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The Zefal C2 Adventure frame bag is a 2.2-litre bag that's attached to the frame using Velcro. It provides ample storage for longer rides and is a great addition for a big day on the bike. It's water-resistant, has a water-repellent zip and it's good value at its RRP – and even better value at the sort of price you can typically find it at.
If you are looking for a frame bag, check out the best bikepacking frame bags buyer's guide at our sister side off.road.cc.
Thanks in part to the popularity of bikepacking, bike bags and frame bags such as this have become popular over the last few years. At 2.2 litres the Zefal C2 Adventure frame bag is at the smaller end of the spectrum, making it ideal if you're looking for a bit of extra space without taking up the whole underside of your top tube.
Its 280 x 10 x 65mm dimensions leave plenty of space for water bottles, and even on my 52-centimetre frame I could comfortably fit a 500-millimetre bottle under the bag.
As with many frame bags, the Zefal is secured using Velcro straps that fix around the top tube and down tube. I found these resulted in a firm and secure fit even when carrying heavier loads. The straps are pretty long, but once you know how much strap you're using it's easy to cut them to length if you choose.
The straps also have a thin layer of material on the inside, which prevents the frame being rubbed and scuffed. Due to the shape of the bag, the doesn't always sit completely flush to the front of the triangle of the frame, but this didn't affect the bag's performance or usability.
The zip runs along the top side of the bag, running parallel to the top tube. The large z pull is very easy to locate and makes it very easy to open. However, the zip's position does mean it has a slightly tighter opening than a bag with a zip on the side, but this would only really limit you if you were storing large, inflexible items. When it comes to larger cargo, the bag has a slight tendency to bulge outward, which can result in knee rub.
While this is common with many frame bags because of their soft sides, companies such as Tailfin have combatted this by using a frame that keeps the shape of the bag.
The frame bag also has a water-repellent external coating. This results in an IPX4 rating, which means it's protected from splashing water from all directions. In practice this worked well, though some moisture did make its way through in very heavy rain. And with many of today's frame bags now fully waterproof, this is an area that could be improved.
The bag also features a rubber 'bumper' around the edges. This seems to reinforce the bag and helps it to keep its shape nicely even when filled with heavy contents. It also adds a little bit of extra protection and helps keep water out of the seams.
Once open the bag has a hidden zipped pocket on one side. This is perfect for cash or a credit card or even longer items, as it runs the full length of the bag. If you put too much weight or bulk in this side it can bulge slightly, though this isn't a concern if you pack the bag carefully.
The bag also has a bungee-style strap along the bottom, which is useful for items such as a mini-pump. There are no external mesh pockets, which would have been a nice addition.
At 180 grams this is a little heavier than the likes of the 2.5-litre Restrap frame bag, which weighs just 137g. Both bags use Velcro straps with the Restrap also having a couple of clips to secure it to the down tube. I was testing the two bags alongside each other and didn't find much difference in security.
The Zefal C2 scores well when it comes to value. The retail price is £29.99 but as our buying links show you can find it for a good deal less.
But even at its full RRP the Zefal is only half the price of the Restrap, which is yours for £59.99.
I really got on with Zefal bag. It's not fully waterproof and those Velcro straps are a little longer than necessary, but the quality and price make it a product that's definitely worth considering if you're looking for a small bag for bikepacking or just want a little unobtrusive extra storage for day-to-day riding.
A great-value and well-designed frame bag that performs well above its modest price tag
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Zefal Adventure Frame Bag
Size tested: 2.2 Litres
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The product is aimed at people looking for an easy and neat way to store all spares and accessories while out riding. The manufacturer says this bag has been designed to accompany all types of cycling adventure and I agree with – I found the Zefal a great way to store excess stuff.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The product is water repellent, has 2.2 litres of storage, a large zip with a wide opening, internal zipped pocket and three Velcro straps to help when mounting the frame bag.
The product has a high quality of build staying in great condition throughout the testing period.
The product works very well and as intended. It is easy to access and use both when riding and when stationary.
The product is very durable, it doesn't mark and the zip doesn't jam or damage over time. The Velcro straps are effective and the external bumper prevents the stitching getting damaged.
The product weighs 180 grams, which is slightly heavier than other rival bags but still reasonably light.
The product is well priced at its full RRP – but you can often buy it for a good deal less.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The product had a good capacity and performed well. The zip was easy to access and is well placed. I found it quick and very easy to fit and I found it fitted successfully to a variety of bikes.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I really liked the positioning of the zip, which ensured nothing could fall out and made it very easy to access the bag's contents.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
My main dislike was the length of the Velcro straps – I feel these could have been a lot shorter without impacting on performance. That said, if you're confident you could always cut them to the required length.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The price is very competitive when compared to other similar products, which makes it very good value, especially with a build quality that punched well above its price point.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
I've rated the bag very highly. It's not only a practical, good quality bag but it's excellent value too. If it was fully waterproof and had better length Velcro straps I might even have given it the full 10 out of 10.
About the tester
I usually ride: Orbea Terra H3 Gravel bike My best bike is: Cervelo P3 TT bike
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, touring, mtb, Gravel and ultra-endurance racing