If you work on the road, at night, or in rough weather, you’ll need a safety vest to be seen. Helping to protect you from accidents, a high visibility vest is an important part of your work uniform, and one you’ll likely not want to forget.
When working in high-risk environments, you’ll need reflective gear, but not just any kind of gear will do. For professional use, your vest needs to be certified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) which has a critical eye for what’s acceptable and what’s not.
In this post, we’ll introduce you to the 5 best high visibility vests out there. Each one is a little different from the next, and depending on what you need to use it for, you’ll have to choose one certain type over another. We’ll walk you through the different types of safety vests first, then get into our top picks.
Types of Safety Vests
If you’re here searching for the best high visibility vests, then you already know that all safety vests made for professionals need to be ANSI-certified. Granted Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3 levels of visibility, depending on what your profession is and where you work, you’ll need to choose one over the other. Ahead, we’ll break down each class so you know exactly what you’re looking for.
Class 1 safety vests can be used in environments where traffic flow stays below 25 mph. Worn by those at low risk, they need to have a minimum of 155 square inches of reflective tape set against a fluorescent orange or yellow background. These are great for work in places away from main roadways like parking lots and warehouses.
These are the most common form of hi-viz vests you’ll see on the road. Designed with 360-degrees of reflective tape measuring 201 square inches around the shoulders, chest, and back, wearing one of these means you’ll be seen from all angles.
The vest itself needs to measure at least 755 square inches and be made from fluorescent materials. You’ll see Class 2 vests on airline ground crew, surveyors, and traffic guards.
Class 3 safety vests require 310 square inches of reflective tape to make a full outline of the person wearing them. Worn by those who work near traffic speeds above 50 mph, it’s also necessary for anyone working in low visibility conditions.
Just as there are t-shirt brands, there are a ton of brands that make high visibility vests. Choosing the right one comes down to quality and fit. To make your life a little easier, we’ve put together a list of the 5 best high visibility vests and the brands behind them.
Keep in mind that hi-vis vests come in all shapes, sizes, and thicknesses. Not all of them are designed for professional use, so if you’re using in on the job, you’ll need to make sure it’s ANSI-certified.
1. Kwik Safety ANSI Class 2 Safety Vest
This high visibility vest made our list because of the number of pockets it has. Equipped with 10 deluxe pockets, it’s made from 100% polyester hi-vis neon fabric. Kwik Safety is known for its lightweight, breathable, and well-made vests for men and women, and this one is no exception.
Featuring a durable zipper that closes easily with a pull tab, it has a two-tone fluorescent yellow and orange contrast with a 2” silver radian for enhanced visibility. Delivering 360 degrees of visibility, it’s ideal for use during the day or night.
2. DeWALT Heavy Duty Class 2 Safety Vest
DeWALT is a highly respected name in the safety equipment and tool game, offering high-quality, well-made products that companies turn to and trust. This vest made our list of the 5 best high visibility vests because of its heavy-duty design. Compliant with ANSI Class 2 safety specifications, it’s made from extremely durable materials with a smooth, sturdy zipper.
Featuring reflective strips that stretch across the back to the front of the vest, it has a simple pocket design with one large chest pocket and one utility compartment for items that require easy access.
3. JKSafety 9 Pocket Hi Visibility Vest
JKSafety is known for its affordable high visibility vests, and this 9-pocket wonder landed on our list because of its low price and high value. Made from polyester and hi-vis reflective tape, it delivers 360-degrees of visibility and is both Class 1 and 2 compliant.
With a slim-fitting design, it can be worn by both men and women and comes in a range of fluorescent colours including yellow, orange, green, and pink. Since it’s incredibly lightweight and breathable, you won’t feel it during the day, but you’ll enjoy the space that 9 pockets provide for all of your daily essentials.
4. Dib Safety Class 2 Heavy Duty
This Dib Safety pick landed in our top 5 because it’s one of the highest-scoring vests of all time. Why? Because it’s incredibly well-made, featuring a high-quality reinforced zipper with interior webbing, reinforced pockets with tight stitching, and is made for heavy-duty use.
Along with large Velcro pockets to prevent items from falling out and finished with 3M reflective tape with retro-reflective lenses, this high-quality vest is made to be seen and stands up to whatever you can throw at it. As for what you can put in it, two lower outside pockets expand and adjust to keep things secure while a heavy-duty left chest pocket is perfect for frequently used items. This Dib Safety vest meets all Class 2 standards set out by ANSI.
5. AdirPRO Safety Vest
Our top pick for the best orange high visibility vests, the AdirPRO vest comes with 8 large front pockets to fit your essentials and tools for the job. Along with an expanding strap and five inside pockets, it also has a two-way pocket for blueprints, and a split compartment for pencils. In other words, it’s well equipped to handle everything you need.
Promising 360-degrees of visibility, the vest meets Class 2 specifications set out by ANSI and is a top pick thanks to its breathable and comfortable fit. Made with a mesh backing and reinforced paddle collar, the vest works well in all kinds of weather.