by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
Unique designs really light up at night or in poor visibility when radiated with light. Well made and highly adjustable for various waist sizes.
webBikeWorld has consistently promoted motorcycle safety, which includes proper riding gear, riding techniques and visibility.
Some of our first product reviews from over 5 years ago were related to lighting and reflective stickers that can help make motorcycles and their riders more visible in traffic.
Through the years, we've also tried to focus on the unique, the interesting and the unusual, with the primary goal of providing information to help our visitor make informed purchasing decisions.
I still get quite a kick when I find a motorcycle related product or accessory that meets that criteria, as the TinWolf reflective vest certainly does.
TinWolf Designs is a small manufacturing company in the U.K., and they make a variety of very interesting reflective vests, unlike any we've seen before.
Many of the designs that are offered on TinWolf reflective motorcycle vests are unusual and whimsical, and when you think about it, why not have some fun while staying safe?
Who knows -- maybe a vest with a reflective bat, flame or F-15 fighter might wake up a sleepy motorist in a way that a simple stripe couldn't.
The vests use a heavy mesh backing, and are adjustable at the sides with ties and a spring-loaded keeper.
There's plenty of room for adjustment for various waist sizes. I take a 36" waist street pant, and even with jeans, a tucked-in shirt and a leather jacket with liner, there is still plenty of room for mid-section "growth".
The nylon braided cords hang down quite a bit, and I'm considering cutting them a bit shorter because I don't anticipate the need for all that adjustment.
The vest is very well made, with a heavy nylon zipper up the front. It's also very light, at 7.5 oz. (212 g), and it's unnoticeable when worn over a motorcycle jacket.
The patterns are impressed on the mesh vest with a heat activated adhesive, and I haven't noticed any lifting of the patterns after repeated use.
In fact, I'm not sure how the manufacturing process actually works, because the patterns seem to be fused completely to the mesh, even at the sharp ends of the bat's wings on this example.
TinWolf recommends that the patterns can be re-fused with an iron in the unlikely event that an edge comes loose.
The reflective material meets European specification EN471:1994 for "high visibility warning clothing".
And the reflective visibility is very powerful, if that's the word - they really light up at night or in dim lighting conditions when radiated by an external light source.
Even the braided cord adjusting strings have a reflective fabric woven in, adding a bit of reflectivity.
The effect is very evident when the vest is worn over a black jacket, as you can see from the animated photo at the top of this page.
The reflective vests are designed for motorcyclists, but they are also used by bicyclists, joggers and anyone else who is concerned about visibility in dim conditions.
TinWolf has many different designs, including "normal" stripes and other patterns. I really like the bat design and so does my wife, who has used it for horseback riding at night.
TinWolf says that:
"The vests are individually made; that is to say the blank basic vests are made for us and we wait until an order is placed for a certain design before making the vest."
"These designs can be chosen from the site or a particular design can be requested. We have very recently received a request from the Northern Pan Riders, a UK Honda Pan European club for a vest which would feature their logo."
"So I can provide a custom personal design if required as long as the design is practical given the limits of the material). Once the design is set it is cut from the reflective material and applied to the vest so they are individually made to each order."
Bottom line? If you're looking for a reflective vest that's unique and very different and that will surely start a few conversations down at the pub, one of TinWolf Designs' reflective vests may be just the ticket.