What to Look For in Your Hi-Vis Rain Jacket

We’ve detailed some useful information regarding hi-vis rain jackets and the ANSI/ISEA standard when working in hazardous traffic work zones.

There’s no doubt that outdoor traffic work zones come with a range of possible risks and dangers. From the threat of passing cars and inclement weather to the prevalence of heavy-duty equipment – there are plenty of daily challenges for your workforce.

In the United States, nearly 1 in every 5 construction workplace fatalities is from a struck-by injury (when a worker is hit by a piece of equipment or vehicle). OSHA has adopted the ANSI/ISEA 109-2020 standard (High Visibility Safety Apparel and Headwear) for employee use in certain workplace situations.

To reduce the risk of injury, it is important to stay dry and stay in visibility during wet weather with high visibility rain gear. Below we’ve detailed some useful information about the hi-vis rain jacket, the ANSI/ISEA standard and other things to consider when working in hazardous traffic work zones.

hi-vis rain jacket


How well can others see me?

A question you may face in many work environments is, “How well can others see me?” Wearing the proper amount of hi-vis apparel and choosing the right color can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

One thing to keep in mind is the amount of hi-vis material covering your apparel. The difference between Class 2 and Class 3 hi-vis wear is that Class 3 simply has more background material and reflective striping than Class 2. For safety reasons, many safety professionals have made it standard to outfit their workers in Class 3 garments.

While we see these products primarily being used on construction projects, they are continuing to be found beneficial in the factory and warehouse settings. These bright colors with retroreflective material help even more when it is dawn, dusk, or night; when bright colors might not be able to be seen as easily (for example, a headlight will reflect the light back off the retro-reflective striping on your hi-vis rain jacket).


What color should my hi-vis rain jacket be?

Color is a second factor you’ll want to consider when choosing a hi-vis jacket. If workers are working around orange barrels or cones, you may want to consider equipping them with lime hi-vis jackets (or vice versa if they are working around lime-colored products). This ensures workers stand out from cones and barrels. 

Jackets and vests are also produced with both lime and orange hi-vis colors. This can be a good option depending on the type of work environment.


What are the three classes of the ANSI/ISEA 109-2020 standard for hi-vis clothing?

ANSI Class 1 Hi-Vis Rain Jackets are used when work permits undivided attention to traffic and there is ample separation between worker and motor vehicles. Use them when backgrounds are not complex and vehicle/equipment speeds do not exceed 25 mph. This is referred to as a Type O (off-road) garment.

·         Typical users: parking attendants and workers on sidewalks

ANSI Class 2 Hi-Vis Rain Jackets are for work in inclement weather and/or areas with complex backgrounds. Workers’ attention may be diverted from approaching traffic or worker is in closer proximity to traffic. Use them when traffic speeds are over 25 mph. Class 2 hi-vis rain jackets have more retroreflective material than a Class 1 jacket and have a Type R (Roadway) on the tag.

·         Typical users: roadway construction workers, utility workers and survey crews

ANSI Class 3 Hi-Vis Rain Jackets are an ideal choice for workers who are exposed to high-speed traffic and/or conditions where visibility of workers may be reduced. They are also used in conditions where equipment operators perform tasks near pedestrian workers. 

Workers must be conspicuous through a full range of body motions at a minimum of 1,280 feet and identifiable as a person.  Class 2 hi-vis rain jackets have more background and retroreflective material than a Class 2 jacket and would also receive a Type R (Roadway) rating on the tag, similar to a Class 2 jacket.

·         Typical users: flaggers, roadway construction workers, utility workers, survey crews and emergency responders.

Can I purchase hi-vis rain jackets today from Wesco Safety?

Yes. We are pleased to offer a wide selection of affordably priced Class 3 hi-vis rain jackets.

Tingley Icon LTE™ Class 3 Hi-Vis Rain Jacket

This hi-vis rain jacket offers rain protection for a variety of outdoor work environments. Made of lightweight, waterproof, breathable material, the ANSI/ISEA 107 Class 3 compliant jacket is also loaded with premium features for multipurpose applications.

·         Fluorescent background material color produces excellent daytime visibility

·         2” silver reflective tape produces 360° nighttime conspicuity

·         Roll-a-way attached adjustable hood blocks wind

·         D-ring access is compatible with fall protection harnesses

·         Combination hand warmer side pockets include front cargo pockets with hook-and-loop closure

·         Meets ANSI/ISEA 107-2020, Class 3


Radians Fotrtress 35 Class 3 Hi-Vis Rain Jacket

This hard-wearing, industrial grade, hi-visibility rain jacket helps keep workers dry in the rain or provide protection from dirty working conditions. The hi-visibility PVC exterior provides resistance, visibility, and long-lasting results with a polyester interior that adds dependable protection.

·         .35mm PVC/poly hi-visibility construction

·         The treated polyester is self-extinguishing (SE)

·         Collar is extended in the back and tapered in front for increased protection and wearable comfort

·         Detachable hood shields your head and face from wind

·         Double heat-welded construction produces strength and durability in rugged conditions

·         Vented cape back increases comfort

·         Adjustable hook-and-loop closures on the wrists keep out debris

·         Meets ANSI/ISEA 107-2020, Class 3


Cordova Reptyle™ Class 3 Type R Waterproof Hi-Vis Bomber Jacket

This hi-vis rain jacket is waterproof and wind resistant. It features double stitched and taped seams for durability and a polyester shell.

·         Attached black quilted polyester lining increases warmth

·         2” reflective tape enhances visibility

·         Concealed/attached hood shields your head and face from wind

·         Adjustable hook-and-loop closures on the wrists keep out debris

·         Jacket features two outside pockets, two inside fleece pockets, a cell phone pocket and a two pencil pockets on the left sleeve

·         Meets ANSI/ISEA 107-2020, Class 3

Our Safety Support Team is always available to discuss your hi-vis rain jacket and general workplace applications and to help you choose the right clothing to keep your workforce protected.


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