Meet the winner of our Trail Running gear of the year awards. We thought we’d seen all the best trail running kit and innovations. That is, until we got our hands on the Inov-8 Ultrapac 2in1. The Ultrapac offers different set-up options and features so you can optimise your kit for each and every run.
If you’ve ever deliberated between a running pack or slim hydration vest, you’ll know how useful both styles can be. An evolution of Inov-8's Race Ultra Pro 2in1, this new piece takes all the guesswork away. It’s a five-litre race vest with attachment points at the rear to secure an extra seven-litre compartment for longer runs.
Design and features
Made in the classic Inov-8 black and green colourway, the Ultrapac comes with two 500ml soft flasks with customisable placement. Long straws let you avoid any stooping to drink while on the go. They also facilitate the bottles sitting either at the front or away from the chest area to the side, which is a decidedly more comfortable set-up for women.
To avoid bounce, the pack can be tightened at the sternum and ribs via two thin yet sturdy clasps. These straps can be attached at any section along the length of the pack, ensuring ideal adjustment for the individual. The Ultrapac is available in S, M or L in unisex sizes. Presently, the only critique we have here is the sizing itself; the S still feels a bit large for our small female (UK8) tester.
This updated version of Inov-8’s Race Ultra Pro 2in1 has worked on improving comfort, fit and pocket access while on the move. There’s plenty of pockets to choose from, with large side mesh stash pockets for throwing in gear on the go, a phone-sized zipped compartment, and two upper mesh pouches for tucking away gels or bars.
Moving to the back, the extra seven-litre compartment slides easily into place at each corner, with an additional click button for total security. To access this rear compartment, a zipper along the length of the pack sits on one side. Again, if you’re worried about bounce, don’t be. Inov-8 have designed the pack with two bungee cords at each side which allows you to fully secure down any extra baggage you’re carrying.
Finally, there’s the capacity to secure poles either at the rear or the front of the pack for those longer or more technical runs.
Packed with highly functional features and compartments, the Ultrapac quite literally has all the bells and whistles attached (tucked into the upper right pouch you’ll find a lightweight plastic whistle).
With all these features comes an ease of use which is important in a running pack. We believe packs should be an extension of the body, move with you, and help you carry everything you need to prosper in both training and racing.
Ultimately, it’s the dual-capacity aspect that really sets the Ultrapac 2in1 apart from the crowd. An aerodynamic race vest for fast efforts and races which can easily become a spacious companion for long-haul runs and training adventures.
On sustainability, Inov-8 have also pledged to reduce their environmental footprint in production and use more eco-friendly materials. They're also donating to environmental charities.
One such material is durable graphene, which can be found in their G-fly range of trail running shoes. Inov-8 was the pioneering force behind integrating graphene-enhanced materials into trail running shoes back in 2021.
The Inov-8 Ultrapac 2in1 running pack is a well-built and dynamic running pack/vest for a range of uses and distances. Why bother investing in both a pack and race-ready vest when the Ultrapac does it all in one fair swoop?
At £160, it's not the cheapest pack money can buy, but with you literally get two packs in one, along with two softflask bottles and extended straws.
1. Inov-8 Ultrapac Pro 2in1
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