Saturday, March 12, 2011

FlashBak Review - Part 1

Recently, the cool people at FlashBak sent me one of their products to take for a spin. Last night, I gave the FlashBak my first test. I went for a night run wearing the FlashBak wrapped around my arm. I thought that this would give me visibility from at least three sides rather than just the back, which would make sense for riding a bike on the road, but I wanted to be seen by cars on all sides for my run.

The FlashBak

Clipped to itself to wear on my arm

Setting the FlashBak up was easy. The small attachment clips look like toothy alligator mouths and will grip securely onto clothing, bags, bike luggage, and even the FlashBak itself. The battery pack slips easily into a bag or pocket. The main power switch is on the battery pack, but a secondary on/off switch clips onto your body wherever you find convenient to easily start and stop the flashing. The switch itself flashes, so you can see whether it’s on even if the whole FlashBak light array is on your back. Its construction also appears to be water resistant (though I haven’t tested it).

Little alligator clip - these things are strong!

The first thing I noticed when running with the FlashBak was that I could see the lights reflecting off of surfaces around me – the pavement, the snow, street signs, windows. I saw a few heads turn – in and out of cars – so it definitely draws attention and seems to be bright enough even in more lit up areas. Everything stayed comfortably in place without slipping or detaching from my clothing. And if I had stopped at a store or to talk with a neighbor, I could have easily turned the flashing off during the pause.

Here is a video demonstrating the flashing of the device taken in my dark basement. I make no claims of awesome editing, and I haven’t done any public speaking in a long time. Please don't count how many times I say, "Umm"!  ;) So anyway…here it is.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where I will hop on my bike and record the FlashBak at a distance to test the visibility farther away on the road.

1 comment:

  1. I'll have to check that out! My wife and I run early in the morning while it is still dark. She wears one of those hats with the LEDs built into the bill, but that thing looks a lot more effective.

    Thanks for the demo.