I don’t travel as much as I used to for work. But I still remember traveling enough to know what a pain it has become. With extra security measures and fees, flying hardly seems worth it anymore. Now, when I used to travel a lot, I would frequently have a backpack with all of my necessities and gadgets, and also a separate camera bag with my photography and video gear. This worked fine at the time, but anymore it would create several problems. First, I have considerably more photography gear now than I used to (not to mention nicer and more expensive gear). Second, security just drools at the guy holding several bags. Third, I am pretty sure they charge you by carry-on bag, and I spent too much money on my camera to be able to afford the fees for the second bag. So, what am I to do? I don’t want to leave my camera unprotected in my backpack. That just would not do. And like I said, carrying two bags is not a great option anymore. What I need is a single bag that can merge my backpack and camera bag together. What I need is the Naneu Pro Adventure K3L. Let’s take a closer look.
OK, let’s just sit back. Grab yourself a cup of coffee and get ready. We have a lot to discuss, so we’ll just get right to it. The first thing you are going to notice is that this is a pretty hefty bag. It is much bigger than my everything and anything bag from Targus, which I typically use for my commute. The reason, of course, is the camera section which you will see is located on the bottom of the bag. All of that padding and foam makes the lower portion very stiff, and a bit heavier than a normal bag.
The main compartment is in the back. I was extremely impressed by the sturdy construction of the zippers, which zip all the way down the sides of the bag, making this compartment open wide so you can stuff it full of your crap…I mean good stuff. In this section, you have a nice deep pocket. I did find it was a little difficult to slide much more than a notebook in here, due to the fact that the frame in the back made this a fairly inflexible space.
But the main attraction of this compartment is the padded laptop area. This is a fantastic idea, which will really save you considerable space and time when traveling. No longer will you need a separate bag for your laptop. Any laptop up to a 15.4 inch screen will slide snugly into this compartment. A wide velcro flap will ensure that it is held securely during your entire trip.
Working our way out, you will find a second compartment, which appears to be about half the depth of the main compartment. But really, that is an illusion.
Airport security will love you for this one…watch as we tear away the bottom of the compartment, to reveal the hidden camera bag section. One of the things I really liked here (and no, as you will see, this is not the only way to access your camera) was how well hidden this compartment was. It means those shady looking kids sitting across from you will have no idea that innocuous bag really carries a $1000 or more DSLR camera.
In the back of this compartment is a small mesh pocket, which is perfect for a CD-player or portable media player. A very nice headphone grommet on top of the bag ensures you will always have easy access to your tunes.
Truth be told, though, I really think the time of these headphone grommets has passed. I think they were a great idea when portable music meant a large device or CD player. Nowadays, I carry 16 GBs of music and video on a device that is considerably smaller than my wallet. Just slip it in my pants pocket and off we go. I never even consider putting my media player in my backpack anymore. Far too inconvenient.
In the front of the bag is a second large velcro flap, which hides two pockets. The rear pocket is open on top, with only a strip of velcro securing it. Perfect for your travel documents and other easy access items.
The outer pocket is a small zippered compartment. The zipper opens all the way around, allowing the front flap to hang down, revealing an elastic pouch. This is perfect for your cords, batteries, and other necessities.
Above these pockets, there is a small strap with seemingly no purpose. Well, silly me. Why would anyone put a useless strap on a bag like this? Answer…they wouldn’t. Actually, this strap is an extremely well designed tripod compartment. Just wrap the strap around the neck of your tripod, and you are ready to go. I did notice, however, that your tripod is going to block your access to many of the compartments on the front of the bag. I would have preferred that the tripod strap be moved to one side or the other so it would not impeded my access to these pockets.
On either side of the bag there is a small pocket, which almost seems to disappear into the bag when it is zippered shut. Although I found these pockets were a bit of a tight squeeze, I did still think they were ideally suited for snacks or drinks. Each pocket also contains a mesh area, which could be used for wet items.
OK. Let’s go ahead and turn the bag around and check out the back. Here, the first thing you will notice is the wire mesh frame. This frame not only supports your back, but also holds the bag away from your body. This creates an “Air Flow Suspension System” which allows the air to circulate through the pocket created between your back and the pack. I was impressed by how comfortable this system really was.
And I did find that creating this pocket of air did keep my back cooler because the heavy pack was not constantly pressed up against me.
The straps were very well padded, which was nice because this pack can be pretty heavy when it is fully loaded. On each of the straps, you will find a ring, which can hold your keychains or carabineers, depending on what the day’s agenda might hold. Two additional straps secure the pack around your waist and chest. These will help distribute the weight to your whole body, rather than just a single shoulder.
One one of the waist straps contains a small loop, which you might use to have some pens or pencils at the ready. The other contains a pouch (which I took to be a first aid kit) which contains a mesh water bottle holder.
The water bottle holder folds out of the way and into the pouch when not in use, which is a great way to store it out of the way, but keep it accessible when you need it.
Now, we’ll flip the bag upside down. Hidden in the crevices of the bottom is a small zipper. Open it to reveal the rain hood.
This is a simple piece of nylon with elastic, which will fit over the entire bag, protecting the zippers and openings in the event of a rainstorm. I was pretty impressed by this, as I have often had problems with bags leaking around the zippers. I did try to put the rainflap on while carrying a tripod, but I found (as I would have expected) that the tripod was too long and interfered with the cover.
So, if you are caught in a squall, you will have to carry your tripod by hand. It would have been nice if there had been a way to keep the tripod attached while covering the bag with the rain hood.
You may have noticed that we skipped a few pockets on the front of the bag. We can go ahead and check these out now. Both pockets are located on the bottom portion of the front. The outer pocket is a pretty standard pocket. It has a mesh area and some smaller pockets. Great for carrying batteries, memory cards, and other small accessories.
OK. Which brings us to the really cool part of the bag. There is a zipper which runs all along this bottom portion, just grab that zipper and pull it open. Wallah! Remember that camera bag that I said we would get back to? The whole bottom portion opens to give you instant access to the camera portion of the bag. I thought it would have been nice if this would zip all the way out, for those times when you want to just carry your camera without everything else, but that was a small detail.
I thought this camera section was extremely impressive (bright orange color aside). It featured some extra thick padding, along with four adjustable partitions. This means it can be adjusted to fit anything you may need. I was able to fit multiple cameras, my camcorder, and a battery charger, with plenty of room to spare. I could easily have tossed a telephoto lens and flash shoe in there as well if I needed to (or if I actually had some money to buy those things. (it is actually designed to hold a DSLR with a short zoom lens, up to four additional lenses, flash, batteries, and more…) Just load it up and zipper the bottom closed again. I did find that once it was loaded up, it was somewhat of an effort to get the bottom closed and secured. So, this is not the kind of thing you are going to want to do on a regular basis. For normal use, you will probably find yourself going in through the hidden bottom of the daypack.
I am a pretty big fan of accessories that will make my life easier. And that is exactly what this bag did. It took two essential bags (my laptop bag/backpack and my camera bag, and mashed them together in one extremely well made and durable backpack. I was impressed by how much this one could carry in such a small place. It did come across as a bit heavy, but what did you expect? Otherwise, I am fairly confident that the next time you see me in an airport, I will be accompanied by my Naneu.
What I Liked: Very well constructed. Durable frame, material, and zippers. Well designed pockets. Pull out camera bag. Rain cover.
What Needs Improvement: It would be nice if the camera bag portion would unzip full and detach for independent use. Camera portion can be hard to zipper when full. Side Pockets can be a tight squeeze. Tripod strap interfered with pockets.
Where to Buy: Naneu Pro
Price: Currently out of stock