A Case for Maps: The Zéfal Doomap by Tamia Nelson

I keep a county road map tucked away in my handlebar bag for those times when I feel like exploring new routes. It’s a good map, but it’s a nuisance to use: My Louis Garneau HB-09 bar bag doesn’t sport a built-in map case. So, not long after buying the Garneau, I fitted a Cyco Active Products Barmap to the top of the bag, holding it in place with velcro loops and shock cord.

And here it is:

A Small Map Case

This picture tells a story. While the Barmap is well made, it’s a little on the small side—not bad for holding a cue sheet, maybe, but not really big enough for a typical accordion-fold paper map. Which is why I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for something better. And now I think I’ve found it: the Zefal Doomap. The name’s a bit off-putting, I admit. (Was I alone in reading it as “Doofus” on first encounter? I doubt it.) But the Doomap is cleverly designed, incorporating a transparent PVC envelope and an articulated stiffener to keep an open map from flopping about as you ride along. The mounting system is flexible, too, and the case can be folded in two different ways, accommodating both half-sheet and full-sheet layouts. To be sure, it’s a bit dear at the going price (about USD20), but I’ve paid more and gotten less.

Now here’s a look at the mounting system…

Zefal Doomap

…and the instruction sheet, with its helpful overview of the different configurations.

How to Fold It

As the next photo shows, there’s plenty of room for a typical road map, and when used in the full-sheet mode, the Doomap let’s you take in a lot of country at a glance:

Open Doomap

That’s a real plus. I like my Garmin GPS, but the commemorative-stamp-sized display is too small to give much of a feel for the big picture, and this is often a problem during on-the-road navigation. Now the problem is solved. A small-scale paper map in a Doomap case fills the gap nicely. I’ll need to kludge the attachment system a bit, however. My bar bag, cyclometer, and GPS take up most of the available real estate on my handlebars. But this shouldn’t pose insuperable difficulties.

And then I’ll be taking it on the road. Will the Doomap do the job? Stay tuned.

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This entry was posted in Bike Touring, Bikes & Cycling, Evaluations: Bicycling & Touring Gear on by .


For half a century, Tamia Nelson has been ranging far and wide by bike, boat, and on foot. A geologist by training, an artist since she could hold a pencil, a photographer since her uncle gave her a twin-lens reflex camera when she was 10, she's made her living as a writer and novelist for two decades. Avocationally her interests span natural history, social history, cooking, art, and self-powered outdoor pursuits, and she has broad experience in mountaineering, canoeing, kayaking, cycling, snowshoeing and skiing.