Ventoux's Event Bag comes packed with numerous features aimed to satisfy the specific needs of cyclists when travelling. Combined, these serve to differentiate the Event Bag from the multitude of generic holdalls out there, making it an ideal purchase for anyone looking for something to tote their gear in.
The stand out of these features is undoubtedly the insulated pockets at the front and rear of the bag. Each pocket includes 2 mesh housings which can each hold 750ml bottles, and are large enough so that ice (or other food) can still be packed in there. Now, the insulation isn't heavy duty by any stretch of the imagination – the zips, for example, are just standard items - but they did a good job of keeping a bottle filled with hot tea warm for a couple of hours while I was racing. Packed with ice, I'm sure they'd do a reasonable job keeping your bottle cool on a hot summer's day.
Continuing with the cycle-specific theme, the Event Bag includes a small side pocket designated for small tools such as Allen keys and a mini pump. A few loops of fabric keep everything separate and organised to be grabbed at a moment's notice. The second side pocket is a more traditional design with a number of compartments to hold things such as a passport or wallet, in addition to a couple of pens. This pocket also includes a clip to attach a set of keys to.
The main compartment is a cavernous 60 litre space, large enough to easily swallow a day's worth of kit, shoes and helmet. I've used the Event Bag for a few stage races and it is just about large enough to get 3 lots of kit in (plus all the assorted wet/cold weather gear) if you remove your helmet and attach it to the outside. A cardboard strip is used to reinforce the floor and give the bag shape, but this can be removed if needed.
Sharing the 60l main compartment is a dedicated waterproof pocket accessed from a zip on the back of the bag. As it expands into the main compartment, stuffing your wet kit in there doesn't affect the overall size of the bag and the pocket easily fold away when not in use. The waterproof pocket is fabricated from 600D polyester which does a good job of blocking moisture and preventing your wet kit from contaminating the dry clothes in the main pocket. For muddy kit, I tended to use a plastic bag in addition to the waterproof pocket (more to keep the bag clean that anything else), but when kit was merely wet, I didn't hesitate to through it straight into the pocket and forget about it.
Rounding out the pockets is a slim pocket integrated into the main compartment flap which was useful for storing A4 sized documents without creasing them. Its location on the top of the bag does make it exposed to rain and it would have been nice if this pocket was also lined with waterproof material – my only real quibble with the Event Bag as a whole.
In terms of durability, the 400D rip-stop nylon is stout enough to ward off any scrapes and scratches that come with travelling. I've flown to Africa and road-tripped to the Pyrenees with it, in addition to using it almost every weekend for the past 6 months and it has yet to be visibly damaged in any way. The included shoulder strap is basic and comfortable enough for moderate use, but any loads over 12kg did cause some shoulder discomfort.
At £60, the Event Bag would represent good value if it were just a bog-standard holdall, never mind the fact that it packs in numerous features perfect for cyclists, and not found in any other bags. The only thing holding it back is the lack of colour options as red mightn't be everyone's cup of tea, but I'm sure many people (myself included) could see past this given the asking price.
The second generation of the Event Bag is currently available for pre-order and adds a padded tablet pocket (not tested) to the features identified in this review.
Terrific holdall ideally suited to the needs of the travelling cyclist at a fantastic price.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Ventoux The Event Bag
Size tested: n/a
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 Ventoux Event Bag is ideally suited to any cyclist looking for a medium sized bag to transport anything needed for a ride. Described by Ventoux as the "perfect bag for any event"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Two insulated cooler-bag end pockets
Large main pocket plus large, zipped flap pocket
Front organiser pocket
Front Tool pocket
Expanding waterproof wet pocket
Adjustable shoulder strap
(Padded tablet pocket on latest model)
Size: 700mm x 330mm Volume: 60L Material: A combination of 600D waterproof Polyester and 400D rip stop nylon
Very impressed with how the Event Bag has held up. No signs of damage at all
The main pocket is a good size for day trips and can be used for longer at a push. The specific tool and document pockets are useful for organising smaller items, while the insulated pockets work well and can hold up to 4, 750ml bottles
Excellent. No visible signs of damage despite some heavy duty weekly use and the odd manhandling from airport staff
As a holdall, the Event Bag is much less bulky and lighter than a hard shell option. It doesn't seem to have sacrificed any durability for it though
The shoulder strap could be a big more padded but it is satisfactory for loads under 12kg
Whichever way you look at it, the Event Bag is amazing value
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: 21 Height: 190cm Weight: 69kg
I usually ride: Canondale EVO Red My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 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, commuting, mtb,
For 5 years, racing was my life and I went all the way from a newbie bonking after 40 miles, to a full-timer plying my trade on the Belgian kermesse scene. Unfortunately, the pro dream wasn't meant to be and these days, you're more likely to find me bimbling about country lanes and sleeping in a bush on the side of the road.