What Is The Best Hi Vis Jacket On The UK Market?

A good hi vis jacket should meet BS or ISO visibility standards, provide additional protection against the weather (rain, wind, and UV), keep you warm, and be comfortable to wear.

High visibility wear is essential for anyone working in high-risk and/or low-light conditions.

High vis clothes are not just useful for workers. If you often walk, or ride at night, it’s important that you are highly visible by drivers.

The advantage of wearing a high vis jacket, over something like a vest, is that a jacket does double duty of keeping you safe, while also keeping you warm and protected from the weather. It’s more versatile.

In this buying guide, we recommend the best hi vis jackets on the UK market, and give you tips on how to choose the best one for your needs.

Key Considerations When Choosing a Hi Vis Jacket

A. Level of Visibility

A good high vis jacket has three components that improve visibility.

One, a bright fluorescent colour that improves visibility during the day and at night. The colour is usually yellow, orange or red.

Two, a contrast colour that further improves visibility, especially during the day. The contrast colour is usually located where the jacket is likely to get dirty such as the bottom of the sleeves and around the abdomen.

Three, reflective strips. These are the main sources of visibility at night. They reflect back any light shone on them, providing good visibility to an approaching car, in a lit area or to someone with a light.

The reflective strips should cover shoulders, chest area, abdomen and the top and bottom of sleeves.

To make sure you are buying a hi vis jacket with good visibility, look for one that meets the BS EN ISO 20471:2013+A1:2016 standard (usually just called the ISO 20471 standard).

Some hi vis jackets meet the BS EN 471:2003 standard, but this is an older standard that’s no longer in effect.

B. Weather Protection

Get a hi vis jacket that also provides excellent weather protection against the cold, rain, and wind.

The most important thing is that the jacket be warm, as you’ll likely be wearing it often at night. This reduces the need to layer a lot of extra clothes underneath to stay warm.

Most hi vis jackets are also waterproof, or at least water resistant. They’ll keep you dry in varying levels of rain. Many jackets also include a windproof design.

Other protective features to look for include storm cuffs that keep wind and rain from getting inside the jacket, and a UV-blocking material to protect you when working outdoors.

C. Fit & Cut

When choosing a high vis jacket, we recommend buying a size bigger than your usual one. If you wear XXL/2XL, get an XXXL/3XL jacket. If you wear M, get an L size.

The extra space ensures the jacket is loose and comfortable everywhere including your arms and abdomen.

It also lets you wear a sweater, hoodie, or even another jacket underneath for extra warmth.

Most jackets will be available in sizes ranging from S to 5XL. Some also have an XS size, and others can go all the way up to 8XL.

Also compare the cuts of different jackets to see which you love most. Some hi vis jackets have a practical cut with minimal fashionability.

If you are planning to wear the jacket about town, you may want to get something more stylish.

Also, while most hi vis jackets are unisex, some have a more feminine cut that suits women.

D. Comfortable

Make sure the jacket is comfortable. It should be something you can wear comfortably for hours.

In addition to making sure it’s a good fit (not tight and not too baggy), check that it has a soft inner lining and a fleece collar that won’t leave you with an itchy neck.

Some high vis jackets also include venting and eyelets to improve breathability. A non-breathable hi vis jacket can quickly get hot, sweaty and uncomfortable even in cold weather.

E. Pockets

Finally, check the pocket situation. The jacket should have multiple internal and external pockets to store an assortment of things such as a phone, walkie talkie and tools.

Make sure the external pockets have a zip or flap to protect contents from the rain.

Best Hi Vis Jackets: Top 5 Reviews

1. Stormway Mens Waterproof Two Tone Bomber Hi Vis Safety Jacket

The Stormway mens hi vis jacket comes in a two-tone design. You can choose an orange/navy or yellow/navy combo. There are also plain yellow, orange and black options.

Both the two-tone and single colour options come with reflective stripes over the shoulders, around the chest and abdomen, and on the upper and lower parts of the long sleeves.

The exterior of the jacket is waterproof, so it’s perfect for working, riding and walking in the rain. The zip is located underneath a storm flap that keeps rain and wind out. Elasticated adjustable cuffs provide additional protection.

For comfort and warmth, the collar has a fleece lining.

For storage, there’s a pocket for your phone on the chest with a storm flap for weather protection. You also get two additional pockets around the abdomen area, two inner pockets, and a handy pen or tools holder.

Another extra we love is the hood that’s hidden in the collar. It’s useful in bad weather.

As for sizes, options range from S to 5XL. Remember to choose a size bigger than your regular one.

The only issue we have with the Stormway jacket is that it conforms to an outdated standard – the BS EN 471:2003 + A1:2007.

This is not an issue if you are buying the jacket for dog walking or bike commutes. But if you are looking for a hi vis jacket for a workplace, you may want to get one that meets current standards.

What we like about it:

  • Excellent visibility.
  • Multiple colour and size options.
  • Good weather protection – waterproof and windproof.
  • Affordable.

2. Nitras Motion TEX VIZ Hi Vis Softshell Jacket

If you are looking for a hi vis jacket that meets the current standard – EN ISO 20471 – we recommend the Nitras Motion softshell hi vis jacket.

It’s available in two colour options: yellow with black contrast, or orange also with black contrast. Each option has 3M reflective strips over the shoulders around the abdomen and on the sleeves.

The Nitras Motion jacket is super comfortable and keeps you warm at night or in cold weather. You probably won’t need to layer up as much as you expect.

The exterior fabric is water repellent, so you can comfortably wear the jacket in the rain without getting soaked. Under the zip is a double layered storm flap for wind protection.

The cuffs are elastic, providing a tight fit to keep out cold and water. They are also adjustable.

The hem also tightens snuggly against your body when you pull the attached drawstring, providing further additional protection.

We love that the black contrast area in both the yellow and orange Nitras Motion jackets is around the hem and the bottom of the sleeves, areas that usually get dirty when you are working. This ensures dirt doesn’t affect the jacket’s high visibility.

As for storage, the Nitras Motion jacket comes with several internal and exterior pockets.

Size options are plenty. They range from XS to 5XL, so there’s a size for everyone.

Note: The Nitras Motion hi vis jacket doesn’t come with a hood, but you can buy it separately. It’s made from polyester and is fully waterproof.

What we like about it:

  • Comfortable and warm.
  • Wide range of size options.
  • Excellent visibility and weather protection.
  • Multiple pockets.

3. Portwest Hi-Vis Bomber Jacket

Looking for a 6XL or bigger hi vis jacket? The Portwest hi vis bomber jacket is one of the few we’ve seen that offers sizes above 5XL.

They offer 6XL, 7XL and 8XL, for larger body types. You can also go as small as S and XS if you have a smaller body.

Visibility is pretty good. The jacket meets various standards including EN ISO 20471, and ANSI/ISEA 107, an American national standard for high visibility wear.

You can choose from three colour options: yellow, red, or orange. All of them are single-colour without any contrast.

Reflective stripes on all the usual places (chest, shoulders, abdomen and arms), provide high visibility in low light conditions.

The jacket fits snuggly, as long as you choose the right size. Customers say the Portwest jacket is larger than other similar size jackets. So don’t follow our standard recommendation of buying a size larger. Buy your regular size. It’ll likely fit you well, with enough space for additional layering underneath.

As for comfort, the jacket keeps you warm, and it’s rain-resistant. The jacket is also wind resistant and the outer fabric blocks 98% of UV rays.

The collar is fleece lined, and includes a hidden hood that is handy in bad weather.

For storage, the Portwest jacket has four pockets, including two outer pockets, a chest phone pocket, and an inner pocket.

The outer pockets don’t have a zip or buttons, so they tend to flap around when you ride on a bike or in windy weather. Some customers also say the phone pocket is a tad too small for their phone.

But overall, the Portwest jacket is a great choice for both work and everyday wear.

What we like about it:

  • Versatile size options.
  • Good visibility and weather protection.
  • Multiple pockets.
  • Comes with a hood.

4. Portwest Hi-Vis Rain Jacket

If you are looking specifically for a hi vis jacket to keep out the rain, we recommend the Portwest hi vis rain jacket.

It’s waterproof, and comes complete with a hoodie for additional protection. It’s also wind resistant.

Where the rain jacket fails a bit is warmth. It’s not as warm as the other hi vis jackets we’ve reviewed, so you may want to layer up underneath.

We recommend going up a size if you plan to wear something thick like a hoodie underneath.

But don’t layer up too much because this jacket is not very breathable. It has some eyelets for breathability, but they don’t work very well. Customers say they easily get hot and sweaty when wearing the jacket.

That’s why we recommend using this only when it’s raining. It’ll keep you from overheating. For warm weather, get a more breathable hi vis jacket.

To ensure a snuggle fit that keeps out the rain and cold, the Portwest rain jacket comes with elasticated cuffs and a drawcord.

For storage, you get two deep side pockets.

Sizes range from XS to 5XL, and colour options include yellow and orange, both with Bio Motion reflective stripes.

What we like about it:

  • Good rain and wind protection.
  • Wide range of sizes.
  • Low price.
  • Includes a hoodie.

5. Mens Softshell Hi Vis Jacket

This is a good choice if you are looking for an affordable hi vis jacket that meets the EN ISO 20471 standard.

It’s not quite on the same level of quality as other premium jackets, so we recommend it only for occasional use to keep it from wearing out too quickly.

You can get the jacket in a plain yellow or orange colour with reflective stripes, or in a two tone orange/navy or yellow/navy style.

The two-tone option is great if you want maximum visibility, as it provides more contrast.

Sizes range from S to 4XL.

The jacket has a snug softshell fit that feels comfortable and does a great job keeping warmth inside while still being breathable. Under-arm eyelets provide additional breathability.

The collar is lined with fleece, but doesn’t have a hood. The rubberized cuffs can be adjusted, though customers say the velcro doesn’t stay put. You can also adjust the hem using a drawstring, to make the jacket snug.

Other features we love include a zipped chin guard, and four pockets including a dedicated phone pocket.

What we like about it

  • Meets ISO visibility standards.
  • Comfortable and warm.
  • Wide range of sizes.
  • Affordable.

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