I don’t use earbuds when running with my children, I think it is a dangerous distraction and my scary incident a couple of weeks ago just reinforced my decision that headphones and stroller running does not mix for me. That doesn’t mean I haven’t secretly wished for years that there was another option besides headphones or earbuds for my stroller runs. I’ve researched many different types of speaker devices that I could attach to the stroller but never found one that I really wanted or thought was worth the expense. So up until now I ran music less and asked my children to sing me songs during particularly hard miles.
There had to be something that would allow me to listen to music but also allow me to hear the sounds of nature and my surroundings. So I did what any runner would do and GOOGLED the heck out of it – what I stumbled upon was a coming called Road Noise. They had a reflective safety vest that had built in speakers!
The vest was created out of the no headphone rule that Hood To Coast instated.
If you have not run Hood To Coast before then you may not know that this rule is not an OVERLOOKED rule as in many other road races where it is banned. Use of headhphones can get your team kicked out of the event.
Many of the legs of the race are run on the side of the road. The three legs I had last year were completely on the side of the road. My night time leg was not run against traffic. I literally had one of the speediest runs of my life because I was running SCARED the entire time. I knew that there had been runner casualities during relay events before and being that I am a. a rule follower and b. paranoid – I literally was terrified of having cars come from behind me and fly by on my left. It didn’t feel right. TO wear headphones in such a circumstance would have been DOWNRIGHT dangerous.
A team of runner’s still want to listen to music but didn’t want to break the rules – so they started getting crafty and made a reflective vest with speakers. The first version was bulky but it gave them an idea. Maybe other runner’s wanted to run with music also but knew the rules didn’t allow headphones.
Road Noise began as a solution to their specific Hood To Coast Relay race issue but is now something that can benefits others. You can listen to music and still hear your breathe, your footsteps, a car coming in the distance, birds chirping or little people talking to you.
Verdict: It ss a MUST HAVE for stroller running mommies or relay participants. I think that if it fits into your budget it’s also a nice item for any runner. I ran 11 miles a couple of weekends ago using the vest rather than headphones and I loved the ability to feel like I was part of nature but also have some background music to pump me up during those hard miles. I also liked that I had on a reflective vest. Yes I did sort of feel a little bit geeky running with a vest on when it was day time but overall I felt safer.
- Make sure you buy the correct size. Don’t size up or give yourself extra room. The vest needs to fit snugly in order for the speakers to lay flat and not bounce.
- I always order gender neutral colors in case someone else wants to borrow my stuff. I started this habit when I realized that if I bought all pink stuff for baby #1 then if I had a boy for baby #2 I would need to buy a new carseat, stroller, etc. When I ended up having a boy for #2 I was VERY happy I had bought gender neutral for most of my big baby items.
- The large vest weighs in at 6.8oz. The vest didn’t seem bulky or heavy to me.
- You can buy them online at www.roadnoise.com or you can visit their list of retail locations to see if there is one near you
- The vest is $79.95. I think it’s worth the cost and not something you will end up wish you hadn’t wasted your money on.
- It comes in three colors, hot pink, black and lime green [that is the color I am wearing in the picture].
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Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Road Noise was not guaranteed a positive product review. I was given the vest at no charge.