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Photo credit: inov-8.com.

inov-8 Thermoshell Pro insulated jacket review

04-Oct-18

Last updated: 04-Oct-18

By Fiona Outdoors

The inov-8 Thermoshell Pro jacket is designed for mountain marathons and trail running. The brand states the jacket is “highly compressible and lightweight, to ensure thermal, wet weather performance thanks to PrimaLoft Insulation ThermoPlume”.

Features

  • PrimaLoft Black insulation, ThermoPlume, for softness and compressibility “like natural goose down”
  • Synthetic equivalent of 550 fill down
  • Hydrophobic insulation to ensure warmth even in wet conditions
  • Ultra light shell fabric
  • Windproof and water-resistant outer fabric
  • Narrow quilting to the side and zoned four-way stretch panels for unrestricted movement
  • Adjustable hood with shaped peak keeps the wind out and hood in position
  • Packs into internal pocket
  • Four zipped pockets, two hand pockets and two internal chest pockets
  • Weight: Men’s jacket: 447g; women’s 383g
  • RRP: £170

Pros: What’s good about the inov-8 Thermoshell Pro insulated jacket

First a bit about PrimaLoft ThermoPlume. PrimaLoft is a polyester microfibre (the smallest fibre in the industry). The company states: “The smaller fibres trap greater quantities of air, resulting in superior thermal performance and a softer hand feel.”

PrimaLoft is also water repellent because the fibres have a proprietary treatment, which reduces the amount of moisture the fibres can absorb, while at the same time changing the characteristics of the fibres so they repel water molecules.

Because the PrimaLoft fibres absorb very little moisture, the insulation maintains the highest percentage of warmth when wet. 

In a nutshell PrimaLoft is claimed to be: warmer, softer, drier, more compressible and super lightweight.

RUNULTRA_inov-8-Thermoshell-insulated-jacket-review_primaloft

The jacket fits neatly and snugly but still with enough space underneath for a couple of lightweight baselayers. The length of the jacket is good at the torso and the arms. I am quite tall and have long arms so I am always happy to find a longer-style jacket.

The jacket does feel lightweight yet warm. If you thought that a jacket could only be warm when bulky, this new style of lightweight warmth is a revelation.

The insulation is excellent. It feels light and airy yet offers great warmth. The ultimate test has been putting it on over damp running layers after a run and also wearing it on top of a mountain in wet and cold Scottish weather.

I have worn the jacket as an outer layer and as a mid layer under a waterproof jacket and I have found it to offer excellent warmth.

The stretch fabric under the arms is a great idea. It gives excellent freedom of movement. The jacket doesn’t feel compromised by the light fabric under the arms. I thought it might let in the cold and let out the warmth but this is an area that actually benefits from being breathable.

Another advantage is that I have found the jacket does not end up whiffing of body odour because there is a lightweight breathable fabric in the crucial underarm area.

The hood is a good fit and the slightly formed peak is helpful because it keeps the shape of the hood. You can zip up the jacket to offer great warmth when required.

I know it shouldn’t matter but the look of the jacket is vey good. The shape is flattering and the maroon colour (for women only) is really nice. I would choose this colour every time. The alternative is black, if you prefer. The men’s jacket is only sold in black.

It is fairly easy to pack down, too, by squashing the jacket into one of the internal chest pockets. It’s quite a tight squeeze but that gives you the satisfaction of knowing the resulting zipped pack is as neat as it can be. If you are packing a rucksack for a race, you will want to know your items take up as little space as possible.

Cons: What’s not so good about inov-8 Thermoshell Pro insulated jacket

It would be great if there was a two-way front zip. I say this about a lot of jackets these days. The two-way is really helpful for allowing extra breathability and for access to layers and felts etc under a jacket.

The packed jacket is larger than you might think from the website pictures. I would not say it is “highly compressible” although it does pack down small enough given the actual puffiness of the jacket.

It would be nice to see some other colours for both men and women.

The price of £170 is quite a lot for a jacket although it does appear to be well made and designed so it should hopefully be long-lasting. I trust inov-8 for good quality products.

I can’t think of any other negatives. I really like the jacket.

Conclusion

The inov-8 Thermoshell Pro insulated jacket is a lightweight but warm jacket that does what it says on the label.

Synthetic fibre is better than down in many situations, especially if you will be wearing damp running clothes or out in wet mountain weather.

The design is great overall, although it would be good to have a two-way zip.

This is a great jacket to have with you when taking part in a long mountain race or after a training run when your temperature suddenly dips.

It's quite pricey but inov-8 quality is usually excellent.

Score  
Design 9/10
Features 8/10
Performance 10/10
Value 7.5/10
Total 8.6/10


Other jackets you may want to try:

Berghaus Nunat Mountain Reflect Jacket (men)
Montane Icarus Flight Jacket (Men)
Montane Phoenix Flight Jacket (Women)
Jottnar Thorsen Light Down jacket

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OUR RATING

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YOUR RATING

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“a lightweight but warm jacket that does what it says on the label”

Where to buy

inov-8 Thermoshell Pro insulated jacket for women View deal
inov-8 Thermoshell Pro insulated jacket for women View deal
inov-8 Thermoshell Pro insulated jacket for women View deal
inov-8 Thermoshell Pro insulated jacket for women View deal
inov-8 Thermoshell Pro insulated jacket for men View deal
inov-8 Thermoshell Pro insulated jacket for women View deal
inov-8 Thermoshell Pro running jacket for women View deal
inov-8 Thermoshell Pro insulated jacket View deal
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