Hi-Vis Jackets

Stay safe in harsh weather conditions with a hi-vis jacket from Cromwell. Available in a range of styles with handy features and storage pockets, all our safety jackets comply with British safety standards to keep you warm and protected in all kinds of environments.

We stock a wide range of hi-vis jackets online from well-known, quality brands, like Pulsar®, Portwest®, Sioen® and Leo Workwear®.

What are hi-vis jackets?

Manufactured from lightweight, fluorescent fabric, hi-vis jackets are used in colder climates and harsh weather conditions to keep the wearer warm and comfortable, while enhancing their visibility. They're typically adorned with reflective tape in a bib and brace pattern, as well as tape circling the upper or lower arms, sometimes both depending on the class of the garment.

Hi-vis jackets often feature a lining, that in some cases is removable, and often have a storm flap closure and a high closing collar to keep the wind and wet away from the skin. Some brands equip their jackets with elasticated wrists and waists as standard to prevent the ingress of cold wind and water, as well as dust and dirt.

Pockets are always a welcome feature on a frequently worn jacket, and most hi-vis jackets will have closing pockets at the waist and an inner chest pocket to store and protect personal items. Due to the professional nature of their use, these jackets can often be found with an identification badge slot on the chest to allow for easy identification for customer facing positions.

Why buy hi-vis jackets?

Part of the Health & Safety at Work Act, 1974 requires employers to provide suitable equipment for their employees to perform their jobs safely. Those who are frequently exposed to harsh weather conditions should therefore be provided with protective wet weather clothing, including a hi-vis jacket.

Hi-vis jacket types

High visibility jackets provide protection in cold and wet weather. They must be CE certified and comply with EN ISO 20471 and BS EN 343:2019.

• Hi-vis bomber jackets   -   This style sits up to the waist and typically features elasticated wrists and waistband. They have bib & brace reflective tape and often feature a fleece lining and foldaway hood

• Hi-vis traffic jacket   -   Sometimes called a motorway jacket, this style always has bib & brace reflective strips with two further strips around the top of the arms and the wrists. They don't usually have elasticated wrists and waists and sit slightly longer on the body than other styles

• 5-in-1 hi-vis coat   -   These garments can feature multiple coats and body warmers to suit any weather conditions, both with and without a hi-vis membrane. These jacket types can also be available as 3-in-1 options.

Considerations when choosing hi-vis jackets

Sizing - we recommend that you choose a size larger than you'd normally wear for a comfortable fit over your normal clothing.

Features - there are a range of waterproofing and wind-protection features on high visibility clothing. Jackets can feature storm flaps and high collars to protect against harsh conditions, while other garments feature removable liners to provide comfortable protection in all seasons.

Logos / embroidery - hi-vis clothing can be embroidered or have a reflective logo added for branding purposes, however, it's important that any additions don't obscure the reflective material, otherwise the class of the garment will be impacted.

Colour - Yellow and orange are the most common hi-vis colours, however some jackets feature secondary colours, such as navy and black to suit your company branding or industry.

Hi-vis jackets jargon buster

To take the difficulty out of purchasing decisions, we have broken down and explained a standard relevant to hi-vis jackets to help you choose the best one for you and your business.

What does BS EN 343:2019 mean?

EN 343 outlines the testing and scoring methods used on safety clothing intended for outdoor use in harsh weather conditions. The standard offers ratings between 1-3 for Water Penetration Resistance and Breathability.

Ratings will be marked on the garment labels and on technical data sheets, appearing as two numbers to the right of the EN 343 logo and as class numbers on the end of the standard, i.e., EN 373 Class 3:3.

Water Penetration Resistance - The method for testing the garments is broken down into two stages, with class 1 garments only tested at pre-treatment (which means brand new out of the packaging), while class 2 and 3 garments are only exposed to post-treatment testing, as this is when their performance is most important (post-treatment is intended to simulate normal wear and tear, and includes laundering, stretching and some abrasion and scuffing).

At each of these stages, high-pressure water is applied to the garment with the amount of pressure until water penetration is achieved, measured in Pascal Pressure Units (Pa).

• 1 - Minimal protection against rain: ≥ 8000 Pa (fabric and seams before treatment)

• 2 - Medium protection against rain: ≥ 8000 Pa (fabric and seams post treatment)

• 3 - Maximum protection against rain: ≥ 13000 Pa (fabric and seams post treatment)

Breathability - This is tested using the same method as ISO 11092 (testing for thermal resistance and water vapour resistance). A model is used to simulate human skin and the garment is exposed to temperatures from 25°C down to 5°C.

The 'sweat' on the human model is measured according to the temperature changes, with the lowest measure over the increments in time (minutes) achieving the highest score.

• 1 - Not certified as breathable in compliance with EN 343

• 2 - Medium breathability

• 3 - Maximum breathability


How effective is hi-vis clothing?

Hi-vis clothing is an extremely effective way of improving your visibility to motorists. Wearing hi-vis jackets in an environment that sees vehicles and people working closely, significantly reduces the risk of vehicle-related injuries and fatalities.

How does the reflective tape work on a hi-vis jacket?

Reflective strips on hi-vis jackets work under the principle of retroreflectivity, which is the ability of a surface or a material to return or reflect directed light back to its source. We see this frequently in the use of road signs and markings at night, where the headlights of a vehicle will light up a sign from various angles, with the returning light particles directed back to the source of the headlight the with minimum scattering of particles. This is why, when you take a photograph with the flash on of a person wearing reflective strips, it shows up as a flash of light on the material as it returns the flash from the camera.