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Best Personal Alarms for Runners in 2022

 

Although it’s very common to find yourself several miles from home while on a long run, it seems that the further you get from home, the more unsafe you tend to feel. When you’re running in an unfamiliar environment, safety should be your first priority.

Personal alarms designed specifically for runners are a great safety tool. They’re easy to strap around your wrist or arm, and all it takes is a simple pull of a chain or click of a button to activate the high-pitched sound.

We did our research and developed a list of the best personal alarms for runners. We tried our best to break down the best features of each personal alarm to help you figure out which would be best for you.

So, now that we’ve kept you waiting long enough, let’s take a look at some of our favorite personal alarms for runners.

We recommend the Nathan Personal Alarm for our top pick, but everyone on the list is worth considering!

Top 3 Best and Favorites

 

Nathan Personal Alarm

 

  • Easy to hold and attach
  • Alarm can be heard up to 600 feet away
  • Time Magazine 2019 Best Invention award
Check Price

 

Sabre Runner Personal Alarm With Adjustable Wrist Strap

 

  • Adjustable wrist strap
  • 130-decibel siren sound
  • Reflective wrist strap
Check Price

 

Sabre Clip-on Personal Alarm With LED Safety Light

 

  • Three light modes
  • Built-in clip
  • Provides a loud, piercing, pulsating sound
Check Price

 

Best Overall Personal Alarm

1. Nathan SaferRun Personal Alarm

Just like its name suggests, this personal alarm is meant to keep you safe while running. It’s easy to use and not intrusive to carry.

What We Like

This handy device is about the size of your thumb, so it truly won’t weigh you down when you’re running.

The alarm is activated by pulling the tab out, using the small tag. It’s easy to pull out—even with one hand—but not so easy that there’s much chance of it happening by accident.

When you do activate it, the alarm is loud enough to catch attention, at 120 decibels. Nathan claims that it’s audible from 600 feet away, which is enough for somebody to hear it and come to your aid.

When the danger is gone, simply push the pin back into the device to silence the alarm. It’s worth noting that the large button-like parts on the device are actually speakers.

There’s also a handy battery level indicator so you can see at a glance when you need to change the battery.

This personal alarm comes with a useful clip on the back, so you can clip it to your belt, shorts, or vest easily. Nathan also makes compatible accessories, like waist packs and armbands, that work with this device.

It was awarded a spot on Time Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2019 list. It may have been a few years ago, but it’s still as useful as it was back then!

Just note that it’s not water-resistant, so we can’t say if it would or wouldn’t work if you happened to be running in wet weather.

Why We Like It

This small and easy-to-carry device is inconspicuous and offers a loud enough sound to deter would-be attackers or draw attention if you need help.

PROS:

  • Easy to use with one-handed ripcord activation
  • Can be clipped onto your shorts, running vest, or running belt
  • Built-in battery level indicator so you know when to change the battery
  • Compact and lightweight construction won’t interfere with your run

CONS:

  • It’s not water-resistant so it might not be suitable for wet weather
 

Top Value Safety Alarm

2. Sabre Runner Personal Alarm With Adjustable Wrist Strap

If you’ve got a free wrist—that isn’t taken up by fitness trackers or smartwatches—you may like this convenient wrist-strap safety alarm. It’s affordable and effective.

What We Like

This personal alarm is made by one of the leading personal safety brands. It features a pin-pull alarm on an adjustable wrist strap, which is very convenient for those who don’t want to carry an alarm or strap it to something for fear it will fall off.

The strap is adjustable to fit most wrists and it’s made of water-resistant lycra material. It’s also washable, just don’t forget to take the alarm out first!

When the alarm is snug in the wristband, it’s easy to grab the pin and pull it out when you need to attract attention. When it’s on your wrist, it can hardly be activated by accident, which is a bonus.

At 130 decibels, it’s loud enough to catch the attention of people up to 1000 feet away. When you no longer need the sound, just pop the pin back into the device.

Some customers have expressed disappointment that the black wristband doesn’t have more reflective features on it, which would have added an extra element of safety.

Why We Like It

This device is convenient, hands-free, and loud enough to draw attention. Most people will love the hands-free design and the friendly price tag.

PROS:

  • User-friendly design that won’t accidentally go off
  • Stores in an adjustable, weather-proof wristband so you can run freely
  • Battery check button lets you check the device before leaving the house
  • Provides a loud, obnoxious twittering sound

CONS:

  • There’s no reflective detailing on the wristband
 

Best Personal Alarm With Safety Light

3. Sabre Clip-on Personal Alarm With LED Safety Light

This handy personal alarm has both a loud, attention-grabbing sound, and a bright LED light. It’s two times the safety in one small package!

What We Like

The Sabre Clip-On Personal Alarm with LED Safety Light is the perfect late-night run companion. It clips easily to a belt or waistband and it’s small enough to be unobtrusive.

It’s also weatherproof and sweatproof, so it’s ideal for use in any environment, and at any time of year.

There’s a button on either side of the device. One is to activate the LED light, which has 3 different modes—fast flash, slow flash, always-on—and the other side button sets off the alarm.

The alarm gives off a loud, pulsating noise of 120 decibels that the manufacturer states can be heard from up to 1300 feet away.

When you purchase this product, the packaging includes links to free training videos on how to use it effectively.

However, opening the battery panel to replace the batteries can be a little tricky. It can also be easy to confuse the buttons and accidentally turn the alarm on when you need the light, or vice versa.

Why We Like It

This personal alarm packs 2 safety features into one little package, offering you more in a smaller package.

PROS:

  • Intuitive design makes it easy to use in stressful situations
  • Three light modes helps increase visibility in low-light
  • Built-in clip attaches securely to your shorts, running belt, or vest
  • Once activated it provides a loud, piercing, pulsating sound

CONS:

  • It can be difficult to open the battery slot to activate or replace batteries
  • It may be easy to confuse the buttons
 

Top Arm Sleeve Phone and Alarm Combo

4. Nathan SaferRun Arm Phone Sleeve

If you like the idea of using an armband to carry your phone and having a safety device with it, the Nathan SaferRun Arm Phone Sleeve is an excellent choice.

What We Like

This convenient combination product features our top product—the Nathan SaferRun Personal Alarm—with a useful phone arm pouch.

This allows you to carry your valuables close to you, while also having a handy place to store your safety alarm that’s within easy reach.

The soft and stretchy material doesn’t chafe, and the see-through screen cover is touchscreen-friendly so you can use your phone on the go if you need to. It fits most modern smartphones.

Your personal alarm clips right onto the sleeve, within easy reach yet out of your way as you run or do other exercise. It’s an easy one-pull activation, and can be heard up to 600 feet away.

Why We Like It

This is a very practical combination for those who like to carry their phone on their arm. It’s easy to reach should you need it; however, the Velcro may not close tightly enough to fit on smaller arms.

PROS:

  • Soft, comfortable, and ergonomic sleeve that will fit most mobile devices
  • Protective see-through cover is touchscreen-friendly
  • Ripcord Siren is strategically placed to be easy-to-reach without restricting your movement
  • Sleeve is available in 4 different sizes

CONS:

  • This sleeve may not tighten enough to fit smaller arms
 

Best Wrist Personal Sound Alarm

5. Vigilant 125db Personal Wrist Alarm With Sweat Proof

This personal alarm looks a little like a smartwatch. It’s almost invisible, and its position right on your wrist makes it very easy to access in an emergency.

What We Like

This watch-style personal alarm is extremely easy to use. Just place it on the opposite hand to your smartwatch, and it’s right within easy reach at all times.

It features two small buttons—one white, one red. The red button activates the alarm, which is 125 decibels, loud enough to be heard hundreds of feet away, but designed to not damage your hearing.

The white button turns on the 2 LED lights, which will flash and alert people around you if you’re running in the dark.

This wristband uses a nylon strap, which is excellent for those who are allergic to silicone; however, it may wear out faster than silicone. You will get both a small and a large band with your purchase, so it fits every size wrist.

The band is quick-drying and odor-resistant, so even if you sweat it won’t hold onto odor. You can also replace it easily when it wears out.

You’ll need 3 LR44 batteries to power this alarm. They should last about a year on standby, or for 30 minutes of consistent alarm noise before needing to be replaced.

It also comes with a one-year warranty.

What’s New

The wristwatch-style design of this personal alarm is smart and unique! It’s well within reach at all times and can’t be set off accidentally.

PROS:

  • Watch-style design sits comfortably on the wrist
  • Adjustable, soft nylon strap that drys quickly
  • Easy to reach one-touch activation button
  • Features two LED emergency flasher lights to increase visibility at night

CONS:

  • The nylon strap may wear out faster than a silicone strap
 

Top Safety Alarm for Running and Personal Use

6. Mace Personal Alarm Wristlet

The Mace Personal Alarm Wristlet is perfect if you want a versatile personal alarm that you can use for both running and when you’re out socializing or doing things other than running.

What We Like

This alarm is made by Mace, which is one of the leading personal safety brands in the world. It has a long, slim, ergonomic shape that can fit easily into a pocket or purse.

It comes with an elastic strap that allows you to carry it in your hand if you do not want to wear it on your wrist. The rubberized exterior of the device protects it from drops in the event that you forget to use the wrist strap.

This is a pin-pull device, and you activate it by grabbing the small tag and yanking it until the pin separates from the main device.

When this happens, the alarm will sound. It’s 130 decibels, loud enough to be heard from several hundred feet away. Pop the pin back in when you want the sound to stop.

Just be careful, as the wrist strap doubles as the rip cord, which may result in accidental activation of the alarm.

There’s also a built-in LED light, which is activated by a push button. It only has a solid light mode, but it’s bright enough to illuminate a small area.

Why We Like It

This device is easy to use both when you’re running and when you’re out on the town. It’s loud enough to catch attention in almost any situation.

PROS:

  • Lightweight and compact design, can be held or fit into a purse or pocket
  • Separate on/off button for the mini LED light
  • Battery life will provide up to 60 minutes of continuous sound
  • 130 decibels can be heard from 100s of feet away

CONS:

  • The elastic wrist cord doubles as the rip cord, which could lead to accidental activation of the alarm
 

Best Mace Personal Alarm

7. Mace Kuros Personal Alarm With Keychain

This personal alarm is made by safety giant Mace. When you buy one of these, you’re contributing to the safety of women in developing countries, as the company offers free training and pepper spray to ladies in a variety of countries.

What We Like

The Mace Kuros personal alarm is bright and looks funky, although it only comes in one color.

The simple front push-button activates the alarm, which is 130 decibels and can be easily heard by anyone in the near vicinity. The off button is located on the back of the device.

Batteries are included when you buy this device, but if they go flat while you’re out on a run, you can use the built-in whistle to draw attention to yourself in an emergency.

The handy keychain attachment means you can hook this onto belts, loops, or keychains.

You should note that it can be set off accidentally if you place it on a keychain with a bunch of keys.

Why We Like It

This personal alarm not only keeps you safe, but it helps to teach and protect women in developing countries.

PROS:

  • Keychain is easy to attach to your running vest, belt, or keys
  • Intuitive design for quick activation or deactivation of the alarm
  • Built-in back-up whistle at the base of the alarm
  • Lightweight and no-bulk design won’t interfere with your movement

CONS:

  • Can be set off accidentally by keys if you place it on a keychain
 

Top Running Belt Combo

8. Nathan SaferRun Waistpak

If you like running with a running belt, then this could be the best combination for you. It mixes Nathan’s SaferRun Personal Alarm with a phone-compatible waistband for the most convenient and safe product possible.

What We Like

This combo pack is ideal for those who like to carry energy gels or energy chews with them on a run, while also having a safety feature that can provide peace of mind.

With this running belt, you’ll have space for storing small nutrition items, keys, and other items, as well as a touchscreen-compatible phone sleeve that fits most smartphones.

It’s designed to be bounce-free and adds an element of safety to your run with the built-in personal alarm.

Activate the pull-tab with one pull and you’ll hear a 120 decibel alarm that can be heard up to 600 feet away. Use the push button to silence it when you’re safe.

Why We Like It

You get a built-in safety device that’s audible for long distances, as well as plenty of space for energy gels and personal valuables.

PROS:

  • Adjustable belt that doesn’t bounce while you’re running
  • Built-in flip pocket provides easy access to your smartphone
  • Integrated alarm is easy to reach should you need it
  • Separate compartment to store gels, chews, or energy bars

CONS:

  • The personal safety alarm is not weatherproof
 

Best Personal Alarm for Women

9. Birdie Personal Safety Alarm

This personal alarm is sleek and pretty, but does an excellent job of making a noise in the case of an emergency. It comes in a variety of feminine colors and patterns.

What We Like

Apart from its pretty design, this alarm definitely catches attention. Simply pull the top pin out—you will need to tug firmly—and the device will emit a 130-decibel siren, along with a flashing strobe light to grab even more attention.

You can attach it to your handbag, belt strap, backpack, or anything else using the solid brass keychain that comes with it. It’s fashionable as well as practical, and looks good enough to carry with you in both sporty and social situations.

You’ll get up to 40 minutes of continuous sound out of the battery, but it can be silenced by clicking the top piece back into place.

However, the siren and the flashing light are on opposite sides of the device. This means that when it’s activated, no matter how you hold the device, you will either have the full force of the sound or the bright flashing light in your face!

Why We Like It

This is a cute and effective alarm for women that can be used in a variety of circumstances.

PROS:

  • Sleek, stylish design with a sturdy brass ring
  • Bright strobe light automatically flashes when you activate the alarm
  • Battery life will provide up to 40 minutes of continuous sound
  • Easy to switch it between your keychain, sling, or purse

CONS:

  • The siren and flashing light are on opposite sides of the device
 

Top Personal Alarm for Keychain

10. Sabre Ruger Personal Alarm

The Sabre Ruger Personal Alarm is compact, easy to use, and designed to be hung on a keychain, which makes it convenient to carry with you.

What We Like

This personal alarm has both a loud, noticeable 130 decibel alarm and a 20-lumen flashlight to keep you as safe as possible both day and night.

There’s a useful low battery test button, which will give you an indication of when the battery needs to be changed.

The keychain attachment can easily be hooked to many different things, although having it attached to something may make it prone to being activated accidentally.

Why We Like It

This compact and easy to use keychain alarm is easy to carry around with you and has a handy flashlight.

PROS:

  • Flashlight in the base helps to effectively light-up door locks or the path ahead
  • Low battery test button lets you know when you need to change batteries
  • Snap-hook is easy to attach to your car keys, purse, or belt
  • Easy to use when in an emergency

CONS:

  • May be prone to accidental activation if it’s attached to a keychain
 

Loudest Personal Safety Alarm

11. Deeram 150dB Emergency Personal Alarm

If volume is the most important feature of a personal alarm for you, we recommend the Deeram 150 decibel Emergency Personal Alarm.

What We Like

This is the loudest personal alarm on our list, at a surprising but highly effective 150 decibels. It can be heard up to 1000 feet away and is ideal for catching attention when you’re in trouble.

As well as sound, there’s an 85-lumen flashlight built into the device, which offers more than enough light to illuminate your surroundings when you need extra clarity.

The pull-pin system is easy to use and one of the smartest things about this alarm is there’s a keychain attachment that’s completely separate from the pin. This means you can attach it to your keys without worrying about accidental activation.

Of note, the pin is fragile. So if possible, be careful when using it—especially when replacing it—to avoid it breaking and being stuck with an alarm you’re unable to silence.

It’s also made of incredibly durable material and is fall-resistant, crush-resistant, temperature-resistant, and guaranteed to last a long time.

Why We Like It

This personal alarm is extremely loud and guaranteed to attract attention. It also has an unusually bright flashlight on it, and has a keychain that’s separate to the pin-pull mechanism.

PROS:

  • 150-decibel, loud, ear-piercing siren that can be heard up to 1000 feet
  • Bright, 85-lumen flashlight will provide great visibility
  • Easy-to-use pull-pin activation system
  • Durable construction

CONS:

  • The pin is fragile, so if you can, be careful when using it
 

Buyer’s Guide – Personal Alarms for Running

Size

You don’t want to have to carry something very big when you’re running, so choose a personal alarm that’s small enough to carry easily, either in your hand, wrapped around your wrist, clipped to a belt, or in your running belt.

It should also be lightweight so it won’t irritate you as you run.

Volume

Your alarm needs to be loud enough that it draws attention, but not so loud that it damages your own ears. Around 130 decibels is a good volume, as it’s about the same volume as a car alarm.

Cost

Most of the best personal alarms for runners cost between $15 and $30. For the price, they usually offer some extra features, like an LED light, backup whistle, or keychain.

Sound Quality

As well as being loud, the sound the alarm emits needs to be clear and catch people’s attention.

Strobe Light

A strobe light is also a handy feature to have on a personal alarm if you run at night or in low-light conditions. This will help to draw attention to you visually as well as audibly, which is also helpful as not everyone can tell where an alarm sound is coming from.

Attachment

If you want quick access to your alarm, you may want to hang it on your belt or somewhere within reach. A keychain attachment or carabiner hook are useful.

Otherwise, you can choose a lanyard-type attachment, which will require you to wrap it around your wrist. Some personal alarms come attached to things like arm-band phone holders.

Activation

Make sure you know exactly how your personal alarm is activated. Some have a button that needs to be pressed to activate the alarm, while others have a pin that needs to be pulled out of the alarm.

Back-Up Alarm

Some personal alarms come with a back-up whistle that you can use to draw attention if the alarm doesn’t work for some reason. This can add some peace of mind that you can still get help even if your battery dies without you realizing it.

FAQs

How do I use a personal alarm?

Personal alarms are really easy to use. Most personal alarms for runners will be strapped around your wrist or attached to some piece of your clothing for convenience purposes, but some come in the form of keychains.

When you find yourself in a dangerous situation, all you have to do is click the button or pull the ripcord on your personal alarm. This will cause an extremely loud and high-pitched sound to begin playing directly from the device.

After the would-be assailant leaves you alone and you’re in a safer location, you can press the button again (or return the ripcord to its original positioning) to silence the alarm. It’s then reset and ready to be used again in the future!

What does a safety alarm sound like?

It varies from product to product, but most personal alarms would be accurately described as sounding like a high-pitched siren. Some personal alarms can actually put out a sound that’s well over 130 decibels!

Yet, it’s not as much about the type of sound that comes out as much as it’s about the volume and getting other people around you to recognize that you’re in danger. The whole purpose of personal alarms is to draw attention to you and the situation you’re in.

Most of these personal alarms let off a sound that can be heard at least 600 feet away. Though, some of our favorite products can actually be heard from up to 1,000 feet away. You want to make sure that you’re picking a product that fits your running style and where your runs tend to lead you.

Which is better for safety – pepper spray or a personal alarm?

In all honesty, both types of personal safety tools can be really effective in helping you to stay safe while on a run. There’s no doubt that pepper spray and personal alarms can both scare off potential assailants, but each has its own pros and cons.

When it comes to runners, personal alarms tend to be the better option when it comes to safety and convenience. That’s because you have immediate access to a personal alarm when it’s on your wrist or attached to your clothing. Just pull the ripcord or press the button and everyone around you will know that you’re in danger.

The one downside of personal alarms is that they don’t always work. If your battery is dead or the alarm suddenly malfunctions, you’re kind of left to your own devices. That means you can’t always depend on your personal alarm to have your back.

Pepper spray isn’t difficult to use. However, you might find yourself fumbling around with the canister when you’re in a panic. They might scare an assailant off, but they won’t draw the attention of those around you that can potentially help you. The best part about pepper spray is that, as long as there’s liquid in the container, you know it’ll work.

It all comes down to personal preference, but we would recommend personal alarms when you’re looking to stay safe while out on a run. Just make sure that you’re picking a high-quality product that’ll do the job you expect it to.

Ben Drew

Ben Drew

Ben is an avid road and trail runner, and has completed multiple marathons and ultras. A former running store owner, he now shares his knowledge and experience writing these articles.

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