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Insulation – my inov-8 Race Elite Thermoshell


The inov-8 Race Elite Thermoshell 260 is a thermal pullover that features a breathable surface on one side, with a more windproof surface on the reverse.  The option to change from one to the other is great for making on the fly adjustments according to the conditions you face.  The elasticated fittings and zipped chest pocket, along with built in thumb loops for protecting the back of your hands while still having use of your fingers means it’s a very versatile piece.

Race Elite Thermoshell M Black Red

I first began using the inov-8 Race Elite Thermoshell in 2013.  I’ve lived in it ever since.

12 Labours of Hercules 2013 - Thermoshell on.

12 Labours of Hercules 2013 – Thermoshell on.

I work in it, with the reversible option lending me the ability to wear the Accelerate logo when at the store, then if need be – swap to the plain and slightly warmer config for outdoor use.

I walk the dog in it.  It’s so comfy and warm with just a t-shirt underneath that I don’t have to feel frustrated with the need to dress up in layers and layers for the sake of my dog and his habit of dragging his feet even in sideways rain and high winds.

The Thermoshell is filled with Primaloft – a hollow synthetic fibre that traps and stores heat, but weighs less than down (which does the same).  It’s so easily compressed that the entire jacket packs down into the same size pouch or pocket that my waterproof outer might do.  Although not waterproof, the Thermoshell has proven itself to remain fairly warm even when wet, so I don’t get too worried when it look as if I may get caught in a shower.

The funny thing is, I hardly ever run in mine.  I did briefly during the OMM 2014, in the Scottish Borders, but after using it to make that early start on Sunday morning more bearable, I quickly realised that I was sweating cobs and took it off again.

OMM 2014 - Thermoshell on.

OMM 2014 – Thermoshell on.

No, its ideal use is pre or post run/race, where to stand still and expose yourself (quiet at the back) would be to suffer unnecessarily.  I can avoid the shivers by leaving the ‘Thermo’ on until go time, then stuffing it easily into my run vest and carrying it as my emergency spare layer without weighing myself down.

Perfect.  After running, when I’m definitely wet from rain, sweat or both – it goes straight on to maintain the body temperature, where otherwise I’d start to freeze in no time.

On this year’s Round Rotherham, I was surprised to see myself suffering mild shock upon completion, such was the length of time I’d suffered slowly in a wet long sleeved shirt.  It was diving into the Thermo upon the return to HQ that brought me back into the land of the living and allowed me to drive home instead of being stuck recovering slowly on a gymnasium floor.

I’ve seen (and I believe mentioned) people falling for the sudden changes that nature can throw at you, even in the summer months.  Hypothermia from windy weather combined with fading sunlight and a light mist on the hills, so obvious in hindsight, but a very real problem for those who get caught through complacency.  A thermal jacket, equipped to with the right kind of insulation can save you from losing that all important body heat.

I literally find myself using it from the moment I dress in the morning, to the time I climb back into bed.  It’s just a great layer for warming without over dressing.  I can have a short sleeve t-shirt underneath and still feel sheltered from the elements, but as soon as I’m indoors and it comes off, I’m not over hot.

For 2 solid years I’ve relied upon the inov-8 Race Elite Thermoshell and it still doesn’t show any signs of excessive wear.  It’s not the most sophisticated of its kind, but is available at a reasonable price point.  My experience has bee overwhelmingly positive and I see no reason to suspect that the Thermoshell won’t be looking after me for another two years.  Amazing piece of kit.

We (Accelerate) are of course offering a variety of Insulation items and can offer advice on what might be the ideal piece of clothing for you/your circumstances.  Click here to view our Insulation collection and keep checking back for more info about insulation throughout November.



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Special Guests who love to run and have something to say. Running, kit and gear, racing and adventures... anything goes, thank goodness!

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