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Jacket colour for visibility?

tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,015
edited June 2014 in Commuting general
Orange or yellow jacket? Which has best visibility for commuting?

Is orange best for daytime and yellow for night? Looking at Altura night vision, comes in orange, yellow and black. Got led in back and vents. Looks good. Orange and black cheaper than yellow in shop I've seen.

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  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    Orange or yellow doesn't really matter. If White van is going to run you down then he will, the marginal difference between orange and yellow won't bother him.
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  • During the day, I'm guessing orange, but during the night it's all about reflectives.
    Also remember that if the weather is bad, colour hardly matters. We did the coast-to-coast and the fog rolled in over Hartside Pass - couldn't see any riders hi-viz stuff. All you could see was the rear lights.
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  • monkimarkmonkimark Posts: 742
    I read a study on motorbike visibility that advised pink as the most visible hi-vis. I think it was based on the fact that yellow (and to a lesser extent orange) can blend into the background - pink offers better contrast against most backgrounds.
    WindowsLiveWriterHighVisibilityClothingRequirements_78FB3061436090_00dee33ca1_b_2.jpg
  • GreggyrGreggyr Posts: 1,075
    All the hi-viz colours are good. I also have my lights blinking during the day as well. At night, reflectives are the most important thing.
  • twoshotstwoshots Posts: 58
    I have a mostly rural commute and always use blue as it stands off the hedgerows quite well. Red is also good in this setting. Hi-viz yellow is often almost invisible.

    If I was commuting in an urban location I think any colour of hi-viz is good. For the average driver I think they'll leave you more room if you wear pink. (Funny thing sexism, huh?) For truck drivers etc they are probably used to looking for yellow/orange tabards.

    Lights and reflectives beats all colours in dark/dusk/dawn conditions.
  • bigmonkabigmonka Posts: 361
    In the rail industry we use orange as there was a study that showed it was more visible than yellow.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    Most of my cycling stuff seems to be based around RED. Largely on the basis that it still looks good but is high vis at the same time. I also remember from photography courses that the mind picks out red colours more quickly - something to do with instincts from the wild where red often signals danger, hence why red is used for warnings, traffic lights and brake lights (we were shown that if you take a landscape picture and there is someone in it with a red jacket, the eyes of a viewer are drawn to that part, which the photographer probably didnt notice when taking the picture).
  • mr_evilmr_evil Posts: 234
    Some points:
    • Red/orange/yellow may not be very visible at night due to the orangish tint of streetlighting.
    • Fluorescence doesn't work at night.
    • ~10% of the population are red-green colour blind.
    • Black is more conspicuous than hi-vis if the background is bright.
    In conclusion, it's not at all obvious what the best colour is, and it varies depending on the conditions.
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,015
    So what cycling cag should I get? Looking at altura night vision but they do a lot of colour options. Chose it for the built in led. Reckon if colour doesn't help then led flashing should help. Anything else at similar price? Or cheaper just as good. Is this cag any good? Got hi-viz colour but also reflective flashes too.
  • So what cycling cag should I get? Looking at altura night vision but they do a lot of colour options. Chose it for the built in led. Reckon if colour doesn't help then led flashing should help. Anything else at similar price? Or cheaper just as good. Is this cag any good? Got hi-viz colour but also reflective flashes too.

    I'd just choose the colour you prefer (I've got the Orange one). The Altura night vision is incredibly popular and is good value. Lots of reflectives for night riding which as has been said is more important than colour at night. It's not as breathable as more expensive Gortex offerings but I'm not that convinced any waterproof can stop you sweating if you are cycling hard. The Red one is the Evo model and more expensive so may or may not be better.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Making yourself more visible just increases the likelyhood that a WVM, back cabby, Addison Lee driver, BMW driver, bus driver (Insert other stereotype to preference) will target you, I'd go with full cammo so they can't!
  • arran77arran77 Posts: 9,260
    Like others say, during the day I would say that colour choice is all bout standing out from the colours around you while at night it's reflective surfaces rather than colour that are important.
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  • KarenyKareny Posts: 5
    I have a purple altura night vision jacket and I love it. Stands out enough in day time but really comes into its own at night - my flatmate won't ride behind me as it reflects his front light so much. Also it is the most breathable waterproof I've owned. Have the yellow lightweight windbreaker but never feel as visible so how as less reflection
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    Mr Evil wrote:
    Some points:
    • Red/orange/yellow may not be very visible at night due to the orangish tint of streetlighting.
    • Fluorescence doesn't work at night.
    • ~10% of the population are red-green colour blind.
    • Black is more conspicuous than hi-vis if the background is bright.
    In conclusion, it's not at all obvious what the best colour is, and it varies depending on the conditions.

    So what about a top that is multi coloured striped with all the above?!
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  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,271
    The Rookie wrote:
    Making yourself more visible just increases the likelyhood that a WVM, back cabby, Addison Lee driver, BMW driver, bus driver (Insert other stereotype to preference) will target you, I'd go with full cammo so they can't!

    Make it dazzle camo
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  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,015
    I commute along a single lane A-road leading to one of the first 5 cycling demonstration towns. It's cycling friendly and this road sees a lot of cycle use. It's a main cycle route and even on part of the main LEJOG route I think. Any regular road user will expect to pass a cyclist or two on the drive.
    This makes daylight visibility in warmer months less of an issue. Leaves night and low light (like tyre recent thunderstorm and torrential rain I was out in). I'm thinking reflectives will work best for those tunes.
    That leaves me with the question. Is the black night vision jacket less safe or visible at night or low light when drivers should have lights on? I'm a shrinking violet preferring black over yellow or orange. Any views?
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Black is a bad idea, cycle into the shadow of some summer trees on a sunny day and disappear, in summer I just wear a white or yellow t-shirt (base layer).....
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    I commute along a single lane A-road leading to one of the first 5 cycling demonstration towns. It's cycling friendly and this road sees a lot of cycle use. It's a main cycle route and even on part of the main LEJOG route I think. Any regular road user will expect to pass a cyclist or two on the drive.
    This makes daylight visibility in warmer months less of an issue. Leaves night and low light (like tyre recent thunderstorm and torrential rain I was out in). I'm thinking reflectives will work best for those tunes.
    That leaves me with the question. Is the black night vision jacket less safe or visible at night or low light when drivers should have lights on? I'm a shrinking violet preferring black over yellow or orange. Any views?

    If you dont want yellow or orange, go red as the next best thing - or red and black panels if you want to ensure some contrast. Thats what I do, as a fellow shrinking violet.
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