Real World Review – Naneu U220 Roller bag: A One Photographer Road Show

Give your shoulders a break.
The camera bag manufacturers have heard your backs aching, and want to give you some relief.
Nope, not an assistant to carry your gear, but bags to make things a little easier. Roller Bags.
Most of the major brands have been entering this field for awhile, but today we’re going to look at one that may not be on your radar…yet: Naneu.

We first saw one of these bags at the Chris Weeks shoot we did, for the ” What’s In The Bag “ series.
Today, we’re looking at the U220 bag, a roller bag that also can double as a backpack.

First, we laid out all of the gear we would take on 1 person shoot: 2 bodies, 4 lenses, speedlight, batts, laptop, external hardrive, extra memory cards, laptop, cables, etc.

Then we loaded up the insert that comes with this bag, conforming the bright orange interior to the gear.

There are some zippered doors on the insert that help you decide where to put what, as you may need to reach in just for a certain piece of gear.
Not a critical design touch for us, but useful in some cases.

The insert, once loaded, fits back into the roller bag, with the included laptop case, sliding into the front inside lid.

Once zipped, you get some generous outside pockets for cables, travel needs, misc. bulkage.

There is a nice feature on the side of the bag where you can slide your tripod into a stretch pocket, and binding strap. (see photo at top of post)
We use an older Gitzo and the weight seemed to pull the bag slightly to one side, but the weight of the gear inside kept things pretty level.

So, then you have your gear set, and ready to roll into your destination or
pull out the padded shoulder straps, and waist belt to carry it all on your shoulders, backpack style.

And if you just want to use the bag as an empty luggage shell, the camera gear insert, can be left at home and you have an overnighter.

Plus if you are carrying around your gear in the rain, just pop over this nifty rain cover from it’s enclosure on the bag. It’s always there, so you’re always covered.

Ok, that’s how it works.

Now what did we think:

The U220 is well built, and has the room for what you need on a small shoot. Probably an event assignment, or in combo with other bags with additional gear for a larger gig.

We couldn’t help but compare it to our ThinkTank Photo Airport International, which has been around the world with us.

Naneu, Left - ThinkTank, Right

Not quite sure about it’s airline friendliness. Seemed a bit thick once all was said and done to comfortably fit in a planes’ overhead compartment, although we see people shove massive bags in the overhead. International travel restrictions may cause you to check it, so be careful: you don’t want to do that with this bag. The ThinkTank has been global with us and never an issue as a carry-on.

Naneu, Left – ThinkTank, Right
Wheels are bigger on the Naneu.The collapsible handle is comparable. Both units seem equally pretty darn rugged, overall.

A good feature on the U220 laptop case, is that it sits inside the zippered cover to the bag, which we prefer to some bags having the laptop held in a pocket outside the bags main cabin. Feels safer when a computer is tucked inside.
One advantage that ThinkTank has here, is that with lowered dividers, the laptop sits inside the case, further protected by the hard sides.

The tripod pocket/strapping, is a good feature, included in the newer versions of the ThinkTank also, but the stretch pocket bottom, with our older heavy, Gitzo, felt a little precarious as we went up and down stairs.

Wishful thinking: If the gear insert section had a backpack strap feature as opposed to the whole case/bag, it would make more sense to us. Not quite sure why it’s a separate insert. Extra padding? Don’t think we need the case as an overnight bag. We have luggage.

Nothing like traveling to a location on wheels, then strapping on a backpack with cameras needed, leaving laptop, hard drives, etc, in the hotel room.
We usually pack an Oakley backpack when we travel and do just that: transport the goods by roller bag, and transfer needed goods to a backpack set-up. Faster and less chance of tripping people up on a crowded event floor.

Overall ?
Quality: top notch
Features: useful
Design: good with some questions on the insert not having backpack straps
Travel functionality: local – great, airline – questionable.
With a lifetime warranty, a special discount for military personnel, this company should definitely be on your consideration list, but choose the right bag for you.

You should take a look at their entire line, and see what may be right for you

And as always, we recommend that you take your gear to your local brick and mortar camera store, and see which bags fits what you need.
Then try it on, wheel it around, hang it off your shoulder, and generally see how it works with your shooting style and assignment needs.

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