Portland Afterglow Reflector Review
Versatile magnetic reflector, for use with clothing and equipment you already own
When Erik Roby, inventor of the Portland Afterglow reflector asked me to test his latest product, I thought it was a sex toy. Maybe it’s just me, but … Afterglow?
It turned out to be a reflective triangle which would help increase my visibility while bikepacking.
Before you go rolling your eyes and start thinking: ‘Oh, another piece of Hi-Viz equipment that I could buy but will never use because I’ll look like a dork.’ Think again.
The Portland Afterglow reflector is a combination of two reflective triangles with a super strong magnet positioned at the centre of each. The product is 15 cm / 6 inches in length and made from Reflexite® retroreflective material. The design allows the product to be with jackets, backpacks and other luggage such as panniers and waist bags. It is completely interchangeable and easy to transfer from one piece of equipment to another. At a smidgen under 50g, you’ll barely notice you’re carrying it.
I attached the Afterglow reflector to the following items to test its versatility.
- Bicycle trailer
- Rain jacket
- Waist pack
The good bits:
The pink reflector looked smart and stylish against the black trailer.
It stayed put even after multiple trips from the allotment to our new home in Hamble, which is a distance of 5 miles (8km), there and back, mostly off road.
I’ve left it outside exposed to the elements, where it has endured sun, wind and rain over the last six months and it continues to do what it’s meant to do.
Looked great on the jacket and was highly visible when I was cycling.
I was cycling through a wooded area behind Dan at dusk and was surprised how easy it was to see where he was even before I turned my headlight on.
More good stuff
Because the Afterglow is waterproof, it continues to be reflective in rainy conditions, and it can be gently cleaned with water when it get splashed with mud.
Comes in a range of colours – Pink, blue, orange and yellow. Each packet comes with a reflective silver buddy, so you can choose which colour to show to the world.
Not so good:
The trailer by design is low to the ground so the reflector is not in the ideal position for maximum visibility.
Felt a bit bulky when wearing light clothing underneath the jacket. Less noticeable in colder months when extra layers are worn.
Sadly, while riding or maybe pushing through dense overgrowth along the Wessex Ridgeway, the external triangle was separated from its internal partner and was never seen again.
On warm days, the corners of the triangle tended to curl. This meant that the visible reflective surface area was reduced.
And because the magnet is positioned in the centre, the triangles have a tendency to spin on this central axis. Although this had absolutely no effect on the effectiveness of the product, it irritated the hell out of me because of the aesthetic. I like my triangle to sit with a flat base or a pointy base. I can’t cope with an untidy triangle.
Ideal for use when bikepacking or cycling on roads, maintained paths, tracks and trails. I wouldn’t recommend it for use in overgrown bushes or deepest darkest jungles.
Bonus points for its ability to pick up sharp pins and dropped ball bearings. If you’re ever in need of a magnet, remember your Afterglow.
Extra bonus point: If you know any fridge magnet enthusiasts, these are probably the biggest bad ass gifts you could ever give them.
Where can I buy the Portland Afterglow Reflector?
It’s available online for $19 US dollars and there’s a special promotion offer of a free Twilight strap reflector with purchase of two Afterglow magnetic reflectors.
These Twilight reflectors attach beautifully to our Wildcat seat packs.
This piece of equipment was supplied to me by Portland Reflectors for independent test and review.