The Beacon’s LEDs are more than a party trick – this is a top-quality jacket which combines a performance-focused fit and fabric with a safety-conscious design – but the integrated lights have the wow factor. Turn them on and, whether you’re showing a cyclist or non-cyclist, you’re sure to get a response. The same goes out on the road – the Beacon significantly increases a rider’s visibility.
The Beacon comes from clothing start-up Metier, which launched at the end of 2017 with two pieces, this jacket and its namesake, the Beacon gilet (£180). Both are available in men’s and women’s fits.
The jacket is made from a four-way stretch fabric, similar in feel to a lightweight softshell, with a brushed interior, and a wind resistant and hydrophobic outer. In reality, the Beacon is something of a cross between a jacket and jersey.
The lights have three settings – constant, slow flash and fast flash – with claimed run times of up to 12 hours for the steady mode and 72 hours for both flashing modes. The LEDs are powered by a USB-rechargeable battery housed in its own pocket on the back of the jacket. The battery has a large button which makes it easy to turn the lights on and switch between modes while wearing gloves, just by pressing through the pocket and onto the button.
Fit and function
The Beacon is a performance-focused piece and that’s most evident in the fit, fabric and style. While this isn’t the first jacket we’ve seen with wearable LEDs, it’s certainly the most stylish and Metier’s attention to detail also helps justify the top-end price tag. There’s no getting away from the fact that this is primarily an all-black jacket, but by integrating LEDs into a sleek, stylish piece, Metier appeals to core cyclists who want to ride hard and look good out on the road.
Breathability is good, too. On the whole, the Beacon does an admirable job at transferring moisture away from the skin and to the outer face of the jacket but it can’t quite keep up when working particularly hard. That’s normally the case with a fabric like this and the Beacon does a better job than most. When moisture does build up, it’s normally down the centre of the back where the fabric is reinforced to protect the LED cables. I only found it to be a significant problem on one freezing night ride after a long coffee stop, when it took some time to warm up again.