The Essential Guide to Hi Vis Vests

Hi vis vests, also known as high-visibility vests, are an essential piece of safety equipment in many industries. From construction sites to roadside maintenance, these vests play a crucial role in keeping workers safe. In this guide, we’ll explore the importance of hi vis vests, their features, and how to choose the right one for your needs.

Why Hi Vis Vests Are Important

Safety is the primary reason for wearing a hi vis vest. These vests are designed to make the wearer more visible in various environments, particularly in low-light conditions. The bright colours and reflective strips catch the light, making it easier for others to see the wearer from a distance. This increased visibility can prevent accidents and save lives.

Key Features of Hi Vis Vests

  1. Bright Colours: Hi vis vests typically come in neon yellow or orange. These colours are chosen for their ability to stand out against most backgrounds.

  2. Reflective Strips: These are crucial for visibility at night or in low-light conditions. The strips reflect light from headlights or other sources, making the wearer highly visible.

  3. Lightweight and Breathable Materials: Hi vis vests are usually made from lightweight materials that allow for easy movement and comfort. Breathable fabrics are important, especially for those working in warm conditions.

  4. Adjustable Fit: Many vests come with adjustable straps or fastenings to ensure a snug fit over various types of clothing, including bulky winter gear.

Choosing the Right Hi Vis Vest

When selecting a hi vis vest, consider the following factors:

  1. Environment: Think about where the vest will be worn. For example, if you’re working on a road at night, a vest with extensive reflective material is essential.

  2. Job Requirements: Some jobs might require additional features such as pockets for tools, ID card holders, or additional protection from the elements.

  3. Standards and Regulations: Make sure the vest meets relevant safety standards. In the UK, for instance, look for vests that comply with BS EN 471 or BS EN ISO 20471.

  4. Comfort and Fit: The vest should fit well over your usual work attire and be comfortable enough to wear for extended periods.

Maintaining Your Hi Vis Vest

To ensure your hi vis vest remains effective, regular maintenance is key:

  • Cleaning: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals that can degrade the reflective strips.
  • Inspection: Regularly check for tears, fading, or damage to the reflective strips. Replace the vest if it’s no longer providing adequate visibility.
  • Storage: Store the vest in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading.


Hi vis vests are a simple yet highly effective safety tool. By choosing the right vest and maintaining it properly, you can significantly enhance your safety in the workplace. Whether you’re on a construction site, managing traffic, or working in any environment where visibility is crucial, a hi vis vest is an indispensable piece of gear. 

Check out some of our hi vis vests

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    Leo Workwear Chapelton Class 2 Underground Waistcoat (W18-O)

    £7.39 inc VAT
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    Portwest Executive Rail Vest RIS (RT26)

    £9.79 inc VAT
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    Portwest Hi-Vis Brace Vest (C472)

    £3.45 inc VAT
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    Portwest Berlin Executive Vest (S476)

    £8.99 inc VAT
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    Leo Workwear Pilton Single Colour Reflective Waistcoat (W05)

    £4.49 inc VAT
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    Leo Workwear Lapford ISO 20471 Class 2 Railway Waistcoat (W14-O)

    Original price was: £6.99.Current price is: £5.49. inc VAT
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    Leo Workwear Eggesford Class 2 Railway Zip Waistcoat (W15-O)

    Original price was: £6.99.Current price is: £5.69. inc VAT
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    Leo Workwear Shirwell Class 3 Sleeved Waistcoat (S01)

    Original price was: £8.99.Current price is: £6.99. inc VAT