So I had a little weird present bought for me the other day – the BESKYDDA visibility harness from the folks at Ikea that bring us other oddly named flat pack finery. IKEA are not the first company that would spring to mind as being synonymous with Motorbikes (unless they’re making a build-it-yourself bike now), but can this little pocket product be something that gets them noticed by the petrol-head community? Let’s find out!
So what is the BESKYDDA Visibility harness? Put simply, it is a little pouch with a footprint slightly larger than that of an iPhone 6 Plus, and a thickness akin to that of a pack of Walker’s Crisps (at normal sea level, not the thickness they end up when you’re on top of a mountain or on a plane). The pouch is a nondescript grey with a reversible zip along the top (more about this later), and a white line diagram of the harness as it would be unfolded.
When you open the pouch you will find the silver-reflective harness folded up inside. Pull it out and then pouch goes inside-out, becoming the center chest section of the harness. You can now reverse the zip the zip up the pouch, allowing you to use it as a pocket. The pocket is big enough to hold an iPhone 6s Plus in an Otterbox case, so its plenty big-enough for most things that you would need (wallets, phones, etc).
The harness is a simple vest-style affair, with two shoulder straps and a waist belt. The belt itself is made of a thick elastic and has a quick-release buckle in grey plastic, as well as a belt adjust slider to alter the girth of the belt around your waist. The harness itself is made of a highly reflective silver material which covers both the front and back of the harness (including the waist belt). The inside of the harness (the bit that would be against your body) is non-reflective dark grey (the same as the outside of the pouch), so it is worth making sure that you don’t get it twisted. The only IKEA branding on the product (once you’ve removed the standard massive IKEA sale label thing that somehow is put on every single product they sell, even if the product is smaller than the label) is a small blue and yellow IKEA label on the front of the harness (on what would be the outside of the pouch were you wearing the harness). The biggest drawback that I can see with the BESKYDDA Visibility harness is that it does not provide reflective surfaces on your arms / sleeves, nor on your sides (except for a very little bit covered by the waist belt), so your side-on reflective profile will be almost non-existent. In this instance a full reflective vest will be far more effective.
While the visibility harness might not be as glaringly obvious as those luminous green tabards that we’re all used to, and while the style might not be to everyone’s taste (indeed I received identical comments from my Girlfriend and Mum that, if inverted, it would be the perfect mankini), I personally think that this little grey pouch could prove to be absolutely invaluable, especially during the summer months when riding gear might not be quite as reflective, and/or on the occasion that you’re out after-dark. It fits perfectly in a pocket or in a tank bag, and is actually the perfect companion to my Dainese Air Frame jacket (while being perfectly cool for those hot summer months, it doesn’t provide the best reflective profile)
Having worn the BESKYDDA Visibility harness a couple of times now, i’m suitable impressed with it, especially how small and compact it is. It does occasionally ride up a little, but as I’m currently riding a cruiser this is not overly surprising. I generally just throw it in a pannier or pocket, and it takes up so little room that I barely have to worry about it. It is certainly smaller than a good reflective vest, but it is open for debate on how effective it is when compared to the full reflective vest. Personally, I think that for around the £10 mark, it is a sensible investment, especially for bikers who don’t have panniers, top boxes, or large pockets. You could probably fit it under the seat of most bikes, or just wedge it under a strap or bar or rack.
Verdict: Buy it!
The BESKYDDA Visibility Harness was was a gift from a friend. I’m not paid by nor endorsed by Ikea or any of their affiliates to mention, review or promote their products or brand.