Revolar is a personal safety device a runner can easily take with them while out running. With a simple press of a button, friends or family can be alerted to a runner’s location. I was sent this device free for the purpose of review. As always, opinions here are my own.
The stories in the news about runners (er… joggers) being attacked, kidnapped or killed while out are scary and they can definitely make your imagination venture into dark territory. Big feature articles are being published a lot lately about how different an experience it is for a female runner vs. a male runner. Many women, sadly, don’t think much about having obscene things yelled at them while running. (I’m not saying we enjoy it or condone it, but it’s also not that out of the norm.) Yet men who read these articles seem to be shocked to learn about just how common it is and how many women feel the need to make plans for where they will run to feel safe and what they need to carry with them to feel secure.
As women, running safety is usually on our minds more than our male counterparts. I have pepper spray but I really don’t like carrying it with me. It’s one more thing to hold and I worry, with the frequent high winds, that in the event I actually needed to use it, it would get caught in the wind and blow in my face. I do carry my phone with me on every run, this used to annoy me as phones got bigger and bigger. But I’m not carrying a phablet-style phone and it honestly just feels completely normal to me. But pulling out a phone isn’t always going to be the quickest solution.
The Revolar personal safety device is pretty small and can slip into the pocket on your running shorts (even that dumb internal key pocket) and can be readily available. I hope to never need it to be able to give you a real review of that moment. But here’s the breakdown in my test trials.
Basically the Revolar is a button. Pretty simple, but when paired with the companion app (iOS or Android) you can establish up to 5 contacts to receive an alert when that button is pushed. What are the alerts? It all comes down to how many times you push the button.
One (1) button push: this is just to check-in with someone. Say you are driving to a trailhead and want to let your family know you made it, you can push the button and they’ll receive a text with a link to your location. As a telecommuter, I work from home most of the time but when I have to go to the office, I drive at 4am 2.5 hours and it would be handy to just push the button to let my spouse know I made the drive safely.
Two (2) button push: Like a mouse double-click, this activates a yellow alert. You can customize the message your recipients get, but the basic example message is something like, “I’m in an area and feeling a little uncomfortable, give me a call.”
Three (3) button push: This activates a red alert. The default message instructs your recipients to alert the authorities with your location.
You can customize your recipient list, so some people only get check-ins or yellow alerts. Maybe you want to have a few people who have your back on emergency alerts but don’t necessarily need to check-in with them. Just change the settings in your app!
When you add someone to your contact list, they receive a text asking them to confirm that they’re willing to be on your list. It also tells them to have a conversation with the person who sent the Revolar request to make sure you know what the situations are and how they’ll use it. I guess if you’re someone who goes on a lot of bad dates and need to be bailed out, you can setup yellow alerts for that!
After I tested every level of notification on my spouse, he threatened to use the “STOP” reply. But it did make me realize a problem with the notifications when the red alert test I sent to him was during the designated “Do Not Disturb” hours on his phone. So for a moment I was thinking, “Well… this is dumb. If I’m out early in the morning and need him to get the message it will just be silent.” But a little bit of Googling (seriously, tiny bit) lead me to the discovery that in iOS 10 there is an “Emergency Bypass” feature where you can make certain you receive calls AND texts from specific people during Do Not Disturb hours.
The Revolar comes with two different cradles to contain it – a loop one and a clip one. I thought the clip one would be the version I would prefer for running, but the clip on it is just too small and tight to easily slip onto a waistband of running shorts. But the loop cradle is easy to hook onto a small carabiner on your purse and easy to slip it into a pocket on running gear. And you would even be able to push the buttons through the pocket on most running shorts.
It uses a simple watch battery, so you don’t have to worry about recharging and changing it is easy to do. (The cradles even have a lip on one edge that serves as a tool to open the battery compartment.) The Revolar retails for $59.
Visit Revolar for full details
I’m super impressed with this device and I can actually see myself remembering to take this with me. I don’t have to hold it in my hand yet I’ll still be able to use it quickly and easily. I’m going to solidly recommend this for sure!