Apidura has launched the Packable Visibility Vest, combining EN 17353 certification and the race fit and packability of a lightweight gilet.
The product is a lightweight vest that packs down into an integrated pocket when not in use.
Its minimal design is purely focused on visibility, rather than adding warmth or waterproof elements, resulting in a garment suitable for year-round use.
With a range of fit and adjustability, the vest can be worn over a jersey, or a bulky layer such as a down jacket.
Betsy Seed, head of product at Apidura, said: “There are countless visibility vests outside of the cycling world that are often fine for casual cycling after dark, but there’s nothing that offers full legal compliance and lightweight materials, packability and a race fit.
“We know riders and event organisers alike find it frustrating, so we decided to explore how our packable and racing design experience could be brought to bear.
“EN compliance was essential, but we also wanted to replicate the convenience of a lightweight gilet and make sure the vest was as unobtrusive as possible both while riding and when not in use.”
Riding at night is an accepted part of cycling, whether as part of a commute or ultra-distance race.
Apidura says that the choice of garment for such conditions usually involves an element of reflectivity or high visibility, but few options have been certified to the various standards that exist for such garments, particularly those which are cycling-specific.
In some countries there are regulations regarding lighting and clothing for cyclists, in others such regulations do not exist.
EN 17353:2020 Type B3 is the European legal standard that some Audax and ultra-distance events mandate a visibility garment meets to participate (such as Paris-Brest-Paris).
This standard incorporates the older EN 1150 and EN 20471 standards sometimes referred to by event organisers.
Andrew Phillips, race organiser at Lost Dot, said: “From my point of view, riding at night is fundamental to endurance racing. It also offers riders the opportunity to experience empty roads, moonlit vistas, and mountain dawns.
“At Lost Dot we firmly believe that the responsibility for road safety lies firmly with the drivers of vehicles, but we’re also pragmatic and retroreflective garments make a huge difference.”
The Apidura Packable Visibility Vest comes in two sizes S/M and L/XL, and is available to order at an RRP of £45.