Completely SHOCKED by the effectivness!!
I started riding 11 months ago for many good reasons and just logged my 1800th mile 2 days ago. I've had 8-10 weeks of 100+ miles. My point is I have a decent amount of experience of how drivers, pedestrians, and other cyclists act around me while riding my 2010 Novara Safari with it's very flat earth toned colors and usually clothing that matches it. I have always used a really good tail light (steady mode, not flashing), and very good headlight in low light, shady, foggy, and of course night time conditions. But after experiencing more and more uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous situations with many cars, cyclists, and pedestrians whether I was on the backs roads, main roads or yes, even the great bike trails around here, I decided that it was time to do something about it. While I have had my eye on what others were wearing as I was out and about, and noticed one particular popular jacket that was colored to be very noticeable and I tried on and liked very much, I became aware of a few issues that I wanted to address.
1. I didn't see any reflective points to the jacket, and other jackets didn't have enough reflectivity.
2. I didn't want to wear a reflective vest due to more constrictive movements to my arms, more air flow problems leading to more overheating, more wind resistance, and more flapping in the breeze if I bought one big enough to fit over all my cold weather and/or rain gear.
3. I didn't want to be forced to wear a "jacket" if it was hot out and all I wanted to wear was a t-shirt.
4. I didn't want to stand out like a sore thumb when I rode to a store, church, or friends house and was cold enough to want to keep the jacket on.
5. I wanted the option of being stealthy and/or blending in with the crowd if that's what suited my fancy in any given situation and I wanted to be able to do that quickly, and not have to pack away space robbing large article of clothing.
6. I didn't want to pay big bucks for one jacket that's for a very specific use, when I could spend that same amount of money on 2 or maybe more jackets/clothing, so I went with the Amphipod Xinglet!!
In a nutshell...THIS THING ROCKS!
1. Very affordable for what you get, and it's built like it's going to last many YEARS.
2. VERY easy to put on and take off and I have only done that about 10 times thus far. After wearing it for a month or so it's going to be second nature like putting on my underwear.
3. Very comfortable. The back of the main triangular patches front and rear have a material on them that is so soft, you could wear it against your bare skin with no problems at all. And the main straps are very comfortable as well, being very robust in feel, and yet pretty soft as well. I don't know how they do that but I like it very much.
4. It's shaped and sewn together in such a fashion that there is no arm restriction what so ever, and no blocking access to any pocket zippers or air flowing pit zips you may have on your jacket if you are wearing one underneath it.
5. The color is very very good at getting attention in the day light. It's the same color as the very popular jacket that I mentioned above, and it matches the reflective helmet cover that I bought already.
6. The reflectivity! This is what blew me out of the water! I can not believe how well this thing gets drivers attention on the road.
I kid you not. I rode out last evening just as the sun was setting, for 45 minutes. I went out onto the very busy main road by my house that I have traveled on HUNDREDS of times. I know this road and how traffic normally acts. When I went out this time, wearing the Amphipod, I was actually laughing out loud while cars were going by me for the first 2 miles of my ride. Normally, about HALF of the drivers would just stay in the middle of the lane, some favoring my side even closer, and a few would be almost right up against the white fog line just 2 feet away from me. The other HALF would be favoring the left side, most of them getting about a foot or two away from the center line, with a smaller percentage getting right next to the center line, and a very rare few would go on or cross over the center line to give me space. Now, thats all changed. I am still finding it quite amusing. I didn't have ONE person come even the faintest bit close to me on my side of the lane. HALF of the people went over the center line! One guy, on my way home, in a large extra cab pickup truck moved over enough to put his passenger side tires on the center line!! On a long straight section, I saw an emergency vehicle approaching me at a high rate of speed in my mirror. He had all the flashing lights on, and no siren. There was no one in front of him, and there was no major intersection coming, but when he was a good 1/8 mile back, he hit the sirens full on, blaring loud all the way till he got to me, then turned them off. It was CHP. 30 seconds later another emergency vehicle appeared in my mirror. Lights flashing, no siren. No traffic in front of him anywhere, no traffic going the other way, no intersections coming up. And again the sirens came on while he was so far back there that I couldn't tell what kind of vehicle it was. Sirens stayed on full bore right up to the point that he passed me and then he shut them off. It was a fire dept ambulance. On another road that I frequent most rides, that I was on last night, and is much narrower, I had everyone not only moving over like that, but they slowed down as they passed me. Most of them slowed down really. That has NEVER happened to me when riding that road. Only the occasional driver would do that before!
I think I have made my point. Although I do of course realize that not every driver, cyclist, and pedestrian will be that nice, or act that way, and I know that I will still have to do everything in my power to stay alert and be safe, including remembering the persons that are still going to be so busy or focused or impaired to see me, I know that I will be much safer out there now and enjoying my rides so much more just like I did last night. It was fantastic. And now I can just put this thing on whenever I like, or take it off in a jiffy, throw it a pocket, or my bike bag with very little room taken up, and focus my other dollars on buying gear that I like that may or may not have the "safety" colors or reflective stuff on it. They just don't have to.
Allow me one more paragraph please. I have purchased over thirteen hundred dollars worth of gear for my bike with names like Schwable, Brooks, Phlesher, Serfas, Camelback, and have been extremely pleased with most of them, and have been meaning to write reviews for all of them to help others decide on their gear because I have enjoyed these reviews myself very very much spending dozens of hours reading them and figuring out what I actually want. I am ashamed to admit that have not done a single one for anything at all...yet. This product, the Amphipod Xinglet Pocket gripped my emotions so much, and gave me such riding pleasure in ONE ride for 7 miles, that I put off what I had to do this morning for 2 hours just to let anyone looking at this product know what I have experienced by finally writing my first review. I think that says a lot, and I hope that you find it helpful.
May God's peace be with you as you ride this great country that He has blessed us with.
Still working flawlessly!
Everything that I wrote about this great product above is still true, and still making me very happy with this purchase. It has made riding all the more enjoyable.
I have used it on every single ride that I have done since my last review, and yesterday I think I tested it in the worst conditions that I could find around here. I went into town 15 miles away in the rain, and back home, all in the rain. I left at 2:30 p.m. and by the time I was heading home, it was mega going home from work traffic time. By the time I got close to home it was only 30 minutes till it would be completely dark. So there I was riding next to hundreds of California drivers, with the Monday blues, in the first rain in months, while it's quickly getting dark, and lots of them speeding home and not liking anyone or anything getting in their way.
Just like my last review, I was still getting lots more respect from 99% of the drivers by slowing down and or moving over to the center of the road or over the centerline. The real kicker though was when I got home. My wife and daughter said that they passed me in the car on their way home, about 1 mile up the main road. I asked my wife if her headlights were on and she said "yes." I then asked how well she could see me in the Xinglet. She exclaimed most emphatically, "Oh, I saw you from WAAAYYYYY down the road! I saw your lit up big X, and in the center of the X it looked like you had another light on, just as bright as your LED tail light!" She mentioned something about being "a mile away", and while I'm sure it wasn't really that far, it does say a lot about the effectiveness of this easy to use and wear device. I just can't say enough good about it.
I actually have the pocket Xinglet, not this version, but REI seems to no longer carry that version, so I'm writing my review here. I got the Xinglet both as a reflective vest and for the pocket. Most of my running clothes don't have pockets, so I was looking for something that would let me carry my keys, ID, iPod, etc. while running. In terms of fit and reflectivity, the Xinglet is awesome. It's light and comfortable, and once I got it adjusted well I barely even notice that I'm wearing it. It's so convenient that I now wear it almost all the time when I run - even in broad daylight - just for the pocket space. That, however, brings me to my one complaint: the pocket on the Xinglet is much smaller than I expected it to be. It'll hold an iPod (barely) but then nothing else will fit inside too. I ended up solving this problem by attaching a second pouch (actually a Timbuk2 strap pouch that I had) to the back of the harness, and that gives me all the space I need. Having something hanging on the back of the belt also balances the weight better than only putting things in the pocket on the front. Once the weather warms up, I'm looking forwards to buying the amphipod snap-on water bottles and adding them to the Xinglet too.
I thought the reviews about cars giving a wider birth were exagerations until I wore this the first time. I am a night rider since most of our fall, winter and spring months are mostly dark. And I love the quiet of night out on deserted country roads and city streets. The first time I wore this there were cars that actually stopped for me to cross major arterials when I was just waiting at the corner for them to pass. I can tell that cars slow down more behind me and do give me more room when going around. I feel a lot more comfortable in this product. My riding clothes change too much with the weather and temps to stick to one high vis jacket so I love the fact that I can wear this with my down coat or a t-shirt. Some extra length would be good for going over my big puffy coat but it still is good. Great product.
I actually have the pocket model but REI does not carry it anymore. I purchased this product due to two near misses in the same run one night. Once I started wearing this product I noticed immediately how drivers gave me more room and they noticed me from a greater distance than before. I also use this product while commuting by bike in the early morning , again drivers really take notice. So far so good in regards to durability, over a year of use including winter rain and snow and no issues. It adjusted to my size quickly and I barely know it is there. I highly recommend this product for bikers and runners.
As a safety conscious motorcyclist, I purchased this Xinglet for riding at night. It even fits well over my ballistic riding jacket. The chartreuse color stands out starkly at dusk, and the reflective striping and patches glow exceptionally well when exposed to the slightest light. After two years of regular use, including regular exposure to highway speed winds, mine looks as good as the day I bought it. Trying to beat the heat? The Xinglet blocks less wind than even a mesh reflective vest! Limited luggage space? It packs smaller than anything else out there!
I can't recommend this product enough for anyone who is out at night!
See me coming, see me going...
I am very satisfied with the quality of construction and the reflectivity of the material. I don't like having to zinch down the waist belt in order to obtain a better fit. The shoulder straps tend to cause the belt to ride up around my stomach instead of my waist were I would prefer it. I expect the issue to resolve itself once the shoulder straps begin to lose elasticity. It is not a huge problem and I would definately buy again over a vest design that would trap heat and moisture.
Good reflective vest
This vest is superb for night time riding. It is highly reflective and stands out, more so at night than during the day. I use it for day time riding as well, but I would recommend someone use a full vest for day time riding and this xinglet for night time riding. I have owned it for almost a year and it has held up very well, though I'm worried that the plastic buckle is going to snap someday. For now, I'm just very careful with it.
This Xinglet is the best piece of reflective gear I own. It's so light and effective that I have no concern throwing this on before a 20 mile training run if I might end the run around dusk. Even during daylight hours, cars tend to leave more space and notice me sooner when I'm wearing the Amphipod Xinglet.
Only caveat-- be sure to take time to balance the length of the suspenders vs. the belt loop. Once you get it right, you'll forget you're wearing it.
A must for any runner
If you are a runner and run at night, this is a must. Cars easily see you and move away as a result. I also run Ragnar, and this is the best, most comfortable night-running vest I've tried on. It doesn't get in the way of my arm movement and once you tighten it, it stays in place pretty good. Occasionally, there is a little riding up, but I just make some adjustments and it works. I highly recommend it for any runner.