ARC’TERYX Incendo Hoody

The Incendo Hoody is Arc’teryx’s windproof running jacket from their Endorphine range. Designed around fast movement, the athletic cut and minimal weight stands out immediately.

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With a stated weight of 130grams (my scales read 129g), it is a light jacket, but not the lightest. Constructed from Lumin™ 100% nylon fabric it has an exceptional strength to weight ratio. The 20D ripstop is tear resistant, windproof, breathable and has a DWR treatment to help shed light rain. You certainly would want to either wear a hardshell or carry one if the skies were looking typically British. With a hood and small pocket, it is clear where weight has been sacrificed for functionality and versatility. Arc’teryx are known for their design, and the Incendo Hoody has several subtle touches.

Elasticated cuffs are nothing to shout about, if anything they are the norm, however they have increased the length of the material on the back of the hand, providing better protection and a more aesthetically pleasing finish.

A small pocket can be found on the left hip; which can be used as a stuff sac for easy stashing when using a back or hip pack. Additionally the pocket features a smaller internal pocket for a small iPod or MP3 player, as well as routing for the wire… No more need to route the cable from outside the pocket and back under the jacket. Not essential, but a nice touch.

The hood is not adjustable, but has a low, close fit profile and is designed to fit under a helmet if you plan on taking this ski mountaineering or climbing. The jacket also features a low profile collar, aiding to a more comfortable experience when the hood is not being worn. A small collar makes the difference between a comfortable run or constant breeze down your neck when not using the good. Another small but notable detail.

Articulated elbows prevent the arms riding up when the going gets vertical, and a one handed waist drawcord makes adjustments easy.

Now ventilation. One of the downsides of a windproof is getting heat out. Many manufacturers try different approaches; Laser cut holes under the armpits, ventilation flaps on the back and a more permeable materials are methods that are all in common use. To tackle this issue, the Incendo Hoody features a mesh panel under each arm. These large panels are brilliant for removing excess heat, however I found when reduced to walking, they were often too efficient. In winds of 25mph+ on an exposed peak in October/November, I found myself having to run to stay warm.

You could argue as this is designed for running, this isn’t an issue. Furthermore, it is the compromise you are making using such a lightweight piece of clothing. However as all runners will know, there comes a time where everyone walks, even the great Kilian Jornet. This and a hood which needs to be slightly tighter are my two issues with the Incendo. The hood fills with air under strong winds and numerous times I took it off as its effectiveness was .

All in all the Incendo Hoody is a great jacket for fell use. Due to the mesh panels I would recommend it is more suited to summer conditions than winter. The styling is spot on, you could wear this down the high street and people wouldn’t give you strange looks. More over many city runners would find this perfect for side streets and parks of their concrete jungles.

Inov-8 Race Elite 140 Trail Shirts Review

Shorts, for many they are like socks. Forgotten, not a big consideration and often worn till they are falling apart. We spend lots of time looking at hardshells, trail shoes, packs and nutrition; however a good pair of shorts can make or break a run.

I mean come on…… chaffage is a bitch!

I searched for sometime before settling on my Race Elites. I like my shorts short, perhaps something which comes from a childhood of rugby, but I also like an under short. I’m not fussed about compression, my motives are purely comfort.

Shorts without means wearing underwear and I have yet to find a pair which cope with running, and the y-front style liners are down right restrictive.

If you can run chafe free and comfortable it will do wonders for your running.

So the Race Elites. As with all things Inov-8, the number refers to the weight of the item, and in this case it is 140g. They are neither heavy of super light, but what they are is durable. I have run in this pair, almost exclusively for the past year. The branding is peeling off and some stitching is loosening, but they are still going strong.

With a 4-way Stretch DWR body, they move with your leg, rather than fight it and have just enough stretch to give you that bit extra when required. The DWR worked ok initially, but realistically for it to have any effect now it would require some sort of reproofing. But really, you aren’t buying the shorts to shed rain, if anything it’s a bonus.

Now the boxer liner. It’s soft, comfortable and has never caused an issue. When I recently ran 5 trail marathons in 5 days, other participants were using Body Glide, Vaseline and Chamois cream to lubricate their tackle, fighting abrasions. Not once did I feel the need to use any of the above and came through without a niggle, testament to the liner.

The reflective detailing is great and instead of boring stripes or blocks, the slanted branding is in fact the reflective area. Now, on the negative side it HAS started to peel off which will cancel out this feature, however this may be due to a obstacle course marathon where they were dragged through miles of mud, over walls; all the while soaked through.

At this stage, they sound like most normal exercise shorts on the market, so why move to a trail brand I hear you ask? One word, pockets. Whereas most normal shorts have at most a rear zippered pocket, these have more. As well as a spacious rear pocket which can fit several gels, iPod and keys, there is also a side gel pocket. Now, my gripe. I don’t feel this has much use for gels, as I have yet to fit one in whilst on the move. The most I have been able to use it for is empty wrappers, but that is after I have fought the pocket for a minute getting it in. Once in, it is very secure, but really it could do with great width or a more spacious opening.

The Race Elite dry reasonably fast and the materials are air permeable, meaning you won’t run hot. The draw cords could do with having less stretch as I find they offer next to no benefit.

I opted for a medium pair. I’m 5ft 7” with a 29” inseam, and this is an issue. Clothing designers, and this goes beyond Inov-8, just because I am short does not mean I have thin legs. My true waist fits a small pair of shorts, however I struggle to ever fit them over the base of my quads. Wearing a medium is not a problem, unless the shorts are soaked, where they begin to fall down.

I have purchased a pair of 125 Trail shorts in small and the fit is better, however they are like short shorts on legs and my arse does hang out the back of the inner liner. . .

Please designers, bear us short stockier builds in mind next time.

But negatives aside. Time and time again this year, the Inov-8 Race Elite 140 Trail shorts have been my go to short. I have since bought other brands, and haven’t worn them once. These are my old faithful’s. They have survived races, obstacle courses, ultras; anything thrown in their path. Increase the pockets and alter the fit and I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase several pairs for years to come.

Don’t overlook shorts, they carry you (literally) through a run.