I recently took my Naneu Adventure K5-v2 hiking pack out on the road for a field test. My destination? New Mexico’s White Sand Dunes under a full moon. In this particular Park you have two options to access the Park outside of normal hours of operation;
1). Pay the Park Rangers to access the Park after or before its normal hours of operation at the rate of $50 per hour.
2). Pack your gear in to one of their remote campsites and spend the night in the Dunes to experience sunset, the night sky and sunrise.
I chose option two as I wanted to take full advantage of my time in the Park and get away from the casual tourists on the main road. In packing my gear I need to be prepared for a 50 degree temperature swing with highs in the 80’s during the day, and lows dropping all the way down to the 30’s at the coolest point of the night. I also had to consider the possibility of rain in the forecast. Unfortunately the weather was uncooperative on this trip, but I was still able to enjoy the versatility of my new pack. Heavy rain showers blew in one of the days I was there, but the Adventure K5-v2’s rain cover kept all my gear dry. Besides my camera equipment I was also carrying a 2-man backpacking tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, rain jacket, change of clothes, water and food for two or three days. Fully loaded my pack weighed over 50lbs, and distributed the weight exceptionally well. While it certainly isn’t weightless, I easily could have carried more gear if needed.
The 80 liter capacity the Adventure K5-v2 offers more space than any other technical, hiking camera pack available. I was pleased to find that its internal frame and ventilated, padded back support was designed with photographers in mind. The spacious main compartment can be accessed from both sides, as well as the top and the bottom. The numerous external pouches and pockets afforded me plenty of additional space to stow a wide variety of items and keep them readily accessible. I like to always have a designated location to store my wallet, keys and smart phone on these trips, the waist straps pockets were perfect for this. An interior pouch on the left side of the pack is designed to hold a large volume water bladder and one elastic pouch on either side perfectly accommodated two Nalgene bottles allowing me to transport plenty of water even in a desert climate. There is a built in system that secured my tripod and didn’t allow it to shift around or hit me in the head.
There were a few features that really sold me on this pack, but perhaps the most notable was the removable camera pod. The Adventure K5-v2 has a dedicated center compartment that fits a separate camera pod for storage of all your fragile camera equipment on long treks. This center compartment is accessible from either side of the pack and is fully collapsible once the camera pod is removed. The pod’s padded interior easily provides storage for my pro DSLR with my 70-200mm lens attached, spare batteries/memory cards, filters, cable release, flash and three additional lenses. The pod’s shoulder straps allowed me to use it as a day pack for shorter hikes and leave the main body of the Adventure K5-v2 behind at my base camp. The pod also clips to the front of the Adventure K5-v2 allowing it to be transported attached on your chest and quickly accessed without having to remove the hiking pack from your back for shooting on the go.
My initial response to this pack is nearly all positive. I will say that if you are not going on an extended, multiple day trek this bag may be more than you need, however that is not to say the Adventure K5-v2 couldn’t be used on single day trips as well. I advised Naneu that I’d like to see the hydration bladder pouch be designed in future production to be a zippered compartment as opposed to a sleeve style pocket. They have taken that feedback and are researching what can be done to address that request. I noticed some shift of the chest strap at times, but have experienced that with other packs as well, so that might just be the nature of life on the trail with 50lbs of gear on your back.
One of the common complaints made by photographers looking for a good hiking pack is that there are few technical, hiking packs designed to properly carry camera equipment, and camera backpacks are certainly not designed to offer balanced weight distribution for your body over long distances, much less transport camping gear. Naneu left no stone unturned in the design of this pack and the result is an intelligently crafted pack in a class by itself. The Adventure K5-v2 is the perfect fusion of a top of the line camera bag and a technical hiking pack in one. If you’re in the market for a new, large volume, hiking pack and looking to transport your camera gear in a safe, secure way this pack is the answer. If you choose to order one be sure to mention my name at checkout to receive 15% off your order and free shipping.
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