So everyone has their own opinions on running vests and belts. Perhaps you’ve run with a belt and want to try a backpack or vest. Maybe you’re struggling fitting everything in your bag for those longer runs.

I’ve tried belts and various bags. I love many brands but the best investment I made this year was the Inov_8 Race Elite Vest 10l. I tried vests after getting tired of my bag bouncing around on my back, sometimes rubbing and causing issues mid-run. Vests I find, are more snug and I feel like I’m wearing an extra layer. I barely notice I’m running with a bag. Up until recently I used the smaller Inov_8 vest which was fantastic and lightweight but I found fitting in everything I want to take on my runs a bit of a marathon. As I’ve increased my mileage I’ve found my essential kit list growing.

After trawling on the Internet for ages and reading various reviews I took the plunge and bought the Race Elite Vest. I was surprised at just how lightweight it still was. After I made the easy adjustments to suit me I packed in the following items with ease..

Inov_8 waterproof jacket, two energy bars, energy chews, a soft water bottle standard size, head torch and back up battery, emergency blanket and plasters, mini first aid kit, headphones, the all important lip balm, gloves, hat and a couple of wrags. There was still plenty more room and it wasn’t at all bulky.

As long as you’ve adjusted the vest to your comfort you will forget you are running with it. There are two zips which I place at the top so I can get things out without taking it off. The vest is secured with two easy front clips.

The vest came with two big water bottles. I personally don’t use them as I prefer the soft bottles plus I use the two roomy compartments at the front to store my mobile phone on one side and tissues and my favourite bag of nuts to enjoy during my run. My phone is secured inside the pocket with an elasticated tie and it’s easy to get out when I need it.

I don’t like running with bulky bags or bits of kit bouncing up and down putting me off enjoying my run. This vest is perfectly adequate for me on my trail adventures. The only thing I would have liked to have seen is a way of securing the main zips together for peace of mind but it isn’t a big drama. I’ve been on several small and longer trail runs with the vest now and it will be used this weekend at the Maverick Races night trails in Oxfordshire. As I will be running with my dog I am confident I will have plenty of space for those all important dog treats when I need him to slow down!

WalkRunClimb 4/5 stars

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