Motion Fox Children’s Hi Vis Vest Review

Motion Fox kids hi vizIf your child cycles, scoots or walks to school in the dark winter months, then it’s so important to make sure that they’re visible to passing traffic (I’m assuming here that you live somewhere like us where there isn’t a wonderful, safe segregated route all the way from your home to the school gate!)

Until this winter we’ve had both boys dressed in hi-vis vests over their coats. However, this year N has entered Juniors, and part of the rite of passage is that he now has his own rucksack, which he proudly wears on his back as he’s cycling along. This is great, as it’s less for Chris or I to carry in our own rucksacks, but the downside of course is that it covers N’s hi-vis vest.

So it was with fortuitous timing that Dublin based company Motion Fox got in touch, and asked if we would review their new expandable children’s hi vis vest.

From the start, we’ve been impressed with the vests for a number of reasons:

  • firstly they are designed to be fun hi-viz clothing that kids would actually want to wear. No looking like a minature scaffolder here, just the chance to wear a fun vest that transforms them into a ladybug or turtle at the drop of a rucksack.   Motion Fox wanted to create a safety garment that also emphasized the fun and enjoyment of being outside in the fresh air, and they involved children in the design process, which really shows;
  • secondly, they are really well thought through.  They can be worn as a standard hi-vis vest, which fits over a school coat, or by undoing some poppers, can expand out to fit over a rucksack; and
  • finally, they work. The hi-vis material on the front and back of the vests really stands out in the dark, and the colours of the vests catch the eye on a dreary day.

The boys have been wearing the vests every morning on the cycle ride to school for over two months now, and here is how we’ve got on.

What were the original impressions of the Motion Fox hi-vis kids jackets?

Ok, I took a risk with this, and in the interests of conducting a thorough review  I requested a Turtle vest for the eldest (7) and a ladybug for the youngest (5), which on the website photo looked a bit pink.  Would my 5 year old son wear a pink vest – NO WAY!  I hasten to add this is despite my best efforts at not enforcing gender stereotyping….

Motion Fox Ladybug kids hi viz vestWhen I showed T the ladybug, his face dropped.  “I’m not wearing that” he retorted.  “Why not?” I replied, trying to sound innocent. “It’s PINK – eugh!”  After proving to him that it was in fact a very similar colour of red to his football and rugby shirts, and nothing at all like Mummy’s pink jumper, he finally accepted it was red.   Immediately the vest went on, and he was crawling round the floor like a mini-beast, and demanding a rucksack to wear so he could fill up the shell.  Phew!

N, my eldest, loved the Turtle vest at first sight,  and since then we’ve just had a couple of wobbles from T, with a few probing questions on the lines of “Are you sure you get men ladybugs?” and “Ladybirds are red, aren’t they?” as he’s putting on his vest.  I’ve now resorted to calling the vest the ‘Motion Fox’, which sounds more masculine than anything with the word “Lady” in it.

If you have an inquisitive son and want to minimise difficult questions when you’re trying to get ready for school, you might want to think about purchasing the Turtle vest. Just a thought….

What are the Turtle and Ladybird hi-vis vests like to use?

I’ve been very impressed with the quality of the vests .  There is a zip up the front keeping everything in place when they are riding. In the past, we’ve had issues with velcro fastening vests coming undone en-route.  The zip has so far withstood all the pressures of daily use, and shows no sign of degrading.

Motion Fox Hi-Viz vests for childrenThe poppers that open and close the shell are fixed firmly into the fabric, and I’ve seen no signs of any stress around the joints.

When worn over just a coat, both boys are able to get the vests on themselves, and fasten them up.  When being used over his rucksack, N can’t reach round and get the vest over the rucksack and  his arm through the hole, so he needs some help with that bit.

We’ve had the vests screwed up in the bottom of bags, soaked and dried on the radiator, and they continue to look great.  The label says they can be washed cold up to 25 times.  We’ve only washed them once (without fabric conditioner), and they’ve come out looking as good as new.

At school, they are highly regarded by both parents and children alike, and get numerous comments about how cool and funky they are (a definite plus point if you want your child to wear one).

Something to bear in mind regarding sizing

If your child is similar to our eldest, it’s entirely possible that they may carry an ‘adult’ rucksack that is stuffed to the gills with all manner of books, snacks, water bottles and musical instruments. If so, look at going up a size to ensure there’s space!

How hi-vis are the vests?

Motion Fox Ladybug Hi Viz kids vestAt the end of the day this is the most important bit, and the Motion Fox certainly delivers.  In low light conditions, the red, yellow and green fabric stands out really well.  Once it gets dark the hi-vis material comes into it’s own. On both the front and back of the vests the pattern is extremely visible when car headlights shine on them, and I like the fact that they look a bit different to a standard hi-vis strip.  I wonder if the unusual layout might help catch the eye of any drivers not paying enough attention to the road and its users. I hope so.

Update

The other evening, one of our neighbours passed us in the car on the way home from the school Christmas Fayre. Stopping to chat on the driveway, she mentioned how impressed she was with the vests – she couldn’t believe just how bright they were, and how much they stood out in the darkness, when her headlights shone on them. Top marks Motion Fox!

Review of Motion Fox Hi Vis kids vests – the final vedict

I love these vests, the kids love these vests – they’re fun, they’re safe, and after a month of daily wear appear to be very well made.  I’d recommend them to anyone looking for a way to keep the kids visible during the autumn and winter months – whether they’re riding a bike, walking or scooting, especially if your child wears a rucksack that hides a normal hi-vis vest.

How much for the Ladybug and the Turtle?

The children’s Ladybug and Turtle retail at  respectable £14.99, and buying from the MotionFox website guarantees free delivery worldwide.

Where to buy MotionFox kids Hi-Vis vests

MotionFox are based in Dublin, and with a great website to showcase their items globally, you can purchase in Pounds, Dollars or Euros, with free delivery. Several UK based bike shops also stock the Ladybird and Turtle vests – check their website for more details.

Cycle Sprog were provided with the Motion Fox Hi Viz kids Turtle and Ladybug vests for review

This review was first published in December 2013

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