inov-8 Race Elite Headband review: a lightweight, high-wicking piece of headwear for summer runs and hikes

The lightweight inov-8 Race Elite is a headband constructed using luxury performance Meryl Hydrogen yarns

inov-8 race elite
(Image: © inov-8)

Advnture Verdict

A very comfortable headband that is super soft to the touch and good for cooler days.


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    Low price

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    Super soft


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    Single width all round

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inov-8 Race Elite: first impressions

The inov-8 Race Elite headband, one of our recommended Best running hats, is extremely lightweight, but also constructed with double thickness material, and so offers protection for the ears and forehead when running on colder days. 

Equally, if you are out on the trails on a warm day, the fabric will catch sweat and prevent it from entering your eyes, which can cause pain and blurred vision (see also Hiking injuries and ailments: how to avoid and treat them). Whether it is hot or cold, the fabric has outstanding wicking and cooling properties. 

Although there are male and female versions available, the headband is the same size for both men and women, and the design is one width all the way around the circumference, which won’t suit everyone. 

It is a stretchy piece of apparel, constructed using Meryl Hydrogen yarns (with 6% Elastane). The yarn is justifiably described as a luxury performance yarn, and it is very soft to the touch. 


RRP: $19 (US) / £15 (UK)
Style: Headband
Gender specificity: Men’s and women’s versions available
Sizes: One size
Average weight: 14g / 0.5oz
Materials: Meryl Hydrogen (94%) and Elastane (6%)
Colors: Black / Blue / Pink
Compatibility: Year-round running 

Woman wearing the inov-8 Race Elite Headband

Loving the inov-8 Race Elite Headband (Image credit: Fiona Russell)

On the trails

Pop the inov-8 Race Elite headband on and for the rest of your run you hardly even notice it is there. 

Comfortable, very lightweight and extremely easy to wear, it is made of a lovely soft but seemingly durable fabric. It is double folded and stitched, and capable of keeping out the cold on breezy days. This is not a headband for very gusty and chilly days, however, because it does let some wind through (so if you need something more substantial here are our Best hiking hats).

The one-width shape is not the best, because it means you have to wear it low on the forehead otherwise it slips up off the head. Personally I prefer a headband that is narrower at the forehead and shaped over the ears, although this is subjective. 

The colors are lovely, and the price seems good for the high quality nature of the yarn.

Fiona Russell
Outdoor writer

Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favorite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing (both downhill and backcountry). Aside from her own adventures, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy getting outside and exploring, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.