Bontrager Hi-Vis

Spring 2017 Women’s Product Picks: Fi’zi:k, Giro, Mavic, Bontrager, Lumos and Topical Edge

by Anne-Marije Rook

May 4, 2017

It’s been a long and dreary winter and spring for many North Americans as the rainy months just kept going and going. But now that spring weather is finally here (kinda), Ella editor Anne-Marije Rook has been able to put in some outside miles and test some new and fun product.

She’s been rotating through various shoes, helmets and apparel while fighting off muscle fatigue with Topical Edge. A lifestyle cyclist first and foremost, Rook has been riding around the city in the dark hours to test the visibility of Bontrager’s safety apparel as well as the crowd-funded Aster commuter backpack.

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Bontrager Hi-Vis

Bontrager Goes Hi-Vis

by VeloClub

Safety is the number one deterrent that keeps people from road cycling, and for women especially. As people on bikes, we are among the most vulnerable users on the road and all too often, the onus is us to make sure we are seen.

This is an area that Trek and Bontrager have been focusing on a lot in recent years, and CEO John Burke told Ella CyclingTips that he believes safety the biggest factor in the declining interest in road cycling.

To do their part in making road cycling safer, Bontrager has a range of high-vis apparel and accessories to ensure riders are seen during the day, in low light and at night.

We previously reviewed the highly reflective Meraj Halo S1 softshell women’s jacket, and we were impressed. Now, adding some warm weather to their hi-vis “Halo” line, we reviewed the Meraj Halo women’s short sleeve jersey and shorts.

Daytime visibility, night time reflectivity

When you’re on the road, the worst thing you can do as a cyclist is to blend in with your environment. The more you stand out, the more likely drivers and other road users are going to see you and take caution.

To do this, Bontrager’s Halo line uses a combination of fluorescent colours, distinct patterns and reflectivity to be as disruptive as possible.

The Halo line uses a fluorescent yellow as its base colour. Fluorescent colours work in that they absorb UV radiation and reflect it back, appearing brighter than other colours around them. However, when the sun goes down, the fluorescent colours will no longer appear as bright and so all items in the Halo series also feature several well-placed reflective elements. Finally, Bontrager makes use of disruptive patterns, contrasting light and dark colours, to ensure visibility from various angles and distances.

Bontrager Meraj Halo

The Meraj Halo Women’s Short Sleeve Jersey

As the top-of-the-line item, the Meraj jersey is the most performance-oriented jersey featuring  highly technical fabrics, an on-the-bike streamlined body fit with a drop tail and powerband gripper at the bottom hem.

The jersey also sports a full zipper and mesh panels for temperature control. And for storage, the Meraj features three decently sized open back pockets and one zippered sweat-proof pocket for your electronics and valuables.

Merging reflectivity with premium materials, the jersey’s main fabric is a blend of Bontrager’s Profila quick drying fabric featuring Pixel reflective technology to offer the visibility benefits while still prioritising performance.

Superbly breathable, the jersey performs well in a variety of temperatures and remained comfortable even on long days in the saddle. I was most impressed, however, with the stylish design of the jersey. Unlike most neon apparel, I didn’t find the jersey overwhelming in appearance. This is largely due to the strategic placements and patterns of the reflective elements to break up the neon.

I also really like the large reflective pannels on the back pockets and hems for ease of mind when riding in the dark.

Price: $174.99 USD
Bontrager Halo Hi Vis

The Meraj Halo Women’s Shorts

The Meraj Halo women’s short offers the quality fit and comfort we’ve come to know of the Meraj line with the added safety details of the Halo series.

Like the jersey, the shorts feature Bontrager’s Profila Power main material featuring pixel reflective technology and clever reflective elements and patterns to make you stand out.

Personally, I prefer bib shorts because there’s no tight waistband or the dreaded “muffin top”, they stay in place, and generally provide more coverage and compression. Especially now that nature break bibs are becoming more common, I see little argument to not wear bib shorts.

With that said, I do find Bontrager’s line of bib-less shorts to be surprisingly comfortable. The use of a wide “yoga style” band prevents the dreaded muffin top and does an adequate job at keeping the shorts in place. I’m also a fan of the longer 8.5” (22cm) inseam.

The Meraj shorts offer the same quality features as its bib shorts version, including the compression, pinchless grippers and comfortable chamois.

Price: $159.99 USD