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Zefal Z Adventure R17



Cavernous bikepacking bag that fits securely and keeps your kit dry, all for a decent price
Large capacity
Secure fitment
Good waterproofing
Can sway a bit at full extension

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Z Adventure R17 saddle bag from Zefal swallows a huge amount of kit thanks to its adjustable size and high weight limit, and it's waterproof too. It doesn't quite have the versatility of a holster/dry bag setup, but for the price you really can't complain.

Over the past few months my collection of bikepacking bags has grown to cover everything from daytrips to full-blown excursions, and it's the latter the Zefal is good for thanks to its 17-litre capacity.

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For starters, it can carry a lot of kit. I've been constantly playing around with where I'm going to store what, but for now, the Zefal is playing home to a one-man tent, poles and pegs, a sleeping bag, a sleeping mat and an inflatable pillow.

Zefal Z Adventure R17 saddle bag Kit 1.JPG

That comes to 2,703g – well below the 5kg limit of the R17 – but pretty much fills it space-wise. There are a few nooks and crannies where I can stash squashable things like a waterproof jacket or my first aid kit in a Sticky Pod.

There is also bungee cord threaded on top for stuffing on a few extra things. Like a jacket, for example, should you want to grab it quickly. If you want to carry less stuff, you can roll the bag down to eight litres capacity.

2021 Zefal Z Adventure R17 saddle bag - webbing.jpg

Fitment to the bike is easy. A couple of straps go over the saddle rails and a large seat post strap keep things secure. You need a good 175mm of seat post showing for a comfortable fit, though.

2021 Zefal Z Adventure R17 saddle bag - seat post fixing.jpg

Once attached and fully loaded there is a bit of sway due to its length, but it's no worse than I've found with similar bags. In fact, I'd say considering its size it doesn't move as much as you'd think, unless you're really honking it over on a steep climb.

Zefal Z Adventure R17 saddle bag Loaded.JPG

Many large bags, like the Restrap Saddle Bag and the Brooks Scape I'm currently testing (review soon) use a holster system to carry a separate dry bag. This has the advantage that you can take the bag off your bike and into your tent. Once refilled, you just stuff it into the holster, tighten the straps and off you go.

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Obviously, with the Zefal you can't do that. It's not an issue if you're carrying your camping kit, like me, as you're just going to pull it out and set up camp.

2021 Zefal Z Adventure R17 saddle bag - strap.jpg

If you stash the tent in your frame bag and sleeping stuff in a bar bag, leaving the Zefal for your cooking stuff, clothes and so on, then this could be more of a faff. Each to their own though.

As it stands, I really like the Zefal R17. It works for the way I do things. If you do take it off the bike, it is easy to refit when loaded. Just wedge your knee between the rear tyre and the bag to support it, and reattach the straps.

Like many dry bags, the closure is created by rolling it down and then securing the buckles. For waterproofness it's good form to roll the bag over at least a couple of times, and if you do this the Zefal is impressive at keeping the elements out.

2021 Zefal Z Adventure R17 saddle bag - from back.jpg

I'd still use a dry bag inside just in case, but I've ridden in heavy rain – and given the R17 a pummelling with a hose – with no water getting through.

You also get a couple of neat little additions, like the reflective logos on the side and top, plus as you roll the bag up you find various mounting points for a rear light. Handy, as on the majority of bikes it's going to reduce your ability to run one on the seatpost.


Priced at £69.99 (but closer to £50 online), the R17 is a lot of bag for the money. It's also really good quality. I haven't found any weaknesses in its construction, and it has seen some really rough conditions.

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The Brooks Scape I mentioned earlier is smaller and can only handle 3kg. It'll set you back £115. I talked about the Restrap Saddle Bag too, and I'm a big fan of their packs – I own five of them. Restrap's handmade quality is excellent, but you are paying for it.

The Restrap 14l saddle bag is £109.99, while the closest in price to the Zefal is the Saddle Pack at £54.99. That only holds 4.5 litres though.

Alpkit is always a good choice for bikepacking bags. I have the 13L Koala which is currently £74.99 and very good quality; the 17L Big Papa is £94.99. And finally, Apidura's 17L Expedition Saddle Pack is quite a firm favourite with bikepackers, and sits at £132.99.


I'm a really big fan of the R17. It keeps your kit safe and dry, the way it fits means it's very secure for such a large bag, and it's good value for money too.


Cavernous bikepacking bag that fits securely and keeps your kit dry, all for a decent price

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Make and model: Zefal Z Adventure R17

Size tested: 17L

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, "The Z Adventure R17 is a saddle bag designed to carry a large volume of items without the need for a rear rack. Equipped with several durable self-adhesive straps and anti-tear material on its base, this bag attaches to the saddle rails and seat post for optimal weight distribution on the bicycle. With a volume that can be adjusted from 8 to 17 litres, this bag is designed for cyclists travelling over long distances."

I was impressed with the overall performance, and it's easy to set up on the bike.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Material: TPU 420D (+ Polyester 640D + Hypalon)

Dimensions: 620 x 240 x 200 mm / 24.4 x 9.4 x 7.9 "

Colors: Black - Red

Capacity: 17 L / 1037 c.i

Maximum load: 5 kg

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
Rate the product for value:

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It's simple to set up and will carry a lot of your kit leaving your other bags free for all the other stuff you need.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Swallows loads of kit, and at a good price.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

There is noticeable sway on steep climbs.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

It is well priced against many of the dry bag/holster types mentioned in the review. The 15l Topeak Backloader is similar, though, and costs a tenner less.

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 is a well made bag that fits easily and securely to the majority of seatposts and saddles. There is a bit of sway on the climbs, but it's no worse than many other bags of this size (or slightly smaller) that I've used. It's well priced, too. It's very good.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

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, 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!

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ped | 3 years ago

I'm certain that this uses the same pattern and components the one branded as PodSacs by Planet X at some point, although the one on their site at the moment differs a little. If you're 'only' going to spend £70 on one of these, you may as well spend even less and get one of those. It's an alright bag and I think I paid £25 for it. These lower-end bags are much of a muchness in my experience, and certainly aren't worth paying over the odds for.

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