6

I have a GORE rain jacket that's 100% polyester, and black. I'm looking around at different options for reflective tape and stickers to brighten it up a bit.

I think going with stickers are probably the way to go, I've found a couple of good options that I think would stay on a polyester rain jacket:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DN9D255/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A2TXES8H9WMI1P&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B079L4PFHH/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A165HF78ROWQQM&th=1

I really like the design of this product, but it requires ironing at least 140 degrees celcius. I've ready that polyester can withstand 140 degrees, but I'm not really sure.

Anyone here have any suggestions for a good product or advice about ironing / not ironing?

8
  • 5
    I don’t think the gore tex layer will like being heated up that much. Might permanently smush the micro-pores that make it work.
    – MaplePanda
    Jan 18 at 0:00
  • 2
    I honestly don’t think that a few cm² of reflective tape are going to enhance your visibility much. Get a safety vest, get a helmet in a bright color, make sure your bike has the usual reflectors and lights. And next time don’t buy a black jacket. It’s ridiculous how many bicycle clothes (especially foul weather clothes) come in dark colors.
    – Michael
    Jan 18 at 10:45
  • 4
    @Criggie the downside of a bib is the lack of sleeves, and hi-vis sleeves are useful for both side views and signalling turns. A good choice of gloves will help with the latter. Alternative to a bib is a backpack cover if you wear a backpack
    – Chris H
    Jan 18 at 11:18
  • 2
    ... I've now got a super-reflective jacket. That's great in the dark but in low daylight with a bit of mist it's not. That wouldn't be the time to wear my black gloves, and it would be sensible to brighten my backpack then (e.g. use the light I keep on it)
    – Chris H
    Jan 18 at 11:20
  • 1
    @Michael is spot on and I spent months with a leaky jacket waiting for something visible at sale price when black kept coming up. Note that hi-vis stuff is prone to fading. My helmet is nearly white now and that old jacket is a very different colour inside the pockets - so if you want your expensive stuff to keep looking good, hi-vis accessories on top are a good option and black doesn't show the indelible muck that you'll get on it at the first mechnical
    – Chris H
    Jan 19 at 11:00

6 Answers 6

11

I think you run the risk of ruining your jacket by doing anything with it with heat or stickers.

Instead I would suggest adding passive reflective materials to your kit.

  • 3M has a reflective spray using glass beads that can be painted directly onto almost anything. I've never used it, but their literature shows jackets and clothes painted, even a horse gets a touch of the paint. YMMV, but I recall it needs periodic reapplication.
    enter image description here

  • Wheel spoke reflectors - not those janky yellow things, the cylindrical white ones that clip around spokes and have high reflectivity. Example, https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001710506836.html
    These work well in my experience because they move with the wheel and provide a clear indication of what you are and where you're going. Also SUPER cheap, only a few bucks.
    enter image description here

  • Stick-on reflector tape, sometimes called DOT tape. Remember you can put red where it faces backward, yellow can go anywhere, and white tape has to face forward.
    This stuff can probably be put on your shoes/pedals too. Helmets should accept it, but they tend to curve. I would not stick this tape to cloth.
    enter image description here


However the above suggestions are passive reflectors and will not help if there is no light being cast in your direction. You still need active lights as well.

13
  • 3
    Wonder if the spray works on goretex or if it beads up on the DWR and runs off? Tried to google an answer but didnt get very far
    – Andy P
    Jan 18 at 11:52
  • 3
    I've got spoke reflectors, and the cheap aliexpress/ebay ones aren't as good as the branded ones - they're just DOT tape on a plastic clip and the tape comes off. However much you pay they seem quite willing to fall off over time.
    – Chris H
    Jan 18 at 12:14
  • 2
    Given how much kit (e.g. panniers) has white reflective stuff facing backwards, I wouldn't worry too much about adding a little more, so long as there's plenty of red as well and/or you always use your rear light (which I do because they're dynamo powered)
    – Chris H
    Jan 18 at 12:16
  • 3
    @AndyP And DWR must also be applied on a regular basis, how would reflective paint impact the application/effectiveness of DWR in the future? I'm maybe too careful, but if I purchase high performance garments, I prefer to be in line with the manufacturer's recommendation to maintain the performance over time. If the result of such operations is to clog the gore tex pores with reflective paint and limit the effectiveness of DWR/Gore Tex membrane, better off buying a cheap high visibility jacket instead.
    – Renaud
    Jan 18 at 13:04
  • 3
    beware though, paint will certainly reduce the breathability of the gore tex at area of application. (But then again; so will most types of after-market applied reflective ideas like wearing a vest) Jan 18 at 14:07
5

Expanding on my comments, and in addition to AndyP's mention of a hi-vis vest I'd look into the following hi-vis (fluorescent and reflective) accessories, some of which can also be illuminated:

  • Gloves
  • Backpack cover if you wear a backpack
  • Armbands
  • You can even have reflective stuff on the back of tights or shorts. The running tights I use over bike tights when it gets really cold have that.

On a cheaper jacket (and even my good one is a lot cheaper than that) I'd consider modifying by sewing on reflective tape, but only at the edges so as not to let water in. For example along the back bottom hem and on the cuffs.

A more realistic option for modification might be to use solvent-based glue sold for repairing outdoor gear, and glue reflective tape (the one I bought, meant for sewing) on. You'd need to do it very tidily, avoiding getting glue on the reflective face of the tape as it will spoil the reflectivity

4
  • 2
    I'm tempted to try gluing reflective tape onto my new shoes before they get filthy. My SPD pedals don't have reflectors available, and unlike previous pairs my latest shoes lack reflectors
    – Chris H
    Jan 18 at 12:18
  • 2
    that's interesting and unexpected - many jurisdictions mandate "pedal reflectors" and since clipless ones are often too small/thin/aero for a reflector area, having the reflector on the shoe is a workable substitute - the shoe moves like a pedal and being clipped in is kinda part of the pedal.
    – Criggie
    Jan 18 at 20:01
  • 2
    @Criggie Specialized put rather small rear reflectors on the shoes, Giro don't, it seems. Pedal reflectors are required here, when the bike is sold, but there's no enforcement during use. My M424s have recesses to put reflective tape where it won't come off, but my M520s don't.
    – Chris H
    Jan 18 at 21:12
  • 2
    I actually used 3M self-adhesive orange reflective tape as the heel is more like plastic than fabric. So far so good
    – Chris H
    Jan 25 at 14:51
5

Scotchlite is the material usually used to add reflective elements to clothing. You can get it in tape form. I've used it to add reflective dots to some of my bike gear. It sticks pretty well, it's very thin, and has a "textile" feel to it, so it fits in with clothing. You need to be prepared for it to eventually fall off, but most of my dots have stayed put for at least a year.

4

Gore have a support page that mentions ironing as a method to reactivate DWR treatments on SOME of their products. But this is with a towel placed between so that you are not applying heat directly. I doubt the reflective tape would bond properly under these conditions.

https://www.gore-tex.com/en_uk/node/2941

Rather than taking the risk with an expensive jacket i'd instead look for some sort of reflective vest/sash to wear over the jacket.

4

I think I have the same jacket :) I put on a thrifted orange running vest that has reflective properties. I agree about the gloves/arms needing something to signal turns at night. My coldest weather mitts don't. In this case, reflective snap bracelets would be best. I actually just rely on my front and rear lights.

2

I'd be hesitant about permanently affixing anything to an expensive rain jacket. My first thought would go more in the direction of velcro reflective bands like this.

enter image description here

1
  • 2
    Which are excellent and more visible even on limbs because they will be in motion, thus making them even more visible. Our brain is wired to pay greater attention to moving objects.
    – Carel
    Jan 19 at 18:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.