Equipment Review: FlashBrite Stick-on Patches

People who run, walk, or cycle at night face an important problem: they must be seen. If they aren't seen, they could be hit by automotive vehicles and be injured or killed. Manufactures of running and cycling clothes are aware of this problem and are incorporating reflective materials into their clothing. However, not all manufacturers do this. In addition, many people who are out at night do not wear clothes containing reflective material. Thus, there is a need for reflective material that can be added to existing clothes.

One company that manufactures reflecting material that can be added to existing clothes is FlashBrite. These products are stick-on patches that are made from 3M Scotchlite (TM), and the patches really show up when subject to direct light. Quite a few designs are available, and FlashBrite can make specialized designs for schools or other organizations.

The patches that I tried are the "peace symbol", and I put them on my running jacket. They stuck very well to the nylon fabric of my jacket. Even though I won't be running much at night, the patches are visible against the red color of the jacket and are easily seen during the day. I didn't try them on T-shirts, but if they will stick to the shirts (or are sewn on), they will be useful for summer use. The FlashBrite web site mentioned ankle bands that can be used on pets. I didn't try them, but I think they could be attached to the legs of running pants and thus attract attention due to the movement of the pants.

2/21/2012. I washed my nylon jacket last night and found that the washing caused the FlashBrite patches to come off the jacket. I have a front-loading washing machine that doesn't use a lot of water and the machine also doesn't do a lot of agitation. I used warm water for the washing and cold water for the rinse. I was surprised but disappointed in this result, and I'm withdrawing my recommendation of the patches. The problem actually isn't with the patches themselves. It is with the 3M Scotchlite (TM) material used for the patches. I'm surprised that the 3M company would sell material that doesn't withstand the stress of a washing machine and a nylon jacket!

2/23/2012 Flashbrite recommends the use of a gentle cycle for the washer and air-dry instead of a machine-dry. I did use air-dry but I used a normal cycle.

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