There is always space on the Gear & Gadgets pages to showcase Irish products and talent – it is a privilege, and it is our duty, especially right now! So, when the Bodylite ‘Night Runner’ light-belt caught our attention we were delighted and eager to give it a try. Carlowman, Padraic George saw a gap in the market for a good quality light-belt while exercising and used his considerable running and engineering knowledge to fill that gap.
Initially, the first impression straight out of the box is that the Night Runner is a little clunky but looks were deceiving. Hidden inside this perfectly balanced unit is a two-strength adjustable 210 lumen LED light, two flashing red LED lights to the rear, a rechargeable battery with its own USB cable providing a massive 16 hours of brightness and a rear pouch big enough to hold a mobile, your keys and the all-important emergency money. It is IPX4 water resistant, which means it protects from splashing water from any direction, and it is sweat resistant too.
Most people running at night use headlamps; personally, I’ve always found they’re either not strong enough or the accompanying battery pack is too noticeable. With the Night Runner, the hard case to the front sits comfortably around your hips, perfectly supported, and the soft plastic belt allows no give that would traditionally have an elastic belt bouncing around with every step. The rear pouch is well-cushioned and detailed in a bright yellow trim and logo allowing even more visibility on top of the small but bright flashing red lights.
I didn’t feel I was overly conspicuous wearing this in the dark. I did feel I was safe and visible to any traffic approaching from the front or rear and, most importantly, I didn’t feel that the belt was impeding my run at all. There was no chafing, no movement and, after the first few yards, you forget you’re wearing it at all.
No product is ever perfect and I have one minor quibble, and I do mean minor. The cable connecting the front battery pack to the rear LED lights is exposed. I can see why - it allows for size adjustment around different body sizes but an exposed cable could get stuck in something, or maybe frayed or broken. I’d like to see any future design modifications examine this but apart from that, this is a good, solid Irish designed and made product that does exactly what it is designed to do. The Bodylite Night Runner comes with a full 30-day, money-back guarantee. If you’re not happy, they’ll refund you 100 per cent of your money, no questions asked – now you can’t ask for better than that.