Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Nite Beams - Product review

At the Chicago Half Marathon this past weekend, I spent some time speaking with the creators of Nite Beams. Basically, the Nite Beams are a LED line of safety products for anyone wishing to be out and about after dark.  Simple concept and one that has been done in some way or another for years. 

When I was given a Nite Beam armband to test run, I wasn't exactly blown away by any sort of inventiveness at first.  I have worn lighted warning products for years at night and didn't expect anything different with this one.  However, I was pleasantly surprised.  On my run that evening down the Lake Shore Drive trail from my hotel to check out Soldier Field, the arm-band caught the eye of just about every passer-by.  It was unmistakably bright and with the option of keeping it light constantly or have it blinking, I noticed it really did make me more obvious to those around me.  As I was running on a car-free running path I could not test its effectiveness with actual traffic but he bright lights also lit the road ahead of me, letting me know that it was definitely making its presence known.

I felt the button that activated the light was a little too thick and mentioned this to the creators. They assured me they were working on that presently and would employ a system used i their hats to make it less obtrusive in the future.  Also, I felt the Velcro band around my arm was a little too stiff.  Granted, I basically took it out of the box and but it on my arm, and therefore it may need some breaking it.  Nevertheless, I think a softer foam rubber under-coating would have made it a much better product  For my 7 mile run it was perfectly comfortable but as an ultramarathoner, I think in much longer terms of running!

If the softness of the band is improved and the button made less fat, I think this will be an all-around top-notch product.  But with the one I tested, I think there were small tweaks which could be made to make it even better.  As such,  I give it 3.5 SeeDaneRuns with the potential to go up even further.

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