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Canister-style bags are an ideal solution to grabbing bits and pieces on the fly, and the Zefal Z Adventure Pouch is a great example, providing plenty of storage and a secure fit to stop movement on even the roughest of trails. It's very well priced compared with rivals, too.
For more luggage options, read our feature, 15 easy ways to carry stuff on your bike.
On my gravel bike and for longer, steady rides on my road bike, I've taken to using this style of bag to stash gels, snacks and the like. They are well positioned to grab stuff on the fly, and don't get in the way of lights, computers and other things you might have on your handlebar.
The Zefal has plenty of straps to give a secure fit to stop it flailing around when you are out of the saddle or riding over rough routes.
In Zefal's assembly tutorial video it shows how the pouch can be fixed to the bike with one strap around the handlebar, one around the headset spacers under your stem, the longer strap around the head tube, and a strap on the bottom that you can run under the crown of the fork.
The bonus is that all of the straps can be repositioned to suit your frame design, to allow for a decent fit – if you have a slammed stem, for instance, or a very short head tube.
Once all strapped up, the Z Adventure Pouch doesn't move at all.
Zefal says opening and closing the bag is a single-handed operation, pulling the black/white string to open it, and the red to close. It works, but it isn't the easiest operation to carry out on the move. I'd often do the best I could with the string and then wedge my hand in there to open the top up more, or just fill it with stuff I didn't mind getting wet and leave it open. There is a drain hole in the bottom to let out any rainwater.
Zefal doesn't make any claims of waterproofing, but with the bag closed at the top it'll keep the worst out.
Storage-wise you are looking at just over a litre in volume, and it'll accept a water bottle securely should the need arise, plus there are two extra pockets on the outside for empty wrappers or stuff you want to grab quickly and often.
The overall quality is good – the Adventure Pouch looks well made – which makes the price of £23.99 equally good.
I own a Restrap Stem Bag and use it regularly; it's exceptionally well made, by hand, but at £34.99 it's over a tenner more than the Zefal. It also comes with three mounting straps, for the stem, handlebar and under the fork crown.
Apidura's Backcountry Food Pouch is available in two sizes, 800ml or 1.2L, with prices ranging from £37 to £45 (with extra pockets), so it's much more expensive.
Overall, I like the Zefal pouch. It fits well, has plenty of adjustment in terms of strap positioning, and is well made, for not a huge amount of cash.
Plenty of adjustment to suit a range of bikes, and competitively priced too
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Zefal Z Adventure Pouch Bag
Size tested: 90x180mm
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?
Zefal says, "Handlebar pouch bag for water bottle and accessories
"Mounted on the handlebars, close to the stem, this bag is ideal for carrying food or any type of water bottle, such as our 1L Magnum bottle. Used as a pocket caddy, it is convenient and easy to access thanks to its drawstring opening system. The two additional expandable pockets allow you to increase the capacity, for example, by inserting a multi-tool or your nutrition packs.
"Always at hand, with its universal three-point attachment, it will quickly find its place on your road bike, gravel bike, MTB or Ebike, for daily commuting or for bikepacking."
It's a handy, well-made bag with a range of adjustment when it comes to fitting.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Material: Polyester 420D TPU
Mounting: Universal using self gripping straps
Dimensions: Ø 90 x 180 mm
Capacity: 1.1 L
Closure: Double elastic drawstring
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Good weather protection and fits securely.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Plenty of adjustability for strap positioning.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not the easiest to use single-handed.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's cheaper than similarly sized options from the likes of Restrap and Apidura, by a considerable chunk.
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
The Zefal doesn't perform any better than others on the market, but it is very well priced, which bumps up the score.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for road.cc, off-road.cc and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!