A serious investment, but one that really pays off if you regularly run in a range of conditions all year round. This jacket is a high-performing piece of kit with excellent features that will improve your run.
Lacks reflective detail
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Inov8 Stormshell: first impressions
On initial inspection, the Inov8 Stormshell seems as close as it gets to an all-round running jacket. The well-considered design has extra features that make it handy for an array of climates throughout the year, but it really comes into its own in challenging conditions.
The silky smooth jacket does come at a price, and for a new runner there are probably better entry options among our best running jackets buying guide selection. However an experienced, long-distance runner will certainly appreciate all the features that it offers.
• RRP: $230 (US) / £180
• Gender specificity: Male / Female versions
• Weight (variable by size): 6.2oz / 175g
• Colors: Men’s Black / Blue / Red Women’s Black / Blue / Red / Pink
• Compatibility: Trail running, waterproof, windproof, reflective, breathable, lightweight, soft fabric
Inov8 Stormshell: on the trails
As we thought, on test this jacket turned out to be really good all-round performer, with a range of excellent features.
Small thumb holes at the end of the sleeves mean you can easily pull the jacket down over your hand to help keep yourself warm on chilly mornings, and so that you don’t have to burden yourself with carrying gloves around in your pocket for most of your run.
A well-fitted hood and high front zip means the jacket can quickly envelop you when the weather takes a turn for the worse, so only a small portion of your face is exposed to the elements.
The lightweight and breathable fabric means this jacket is very easy to wear. The jacket comes in black as well as some brighter colors. The logos are all reflective but a couple of additional reflective strikes would make for a valuable addition.
As well as being a great all-rounder and all-season running jacket, the Inov8 Stormshell also kept me dry during a lot of hikes in the Lake District. The lightweight and super breathable fabric were perfect as a thin extra layer when I reached the top of climbs or descents, whether I was running or walking; it’s perfect if you take a layering approach. (See also: why is layering important?)
After competing professionally in triathlon from 2006 to 2011 – including two appearances in the 70.3 World Championships in 2008 and 2009 – Tom turned to writing and adventure-style event management. He organises trail, road, night and mud races in the UK under the name Relish Running, a company he set up to share his love of running, and all the secret trails he’d found while exploring the wilderness. He also wanted a career which was less tiring than being an athlete, it turns out being a race director was a terrible choice, it’s exhausting.