Gear Review – Inov-8 Hydration Vest
When it comes to gear I am an absolute geek. When it comes to pre-release gear for me to try that takes my geekdom to a new level! When I returned home from the Vermont Ultra Beast a few weeks ago I was welcomed with a new package from Inov-8 with some race clothing (the capris are my new favorite work clothes) as well as the new yet to be released Inov-8 RaceUltra Hydration Vest. Inov-8 which is mostly known for it’s shoes is much more than just a shoe company. They have been developing some of the best packs and now clothing as well. Their packs have been known to show up in multi-day races such as the Spartan Death Race and Marathon des Sables. But until now they haven’t had a hydration vest.
I had the opportunity to try out the new hydration vest two weekends ago at the Hunter Gatherer 50K in Texas. I packed the new vest along with the bladder and 2 bottles that came with it. What better way to test out a new product than take it for a 50K self supported trail race of which over 20 miles were bushwhacking.
After spending hours and hours in the vest it held up great! Not only was I able to carry a massive amount of food, steripen, cell phone, and bivy in the pockets, but I was also able to carry 3L of water at a time. For most races this is overkill but in a race where you filtered your own water I started off with as much as I could carry. As a training vest being able to carry that much water means a longer adventure in dry areas. The feature I liked the most was the dual ability to carry both bottles and bladder. I prefer carrying water in my bladder and an electrolyte blend in my bottles. Another feature I opted to not use for this particular day was the insulation sleeve to help keep that drink cool in the summers and warm as the temps drop.
- Totally Adjustable – fits any frame, both my boyfriend and I have made it fit us perfectly
- Comfortable – bottles stay in place and don’t move
- Safety Feature – detachable whistle
- Pockets – enough space to put massive amounts of gels, bars, chap stick and more. You can totally pack mule a race in this vest
- Bottles – they don’t move when you run and fit perfectly along the rib cage, held securely in place
- 2L bladder – easy to fill wide open top
- Lightweight – in Inov-8’s signature form the pack is extremely light weighing in around 6oz.
The release date for US sales of the UltraRace vest has not been released, so the biggest downside of this vest is not being able to tell you when you can get your own. Now I have to convince my boyfriend to give it back to me as he has fallen in love with it as well and already has visions of exploring new areas while wearing it. Inov-8 has yet again made another item I have quickly fallen in love with. We will be sure to share when this one hits the retail market.