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Women’s Running Tech Awards 2017

For Safety

Scosche LitFit, $30

If you’re going to be running with an armband anyway, you might as well make it a light-up LED armband to protect your smartphone, keeping you safer when you’re out on the roads.

Testers reveal: The neoprene-Velcro combination in the armband provided a secure fit, and the touchscreen controls on the phone worked seamlessly through the screen protector (which is weather- and sweat-proof). The built-in key slot was also convenient.

Geek-out factor: The rechargeable armband case offers bright white LED lights in three modes—solid and two flashing.

Nathan Neutron Fire RX Runners’ Headlamp, $55

The newest iteration of this headlamp is also the lightest ever, plus it kicks out 160 lumens of light (versus 115 from the original version). The weather-resistant headlamp features one main bright-white LED spotlight and two strobe strips on either side that turn red, green or blue.

Testers reveal: The colored lights and main spotlight don’t have to be on at the same time. The white light, which can be extremely bright, is great for lighting your path on unfamiliar routes, but the colored lights are fine on their own for keeping you visible. While the headlamp is pretty comfortable worn on the head, the strap is adjustable enough that you could wear it on your arm without it bobbing around.

Geek-out factor: The rechargeable battery provides 20 hours of burn time, and in addition to the lights, the entire strap is made from reflective material, so you’re visible from 360 degrees.

Aftershokz Trekz Titanium, $130

These bone-conducting Bluetooth headphones deliver music through your cheekbones rather than in your ear, keeping your ears open to the sounds around you.

Testers reveal: While pretty much every tester was skeptical of wearing headphones that don’t go in your ears, they were pleasantly surprised by the sound quality and comfort. For some, they were more comfortable to wear for long periods of time, while others found the titanium wrap-around band weighed a little heavy on the tops of their ears after long-term use. The built-in volume buttons make adjustments relatively simple, and they come with earplugs so that you can use them on a plane without hearing your neighbors.

Geek-out factor: You can get up to six hours of use on a single charge, and the noise-canceling microphone allows you to use them for calls and voice commands in addition to music.

Strava Beacon, $8 per month

Part of the Premium membership on the popular athlete social network is a feature called Strava Beacon, which allows you to send a link to three safety contacts of choice, and it allows them to click on the link and see your exact location in real time. It gives both you and your loved ones peace of mind that if something goes wrong during a run, they know exactly where you are and can send help.

Testers reveal: For Strava users, setup is seamless (and doesn’t take too much effort for non-Strava users). Testers found it extremely accurate—just make sure the safety contacts stay up to date and Beacon is turned on before you start a workout. The emergency contacts don’t need to have any specific app on their phone—they just have to click the link they receive via text.

Geek-out factor: The Beacon feature is also an awesome tool to use for a mid-run meet-up or race participant tracking.

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Bethany Mavis

Bethany Mavis

Bethany Mavis is the managing editor of Triathlete magazine. She's a mom, rec soccer player, multiple half-marathon finisher and is learning daily how to become a better triathlete.