I generally hate carrying anything when I go for a run, I just find it restrictive and annoying. Sometimes, however, you just can’t avoid it, particularly if you’re going off on a long trail run. If I am going to take anything, however, I want it to be as minimalist as possible, so was very interested to come across the Inov-8 Race Elite Extreme 10.
The Race Elite Extreme 10 is designed for long mountain races, where reducing weight is of utmost importance, but you still need functionality and durability. So far, this ultra-lightweight pack seems to fulfill all of the above.
First up, some spec: 10 Litres of Storage Space, a measly 105g (3.7oz) weight, Waist belt with 2 stretchy storage pockets for 2 x 500ml water bottles, super-lightweight padded shoulder straps with adjustable sternum strap and emergency whistle.
When the pack first arrived, my initial thoughts were – Oh oh, this thing is going to last about 5 minutes. It’s so lightweight, it looks like it could easily split at any second!
Thankfully, it appears that looks can be deceiving, and the pack has actually put up with a fair bit of abuse (my wife has taken a shine to it, and keeps using it to keep her climbing shoes/harness/belay in there, a use for which I am sure it was not intended).
Overall I’m very pleased with the Inov-8 Race Elite Extreme 10 – it does pretty much just what I want it to. I can carry in it a couple of mid-layers and a waterproof shell, so I’m sorted for all-weather conditions, and 2 x 500ml water bottles in the mesh pouches. That’s really all I usually need.
The bag fits very snugly, so there’s no “jiggling around”, particularly as you can adjust the sternum strap up and down to get the perfect fit. The stretchy mesh bottle holders are also well positioned – they don’t get in the way while you’re running, but equally you don’t have to be a contortionist to reach them when you need them.
The only feature I’d like to have seen added to the pack would be some kind of pocket on the front or the waist belt in which you could store energy bars, tissues or other small items which would be useful to be able to access without having to remove the bag. This problem looks like it can be easily solved however, with the addition of the Inov-8 Mesh Pocket. A 1L, 35g attachment with a zipping compartment and 2 more mesh pockets which simply clips onto the shoulder straps of the bag. Inov-8 clearly living up to their name!
I am very pleased with the Inov-8 Race Elite Extreme 10, and it has fast become my favourite for long runs out on the trials in unpredictable conditions.
If you are thinking of purchasing this bag, however, please keep in mind it is a bag for those that wish to travel extremely light, carry only the bare minimum, and value weight saving and comfort over durability and versatility.
[note]The Inov-8 Race Elite Extreme 10 was given to us for the purpose of this review. We try our best to not let this affect our views in any ways. Our gear tests are done in real life, during our own outdoor activities.[/note]