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Photo credit: www.inov-8.com

Inov-8 Race Elite Windshell FZ jacket review

13-Apr-16

Last updated: 17-Aug-18

By Fiona Outdoors

The running specialists inov-8 have created two windproof outer layers for runners. The names are the same, except one is FZ (full zip) and the other is inov-8 Race Elite Windshell HZ (half zip) jacket. The items have other differences, too. This review is the Race Elite Windshell FZ.

Features

  • Windproof fabric is 100% Nylon 6 Mini-ripstop Pertex Quantum
  • Stretch panels are 84% nylon, 16% Spandex
  • Vented zones for increased air-flow
  • Stretch panels for increased shoulder movement
  • Full-length front zip with locking zip head
  • Two chest pocket with vents and MP3 player access
  • Lycra bound cuffs with integrated thumb loop
  • Stuff sack
  • Weighs 100g/3.5oz (women’s) or 105g/ 3.5oz (men’s)

Photo credit: www.inov-8.com

Pros: What’s good about the inov-8 Race Elite Windshell FZ

Although this is not the lightest of inov-8’s windproof jackets it is still an easy jacket to like. The weight of 100g is good for a jacket with a lining, full zip, pockets and stretch fabrics.

I would reserve this jacket for cold but dry days. You could easily wear it over one base layer and stay warm enough on chilly days or when conditions are cooler in the morning or evening.

The ripstop nylon Pertex fabric is super light, silky feeling and doesn’t make too much of a rustling noise. (Too many running jackets make an annoying rustling noise in the wind.) This fabric is located in areas where you would most feel the wind when running, such as the front, shoulders, lower sides, arms and hood.

The rest of the jacket is made of a heavier fabric that is stretchy and breathable. It offers good freedom of movement and fairly good breathability.

The brand does not state in the description that the jacket has any kind of waterproofing treatment but it does appear to repel light rain. I asked a representative at inov-8 who agreed that the jacket has been a light DWR (Durable Water Repellent) but he added: “For a fully waterproof jacket you’ll need to buy the Stormshell, for example, which has 20,000 HH.” Read about HH ratings here.

This is a training jacket (rather than a super light racing jacket) in my opinion and has a nice range of features.

The lightweight hood is adjustable and fits well. It can be rolled away when not in use. It is very effective at keeping out the wind and does not annoy when zipped up and tightened around the head. There is a zip guard to stop the top of the zip chafing the skin of your chin.

The two chest pockets can be unzipped for extra venting when you get too warm and include a small hemmed hole inside to allow wires from a music player or phone to be neatly fed through.

The sleeves are long and have a comfortable extra section of sleeve at the hem area with a thumb loop. The sleeves are not always long enough for me but for once the thumb loops fit well.

A stuff sack is a useful way to carry the jacket when not in use.

Photo credit: www.inov-8.com

Cons: What’s not so good about the inov-8 Race Elite Windshell FZ

I don’t think the hood roll-away system is very good. It leaves the rolled up hood a bit loose and flappy. I am sure there must be a neater way to stow away the hood, if that is what you want to do.

The jacket would have been just as good with only one chest pocket. I don’t know of many runners who use pockets, except to carry a car key or phone.

I am usually a UK10 but this inov-8 UK 10 is still quite roomy. I would prefer a jacket, even an outer layer, to be a tighter fit. I don’t like fabric flapping around when I run.

Conclusion

The jacket feels a bit too heavy for my liking. I think it would only really be suitable for cold winter days because when you run you build up a lot of heat. The stretch fabric isn’t as breathable as I would have hoped and so the jacket is useful for very specific running days.

Score  
Design 7/10
Features 7/10
Performance 7.5/10
Value 8/10
Total 7.3/10


Other jackets you may want to consider:

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor
Montrail Fluidflex F.K.T. Shoes
Brooks Cascadia 10
inov-8 Terraclaw 270
inov-8 Race Ultra 290

About the writer: Fiona is a keen runner, preferring off-road and hilly to flat and road. She lives in Scotland where the weather is fickle so needs to be prepared for all conditions.

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OUR RATING

Product Rating

YOUR RATING

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“You could easily wear it over one base layer and stay warm enough on chilly days or when conditions are cooler in the morning or evening”

Where to buy

inov-8 AT/C Windshell FZ running jacket for women View deal
inov-8 AT/C Windshell FZ running jacket for men View deal
inov-8 AT/C Windshell FZ running jacket for women View deal
inov-8 AT/C Windshell FZ running jacket for men View deal
inov-8 AT/C Windshell FZ running jacket for women View deal
inov-8 AT/C Windshell FZ running jacket for men View deal
inov-8 Windshell Full Zip jacket for men View deal
inov-8 AT/C Windshell FZ jacket for men View deal
inov-8 AT/C Windshell FZ jacket for women View deal
inov-8 AT/C Windshell FZ jacket View deal
inov-8 Race Elite Windshell FZ jacket for women View deal
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Review Inov-8 Race Elite Windshell FZ jacket review

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