INOV8 ULTRAPAC PRO 8

INOV8 ULTRAPAC PRO 8

Does size really matter? Well, it’s a question that has been asked a million times, in relation to a multitude of things. However, answering this question is rarely straight forward in any scenario and so it would seem is the case with running vests. 

A quick look at any ultra running social media platform a few months before a big race will reveal countless questions from competitors asking for advice about what pack should they use for a 100 mile, 50 mile or any other ultramarathon for that matter. As is typical the responses vary from the absolute to the ambiguous. 

One problem with choosing a race vest is that each race has its own variables, weather, terrain, distance between checkpoints, availability of water; feel free to add your own. Therefore, what you carry and how much can vary greatly between races, even ones that have the most basic common denominator which is often distance. 

A man standing in a green jacket wearing the inov8 ULTRAPAC PRO 8 vest, showing the front of the vest with bottles in the pockets

Size Matters

It stands to reason therefore that there is a requirement for a race vest to be flexible enough to carry either more or less kit as required. Enter then inov8’s ULTRAPAC PRO 8. As you can probably deduce the “8” refers to it’s 8 litre capacity, which to me felt like it might be a bit small. For most runs over about 30 miles I tend to go large, opting for at least a 10 litre capacity vest. So it was with some surprise that I found that the ULTRAPAC PRO 8 was more than ample enough for longer excursions, fitting in mandatory kit, food, water, poles plus some other items, dog leads and maps all without the bag bouncing while moving at speed. Occasionally I find that when running with a pack that is half full it can often feel a bit wobbly as kit moves around causing the weight to shift and feeling slightly awkward, no such issue here either. 

So then how does the ULTRAPAC PRO 8 manage to adapt so easily? Well simply put, it’s stretchy, well at least the external pockets are, and there are lots of them. Across the rear is a “360 degree” mesh pocket that can be accessed by reaching behind with either hand. Useful for the stuff that is “on/off”, waterproofs being a case in point. At the front there is a combination of a two layered hip pocket on either side, meaning you can mount the water bottle in holster style and have room in another compartment for the much needed snackage. On the chest there are two further pockets on both sides. One of which is a stretchy mesh which can also accommodate a water bottle if you need extra H2O or if you don’t like the low slung option. Behind these there is a zip pocket which can hold a standard smartphone one side and a further mesh one on the other. In addition to this there are also shoulders pockets for small items such as lip balm (don’t judge me) and suncream. 

A man wearing a green jacket and the inov8 ULTRAPAC PRO 8 showing the pocket detail on the chest

Adaptability

A key feature of the ULTRAPAC PRO 8 is the amount of adjustments that it has; a forage into the hip and chest pockets reveal elasticated cords that can tighten or loosen the fit. Additionally, the chest and waist straps adjust vertically on ladder rail system meaning you can fine tune the feel of the fit across your body. A word of caution though, this is a bit fiddly to do when on the move so ensure that you have these positioned correctly before heading out.

ULTRAPAC PRO 8 also has a main compartment at the rear which can store your mandatory kit and some spare food, its plenty roomy enough to stash enough stuff to get you between checkpoints for top ups of the essentials. Poles are secured either at the rear using the dedicated elasticated loops situated at lumber level or by using the green elasticated cords in the chest pockets. From my point of view the rear option worked best as the front mountings did bounce little and if your water bottles are up front it feels a bit crowded. 

Man in green jacket standing away from the camera showing the back side of the inov8 ULTRAPAC PRO 8

Fitting

Fit wise the pack is true to form and with the many adjustment options available on the vest you can make things feel very snug indeed. Not much in the way of colour options, in fact none, as Henry Ford said, it’s also available in black but that’s just fine with me. 

As of March 2024, the vest is priced at £130 which feels about right in the market space it’s in. I tested it over various  distances, totalling about 150 miles, without chafe or any malfunction.  Overall it is a very good piece of kit, which will certainly suit the average athlete for races of around 160km. A note to rookies, you’re more likely to overpack so you may find this a bit of a squeeze for you.

I’ve tested two bits of inov8 kit over the last 6 months and it seems like they have really got to grips with what ultra runners need from their equipment, this works very well and I would highly recommend it.

Buy the inov8 ULTRAPAC PRO 8

Man in green jacket showing the side of the inov8 ULTRAPAC PRO 8 vest

Robin Bush is the co-owner of RunUltra. He’s an experienced mountain runner, who has run many of the classics including the Dragon’s Back and The Spine.

Have you tried the inov8 ULTRAPAC PRO 8? Don’t agree with this review? What’s your opinion? Add your own comment to this review and share your experience and passion for running with others.

Not a member yet? Sign up here to be part of the RunUltra community and share tips and stories with thousands of fellow runners around the world.

We are a professional review site and our reviewers receive free products for testing from the companies whose products we review. Each product is tested thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are by the reviewer’s name shown.

inov8 Performance Hybrid Jacket Review
Performance Hybrid Review

https://www.inov-8.com/ultrapac-pro-8

DESIGN: 9/10
FEATURES: 10/10
PERFORMANCE: 9/10
VALUE: 9/10
OUR RATING:
5/5
YOUR RATING:
0.0/5

"A key feature of the ULTRAPAC PRO 8 is the amount of adjustments that it has; a forage into the hip and chest pockets reveal elasticated cords that can tighten or loosen the fit."

Like what you read?

Click here to sign up for more

Related reviews

REVIEW INOV8 ULTRAPAC PRO 8

{{ reviewsTotal }}{{ options.labels.singularReviewCountLabel }}
{{ reviewsTotal }}{{ options.labels.pluralReviewCountLabel }}
{{ options.labels.newReviewButton }}
{{ userData.canReview.message }}

SEARCH

Filters

Distance
Distance - slider
0KM500KM
Entry Fee
Entry Fee - slider
010000

DATE SEARCh

Date Range

Global - Virtual

Elevation

A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for

For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Elevation

An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for

Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Brutal

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude)

Suitable for

Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Expert

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat)

Suitable for

Experienced runners who have completed at least 4 ultras in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Advanced

Elevation

Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Intermediate

Elevation

Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed at least one ultra in last 6 months or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Beginner

Elevation

Very little change < 500 metres

Suitable for

First ultra event. Runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running (>26 miles) in the last 6 months.