ZEFAL Z TRAVELLER 60 RACK PACK
690g 20.5L €54.95 (around £48, at time of writing)
With touring and longer day rides in mind, the Zefal Z Traveller 60 Rack Pack is a water-resistant model ideal for a day out, an Audax, or as an addition to a traditional touring set up. This is a pretty competitive spot in the market place. Belt ‘n’ braces riders may full water-proofing, but the Z Traveller 60 has some nice features and has not let me down.
Pros: expandable, very well-made.
Cons: not waterproof.
840D Polyester makes up the bulk of the fabric. Along with stitched seams, this gives water-resistance rather than water-proofing. A rain-cover can be found in the front pocket. There’s also a lined side-pocket. Both have a zip closure. I’ve tended to keep the cover in the rear elasticated pocket, especially during drying. The rear pocket also has a light loop. By the way, zip fobs are chunky, easy to use when gloved up – even if they aren’t likely to be used on the fly.
Velcro and roll closure allow the main compartment to be shrunk or expanded as required, and are combined with click-fit buckles and adjustable straps. The reinforced base has had no problem supporting the usual gear.
Two carry handles give you a choice of carriage off the bike. A third option is the shoulder strap.
Three Velcro closure straps, two with a buckle, should allow firm and flexible fixing to any rack. On that front, pack dimensions (closed) are 320x180x220mm.
There’s some reflective printing to aid presence during the hours of darkness.
Overall, there’s a rather luxurious feel, with very well finished seams and sheen finish. It is part of the same range as the Zefal Z Console (although that will keep rain out).
Water resistance 3.5/5
We’ve seen off light rain, but there were hints of dampness inside after` ninety minutes of heavy rain. I’d err on the side of caution, reaching for the rain-cover, when things get rougher than a light shower – especially if carting around precious items (by the way, we’d not recommend putting sensitive electronics, such as cameras, in rack packs, prone as they are to vibration.)
Rain-cove rain place, there’s been no ingress during rainy rides or watering-can torture. Mind you, remember that this is a cover for top and sides – sans mudguards and an open-top rack, things will receive a good deal of road spray.
20.5L is ideal for day riding or Audax-type rides; tool kit, lock, inner tubes, and jacket, sit easily inside, with enough space for a few snacks, spare map, and, maybe even a take-away for when you get home.
The zipped side pocket will take slim sundries, such as your mobile, in suitable comfort; the chunkier pocket wherein resides the rain cover is better for keys or a nice fat wallet (if you have such a thing). However, keep an eye on the weather or wrap stuff up in waterproof bags.
Between bikes, the Velcro straps would seem to stretch around most racks. I’ve tried them on Tubus, Blackburn, and Tortec, the former wider, the latter slimmer. Correct fitting has been no problem, other than the inevitable nuisance of ensuring strap tightness. That’s a bit of a pest when heading into the café or round the castle; depends how trusting you are!
My preferred perch for the Z Traveller 60, has become the dual railed Tortec rack on my Hase Pino. Of course, such are ideal for rack packs on longer tours, with the capacity to easily mount and carry panniers at the same time. Having said that, longer day excursions for two have loaded the pack to capacity with gear for two.
Off the bike, the two comfortable handles and the shoulder strap give you a choice for carrying.
Rattling along forest tracks, speed bumps, and assorted pot-holes, have failed to encourage a bid for freedom. After an initial adjusting of the straps, I have not really known that it is there. No sway or wobble. We’re not in singletrack territory here, but gravel and off road rough stuff have not provoked ejection.
Road and trail dirt is easily wiped off with a damp cloth. When soaked by heavy rain, I found it best to let the fabric dry first, or pretty much. On that front, it took about four hours to dry after an hour and a half of heavy rain without its rain-cover.
A wipe with a damp cloth has removed mud-splatter (and probably worse) following jaunts down rural lanes or light gravel work. On that front, some brands’ rack packs sport Teflon finishes. I can’t say that the Traveller 60 was any harder to keep clean.
Rack pack are not always interchangeable – some require special mounts or are really beam bags. On that front, as well as on others, Zefal’s Traveller 60 scores well. Bontrager and Topeak both offer versions with some similar features. Full waterproofing adds a good few pounds – smaller Ortleib
models come in at around £25 more expensive. On the other hand, you’ll find reduced capacity and less robust construction on some shop brands for £20 less.
Overall, for quality manufacture and finish, good capacity and portability, the Traveller 60 seems to be well-worth a look, in my opinion.
As part of a touring set up, for a long day ride, or , combined with a bar bag, for a light-weight summer weekend’s hostelling, the Traveller 60 has a lot to offer. True, it isn’t the cheapest, but nor is it the priciest. The spec is very good for its intended audience, and the finish very nice indeed. Whichever way you look at it, this is a very useful bit of kit for many types of cycling.