Paddler's Supply's Solas-approved tape

Anybody use this reflective tape on paddles, etc? it’s $9 per package as I saw at the Peekskill Atlantic kayak tour’s shop in Annesville creek…

Wonder if that is cheaper/more than the 3m Scotchlite SOLAS tape?


3-M tape
I have to wonder just how much difference there is between SOLAS tape and DOT-approved tape. After all, there aren’t that many manufacturers of reflective tape, and DOT and SOLAS are, I believe, designations that are affixed following a specific set of tests to which samples are submitted. Testing would seem to add cost to the material.

OTOH, I may just be whistlin’ Dixie.


Reflective tapes

– Last Updated: Jun-02-08 5:33 PM EST –

My favorite source for reflective tapes:

I can say that the 3M SOLAS tape has held up very well on paddle blades. No signs of adhesive failure, but it doesn't like abrasion.

With any tape, rounding the corners will reduce peeling problems. Sharp corners are usually where it starts to lift.

I got some of this tape
for our fire department, and it was impressively bright but quite thick and stiff. It wouldn't be good for curved surfaces. The 3M SOLAS tape is much more flexible.

SOLAS s much more reflective
SOLAS is much more reflective, from what I have seen.

I bought the stuff in a roll of 2" width self adhesive tape, and have placed it in many places on my boat and equipment. Worked out to be about $2.50 a foot.

Possibly Irrelevant
Just a thought on the colour you use if its for visibility purposes - flouro colour - green, yellow etc will stand out best (and look worst!!) Reason I know this is recently the colours of the cars at work have changed from red and white reflective to fluoro yellow, and thats with an ambulance service, for visibility purposes.

colour of reflective tape
is only visible in daylight.

At night the reflective material will reflect light and will appear white.

I have a sample book of reflective self adhesive material: white, red, green, yellow, blue and black.

They all look the same when the light source (flashlight) pointed at the samples is reflected back to the viewer, even black.


Possibly Low Light?
Perhaps my comments earlier the research is based on low light situations such as on suburban roads? Can only go on the research paper we were shown stating the reflective strips on Emergency vehicles should be in Fluoro yellow - also apparently a world standard these days. Different application, different product i guess - but I think the low light situation is relevant to colour.

partially relavent

– Last Updated: Jun-03-08 11:34 AM EST –

I think it is relevant, but only to a point.

The color of an items makes a big difference in daylight. But it takes a much larger surface area of that color to be visible. Putting some bright colored tape on a boat likely won't make much of a difference during the day. If it is a concern, you should do something large in that color, like having a bright colored kayak, bright colored paddle blades (I use yellow), bright colored PFD, etc.

SOLAS and other very reflective materials, though, don't require a lot of space to be effective, which is why on much sports clothing now you see small, thin stripes or small tabs in this material. Most mid to high level PFDs and paddle jackets and such come with some built in.

I took a pair of pics of my paddle jacket, one with the flash on and one with the flash off.
You can see how the reflective seam glows with the flash. Not much materials there, but it is very effective at reflecting light, so not much is needed.


– Last Updated: Jun-03-08 1:56 PM EST –

Most of the reflective tapes are strictly retroreflective -- they only reflect light back to the source. If someone isn't pointing a light at you, or on axis with a light, the tape won't do you any good. In ambient sunlight or moonlight the reflective tape doesn't make you more visible.

I tape a lot of my gear just because it makes it easier to find in the dark with a flashlight.

If you want something that'll flash in the sun, there are mirror or glitter tapes that'll do that.