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The Best Safety Vest - 2022

Last updated on January 6, 2022
Best Safety Vest

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Our Picks For The Top Safety Vests

Show Contents
Our Take
  Top Pick

PeerBasics Unisex 360 High-Vis Reflective Safety Vests, 10-Pack

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

PeerBasics

Unisex 360 High-Vis Reflective Safety Vests, 10-Pack

Overall Take

Great for TeamsYou receive 10 vests included in this set, letting you equip an entire team of workers.

  Runner Up

JKSafety Zippered 9-Pocket High-Vis Certified Safety Vest, 1-Pack

JKSafety

Zippered 9-Pocket High-Vis Certified Safety Vest, 1-Pack

Overall Take

Portable OptionThis is a vest you can fold up and take with you without worrying about wrinkling.

  We Also Like

GripGlo 6-Pocket Double-Reflective Safety Vest, 1-Pack

GripGlo

6-Pocket Double-Reflective Safety Vest, 1-Pack

Overall Take

Ideal for Safety WorkersA lightweight build and well-designed pockets make this a good option for first responders.

  Strong Contender

HYCOPROT 5-Pocket Reflective Standard-Approved Mesh Safety Vest, 1-Pack

HYCOPROT

5-Pocket Reflective Standard-Approved Mesh Safety Vest, 1-Pack

Overall Take

Show Your IndividualityThis vest is available in multiple color options if you have the flexibility to choose your look.

Guide written by Stephanie Faris
Last updated on January 6, 2022

You might be in the market for a safety vest for any number of reasons. In some settings, safety vests are mandated. If one isn’t provided to you, you may have a list of specifications to follow while you’re shopping. Some employers require a particular color or only vests that meet certain safety standards.

But you don’t need an employer mandate to benefit from the visibility a safety vest provides. If you find yourself working in conditions that are unsafe, you can always purchase your own safety vest. You might also choose to wear a vest for your daily run or bicycle ride. Motorcyclists sometimes wear safety vests to make themselves more visible on the road.

The most important feature of a safety vest is its reflectiveness. Generally, safety vests are made from polyester or a polyester cotton blend and come in bright fluorescent colors like day-glo orange or yellow. But they’ll typically also have reflective strips that capture the light from passing cars or the streetlights above. These vests don’t just boost visibility at night, though. The reflective strips and bright colors can help passing motorists spot you even in broad daylight, whether the day is cloudy or sunny.

Look for a certification issued by the American National Standards Institute. ANSI certification ensures a vest meets at least the minimum standard of being resistant to water and flames and has reflective features in the required areas. But even if you’re shopping for a vest for personal use, ANSI certification can give you an additional boost of confidence.

For the workplace, you’ll likely need to look for a vest that meets ANSI/ISEA 107-2010 Class 2/Level 2 standards. Class 1 vests are best for daylight settings, as they have very little reflective material. Class 3 safety clothing is designed for very poor visibility settings and high-traffic areas and generally has long sleeves.

Lastly, there’s the issue of sizing. Some manufacturers promise that one size fits all, but a vest that works well for a large-framed man will not provide the same fit on a youth or a small-framed person. Check the measurements and look for a vest that has multiple size options.

The Best Safety Vests

1
  Top Pick

PeerBasics Unisex 360 High-Vis Reflective Safety Vests, 10-Pack

Silver strips and a bright fluorescent color give you 360-degree visibility anytime with this mesh vest, which comes in a 10-pack. The size is XL, but one size fits all (other sizes are available from the company). It features an easy-off, easy-on Velcro closure.

Features


Specifications

Brand
PeerBasics
Model
2
  Runner Up

JKSafety Zippered 9-Pocket High-Vis Certified Safety Vest, 1-Pack

Made from 100% polyester and high-visibility reflective material for 360-degree protection, this vest is breathable and durable. Toss it in the washing machine for quick, easy cleanup. It also features nine front pockets with Velcro closures.

Features


Specifications

Brand
JKSafety
Model
3
  We Also Like

GripGlo 6-Pocket Double-Reflective Safety Vest, 1-Pack

If you prefer a zipper closure, check out at this safety vest, which is lightweight and has orange trim for extra visibility. You’ll also get six multifunctional pockets, each with its own Velcro closure. One even accommodates a radio antenna.

Features


Specifications

Brand
GripGlo
Model
4
  Strong Contender

HYCOPROT 5-Pocket Reflective Standard-Approved Mesh Safety Vest, 1-Pack

With zipper closure and 100% polyester fabric, this reflective mesh vest with 360-degree protection is both lightweight and long-lasting. You’ll get five pockets, including a transparent ID badge holder and a pouch for your flashlight.

Features


Specifications

Brand
HYCOPROT
Model
5
  Also Great

SULWZM Multiplied-Visibility Cross-Back Safety Vest, 1-Pack

The reflective strip in the back of this bright orange, zippered vest has a cross pattern for extra visibility and protection. There are four pockets for your belongings. It's made from comfortable, 100% polyester lightweight mesh.

Features


Specifications

Brand
SULWZM
Model

Our Safety Vest Buying Guide

You might be in the market for a safety vest for any number of reasons. In some settings, safety vests are mandated. If one isn’t provided to you, you may have a list of specifications to follow while you’re shopping. Some employers require a particular color or only vests that meet certain safety standards.

But you don’t need an employer mandate to benefit from the visibility a safety vest provides. If you find yourself working in conditions that are unsafe, you can always purchase your own safety vest. You might also choose to wear a vest for your daily run or bicycle ride. Motorcyclists sometimes wear safety vests to make themselves more visible on the road.

The most important feature of a safety vest is its reflectiveness. Generally, safety vests are made from polyester or a polyester cotton blend and come in bright fluorescent colors like day-glo orange or yellow. But they’ll typically also have reflective strips that capture the light from passing cars or the streetlights above. These vests don’t just boost visibility at night, though. The reflective strips and bright colors can help passing motorists spot you even in broad daylight, whether the day is cloudy or sunny.

Look for a certification issued by the American National Standards Institute. ANSI certification ensures a vest meets at least the minimum standard of being resistant to water and flames and has reflective features in the required areas. But even if you’re shopping for a vest for personal use, ANSI certification can give you an additional boost of confidence.

For the workplace, you’ll likely need to look for a vest that meets ANSI/ISEA 107-2010 Class 2/Level 2 standards. Class 1 vests are best for daylight settings, as they have very little reflective material. Class 3 safety clothing is designed for very poor visibility settings and high-traffic areas and generally has long sleeves.

Lastly, there’s the issue of sizing. Some manufacturers promise that one size fits all, but a vest that works well for a large-framed man will not provide the same fit on a youth or a small-framed person. Check the measurements and look for a vest that has multiple size options.

DWYM Fun Fact

It’s not surprising that a workplace accident led to the invention of high-visibility clothing. Reflective clothing’s history goes all the way back to 1930, when Bob Spitzer was working at the H.J. Heinz Company warehouse in Berkeley, California, while in med school. As he was unloading tomatoes from a freight car one day, he fell, seriously injuring his skull and optic nerve.

The accident put Spitzer in a coma, and when he awoke, he discovered he’d suffered severe damage to his vision that would end his dreams of becoming a medical professional. During his recovery, though, he spent time helping his brother Joe experiment with ultraviolet light for his magic show. This research allowed them to identify substances with fluorescent properties that didn’t require a backlight to glow. They then mixed this with shellac to create a paint that worked on any surface. In fact, the brothers tested their concoction on Bob’s wife’s wedding dress, which became the first item of high-visibility clothing.

The brothers used their innovation to paint fabric panels, buoys that marked the locations of explosives and even aircraft carrier landing pads for the U.S. government in the runup to World War II. This eventually led to the creation of their company, The Day-Glo Brothers, and the eventual use of substances to create high-visibility safety garments.

The Safety Vest Tips and Advice

  • You can wear a safety vest over your jacket or coat in the winter, but you might consider a long-sleeved safety jacket instead for maximum protection that will also keep you warm and dry.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and ANSI define three classes of safety vests. The one that’s best for you will likely depend on the level of safety you need. Classes 1 and 2 may both be sleeveless, but Class 2 has more reflective material, providing extra visibility from every direction. If you’re dealing with traffic of 25 mph or more, Class 2 vests or jackets are recommended. Class 3 clothing, such as jackets, have the most reflective coverage area of all the safety vests, including strips on the sleeves (and at the ankles, for pants). Class 3 vests are recommended when you’re dealing with traffic going 50 mph or faster and low-visibility conditions.
  • How the vest fastens is important if you’ll be donning your vest in a hurry. This can be a matter of personal preference, but typically safety vests will close with Velcro or a single zipper. Chances are, you won’t want to deal with buttons or multiple fasteners if you need to be able to put it on quickly.
  • If you need a vest to offer some extra security for your children while they’re walking or riding bicycles, safety vests are available in children’s sizes.
  • If you don’t always wear your vest all day, you might need to fold it and keep it in your glove compartment or the pocket of your lunchbox. If so, look for a vest that’s more lightweight and made of a polyester material that won’t wrinkle.
  • Machine washability is essential for most workers. Polyester is machine-washable on its own, but you’ll need to pay attention to the care instructions to make sure the reflective material can hold up in the machine. To play it safe, hang the vest to dry.

About The Author

Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and professional writer. She lives in a beautiful one-acre home in the suburbs on the outskirts of Nashville. Her home and garden work has appeared on popular home sites. She's a true homebody and loves looking at new houses for sale for inspiration on her own home remodeling projects.