If you plan to do any cycle events that require travelling, then you need a decent bag to lug all the clothing, bottles, food and bits and bobs you need. An old supermarket carrier bag just doesn't cut it, and after using the Ventoux Gym bag for the past six months, I'll never rummage around in the kitchen for a plastic bag to lob all my kit in before a race.
The Ventoux Gym bag is smaller than the Event bag that Liam tested last year with a 28 litre capacity versus 60 litres, and that makes it ideal for just taking the essentials you need for a one or two day event. A longer trip will see you struggling for space, but for heading to a road race or sportive, where you're there and back in a day, the Gym bag keeps everything you need very nicely organised.
The main compartment is plenty big enough for loads of clothing; several changes fit in there along with socks, hats, arm and knee warmers and a change of civilian clothes to get into after the ride. The top flap has an extra zipped pocket that's ideal for storing flat things, like an entry form or other paperwork you might need, along with your wallet and phone.
At each end is a large zipped compartment. One compartment has two mesh pockets that hold up to 750ml bottle vertically - thus ensuring it doesn't fall over and leak - and the compartment is insulated, lined with reflective material so on a hot day the liquids in your bottles should remain cool. You could also pack an ice pack in there with any food as well if you're travelling on a hot day. Equally you could stick a bottle of warm tea or hot chocolate in there and it'll still be warm after a race or sportive.
On the other side of the bag there's a regular pocket inside the main compartment that helps you keep all your bits organised, such as a few basic tools, a tape measure, camera and any other things you might need to carry with you.
Where the Gym bag really starts to shine is after a ride, when you've got a pile of sweaty, soggy kit to deal with. On the side of the bag there is an expanding waterproof wet zipped pocket that you can stuff all your used kit into, and therefore keep it away from the clean kit in the main compartment. Filling this pocket does eat into the capacity of the main compartment however, as it fills up from the bottom. Running out of space has never been a problem though, because the same amount of kit is going back in the back.
You get two small handles for carrying plus a shoulder strap. The beauty of the bag's size is that you're never likely to cram that much in it, so it never gets very heavy and is easy to carry. I've been using the bag almost exclusively in place of other rucksacks that I previously used for carting my gear around to races and rides, but the Gym bag keeps everything so organised that I now always have a change of kit in there, a few gels and some tools, so it's essentially half-loaded and ready to go. I always keep a spare pair of socks and gloves in the bottom, as they're the sort of items I usually forget in the last minute panic of pre-race preparation.
It's a well made bag. The zips are heavy duty and have remained working despite a lack of care for their wellbeing. The bag, made from 400D rip-stop nylon, is still in great condition even though it's been thrown in the back of the car, dragged across the ground and generally chucked about.
The bag has also been sized so it's ideal for hand luggage on airplanes, making it useful for travelling further afield than a local race. It also only weighs 1.2kg unladen so doesn't eat far into the hand luggage allowance that some airlines insist on.
Well-priced and really well designed and rugged kit bag for travelling to races and sportives
road.cc test report
Make and model: Ventoux Gym Bag
Size tested: Red
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?
Following the success of the highly acclaimed Event Bag we have transferred the key elements from this much sought-after cycling kit-bag into a smaller Gym Bag.
Employing the same design ethos that led to rave reviews of the Event Bag this new, compact version encompasses all the features to make it the perfect Gym / swim / spin bag
Keep your energy and recovery drinks cool in the insulated cooler-bag end pocket. Two mesh bidon housings suitable for up to 750ml bottles and surplus room for ice-packs.
The expandable waterproof rear pocket will keep all your wet/used clothing safely separated from clean kit.
Neatly stash your phone, tablet, membership cards, pens and keys in the Organiser Pocket.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Insulated cooler-bag end pocket
Large main pocket plus large, zipped flap pocket
End organiser pocket
Expanding waterproof wet pocket
Adjustable shoulder strap
Sized to fit most gym lockers
Sized to be used as hand luggage on most flights
Designed entirely in-house to our unique specifications
Now available in original red or black with choice of 4 colours of trim
Size: 650mm x 250mm Volume: 28L Material: A combination of 600D waterproof Polyester and 400D rip stop nylon Weight: 1.2Kg
Solid construction, it's bombproof.
Is perfect for single day trips to a race, sportive or event, and has enough space for several days of cycling if you've a longer trip planned. Makes it easy to stay organised and the expanding waterproof wet zipped pocket is a godsend.
The material, construction and zips are tough and still working just fine.
You can get a rucksack cheaper, but this bag is so well designed for cycling that is just makes travelling that little bit easier, and keeps your stuff organised.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Worked brilliantly as a bag for keeping your cycling kit organised before and after a race or sportive, there's a proper pocket and compartment for everything, and the insulated section with mesh pockets for the bottles is a nice touch, as is the wet pocket for soggy, sweaty used cycling kit.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fact it's purposefully designed for the needs of a cyclist.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The size may be a bit restrictive for some longer trips, but the larger 60 litre Event bag is worth a look if you think you nee more space.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.