I’m just back from shooting a seven-day walking tour in France where I travel-tested the Sahara 217 F by Naneu Pro, a manufacturer of innovative camera, video, laptop and portable audio cases. Finding a camera bag that can meet the demands of an adventure travel assignment is a challenge. I’m happy to report that the Sahara 217 F was up to the task!

Initially what caught my eye was the Sahara’s water-resistant rugged construction, as did it’s carry-on sizing and its heavily-padded laptop compartment.

I wanted a pack that could double as both a notebook backpack and a multi-functional camera bag. The Sahara 217’s expandable main compartment accommodated everything I needed for the shoot: 2 digital DSLR camera bodies, a full range of lenses including a long zoom, as well as 2 portable hard drives, memory cards, sensor brush, power cords and flash.

In addition, I was pleasantly surprised by how its ergonomically designed back support and quick adjustable padded shoulder, chest and waist straps helped minimize back strain. A huge plus, for pack-mule photo journalists!

Favorite Feature: Topping my list is it’s padded laptop slip pocket, that makes airport security a breeze. Better yet, pulling the laptop out and securing it back away inflight has never been easier. Did I mention it looks like any ole traveler’s rucksack, not an expense camera bag? Very nice!

Not-so-favorite Feature: At first glance the two snap-closure front pockets and zippered front compartment with its quick release buckle seemed to offer just the kind of easy-access every traveler craves. But unfortunately, once I’d tucked away my Blackberry, Lara bars. ear buds, and the other inflight essentials I want handy, the bag no longer fit in the overhead compartment, or beneath the seat in front of me. Argh! Of course, once I arrived at my destination, or when I use the bag on car trips at home, it’s a non-issue. I covered mine with gaffer tape, but I recommend that Naneu remove the mobile phone and computer icons that make it far too easy for pickpockets to identify the otherwise fairly well concealed gadget pockets.

Bottom-line: Perfect for a walking tour, the techno-friendly padded pack enabled me to carry everything I needed on the shoot in one bag, both on and off the trail.

$206.99 retail : www.naneubags.com



Product Details and Specs:

The Sahara 217 comes in black or green.

  • Weight without camera insert: 3.00 lbs
  • Weight with camera insert: 4.55 lbs
  • Exterior Dimensions: 17.5H x 13W x 7.5D in
  • Exterior Dimensions Expanded: 17.5W x 13H x 11D in
  • Laptop Compartment Dimensions: 16H x 12.5W x 1.75D in
  • Camera Compartment Dimensions: 14.5H x 10.5W x 4.25-5.75 D in

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".