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Nighttime visibility is often an afterthought in cycling apparel, either achieved through fluorescent colors, reflective accents, or simply lacking entirely. Even the better kits with reflectivity still tend to skimp on coverage, leaving those who often find themselves riding early or chasing the sun home wishing for something more. Luckily, Soomom has solved the low-light kit woes, creating the best reflective cycling apparel on the market in the Reflective Bibs and Jersey.
Pros: Black but fully reflective
Cons: Drop tail design requires a lower than usual back
In VeloNews’ comparison of 28 different drop tail bibs, Soomom’s Pro Reflective Bib scored a 5/5 for the grippers, straps, seams, material, and ease of use. The grippers are built into the leg panels, so they’re comfortable and sausage leg is unlikely; the straps are smooth and seamless, and black so they are less likely to show through lighter jerseys; the seams are finely stitched and had no loose threads on arrival; and the material is a stand-out feature.
Literally. The 80 percent polyamide, 20 percent elastane bib fabric reflects light all the way around — something so simple, yet almost impossible to find from any other company. The closest thing I’ve managed to find in production are bibs with reflective panels and accents, whereas the base fabric for Soomom is fully reflective.
The chamois is very good: it has three different densities, and feels correctly positioned for me. I have no worries choosing these for an early-morning to late-night ride. The Elastic Interface chamois and bib material are both Okeo-Tex certified (meaning it contains no chemicals harmful to riders or the planet). In the aforementioned bib comparison, Soomom was one of only two top-ranking bibs that cost $180 or less.
Taking the drop tail, responsible manufacturing, unique reflectivity, and most importantly a quality stitching and fit into consideration, Soomom’s women’s pro reflective bibs are both well-made and versatile enough to be the only bibs you own, if you’re a one-bib rider. And yes, they come in men’s as well.
Pros: Great new alternative to high-viz colors
Cons: No zip pocket
During the day, this appears to be just a standard, if well thought out, modern jersey: white material that has some kind of design on the pockets where smudges are likely to appear, race cut with zipper garages top and bottom, three deep pockets, and raw-edge sleeves. But at night, the jersey sleeves and the blue back panel flash white in headlights. A challenge to photograph, but a rare, cool, and functional feature.
This jersey is well-done visibility apparel: it doesn’t rely on fluorescent colors or reflective accents smaller than a credit card (like most “high viz” or “reflective” kit). It may not be an entirely unique piece like the bibs, but it’s definitely one of the best reflective jerseys on the market. The vast majority of other companies use iron-ons instead of reflective fabric; a few use thread, and fewer still use whole reflective panels. If you’re looking for a jersey with the largest reflective surface — something more likely to be visible at a distance in the dark — then this is one of the best, if not the best, options out there. Or, if you’re just looking for a nice jersey, this fits the bill, which is exactly why it’s perfect for what it does.
Pros: Bright reflectivity on the bands
Cons: Only the two stripes are reflective
Rarely do I mention socks, but these round out the Soomom Reflective collection, and are easily visible at a distance in the dark. The classic two-stripe mid-calf sock comes in 11 different colors, to complement the entire Soomom line. Considering “cycling socks” are often $20 or so, $25 socks that serve some functional purpose outside of advertising the brand are worth a nod. And of course, if they weren’t comfortable on my size 44 feet, I wouldn’t even mention them: the 92 percent polyester, 8 percent nylon material is supportive in the calf and heel but not constricting at the toes.