Reflector Gadget: Cheap vs expensive reflectors weighed up

Puns are the best.

As Jacqui mentioned in her earlier post, it’s the law here to wear a reflector at night, as an extra means of being spotted by vehicle drivers (check it out – I found the law!).

Given it’s mandatory, a decent majority of people wear them; in particular (and unsurprisingly) kids. So if you must wear one, might as well get something cool, right? This means that there’s a whole niche market for reflectors, including ones you hang from your clothes or bag; straps you wear around your arm; brooches; magnetic ones; kid-themed ones; it goes on!

I’m just in a reflective mood…

Right, I don’t want to fall foul of the law, so I better get one. Which leads me to…

Tangent Time!

It’s law – you have to wear one, yes? I wonder how often (if ever) it’s enforced. Oh, sure, in a city, probably never. There are lots of lights, and actual crime needs policing. 

Maybe in the smaller villages it’s more important to have them. Which then brings us to the question: How can you see someone to enforce the law, if you don’t know they’re there because they aren’t wearing a reflector?!

You, right now

Further to that conundrum, if somehow you were able to be spotted without a reflector (hint: impossible, see above), what would the penalty or sanction be? A fine? Hard jail time for repeat offenders?

Do you think there are people in Estonia who are like those serial parking ticket offenders? You know the one; gets dozens of parking fines, refuses to pay, and eventually there’s a warrant out for their arrest. So they call the council and arrange a payment plan.

Somewhere in this country, a barely-visible citizen lives in constant fear of a visit from the sheriff. 

But only during the day.

Back to the crux of this post; when choosing a reflector, should you go cheap and nasty, or should you splash on something fancier?

The Cheap Option

Advantages
Cheap. Good for kids. You could buy a whole bunch and attach them to each coat, bag, and article of clothing you have so that you’re always prepared.

Disadvantages
Most are fastened with included string or safety pin, which means they’re easily lost. Fiddly to re-attach. Lower quality reflector may not do the job. Prone to wear. Wasteful: Needing to replace all the time means more landfill that is visible at night, preventing anyone from getting decent sleep.

The Fancy Option

Advantages
Can be more stylish/cool/interesting than a cheapo. Longer lasting. Better reflective quality. Less likely to go missing as they generally have better fasteners.

Disadvantages
If you do happen to lose one, you’re more out of pocket compared to a cheapie.

My recommendation

I’d recommend to anybody the reflector I chose in the end:

ExtraWise Urban Grey Citydisk

  1. Highest quality reflector, precision engineered by obsessive German company. The reflector is so powerful that it actually acts like a black hole, sucking in nearby light and sending it back, making the reflection brighter than the source of light its reflecting.
  2. Silicone rubber protective bumper, absorbing the shock of any bumps, and looks of shock on the faces of people who see your glorious new reflector.
  3. 3M cord with BUILT-IN REFLECTIVE ELEMENTS; because why should it just be the reflector that reflects?! That’s just lazy.
  4. Quality metal adjustable toggle, so you can decide the amount of swing you want to allow.
  5. Carabiner made from Adamantium.

Advantages
Impossible not to be seen. Great conversation starter. Robust construction allows you to use it as a weapon. Makes you a better person. Makes you better than other people. Makes you attractive to supermodels. Heirloom quality will see it outliving your great-great-grandchildren. Can be spun like Thor’s hammer to enable you to fly. Can be used as a moon substitute on moonless nights. More powerful than all the infinity stones combined.


Disadvantages
None. Literally disadvantageless. If you disagree, it is because you are wrong.

So there you have it people; the safest option is always the Germanic one: Get the hugely over-engineered one and keep it for life.

See this and the other cool ExtraWise reflectors here. You can also get them in stores, but retailers tend to add a couple of Euro to the price. For the record I got mine on Black Friday for €8-something, and now I am better than you.

Stay bright!

Drew

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