Sling, messenger, backpack, or case? Deciding on the best camera bag for you depends on where you are going, how you are getting there, and what kind of photographer you are.
Camera bags come in all shapes and sizes: the choice can be overwhelming. You’ll find rugged models meant to resist the elements while out hiking, or elegantly designed messenger bags to match your city outfit.
We have selected the best 12 camera bags available on the market right now. You just have to decide which one is best for you.
12. Lowepro Whistler BP 450 AW
CAPACITY: 1 DSLR body with lens attached, 3 extra lenses, flash, 15-inch laptop | DIMENSIONS: 12.20 x 11.89 x 22.52 inches | WEIGHT: 7.28 lbs | MATERIAL: Synthetic waterproof fabrics | TYPE: Hiking Backpack.
- It’s waterproof
- Can fit a long telephoto lens
- Has attachment points for skis or hiking poles.
- It’s heavy when empty
- Doesn’t fit under a plane seat
- No tripod cup.
Outdoor enthusiasts will love the features the Lowepro Whistler BP 450 AW has to offer. Designed with the adventurer in mind, this rugged photography backpack will protect your gear in any environment, thanks to its waterproof coating. Moreover, with the bag’s large capacity and customizable dividers, carrying a lot of equipment poses no problem. However, the size of the bag makes it heavy, even when empty, and you won’t be able to fit it under a plane seat.
Whether you are setting out to hike, climb, ski, or capture wildlife photography, this backpack will not hinder your active lifestyle. The Activezone System Technology delivers targeted support at shoulder blades, lumbar and waist, limiting the risk of injuries if you are carrying a lot of weight.
11. Domke F-2 Original Shoulder Bag
CAPACITY: 2 DSLR bodies, 4-6 lenses, pro flashgun, and accessories | DIMENSIONS: 12 x 6.5 x 9 inches | WEIGHT: 2 lbs | MATERIAL: Cotton canvas | TYPE: Messenger.
- It can fit up to a 300mm lens
- Contains 12 compartments
- Pockets and has removable dividers.
- Not waterproof
- No tripod straps
- Limited customization options.
The Domke F-2 Original Shoulder Bag is a stylish messenger bag that can fit an impressive amount of gear. With 12 separate, adjustable compartments and pockets, you can easily pack a hefty telephoto lens, a second camera body, or even a laptop.
Produced in the USA and made entirely from durable cotton canvas, this shoulder bag allows you to access your gear in a matter of seconds. Thanks to the Gripper Strap, the Domke F-2 lets you snap away, confident in the knowledge it will never slip from your shoulder.
The internal dividers are fully removable, meaning that the Domke F-2 can transform into an everyday bag if necessary. However, the bag is not waterproof and there are no tripod straps, so it’s perhaps not the best choice for the outdoor photographer.
10. Think Tank Photo Airport Essentials
CAPACITY: 1–2 DSLR bodies with lenses attached, 5–8 extra lenses, a 10” tablet, and a 15” laptop. | DIMENSIONS: 17.7 x 21.6 x 29.5 inches. | WEIGHT: 4.45 Lbs. | MATERIALS: Synthetic fabrics. | TYPE: Carry-on backpack.
- Security cable and combination locks are included
- Rain cover included
- The correct size for carry-on plane luggage.
- Not ideal for hiking
- No wheels
- It is too shallow for long lenses.
This is a backpack built to please frequent flyers. If you are looking for a camera bag that can contain a load of gear but can still fit in the overhead compartment on a plane, the Think Tank Photo Airport Essentials Backpack is the one for you.
Designed in accordance with most domestic and international size carry-on requirements, this bag can fit up to 2 camera bodies and 8 lenses. With a well-padded storage area, it provides a stress-free travel experience. The security cable and combination locks prevent anyone from attempting to steal your valuable equipment.
The backpack has two handles, so it can be carried both vertically and horizontally. However, it does not have wheels and is too shallow for long lenses.
It does, however, come complete with a water-resistant rain cover.
9. Manfrotto Reloader 55 Roller Bag
CAPACITY: 1 DSLR attached with a 400mm lens, a second DSLR body, and 3-4 lenses, plus accessories | DIMENSIONS: 14 x 9.1 x 21.6 inches | WEIGHT: 10.1 lbs | MATERIAL: Rip-Stop fabric | TYPE: Roller
- It has adjustable dividers
- Fits international airline carry-on dimensions
- Made of water-repellent, Rip-Stop fabric.
- It’s expensive
- Heavy when empty
- Slow access to equipment.
Lightweight but protective, the Manfrotto Reloader 55 is a professional-grade roller bag designed for the serious photographer. Built to fit international airline carry-on sizes, this Manfrotto roller bag has been reinforced: so there’s no need to worry if you fly through turbulence.
It can fit a pro DSLR with a lens of up to 400mm attached, plus a second camera body, 4 additional lenses, and accessories such as cables or memory cards. If that’s not enough, there is also a sleeve able to contain a 17-inch laptop.
The internal structure includes dividers reinforced with fiberglass sticks. Therefore, this bag is extremely resistant to shock, yet lightweight at the same time. It is perfect for the photographer who prioritizes safety and comfort.
8. Case Logic SLRC-202 Medium SLR Camera Bag
CAPACITY: 1 DSLR body with attached lens, plus accessories | DIMENSIONS: 12 x 5 x 9.5 inches | WEIGHT: 1 lb | MATERIAL: Nylon | TYPE: Bag.
- Includes a patent-pending hammock system
- Two carrying options.
- Minimal storage space
- Not fully water-resistant
- Plastic clips.
The Case Logic SLRC-202 is affordable and compact, made to carry and protect a DSLR body with one lens attached. Anyone who enjoys street photography will love this bag: it does not draw attention to itself and allows for immediate access to your camera.
The patent-pending hammock system inside prevents your lens from touching the bottom of the bag, and also provides support during movement or impact. The waterproof base layer attached to the exterior protects your gear if you rest it on wet surfaces, plus it enables the bag to stand up on its own.
You can choose which way to carry the bag: either with a shoulder strap or a simple handle. Three spacious and zippered compartments provide the extra storage space needed for cables, filters, SD cards, and other small accessories.
7. Billingham Hadley Small Shoulder Bag
CAPACITY: 1 DSLR body, 1 lens, and accessories | DIMENSIONS: 6 x 10 x 12 inches | WEIGHT: 1.54 lb | MATERIAL: Cotton canvas and leather | TYPE: Messenger.
- Elegant design
- Removable dividers
- Quick release system.
- No space for large lenses
- No space for a laptop
A luxurious messenger bag designed for the city dweller or commuter who never leaves their camera behind. The Billingham Hadley Small Shoulder Bag has a quick-release system that provides immediate access to your DSLR or mirrorless camera, plus two front pockets to carry small accessories like cables, cards or documents.
The adjustable inserts include two small and two large dividers. As a result, the bag can contain a camera body with lens attached, and an extra lens or flash.
They are also removable, making the Billingham Hadley a versatile bag, ready to be used in every photographic situation. However, it does not have the space to carry large lenses and there is no space for a laptop.
6. Peak Design Everyday Sling
CAPACITY: 1 DSLR body, 2-3 lenses, 11-inch tablet or a 13-inch laptop | DIMENSIONS: 15.8 x 9.1 x 5.5 inches | WEIGHT: 1.5 lb | MATERIAL: Mixed cotton | TYPE: Sling.
- It’s lightweight and can be compressed to fit within other luggage
- Fits a 13-inch laptop and 11-inch tablet
- External straps for a tripod.
- Light padding on the shoulder strap
- Limited pockets for accessories
- Doesn’t stand up on its own.
The Peak Design Everyday Sling will impress you with its large capacity. Although it may look like an ordinary bag, the amount of gear it can carry will make you think twice about buying a backpack.
This Everyday Sling can contain a DSLR body with lens attached, up to 3 extra lenses, and even a 13-inch laptop. The external straps allow you to attach a travel tripod, while the internal slip pocket is perfect to carry documents or small accessories.
The shoulder strap features fast adjusters which are useful if carrying your gear for extended periods of time. However, the light padding on the shoulder strap would perhaps hinder you from carrying very heavy equipment.
When empty, this shoulder bag is extremely lightweight and can be compressed to be carried inside a larger piece of luggage.
5. Lowepro Slingshot Edge 250 AW
CAPACITY: 1 DSLR with attached lens, compact tripod, and small accessories | DIMENSIONS: 10.51 x 6.14 x 18.90 inches | WEIGHT: 1.76 lb | MATERIAL: Synthetic Fabric | TYPE: Sling
- Fast camera access from the top zipper
- Removable straps with quick-release buckles
- Rear opening to reduce the risk of theft.
- Light cushioning at the bottom
If speed and safety are your two priorities, you can’t go wrong with the Lowepro Slingshot Edge 250 AW. Compact and lightweight, this sling bag can fit a DSLR body with a relatively long lens attached, plus a ton of accessories.
The zippered pockets provide safe storage for documents, headphones, a flashgun, a tablet, and even a drone. The top section allows you to access the camera quickly, while an added rear opening reduces the risk of theft.
Made for urban photographers, the Lowepro Slingshot Edge 250 AW has a narrow profile so you can navigate easily among crowds, and rotate it to the front of your body in a single move. The shoulder strap is padded, so you’ll be able to carry this bag all day without difficulties.
4. Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L
CAPACITY: 2 DSLR Bodies, 4-6 lenses, 16-inch laptop, and accessories | DIMENSIONS: 7.9 x 13 x 20.1 inches | WEIGHT: 3.4 Lbs | MATERIAL: Synthetic waterproof fabric | TYPE: Everyday backpack |
- Includes a spacious expanding design
- Can fit a 16-inch laptop and a drone
- Made from water-resistant fabric.
- Stiff shoulder straps
- No external pockets with zippers.
With its refined design and quality fabrics, the Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L is perfect for travelers and commuters who want to document their daily adventures.
Built to balance style and ease of use, this backpack offers an expanding construction that can fit 2 DSLR bodies with lenses attached, plus 3-6 lenses, a 16-inch laptop, and even a drone.
The synthetic fabric of the outer layer is water-resistant, while the cushioned dividers protect your gear from impact. The magnetically sealed pocket under the top flap lets you access accessories and important documents fast. However, there are no external pockets with zippers and the shoulder straps are stiff. Safe, organized, and durable, the Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L may be pricey, but it’s a quality product.
3. Think Tank Photo Airport Advantage Roller Carry-On
CAPACITY: 2 DSLR body with lens attached plus 3–4 extra lenses, and a 15-inch laptop | DIMENSIONS: 7.3 x 12.7 x 19.5 inches | WEIGHT: 6.17 lbs | MATERIAL: Synthetic fabric | TYPE: Roller.
- Ultra-light design
- Fits a 15-inch laptop
- Meets airline carry-on requirements.
- Limited extra pockets
- Rigid padding
- Tips over easily.
This bag may look like a regular roller trolley from the outside, but as soon as you open it, you’ll realize the Think Tank Photo Airport Advantage is so much more.
Designed to fit the overhead compartments of domestic and international airlines, this piece of luggage can carry an impressive amount of gear for its size.
The empty bag is ultra-light, which will help to keep you under airline baggage weight restrictions. Although, due to its lightweight, there is the risk of this bag tipping over.
The Think Tank Photo Airport Advantage can carry 2 DSLR bodies with lenses attached, plus 4 extra lenses, including a 400mm telephoto. And if that’s not enough, there is also space to squeeze in a 15-inch laptop.
2. Burton F-stop Camera Backpack
CAPACITY: 1 DSLR body with lens attached, plus 4 extra lenses | DIMENSIONS: 25 x 18 x 11 inches | WEIGHT: 3.61 lbs | MATERIAL: Synthetic fabric | TYPE: Hiking Backpack.
- Waist harness balances any heavy loads
- Adjustable shoulder harness for increased comfort
- Side access cooler pocket.
- Heavy when empty
- Not waterproof
- No laptop sleeve.
The Burton F-Stop is a rugged camera backpack built for the adventurous photographer. Thanks to a waist harness, padded shoulder straps, and a sternum strap that locks around your chest, this large backpack will stay balanced and comfortable when you are most active. Whether you are hiking or snowboarding, the Burton F-Stop will keep your gear safely secured to your back. The padded dividers on the interior are fully customizable, while the external straps are designed to carry a tripod or a snowboard.
The cooler pocket on the side comes in handy when you are exploring a remote destination. And if you prefer to fly rather than walk, it can also be used as carry-on luggage. The downside of the large size and extra straps mean it is heavy when empty and there is no rain cover if the elements turn showery.
1. Pelican 1510 Case
CAPACITY: 2 DSLR bodies with lenses attached, 4 extra lenses, flashguns, and accessories | DIMENSIONS: 22 x 9 x 13.8 inches | WEIGHT: 13.6 lbs | MATERIAL: Polycarbonate | TYPE: Roller.
- It is watertight thanks to a pressure equalization valve
- Stainless-steel ball-bearing wheels
- Waterproof, crush-proof, and dust-proof.
- Maybe too heavy to be used as carry-on luggage
- Noisy wheels
- Limited storage space for big lenses.
Waterproof, crush-proof, and dust-proof: the Pelican 1510 is virtually indestructible. If protecting your gear is the first thing you think about when planning a trip, this case will make travel stress a thing of the past.
Trusted by explorers and adventurers of all kinds, the unbreakable Pelican 1510 will keep your equipment safe in the most hostile environments.
The exterior is watertight thanks to a pressure equalization valve. It also comes with reinforced padlock protectors, and the interior is fully padded and customizable. It can fit up to 2 camera bodies and 4 extra lenses, so there is plenty of room to take your most precious photographic equipment to remote destinations.
Camera Bag Comparison Table
Here is a comparison table of the specifications for the bags that passed our review criteria.
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