Best Camera Backpacks

Best Camera Backpack In 2019 For Protection And Comfortability

Camera backpacks come in all shapes and sizes. Choosing the best camera backpack for you depends largely on what kind of photography you specialize in.

A frequent flyer may opt for a more compact bag, a street photographer will need quick and easy access to their camera, and a landscape photographer will look for sturdiness and weather-proofing.

Whichever type of photography you specialize in, there is a backpack for you. We have selected ten of the best ones available on the market now.


Thule Aspect DSLR Backpack

A photo of the Thule Aspect DSLR Backpack, in black

The Thule Aspect DSLR Backpack.

WEIGHT: 6.5 pounds

DIMENSIONS: 13.4 x 11 x 20.5 inches

CAPACITY: 1 to 2 DSLR or mirrorless cameras with lens attached, 4 to 5 additional lenses, 15-inch laptop, accessories, tripod.

PROS: Lightweight but sturdy, firm back panel, easily accessible laptop and tablet sleeve.

CONS: Limited lens space, no rain cover included, a small number of pockets.

Comfortable and lightweight, the Thule Aspect is a safe choice if you need a reliable travel backpack. It features customizable padded storage to let you organize the space based on your needs. It will protect your DSLR body with a lens attached, plus there is extra space for additional lenses and accessories. A separate sleeve houses your laptop or tablet if you need to edit on the go.

With a sternum strap and a padded belt, heavier loads are not an issue. Attach your tripod to the side clips or add a small drone to your gear kit without worrying about the weight.


Lowepro ProTactic BP 450 AW II

A photo of the Lowepro ProTactic BP 450 AW II Camera & Laptop Backpack, 25L, in black
The Lowepro ProTactic BP 450 AW II Camera & Laptop Backpack, 25L, in black.

WEIGHT: 5.95 pounds

DIMENSIONS: 7.1 x 19.5 x 13.7 inches

CAPACITY: DSLR or mirrorless camera with lens attached, 3 to 5 additional lenses, 15-inch laptop, water bottle, and accessories.

PROS: Built-in all-weather cover, 3 access points to your camera, targeted support at shoulder blades, lumbar and waist.

CONS: Limited customization in the storage space, heavy, small tripod pocket.

The Lowepro ProTactic BP 450 AW II is a heavy-duty camera backpack built to last a lifetime. Great for outdoor photoshoots, this backpack is rigid and has zippers on the inside, to protect from theft.

There are three separate access points, so you can get to your camera from any angle, and thanks to additional pockets, it can carry plenty of gear. The back sleeve has room for a 15-inch laptop, while straps help you attach a tripod centrally so that the weight is well distributed. In addition, the shoulder straps and waist belt have been reinforced which should help prevent injuries if you are carrying heavy equipment.


Think Tank Photo Airport Essentials

A photo of the Think Tank Photo Airport Essentials backpack
The Think Tank Photo Airport Essentials backpack.

WEIGHT: 4.45 pounds

DIMENSIONS: 17.7 x 21.6 x 29.5 inches

CAPACITY: 1 to 2 medium to large mirrorless bodies with lens attached, 5 to 8 additional lenses, up to a 10” tablet and a 15” laptop.

PROS: Security cable and combination locks included, seam-sealed rain cover included, will fit as carry-on luggage on most planes.

CONS: Not ideal for hiking, no wheels, too shallow to carry long lenses.

Frequent flyers will love the Think Tank Photo Airport Essentials backpack. It looks nothing like a traditional camera bag but provides high capacity and maximum protection for your gear.

Built in accordance with most domestic and international size carry-on requirements, this backpack is camouflaged as a classic piece of luggage but can contain up to two camera bodies and eight lenses. The storage space is well padded should you encounter turbulence, plus the backpack features a security cable and a series of combination locks to prevent theft.

The two handles let you carry the backpack vertically or horizontally, while the lateral straps allow you to attach a tripod. In addition, the rain cover (included) is seam-sealed and folds into a hidden pocket when not in use.


Manfrotto Pro Light Bumblebee-220 Backpack

A photo of the Manfrotto Pro Light Bumblebee-220
The Manfrotto Pro Light Bumblebee-220 backpack.

WEIGHT: 6.5 pounds

DIMENSIONS: 13.4 x 11 x 20.5 inches

CAPACITY: 1 to 2 DSLR or mirrorless cameras with lens attached, 4 to 5 additional lenses, 15-inch laptop, accessories, tripod.

PROS: Interchangeable dividers, will fit as cabin luggage, water repellent.

CONS: Slightly bulky, expensive

The Manfrotto Pro Light Bumblebee-220 offers a huge amount of storage and is a safe bet when it comes to gear protection on the road. The flawless modern design includes sturdy zippers and many accessible extra pockets in which to keep accessories and travel essentials.

With the external tripod connections and flexible dividers, customizable to suit your equipment, you don’t have to narrow down which equipment to carry. Even a 500mm lens can fit in this backpack.

Manfrotto seems to have thought of everything: the Pro Light Bumblebee-220 has built-in water repellent nylon and an integrated cover for when the rain gets heavier. Moreover, if the sun hits hard, the rain cover has a silver side which creates a shield against UV rays to prevent your electronics from overheating.


Lowepro Fastpack BP 250 AW II

A photo of the Lowepro Fastpack BP 250 AW II camera backpack
The Lowepro Fastpack BP 250 AW II.

WEIGHT: 3.75 pounds

DIMENSIONS: 12.2 x 10.2 x 19.7 inches

CAPACITY: DSLR with attached lens (such as Nikon D810 with up to 70-200mm f/2.8), 2 to 3 extra lenses, accessories, 15-inch laptop.

PROS: Great price, three ample storage zones, built-in all-weather cover.

CONS: Weak chest strap, tripod strap separate from the bag (easy to lose), heavy when empty

The Lowepro Fastpack BP 250 AW II is made for the serious photographer. Staying organized during your travels has never been so easy: it has three spacious storage zones, internal and external pockets to carry accessories, and adjustable dividers.

In addition, the top compartment has spaces specifically designed for a smartphone, keys, pens, and cables, while the side zipper allows you to reach your camera in a matter of seconds. Moreover, the back sleeve fits a 15-inch laptop and a tripod can be attached externally thanks to the quick straps. This backpack also has a removable padded waist belt, which can be placed on a rolling trolley via the compression straps found on the back panel.


Vanguard Alta Sky 45D

A photo of the Vanguard Alta Sky 45D backpack
The Vanguard Alta Sky 45D.

WEIGHT: 4.85 pounds

DIMENSIONS: 12.25 x 9.0 x 19.5 Inches.

CAPACITY: 1 to 2 DSLR bodies with lens attached, 4 additional lenses, drone or tripod, 13” laptop.

PROS: Extremely versatile, rain cover included, the balanced tripod carrying system

CONS: Small laptop compartment, may not fit in the overhead compartment when the tripod is attached, waistbelt not detachable

The Vanguard Alta Sky 45D offers great flexibility for creative photographers and videographers. On top of being able to carry up to two DSLR bodies and four additional lenses, this backpack can also fit a small drone, gimbals, and a tripod. Plus a laptop, of course.

Built with durable fabrics guaranteed by a Vanguard Lifetime Warranty, this backpack comes with a protective rain cover, mesh pouches to carry water bottles, and reinforced shoulder straps with waist belt.

The backpack is quite large compared to other camera bags, but the weight remains well distributed, even with a heavy tripod attached.


Case Logic SLRC-206

The Case Logic SLRC-206 bag
The Case Logic SLRC-206 camera bag.

WEIGHT: 3.1 pounds

DIMENSIONS: 12.5 x 8 x 17 inches

CAPACITY: DSLR camera body with attached lens, a DJI Mavic Pro (or drones up to 320mm x 270mm x 140mm), 2 to 3 lenses, 15.4-inch laptop and a variety of accessories.

PROS: Memory foam interior to protect LCD screens, hammock system suspends camera above the bottom of the case, fits a DJI Mavic Pro drone

CONS: Thin shoulder straps, the camera slot at the top doesn’t fit long lenses, small accessory pouches

The Case Logic SLRC-206 is hugely popular thanks to its affordability, style, and durability. The professional grade interior, made of built-in memory foam, protects the most delicate parts of your equipment, such as lenses and LCD screens.

This backpack fits a DSLR with lens attached in the top compartment, but also a small-sized drone (such as a DJI Mavic Pro), together with accessories and a 15.4-inch laptop. Moreover, the hammock-system lets the camera hang above the bottom of the case, making it safe against any impact.

In addition, the dividers are easily adjustable and the four smaller accessory pockets can be accessed quickly when you need to switch an SD card.


Manfrotto MB MA-BP-TL Advanced Tri Backpack

The Manfrotto MB MA-BP-TL Advanced Tri Backpack
The Manfrotto MB MA-BP-TL Advanced Tri Backpack.

WEIGHT: 2.8 pounds

DIMENSIONS: 13 x 10.2 x 18.1 inches

CAPACITY: DSLR camera body with 70-200mm f2.8 attached, 4 to 5 lenses, accessories, 15.4″ laptop.

PROS: Three carrying options (backpack, left or right sling bag), lightweight, includes a rain cover.

CONS: Weight not well distributed when full, light cushioning at the bottom, thin shoulder straps.

One of the more affordable Manfrotto backpacks, the Advanced Tri is an ideal choice for the everyday photographer looking for a durable product, but who don’t want to splurge on higher-end models.

The Manfrotto Advanced Tri wins on versatility: it can be carried both as a backpack and as a sling bag on one shoulder. Moreover, it can fit a DSLR body with a 200mm lens attached plus 4 to 5 extra lenses, and most airlines will accept it as hand luggage.

It is lightweight and includes a rain cover that will shield your gear against the elements. Plus, it is designed so any compartment can be accessed rapidly. In Addition, the dividers can be removed, transforming the Advanced Tri into a traditional backpack when needed.


Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L

The Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L
The Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L.

WEIGHT: 3.4 pounds

DIMENSIONS: 7.9 x 13 x 20.1 inches

CAPACITY: 2 DSLR Bodies, 4 to 6 Lenses, 16-inch laptop, accessories.

PROS: Spacious expanding design, can carry a 16-inch laptop, built with water-resistant fabric.

CONS: Stiff shoulder straps, expensive, no external pockets with zippers.

An elegant camera backpack designed with functionality in mind, the Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L is perfect for the traveling photographer who does not want to skimp on quality and features.

The expanding design can hold two DSLR bodies with lenses attached, plus 3 to 6 further lenses, a 16-inch laptop, and even a drone. The build is sturdy and the cushioned dividers can be configured as you wish, to protect your precious equipment from bumps or shock. Moreover, the exterior is made of water-resistant fabric, and the magnetically sealed pocket under the top flap hides valuable items like a smartphone, passport or wallet.

This is one of the best camera backpacks around for commuters and adventurers alike: perfect to keep your gear organized and accessible.


Incase DSLR Pro Pack

Incase DSLR Pro Pack
The Incase DSLR Pro Pack.

WEIGHT: 2.69 pounds

DIMENSIONS: 12 x 20 x 9 inches

CAPACITY: DSLR Camera, DJI Mavic 2 Pro, DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, and DJI Osmo Mobile 2. Adjustable dividers account for various lens sizes, flash accessories, and other personal items, 15-inch laptop.

PROS: Comfortable to carry, lightweight, top zippered entry for quick access to the camera.

CONS: Small side pockets, zippers not very sturdy, no rain cover.

The Incase DSLR Pro Pack has adjustable dividers, can carry a DSLR body with an attached lens, plus four additional lenses, and still has space left for flashguns, cables, batteries, and any travel essentials. On top of your photography gear, it can fit a small drone, a 15-inch laptop, and an iPad. The shoulder straps are padded and flexible, making this large camera backpack comfortable to carry even when full. The top zippered entry allows access to the camera in seconds.

The nylon straps on the side let you attach a tripod or a monopod, and all the internal dividers are fully removable if you want to convert it into a traditional, everyday backpack.


Camera backpack Comparison Table

Backpack Image Capacity Size (In) Weight Price
Thule Aspect DSLR BackpackThule Aspect DSLR Backpack, Black - DSLR camera with lens attached
- 2 to 3 additional lenses
- 15.6-inch laptop
- Tablet
- And accessories.
11.8x8.7x20.5 3.17 Lb Buy Now
Lowepro ProTactic BP 450 AW IILowepro ProTactic BP 450 AW II Camera & Laptop Backpack, 25L, Black - DSLR with lens attached
- 3 to 5 additional lenses
- 15-inch laptop
- Water bottle
- And accessories.
7.1x19.5x13.7 5.95 Lb Buy Now
Think Tank Photo Airport EssentialsThink Tank Photo Airport Essentials Backpack (Small, Black) - 2 large mirrorless bodies \w lens
- 5 to 8 additional lenses
- Up to a 10” tablet & 15” laptop
17.7x21.6x29.5 4.45 Lb Buy Now
Manfrotto Pro Light Bumblebee-220Manfrotto MB PL-B-220 Backpack (Black) - 2 DSLR cameras \w lens attached
- 4 to 5 additional lenses
- 15-inch laptop
- Accessories, tripod.
13.4x11x20.5 6.5 Lb Buy Now
Lowepro Fastpack BP 250 AW IILowepro Fastpack BP 250 AW II - A Travel-Ready Backpack for DSLR and 15' Laptop and Tablet - DSLR with large attached lens
- 2 to 3 extra lenses
- Accessories
- 15-inch laptop.
12.2x10.2x19.7 3.75 Lb Buy Now
Vanguard Alta Sky 45DVanguard Alta Sky 45D Camera Backpack for Sony, Nikon, Canon, DSLR, Drones, Grey - 2 DSLR bodies with lens
- 4 additional lenses
- Drone or tripod
- 13” laptop.
12.25x9.0x19.5 4.85 Lb Buy Now
Case Logic SLRC-206Case Logic SLRC-206 SLR Camera and 15.4-Inch Laptop Backpack (Black) - DSLR camera with lens
- a DJI Mavic Pro
- 2 to 3 lenses
- 15.4-inch laptop & accessories
12.5x8x17 3.1 Lb Buy Now
Manfrotto MB MA-BP-TL Advanced Tri BackpackManfrotto MB MA-BP-TL Advanced Tri Backpack, Large (Black) - DSLR with large lens attached
- 4 to 5 lenses
- Accessories
- 15.4" laptop.
13x10.2x18.1 2.8 Lb Buy Now
Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30LPeak Design Everyday Backpack 30L (Black Camera Bag) - 2 DSLR Bodies
- 4 to 6 Lenses
- 16-inch laptop
- And accessories.
7.9x13x20.1 3.4 Lb Buy Now
Incase DSLR Pro PackLowepro ProTactic BP 450 AW II Camera & Laptop Backpack, 25L, Black - DSLR Camera
- DJI Mavic 2 Pro& Zoom
- DJI Osmo Mobile 2
- various lenses and flashes
- 15-inch laptop.
12x20x9 2.69 Lb Buy Now

How to Choose the Best Camera Backpack?

So how do you choose the best camera backpack for you? It will largely depend on what gear you carry, where you shoot, and how you intend to get there.

Quality in terms of build, materials, and design is essential to keep your equipment (and yourself) safe, but that’s not the only thing to consider. See our tips below.

Decide What Camera Equipment you Need to Carry

The type of photography you focus on, and the equipment you use, will vary–so should your backpack.

If you are shooting wildlife photography, for example, consider buying a backpack in which you can store a telephoto lens already attached to a camera body. Alternatively, if you only shoot with shorter prime lenses, opt for a lighter and less bulky backpack.

Most backpacks will have external straps to attach a tripod. All the ones listed above have a sleeve for your laptop: essential if you need to edit your photographs on the road.

A photo of a man with a camera on a tripod, photographing the sunrise view from cliffs
Consider what camera equipment you’ll need to pack: you may need a tripod. Photo by Blake Cheek on Unsplash.

It is also important to consider additional items you may carry: will you need flashguns, cables, or a spare camera body? Make sure you consider this when looking at the division of storage space in each bag.

Consider the Capacity of the Camera Bag

Backpack capacity is usually measured in liters. This, however, can be vague when it comes to camera bags, as much of the space is already occupied by padded dividers.

A backpack that can carry one DSLR body with an attached lens, plus multiple lenses, accessories, and a laptop, will usually range between 25 and 35 liters in capacity.

Compression straps can help reduce the bulk of your backpack when it’s not fully packed.

Where is your Photo Shoot Destination?

Consider where your shoots will take place. If you are a frequent flyer, you’ll want a backpack that will be accepted as carry-on luggage by airlines. But if you spend time outdoors, you’ll need to protect your gear against the elements.

Outdoor enthusiasts may need a backpack with external pouches to carry water bottles. If you plan on walking for long periods of time with your gear, opt for a backpack with soft, adjustable shoulder straps and a waist belt, to better distribute the weight. Alternatively, if you spend a lot of time in airports, consider a bag that can be attached to a rolling trolley.

A photo of a photographer sat on some rocks taking a photo
If you do a lot of outdoor photography, you’ll need a backpack with a rain cover. Image by rawpixel from Pixabay.

Most backpacks are built with modern fabrics which will protect gear against light rain. But if you spend a lot of time outdoors, choose a backpack with an integrated rain cover.

The Best Camera Bag Is the One That Protects Your Gear!

It’s not just rain you have to worry about: impact from movement, heat, and unwanted attention from thieves are all things a good camera backpack should prevent, to some degree.

Camera backpacks have padded dividers, which separate out compartments and cushion your gear so it doesn’t knock together while you walk. Moreover, dividers are normally made out of foam and help keep everything in place.

In some models the cushioning is completely removable, transforming a camera backpack into an everyday backpack. In others, the dividers are attached to the bag but can be adjusted to fit your equipment.

A photo of the inside of the Manfrotto MB PL-B-220 bag, black
A good camera backpack includes padded dividers to cushion and protect your equipment.

Heat can damage electronics and photographic gear. Some brands provide rain covers that reflect the light and shield against UV rays, reducing the risk of overheating.

Some backpacks also have in-built security to make it harder for thieves to access your gear. Many brands design their bags with rear openings, while others provide lockable zippers and protective cables.

Comfortability

Look for a backpack that fits your body size and makes sure all straps are adjustable.

Shoulder straps should be soft, wide and sturdy to prevent skin abrasion, while the waist belt should sit just above your hips to help release pressure from your back. A sternum strap will increase stability by locking around your chest and keeping the weight closer to your body.

A photo of the rear of the Vanguard Alta Sky 45D bag
Choose a bag with sturdy shoulder straps to maximise comfort during use.

The back panel should be firm but not flat. Most backpacks leave some air flow channels that allow your back to breathe. Larger backpacks offer lumbar padding that works as a cushion against your lower back.

Time to Choose your New Camera backpack

We’ve shown you what you need to look for when choosing a new camera backpack. We’ve also shown you the best ten camera backpacks on the market right now.

All that’s left for you to do is decide which one works best for you. Do you have a favorite bag out of the ones we’ve mentioned? Or are there any good ones we have missed? Leave your comments below.

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