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Reviews Inov-8 Raceshell Half Zip review

Inov-8 Raceshell Half Zip review

If a lightweight running jacket is top of your wish list, the Inov-8 Raceshell may be the answer. Read our full review to find out...

The Raceshell is an updated version of Inov-8’s Ultra Shell, which we tested back in 2022, but does it beat the original on performance and value?

Like the latter, this latest model prioritises light weight, coming up on our scales at 103g.

That’s class-leading, and means you’ll barely notice the jacket when packed into a pocket or running pack.

Speaking of which, the Raceshell packs down to the size of a tin of coke, though there’s no pocket or stuff sac to pack it into.

Admittedly, though, you can fasten it down with the hook and loop closure on either side of the hood. It works okay, but isn’t quite as tidy as a stuff sack.

What’s the weather protection like?

The garment implements taped seams and a hydrostatic head rating of 15,000 in terms of water resistance, which kept us dry in downpours, but it did start to wet out in heavy rain.

When that happens, breathability is hampered somewhat, but the two-way half zip helps counteract that by allowing vital ventilation.

As someone that runs hot, I rarely find any jacket particularly breathable so the ability to vent is essential. What I will also say is that as this jacket is so thin, it does allow you to dump heat.

What features does the Inov-8 Raceshell have?

Features are stripped back, with no hood adjustment, for example. That does mean that you can’t cinch it in around your face as tightly, so it does become a little bit of an obstruction if you’re trying to quickly look to one side.

However, we did find that if you fold the wired peak over on itself, you get a much more secure fit, which moves with your face as you look around.

Plus, not every jacket with hood adjustment is going to hit the mark, so this hood actually performed better than the dhb Aeron Ultra we also tested.

You also get an elasticated waistband and cuffs, which fits pretty closely to keep the elements out, but there wasn’t any substantial reflective markings for improved visibility.

The Raceshell’s material is thin and partially transparent, which means you can wear the jacket over a race number and it’ll still be visible, too.

The bottom line

An RRP of £120 represents pretty good value, especially compared to some other waterproof running jackets on the market.

Given all that’s said here, the Raceshell is ideal as mandatory kit in a race or as a jacket to check in a running backpack just in case.

Verdict: Super lightweight and packable so great for racing, but better options out there for sustained downpours.

Score: 80%

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About

Rob Slade is 220 Triathlon's Content Editor. He joined the team in April 2021 and has a background in adventure sports, which he developed during his time as editor of Adventure Travel magazine. Always up for an adventure, he's motivated by good views and regularly uses the scenery as an excuse for taking so long to complete events. While he may lack speed, he always retains his positive disposition, probably because he knows a pint will be waiting for him at the end.

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