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I got curious about reflective tape. I have heard of Cyclists, Motorcyclists and some vehicle owners buying it to make their cars move visible at night, like if they get a flat and pull over to the side of the road and have to open their doors or trunk so people see the bright reflection of the door or vehicle, etc. It makes sense from a safety standpoint.

So getting in to the nit and grit of it; It seems like there are multiple "classes" of reflectivity. Like DOT Class I, II, III, IV, V etc. and then there is the "ultimate" reflective tape.... Classified as "SOLAS" tape. SOLAS tape is "Safety of Life at Sea".

3M Scotchlite 3150A SOLAS Grade Reflective Conspicuity Tape is apparently the de-facto standard, but there are maybe 1 or 2 other companies that make this stuff and it commands a price of anywhere from $250-$400 for a 55 yard roll of the stuff depending on how many inches wide it is.

Has anyone used this stuff? I would like to know about first hand experiences with it since it is so expensive. You can buy pre cut strips of it that are more affordable because you are paying by the foot instead of getting a complete roll of the stuff.
 

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I haven't used it but did a quick search out of curiosity. I did not find a definitive site comparing the various ratings. What I came across was SOLAS grade is extremely long lasting with people reporting it was still firmly stuck on their back packs or jackets after many years. I also found that it is highly used in rescue equipment such as life jackets, life rafts etc. It would need to be long lasting for those applications. I think it would need to be as reflective as possible for those uses to be seen at the greatest distance possible.
As for using on a vehicle, which would be stationary as opposed to a bobbing life jacket/vest, I think it would be overkill.
Using a less expensive tape should still work well and also be easy to inspect it's condition any time you open a door or trunk.
 

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When we did Pro Rally's (off-road racing, think 1970's vintage Toyota Corrola with a Roll Bar) a friend was in the Air Force, he was the base photographer and went hunting for the ultamite reflective tape. The idea was for safety if the trunk lid was open you could see a triangle of tape inside so you not only had visibility but also could alert the rest of your team.

So he wrote up a big long proposal why the base photographer vehicle (his!) should have that tape inside door jams and trunk lids. It worked its way up the chain but finally approved. Fire and Police loved it and by the 1980's it was common.

Safety of Life at Sea. Google beat my faulty memory (I remembered Safety at Sea)

The tape can be found in 6 or 12-foot lengths on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/3M-Scotchlite-3150A-Reflective-Conspicuity/dp/B015PFXB00
 
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