Zefal Z Hydro Race 1.5L hydration bag review - low price and low weight, excellent for short gravel races

Wallet-friendly, lightweight and minimalist - an excellent option for those getting into gravel racing

Steve Shrubsall wearing the Zefal Z Hydro Race 1.5L hydration bag
(Image credit: Future)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

Zefal Hyrdo Race 1.5L Hydration Bag is a perfect delivery system for short rides or races, and a capacious zipped pocket would see it fare reasonably well on longer outings, with the ability to stash extra layers and spares. For those looking into their first dalliance with gravel racing this bag would be a very sound starting point.

Reasons to buy
  • +


  • +

    Bladder valve worked consistently

  • +

    Zipped pocket

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Only really suitable for shorter rides

  • -

    Mesh straps easily twisted

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

As cycling has evolved to include bikepacking, multi-day ultra events and long-distance gravel races as part of it range of disciplines, the need to be able to carry and have easy access to fuel and hydration has become ever-more pertinent. Water bottles are, of course, an option for such rides but bottle cages can take up valuable frame real estate which could otherwise be used for storage systems. They also demand taking your hand from the bars, and if the terrain is choppy this can either be dangerous or discourage the rider from hydrating or fuelling at crucial times - it’s easy to err from a well-planned fuelling strategy. 

This is where a good hydration pack can really complement your ride.

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Steve has been writing (mainly fitness features) for Cycling Weekly for 11 years. His current riding inclination is to go long on gravel bikes... which melds nicely with a love of carbs