Inov-8 describe the Stormshell as ‘a jacket for lightweight racing and intense training in wet conditions’. The brand is known for producing hardy mountain and fell running shoes and clothing, made to withstand tough environments.
This waterproof running jacket is made for the type two fun kind of runners, who don’t let a bit of rain get in the way of their training programme. If you hail from Britain, then you’ll be familiar with having to make peace with running in the rain, and with a good waterproof jacket, you may even start to enjoy it. We took the Stormshell out on the trails in the wet and windy British winter to see if it was up to the task.
Features and design
Starting with the all-important hood, it does a great job of keeping the rain off and shielding the eyes from downpours. The hood can be adjusted via a drawstring that gathers at the back of the head, which is easy to use solo and on the move. It can also be folded and hooked away onto a loop at the nape of the neck. The peak is reinforced with a very thin and light metal wire built into the tip - this gives it some structure while hardly adding a gram to the overall weight.
With the hood up, it’s possible to create a snug and secure fit due to the high collar with zip garage, which has a soft lining on the inside for comfort against the face and neck. If you’re not a fan of feeling restricted, there’s also a handy press-stud fastening further down the neck to help keep the hood in place even when the jacket is unzipped.
The Stormshell features a full-length zipper with Aquaguard waterproof coating along the zip and a baffle on the inside to keep out the rain. The zip’s a little stiff, but it’s still easy enough to whip the jacket on and off as you run.
Coming in at a light 150g, the Stormshell can also be packed down into the right-hand pocket to a 10cm x 5cm rectangular pouch, ready to stash into your running pack. This is the only pocket on the jacket though, which is missing a smaller compartment to stash keys or valuables.
In terms of fit, the jacket feels true to size and offers a fairly slim racing fit which cuts down on any rustling from extra material. This does mean that if you’re one to wear multiple layers when running, you may want to size-up. I was still able to fit a thin mid-layer underneath the jacket and it kept me protected from both wind and rain in close to zero degrees Celsius.
The partly elasticated hems on the side of the jacket and at the sleeves brought the material in for a closer fit, without being restrictive, while the slightly dipped hem along the back helps to protect from road or trail splash. One niggle I had was in the arms, which although sat perfectly at the wrist, were a little short to fully make use of the in-built thumb loops.
Inov-8 bills the Stormshell as having a 20,000mm hydrostatic head (HH), which means that it’s designed to withstand a huge amount of water pressure from heavy and sustained rain while remaining completely dry. Of course, this will depend on the quality of the seams, which are fully taped on the Stormshell to reinforce the overall waterproofing.
The shell is made from a quick-drying Polyamide with PU membrane and waterproof Pertex Shield fabric, which is designed to keep you dry even in heavy downpours. When out testing I found the Stormshell lived up to its name, seeming impervious to rain, with droplets beading and rolling completely off it without creating a mark.
Even in torrential rain, the Stormshell kept me dry while still managing to remain breathable, which is not an easy balance to strike in a waterproof garment. However, I did experience just a little water ingress through the zip of the pocket, but nothing to affect performance.
The Inov-8 Stormshell is aptly named and delivers on what it promises. Those who’ll benefit most from it are runners who don’t shirk from getting out in even the wettest conditions and prefer a more slimline, performance-driven fit.
If you want a layer that could also double up as a hiking jacket, dog walk ensemble or everyday coat, then take a look at our other waterproof jacket reviews, as the Stormshell was made for running and that’s where it excels best. At an RRP of £180 (at time of writing), it’s getting towards the expensive side, but you get what you pay for and in this case, it’s quality.
Features 4/5 | Performance 5/5 | Value 4/5 | Sustainability 3/5
Overall score: 88%
Pros: Fully waterproof, lightweight, well-fitting
Cons: A little pricey, only one pocket