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Review: New inov-8 VENTURELITE hiking clothes

Written by Fiona

August 29 2022

Well-known apparel and footwear brand inov-8 has launched a new hike clothing collection called VENTURELITE. I have been testing two items, the t-shirt and full-zip hoodie.

What is inov-8 hike clothing range?

The inov-8 hike clothing range, VENTURELITE, is designed for faster, lighter outdoor adventures.

The brand from the English Lake District is already renowned for its hike footwear. Now inov-8 has expanded its hike offering with a full clothing collection.

VENTURELITE takes inspiration taken from the brand’s successful trail running clothing collection.

Helen Stuart, inov-8’s head of clothing and equipment, said: “We’ve seen the continued growth in popularity of faster paced hiking and want to give these outdoor lovers the same speedy feel that trail runners enjoy from their clothing but with the necessary hiking twists.

“We’ve kept all the garments lightweight by removing unnecessary features and instead sharply focused on the things that hikers really need to safely go faster on trails and chase down mountain summits.”

With a carefully designed ergonomic fit that works with the body’s natural movements when hiking, the range includes mid-layers, hoodies, tees, trousers and shorts. A three-layer waterproof jacket boasting “incredible levels of breathability” will launch in time for winter.

Helen, whose team also launched the brand’s first gym clothing range earlier this year, added: “The hike collection has been designed with layering in mind, with each style working in sync with the other. This mirrors our trail running range, but with the overall feel being less athletic and more relaxed.

 “And while it is all light and fast, no compromise has been made on protection or durability either, with each garment designed for multi-day use and materials carefully chosen to enhance a longer lifespan.”

The collection was researched and designed in the Lake District, taking two years from original concept to launch. A team of experienced hikers were used as testers throughout.

Across both inov-8’s hike and run clothing ranges there are 36 styles, of which 24 (66%) contain recycled yarn content. All the recycled yarns are certified by the Global Recycled Standard, which verifies recycled content and ensures responsible production. 

All main fabrics also carry the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® guaranteeing the absence of substances that are harmful or may present a risk to health. Packaging comes in the form of new polybags featuring biodegradable organic technology.

Learn more about inov-8’s new hike clothing collection.

On test: inov-8 VENTURELITE hike full-zip hoodie

In contrast to the t-shirt, I love the shape and fit of the full-zip hoodie.

Features of VENTURELITE hike full-zip hoodie:

  • Fabric: 92% Recycled Polyester / 8% Elastane
  • 92% Recycled Fibres
  • Two easy access hand pockets.
  • Hexagon knit traps air for warmth
  • Wear as a next-to-skin base layer or layering piece
  • Light and compressible, easy to pack
  • Price: £110.
  • Buy inov-8 full-zip hoodie. (I receive a small commission for ales through this website.)
A day out on the west coast with friends and hubby G.

My thoughts:

I have the small size hoodie and it is a very flattering fit. The only criticism is the length of the arms. I do have long arms but the thumb holes are useless for me because they sit above by wrist, which means I can’t comfortably slot in my thumbs.

The hood fits neatly and the torso width and length are perfect. I have been wearing this hoodie most days for both casual and active wear.

The fabric is stretchy enough to give good freedom of movement and also feels comfortable against the skin.

The zip is full-length but doesn’t feel like the best quality zip I have ever come across. It is a bit fiddly to get the zip to do up and undo at the bottom but apart from that it zips up smoothly. I am not sure how long the zip clasp at the bottom will last although I have been wearing it daily for weeks and it’s better than I imagined it might be.

There is a nice fabric cover at the top of the zip to protect the chin when fully zipped.

The fabric is warming but not overly sweaty and it does allow sweat to dissipate. Like many synthetic fabrics, you get the inevitable under arm sweat whiff after a couple of wears.

While many active people swear by merino wool products, I find them too itchy on my bare skin so I generally need to wear synthetics. This hoodie has been a great outer layer for many hikes this summer and I expect to wear it as a mid-layer in the winter. It is also “smart” enough for general casual everyday wear.

The price of £110 is what i might expect from a top brand. Because I am wearing the top so frequently, I’d be happy to pay this for the product but I’d be even happier if I found it in a sale!

On test: inov-8 VENTURELITE hike t-shirt

The inov-8 graphic “Skiddaw” t-shirt is made of 50% cotton and 50% modal.

What is modal?: Modal is a semi-synthetic and breathable material. Modal does have some ecological benefits. It doesn’t require as many resources as other materials and is made with plant-based materials. It’s also a comfortable fabric to wear. However, the sustainability of modal is more complicated. Have a read of this report by Sustainable Jungle.

More features of inov-8 t-shirt:

  • Light, super-soft fabric
  • Modal cotton blend for durablity
  • Moisture wicking to keep you dry
  • Relaxed fit
  • £35.

My thoughts:

The colour choice and graphics are nice.

The t-shirt fabric is lovely. It’s like cotton but softer. I would class this as a casual t-shirt rather than an active t-shirt because it does hold some sweat. I don’t find it very moisture wicking compared to synthetic or natural wool technical t-shirts.

If you are heading out for a gentle hike, it’s a t-shirt you might choose over normal cotton but I don’t think I would wear it for high energy hiking.

The t-shirt is also rather “square”. It’s called “relaxed fit” but I would prefer some feminine shape, rather than the square. I have the small and it’s loose on me and not very flattering. Sadly, I can’t say I would be keen to purchase this inov-8 t-shirt because I prefer a more fitted and shaped top. If you like loose fit it could suit you.

  • I received the products without charge for an honest review.

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