There are times where maintaining visibility is a matter of convenience and then there are times when it is a matter of life and death. HiViz tacStrips from JAVRAN are all about being seen.
JAVRAN makes several different versions of the HiViz tacStrips. This review will deal with the Velcro backed version.
HiViz tacStrips are pretty simple. They are simply reflective material that has hook Velcro material sewn to the back. The concept may be simple but the execution and quality is better than any other similar product that I have seen, most of which rely on adhesives to attach the reflective material to the Velcro. JAVRAN folds the edges of the reflective material under before sewing on the Velcro. This results in a very clean edge that resists separation.
The best thing about the HiViz tacStrips may be the variety of sizes and colors that are offered. JAVRAN has sizes available to cover most of the common Velcro panel sizes commonly found on gear. They have 5×1” and 3×1” name tape sizes, 2×3” flag sizes, and more. Additionally, they will work with you for custom sizes. They are available in a growing number of colors including red, white, blue, orange, and green.
Observations from Use
I have tested and used these in a number of ways but my favorite use for them is as a gear marker. I just stick them on my backpack and then, if I am separated from the pack in the dark, it can be found easily with a flashlight.
I have also gotten into the habit of keeping one on the cap and chest rig/plate carrier that I wear when I am training. This allows me to remain visible to other students and the trainer during low light training. A reflective patch on your cap can also be a great safety measure if you are a road runner.
Different colors have varying levels of reflectivity. I was able to test white, blue, and red. I found that white was by far the brightest, followed by blue. Red reflects differently depending on the light it is reflecting. If it is reflecting a blue-white light source, it reflects very weakly. Light sources with warmer color temperatures reflect more strongly from the red material. If you use a lot of cool toned LED lights, you may find that red doesn’t reflect as much as you would like.
If you have an MPIL from Battle Systems LLC, you may want to pick up a HiViz tacStrip or two because they work great as a visible light reflector on the MPIL.
There is nothing revolutionary here. HiViz tacStrips are just well-executed and their numerous size and color options, coupled with their quality, combine to make them better than anything similar that I have tried.