Review: ArroWhere reflective cycling jacket

Back at Interbike in September, RL ran across the ArroWhere company. Their product line “caught our eye”, as they say — with bright colors and loads of reflective accents for nighttime safety.

We reached out the the ArroWhere company and they sent us a pre-production sample of their Solid Arrow Reflective Jacket to try out. Remember, this is a pre-production sample, so minor details have changed from the actual version for sale. We’ll get into those changes in a bit.

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First, a bit about the jacket directly from the manufacturer’s website:

-Waterproof and breathable polyester fabric
-Top quality 3M reflective material
-Patent pending ArroWhere arrow design visible at night at least 1/4 mile away
-Lower tail
-Reflective panels and striping
-Fleece lined collar and pockets
-Waterproof zippers
-Zippered armpit vents

The ArroWhere jacket has an extended tail to help fight off splashes. The arms are extra long to provide coverage when stretched out on the bike — a perfect length for me. The jacket has a fine mesh lining to help it breathe. I got a size medium to test, and while it feels a little bit large when I’m standing around, it conforms nicely to me when I’m actually on the bike. There is room for underlayers, too.

The jacket has a fleece-lined collar with a protective zipper garage that prevents throat gouges when it’s zipped up all the way. The handwarmer pockets are lined in the same luxurious fleece, too — great for when your hands need a quick warmup. All the zippers are waterproof and easy to manipulate on or off the bike, including the generously long pit zips for venting excess heat:

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The cuffs have a hook-and-loop adjustment system that snugs them up nicely to prevent wind intrusion:

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This jacket is LOADED with reflective accents. The large arrow on the back gives other road users a good visual indication of what to do when approaching, and the arrow is available pointing right for users in the UK and other areas where driving on the left is the norm. The rest of the reflective trim catches the light nicely. I would have liked reflective cuffs here, though, to help make my arm-motion directional signals more visible out on the roads.

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Now, about the changes in the final jacket: I spoke to Khyle Pinkman, the founder of the company. He said that the production jacket fabric demonstrates better waterproofing than the sample we tested, and also is nicer in terms of overall fabric quality. I did not get to try this out in the wet (yet), so I can’t make any claims about the fabric on this sample.

In addition to safety yellow, the jacket is available in high-visibility orange and in navy blue. It is available in sizes from S to XXL, and female riders rejoice, because there is a wide range of women’s sizes, too! The jacket retails for $129.95, which is right at the price point many similar jackets with fewer features live at. That makes it a good value in my book.

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For my purposes, the jacket is nearly perfect as-is. It helps keep me warm, there’s room for clothing underneath, and the reflective accents are effective at night. Add in the details like the fleece linings and trim and we’ve got a winner here. As I mentioned, if there was more reflective at the cuffs, I’d call it PERFECT.

Check out the full range of ArroWhere jackets by visiting their website. They make reflective vests and backpack covers with the same quality and patent-pending reflective design for additional nighttime safety and visibility on dark streets.

Please click here to read our review disclaimer as required by the Federal Trade Commission.


19 Comments

  1. Raiyn November 16, 2014 8:53 pm 

    Nice to see that there are still some companies looking out for us Clydesdales

  2. Barry The World's Greatest Bear November 17, 2014 10:24 pm 

    That jacket is cool, both as just spelled – with a ‘c’, and in your less grammatically conventional ‘k’ spellings. I know. I know kool just as well as I know cool, and I know cool.

    Stay Cool,
    Barry The World’s Greatest Bear
    Shameless Shill at http://www.bikeandarrows.com

  3. JohnnyK November 18, 2014 7:22 am 

    I guess if you’re a roadie you may like such a garment for your morning exercise routine if it is cold enough where you live. Does it come in black or camo? Have they tested it in Florida or anywhere here in the deep south? You can’t make a claim that it will keep a person cool until you tested it in a hot and humid climate. Also why must we have specially made clothing to ride to work? Don’t you use lights on your bike? It looks like a road sign and how many times have you seen road signs knocked over with tire tracks on them. As a daily commuter I want clothes that look and feel like well normal. These jackets are never breathable enough to keep someone from sweating here in Florida even in the 2 weeks or so that it gets below 40°F. Also I have come to the conclusion that waterproof and breathable is an oxymoron they shouldn’t be used in the same sentence. I think these companies that make this stuff is really out of touch with the daily bike commuter. A nice blazer made of wool and/or canvas maybe add some reflective piping to it would be something to write about. This jacket just screams “Hey Motorist I know you see me so harass me!” and that is exactly what will happen. As motorist pass you even if your in a bike lane motorist will be blowing their horn at you. See where I live you could ride the whole week not wearing the jacket and not a peep out of a single car until the day you wear bright loud clothing then nothing but horns blowing. Sorry but this does not look like a bike commuter jacket to me.

  4. Ghost Rider November 18, 2014 8:04 am 

    @JohnnyK — where did you get the idea that the jacket “will keep a person cool”? This is obviously a fall/winter jacket, tested in conditions that are suitable for such a garment (currently 18 degrees where I live). Sure, many commuters want to be able to wear regular clothing, but for people who commute at night (like me), EVERY visibility advantage is a boon. Lights, reflectives, carefully-chosen routes, etc. This is emphatically NOT a Florida jacket, except for those odd times up in the north of the state where frosty air makes a cameo appearance.

  5. Khyle Pinkman November 18, 2014 8:14 pm 

    My name is Khyle Pinkman. I am the president and co-founder of ArroWhere Equipment Inc.

    First, I want to thank Jack for the kind review concerning our ArroWhere Single Solid Arrow Reflective Jacket. Everything he mentioned in his review reflects exactly how we designed this jacket and intended its use. It is a product designed for commuters by commuters. We have a couple bike commuters in the company who ride to and from work 365 days a year – and that is in Western Canada where we get a fair bit of snow and some frigid cold temperatures. Our commuters tend to wear the jacket during fall and winter (layers are sometimes necessary) and when they don’t require the extra warmth, they either use the backpack cover with their pack or one of our lighter jackets or garments. These commuters wished to see changes to the typical cycling jacket such as the longer and slightly larger sleeves, fleece-lined pockets, longer tail, and more.

    With respect to the comments made by ‘JohnnyK,’ I respect and value his opinion of our product, but I want to make it clear that we are not suggesting our products are the ‘be all to end all’ in safety gear. ArroWhere products are designed as preventative measures to increase your security through greater visibility as well as to provide tacit communication to other road users such that they would not have to give a second thought to whether the cyclist was a cyclist, road sign, or another obstacle. They would move over and/or make sure to give plenty of room to the Arrow as, generally speaking, no one hits an arrow.
    We still encourage cyclists and others to use lights as an extra measure of security. But as you will acknowledge, even strong bicycle lights may not be sufficient to help others see you in low-light and/or full dark situations.

    Some of you may know someone who has been hit while cycling. I know we do. Every story I have heard from a person who was hit involved a vehicle operator who did not see the cyclist or was distracted. The person I know who was hit is now testing one of our products. He was excited when we asked him to test it for us because, just like Ghost Rider suggests, “EVERY visibility advantage is a boon.”

    I want to add that a close friend of mine has terrible eye sight. She has had surgery on both eyes and one eye is much worse than the other. She is not legally blind but is still able to hold a driver’s license (she has not had an accident since the 90’s). She drives to and from work every day and usually in the dark. Her comment to me was that normal cyclists with normal reflective gear and lights are difficult to differentiate from other lights on the road (including traffic going the other way) and that if they were wearing ArroWhere products, she would have a better time determining what they were because she is able to see the ArroWhere Arrow more clearly and would know exactly how to maneuver around the user.

    Finally, with respect to those who are in warmer climates (such as JohnnyK), I do know people down in Florida and have asked for their opinion on the matter and our products. They know exactly what JohnnyK is referring to and some of their comments are that they wish people would actually wear MORE reflective gear so that they would be seen at night. In particular, runners often wear no reflective gear yet prefer to run at night when it is cooler. They are difficult to spot in the low-light and dark settings with their dark clothing and it becomes scary for these drivers because they never know what or who is around the next bend. The same, however, does go for cyclists.

    ArroWhere offers a wide range of options for people in all different climates. We started with cyclists, but are quickly focusing on runners, pedestrians, and anyone else who shares the streets and bike paths right down to a child going to and from school.

    If you have any questions or further inquiries concerning ArroWhere products, please visit http://www.arrowhere.com or send us an email at info@arrowhere.com.

  6. Raiyn November 18, 2014 10:05 pm 

    When a shill calls HIMSELF out: THAT gets some props from me. Nice stuff on the site too Barry

  7. Idaho Spud November 19, 2014 8:53 am 

    That looks like a pretty sweet jacket, from this rider’s saddle.

    Thoughts:
    – I agree with Ghost Rider… it would be nice to have reflectors on the backs of the arms, or wrists, to make nighttime turn signals more visible.
    – That backside company logo is HUGE! If I’m providing that level of high-profile advertising, I’d want FREE clothes!
    – Zipper. It’s nice that it has a waterproof zipper, but I’d find a durable zipper even more appealing. My experience with jackets and such is… the chintzy zipper is often the first thing that fails.
    – Waterproof/breathable? It’s a great objective to shoot for, but I believe there will always be a tradeoff. Since I rarely find myself riding in “biblical” rainfall, I’m generally willing to sacrifice a bit of “waterproof” if I don’t feel like I’m wearing a trash bag, and generating my own humidity.

  8. Ghost Rider November 19, 2014 9:45 am 

    @Idaho Spud — the mesh lining (a full lining, sleeves included) prevents things from feeling clammy, as the shell floats over that mesh.

    There are THREE large logos on this jacket. That’s about standard for lots of cycling gear these days — free advertising that verges on NASCAR saturation 😉

  9. Larry Graham November 19, 2014 11:59 am 

    I’d like to see arrows on the sleeves for signaling turns.

  10. E A November 19, 2014 4:29 pm 

    +1 for arrows on the sleeves for indicating turns. 🙂

    Looks like a good hi-vis jacket. I’ve worn through the waterproof coating on more than 2 jackets and have yet to get a new one. I’d give this one a try.

  11. TBR November 20, 2014 12:57 am 

    OK, that jacket has a lot of potential.

    The big arrow on the back — I’ve not seen anything like that except on safety vests.

    Nice review.

  12. Mike Myers November 20, 2014 4:14 am 

    Looks like a well-designed jacket, but the large logo on the chest is a bit much for me. Why not a smaller, more discrete logo?

  13. Philip November 20, 2014 7:06 am 

    I wonder if they have variant sizes to fit most people? It looks really good.

  14. Idaho Spud November 20, 2014 1:38 pm 

    JohnnyK: … why must we have specially made clothing to ride to work? Don’t you use lights on your bike? … This jacket just screams “Hey Motorist I know you see me so harass me!” and that is exactly what will happen.

    Interesting point of view. And, Johnny rides in Florida – I know that statistically it’s one of the more deadly states, bike fatalities per mile.

    There are two types of visibility gear, active and passive. Active would be your lights, flashers, beacons, etc. Obviously they are most effective in non-bright-daylight conditions. Passive is “light-colored or bright” clothing, reflectors, etc. It can be effective in all lighting conditions… although it would not be a substitute for lights at night. You can go with one, or the other, or both.

    For five years or so, I’ve done pretty much 100% of my cycling (and motorcycling) with obnoxiously-bright dayglo gear. In the winter, it’s a jacket. In the summer, it’s often just a mesh vest over my t-shirt or whatever. Overkill? Maybe? But when I look down at my screaming yellow jacket or vest in the dawn’s early light and it looks BRIGHT… I feel better about venturing into traffic. The demographics of Idaho and Florida road-goers may be worlds apart… I’m happy to say I can’t remember a time I’ve been harassed about my choice of outerwear.

    I’ve got this theory. If motorists see you, there’s a 99.5% chance they will NOT deliberately run into you. If they don’t see you, all bets are off!

    If – heaven forbid! – I end up squished like a squirrel on the highway while bicycling, I want the perp to feel really REALLY stupid when telling the attending officer, “I didn’t see him!”

  15. JohnnyK December 1, 2014 8:59 am 

    Okay everyone it seems to me that this jacket was being sold as rain gear. The issue here in Florida is that the rain gear that the bicycle industry makes is only for colder areas and is not being made for warmer climates. As far as looking like a banana going down the road that is your prerogative. I just shared my experience is all. It happened to me even if you don’t agree. I think I could be sweating by butt off even in 18 degrees with this thing on. Then again I probably would not be riding as fast in 18 degree weather especially since I’m from Florida. I still think more natural fibers would be better and would be more breathable. A good sweater is probably better than anything I have ever worn in the freezing cold. Anyway to each his own. I still think proper lighting is better than anything reflective even during dawn and sunset. People with reflective clothing still get run over just as people with lights. I don’t think it really matters. To me the best protection is good urban cycling skills and a good mirror. However just like in the game of Fogger no one is 100% safe on the roads. After all you can’t see day-glow when your about to miss that telephone call or that all important LOL text while driving. If cars hit cars because they didn’t see them they will hit cyclist too no matter what you wear and I think that was my point you might as well just wear something comfortable and practical. I think you are safer when you are comfortable riding. Anyway opinions are like A-holes we all have them. Be safe out there no matter what you wear.

  16. James January 3, 2015 2:18 pm 

    I’ve always found it quite hard to find a hi-vis jacket that actually looks good, but this one actually looks quite cool.

  17. Atticus January 10, 2015 4:10 pm 

    Excellent jacket. The color and reflective material are perfect for visibility. To be honest, these are the only colors/materials a cyclist should use when they go out biking.

  18. brent February 13, 2015 3:06 pm 

    same models just
    “***Now comes with ArroWhere Arrow along the sleeves for extra visibility and visibility when signaling to turn.”
    apparently somebody listened to the review and made the jacket “PERFECT”

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