Inov-8 RacePro 18 pack

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The new Inov-8 RacePro pack is aimed at long-distance runners and mountain bikers.

I used my last Inov-8 RacePro pack so much that I wore it out. It took years and years of use to get to this point but eventually the zips began to seize and the fabric became old and thin. But I loved that pack – so I updated it with the newer version.

The Inov-8 RacePro comes in 10 or 18-litre versions and is ideal for long runs or mountain biking. I plan to use it in my forthcoming Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon.

Features of the Inov-8 RacePro pack include:

  • Large main compartment
  • Internal zipped compartment
  • Outer zipper pocket
  • Outer stretch mesh pocket
  • Bungee compression system
  • Grab handle
  • Large zip pulls
  • Easy access horizontal (rather than upright) water bladder
  • Internal key bungee
  • Batwing style hip/waist strap with pockets
  • Removable whistle on the shoulder straps
  • Chest strap.

There are a few new features and designs to this up-dated RacePro pack and I like most of them. I believe that the horizontal water bladder is new and this is a brilliant design because I prefer the water to be lower in the pack. I found that the water doesn’t slosh about as much as when using an upright shaped bladder.

inov8strawThe drinking tube has me a bit puzzled. It exits the pack in a corner where the top of the hip strap joins the main part of the bag. I think that I am meant to feed the tube up the shoulder strap. However, there was a lot of tube left so I then wound it over my neck and down the other shoulder strap. This worked okay but I have now cut the tube short so that it comes to an end three-quarters of the way up the one shoulder strap.

The hydration bladder is sold separately but it’s a good one. I like that the drinking outlet can be turned on and off to prevent spillages when not in use.

As with most Inov-8 products the design and fit has been very carefully designed. The shoulder straps looked a bit flimsy but they are excellent when in use. They are light and comfortable and positioned in exactly the right place for walking and running. I felt no rubs or annoyances even on the first outing.

I really, really like the hip/waist belt. Many lightweight running packs have been stripped back and the waist straps are simply a narrow length of webbing. This offers no support and in many cases digs into my hips, waist and back.

The wide waist belt with large pockets is brilliant. It’s comfortable and offers a great deal of support when carrying the pack. I am delighted with the fit and feel of this aspect of the pack.

inov8full The large pockets on the waist strap are superb. I like to have a few bits and pieces close to hand and I found that I could fit in my mobile phone, spare cloves, snacks, compass etc.

I also like the simplistic shape and design with the right number of pockets and compartments. The addition of a compression bungee is useful when are carrying less kit. The adjustor is also located inside the mesh compartment so that any extra elastic can be stuffed neatly inside rather than hanging around.

I made use of the mesh outer compartment (this could be a bit deeper in my opinion), the bungee straps and the carrying handle for carrying my folded down walking poles. This worked well.

The handle on the middle of the outside of the pack is useful, although I am not sure if it’s any better placed than a carrying handle at the top of the pack.

inov8backThe zip pulls are easy to grip and use although I found that the zips became caught a few times in the fabric that runs alongside the length of the zips. This could be annoying if you are in a hurry. Taking a bit more time and making sure the fabric is clear of the zips works wonders.

The pack was easy to adjust to fit me (I’m a tall-ish, slim female) and I have seen it looking good on a larger guy, too. So it’s adaptable.

The 18l pack is big enough for all my day’s needs when running, walking or cycling. On several outings I have stuffed in a waterproof jacket, waterproof trousers, lightweight insulated jacket, spare baselayer, spare gloves and hat, lunch, snacks, map and compass. In addition I have filled the 2l hydration bladder.

This is by far and away my favourite running pack and the newer version is even better than the last.

It retails at around £75. See Inov-8

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