A sleek new cycling jacket was originally inspired by some failed Halloween costumes: Designer Elton King watched as his friends tried to dress like characters from Tron by gluing glow sticks on their clothing. "It just looked ridiculous," King says. "But there wasn’t an affordable version of that suit on the market." King, who had experience working in the reflective textile industry, realized that cyclists didn’t have an affordable option for reflective clothing either, and decided to step in to fill the gap.
"There were no absolutely no choices for reflective garments in my price range that looked nice," he says. "The options that did look nice ranged anywhere from $320 to $1,800, which is way too expensive for someone like me. I made up my mind that I would do the world a favor, and make the coolest reflective jacket out there, and make it as affordable as possible."
The jacket, which is currently up on Kickstarter, is designed with basically every feature that cyclists might want, from water-repellent fabric to huge zippered pockets that can hold something as big as a water bottle. The retro-reflective patches flash a brilliant white when headlights hit them at night.
Unlike bike lights, the jacket doesn’t need batteries to work, and since it’s already on your back, it’s one less thing to worry about taking off your bike to prevent theft. King says it also makes cyclists much more visible. "As long as the driver has his headlights on, the biker will be visible for as far as the eyes can see," he explains. "It isn't just one tiny light. Your whole upper torso gets illuminated."
Of course, it probably makes sense to use the jacket in addition to lights—especially since headlights and rear reflectors are usually required by law. And for a little extra bling, you could add a reflective belt, a glowing messenger bag, and even a reflective frame.