Gear Guy

What Safety Light Should I Buy?

There’s a clever new LED safety light for night running/biking. Is it any good? And who invents this stuff?

What Safety Light Should I Buy?

The Snapalite LED safety light. Photo: Bob Parks

We review products all the time, and are often left wondering why some work so well—or don't. When a new LED running light called the Snapalite came in, we decide to call up the inventor and find out how this clever little beacon came about.

Where most lights clip to the edge of your jacket or hat, or swing from your wrist, the Snapalite uses a powerful clamp to attach to your clothing. It clings securely to fabric anywhere for maximum visibility. The light also has magnets to stick to a vehicle and a silicone strap for cycle use. When it arrives in stores in early December, it will cost between $10 and $15.

The inventor, Scott Hardy, 44, has been making outdoor stuff from a young age. He started his outdoor goods career at 24 by creating an all-weather “overshoe.” It’s a waterproof cover for your boots that provides another layer of protection in extreme weather, and it’s used in the Iditarod and on Alaskan glacier tours. When L.L. Bean picked up Hardy’s overshoe, he was off to the races as a professional inventor, and has since developed a running shoe, snowboarder’s backpack, grocery bag that functions as a bike pannier, and a nifty gadget to ease plantar fasciitis.

After the jump, we ask Hardy how he invented the light. If you’ve ever had fond thoughts of becoming an inventor, here’s a chance to see how the sausage gets made. Then we’ll give the Snapalite a road test along with the other top option for staying visible on dark streets.

How It's Made
The Competition

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