The Gear You Need to Work Out at Night
See and be seen on evening runs, rides, and hikes
Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
As fall approaches and the days get shorter, our workouts often get pushed into the dark hours. But that doesn’t mean you need to stay indoors. Here are the headlamps and reflective gear that professional athletes use to train long into the night.
Bontrager Ion 800 R Front Bike Light ($100)
Casey Brown, Mountain Biker
Casey Brown, who lives in Revelstoke, British Columbia, plays outside well after dark. The Bontrager Ion bike light, which Brown attaches to her handlebars or helmet, boasts a whopping 800 lumens to light up all the details on a forested trail, like camouflaged roots and rocks. “It’s not too heavy and allows me to see everything I need to see,” Brown says.
Petzl Actik Core Headlamp ($70)
Kelly Halpin, Mountain Endurance Athlete
For mountain pursuits that require a predawn start or extend into the night, Kelly Halpin uses the Petzl Actik Core headlamp, which has a rechargeable battery but also takes AAA batteries for backup. “It has a red light option that helps with night vision, especially when traveling on snow,” Halpin says. The 350-lumen light attaches to a reflective headband and has an emergency whistle, just in case you need it.
Nathan Nightfall Vest ($20)
Camille Herron, Ultrarunner
Training for ultras takes plenty of time, so Camille Herron finds herself running in the dark year-round in her hometown of Oklahoma City. On busy streets and bike lanes, she wears the reflective Nathan Nightfall vest. “It’s good to make sure all of your clothing and shoes have some reflective material, both front and back,” Herron says. The vest is made with lightweight, breathable materials and is meant to be slipped over your head. According to Nathan, the vest’s reflective treatment and high-visibility yellow color allow runners to be seen from as far away as 1,200 feet. Herron recommends wearing light colors underneath to further increase your visibility.
Black Diamond Storm Headlamp ($50)
Jim Walmsley, Ultrarunner
Ultras call for running through the night, so James Walmsley, who holds the course record for the Western States 100, wears the Black Diamond Storm. The headlamp’s 375 lumens give him confidence to keep his speed up in the darkness. The waterproof, touch-sensitive design allows you to adjust the brightness with a simple tap. It’s not rechargeable, but Walmsley says that’s a good thing. “My pro tip for headlamps in general is go with lithium batteries. They are brighter and lighter than normal batteries.”
Salomon Agile Short-Sleeve Shirt ($40) and Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp ($80)
Zak Ricklefs, Runner, Gearhead for Backcountry.com
The Salomon Agile short-sleeve is a runner’s everyday shirt that fits true to size. This technical tee is made with wicking, quick-dry fabric and includes 360-degree reflective features. “It seriously lights up when shining a flashlight or car headlights on it,” says Zak Ricklefs. He also recommends the Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp ($80). The minimalist, 3.7-ounce light is rechargeable and has an extra strap over the top of the head for extra security during high-impact activities.