Kit review – Zefal T3 top tube bag

Overall rating: ⭐⭐⭐

The Zefal T3 bag attaches to the top tube with Velcro-type fasteners, and has a clear pocket for your smartphone. It’s generously-sized, but you need to decide for yourself if that’s a benefit, or not.

Road-tested

I took the T3 bag along when I cycled (more or less) the bottom half of the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland, so by now I’ve extensively road-tested it. During that ride, it was exposed to rain (only two days though) and a whole bunch more sunshine than anyone could’ve expected.

The good

The T3 bag is well-made, and comes standard with a rain resistant zip. The fact that the bag includes a waterproof cover tells you all you need to know about how waterproof that zip, and the rest of the bag is. Take it from me, when it starts raining, put on that waterproof cover! The cover is attached to the bag, so you can’t lose it.

It has three straps to secure it, with the expected Velcro-type fasteners. Two straps go around the top tube, while the third wraps around the steerer tube.

The bag is sizeable, and can easily carry hefty power banks, plus a fair bit more. As an added bonus, it’s reasonably priced. The mobile phone compartment is generous, too.

Finally, the bag has a side opening, though which you can run a cable. I used that to run a USB lead from my dynamo light to the power bank, so I could charge it while riding.

The not-so-good

I already mentioned that without the rain cover, the T3 isn’t rain-proof, which is a great disappointment.

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Common to a lot of these types of bags, there is a design flaw, too: Where the bag secures to the steerer tube, the stem will catch the bag when you turn the bars. What is lacking is a firm foam pad to space the bag a little further away, so the stem doesn’t touch the bag.

Lastly, I found the bag to be too big. When I stopped, but didn’t dismount, my leg would push the bag sideways, and when I started cycling again, I had to reposition the T3 afterwards. This is purely because of the length of the bag. To be fair, it’s at worst a mild annoyance, and one that I’ll put up with.

The verdict

The Zefal T3 is a decent top tube bag. It’s not perfect, and can easily be improved upon, but it does the job it’s designed to do quite well. So much so that I would take it on longer tours again in future. You can get it here.

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