The Outside Blog


How to Be Seen Better When Out for a Run: Brooks NightLife 2.0


Fluorescent colors and reflective stripes certainly make you more visible to drivers when you're running at dusk or in the dark. But a new study by Brooks Running shows that low light perception is more scientific than just throwing some glare at oncoming traffic.

Brooks Running product designers went to the brain lab to understand how the human eye sees, and how the brain processes information in changing light. They found that a combination of brightness, contrast, and reflectivity not only help the brain of someone driving a car, for example, understand that it's looking at a human shape it should avoid, but respond at lightning speed.

According to Brooks, there are three common “phases” of lighting: daylight, dusk, and darkness.  Humans can’t see in the dark, as we know. The rods and cones of the human eye enable vision, and as light fades they are chronic underperformers.

Brooks learned that bright colors give moving objects (runners, cyclists, pedestrians) high visibility in daylight and dusk, and that the visibility of those bright colors is multiplied when they're outlined in a dark contrasting color. They also learned that highlighting the edges of the body that are in motion (elbows, hips, chest, back, thighs, knees, ankles, hands and head) with reflectivity helps a possibly vision-compromised motorist recognize a runner, and steer away.

210431_808_aBrooks' NightLife Jacket II (Available August 2012, $115) has 360° reflectivity, back venting, thumbholes, and ergonomic design lines—and it's 100% wind- and water-resistant. Pull down flaps add reflectivity across the butt when you need it most, then tuck away.

Brooks' NightLife Essential Run Jacket II (Available July 2012, $85) is a lightweight wind shell with side stretch panels for best flex and fit, and a punch of contrast color on each sleeve.

--Berne Broudy

to Outside
Save Over

Magazine Cover

iPad Outside+ App Access Now Included!






Previous Posts




Blog Roll

Current Issue Outside Magazine

Subscribe and get a great deal! Two free Buyer's Guides plus a free GoLite Sport Bottle. Monthly delivery of Outside—your ultimate resource for today's active lifestyle. All that and big savings!

Free Newsletters

Dispatch This week's featured articles, reviews, and videos. Sent twice weekly.
News From the Field The most important breaking news from around the Web. Sent daily.
Gear of the Day The latest products, reviews, and editors' picks. Coming soon.
Outside Partners Outside-approved deals and special offers from select partners. Sent occasionally.

Ask a Question

Our gear experts await your outdoor-gear-related questions. Go ahead, ask them anything.

* We might edit your question for length or clarity. If it's not about gear, we'll just ignore it.