The RoadNoise Long Haul vest combines high-visibility safety, music/audio and hydration to build a complete system for runners, walkers or anyone.
I own the first version of the RoadNoise vest, it’s a reflective vest with built-in speakers so you can listen to music without blocking your ears. It’s a safety two-fer… You get a good reflective vest for maximum visibility and speakers with great sound that don’t block outside noise so you can be aware of the world around you.
The Long Haul vest is an update to that classic model in a few ways. Let’s talk about the core functionality of the changes first… sound. The speakers are higher on the shoulders, positioned more under the ears to improve the sound quality for both runners and cyclists. The pockets where the speakers live repel rain and the speakers themselves are built to be very weather tolerant. (But not submersible… you’re not swimming in this!)
The front pocket where you stash your device is waterproof and large enough to hold the ever-increasing phone sizes. Probably not your iPad though… if you really want to run with an iPad on your chest, think again. 😉 There is also a place to hold the amp/volume control, which improves upon your sound quality but also allows you to adjust the volume by just pushing on the front of the vest. It’s pretty easy to use.
This version adds in pockets. And some pockets. And some pockets. There’s so much space to carry all the little things you may want to carry during a long or short run. You’ve got pockets that can hold soft flasks or gel flasks, and smaller ones to hold gels, or chews, or salt tabs, or blinking lights…
And if the pockets on the front of the RoadNoise vest aren’t enough, there are more on the back. There is a large pocket that can hold a hydration bladder and more small pockets to hold blinky lights or chapstick or random toys your child hands you. Then if that isn’t enough, there is a detachable large pocket that hooks onto the back so you can carry even more. And the detachable pocket has a big reflective area, so you’re increasing visibility even more!
There are loops at the shoulders to guide a hydration tube and a little magnetic clasp to hold your drink valve/tube in place. Tip: Fill the bladder with water, put it in the vest and put the vest on. Measure where you need the tube/mouthpiece to line up and trim the tube, unless you like excess tubing flapping around.
The vest comes in 3 sizes (Ex-small/Small, Medium/Large, X-Large/XX-Large) and within the size the vest is pretty adjustable. The bungee cord on the back can be changed to make things fit how you like. The vest is put on by putting it over your head and hooking the little clasps on each side. When the clasps are hooked, you can tighten/loosen things up to get a personalized fit.
It costs $125 fully-loaded with 2 soft flasks and a 1-liter hydration bladder, but you can pre-order it right now and get it for $100. The regular version of the vest will sell for $90 and comes with 1 soft flask, but pre-order this month and it will cost $72. (Pre-Sale Pricing is available through September 23, 2016.)
I’m honestly super-impressed with this update. There are vests marketed toward ultra runners that have many similar functions in terms of pockets at a higher price. But they aren’t as reflective nor do they include the speakers. This is a great product and I fully endorse it. And I feel it’s the perfect thing for relay races. This past July I ran a Ragnar and kind of wish I had the RoadNoise Long Haul vest then. My night leg was 9.8 miles and it would have been nice to carry my water in the vest and have a place for a flashlight. (I wore my old RoadNoise vest with a flashlight in the front pocket when I didn’t want to hold it. I carried a handheld water bottle.)