A Review of the Brilliant Reflective Iron-On Strips
As the old saying goes (or rather the leader of my run club reminds us before every run) “Get lit or get hit.” And I take that pretty seriously. I’m an early morning runner, and being that it is winter, the sun is hardly ever out for my runs. I will always be donning a headlamp and some flashy colored clothes with a little reflective here and there.
I recently got a chance to try out the Brilliant Reflective Strips by 3M™ Scotchlite™. These iron-strips can be conveniently placed on most running apparel and accessories. They even come in a sticker version as well to place on hats, water bottles, leashes, helmets and more.
After I searched the whole house for my iron, which was a little dusty, I pulled out an old running jacket and got to work. But did these babies stick? And did they keep me lit? Keep reading to find out…
Material & Design
The super thin strips come as a perforated sheet and ready to iron. It is made from 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material. They are available in a variety of colors including blue, black, purple and red. Luckily, I got blue which went well with the blue jacket I was going to put these strips on.
The 12 strips come in various sizes including 4 long wide strips, 4 skinny long strips and 4 short wide strips. The strips are coated with a plastic film which will be removed after you iron on the strip. (More on that in a minute.)
The packaging comes with a suggestion placement guide in order to help you figure out where you should place the strips. One suggestion is that you place the strips at least 1/2 inch away from seams. After I figured out where I wanted to place the strips, it was time to iron these babies on.
As per the instructions, I set my iron to medium heat. I placed one strip in its predetermined spot, laid a paper towel on top of it and pressed the iron down on top of the paper towel, moving the iron slowly around the area. I did this for about a minute and let it complete cool before removing the plastic film.
Once it’s on, you can wash your your garment as per the manufacturer instructions, but they suggest cold water and air dry or machine dry on low to medium heat.
Did It Work?
Well… yes and no.
The wide longer strips were the easiest to apply. The thin long strips on the other hand? No matter where I placed them, they either took a long, long time to get on, meaning multiple iron attempts, or peeled off after the first run.
The top thin strips on the front of the jacket are the ones that came off after the first run. The packaging states that if the strips start to lift at the edges, you can repeat the instructions to secure it back on. However, I didn’t bother trying to put the thin strips back on because I had already spent way too much time ironing them on in the first place. Which leads me to another point…
Since I had to repeat the process again (and again and again) on a few of the strips, it did take a good amount of time which was sorta frustrating, especially since two fell off anyway after all my hard work. (Did I mention that I hate to iron? Hence, the dust it collected.)
But the strips did their job. They reflected big time. I was highly illuminated and cars, and perhaps even airplanes, saw me when I went for run.
If you want to test out the reflectiveness before heading out on a run, all you need to do is grab a person and a phone and take a picture. Have the person stand 10-15 feet away from you and take a picture with the flash on. The results? A very bright, flashy you.
Depending on the retailer, a pack of the iron-on strips as well as the stick-on strips, will cost you between $10-$15. Even with the couple of strips that just did not want to stay on, I still think the price is reasonable for two reasons. First, most reflective gear, such as vests, will cost you at least that much if not more. Second, and more importantly, you don’t have to wear anything else. Rather than putting on a vest or bands or such, just add a few of these to your favorite jacket or shirt. Personally, the value for me is not having to carry/wear anything else on me when on a run.
Some of the strips didn’t work or were very stubborn to get on. But most of them, once on, stayed on. As of this review, with the exception of the two that fell off after the first run, all the others have stayed on. They’ve given me a little extra peace of mind during my zero dark thirty runs, and well, frankly, people know when I’m coming. All blue and shiny.
Would I ever get these again? Honestly, I’m not sure. However, I would definitely like to try out the stick-on version. My iron is back in its spot and will surely have another layer of dust on it before I get it out again.