during foul weather. It meets safety standards in the field of protective jackets, proving how safe it is to wear it.
I am also satisfied with its overall quality considering how budget-friendly it is. With that in mind, it is a practical option for workers and hobbyists who value their safety so much. It also takes pride in its waterproofing features. It is a great addition to your protective equipment collection, especially if you constantly expose yourself in places with heavy rains.
I also love how this jacket perfectly matches a high visibility rain trouser. I also like it genuinely because of how easy it is to roll it up and store it every time I am done using it. It has a good and comfortable fit while still providing enough room just in case you want to layer clothing.
I am also pleased that it has built-in pockets that provide more than enough space for things, like your keys and cellphones. It is bright enough, which makes it truly visible. I am also happy that its reflective marks do not just come in the form of stickers. They are stitched and are capable of reflecting well.
It has a nice hood, which also has pull straps that you can use to tighten it.
New York High Visibility Safety Jacket (Outdated)
The first option for the top-rated high visibility rain gear that is worthwhile to invest in is the ANSI Class 3 WJ9012-2XL High Visibility Bomber Safety Jacket from New York Hi-Viz Workwear. It is a fantastic choice if you truly want to own a jacket designed to bolster your visibility and guarantee your safety.
It falls under the Class 3 type of visibility jackets and adheres to the rules and regulations set by ANSI when it comes to this protective equipment. That said, I am certain that it will not let down its users in terms of giving them protection. I am incredibly amazed at the 100 percent waterproof nature of the jacket, too.
Apart from its visible lime color, it also features a reflective taping around two inches wide at the arms, back, and front portions. This further increases your level of visibility. Another amazing reason to love this waterproof reflective work jacket is its snap-off adjustable hood, which is made to be convenient to put on and adjust.
I am also very delighted with the presence of the molded adjustable cuffs in this hi-vis winter jacket. Such cuffs feature easy-to-use hook and loop closures. I am also sure that you will be pleased to know that this jacket comes equipped with a few pockets. This will help you bring some important items with you without any hassle.
It comes with a clear ID pocket as well as a pocket intended for mobile devices, like a phablet. Furthermore, this highly protective jacket boasts of its high waterproof and breathability rating, making it great to incorporate into your safety gear collection.
Utility Pro UHV575 High-Vis Jacket (Outdated)
If you are in search of a high visibility winter coat that you can use for more than just one season then the UHV575 Waterproof High-Vis 3 Season Jacket is the perfect fit. I find its shade in yellow impressive because it works well as far as boosting one’s visibility is concerned.
It also meets the guidelines and rules of OSHA, providing proof of how safe and protective it is. I think it perfectly fits the needs of active people and workers who want to guarantee their safety on the road. It also suits the needs of those who need reflective wear for safety in their workplaces that perfectly adhere to the guidelines set by OSHA.
I am also pleased with the size of this jacket. It comes in a 2XL size, which can provide enough wiggle room so you can put it over whatever clothing you are wearing inside. I like the polyester material used in constructing it, too. It is because of the comfort and lightness provided by this material in the majority of occasions.
This high-visibility jacket is also waterproof. It can handle multiple seasons, which means that you do not have to change jackets every time the season changes. In my opinion, the removable lining integrated into this jacket plays a crucial role in letting you wear it through multiple seasons.
I like the fleece-lined collar featured in this jacket, too. Furthermore, it has a DuPont Teflon fabric protector, which is beneficial as it resists both dirt and water, thereby lowering the chance of the jacket from fading or staining too soon.
RefrigiWear Hi-vis Extreme Soft-shell Jacket (Outdated)
Lastly, I wish to introduce the RefrigiWear Hi-vis Extreme Soft-shell Jacket to those who are still unfamiliar with it. This jacket that offers a high level of visibility carries plenty of nice traits and qualities that make it deserving of a spot in this review article. One thing that I truly love about this jacket is its outer shell constructed from the most flexible soft-shell.
The use of this material makes the jacket more flexible compared to other jackets in the market today. Apart from the highly flexible outer shell, it also takes pride in its highly advanced insulation. I am also very impressed with this jacket’s dual-zip system because it contributes a lot in adding warmth during cold conditions.
I am also delighted with the silver twill reflective lining built within the jacket. This material works effectively in trapping heat. You will also feel glad to know that this jacket is constructed in a way that it can offer more than 500 grams of insulating power for every square inch.
As for visibility, this jacket will not disappoint. It even complies with the requirements and standards of ANSI and ensures that you will remain fully protective and safe in environments with low visibility through its color and the heat-bonded reflective tape. What is even more remarkable about the tape is that it carries the improved safety of an X shape.
You can find this at the back, which signifies facing direction. This is also one of the most breathable high visibility jackets you can find today. Furthermore, it has a few pockets, including waterproof ones to give you a place to store some of your essential stuff.
What is a High Visibility Jacket
A high visibility jacket is a piece of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) that is made primarily of high-contrast color fabric and reflective materials. These jackets are usually worn by people who need to be highly visible so that they can avoid untoward accidents.
These include people like cyclists, construction workers, police officers, first responders, utility workers, and workers in general who have to work in low light and low visibility conditions. These jackets make the wearer very conspicuous, especially at night when they are hit by any kind of light as they will glow brightly.
The main colors of these jackets are high contrast and bright. These include fluorescent colors that are not common in nature like lime green, orange, and yellow. They need to be highly visible so they can be quickly identified and avoided by vehicles and heavy machinery.
Safety jackets also have reflective stripes, company logos, or letters printed on them to aid in visibility. Some have options for attaching light beacons and LED torches. Others, on the other hand, are infused with a phosphorescent material.
This means they tend to glow in the dark. In places where the weather is a bit too warm for jackets, high visibility vests are worn by the workers.
How Does It Work
High visibility jackets work by making the wearer extremely visible. The wearer is visible enough that it would be almost impossible for other people not to notice his presence. This is a requirement for people who work in accident-prone areas.
For example, if you are working at the side of a busy road or at a pretty dangerous environment where vehicles and heavy machinery are constantly whizzing by. High visibility jackets and vests make the wearer visible by making them stand out against the background.
They do this by being colored in bright, fluorescent colors. These refer to colors that are not present in nature so they can be easily spotted by the human eye. Usually, high visibility jackets come in fluorescent orange, yellow, and lime green.
To further increase the visibility of the jacket, it also has strips of reflective material that makes it seem to glow when it is hit by even a small amount of light. Other high visibility jackets even have provisions for additional accessories like flashlights, strobe lights, and beacons for additional visibility.
Types of High Visibility Jackets
High visibility jackets are categorized according to their American National Standards Institute safety classification. You can also categorize them according to their types:
Performance Class 1 Jackets – This category offers the minimum amount of high-visibility materials so that drivers of vehicles can identify them from the environment. This class of high-vis jackets is only suitable for off-road environments.
These include road workers repairing the sidewalk in a suburban neighborhood, or in places where the traffic does not go beyond 25 miles per hour.
Performance Class 2 Jackets – These are bigger and have more high visibility materials than Class 1. These jackets have even more high visibility fabric background and even more reflective tape that wraps around the torso and across the shoulders.
This classification of high vis garment can be vests or jackets. These garments are required for workers who are exposed to oncoming traffic, like road workers who are making street repairs in suburban areas.
Performance Class 3 Jackets – These have the highest visibility and most reflective materials of all the high visibility garments. This garment is required for people who work in extremely dangerous and low-visibility situations, like first responders, police officers, and search and rescue workers.
It is also designed for construction workers who are in job sites where multiple heavy pieces of machinery are used. Performance Class 3 high visibility garments must always have sleeves to comply with the minimum amount of high visibility and reflective materials as prescribed by the ANSI.
Why Do You Need a High Visibility Jacket
Using high visibility clothing might be a simple and inexpensive precaution to apply in the workplace but it plays one of the biggest roles in keeping workers safe and preventing major accidents from happening. Here, you will learn why it is important to use high visibility clothing, especially in high-risk environments.
High visibility jackets and similar clothing can greatly reduce the risk of fatal accidents in busy worksites where there is vehicular traffic. Some examples are construction sites, marshaling road traffic, busy shipyards and factories, and other high-risk environments.
In these kinds of environments, OSHA requires the use of high visibility clothing in addition to other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). For instance, large warehouses make use of a fleet of electric forklifts to move inventory. These pieces of heavy equipment usually run silently, especially if the operators forget to turn on their warning lights and sirens.
High visibility garments will alert the operators if there are any personnel on the ground in their immediate surroundings giving them enough time to react to prevent any untoward accidents. High visibility clothes may also be necessary when working in environments where there are little ambient lighting and electrical illumination.
This is especially important when working in traffic management. In this kind of workplace, high visibility jackets and even trousers will make the wearer more noticeable, thus increasing their margin of safety.
Other than the employees, work construction site visitors are also required to wear high visibility jackets and other PPE so they are easily seen and escorted in case they wander off into places they should not be.
Aside from construction workers, other people who would greatly benefit from using high visibility jackets are motorcycle and bicycle couriers. The jackets can make them even more visible when they are out on the road.
For the summer months or in tropical locations where it is always hot and humid all year round, lightweight Class 3 safety vests could be used instead, other than the jackets. On the other hand, in places where the temperature can drop below freezing, high visibility jackets made of thicker, heavier materials and lined with thermal material are preferable.
It is because these items can provide extra warmth for the wearer. Aside from keeping the wearer safe by making him easily seen, high visibility jackets and vests can also be used in other ways. For instance, those emblazoned with the company’s logo using reflective material allow the security personnel to find out if any unauthorized people are wandering in the worksite.
Furthermore, whenever people see the bright logo emblazoned on the workers’ safety jackets, it improves the company’s brand recognition. This is especially effective when used by motorcycle and bicycle couriers as many people will see them.
There are many different brands and manufacturers of high visibility clothing out there, so choosing the best one can be quite challenging. To make sure that you get the top-tier bang for your buck, consider the following qualities to find out what kind of hi-vis jacket you need:
Classification – This is the very first thing that you need to find out about that hi-vis jacket that you are thinking of buying. Is it the right ANSI Class that you need for your work? It is okay to get a class of jacket that is higher than what your work needs but vice-versa is not allowed.
For instance, if you work in a relatively safe area but there is still a chance for you to get run over by a slow-moving vehicle then you can make do with a Class 1 high visibility vest. However, if you work in a high-risk environment where numerous vehicles are moving about around you and the visibility is very limited, you need to use Class 3 high visibility jackets and trousers.
An example is if you are working on road repairs in the middle of a busy freeway at night. Such clothing is essential so you will be extremely visible to oncoming traffic.
Color and Reflectiveness – There are several different colors that you can choose from in terms of high visibility jackets: fluorescent orange, lime green, and yellow. Technically, you can choose any one of these colors but you have to check with your company what color PPE you need to have, just for the sake of uniformity.
The color of PPEs usually depends on the profession of the person wearing it. For instance, bright yellow high visibility clothes are usually worn by construction workers. Lime green high visibility gears are for law enforcement and fluorescent orange are for responders. However, this does not apply to all places. Some towns have their unique color-coding rules.
You also need to choose a high visibility jacket that has more than enough reflective material that your work environment needs. If you cannot seem to find a jacket with enough reflective material for your needs, you can add more reflective tape.
Durability – High visibility jackets, when worn daily, should be replaced after six months. Sadly, not that many brands go the distance, especially when they are used in very harsh working conditions. However, some can still be worn after six months have passed, as their visibility is still within the acceptable limits.
These jackets do not fade quickly and their reflective stripes still work like new even after a couple of months have passed. These are the ones that you need to look for. Also, the jacket you get needs to be made of durable material that will not easily tear or fray.
According to OSHA guidelines, once a piece of high visibility clothing gets torn up or pops at the seams, they need to be replaced immediately. This is why you need to get a hi-vis jacket that can handle the rigors of your regular workday.
Cold Weather or Warm Weather? – You also need to consider the climate at your workplace when choosing a high visibility jacket. If it gets hot and humid in your town and where you work, you need to get a jacket made of high-grade polyester. It should also allow the skin to breathe.
If your location gets freezing temperatures during the winter, get a safety jacket constructed out of thick materials. It also needs to have an insulated inner lining to keep the wearer cozy and warm.
Weatherproofing – You will be wearing your high visibility jacket to work no matter the weather, so it should be able to handle whatever Mother Nature throws your way. Aside from the rain, the safety jacket should also withstand the blazing sun and the freezing cold of freak winter storms.
Care and Maintenance
The great thing about safety jackets and similar PPE is that they are meant to be rugged, so they will require very little maintenance. If your safety jacket gets too dirty, you can just wash it using your washing machine along with your other dirty laundry.
Just remember not to use harsh detergents and never use bleach as they will cause the color of the jacket to fade and the reflective material to dull, thus decreasing the visibility of the jacket.
It is recommended to just hang the jacket to dry as too high heat will damage its material. If you have no other choice but to use your machine dryer, take out the jacket immediately after the drying sequence is done. Leaving it inside the still hot and humid dryer will damage the jacket.
However, even if you take good care of your safety jacket, it can only be feasibly used for six months if you will be using it every day at work. After which, you need to have it replaced. On the other hand, if you will rarely be using the jacket, it can have a service life of three years at most.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should you wear a high-visibility vest?
You should wear a high-vis work jacket when there are moving vehicles around. Even when you’re standing in the board daylight, this type of jacket is still necessary – it allows vehicle operators to spot you from afar.
When the weather gets too hot or too cold, workers can opt for sleeveless top or coat, respectively. However, the clothing still needs to be highly visible from a distance.
What’s more, note that the vest should be compliant with your workplace standards, not any high-visibility will do. For instance, the North Face high-visibility jacket might be suitable for running, but it’s not necessarily suitable for construction sites.
What colors are high visibility?
According to OSHA, fluorescent red, orange, and lime (or yellow) are the three background colors that are approved for high-visibility apparel. Hi-vis workwear brands often use special pigments brighter than most colors to increase conspicuousness in low-light conditions.
In addition, it’s also crucial to add retroreflective and fluorescent tapes to further illuminate the wearer at night, whether it’s a high-visibility windbreaker, coat, or vest.
Is yellow or orange Hi-Vis better?
Our eyes are most sensitive to the fluorescent yellow-green portion of the visible color spectrum while the fluorescent orange is running to a close second.
Yet, although yellow-green (or lime) is considered the brightest color, one must also factor in the environment where the high-visibility clothing will be worn.
In a place where there are lush greeneries, even the largest fluorescent lime men high-visibility jacket models can blend in with the background. When you need to be visible next to the foliage, the orange-colored hi-vis work jackets will contrast well with the landscape.
Hence, safety managers and workers must determine which vest color creates more contrast against the background of the work area for their lightweight safety jacket.
Who wears high-visibility clothing?
High-vis apparel is essential for hundreds of jobs where workers should be seen from a distance or in low-light conditions. Examples include:
- Road builders or roadside workers
- Utility workers
- Emergency responders
- Traffic enforcers
- Survey crews
- Factory workers
- Law enforcers
- Railway workers
- Forestry workers
- Accident site investigators
- Construction workers
- Airport ramp personnel
As you can see, the long list above shows laborers across diverse industries with varying needs in terms of visibility and protection. Thus, workwear companies will come up with specialized products, such as construction worker jackets or high-visibility jackets waterproof or fireproof for firemen and emergency responders.
Apart from workers, cyclists who commute to work can benefit from wearing high visibility lightweight jackets or vests.
How often should you replace high-visibility clothing?
Generally, safety authorities recommend workers replace high-vis clothing after about 25-50 washes. That said, to be clear, there is no hard and fast rule.
When exposing the hi-vis apparel to high temperatures and hazardous settings, the lifespan is expected to be much shorter. On the flip side, if the worker only wears the high-vis apparel during a once-a-month site inspection, then the clothing will likely last up to three years or more.
Even with the most durable jacket, workers need to keep an eye on the following signs to know if it’s up for replacement:
- Fading color, or if the clothing is no longer visible from 1,000 feet both day and night
- Extremely worn
- Have stains that don’t wash out
What are the most popular high visibility jacket brands?
With the extreme protection provided by high visibility jackets to workers and hobbyists who are frequently in low-visibility areas, investing in it is a must. Fortunately, you can buy it from several trusted brands, including New York Hi-Viz Workwear, Utility Pro, Carhartt, Pyramex, Ergodyne, Portwest, JORESTECH, KwikSafety, Tingley, and RefrigeWear.
What are high visibility jackets made of?
High visibility jackets need to be made of tough and durable materials. Usually, high visibility garments are made of lightweight, breathable, and sturdy polyester. This material is then dyed in fluorescent, bright colors, like neon orange, lime green, or bright yellow. These colors are usually used because they do not occur naturally in nature.
In addition to the brightly colored polyester material, ANSI protocols dictate that safety vests and jackets need to have a certain amount of reflective material for proper accreditation and classification. If the wearer wishes, he can add extra reflective material on the jacket in the form of reflective tape to further increase visibility.
Also, as a safety precaution, safety vests and jackets must be easily taken off in case of emergencies. They should either be fastened using snap buttons or hook and loop strips so that you can easily pull them off in case they get snagged on some debris or if they catch fire.
Are these jackets warm and weatherproof?
There are some variants of safety jackets made of heavier materials and have a thick inner lining to help keep the wearer warm when working in cold climates. However, most of the jackets that you will see in stores and retail websites are the general-purpose ones.
These jackets are somewhat weatherproof and can act like raincoats, keeping the wearer dry when it is raining. You need to carefully inspect the specifications of the jacket if you specifically need one that can keep you cozy and warm during the cold winter months.
How to choose the right size of high visibility jacket?
Most safety jackets come in several sizes. To ensure that you get the right size, you need to take accurate measurements of your body. For safety jackets, you need to measure your chest and waist area. If you are a big guy/gal then you might need help with this part. Grab a tailor’s measuring tape and measure the circumference of your chest area.
Make sure to wrap the tape over your chest and right under your armpits. Give the tape a bit of slack. Do not wrap it too tight so you will have some room to move in your jacket. Do the same thing when taking your waistline measurement.
Depending on the numbers that got, you can consult the size chart of the brand of safety jacket manufacturer’s size chart. Here is a tip when taking measurements for safety high visibility jackets. Measure while you are wearing clothes. You will not be wearing the safety jacket on its own. It will always go above your clothes.
Getting a safety jacket that is either too loose or too tight will both hinder your movements, which might place you in danger.
How to wear a high visibility jacket properly?
First of all, you need to make sure that you have the right class and type of safety high visibility jacket and that it is the right size. You do not need anything fancy to wear a high visibility jacket. It is essentially just a regular jacket but it is made of different materials.
Just wear it over your clothes like when you are wearing a regular jacket then close it at the front using the clip-on buttons or the hook and loop strips. If you need to, attach miniature LED strobe lights at the front of your jacket for additional visibility. You can also add more reflective tape if you so choose just as long as it will not impede your movement.
How to care & wash the high visibility jacket?
High visibility safety jackets do not require any special washing instructions. It is made of polyester fabric, so it is machine-washable. If the jacket gets a bit covered by dirt and dust, you need to get it washed immediately as it will cause the jacket to lose quite a lot of its visibility.
You can just throw the dirty jacket in with your regular colored laundry. The thing that you need to remember is not to use harsh detergents. Avoid using bleach, too. Using those things will cause a high visibility jacket’s color to fade and reduce its reflectiveness.
After washing the jacket, it is ideal that you let it hang out to dry. However, if you do not have any choice, you can toss it into the dryer set at a medium setting. As soon as the drying cycle is done, you need to take it out immediately as the excess heat will damage the jacket.
What is the warranty?
High visibility garments, be it vests, jackets or trousers, need to be replaced after six months of daily use, or when they are no longer visible from a distance of 1000 feet, whichever comes first. If you will not be using the jacket every day, like say just once a week or so at the most, you still need to replace them after three years.
Typically, safety gear brands provide one-year warranties for their products. However, their warranties only cover factory defects, not damage due to daily wear and tear.
Where to buy a high visibility jacket?
If you work for a construction company, the police department, or any responder, you do not have to worry about buying new high visibility jackets. You just need to place a replacement order form with your safety officer and return the old jacket to get a replacement.
However, if for any reason you need to buy your safety jacket, you can find a couple of different brands in your local construction supply store. If you want more choices, you can go online and browse through the many different online retailers and even the websites of the manufacturers themselves.
This way, you can have more choices and also compare the different prices so you can get the best deal.
If you work in any kind of hazardous environment where visibility is of the utmost importance, like if you do roadwork in highways, active construction sites, large warehouses, on a tanker or an oil rig, then you will need the best high visibility jacket and other PPE that you can get.
It serves as the first line of defense against fatal worksite accidents. With the best jacket around, vehicle and heavy machinery operators can see where you are so they can react accordingly to prevent horrendous accidents. Avoid thinking that high visibility jackets do nothing but encumber you.
If you have been working for a long time at your job at an accident-prone environment, you might not have any idea how many times your high visibility has saved your life. This is the reason why you should not skimp out on high visibility jackets. Think of it as an investment in your safety.
Having worked in the field of personal protective equipment for over two decades, Andrew Carnegie is a specialist in the field.
At EDC, he strives to improve performance efficiency and promote workplace safety for EDC’s readers and customers. He also researches the most up-to-date equipment that has earned relevant accreditation for use in a wide range of industries and specialties.