Following the disappointing result of my Mountain Equipment Gore Running Jacket, as well as trying to keep in mind my theme of ‘lighter running’, I have been looking at and eventually invested in Inov8’s latest ‘featherweight’ running jacket – the ‘Inov8 Race Elite Stormshell’. So far, I have been impressed with the performance of this jacket. This IS a lightweight jacket! Due to Inov8 looking at shaving off as much weight as possible, they had gone without the ‘pit zips’, which is something I normally swear by but with my approach of using this ‘storm’ jacket for wet runs only, I utilize my gilet for armpit ventilation when drier conditions allow it.
With the approach of losing as much weight as possible, they have also made this top a ‘mock’ rather than a full zipped jacket. This does not mean however, that whilst running in high winds and wet weather, that the inov8 jacket does not allow you to breathe, far from it, it works very well. This design would seem to make sense as it obviously saves in weight but it had me asking myself, if this was something that would work for me? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that once my previous ‘full zipped’ rain jackets were open below my chest bone, they were removed and packed away. So this approach of a ‘half zip’ would seem to offer you a better option of wind-proofing, where once you had a zip as well as a fantastic ‘two way half zip’, for a more dynamic way of allowing your chest to breathe. – have a look at the gallery below, where I have taken a shot of how you can run in strong driving rain but still allow for a ‘closed’ jacket that keeps your hood firmly hugging your head but still offering you ventilation for keeping cool.The hood is also fantastic, it’s exceptionally lightweight and barely noticeable. With the use of the draw cord, this hood subtly hugs your head, regardless of size and shape and along with the wire peak, this hood is a winner and ticks all boxes!As I have highlighted in my review of my Gore running gilet, I love the idea of lower back cover. This again, allows for that little more protection from any driving rain that might find its way down the base of your back, leaving your base core damp and receptacle to the cold wind. – again photos below indicate this great low cut design.
The ‘small print’ would suggest that for the jacket to perform at it’s designed optimum, the runner ‘must’ be wearing a recognized wicked under-layer, for heat/sweat to wick away. All my tops are of some wicking measure and so far, so good 🙂 It has been highlighted that the jacket is windproof but due to the minimal/lightweight deigns, you should not rely on it for ‘insulation’. This is a fair point and so far I have not suffered from this when running. I have however experienced a little chill, during my winter morning runs to work, when I arrive and find myself locked-out and waiting for someone to let me in. I’ve obviously stopped running by this point and as my body cools down, the temperatures and wind do begin to take effect on your core. This has raised a little concern for my UTMB race and left me wondering if I’d require another ‘heavier’ jacket but having read some reviews, such as Ian Corless’s rather convincing one, I think, as long as I’m injury free, this jacket will allow me to perform at my best, with a level of comfort that allows me to focus on the race in hand.”Do you get a buzz when you pick up a product and think, wow, that’s light? Imagine a fully waterproof seam sealed jacket that fits in a storage pocket the size of your hand that weighs only 150g and ticks all the boxes for the TNFUTMB. The Race Elite Stormshell 150 does this and no corners are cut. ” – Ian Corless. – http://iancorless.org/tag/race-elite-150-stormshell/
Due to the jacket being of a minimal design and weight, it is never an issue to carry this with me on every run – after all, I do run in Scotland where we can experience ‘all seasons in one day!’ 😉 It’s easily packed in my OMM bumbag or other running sports vest.
Here’s what the pros have to say:http://www.inov-8.com/New/Global/Product-View-Apparel-Race-Elite-150-Stormshell-SS14.html?L=26