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The 20 Best Camera Bags for Travel in 2024

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The 20 Best Camera Bags for Travel in 2024

Table of Contents

Different camera bag styles, things to consider with a camera bag, the 4 best camera shoulder bags for travel, the 8 best camera backpacks for travel, the 4 best camera holster bags for travel, the best camera beltpack for travel, the best camera duffel bag for travel, the 2 best camera inserts for travel, final thoughts.

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Whether you take pictures for business or pleasure, ensuring that your much-loved and expensive collection of cameras, drones, lenses, and other items are well-protected on the road is key to capturing those impressive images every time.

However you choose to travel, keep your camera safe using specially-designed camera bags, backpacks, holsters, slings, and inserts that will ensure everything is protected from dents, knocks, damage, and even the elements.

Luckily, there are camera bags that suit every possible travel style. Whether you need to take a ton of gear with you or are just looking for something simple and protective, there are plenty of different types and sizes of bags available. Here are some of the most popular:

  • Pouches — Every time you buy a camera, you will probably get a free pouch with it. It’ll offer very basic protection, but you can upgrade to a more secure one to protect your investment.
  • Insert — If you don’t want to use a special camera backpack, a padded insert will keep your gear safe and can be hidden away in any other bag you already use.
  • Holsters — These are designed to keep your camera and a few accessories safe. You can usually find one that fits your make and model exactly. These are a useful addition to your kit that can fit inside your suitcase , travel bag, or other larger backpack.
  • Waist Belts — These may not be the coolest way to carry your camera around, but they are one of the most practical. Keep your camera safe and your hands-free with a padded pouch that sits snugly around your waist.
  • Shoulder Bags — Also known as messengers bags, these are the most popular types of camera bags available. Roomy enough to carry everything you need for a long day’s shooting, these bags have a variety of compartments that can house your camera, drone, charger, lenses, SD cards, light meter, and other accessories.
  • Backpacks — If you need to take your computer with you, a backpack is a great way to carry not only your DLSR and a variety of lenses and accessories, but also your tablet or laptop . With a separate padded compartment and several additional places to stow your camera and associated paraphernalia, a backpack looks cool and is definitely practical.

Size and Capacity

Camera Bag

The bag you choose will need to be roomy enough to fit your camera, lenses, charger, spare batteries, and any other accessories you need to capture epic images. The amount of supporting gear you want to carry will pretty much dictate the size of the bag you need.

Even the smallest of camera bags will need space to carry SD cards, batteries, and chargers (otherwise there is no point in carrying it!). Before you commit to an expensive, hip-looking camera sling, write out a list of everything you want to take with you, and find something that can comfortably hold all your items without damaging delicate and expensive equipment.

Hot Tip: Also take into consideration that your camera gear collection may grow further down the line! Don’t choose a bag that can barely fit what you’ve got — leave room for future options, too.

Material and Durability

Camera Bag Material

If you like to take pictures, chances are you don’t limit yourself to just shooting indoors. Weather conditions are a constant consideration for photographers, and ensuring your camera equipment remains safe and dry is of paramount importance.

Most camera bags are made from strong, hi-tech materials like ballistic nylon that offer water resistance and protection from harsh temperatures and conditions. If you don’t usually have to worry about poor weather — or simply prefer an old-school vibe — traditional canvas bags are hard-wearing and cool-looking, and will probably be waterproof enough to withstand the occasional downpour.

Camera Bag Comfort

Photographers don’t sit still for long. Chasing that perfect picture will likely involve some car, bus, or even air travel. You might even need to get yourself across vast, difficult terrains to find the perfect spot to shoot. With this in mind, buying a bag that is hard to carry or uncomfortable to wear is a definite no-no!

Your bag should offer some levels of adjustability so it will be comfortable to carry for long periods of time. If you need to keep your hands free, or won’t be working in a location where you want to put your bag down, then backpacks, slings, or belt pouches will work better for you.

Ease of Use and Access

Camera Bag Ease of Access

If you need super-fast access to your camera, how quickly you can grab it will be massively important. Many dedicated camera bags offer side compartments for fast access, and materials like Velcro mean you can reach in and get in as soon as you need it.

Shoulder bags and messenger bags have a definite advantage over other types of camera bags as they offer the easiest access. A waist belt could also be a good option since you will have your hands free to point and shoot at the exact moment you need to.


Camera Bag Customisation

Most high-end camera bags offer some level of customization, meaning that you can make them more comfortable to carry as well as transforming them into the perfect space for all your supplies. On the outside, straps can be used over your shoulders or cross-body, while internal compartments can be rearranged to fit your needs.

Camera Bag Compartments

The useable space in a fit-for-purpose camera bag will be fully adjustable. Many use Velcro squares attached to the top or bottom of the bag that can be resized to keep your kit safe and sound at all times. Some bags will even let you remove the camera storage insert entirely if you need to transfer it for use in another larger bag.

You can buy internal organizers that are designed to fit a variety of bags. These dividers are important to ensure you can accommodate a variety of lens kits, as you may need to use different size lenses for different shots.

Security and Discreetness

Camera Bag Security

Sometimes it pays to be discreet, and in certain locations having a bag that screams “look at my expensive camera equipment” probably isn’t a good idea. Cameras are prime real estate for would-be thieves, and your bag will need to protect your gear from human threats as well as the elements.

It will need to have secure, sturdy zippers and fastenings, and should be easy to lock up if you need to. Your bag should also be simple and inconspicuous on the outside to prevent it from being a beacon to would-be criminals.

If you’re looking for the ultimate bag to protect your camera and equipment that’s lightweight and durable enough to take everywhere, check out some of these beauties:

1. Best for Security-conscious Travelers

Pacsafe Metrosafe LS200 Econyl Crossbody

Pacsafe Metrosafe LS200 Econyl Crossbody

Weight: 1.35 pounds

Overall Dimensions : 12.6 x 10.6 x 3.5 inches

The Metrosafe LS200 shoulder bag from Pacsafe is not only comfortable and practical — it is also designed to protect your gear from both damage and theft . Its fabric has a steel mesh embedded into it to make it slash-proof and theft-resistant.

Designed to house a DSLR camera, this bag includes 2 lockable, zippered compartments; a suspended and padded interior tablet sleeve, 2 interior zippered pockets, 2 side pockets for water bottles, and a key clip. It can be converted into a backpack, as well. It has an RFID-blocking pocket. It’s made from water-resistant recycled ocean plastic.

What We Like

  • Tablet sleeve is suspended so it doesn’t hit the floor when you put the bag down

What We Don’t Like

  • Too small for larger DLSRs and lenses.

2. Best for Those Who Like To Keep It Low-key

Peak Design Everyday Messenger V2 13L Black, Travel or Photo Carry with Laptop Sleeve (BEDM-13-BK-2)

Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13L

Weight: 2.43 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 16.14 x 6.69 x 11.81 inches

The Everyday Messenger from Peak Design has plenty of interior space to carry everything you need on your next shoot. A rigid multi-panel design means the bag keeps its shape regardless of how much you shoehorn into it.

Complete with dedicated laptop and tablet sleeves, you can also carry a full-frame DSLR with up to 3 additional lenses and accessories. There is a built-in tripod carry feature that works with both travel and full-size models  that has a silicone band to keep the legs together while carrying.

Good-looking yet discrete, this camera bag is made from a weatherproof waxed exterior, and it features high-density padding as well as weatherproof zippers. On the inside, the origami-inspired FlexFold dividers let you alter the internal storage to custom fit your requirements.

The unique MagLatch closure system doesn’t require a traditional lock (and is easy to open with 1 hand for fast access to your camera), and the sleek seatbelt-style straps make it incredibly comfortable to carry around with you.

Stylish, low-key, and infinitely practical, the Everyday Messenger Bag from Peak Design is a good choice for those who take their photography seriously.

  • Padded laptop sleeve accommodating a 13-inch laptop
  • Bag doesn’t stand up on its own

3. Best for Retro Fans

Kattee Camera Bag

Kattee Leather Canvas Camera Bag Vintage DSLR SLR Messenger Shoulder Bag

Weight: 2.76 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 14.1 x 12.2 x 4.7 inches

This retro take on the modern-day camera bag is a stunning canvas shoulder bag that will comfortably house your DSLR camera and accessories for your next adventure . It is especially suitable for photojournalists and sports photographers — or anyone with an interest in the great outdoors paired with the charm of vintage fashion.

The bag itself can be used as a stand-alone leisure bag, too, giving you endless travel possibilities. As a camera bag, it offers 2 adjustable padded dividers for interior flexibility and customization. A built-in microfiber cloth will help protect your camera’s screen from scratches, and the numerous internal pockets will keep your accessories safe.

On the outside, brass buckles, cowhide fasteners, and metal snap buttons look amazing, and the big lid and wide strap give easy access to your camera equipment (it’s comfortable to carry, too).

  • Can be used as a camera or messenger bag
  • No top handle to pick up quickly

4. For Women Who Want Low-Key Camera Storage

MOSISO Camera Case Crossbody Shoulder Messenger Bag

MOSISO Camera Case Crossbody Shoulder Messenger Bag

Weight: 1.43 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 11.81 x 7.87 x 9.84 inches

This feminine option is designed to look more like a regular handbag than a hardcore camera bag . Made from gorgeous pink synthetic leather, this bag will comfortably house a standard-size DSLR camera and 2-3 lenses alongside other essentials, including your cell phone and keys.

The main compartment has 3 removable modular inserts so you can divide it as needed, with the whole interior covered in soft foam. A hidden anti-theft zippered pocket can safely secure a phone or wallet. There’s also a front zippered pocket for frequently used items.

The bag is made from durable canvas and faux leather, and comes with a waterproof rain cover. A trolley sleeve makes it easy to carry at the airport.

  • Stylish and practical
  • Can be tricky to place the dividers inside the bag

1. Best for Discreet All-around Protection

Peak Design Camera Bag

Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L

Weight: 4.86 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 14.2 x 7.8 x 20.5 inches

This 30-liter backpack has been designed with the needs of photographers like you in mind. With its chic modern look and clean aesthetic, this is a stunning camera bag designed to keep your gear safe while you travel.

Totally adaptable, this backpack offers easy accessibility, expandability, and organization. Need to grab your camera in a hurry? No problem — the patented MagLatch provides lightning-fast top access, with dual side-loading via 2 weatherproof side zips.

Inside the main compartment, the FlexFold dividers can be custom fitted to keep your drone, camera, lenses, and other important gear safe as you travel (there is also a dedicated 15-inch padded laptop pocket). Made from compression-molded, high-density EVA foam dividers, your expensive equipment will be protected against knocks, dents, and other damage.

This backpack is pricey, but it’s also made from durable nylon with a double PU-coated finish — and we think it’s worth every penny . With no fancy logo and a sleek minimalist design, this is a discreet but cleverly designed camera bag that will keep your gear safe without drawing too much attention to it.

  • Side pockets for water bottles or tripods
  • Hip belt must be purchased separately

2. For Carrying Drones or Cameras

Manfrotto BefreeCamera Backpack

Manfrotto Advanced² Befree Camera Gear Backpack

Weight: 2.86 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 10.63 x 6.7 x 17.32 inches

This discreet yet well-equipped camera backpack is designed to comfortably hold all the gear you need, including DSLR cameras and drones — but it’s still compact enough to comply with standard airline carry-on luggage size regulations . Winner!

With an external tripod strap and secure side pockets, you really can use this backpack for a variety of different shots and locations. Made from a durable and strong synthetic fabric, this backpack will protect your kit from the elements, and the new design includes rear access.

On the inside, the dividers offer custom storage solutions for your camera and accessories. There is even the option to fold them out of the way or pull them out completely. This modular protection system gives you complete control over the internal layout of the backpack and can be tailored to fit your needs.

The laptop compartment will hold up to a 15-inch laptop and 9.7-inch tablet, and the main camera compartment can accommodate a medium-level DSLR with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens attached (with space for 6 additional lenses). A great choice for the photographer who takes everything with them!

  • Modular dividers to suit your gear
  • Backpack straps could be more padded

3. Best for DJI Phantom and Camera Combinations

Manfrotto Professional Backpack

Manfrotto MB BP-D1 DJI Professional Drone Backpack

Weight: 4.18 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 13.4 x 9 x 22 inches

This impressive-looking backpack is perfect for carrying all of your drone gear with you . Designed to fit the DJI Phantom (or similarly-sized drones), this backpack takes the strain out of carrying the drone itself, as well as all the paraphernalia you need to fly and film on the road.

Its interior compartments offer flexible storage, and the side compartment will safely house your iPad and 17-inch laptop so you can edit your footage as you travel. There is a dedicated storage space for those all-important batteries, meaning you can stay airborne for longer, and useful pockets for keeping your cables, chargers, and mounts close at hand.

Because this bag is designed specifically with drones in mind, you can have your quadcopter with mounted propellers inside the pack, while the external tripod hook secures your tripod to the outside. The top compartment is the perfect size and shape to hold your DSLR and attached lens, keeping your camera safe in the ultra-protective pouch that fits closely around your drone and your gear.

If you use your drone regularly, a bag like this is a must-have that allows you to keep everything you need for your next drone shoot safe and sound, all in 1 easy-to-access backpack.

  • Comfortable to wear hiking
  • Bottom of the bag needs more padding

4. Best for Photographers With a Lot of Gear

Lowepro Pro Trekker BP 550 AW II 40L Camera Backpack

Lowepro Pro Trekker BP 550 AW II 40L Camera Backpack

Weight: 9.02 pounds

Overall Dimensions : 14.13 x 19.41 x 22.56 inches

This expedition backpack is designed to house your camera, lenses, and other accessories safely while you travel on location. With 40 liters of capacity, it’s big enough to fit a DSLR with an attached lens and multiple lenses and accessories, and more. You will never have to worry about taking extra baggage with you again !

Cleverly designed to maximize both the internal and external space, the patent-pending MaxFit system lets you customize the internal dividers to suit your gear, and a tripod or monopod can be cinched to the outside of the backpack for easy transportation.

You can use the lined front pocket for storing phone and ID, and the removable lid converts into a carry-on backpack to store in the overhead bin.

  • Removable lid can convert into a overhead-bin backpack
  • Very heavy for a backpack

5. The Super-accessible Camera Backpack

WANDRD PRVKE Lite - Photography Bag - Water Resistant Camera Backpack for Photographers - Anti-Theft Travel Bag with 14-Inch...

WANDRD PRVKE Lite Photography Bag

Weight: 2.42 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 15.75 x 10.83 x 5.39 inches

This award-winning, innovative backpack is perfect for taking your camera and accessories wherever you’re headed. With sleek, minimalist styling on the outside and a ton of useable space on the inside, this rucksack is incredibly versatile.

Made from durable and water-resistant tarpaulin and nylon dobby, this is an investment that will last you for many years to come . The pack offers easy access to your gear, with enough space to house your camera and lenses in a removable storage cube that can be configured to suit your individual equipment.

Perfect for international travel, this PRVKE bag has a dedicated compartment for your passport that sits flat against your back, as well as a laptop sleeve that makes it easy to breeze through airport security . If you don’t want to take your camera but still want to use your awesome new backpack, simply remove the storage cubes, pack, and go!

  • Great-sized carry-on bag
  • No front padding to protect your gear when opening the back compartment

6. Best for Flexibility and Size

Think Tank Accelerator Backpack

Think Tank Photo Airport Accelerator Camera Backpack

Weight: 4.19 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 14 x 9 x 20.5 inches

This backpack is large enough to carry a mountain of gear, yet still compact enough to meet most carry-on luggage size requirements. designed to house 2 gripped DSLRs with an attached 500mm lens, it can also carry a 17-inch laptop, a 10-inch tablet, and another 600mm lens.

The dedicated laptop compartment is padded to protect your equipment, and the inside space is designed with flexibility in mind. A variety of mesh interior pockets make carrying your cables, chargers, batteries, and memory cards super simple, and the tripod/monopod mounting system means you’ll be ready to shoot from the moment you arrive.

This backpack is also designed for comfort. The contoured adjustable harness with lumbar support and height-adjustable sternum straps make it easy to find the right fit to suit your dimensions. With handles on 3 sides, it’s also incredibly easy to move the pack around when you’re not wearing it.

The Think Tank Photo Airport Accelerator backpack also comes with a seam-sealed rain cover to make sure you’re ready to shoot, whatever the weather.

  • Padded compartment for a 17-inch laptop
  • Could do with some wheels as an optional way to transport

7. Best for Low-price Protection

AmazonBasics Backpack

AmazonBasics Backpack for DSLR Cameras and Accessories

Weight: 1.96 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 11.75 x 8.75 x 14.5 inches

A great camera vessel from the AmazonBasics range, this backpack is the perfect fit for DSLR cameras and accessories. It has plenty of room for your camera, lenses, cables, chargers, batteries, and all the other equipment that you need to capture epic images on the go.

The main internal compartment is lined with fabric-covered foam, and you can use the dividers to reconfigure it to your needs. On the outside, you’ll find 2 side pockets with flaps that are great for keeping your keys, cell phone, and wallet safe, plus 2 large zippered pockets for your manuals, notebooks, and other documents.

Offering a lot of bag for a very low price , this AmazonBasics backpack comes with heavily padded shoulder straps and wide, adjustable waist and chest straps — all of which help make the backpack comfortable to wear, even when weighed down with all your gear.

Made from durable synthetic material, this bargain backpack is ready to handle even the toughest of assignments for both professional and amateur photographers.

  • Lots of small pockets for keeping organized
  • Straps are a bit small for larger people

8. Best for Professionals

Thule Covert DSLR Rolltop Backpack

Thule Covert DSLR Rolltop Backpack

Weight: 4.97 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 17.7 x 7.9 x 21.3 inches

This premium roll-top backpack is cleverly designed, well-made, and beautiful for the perfect way to carry your camera equipment with you everywhere. With enough internal space to comfortably house a DSLR body with an attached ultra-wide-angle lens plus a DJI Mavic Pro, everything you need to handle any shooting location can be kept close at all times.

Inside the backpack, the SafeZone removable camera pod system offers customizable storage space with a dual-density padded bottom. The divider system is designed to fold around every piece of gear, ensuring that your entire kit is kept safe. There are also 2 dedicated protective compartments that can comfortably fit a 15-inch MacBook Pro plus an iPad (or other 10-inch tablets).

But that’s not all: front pockets provide plenty of organization and quick-stash storage for items you need quickly, like your passport, keys, wallet, or important documents. And the clever side pockets offer easy access to your camera and drone gear to ensure you never miss a shot.

  • Handy side-loading compartments to use as a sling or backpack
  • Too large to use as a carry-on for some airlines

1. Best for Hands-free Photography

Case Logic DCB-306 SLR Camera Holster (Black) Large

Case Logic DCB-306 SLR Camera Holster

Weight: 12 pounds

Overall Dimensions : 8.4 x 8.0 x 5.5 inches

If you want to safely store and transport your DSLR and selected accessories with ease, this compact holster from Case Logic offers everything you need to keep your gear protected. The well-padded main compartment will protect your camera and the zippered lid allows you easy but discrete access.

This bag is designed to hold a standard DSLR and lens and the padded bottom will ensure it’s safe from damage, even when setting it down. Carry your Case Logic Camera Holster with the padded top handle or wear it with the removable shoulder strap.

For easy access, the lid unzips away from the wearer and has a convenient zip pocket underneath for a lens cap, battery, or other small items. Zippered side pockets provide additional storage capacity.

  • Sturdy base to stand up unsupported
  • Won’t accommodate larger zoom lenses

2. Best for Budget-friendly Camera Storage

Amazon Basics Camera Case

AmazonBasics Holster Camera Case for DSLR Cameras

Weight: 0.88 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 6.9 x 6.3 x 9.0 inches

This AmazonBasics holster case is sleek, easy to use, and just right for budget-friendly, hands-free convenience. The holster will comfortably carry most DSLR cameras with a zoom lens attached (up to 110 millimeters), and dual adjustable Velcro straps suspend the camera securely in place for superior impact protection.

Despite the low price, this holster is big on storage and practicality . The efficient design offers extra storage space without creating any unnecessary bulk: 3 exterior zipper pockets offer just enough room for batteries, a lens-cleaning cloth, and other small items, while 2 dedicated slots in the front pocket can safely store your memory cards.

Made from quality weather-resistant material, the AmazonBasics holster has a clever waterproof wrap-around base that provides a strong barrier against bumps, too. It also helps keep the case upright, so you can reach in and grab your camera from the main compartment.

If you don’t need all the bells and whistles — and aren’t worried about logo snobbery — this is a great little camera holster for a fantastic low price.

  • Waterproof base protects the camera from moisture
  • Plastic clips for the straps are not that durable

3. Best for Photographers on the Move

USA Gear DSLR Camera Case for Men and Women with Top Loading Accessibility, Adjustable Shoulder, Small Camera Sling Bag, Travel...

USA Gear SLR Camera Holster

Weight: 10.1 ounces

Overall Dimensions : 8 x 7.25 x 6 inches

This SLR holster is tough and designed to keep pace with all your photography needs. With a durable neoprene exterior, your gear will be protected against the elements, and for those really rainy days, this bag comes with a waterproof cover.

A soft, padded interior will keep your camera safe, and the LCD screen will be protected against scratches. With a variety of zippered compartments inside, you’ll always have somewhere to stash your memory cards, batteries, power cords, and other accessories.

Compatible with most SLR cameras and a single zoom lens attachment, this holster can comfortably carry the Canon EOS Rebel T6/T6i/SL2 or Nikon D3400/D3500. Stylish and cleverly designed, this SLR camera case has professional-quality interiors that will keep your camera safe and sound wherever you are.

  • Comes in a variety of colors and designs
  • Zippered exterior pockets would be better

4. Best for Cycling and Hiking

Peak Design Everyday Sling 6L

Peak Design Everyday Sling 6L

Weight: 1.21 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 7.01 x 0.39 x 9.72 inches

This lightweight and extremely versatile sling can be used for carrying your camera, drone, or other equipment around on a daily basis. It’s compact but has tons of room and plenty of padding to keep your gear safe — letting you keep your hands free for hiking, cycling, or other outdoor activities.

You can wear the Peak Design Everyday Sling as a body sling or a waist bag , offering even more versatility from this 6-liter camera bag. The internal space is perfect for housing a variety of equipment, including a mirrorless camera plus 1 or 2 lenses, a DJI Mavic or Spark drone and controller with batteries and charger, or even a full-frame DSLR and lens.

A variety of internal pockets can be used to keep your cables, chargers, memory cards, and other necessities safe, too. The 2 dividers allow for customized configurations, so you can stack and organize your gear exactly the way you want.

Made from reinforced 400D double poly-coated, DWR-impregnated nylon canvas shell, this small but practical sling is the perfect solution for those who want fast access to their camera equipment without being weighed down by bulky bags or heavy luggage.

  • Adjustable strap to use as a sling or fanny pack
  • Too small for many medium- or large-size DLSRs

For Those Who Want Function Over Fashion

Lowepro Inverse Camera Beltpack

Lowepro Inverse 200 AW Camera Beltpack

Weight: 2.12 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 8.6 x 12.9 x 8.8 inches

This camera belt pack is cute but highly capable. With enough space to comfortably house a pro DSLR with a medium zoom lens attached and 2 extra lenses (or a 70-200mm lens attached in a horizontal position plus an extra lens), you’ll never be without anything you need.

Made from high-quality material with a patented all-weather cover, the 3D contoured design offers an adjustable lumbar belt to help evenly distribute weight . Not only will you find this belt pack incredibly comfortable, but your camera will be snug and safe as well.

Internal locking straps help to secure your kit, and memory card pockets on the inside offer convenient access to all the extra memory you need. There is also a front compression system with a zippered mesh pocket perfect for cable adapters, small accessories, and personal items.

Carrying your camera on your hips allows for easy access when you need it most — and the quick-access top on this bag means you’ll be ready to shoot in an instant.

  • Can be worn as a waist bag or shoulder bag
  • Sits quite low when packed full

For Professionals Who Need a Lot of Gear

Ultimaxx Large Water Resistant Gadget Bag

Ultimaxx Large Water Resistant Gadget Bag

Weight: 2.05 pounds

Overall Dimensions : 17.75 x 8.5 x 7.75 inches

This brilliant travel bag offers you all the practicality of a duffel with the advanced functionality of a well-executed camera bag . You’ll have easy access to a large main compartment that can be organized to suit your gear using customizable padded dividers.

It’s the perfect size to fit in most airline overhead compartments, and its lie-flat packing design means it can be packed like a suitcase. There are exterior compartments on the sides to store the items you need quickly. Because of the amount of flexibility on the inside, you can carry your DSLR camera (or even your drone) alongside some personal belongings without the need for any other bag as you travel. A removable shoulder strap and hand straps let you carry it 2 ways as a duffel bag.

  • Customizable dividers to organize your equipment
  • No backpacking straps

1. Best for Keeping Your Camera Safe in Any Bag

Tenba BYOB Soft Shell Camera Holder

Tenba BYOB 10 Camera Insert

Weight: 0.5 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 10.5 x 4.5 x 8 inches

If you already have the perfect travel bag but want to keep your camera safe on the go, then a camera insert could be for you. You can “bring your own bag” with Tenba’s clever camera inserts that are designed to fit a wide variety of camera systems . Transform your luggage, backpack, or even your handbag into a camera bag for your next shoot.

Made from water-repellent shadow ripstop nylon and featuring durable YKK zippers, this little insert is superstrong and really clever. The soft shells mold to fit the interior of virtually any bag, and they even come with extra pockets to help you organize accessories and everyday necessities you need to take with you.

Padded dividers are fully adjustable and designed to fit multiple configurations, and the soft-brushed tricot lining will keep your equipment safe from scratches or damage. In addition, the stretchy side pockets are perfect for holding your phone, wallet, and other accessories, while D-rings will keep your keys or tethered media wallet in 1 place.

Affordable and practical, this insert is great for those who want to split their time between photo shoots and everyday living without investing in a specialized bag.

  • Other sizes available to suit your specific needs
  • Velcro for attaching the dividers can become weak over time

2. Best for Lightweight, Budget Protection

S-Zone Camera Insert Bag

S-ZONE Water Resistant DSLR SLR Camera Insert Bag

Weight: 0.55 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 12.6 x 8.27 x 5.12 inches

Using an insert, transform virtually any bag you own into a snug, safe, and discreet camera bag . The S-Zone Camera Bag Insert is designed to fit many of the most popular models of camera available today, including Sony, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and many more.

To provide high-end protection for DSLR cameras and lenses, use these padded, fully adjustable inserts that can be moved using Velcro strips to custom-fit your equipment. It can accommodate a DSLR camera, lenses, and other gear you need to keep safe — and it’s waterproof, too.

Keep your camera away from prying eyes by using this insert in a regular backpack or bag. After all, nobody but you will know that your camera is tucked away in there! Inexpensive, practical, and easy to use, the S-Zone Camera Insert is a worthwhile addition if you don’t want to drop a ton of cash on a new camera bag but need to keep your gear protected.

  • Ability to turn any bag into a camera bag
  • Limited internal Velcro for customizing the dividers

Whatever type of camera you own and however big (or small) your budget, there’s a bag, backpack, holster, sling, waist belt, or camera insert that will keep your beloved camera gear safe from harm.

Make sure you get something high-quality that provides adequate protection. After all, there is no point in buying an expensive camera and then skimping on keeping it safe!

If you’re looking into purchasing some additional items for your travel adventures, be sure to check out our other product reviews:

  • The Best Travel Cameras – Compact, DSLR, and Mirrorless Camera Guide
  • What Are the Best GoPro Alternatives? [We Found Several Options]
  • The Best Laptop Backpacks to Buy for Travel
  • All Our Best Travel Product Reviews – In One Place

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a camera bag considered a personal item.

A camera bag can be considered a personal item but it will all depend on its size and your airline’s requirements. As a rough guide, if the camera bag is handbag-sized or smaller, most airlines will consider this a personal item. Bigger camera bags with space for lenses or drones will usually be above the personal item size limit and count as your carry-on. Please contact the airline you are flying with to check their carry-on rules.

Can I put a camera in my carry-on bag?

Not only can you put your camera in your carry-on bag, but it is also highly recommended as it could be damaged in transit during your flight if you put it in your checked luggage.

What is the best camera bag for traveling?

  • Kattee Leather Canvas Camera Bag
  • Lowepro LP36775 Trekker 450 AW Camera Backpack
  • Manfrotto Advanced² Camera Gear Backpack
  • Pacsafe Camsafe LX8 Anti-Theft Camera Shoulder Bag
  • Peak Design 15″ Everyday Messenger Bag 13L

Where should I pack my camera when flying?

You should carry your camera in your carry-on when flying as this will reduce the chance of damage or theft. Check the carry-on dimensions for your airline to ensure your camera bag does not exceed the maximum limit.

What to consider when buying a camera bag?

The bag you choose will need to be roomy enough to fit your camera, lenses, charger, spare batteries, and any other accessories you need to capture epic images. You’ll also want to consider the material and durability, comfort, ease of use and access to your equipment, and security.

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About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.


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Home » Gear » best camera bag

The 15 Best Camera Bags of 2024: For DSLR, Mirrorless, Drones + More

Us travelers love to take epic photos and capture the incredible scenes that lay themselves before us on a daily basis. Whilst some of us are happy with their iPhones, others take things further and end up investing in a high-quality camera set up (Oh, that’s me!). If you’re also like me then you’ll be neurotic when it comes to looking after your new prized possessions.

What’s the best way to look after them whilst you’re out and about shooting, well that would be to invest in a great camera bag. Not only will a proper camera bag set up protect your gear, but it will make using it easier with many having various pockets and storage options optimised for photographers.

But with so many options available, which one is best for you? Worry not. I’m here to help you find the perfect camera bag for your needs. Whether you’re searching out the best budget camera bags, a photography suitcase or something fancy like a quick access camera bag. We’ve got you covered!

With this guide, you’ll receive a ton of tips and info on what constitutes the best camera bag for travel and what makes a solid investment, direct from a photographer myself. I’ve tested them out in various different circumstances and taken into account the needs of different photographers and travelers to find the ultimate camera bag.

Right then, let’s go!

Top Picks for the Best Camera Bags of 2024

Camera bags – comparison table, the 15 best camera bags of 2024, what to consider when buying the best travel camera bag, how and where we tested to find the best camera bags, faq about how to select the best camera bag.

  • WANDRD PRVKE 31  – Overall Best Travel Camera Bag
  • Nomatic Mckinnon 35L Camera Bag – Best Travel Camera Bag Runner Up
  • Kodiak Messenger Bag – Best Messenger Camera Bag
  • Boundary Supply Prima-System – Best Modular Camera Bag
  • Mountainsmith TANUCK 40L – Best Hiking Camera Bag
  • Domke F-5XA – Best Small Travel Camera Bag
  • HEX Back Loader DSLR Camera Bag – Best Camera Bag for Urban Travel
  • Lowepro Adventura SH 100 II – Best Holster-Style Travel Camera Bag
  • Case Logic Bryker – Best Budget Travel Camera Bag
  • Neewer 2:1 Camera Backpack Trolley Case – Best Camera Bag for Air Travel
  • Jump to -> The List of 15 Best Travel Camera Bags of 2024

Types of Travel Camera Bags

Every photographer knows that a bag is just as important as their actual equipment. Should the shit hit the fan, a well-built bag or backpack could mean the difference between a functioning travel camera and a dead piece of kit.

Many photographers spend hundreds of dollars on a camera bag so that they can protect their gear from all sorts of dangers like poor weather, accidents, and thieves. If you’re serious about travel photography, then you need to make a serious effort to find the best camera bag possible.

A person with two backpacks stood next to a bullet train. Wandrd Prvke backpack.

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Are you a casual photographer who just wants something easy? Maybe a shoulder or messenger bag would be best for you. Do you travel often and need maximum protection for your gear? Maybe a full-fledged backpack or roller bag is necessary then. Do you want to just store your gear or have your camera with the lens attached and ready to go? Maybe a side-opening backpack might be the one.

No matter what your preference is, there’s a travel camera bag out there that’s made for you and I aim to help you find it.

Before jumping into the reviews for each travel camera bag, it would pay to look at the multitude of styles out there. Below are the six main varieties of bags outlined in this guide and some brief descriptions of their pros/cons.

  • Shoulder Bags  – A smaller bag with a shorter strap. This bag is meant to go over one shoulder and fall about to your rib cage. Shoulder bags are very light and usually easy to access though they are limited in space. Sling bags also fall into the shoulder bags category.
  • Messenger Bag  – Similar to a shoulder bag but slightly larger with a longer strap. Usually falls to about the hip and can be strung across your body/over both shoulders. Think of them like a camera briefcase!
  • Holster Bag  – A bag that is meant to be attached to some sort of garment, like a chest harness or strong belt. These are sometimes smaller than shoulder bags and are meant to hold just one camera with a lens attached at a time.
  • Backpack  – These have more interior space for cameras and lenses, which makes them the best travel camera bags for DSLRs. Often has a laptop compartment or padded laptop sleeve as well. If designed properly, camera and lens backpacks are more adept at distributing weight in a comfortable manner across the shoulder straps. Access is an issue though as you usually have to take off the backpack first to get to your gear, unless you get one with a side access pocket.
  • Roller Bag  – Similar capacity to a standard backpack but meant to be rolled on the ground. These types of bags are obviously not meant for rugged, remote work but for urban projects where the bag can easily navigate.
  • Backpack Insert – A large accessory that is meant to fit into another larger backpack. Many photographers prefer these because usually travel backpacks are more comfortable and come equipped with more features.

camera bapackpack overview. An overhead photo of a collection of cameras and photography gear.

Wandrd PRVKE 31

  • Price > $239
  • Favorite Features > Spacious
  • Why I Like it > Very Adaptable

nomatic Mckinnon 35

Nomatic Mckinnon 35L Camera Bag

  • Price > $399.99
  • Favorite Features > Big enough to haul multiple lenses, a drone, batteries, etc
  • Why I Like it > Quick access, tough construction design

best travel camera bag for dslr

Domke F-5XA

  • Price > $85
  • Favorite Features > Small and Light
  • Why I Like It? > Good Value

Kodiak Kasilof Messenger 16

Kodiak Messenger Bag

  • Price > $135
  • Favorite Features > Spacious Interior
  • Why I Like It > Lots of Compartments

Mahi Leather Vintage Camera Bag

Mahi Leather Vintage Camera Bag

  • Price > $172.5
  • Favorite Feature > Made from exceptionally good materials
  • Why I Like It > Very Stylish

the best camera backpacker for urban travel hex

Hex Back Loader DSLR Backpack

  • Price > $199.95
  • Favorite Features > The wonderful interior
  • Why I Like It > Reliable

best travel camera bag for dslr

Case Logic Bryker

  • Price > $56.85
  • Favorite Features > Camera Hammock Included
  • Why I Like It > Affordable

CADeN Camera Backpack Trolley Case

Neewer 2:1 Camera Backpack Trolley Case

  • Price > $175.99
  • Favorite Features > Super Sturdy/Tough
  • Why I Like It > Carry-on Compliant

Now that you have a good idea as to what to look for when investing in a good travel camera bag, let’s look at some of the best so you can find your perfect camera bag in no time.

Below is a list of the 14 best travel camera bags for 2024. Each one should serve a different type of travel photographer, from the budget-minded to ultra-light backpacker. Choose the one that is best suited for your style of shooting.

So, let’s get cracking with the best camera bags for travel …

best travel camera bag for dslr

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The Best Overall Travel Camera Bag

wandrd prvke 31 camera backpack

  • Capacity: 31 L
  • Dimensions: 19 x 12.5 x 7.5 inches / 48.3 x 31.8 x 19.1 cm
  • Weight: 3.4 lbs / 1.54 kg

The WANDRD PRVKE 31 is our choice for the best overall camera bag! Thanks to its awesome design, excellent protectiveness, and great customisability, this backpack will appeal to both casual and professional photographers alike.

Upon first glance, one will notice how good the WANDRD PRVKE 31 looks. Its minimalistic aesthetics make it appear very sleek and sexy and we personally love the all-black tone.

This bag doesn’t sacrifice any protectiveness for looks either – the WANDRD PRVKE 31 still does a very good job of guarding your gear thanks in part to its high-quality materials and excellent overall structure.

In terms of ergonomics, you can access the WANDRD PRVKE 31 via three different access points spread throughout the bag. Most of these entryways are very intuitive although getting to them may be a little tedious for some users. You can store your mirrorless camera or DSLR with the lens attached and be able to pull it out whenever you need it.

In addition to these access points, there are tons of extra hidden pockets as well as lots of other points for mounting various accessories.

Oh, In case you want something smaller, then check out The WANDRD Lite or the WANDRD Duo .

  • Very adaptable with easy access for camera
  • Surprisingly spacious given weight
  • Robust yet great to look at
  • Lacks some adjustability
  • Can be less comfortable at heavier weights
  • Could use more space for camera gear

The WANDRD PRVKE 31 can hold quite a bit – up to 36 litres with the rolltop fully extended – which is quite impressive considering how light the actual bag is (3.4 lbs). It does sit a little heavy on the shoulders though especially when the bag is packed with weighty equipment. The shoulder straps are adjustable and there are waist straps that you can install but both could be better.

To properly store your camera gear, you’ll have to buy a WANDRD Camera Cube in addition to the bag. Though this accessory usually fits snugly in the backpack, it can float around a little and thus be tedious to access at times. This can be attached to the side opening for easy access to your camera with the lens attached. The top section above can then be used to store additional lenses and accessories.

Also, it offers a good amount of space for mirrorless systems and might be the perfect camera bag for the Sony a7IV, but full-frame DSLR users may find it insufficient. If you need a more spacious camera and lens backpack, we suggest checking out the Lowepro 450 AW below.

Is the WANDRD PRVKE 31 for you?

wndrd prvke 31 review in titcomb basin roaming ralph

Do you want a bag that is suitable for all walks of life? Do you want something that will both protect your gear and look good at the same time? The WANDRD PRVKE 31 offers a little bit of everything and will prove to be imminently useful to those photographers who are always on the run! It’s super versatile too so it can be used even if you’re not a photographer, making it one of the best EDC backpacks too.

Our team absolutely loved this pack, in fact, personally, this became my go-to camera backpack for the vast majority of my trips. There are several things I love about this bag, but the number one has to be how easy I find it to organise my gear and access it when needed. Having the bottom area of the bag dedicated to my camera and lenses and I’ve got access to my main set-up from the side door whenever needed. I can then use the roll-top section for everything else, I can easily fit in a hoody, jacket and hard drives for example. For all these reasons it’s my best camera bag for travel!

Be sure to check out our full review of the PRVKE WANDRD 31 for more information!

2. Nomatic Mckinnon 35L Camera Bag

Runner up for the Best Camera Bag

Nomatic Mckinnon 35 L Camera Bag

  • Capacity: 35 L
  • Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 9 inches / 53.3 x 35.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Weight: 4.95 lbs / 2.24 kg

What happens when a world-class photographer and badass backpack company join forces? The result is quite epic indeed. The Nomatic Mckinnon 35 L Camera Bag is a fully-featured travel backpack perfectly crafted for the sort of gear photographers need to carry. 

The clamshell opening delivers easy access to your camera, lenses, batteries, etc. As you open the main compartment, you’ll notice there are a few pockets on the backside of the pack for even more organisational options. I appreciate that the two main pockets are see-through mesh, making it easy for me to find what I am looking for on the fly. There is also a large pocket that could easily fit papers, a binder, more clothes, etc. It’s a solid spot for a laptop. 

35 litres gives you just enough space to pack lightly for a weekend on the road or to a neighbouring city. To be honest, it is a difficult choice between the Nomatic Mckinnon 35 L and the WANDRD PRVKE 31 – both are team favourites here at The Broke Backpacker. Another important feature to note is that the Mckinnon 35 can be expanded by 7 litres, giving you room for more gear if need be. 

  • Excellent storage and organization
  • Quality Build
  • Doubles as a great weekend bag/ day backpack for traveling
  • The hipbelt is a little small
  • Extremely heavy… almost 6-pounds with no gear
  • Too big for tiny girls and guys!

For any active photographer, weight is an important factor to consider. My own camera gear (lenses, camera body, cleaning tools, batteries, filters, etc) weighs at least 10 pounds plus my tripod is not the lightest unit either. That means that with all my camera gear packed inside the backpack – the total weight is pushing 16 pounds with no clothes or laptop packed inside. 

Carrying some extra bulk and weight is something that I am used to as it just kind of comes with the territory if you are a halfway serious photographer. The pack is also a great tech backpack with heaps of room to keep all your other accessories safe like your hard drives, chargers and cables.

For me, the comfort, organisational features, and sleek design outweigh the negatives of having a heavy base weight. 

Is the Nomatic Mckinnon 35L for you?

If style, functionality, and speedy access are important to you – the Nomatic Mckinnon 35 L is a great buy. We have been using Nomatic products for years and I have never been disappointed in the performance of one of their packs thus far. Again it is a toss-up between the WANDRD PRVKE 31 and this pack – but in the end, you can’t go wrong with either one. 

Again, our team felt this bag was an epic option and they just loved the range of different features of this pack including how customisable it is, and how large it can expand to when needed. They did reflect that it was possibly too big as a standard day pack unless you carry a ton of gear and that in fact, its best use was for those with camera gear wanting a pack that could be used as a one-bag travel solution for shorter trips.

3. Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW

The Best Camera Bag for Serious Photographers

Lowepro photography carry on backpack

  • Capacity: 25 L (can expand to 30 L)
  • Dimensions: 12.4 x 9.4 x 18.5 inches / 31.5 x 23.9 x 47 cm
  • Weight: 4.54 lbs / 2.06 kg

The Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW gets very high marks because of its awesome customizability, competitive price point, and superlatively durable construction. Many pro photographers love this bag and exclaim that it is their favourite camera bag of all time.

Made from high-grade synthetic materials, the Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW is built to withstand the harshest of threats. Though this bag may appear hefty – weighing in at 5 lbs – most users will hardly notice this as the straps and padding on the back are very well designed and provide optimal comfort. The addition of a thick waist strap adds additional support.

The most attractive part of the Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW is its exterior “slip-lock” loops, which provide the means to attach multiple accessories. Possible augmentations include mounts for a water bottle, tripod, or additional cases for extra gear. This system allows for unmatched versatility and the ability to fully customise your bag.

  • Very customisable
  • Built like a tank
  • Excellent design for enhanced comfort
  • Little heavy
  • Not very discreet
  • Amount of interior dividers might be overwhelming for some

The interior of the Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW is spacious and equally modifiable as the exterior. Multiple compartments can be created using the included padded dividers.

These chambers can easily be reached via one of the four access points spread throughout the bag. There’s so much going on inside this bag that some casual photographers may actually be slightly intimidated.

As mentioned before, Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW is a bit heavy. Some casual photographers may think that this bag is a bit overkill, yet we can’t honestly knock this bag for going above and beyond. The ergonomics are just so damn good.

Some professionals may feel like they stick out in a crowd with this backpack because of its look and size. In a worst-case scenario, heavy-duty zippers and construction should deter most attackers though.

Is the Lowepro Tactic 450 AW for you?

Looking for a backpack that is both innovative and reliable? Do you need to pack lots of gear and want total protection at the same time? Then go for the Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW! This top-of-the-line backpack is full of inventive ways to pack your equipment and is, overall, one of the top camera bags that money can buy. There is a laptop compartment but it’s not as good as some of the others in my opinion.

Our team loves bags that are super versatile and can be configured for plenty of different uses and that’s just one of the features of this pack that makes it stand out. They love how the main central area can be used entirely for your camera gear or with the use of cubes can be split into sections and accessed from the side pockets. Another stand-out feature was the tactical webbing which made carrying any other random bits of gear mega easy.

4. Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L

The Best Overall Travel Camera Runner-up

peak design best camera backpack

  • Capacity: 30 L
  • Dimensions: 20 x 12.5 x 7.75 inches / 50.8 x 31.8 x 19.7 cm

The Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L is our third choice for the best overall camera bag for travel. This backpack is simply gorgeous to look at and, most of the time, a thrill to use.

The Peak Design Everyday 30L and the Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW have a lot in common in that they’re both highly customizable and very accessible. Like the ProTactic, the Peak Design Everyday 30L has multiple entry points that allow you to easily grab your gear on the go and not fiddle too much. Multiple attachment points also enable you to mount a number of accessories onto the bag, including a tripod mount and an exterior clip to hold your camera.

What sets the Peak Design Everyday 30L apart from the ProTactic is its sleek and sexy appearance. Made from weatherproof materials and designed to be as compact as possible, this bag is absolutely dazzling to look at.

Durable zippers and an innovative MagLatch system mean that this bag is very secure without having to sacrifice any usability. At 3.5 lbs, it’s a bit lighter than the ProTactic though the Peak Design is a little less spacious and holds less gear.

  • Very spacious and accessible
  • Customisable
  • Sleek, stylish design
  • Shoulder straps a bit uncomfortable, especially if you have a larger body frame
  • The bag can feel too big for someone under 5’5”
  • Slightly expensive for a bag of its type

For all of its original features though, the Peak Design Everyday 30L falls short in a couple of ways. Due in part to its size, this bag is primarily catered to people over a certain height (5’5”) so shorter photographers may find it a bit cumbersome.

Some taller photographers – reportedly, those over 6’0” – complain that the shoulder straps are uncomfortable on their larger shoulders though, which feels a little counterintuitive ergonomically speaking.

This discrepancy implies that only photographers between 5’5” and 6’0” can effectively use this bag, a narrow demographic to be sure.

Is the Peak Design Everyday backpack for you?

tbbteam peak design everyday backpack

Do you want a gorgeous travel camera bag that is jam-packed with customisable features? My friends, the Peak Design Everyday 30L Backpack is a solid choice. This versatile bag is useful, secure, and just drop-dead good-looking. If it fits you, this backpack will serve you very well.

Peak Design is a well-loved brand among the photographers on our team and their bag is highly thought of. The brand is made for and by photographers and they tend to think about their needs when they design their gear. The team really reflected this to us and loved features such as the large dual-side opening doors meaning their gear can be configured exactly how they wanted it. They also loved how hard wearing the pack felt and how well-protected their gear was against the elements.

best travel camera bag for dslr

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5. Boundary Supply Prima-System

Best Modular Camera Bag

prima system boundary supply backpack review

  • Capacity: 30 L (can expand to 38 L)
  • Dimensions: 12W x 21H x 7D”
  • Weight: 4.16 lbs. / 1.88 kg

The Boundary Supply Prima-System backpack  is one of our favourite modular camera bags for travel. Like the Peak Design, the Prima-System uses innovative modules to help keep your items secure and organised.

This is a fantastic backpack set apart from many other travel backpacks because of its modular design and special camera compartment. When you buy this backpack, you are also investing their included modules, the Verge and Field space , for ultimate organisation and storage.

If you are looking for a camera backpack for everyday use or an efficient backpack for overnight getaways, then the Prima System by Boundary Supply is one of your best choices, period.

It’s durable, stylish, uniquely modular, and perfect for commuting as well as travel. This is the perfect weekend backpack for digital nomads and anyone travelling with camera gear and electronics.

If you’re travelling even lighter or you just have to get from A to B really fast, opting for the Boundary Supply Errant Backpack is a great option for you too.

Check out our full review to learn more about the Boundary Supply Prima-System backpack.

  • Very durable
  • Innovative Modules
  • 25-35L can be an awkward size
  • Only one pocket for water bottle or tripod

For all of its original features though, the Prima system has a couple of drawbacks, mostly due to its size. It’s not quite large enough to make your sole travel bag.

Secondly, this backpack is built for commuting, riding a bike, etc. because of its sleek profile. The downside of this is the lack of pockets on the exterior. However, it does feature a side opening for quick access to your camera with the lens attached so you can shoot in no time.

There is only one water bottle pocket that doubles as a tripod holder, so you can’t store a tripod and a water bottle at the same time. If I’m out shooting, I want a tripod and a water bottle .

Clips on Boundary Supply Backpack

Is the Boundary Supply Prima-System for you?

Do you want an innovative travel camera bag with customisable features? Do you need a bag that keeps your gear secure and organised? If so, this may be your match made in heaven.

Our team love the modular system of this backpack and they really appreciate the way in which it made using and accessing their gear so much easier and simpler. One of the ways they did this was to take advantage of the removable camera cube that can double as a shoulder bag. They loved how they could not only carry their gear in two ways with this pack but how they could easily remove their expensive gear from their bag when needed, like putting this cube in your locker before quickly heading out with the rest of the bag.

6. Mountainsmith TANUCK 40L

The Best Hiking Camera Bag

Mountainsmith TANUCK 40L Backpack review

  • Capacity: 40 L
  • Dimensions: 26 x 12 x 10 inches / 66 x 30.5 x 25.4 cm
  • Weight: 4.87 lbs / 2.21 kg

Finally, a backpack made for hiking  and  securing your camera gear. This backpack was designed between Mountain Smith and the famous landscape and surfer photographer, Chris Burkard, to handle miles of hiking while keeping camera gear secure.

Like all good hiking backpacks, this bag has a comfortable and durable waist strap, shoulder pads, and padded back panel and it is loaded with organizational pockets, modules, and more.

A few unique features include its durability and seemingly indestructible water-resistant material, a waterproof and abrasion-proof bottom, #10 sized YKK zippers, great organizational pockets, and large water bottle side pockets.

It’s not just a camera bag, but a hiking pack for cameras .

  • Built for hiking and photography
  • Weather-resistant and extremely durable
  • Great for organising gear
  • Overkill for everyday use
  • Top flap is loose without full load

The only real drawback is this backpack’s weight. For every ounce of extra protection is an extra ounce of weight. The top flap is always loose unless you have a full load. Not a deal-breaker, but a bit annoying.

Aside from those two cons, I would say this is one of my favourite travel backpacks, and the fact that is built for camera gear is only the icing on the cake.

For more information, check out my full Mountainsmith camera bag TANUCK review, here .

Is the Mountainsmith TANUCK for you?

Finally, an amazing camera bag is built for multi-day treks and adventures. If you need a camera bag that can handle the elements, this is the camera bag for you.

Our team really loved the extra space this bag afforded them, especially for hiking trips where they needed to bring along extra gear for their trek. Another area of the bag they felt was perfect for more challenging adventures was the material it was made from and the superior construction. They loved how rugged the fabric was and how durable things like the zippers felt especially when hiking.

7. Domke F-5XA

The Best Small Travel Camera Bag / Shoulder Bag

domke best messenger bag for photographers

  • Capacity: Not specified by the manufacturer
  • Dimensions: 10 x 4 x 7 inches / 25.4 x 10.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Weight: 1 lb / 0.45 kg

The diminutive Domke F-5XA shoulder bag is one of the best small camera bags out there. For travel photographers who use a smaller compact or mirrorless with only a lens or two, this bag is perfect for walking around.

Domke has been producing top-quality camera bags for generations. Their durability and compactness have made Domkes a favourite among journalists and documentary photographers. These bags will stand up to some very harsh conditions and never take up too much room.

  • Small, light and comfortable
  • Weather resistant canvas construction w/ zipper
  • Limited space
  • Very few pockets
  • Padding is somewhat thin

The interior dimensions of the Domke F-5XA shoulder bag are 4 x 7.5 x 7.5″, which are humble numbers. The Domke F-5XA can accommodate one mirrorless camera and a couple of additional lenses depending on their size.

Unfortunately, though, this is a small camera bag that doesn’t have lots of space and it’s ill-suited for photographers who carry a larger camera or lots of equipment. There are two pockets on the front of the Domke F-5XA for extra accessories and/or phones.

The Domke F-5XA weighs about 1 lb, and the extra-comfortable removable shoulder strap should ensure that users are almost never straining.

Users who want maximum accessibility from their Domke F-5XA can customise the removable shoulder strap and instead run their belt through the camera bag.

The Domke is one of the best photography bags for when you need quick access to your camera at a moment’s notice. Using the Domke as a sort of holster instead of a shoulder bag will allow users to quickly grab their camera and start shooting. Whoever does this had better have a nice and sturdy belt though lest they want their pants to fall down.

Is the Domke Shoulder Bag F-5XA for you?

Do you need a smaller bag that suits your smaller mirrorless camera and additional lenses? Do you want a product from a reputable company that has been serving photographers for decades? Then the Domke F-5XA Bag is the one for you! This bag is very practical and durable, and at a great price as well. For these reasons, the F-5XA is the best small travel camera bag on this list.

Our testers enjoyed the lower profile of this shoulder bag compared to heavier and bulkier camera bags. They felt it held just enough for a day out exploring without encouraging over-packing and was particularly well suited to a mirrorless setup. The strap was comfortable when the pack was full and they enjoyed the addition of the small outer pockets for batteries and memory cards.

8. Kodiak Messenger Bag

The Best Messenger Camera Bag

Kodiak Kasilof Messenger 16 leather bag.

  • Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 6 inches / 40.6 x 30.5 x 15.2 cm
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs / 1.59 kg

For photographers who need a little extra space in their messenger bag, the spacious Kodiak Messenger Bag is the way to go. Leather camera bags mix elegance, style and longevity.

This travel camera bag is larger than the Domke F-5XA with a main compartment that can comfortably hold a mirrorless camera plus 2-3 additional lenses. This bag is perfect for the travel photographer who wants to carry a full kit without having to use a backpack.

Whilst made from hard-wearing leather, it is still relatively light enough to carry over your shoulder. The internal dimensions – 16 x 4 x 12″ – are large enough to accommodate a larger camera system, like a Fuji X-Series and the shoulder strap makes it all pretty comfy too.

The addition of several pockets ensures that you’ll have enough room for all of your extra accessories as well. Other features, like an included rain cover and silenceable velcro, only add to the usefulness of this travel camera bag.

  • Spacious interior for larger cameras
  • Lots of extra compartments
  • Excellent build
  • Main compartment doesn’t zip
  • About as heavy as a messenger bag should be

Is the Kodiak Messenger Bag for you?

The Kodiak is made from tough canvas and is very well constructed. Appearance-wise, the bag is very beautiful and suave.

Speaking from experience, I can say that the Kodiak Messenger Bag can survive most situations. While shooting in Johannesburg, I was robbed by a group of thieves.

They got away with my wallet and phone but I was able to keep my camera bag either because it was strong enough to withstand their attacks or because they didn’t realise it was a camera bag at all.

The Kodiak Messenger Bag is probably the largest messenger bag that one can use before feeling bodily discomfort. When fully packed, this messenger bag can definitely feel a little weighty on the shoulder strap. If you find that your shoulders begin to ache, then it’s probably time to move on to a full-fledged backpack.

Do like to carry messenger bags? Is your camera kit getting a little large? The Messenger Bag by Kodiak is an excellent bag that is very spacious (for its type) and rugged to boot. Those who want to stick to messenger bags will find that the Messenger is one of the best camera bags for travel that there is.

Our team liked the versitility of this bag and felt it looked super professional whislt also working perfectly as a camera or commuter bag … or both. They felt the inside being just one large space maybe needed the addition of a camera cube or some other type of insert but that it meant it was easy to personalise to their needs.

9. HEX Back Loader DSLR Camera Backpack 

The Best Camera Bag for Urban Travel

HEX Back Loader DSLR Camera Backpack 

  • Dimensions: 21 x 11 x 7 inches / 53.3 x 27.9 x 17.8 cm
  • Weight: 2.8 lbs / 1.27 kg

People who spend a lot of time in the city have to deal with certain problems: riding public transport, navigating city streets, all of these and more. Some may take these things for granted, but as someone who has lived in the city and countryside, trust me, having the right backpack for the former matters. If you’re looking for one of the best hipster camera bags, then this is it.

Enter the HEX DSLR Camera Backpack. This bag is spacious, sturdy, and customisable, which are all features that pay dividends in the city. There is enough room to pack more than a day’s worth of gear and supplies, plenty of padding to keep everything safe, and strong zippers to deter thieves. Did we mention that the DSLR camera bag is also very comfortable given its size?

  • Durable design that works.
  • Interior spacious and customisable.
  • Easy to pack around.
  • Awkward fit for women.
  • Lack of external loops.
  • Bulky design can be slightly uncomfortable.

The HEX DSLR Backpack is quite easy to access. The most immediate access point is at the top of the bag – most photographers will put their camera here so they can grab and go shooting. The main compartment is opened via the back suitcase-style; most of your stashed gear can be accessed from here.

There are a couple of problems with the HEX backpack. The flat black design is not 100% comfortable, especially as a camera bag for women . We would also have liked to see more external loops for hanging extra accessories. Finally, although the HEX may not be easy for thieves to access, it is flashy enough to catch people’s attention.

Is the HEX Camera Backpack for you?

Do you need a camera backpack that is good for the city? Do you need something that is big enough to carry a day or two’s worth of gear? The HEX does all of these and more. For urban travellers, we recommend grabbing the HEX as they will have something that is large, easy, and reliable.

Our team loved the hipster look of this bag and felt it had the perfect vibe for city travels and for those who work in design studios or other relaxed but professional workplaces. They felt keeping the large main section for all your camera gear, but having separate organisational pockets for other accessories, as well as a laptop sleeve, was perfect.

Be sure to check out our complete review of the HEX Back Loader to learn more about this camera bag!

10. Lowepro Adventura SH 100 II

The Best Holster-Style Travel Camera Bag

Lowepro Adventura SH 100 II sling

  • Dimensions: 4.72 x 3.94 x 5.91 in
  • Weight: 0.44 lbs

The Lowepro Adventura SH 100 II is a holster-style camera bag that is great for photographers who want quick access to their camera. Holster bags are usually the smallest of all travel camera bags and are meant to be worn on your belt or on your chest via a harness/ shoulder strap.

By wearing your camera at your waist or on the front of your person, you can grab your camera and start shooting faster than a Texas gunslinger. For this reason, the Lowepro Adventura SH 100 II is one of the best small travel camera bags available.

The Lowepro Adventura SH 100 II can accommodate one large DSLR with a lens attached and no more. It might also fit a smaller mirrorless camera with some additional lenses that are on the more compact side.

  • Very small and light
  • Extremely easy access
  • Comes with a rain cover
  • Very limited space
  • Rain cover can sometimes be a hassle
  • Can be a little flimsy or awkward

There are a few extra zippers and pouches to hold accessories but these are pretty limited in space. Those who carry around lots of camera equipment ought to consider a second bag or backpack, like the Tenba BYOB Camera Insert.

The Lowepro Adventura SH 100 II weighs in at a meagre 0.8 lbs. It can be worn in a number of ways – either on your belt or over your shoulder with a strap.

It does take a bit of troubleshooting to find the best arrangement though as each photographer will be most comfortable with a certain way of wearing the bag.

The Lowepro Adventura SH 100 II is made from durable synthetic materials that allow for maximum lightness.

These fabrics aren’t very good at being waterproof but, thankfully, the Lowepro Adventura SH 100 II comes with a built-in rain cover that does a better job of withstanding the elements.

Is the Lowepro Adventura SH 100 II for you?

Are you a run-and-gun style photographer who needs to be able to grab their camera in a split second? Do you still need a bag that offers some degree of protection? For those who want one of the best small travel camera bags, the Lowepro Adventura SH 100 II is a fantastic choice. With it, you get one of the lightest options available and the ability to quickly pull out your travel camera in the blink of an eye.

A toploading camera case isn’t for everyone but many of our team loved the way it reduced what they carried on a trip out and made shooting quick, easy and fun. The only drawback they didn’t like was that they couldn’t carry another lens or bring heaps of accessories. They felt this case was useful as more of an addition to your set-up than a main bag.

11. Case Logic Bryker

The Best Budget Travel Camera Bag

Case Logic Bryker

  • Dimensions: 10.6 x 7.5 x 16.1 in
  • Weight: 1.56 pounds

At around $70 new, the Case Logic Bryker is the best budget travel camera bag that you can find! With a very spacious interior and a nice rigid frame, this backpack is sure to handle all of your needs.

The Case Logic Bryker can accommodate most full camera systems including multiple DSLRs and a litany of lenses. If you’re packing a larger mirrorless camera with additional lenses you’ll find it pretty spacious alongside your accessories too.

The various spacers and interior dividers can be readjusted to fit any lens or camera as well, allowing for the usual customisation.

Some users of this bag have complained that the various internal compartments are too shallow though so users of overly-large equipment may be frustrated. In addition, there are plentiful pockets for accessories and a rear laptop compartment that can fit a 16” computer.

We did say this was the best budget camera bag and boy does it bring the features!

  • Great bang for your buck
  • Large enough to hold DSLR + 5-6 lenses
  • Innovative “camera hammock” included
  • A bit too bulky
  • Straps are poorly designed
  • Access to compartments is somewhat inconvenient

The exterior of the Case Logic Bryker is made from waterproof nylon that is resistant to most elements. A rigid frame also ensures that your gear will not be smashed or broken should the bag be subject to some blunt force. At 2 lbs, the weight of this bag is actually quite low as well.

The Case Logic Bryker is a bit beefy for some photographers. Its rigid design is great for resisting impacts and for when you need it to stand upright but makes for a cumbersome overall experience. A shoddy tripod strap leaves much to be desired as well.

Comfort is also an issue. When fully packed, many users experience noticeable discomfort due in part to the poorly designed shoulder straps. A waist or chest strap would’ve provided some respite but they are sorely missing. Despite these, we still think it’s the best cheap camera bag on the market.

Is the Case Logic Bryker for you?

Do you want a capable travel camera bag for as little money as possible? Then check out the Case Logic Bryker! This bag is built for photographers who want something durable that won’t break the bank or, for that matter, their gear. For these reasons, the Case Logic Bryker is one of the best budget camera bags that travellers can find!

Our team liked that this pack offered a different style of opening compared to others on the list. With the pack opening from the front rather than the back it offered a different way to access their gear and for some members they felt this was much more practical for their usage. They also loved the large external pockets and the fact that they were big enough to fit even larger accessories like flashes and hard drives inside and felt these features made it a budget camera bag.

12. Neewer 2:1 Camera Backpack Trolley Case

The Best Camera Bag for Air Travel

Neewer 2:1 Camera Backpack Trolley Case

  • Exterior: 20.9 x 14.2 x 10.6 inches / 53 x 36 x 27 cm
  • Interior: 17.7 x 11.8 x 7.9 inches / 45 x 30 x 20 cm
  • Without dividers: 9.3 pounds / 4.2 kilograms
  • With dividers: 10.2 pounds / 4.6 kilogram

For professional photographers who travel often and need a bag that they can conveniently take on the plane with them, the Neewer 2 n1 Camera Backpack Trolley Case  is the best camera bag for air travel!

This sturdy bag is designed to meet most carry-on luggage standards, which means that you’ll always have it with you and that you’ll never have to risk checking it in. Its four sets of dual wheels also ensure effortless manoeuvring as they enable the bag to glide in between almost any obstacle.

The CADeN Camera Backpack Trolley Case can easily hold multiple DSLRs in addition to 6-8 lenses. Multiple pockets and extra compartments are also on hand to hold various camera accessories.

The CADeN Camera Backpack Trolley Case can stand up to both weather and invaders alike. An attachable rain cover will protect the bag during inclement weather. In addition, a theft-proof double-lock zipper system is in place to protect your gear.

  • Meets standards for carry-on luggage
  • Heaps of storage
  • Very sturdy build
  • Top heavy when fully loaded
  • Bag tends to drift if not on level ground

The wheels of the CADeN Camera Backpack are very smooth and guiding this bag will be a breeze. Should the wheels become damaged, they can easily be replaced.

Note that the wheels can be a little too smooth sometimes as many photographers have reported that this bag has a tendency to float away when not arrested. There have also been reports of when being fully loaded (including with a laptop in the front), the bag can tend to topple.

Outside of the airports, true backpackers and wilderness hikers may find using this bag an impractical endeavour. At its core, the Think Tank Airport Roller Derby is best suited for lifestyle, product or wedding photographers who do most of their work in urban environments.

Looking for a specific laptop bag? Check out our rundown on the best travel laptop bags for more options.

Is the Neewer 2 in 1 Camera Backpack Trolley Case for you?

Are you a professional photographer who travels very often for work? Do you need a bag that you can take on the plane with you? Stress not as this is one of the best bags for airline travel! This reinforced roller bag is designed to fit in most overhead compartments and the smoothness of its wheels will ensure that you’ll get to where you’re going pronto.

Our team recognised from the beginning that this bag was a bit more niche than some others on the market but felt for the right person it was an ideal solution. For those looking to carry a substantial amount of gear as well as pretty much their entire editing set up (hard drives, laptop etc) then it’s the perfect way to keep everything protected and organised. The ability to carry the bag as a backpack was also a welcome addition to versatility.

13. Tenba BYOB 13

The Travel Camera Bag Insert

best camera packing cube. Tenba BYOB 13

  • Exterior: 14 x 10 x 6 inches / 35.6 x 25.4 x 15.2 cm
  • Interior: 13 x 9 x 5 inches / 33 x 22.9 x 12.7 cm
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds / 0.6 kilograms

Those looking for a conventional travel backpack with a camera compartment will be sorry to hear that not many exist. Thankfully though, Tenba has created an insert that can slide into almost any backpack and does a very good job of protecting your camera gear.

The Tenba BYOB 13 Camera Insert is, essentially, designed to mirror the interior of a classic camera backpack. It obviously lacks any sort of straps or method of carrying but this is totally acceptable because it’s meant to be packed into another larger bag. With the Tenba BYOB 13, your travel backpack is now totally equipped to carry your camera equipment.

The Tenba BYOB 13 is very tough and can take quite the beating on its own; when packed into a backpack, your expensive camera gear is very safe.

In terms of capacity, the Tenba BYOB 13 can carry a single camera body and 3-4 lenses, which is admittedly less than some of the other travel camera bags outlined on this list. Like most camera bags, the compartments of this insert can be reorganized to fit your needs.

  • Turns your travel backpack into a travel camera bag
  • Compact and very well protected
  • Adjustable compartments plus extra pockets
  • Not very practical if you plan to carry it alone
  • Doesn’t hold as much as a dedicated camera backpack

There are several reasons to use a camera insert over a dedicated camera backpack. Many photographers have pointed out that camera bags can be quite awkward to wear because they’re designed with optimal protection in mind as opposed to comfort.

This decision is understandable but also irritating as, after 25+ lbs of gear, you really start to feel the weight.

With their extra straps and padding, outdoor and travel backpacks are much better equipped for heavier loads. Many backpackers will find that simply using their usual backpack and inserting the Tenba BYOB 13 Camera Insert will be easier on their bodies and feel much better.

Is the Tenba BYOB 13 for you?

Do you want to keep using your outdoor backpack and find a way to pack your camera gear as well? With extra durability and packability, the Tenba BYOB 13 Camera Insert is the best alternative to a DSLR travel camera bag. With it, photographers can convert just about any outdoor backpack into a safe haven for their camera gear.

Our team were big fans of this camera insert and loved how well it fit inside a plethora of other bags. As we mentioned with the leather messenger bag above, adding an insert like this can transform any bag into a great camera set-up. It’s especially ideal for those looking for hiking packs or something more specialised not usually seen as a camera backpack, with this you can really customise your set-up.

14. Manfrotto Aviator D1 Backpack

The Travel Camera Bag for Drones

best travel camera bag for drone users. Manfrotto Aviator D1 Backpack

  • Capacity: 1 DJI Phantom drone, 1 DSLR camera, 3 lenses, 1 laptop, and additional accessories
  • Exterior: 19.3 x 12.6 x 9.1 inches / 49 x 32 x 23 cm
  • Interior: 18.1 x 11.4 x 5.9 inches / 46 x 29 x 15 cm
  • Weight: 4.2 pounds / 1.9 kilograms

Photographers who often use drones when travelling or working will need a backpack specially engineered for their equipment. One of the best travel camera bags for drones is the Manfrotto Aviator D1 Backpack . This drone backpack, made with DJI Phantom equipment in mind, is very comfortable and easy to use.

The Manfrotto Aviator D1 is built from water-resistant materials that effectively protect your drone from the elements. At over 4 lbs, this bag may seem heavy but, thanks to its superb ergonomics, few users complain about discomfort.

Aside from the main compartment where the drone can be stored, there are multiple pockets and pouches that can store anything from extra batteries to a 16” laptop.

  • Specifically designed for Phantom 3 Drone
  • Very comfortable to wear
  • 5 year warranty
  • Tight fit for Phantom 4 Drone
  • Compromised security when packed too tightly
  • In practice, more room is needed for DSLR and lenses

In addition, a smaller top compartment was built into the bag to accommodate a DSLR camera plus one or two lenses. Some photographers complain that, unfortunately, this isn’t enough room though for a proper camera kit and that more is to be desired.

The Manfrotto Aviator D1 Backpack was designed specifically for the DJI Phantom and does a very good job of storing it.

The Phantom 3 fits snugly in the front pouch of the bag and there is additional room for drone lenses and accessories as well.

Many users have noted that when using a Phantom 4 though, things are a little too tight and breakages do occur. This problem is usually alleviated by creating extra space in the bag but at the expense of carrying a DSLR.

Is the Manfrotto Aviator D1 Backpack for you?

Are you a drone photographer in need of a specially built backpack? Do you want something that is easy to wear? Then look no further than the Manfrotto Aviator D1 Backpack! This comfortable backpack is great for those who use a DJI Phantom 3 (or Phantom 4 if you rearrange it a little) and is one of the best travel camera bags for drones available.

Our team were impressed by this bag made specifically for their drones and felt this pack made them feel super confident that their DJI was safe and well protected. Another feature they loved was the super padded hip belt and shoulder straps, it made taking their drones on pretty much any adventure mega comfortable.

15. Mahi Leather Vintage Camera Bag

The Best Leather Camera Bag

Mahi Leather Vintage Camera Bag

  • Capacity: 13 L
  • Dimensions: 15.7 x 12.6 x 3.9 inches / 40 x 32 x 10 cm
  • Price: $203.50

In your search for the “Best Camera Bag,” the MAHI Camera Bag in Vintage Brown Leather emerges as an exquisite option for photographers at any skill level.

The bag features two side pockets with buckle closings, providing easy access and secure storage for your smaller accessories. A front pocket with a magnetic close adds extra space for quick-grab items. The interior boasts a removable padded compartment, ensuring your camera stays protected from bumps and scratches. Additionally, the two padded dividers allow for customization of the interior space, accommodating various camera sizes and additional lenses, ensuring everything stays in place and protected.

In summary, the MAHI Camera Bag in Vintage Brown Leather stands out as a top choice for photographers looking for a combination of style, durability, and functionality. Its thoughtful design ensures your camera and accessories are well-protected, while its timeless look ensures you’re doing it in style. Plus, the brand’s ethical commitment adds a layer of positive impact to the purchase.

  • Very Stylish
  • Made from exceptionally good materials
  • It is kinda heavy
  • Expensive…

best travel camera bag for dslr

Now, you  could spend a fat chunk of $$$ on the WRONG present for someone. Wrong size hiking boots, wrong fit backpack, wrong shape sleeping bag… As any adventurer will tell you, gear is a personal choice.

So give the adventurer in your life the gift of convenience: buy them an REI Co-op gift card!  REI is The Broke Backpacker’s retailer of choice for ALL things outdoors, and an REI gift card is the perfect present you can buy from them. And then you won’t have to keep the receipt. 😉

A great camera bag for travel photographers will be defined by several features that will make or (literally) break your equipment. Photographers must consider aspects like material, size/weight, capacity, discreteness, security, and comfort in order to choose the right camera bag.

Below is a brief breakdown of each of these features and why they are important to the buying and shooting process.

Want to shoot full time? Read our insider’s guide on how to become a freelance photographer!


If you travel a lot, your camera is going to be subject to the elements very often. Overexposure to the likes of weather, grime, and/or physical trauma can compromise your equipment and lead to failure or breakage.

This is why it is very important to get a sturdy travel camera bag made from high-quality and rugged materials. With better craftsmanship, your camera will be better protected from dangerous forces.

Canvas – and all of its varieties – is one of the most used materials in travel camera bags and for good reason: it’s durable, relatively waterproof, and cheap. However, note that cheap camera bags are not ideal for keeping expensive cameras in.

Many of the best travel camera bags in this list will have some canvas in some degree. Leather is also a good material that is used quite often in camera bags but makes sure that it’s real – the fake shit will degrade and fail much sooner than the authentic leather.

Some camera bag manufacturers are using newer, synthetic fabrics that offer optimal quality and protection. Note that if a bag has higher quality synthetic materials, then its price will usually be higher.


The inside of travel camera bags are usually – and should be – full of foam inserts that offer extra protection to the equipment inside.

A good travel camera bag will have lots of these barriers that can be rearranged to provide the proper housing for your camera kit. These padded dividers should be somewhat rigid, thick, and properly sized.

In addition to interior padding, your travel bag should have a number of pockets and compartments that should be sealed and in working order. If they are not properly constructed, then your camera will be susceptible to water and other harmful elements.

Nic laid on the floor taking a photo wearing the Wandrd Prvke backpack

You’re obviously going to need a camera bag that is big enough to house all of your gear.

Each type of travel camera bag is going to be appropriately sized for a certain amount of equipment. Smaller messenger bags will be able to accommodate a small mirrorless or compact camera with an extra lens or two while larger camera backpacks will be better suited for full-frame DSLRs and a plethora of lenses.

Figure out how much camera equipment you will need to carry and then decide on how big of a bag you will need. Also, don’t take for granted how to pack the bag either.

Travel photographers will most likely have their gear on their person for most of the day so it’s very important to consider how comfortable a travel camera bag will be.

If you’re just planning on bringing a small camera with an equally diminutive lens or two, then a messenger bag will feel very natural.

Start adding more lenses and a larger camera body though and straps begin to cut into your shoulders – a more spacious and ergonomic backpack will probably feel better.

Being able to access your equipment in a comfortable way is also worth considering. Are you going to have to take your bag off and reach into it every time you want to take a photo? That may get tedious.

Can you get away with using a holster or small messenger bag? Being able to reach for a travel camera that is near the front of your body will feel much better.


Cameras are thieves’ favourite targets so it’s imperative that you find a bag that will ward away not only the elements but human perpetrators as well.

Many camera bags will come with latches, locking zippers and other deterrents that will hamper robbers’ attempts at stealing your gear. Should an attacker threaten you, good sturdy construction – like the kind mentioned in the materials section – will prevent them from tearing or cutting your bag and getting to the inner contents.

Some camera bags that are built from luxurious materials just scream “steal me” as well. Buying a bag that is relatively simple and inconspicuous looking will attract less attention from possible assailants. Being smart when travelling and avoiding theft in the first place is the best way to prevent it.


Lots of camera bags will have the ability to accommodate additional accessories. These additions may be possible thanks to extra straps, adjustable interiors, special adapters, and/or more found on the bag. The more options you have when it comes to being able to add accessories, the more that you’ll be able to pack and the better prepared your bag will be. You’ll definitely want a bag with a special strap for a travel tripod

Keep in mind how much you can change your travel camera bag when investing in one.

Like the specialized tools that they hold, a travel camera bag is only effective if it’s understandable and intuitive. Even if you have a great bag with amazing capacity and protection, it’s going to be a hellish experience if it takes too long or too much effort to get into the bag. You must take into consideration how easy it is to use a travel camera bag before buying one.

Look for multiple entry points and features, like layout design, that allows for quick and easy access to your gear. Also take note of certain incidentals, like a zipper and buckle efficiency, which can play a big part in accessing the bag despite their perceived insignificance. Learn how to use your camera bag to get the most out of it.


Size and weight play an important part in determining what constitutes a good travel camera bag. Depending on the quality of the design and materials, a bag may or not be too heavy or use space efficiently, and you also might want to consider if it’s carry-on compliant . No one wants to carry around a bag that is unnecessarily cumbersome or wastes space.

Weight is influenced by the amount and type of materials used. Certain materials mentioned prior, like canvas or leather, may weigh more, but they offer good protection and, if used intelligently, can contribute less to overall mass. If a bag is designed poorly and has a lot of superfluous materials,  its weight can increase for no good reason.

Size, like weight, comes down to whether or not the bag was designed well or not. Again, if there are a lot of extra materials used, the size is going to increase. On the other hand, if every little fabric is used properly and the structure is sound, the bag is going to be more compact and still offer good protection.

Wandrd PRVKE 31 Backpack worn by Joe

To test these packs, we got hold of them and gave them a good and proper run for their money and did that over a decent enough period of time to get to know them. We gave them to various members of the team so we could get different options and experiences.


When we test backpacks out our main points are awarded for packability, but when it comes to camera bags, there’s a bit more to it than just throwing in your gear willy-nilly!

With these bags, we’ve got to consider how well they fit in your camera, lenses and other accessories that come with photography. How well do they protect them, are they accessible when needed and do they allow you to bring along a jacket or other items and how effectively can these be kept separate?

Weight and Comfort of Carrying

If a pack is overly heavy or awkward to carry then taking it along on trips becomes uncomfortable. We all know that carrying a lot of camera gear can be pretty weighty at times. So we were looking for backpacks that were firstly, light to begin with and secondly, distributed the weight of your gear well and did it with comfort.

Believe me, on this, I have had more than my fair share of backpacks that became uncomfortable once I had my camera, lenses and tripod attached that it took much of the fun out of my passion for photography!

As such, we awarded full marks for packs that minimise weight and maximum carry comfort.


In order to test out how well a pack fulfilled the primary purpose we used it for this purpose!

So of course, when it came to camera bags we tested them out by seeing what different cameras and lenses they could fit in and how many. How well each bag protected our gear and also the ways in which we could access our gear when needed. Does the bag have a side access door or back opening for example?

Some people say that travel gear doesn’t need to look good as long as it functions. Well, those people are fools because they forget that photography is all about how something looks… so surely we want our packs to look great too!

As such we also awarded points for how sexy a pack looks. 

Durability and Weatherproofing

Ideally, in order to really test out how durable a backpack is we would drop it from a plane and then run over it. But I’ve put my pride and joy (my camera) inside so I am afraid that’s not going to happen!!

Instead, we were a bit more pragmatic and inspected the materials the bags were made from, the build quality and craftsmanship of each one and paid particular attention to seam sewing, smoothness of the zips and other areas of each bag which might be more likely to break.

Of course, testing out how waterproof a pack is simply a case of pouring a litre of water over it – any packs caught leaking, were promptly banned entirely from inclusion in our round-ups. Obviously, I took out my gear before… just in case!

Still, have some questions? No problem! We’ve listed and answered the most commonly asked questions below. Here’s what people usually want to know:

What is the best camera backpack?

We rank the award-winning WANDRD PRVKE 31 as one of the best camera bags on the market. Another favourite is the Nomatic Mckinnon 35L Camera Bag .

What does a good camera bag need?

The main purpose of a camera bag is to keep your equipment safe while moving through different locations. It needs to offer good protection and the ideal volume for your accessories.

Are there any budget-friendly camera bags?

The Case Logic SLRC-206 camera bag is one of the cheapest on the market. Yet, it still offers high quality and great value.

What is the best camera bag for professional photographers?

The Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW offers great protection of your gear, as well as plenty of space to store additional accessories that only professional photographers need.

best travel camera bag for dslr

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Final Thoughts on the Best Camera Bag for Travel

Should you get caught in a sticky situation, you wouldn’t want to put your valuable camera gear at risk. So hopefully you’ve looked through this list of camera backpacks and found the one for you!

You wouldn’t travel to a foreign country without the proper insurance , right? Then why would put your camera kit at risk without the appropriate protection?! Pick out the best travel camera bag for your style of shooting and invest in protection that suits your needs.

Each photographer will find merit in each bag. Those who use smaller kits may find a messenger bag, like the Think Tank Retrospective 30, more suitable.

Conversely, wilderness backpackers or digital nomads may not want to invest in a full-fledged camera backpack so the best bet is they end up buying an insert, like the Tenba BYOB 13. There really is a travel camera bag for everyone out there.

Figure out your needs and choose a bag accordingly.

With this guide, you have the beginnings of understanding what is best for your gear. There are so many camera bags, so study it well and then waste no time in finding the best camera bag for your travel needs! You’ll be glad that you took camera bags seriously.

tourist with a camera takes a photo of the mosteiro dos jerónimos in belém, lisbon, portugal

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photo of a person holding a smartphone with Holafly logo


Hi there! So my name is Brandon and I’m trying to find the backpack the guy is wearing in the photo in the beginning of this page. It seems to fit the necessary requirements I’m looking for in a travel backpack; however, I can’t seem to find it online. If you could help point me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you!

If you are looking for the best camera pack for travel and hiking, You should consider a pack from Atlas Packs. I’ve been searching for the perfect bag for years and finally found one that perfectly suits my needs. The packs are more like technical hiking packs designed to carry camera gear than a camera pack not well set up for wilderness use. As my car-carry camera bag, I have a Billingham, which is simply amazing (and aesthetically beautiful). It’s just not great to carry my gear in over my shoulder all day long.

Indeed Atlas makes good backpacks, but in our opinion the Wandrd Prvke 31 or the Nomatic Camera Bag are where it’s at. Here are the links if you want to check them out: Nomatic Camera Bag Wandrd Prvke 31

I’ve tended to get a ~50USD small shoulder bag like a Vanguard Ziin or LowePro Andventura TLZ and put that inside my main backpack as I often don’t have space for a dedicated camera backpack. To save money, that might be an option. My travel is often backpacking or motorcycle travel, so I find it works well for that. It also protects the camera when you’re walking around and stops it potentially being a target as you walk around.

This is a bit confusing., and I’m struggling with the rankings here….

No.1 is the WANDRD PRVKE 31l, but it is described as “one of the best”: “The WANDRD PRVKE 31 is one of the best camera bags out there due to its awesome design, excellent protectiveness, and great customizability.”

No.2, the LowePro ProTactic 40 AW is actually described as the best: “Because of its awesome customizability, competitive price point, and superlatively durable construction, the Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW is the best overall travel camera bag on this list!”

No.3, the Peak Design, is actually described as the 2nd best: “The Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L is our second choice for the best overall camera bag for travel.”

Please help clarify?

Hey Andrmu,

I can definitely see how the wording of the article can be confusing. I’ve gone ahead and made some edits that will hopefully clear things up 🙂

It wasn’t confusing. It was simply directly conflicting your presented order. You obviously previously had the LowePro as your favourite, and the PD is your 2nd. But then Wandrd apparently jumped ahead of them. Did they pay you?

I suppose I have stumbled across the wrong site – the best budget bag on theBROKEbackpacker is $75? I need to head over to the DestituteBackpacker, then.

You could go out and buy a $15 Jansport backpack if you wanted and put your camera in that. At that point, I think you could technically call this a “budget camera bag.”

I wouldn’t advise this though because then you’d be putting the camera at risk for breaking. If you want a bag that will offer basic protection and doesn’t skimp too much usability, then $75 is a reasonable amount.

Hello Frank

The adage, “Buy cheap, Pay twice” is generally true in having to replace at least twice during the lifetime of a quality camera bag: including the faff of going to buy a replacement during that period. I take the view that my Sony A7 III and the 3 GMaster lenses (plus assorted storage media / supporting equipment) in my camera bag is valued at over £10k.

Yes, you can be insured but consider the faff in completing the myriad of paperwork, being without equipment…for how long in repair! Having spent large sums of money on camera equipment, it seem prudent (foolish not) to protect that valuable equipment to the fullest by ‘investing’ in a good / reasonably priced camera bag.

I read reviews and reader feedback as guidance but it is also my final choice. I eventually bought the ProTactic 450 AW, it was reasonably priced, gives good protection, qualifies as carry-on baggage (Africa twice, Europe many times and the USA) and is of good quality.

Enjoy your visit to DestituteBackpacker :-)))

Does anyone know what the bag is in the first picture with the guy in the creek? I’d love to check that one out!

I have a friend who really loves photography and I used to go with him on hikes and such which is what also got me into photography just recently. I’m looking to buy my first bag and was searching for reviews. This kind of review really helps me a lot. Personally I’d prefer backpack types as I’m most comfortable with them. Also I’d go with water proof camera bags regardless if it has rain cover or not cause my friend often had troubles with water getting inside his bag. Really nice review.

Hi, I’m trying to decide between the ProTactic 450 AW II and the smaller 350 AW II. I run a mirrorless setup (G85) with 2 small lenses, and a Mavic Air, with a small smartphone gimbal. Would you have any advice between the two bags? Thanks!

My initial reaction is you’ll want to go with the larger camera bag because that sounds like quite a bit of equipment. But first I suggest that you try to find the two bags at a local shop and to test them out for yourself.

Just a quick update, after trying both out at a local store, I went with the smaller ProTactic BP350 AWII. It fits my main body (Lumix G85), 3 – 4 lenses, my Mavic Air setup as well as a smartphone gimbal and Rode VideoMicro. The fit is on the tighter side, but the larger sibling was too large for my everyday use and travel. Following the 80/20 rule, the smaller of the two covers my needs a majority of the time.

Great information. I am a photographer and i am use canon 5d mark IV with 70-200mm, 85mm lens. I have no camera bag. I am searching on google which bags are best and useful. I got your blog and i am really with your blog. You share very useful info for me. Thanks!

I’m looking to buy a replacement backpack camera bag – medium size, carry-on flight luggage – and so the Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW looks appealing.

However, as I’m going to dusty African deserts in the near future I need waterproof / dust-proof pockets for all the accessories such as digital stager media. Additionally, whenever I see adverts for photographic backpacks they rarely show these, and they also show lenses without covers on. appearing to fit perfectly in-between the velcro dividers – I feel that there isn’t enough protection: wouldn’t these easily get covered in sand / dust? I rarely carry my lenses in this way preferring additional (safety) pouches – though I guess these aren’t dust proof either.

It would be nice to see how the selected bags cover off keeping lenses and accessories safe from these natural threats.

Totally understand your predicament. Indeed, lots of reviews talk more about how bags protect gear instead of showing it. Though I can’t literally show you how well these do, I can try to paint a picture at least.

When it comes to dust and sand, I find that the best safeguard is just diligence. I’ve been to the Namib Desert, the Outback, Iceland, and countless other places that are just full of grit and all I can say is that you just have to clean; a lot.

Several bags (like the WANDRD PRVKE 31) do have sealed zippers but, at the end of the day, your gear is going to be exposed to the dirt no matter what. Best to just realize this and then do your best to clean it off at the end of the day. If your gear is used and packed away properly, removing sand will be less of an issue I think.

I hope that your trip goes well. If you have any further questions, please reach out.

One issue with the 400AW as a travel bag is that is larger than the airline carry on limits.

That is a valid point – if you need a carry on, that isn’t the logical choice.

Do you remember which airline would not allow this bag as a carry-on? Each company has different restrictions and I’ve heard very little in the way of the AW450 not actually being allowed.

Also, are we talking about the 400AW or the 450AW?

Cheers, Ralph

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The 13 Best Travel Camera Cases of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

We love a protective camera case for travel, especially when it includes functional compartments and a stylish design.

best travel camera bag for dslr

In This Article

  • Our Top Picks

Our Testing Process

  • Others We Liked
  • Tips for Buying
  • Why Trust T+L

Travel + Leisure / Grant Webster

A great camera bag doesn’t just keep gear protected during your travels. It also enhances your overall experience by adding comfort, ease, and storage solutions on the go. You don’t want to risk liquid damage or have expensive cameras and lenses get banged up during transit in a bag that doesn’t have water-resistant materials or shock-absorbing dividers. It’s also important to factor in whether you need a backpack style that can hack it in the outdoors, or if you want a heavy-duty case that you can roll to your gate and store in the overhead bin.

Because narrowing down a search can be tricky, we evaluated 21 camera bags on design, durability, capacity, portability, and value to see which ones go the distance. While some are better than others for specific types of photography, all 13 that made our list are perfect for anyone looking to up their game. And, as a travel photographer and writer myself, I’ve included my expertise and personal experience traveling around the world with various gear, plus spoke with professional photographer and blogger Renee Hahnel for expert insights about what to look for when shopping for a camera case, too.

Best Overall

Peak design everyday backpack 20l.

Peak Design

  • Design 5 /5
  • Capacity 5 /5
  • Portability 5 /5
  • Durability 5 /5

It has an impressive capacity and fits under the seat when flying.

It doesn’t stand up on its own when placed on the ground.

We love the sleek design of the Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L, as well as its all-around functionality and portability. It’s versatile enough to use as an overnight pack or strictly a camera bag on a longer trip, with both padded laptop and tablet slots; a separate camera compartment with dividers; and top space for accessories like chargers, snacks, keys, an ID, or even a small clothing item. Three foldable dividers allow you to configure them how you prefer, fitting one or two camera bodies (DSLR or mirrorless), depending upon the lenses you’d like to include inside as well. One mirrorless camera body with three lenses can fit nicely, with room for chargers and accessories, and add another body or small point-and-shoot in the upper area with its magnetic flap-and-hook closure.

The Everyday Backpack is smartly designed with features that work well in the field. It's durability has exceeded all expectations and after six months of use, it shows no signs of wear. We love the deep side pockets, which fit a tripod or water bottle nicely, keeping it tight to the pack with added straps, and the dual side zippers for on-body access so you don’t miss getting the shot while wrangling your camera out of a bag. The bag’s weather resistance works effectively, and the bottom panel is waterproof, so you can rest it on a wet surface without worrying either. The side flaps double as interior zippered storage as well, where batteries, lens cloths, and backup SD cards have individual pockets for keeping them secure.

​​"The Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L is not only sleek in its aesthetic, but it's super practical for traveling with a small to mid-size camera set up and other tech gear, like a laptop and headphones,” Hahnel says. “Then the 30L version is a great option for those with additional gear to carry. I personally really love Peak Design's MagLatch hardware and UltraZips.”

The Details : 22.24 x 11.81 x 8.27 inches (exterior), 21.65 x 11.22 x 6.3 inches (interior) | 20 liters (also sold in 30 liters) | 3.75 pounds | 400D double poly-coated nylon canvas shell; 900D waterproof bottom liner; nylon interior; leather accents | 3 dividers

Travel + Leisure / Robert Caponetto

Best for the Outdoors

Shimoda adventure backpack.

This water-resistant case holds up to the elements and even comes with a rain cover if you're using it outdoors.

If you’re using the removable main compartment, you’ll actually have less space.

The carry-on-friendly Shimoda Explore V2 30 Liter Adventure Backpack is our top pick for photographers who spend a lot of time outdoors when traveling. Ideal for landscape photographers who hike or enjoy other wilderness-based endeavors, this pack has padded shoulder and hip straps for enhanced carrying comfort. The interior is very secure with plenty of options to customize padded Velcro walls for your desired configuration of your individual camera, lens, and more. The small core unit holds a mirrorless camera and a lens but you can store additional lenses and accessories in the other main compartment, which can hold up to approximately three lenses.

A padded sleeve on the backside holds a 13-inch laptop and a three-liter bladder sleeve on the front will keep you hydrated during your outing. Water-resistant with a lightweight rain cover included, you’ll be fairly protected should you get caught in the rain or snow as well. The bag itself also holds up to the elements and, after six months of use, still looks brand new, Side and rear camera access are major highlights of this pack, so you can access your gear quickly in the event of a surprise rainbow or wildlife sighting. It also features lockable, water-resistant YKK zippers to protect your gear.

The Details : 11.6 x 20.3 x 6.6 inches (exterior), 11.2 x 19.8 x 6.2 inches (interior) | 30 liters (also sold in 25 and 35 liters) | 4.8 pounds | Ripstop nylon shell with Carbonate Ether polyurethane coating | Various customizable Velcro dividers, small and large

Travel + Leisure / Grant Webster

Best Organization

Nomatic mckinnon camera pack.

Rigid dividers keep camera equipment secure while on the go.

It’s a little heavier than other camera backpacks on the market.

Organization is key when shooting on the move and we think the Nomatic McKinnon Camera Pack 35L is at the top of its game in that department. A plethora of storage for camera bodies, lenses, SD cards, and hard drives, as well as an external slot for a laptop up to 16 inches makes this a great travel companion. Between the zippered pockets, dividers, and a designated clothing area, you’ll have no problem staying organized.

With 35 liters to work with, you can easily fit more than one camera body and multiple lenses, and, from our tests, we determined that it's possible to accommodate a camera body with a lens attached to it, if needed. The clothing/gear compartment expands by an extra seven liters, topping the capacity out at 42 liters for trips where you need an extra T-shirt or pair of socks. Even when packed full, it's comfortable to carry thanks to added straps we loved more and more after regularly using them for six months. The bag is water-resistant, has waterproof zippers, and keeps gear dry in moderate rain. Several pockets for everything from your passport to charging cables and filters means everything will have its own place and exterior pockets are perfect for a tripod and water bottle. Side access makes grabbing your camera on the go an easy feat as well. For multi-day trips, this pack is a solid choice.

The Details : 22 x 13.5 x 9 inches (exterior), 21 x 12.5 x 5.25 inches (interior) | 42 liters | 5.75 pounds | N900D square ripstop with 0.20mm film-laminated TPU65 coating; N420D square ripstop with with 5PM coating; compression-molded EVA back panel; interior Velux hook-and-loop compatible fabric; nylon 210D liner fabric and mesh | 4 long, 5 short dividers

Travel + Leisure / Henry Wortock

Best Rolling

Think tank photo airport security.

  • Portability 4 /5

The rugged design and ample padding keeps gear extremely safe for travel.

It lacks a quick access point; the whole bag has to be unzipped to access camera gear.

Give your back a break and enjoy the benefits of a rolling camera case. We love the Think Tank Photo Airport Security V3.0 for its tough, high-quality design and protective padding. The materials both looked and felt secure, promoting confidence when transporting their gear. It even protected all of the items from water during our six-month testing period. Customizable compartments came in handy to tailor-fit a wide array of camera bodies, lenses, hard drives, batteries, and more within the roomy interior. Pack up to two DSLRs or mirrorless model cameras, as well as 4-6 additional lenses and accessories, including a large 600mm lens (detached from camera body). There’s also a slot for a 10-inch tablet and up to 15-inch laptop, and a spot for your tripod and a water bottle, if needed.

Although it doesn’t have spinner wheels, it’s still a relief to roll through the airport when packed with heavy equipment versus carrying a pack. The Think Tank meets most carry-on requirements for both domestic and international flights and we noticed that it fit nicely almost anywhere, from airplane or car to the photo studio. The water-repellent treatment worked well, even in heavy rain.

The Details : 14 x 22 x 9 inches (exterior), 13 x 21 x 7-8 inches (interior) | 11.1 pounds | Exterior: 1680D ballistic nylon, water-repellent (DWR) coating, polyurethane coating, nylon webbing; interior: 210D silver-toned nylon, polyurethane backed velex liner and dividers, 2x polyurethane coated nylon 210T seam-sealed rain cover, closed cell foam and PE board reinforced dividers, clear mesh pockets | 10-12 dividers

Travel + Leisure / Victor Protasio

Best Messenger

Tenba dna messenger bag.

  • Design 4.8 /5
  • Capacity 4.5 /5

It fits more than your typical messenger bag.

It’s a bit bulkier than most bags of this style.

We love the ease of carrying that messenger bags offer, and the comfy Tenba DNA 16 Pro features a spacious interior with easily customizable compartments, too. It’s ideal for photographers looking to only carry a limited set-up as well as a laptop and some accessories. Although it can fit a full-frame DSLR or mirrorless camera and up to six lenses, we noticed that it gets to be a bit bulky to carry when stuffed.

A separate padded sleeve on the backside of the interior holds a laptop up to 16 inches or an 11-inch tablet. Zippered pockets and other mesh storage spots offer plenty of additional areas to keep items like passports, keys, SD cards, cords, and more secure. The weather-resistant material with additional boot protection on the bottom is fantastic for when you need to rest it on the ground. Quick access to your gear is through the top zipper, though it felt like the slide clips made it trickier for one-handed access.

The Details : 15.75 x 12 x 7.5 inches (exterior), 14.75 x 11.5 x 6 inches (interior) | 2.9 pounds | 70D shadow ripstop nylon interior with two layers of polyurethane coatings and soft brushed-tricot lining, Helix all-weather polyurethane-coated nylon exterior, TPU-coated and seam-sealed base | 3 medium dividers

Travel + Leisure / Gregory Dupree

Peak Design Everyday Sling

  • Durability 4.5 /5

It’s durable and sturdy, made with high-quality materials.

The bag remained a bit stiff, even after six months of regular use.

If you’re in search of a minimalist-style camera bag, the Peak Design Everyday Sling 6L is a top-notch choice. It can be worn as a crossbody bag or waist bag and features a reversible strap and quick-access zipper for grabbing your gear. Despite being small, there are numerous areas for storage, and it can fit a mirrorless camera or a small DSLR with 2-3 lenses, depending on their size. The removable main compartment has customizable dividers that can fold down, ideal for stacking lenses.

A tablet up to 11 inches in size can fit in the included sleeve, and there are various pockets and zippered areas for other accessories like batteries, SD cards, and lens wipes. Every part of the bag seemed well-made, and it repelled water when sprayed. It was comfortable and lightweight to wear, easy to adjust, and can pack down to easily fit inside a larger suitcase for travel. Additional external straps on the bottom can hold a jacket, clothing, or a tripod, though it’s not the best bag for heavier items like the latter.

The Details : 13.8 x 9.3 x 4.7 inches | 6 liters (also sold in 3 and 10 liters) | 1.7 pounds | 400D double poly-coated DWR-impregnated nylon canvas shell, nylon interior, leather accents | 2 medium dividers

Travel + Leisure / Mariah Tyler

Best for Multiple Lenses

Lowepro protactic 450 aw.

It’s very spacious and has four access points.

It’s a bit heavier than other camera backpacks.

The Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW is our top pick for photographers looking to carry multiple lenses and/or bodies. Its hiking-pack design adds padded shoulder and waist straps, while your gear will stay secure in the sturdy customizable internal compartments. While we noticed that the harder shell of the bag made it a bit bulky and difficult to store, they also noted that it’s extremely spacious and holds most of the camera gear you’ll need including a laptop up to 15 inches and a tripod attached using the exterior tripod cup or straps.

The 25-liter capacity is designed to hold two full-frame cameras, and up to eight lenses. The included all-weather cover will keep your bag and the gear inside protected from the elements as well. With multiple quick-access points, your photo missions will run a little smoother without having to stop and open the whole bag. We think this bag is worth the price for its durability, functionality, and abundant features.

The Details : 14.1 x 8.6, x 20.5 inches (exterior), 11.8 x 6.3 x 17.3 inches (interior) | 25 liters | 6.25 pounds | Exterior: 1680D ballistic polyester, 900D polyester, 420D nylon recycled; interior: velex nylon | 10+ dividers, all sizes

Most Durable

Thule camera bag backpack.

It performs like a hiking backpack that’s comfortable to wear.

It doesn’t store very easily due to its bulkiness.

The Thule Aspect DSLR Camera Bag Backpack is our most durable pick, with thick interior padding that remained stiff and supportive even after six months of regular use. The bag’s weather-resistant exterior can hold up in drizzling rain, too. It also functions well as a hiking backpack with padded shoulder straps, removable hip belt, and an air mesh back panel for ventilation. Customize your gear configuration with the Velcro dividers and store your 15-inch laptop and a tablet in the back padded compartments.

The main camera section can fit a full-frame camera and two lenses and the top pack compartment is great for another compact camera, accessories, or personal gear. A tripod can be stashed in the exterior side pocket with a strap to hold it tight and a small front pocket is great for snacks or keys. Since this bag prioritizes durability, we noticed that it doesn’t compress easily like a regular backpack, making it a little more difficult to store.

The Details : 20.5 x 11.8 x 8.7 inches | 3.2 pounds | 3 dividers

Travel + Leisure / Debbie Wolfe

Best Modular

Boundary prima system.

  • Capacity 3.8 /5

The modular design allows for extra tailoring to your preference and gear set-up.

Quick access is for just one camera and lens, everything else has to be accessed by taking it off and unzipping the whole bag.

We love the customizable modular design of the Boundary Prima System pack, suitable for everyday use or two- or three-day trips. There is a large packing cube that you can expand with a zipper, designed for storing your camera gear, and it can fit through the top or side compartments. (One body and one lens fits in this particular cube.) Those with more camera equipment would need to store it in other spots within the bag, making it more difficult to access on the go.

You can transform this main module into a separate shoulder sling bag with an included strap for when you want to explore without your entire backpack. A padded slot in the main bag fits up to a 17-inch laptop and a separate folder section can store a tablet, notebook, or other flat items. Additional storage pockets can fit chargers, batteries, cords, and SD cards. The bag kept everything inside dry even after getting caught in the rain. After six months of regular use, this bag has held up to all the elements and protected gear time after time.

The Details : 53 x 31 x 17 inches | 30 liters | 4.9 pounds | 3 modular components, 2 dividers in the camera packing cube

Travel + Leisure / Jason Donnelly

Lo & Sons Claremont

Lo & Sons

  • Capacity 3.5 /5

It could easily pass for a stylish purse, yet inconspicuously holds a camera and lens.

It doesn’t fit a ton of gear and the divider pops out easily due to lack of Velcro to hold it down inside.

If you’re looking for a camera bag that doesn’t scream “camera bag” then the Lo & Sons Claremont might be for you. Made from high-quality leather, we noticed that it felt thick and durable while also looking very stylish. You can wear this bag as a crossbody or on your shoulder by adjusting the length of the strap, making it comfortable to wear. A DSLR or mirrorless camera with a smaller lens (like a fixed 35mm or 50mm), plus an additional lens can fit nicely inside, separated by a movable divider. Two small front pockets are designed to hold SD cards and other storage spots like the discreet back zippered pocket can easily fit a wallet, passport, snacks, keys, and more. If you’re looking to travel with a lightweight personal item that also stores your camera — and you don’t need to bring a laptop or tablet — this bag is a win.

It doesn’t seem to have shock-absorbent capabilities, making it better suited to hold your camera while exploring instead of using it as a carrying case for travel. The bag lacks a zip enclosure, so if water were to get under the flap with twist latch closure, it’s possible your gear could get wet as well. This camera bag is perfect for city explorations, and bringing your camera out to lunch or dinner when you want to look chic without a big backpack in tow.

The Details : 10.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches | 1 camera body, small lens, and additional small lens or flash | 1.5 pounds | Full-grain leather exterior, polyester interior | 1 small divider

Travel + Leisure / Alessandra Amodio

Best Colors

Brevite the jumper camera backpack.

  • Durability 4 /5

It’s a multi-purpose bag in a wide array of great colors.

The dividers aren’t as sturdy as those in other bags.

The Brevite Jumper Camera Backpack is our top pick for best colors, and with 10 hues to choose from, it's easy to see why. Although hip and stylish, this pack offers more than just its looks; with a lightweight profile and ample compartments, this is a great personal carry-on item or everyday bag. After six months of regular use, it remains incredibly durable with very secure zippers that are easy to use. The main camera compartment can fit a full-frame camera with a lens up to 200mm, as well as smaller accessories like chargers, batteries, or small fixed lens. The top storage area is great for snacks, small clothing pieces, or other personal items, and a rear, padded sleeve fits a laptop up to 16 inches in size. You can carry a tripod either in the side pocket or on the bottom using the external straps, and access to your gear is quick through the side zipper.

While the material repels water at first, there was some residual wetness afterwards, so a rain cover might be a good idea. They also determined that it’s a great quality bag that works for work or pleasure travel. As a major bonus, it’s machine washable.

The Details : 16.25 x 10.5 x 5.5 inches | 18 liters | 1.9 pounds | 5 dividers

Best Leather

Ona messenger bag.

  • Capacity 4 /5

It’s very stylish and doesn’t look like a regular camera bag.

It’s more suitable for carrying a smaller camera kit.

A classic style that’s as beautiful as it is functional, ONA’s The Bowery Messenger Bag is our top choice for a buttery soft leather camera bag. Crafted from Italian-tanned leather, this high-quality bag is perfect for toting a DSLR or mirrorless camera and additional lens, slung over your shoulder or worn cross-body. After six months of use, we love how much the bag is able to store, making it the perfect option for daily use. The padded strap makes it comfortable to wear while shooting, exploring, or commuting. The main compartment can be tailored to your camera size and preference with the movable Velcro divider, fitting a full-frame camera with a fixed 35mm or 50mm lens attached, as well as another smaller lens, or a camera body and detached additional lens, likely up to 100mm.

Another slot compartment on the backside and two smaller front storage spaces can hold smaller accessories like cords, SD cards, and lens cloths as well as a wallet or passport. Alternatively, a small tablet could fit in that back slot but would take up the entire space. The gear fit snugly; it was not too tight to pull out, but secure and safe inside. For days where you just want one camera body and a lens or two, this fashionable bag is the answer to that call, though at a heftier price tag.

The Details : 11.8 x 8.9 x 5.4 inches | 1 camera body and up to 2 small lenses | 2 pounds | Available in leather or canvas | 1 small divider

Travel + Leisure / Dera Burreson

Best Budget

Bagsmart photo camera backpack.

  • Durability 3.5 /5

It’s a great value for its features and space.

It’s more of a starter bag as the durability may not last for the long-haul.

The Bagsmart Photo Camera Backpack is a top pick for both beginners and those looking for a budget-friendly camera bag. Crafted from canvas, this pack has ample storage space, fitting a full-frame camera body, two lenses, external flash and a laptop up to 15 inches in size within the padded back slot. The interior compartment is customizable to your kit, with movable dividers, and the top compartment is spacious for personal items, though it might be beneficial for some of the top compartment space to be used in the camera gear section instead. We also determined that with two camera bodies or more than 2-3 lenses, it would be fairly tight.

The side pockets accommodate both a tripod and a water bottle, and the included rain cover does a solid job at keeping things dry. Quick side access allows you to grab your camera easily, and it was very comfortable to wear as a casual backpack. This bag offers solid value for the features, and is best suited for an amateur photographer looking to get started.

The Details : 17.3 x 11.5 x 7 inches | 25 liters | 3 pounds | Water-resistant canvas | 2 small, 2 medium dividers

Travel + Leisure / Abby Mercer

Our team of photographers tested 21 camera bags and cases for travel. A range of tests were performed in everyday shooting situations for a wide array of photography types, from landscape to portrait and everything in between. All of the bags were packed with typical photography gear, including different types of camera bodies, various lenses, batteries, SD cards, laptops, and personal items to see how they’d perform in real-world travel situations.

We assessed how easy it was to access the camera gear on-the-move, how comfortable it was to wear or roll the case, how much can actually fit inside, and how weather-resistant the material was as well. We also took note if a laptop and tripod could fit. Additionally, all zippers, fasteners, pockets, storage compartments, and customizable divider configurations were tested.

Other Travel Camera Cases We Liked

Some of the camera cases we tested didn’t quite make the cut on our list, but they did have some notable features that may be a fit for some photographers who travel.

Neewer 2-in-1 Rolling Camera Backpack: With spacious storage compartments that are adequately padded, and room for multiple camera bodies, lenses, a tripod, and a laptop, we loved how easy this pack was to pull when using the wheels. Unfortunately, it fell short in the storage department as it would be too large to fit in overhead bins of smaller airplanes and didn’t have removable shoulder straps to help with this issue.

Travel + Leisure / Jacob Fox

Think Tank Photo Airport Accelerator Backpack: We loved the impressive storage capacity of this backpack, and the high-quality features like a theft lock, durable padding and support, and an included rain cover. Although it fits a ton of gear, it’s likely too large for most photographers who don’t carry as much on a regular basis, and the rain cover only covers three out of the four sides of the pack, leaving one section exposed.

Travel + Leisure / Fred Hardy

Bellroy Venture Sling 10L: We love this sling’s sleek design, user-friendly features, sturdy hardware, folding padded dividers, and water resistance. It fits more than you’d think, with room for a camera and plenty of accessories, but the 10-liter size is a bit bulky to carry, and the internal dividers aren’t removable.

Travel + Leisure / Elise Wojczyk Wang

Tips for Buying Travel Camera Cases

Prioritize durable materials and padding.

The bottom line to consider when shopping for a travel case or bag for your camera is safety. Evaluate what features the bag has in place to keep your expensive gear protected from drops, moisture, and anything else travel might throw at you. A camera bag that’s durable and rugged enough to withstand some wetness — or at the very least includes a rain cover and padding in the main compartment — will make all the difference. You want to be able to put your bag in the overhead bin without worrying about your gear shifting too much as well.

"When buying a travel camera bag or case, you definitely want to prioritize durable materials and a high-quality build,” Hahnel says. “You will likely have this bag for a long time and it will house your expensive camera equipment, so it's worth investing in something with adequate padding, durability, and weather resistance. That includes weather-sealed zips and pockets."

Consider pockets, dividers, and other organizational features

Organization is paramount for photographers that have a lot of moving parts, so a bag that can help with this is already a winner. You don’t want to be pawing through charging cords, your passport, or snacks when attempting to quickly grab your camera for a once-in-a-lifetime shot.

“[Organizational features] include things like pockets, dividers, and drink bottle or tripod side holders,” Hahnel says. “Some bags even have hidden areas to safely store your passport away from opportunistic thieves. I personally find it much easier to access gear in my bag when it's stored in a practical way. Being able to get your camera gear out quickly could be the difference between getting and missing an incredible shot.”

Look for multiple access points and carrying options

A good camera bag allows easy and efficient access to your gear. Additionally, it’s difficult to carry a super heavy bag — and camera gear typically isn’t light. It’s important to consider how much gear you plan to carry, and how else you plan to use the bag: will you be hiking with it? Will you be storing it in an overhead compartment? In those cases, it’s nice to have a durable side handle to grab it.

"I cannot stress [enough] the importance of having a camera bag with hip and sternum straps,” Hahnel says. “Even if you don't think your bag is that heavy, it will be after you load it with gear and stand for hours on end with it on your back. Look for a bag with multiple carrying options, including an external strap to attach it to a wheeled luggage case. This will save your back on airport days! It's also important to consider how you would like to access your camera gear. Are you someone who likes to access gear from a side zip or from the top of your bag? This may depend on what type of photography you focus on, like street photography versus landscape.”

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s really up to your preference and camera kit. But whether you have a smaller gear setup with one camera and a few lenses or a more involved setup, you’ll want to prioritize space, customizable dividers, and accessories that make sense for your shoot. Additionally, a tripod is helpful in situations where you want to take low-light, long-exposure, nighttime, or self-timer images. If you find yourself in a situation where you have a great bag but just need a cube to keep your camera safe, you can buy just a removable cube as an insert into a backpack or tote bag that you already own.

"You should pack your camera body, lenses, lens wipes, SD cards, batteries, battery charger, and a tripod if you use one,” Hahnel says. “Some people also choose to carry additional accessories such as a camera strap, circular polarizer filters, ND filters, a Rocket Blower, and portable lights. You also might want to pack your passport, ID, phone, portable charging bank, sunglasses, reusable water bottle, a snack, and a pair of headphones.”

Yes, a camera case can be either depending on the dimensions and how heavy it is after you pack it full of gear. It’s important to check the requirements for each airline , but there are many camera bag and case options that fit within these specifications. “In most cases, a camera case will be over the weight limit for an airline's personal item allowance, but check the limitations before you fly," Hahnel says.

How you clean your camera case will depend on the materials it is made of, and you should always check the manufacturer's recommendation first. For leather bags, you should spot clean them by gently applying a small amount of water with a soft cloth (test it on a hidden portion of the bag first). You can try cleaning suede with a soft brush or a rubber eraser.

Lo & Sons cautions against using polishes, baby wipes, and other types of cleaners with chemicals in them as it could damage the leather. Shimoda suggests regularly reapplying water repellents and airing out your gear after use. The Brevite backpack on this list is machine washable. Always follow the manufacturer's suggestion because they can all vary.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

T+L contributor Lauren Breedlove scoured our testing insights to find the best camera bags and cases for various gear set-ups. A travel photographer herself, she also used her personal experience finding the right products to suit shooting conditions around the world, including some of the recommendations on this list. Lastly, she interviewed professional photographer Renee Hahnel for more real world suggestions and tips.

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The Best Camera Bags, Straps, and Backpacks

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Wandrd Roam camera bag

Best Everyday Sling Wandrd Rogue Sling Read more

Brevite 'The Jumper' backpacks in different colors arranged in a row

Best Everyday Backpack Brevite The Jumper Read more

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Runner-Up Sling Moment Rugged Camera Sling Read more

Peak Design Everyday bag

Runner-Up Backpack Peak Design Everyday Backpack Zip Read more

The perfect camera bag doesn't exist. I once spent two hours at B&H in New York City trying to fit all of my photo gear inside more than 20 bags the store had on sale, and I still left unsatisfied. Everyone's needs are different, and what works for me might not work for you. But to make your search easier, the camera enthusiasts on the WIRED Gear team have tested more than 70 bags to help whittle down the choices. We've shoved our equipment into slings, messenger bags, backpacks, and cubes—we've even gone bag-free—all in search of a convenient way to carry everything while keeping it protected and lightweight. These are our favorite picks.

Check out our related buying guides, like the Best Messenger Bags , Best Laptop Bags , Best Fanny Packs , Best Mirrorless Cameras , Home Video Gear , and Best Mobile Camera Accessories for more. We also have a handy explainer on what “liters” mean in backpacks .

Updated October 2023: We've added bags from Ekster and Moment and a cube from Peak Design.

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Scott Gilbertson and Jaina Grey contributed to this guide.

Best Everyday Sling

Wandrd's Rogue sling (formerly called Roam) comes in three sizes: 3, 6, and 9 liters . I tried the latter, and it's become the pack I carry on all my bike and electric scooter treks . It can be carried as a sling, messenger, or waist pack, and because the soft padding conforms to my back, it's comfy to wear for long periods. The mix of 840-denier and 1680D ballistic nylon and water-resistant YKK zippers make it feel like it's worth twice its price too.

There's plenty of space for cameras, lenses, and other accessories. Need to carry a tripod? Cinch it to the bottom with the included straps. Need to bring a large tablet or laptop? Get Wandrd's laptop case ($59) , which elegantly slots in vertically in the rear-most pocket. It's easily my favorite sling.

Best Everyday Backpack

Out of all the backpacks I've tested under $200, I often find myself coming back to The Jumper by Brevite. This 18-liter bag makes me feel good when it's on my back. That's probably because it's available in several bright, eye-catching colors, like Lemon Yellow and Poppy Red. It's stylish and doesn't look like a camera bag. Yet you get the side pocket common on camera bags for easy access to the camera inside, and you can unzip the front to grab additional lenses. There's a zippered pocket on the front with some mesh pouches for batteries, cables, or SD cards, and the main compartment is roomy enough to hold a sweater (or lunch). The rearmost compartment closes with a waterproof zipper to protect your laptop.

I like that there's no camera cube to take out when converting it to a normal bag. Just fold down the Velcro divider in the main compartment and take out any additional dividers. The Jumper is comfortable to carry, and there's a luggage pass-through strap, a roomy side pocket, and tripod attachment straps on the base. Seriously, it has it all. The 600-denier polyester material has held up over a year of use, though my Lemon Yellow model is prone to stains.

Runner-Up Sling

Moment's Rugged Sling is aimed at street photographers who trek around all day. It has a modular organization system inside, and its weatherproof fabric is made from recycled sails (technically it's recycled polyester fiber and film, made by Northsail ). There's a large zippered front pocket that makes it easy to get to your gear, and the “winged” rear padding design makes it super comfortable on your back. The best part is the ingenious magnetic clip system, which works very well. It comes in two sizes, 6 liters and 10 liters. I found the larger version perfect for carting around a drone. — Jaina Grey

Runner-Up Backpack

The Everyday Backpack Zip doesn't immediately give itself away as a camera bag, and I like that I can access my camera by taking one slinging the backpack around my shoulder to the front—though it's not as simple as a camera bag with a traditional side access pocket. I tested the 20-liter model and it had plenty of room for my Nikon Z 6, three lenses, and my external monitor recorder. I also had no trouble housing my Peak Design Travel Tripod in the side pocket, especially with the included straps to keep it secure. There's another pocket on the other side that can fit a water bottle with no problem.

There's yet another zippered pocket for storing up to a 16-inch laptop (the 15-liter model is limited to 13-inch laptops), plus an extra sleeve for a tablet. This compartment has some organization and pouches for storing spare batteries, storage cards, chargers, and cables. I just wish it opened up a little more—it's a bit of a tight squeeze. The bag itself is well constructed, with a 400-denier water-repellent nylon canvas shell made of 100 percent recycled post-consumer material that protected my gear from a sudden downpour one evening. I like that there are grab handles on three sides, and most importantly, it's pretty comfy on my back. It's a good blend of features for the money.

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Wandrd Prvke

Best Upgrade

If you've gone through a few camera bags, the Prvke V2 (pronounced “provoke”) is the one upgrade you'll be satisfied with for years. For me, it's the closest a camera bag has ever come to perfection. It comes in green, blue, black, camo, orange, and tan, and you choose between 11 , 21, 31, or 41 liters—I opted for the 31-liter version . I like it so much that I wrote about it in greater detail here . All of the bag sizes come with an expandable handy roll top that offers an additional 5 liters of space.

The improved padding is cushiony, and the exterior waterproof tarpaulin and Robic 1680-denier ballistic nylon materials have held up extremely well over time. It fits everything I need to shoot a video in the field, including a tripod (which secures in place with a buckle). With the side-access pocket, grabbing the camera is a snappy affair, but you'll need to take the bag off to unzip the main compartment and access your other gear. There's a laptop sleeve big enough to house a 16-inch computer, plus another spot for a tablet, and there are lots of other pockets and pouches to store smaller items. Additional attachment points on the exterior mean you can strap in just about anything else. Make sure to buy the Photography Bundle to get the Essential Camera Cube.

Monterey Sling bag

Three Good Compact Slings

Long Weekend Monterey Camera Sling 2L for $50 : You can don this sling bag as a cross-body or a fanny pack, and it's comfy whichever way you wear it. Its rad design will turn eyes—a stranger asked where I got it from—but know that its 2-liter capacity means this is meant for carrying a slim point-and-shoot, phone, or very compact mirrorless camera. Its main compartment has a thin sleeve to store an item alongside your camera, and over on the front are two pockets for spare batteries or keys. It's made of recycled 500-denier nylon and 210-denier ripstop with YKK zippers.

Nomatic McKinnon Camera Sling 8L for $160 : It's a little spendy, but this has quickly become my go-to sling whenever I take my dog on long walks. It weighs roughly a pound and a half, has a comfy shoulder strap, and is compact, yet it can fit my Nikon Z 6 and an extra lens. Make sure to cinch it tight, though, or it'll slide down. There are a few pouches for storing SD cards, batteries, filters, and a battery pack, and I like that the exterior material—which is water resistant—retains its shape and feels durable. The zipper isn't the smoothest, but you can keep the bag closed with a nifty elastic band instead, which also allows for faster one-hand access. There's a luggage pass-through and hooks at the base for attaching straps to secure a tripod, though you'll need to buy your own . You can wear it as a shoulder bag, cross-body, or sling.

Hex Ranger DSLR Camera Sling XL 10L for $90 : This bag has decent padding on its sides, and the 10-L size is large enough to pack most everyday essentials for photo and video shoots—including a 13-inch laptop in the rear zippered compartment. There are two roomy pockets on the front, one with lots of pouches for chargers, SD cards, and batteries, and the other is lined with faux fur and is great for more delicate items like sunglasses. The straps at the bottom make it really easy to stow a small tripod, and the Cordura and ballistic nylon exterior did a great job protecting my gear in the rain. I wish the top zipper moved more smoothly. (I also tested and like the 8-liter version for lighter days .)

Ekster Grid Backpack

A Great Travel-Friendly Camera Backpack

When I traveled to Cupertino to cover the Apple project announcement back in September, I packed all my camera gear into the Ekster Grid. I used Ekster's Tech Case ($50) to store chargers, batteries, storage cards, and cables, and its Camera Cube ($60) to stow my Nikon Z 6 and an extra lens. The bag's main compartment is cavernous, so I was also able to fit a mobile gimbal, a speedlight, and a video light. I shoved a 16-inch laptop and a portable monitor into the rear-most section and secured my Peak Design Travel Tripod in the water bottle pocket, cinching it tight with the built-in strap. It holds its shape well and stays upright on the ground. I also liked the secret side zippered pocket where I kept my passport, and the luggage passthrough means you can affix it to your carry-on.

It's not a system I'd use if I needed immediate access to my gear, since you need to open the whole thing and then open your camera cube, but I love that it remains slim despite the amount of hardware inside. The Grid is made from upcycled PET bottles, making it water resistant, and I found it a comfortable way to carry a heavy load for hours at a time.

Billingham Hadley Pro bag

The Classic Messenger

Billingham bags have a solid reputation among photographers. They're renowned for their durability, understated style, and lifetime warranties. As a camera bag, the Hadley Pro is not as fully featured as some of the others on this list, but it’s great for the basics and serves double duty as a solid overnight travel bag. Its weather-resistant finish and timeless style make it one of my favorites.

Moment Everything Tote Bag along with laptop camera jacket and water bottle

An Excellent Camera Tote Bag

I took this Everything Tech Tote bag to the beach last summer, and it couldn't have been more perfect. Using the included divider, I was able to stow my camera and a spare lens. I was also able to fit two water bottles, two towels, sunscreen, my dog's food, and extra clothes. It's roomy, though you might have to dig through some items to get to the camera if you fill it up. I don't love carrying tote bags because the shoulder strap is usually too short, but that wasn't a problem here. I still ended up using the extra crossbody strap more because it's a lot more comfortable over a long period of time.

There are a lot of pouches for organizing other accessories on the inside, including a zippered pouch, and you can keep it all protected by zipping up the top. Each side of the tote has a small pouch, one of which is magnetized, which is where I store my sunglasses for easy access. The strap fabric is nice and soft, but I wouldn't have minded a shoulder pad for some extra comfort.

Manfrotto Advanced III Messenger camera bag

A Tactical Messenger

With a bag named the Manfrotto Advanced Messenger M III, it's hard not to feel like Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Premium Rush while wearing this thing. This messenger has an inconspicuous look, but it's very versatile. I love that I don't need to open the flap to reach inside the spacious main compartment—there's a zipper up top that opens to give you quick access. You can fit a 14-inch laptop in a padded pouch, though you only get a few pockets and pouches for some basic organization. A luggage pass-through strap means you can set it on top of your carry-on roller, and you can even stow a compact tripod under the main flap with the included attachment straps. The polyester nylon has been treated with a water-resistant coating, so it should keep your goods dry, but the included rain fly will help when there's a sudden storm.

★ Another good messenger: The Tenba DNA 13 DSLR Messenger Bag ($180) is shockingly similar, but its higher price puts it a rung below. The water-repellent cover flap uses Velcro to stay attached, but pull it down and out, and you'll magically open it up almost silently. It's ingenious. Or you can use the top zipper to access the main compartment without fuss. You can fit a slim 13-inch laptop and a tablet in two separate pouches, and a DSLR along with several stacked lenses because the bag is quite deep. (The camera insert is removable, adding some versatility.) There are mesh side pockets, a luggage pass-through, a front zippered pocket with some pouches for smaller gear, and hooks at the bottom to attach straps for carrying a tripod. 

Manfrotto Street Slim camera backpack

Best Budget Camera Backpack

It's shocking just how much you can pack into this 12-liter backpack. I filled it with my Nikon Z 6, a strobe light, a Peak Design Travel Tripod, a tech organizer with spare batteries, wireless mics, an external video monitor, a half cage with a handle, charging cables, adapters, and a laptop. Pretty much everything I needed for an all-day shoot. It remains true to its name and stays slim .

The synthetic fabric Manfrotto uses doesn't feel as durable as the fabric on our pricier picks, and there's no way to take a camera out of the bag without swinging it forward and unzipping the front pouch. I also wouldn't have minded firmer padding on the base. On the plus side, you can take out the camera cube and convert the Street Slim into a regular backpack with a dedicated laptop sleeve. The side pockets are expandable, and there's a luggage pass-through and a few roomy pockets for housing various gizmos.

Moment Everything Backpack

A Durable and Versatile Backpack

Moment's Everything Backpack is effectively a revamp of its original MTW Backpack , an already great camera bag. It comes in 17-, 21-, and 28-liter sizes , though I prefer the first two. This new iteration fixes the gripes I had with the original—it no longer feels like it's about to pop if you fill it up with gear, thanks to its increased depth. The luggage passthrough sleeve also keeps the bag vertical instead of sideways on your carry-on, the backpack does a better job of sitting upright by itself, and there's increased padding where the bag meets your back. All great improvements.

The 21-liter bag I tested can fit a 16-inch laptop, though the 17-liter is better suited to carrying a 14-inch machine. There's space to store a tablet, with pouches for other accessories, but that's just the laptop compartment. Open up the main section and you get a wide open space to stash Moment's 4-liter camera cube (not included) and more. (You can affix the cube to the hooks in the bag to keep it in place.) I can store my Nikon Z 6 and a spare lens in the cube, plus a gimbal, video light, and other tchotchkes. At the front is a zippered compartment with extra pockets and pouches. It's comfy to carry, and the 420-denier Nylon fabric has a durable water-repellent coating that has kept my gear dry. My only complaint? I wish there was a strap above the water bottle side pocket to secure my Peak Design Travel tripod. Right now, it's not very tripod-friendly; anything heavier than a mobile tripod flops over and falls out.

West Slope Terraform Pack

Best for Runners

Most camera bags aren't great for running. Admittedly, running with a camera maybe isn't the best idea anyway, but I (Scott) like to combine running, birding , and photography. I could be a nation of one in that regard, but West Slope's Terraform backpack makes me think otherwise. It's really two packs in one. You take off the backpack shell and there's a lightweight running vest underneath. That's handy, but for use with a camera, I like to counterbalance my Sony A7R II and Nikon M5 binoculars with two water bottles on the front. Would I run a marathon in it? No, but I wouldn't run a marathon anyway. I just like to head out in the early morning on a light jog and sneak in a little birding before my kids wake up.

Image may contain Handbag Accessories Accessory Bag and Purse

A High-Fashion Bag

This is my (Jaina's) kind of camera bag. It doesn’t draw attention to itself. It’s stylish but doesn’t scream “camera bag.” It’s slick and round where so many camera bags are boxy and technical. Claremont doesn't sacrifice functionality in pursuit of a more elevated style, either. The bag has numerous internal pockets for memory cards, batteries, and snacks. It’s roomy enough for a mirrorless camera and a couple of lenses, plus additional everyday essentials.

Manfrotto Advanced III 3L Camera Holster Bag

A Traditional Holster

Holsters have waned in popularity, and they're not particularly stylish, but I can see their appeal when there's nothing you want to bring besides your camera. This one from Manfrotto checks off many of the boxes. I tested the medium size and it can fit a camera with a medium-size lens, there are two small pouches on the inside, and you can attach a small tripod to the exterior of the front with a strap. (There's a small and large size as well.) You can either swing it from your shoulder or attach it to your waist with the belt loop. The design is very rigid, so it'll keep whatever's inside intact.

Peak Design Everyday tote bag

A Camera Totebag

We have a guide filled with laptop tote bags here , but Peak Design's Everyday Tote is a nice option for photographers and videographers alike. I like carrying it by the handles at the top most of the time, but when your arm gets tired, you can pull out the straps in the rear pouch to pop the bag on your back. The top access is magnetic (there's also a zipper), so it's easy to grab the 13- or 16-inch laptop out of the sleeve. For everything else, you'll want to use either of the side pockets. The built-in dividers make it easy to organize the pack to fit a telephoto or tiny pancake lens (or lunch).

As for your tiny gear, you can stuff them into the zippered pouch in the front. Sadly, there are no side pockets, so you'll have to store your water bottle or umbrella inside with the rest of your goods and have the dividers keep things protected.

Image may contain Backpack and Bag

A Backpack for Hiking

I haven't gone camping or backpacking with it, but I did use the Fernweh to transport a computer monitor from my partner's office back home via a bicycle. When our offices needed to be cleared out in the summer of 2020, it was my bag of choice to carry all the remaining items I had at my desk, including a full-size keyboard, several phone-sized boxes, and … an unopened bottle of wine from the previous Christmas. This 50-liter bag is so spacious it can fit all your important photo gear in the removable camera cube, plus anything else you need to bring on a hiking trip. The back padding, shoulder straps, and waist straps are thick and soft, making the whole thing incredibly comfortable to wear.

The many compartments, straps, and zippers can get very confusing, but take it out on a trip once or twice and you'll get the hang of it. The quick-draw access on the side lets you speedily grab your camera, and there's also water bladder routing so you can parch your thirst without reaching for a bottle.

Moment MTW Tech Organizer bag

Tech Organizers

Tech organizers are for all those little bits and pieces that can easily get lost in the crevices of your backpack: the microfiber cloth, the SD card, the hex key. Keep 'em all in one spot with one of these.

Mujjo Tech Case for $75 : I've been using Mujjo's 3-liter tech organizer for several months and it's excellent. The pouches in the middle are stiff, so I can put a lot of items in there and they don't feel like they flop over into the sides of the bag. There really are a lot of pouches. It can be difficult to remember where you put what—a little color coding or some kind of distinguishing feature could've helped—but taking items out never felt like a chore. It's roomy! It's also made of recycled polyester.

Ekster Tech Case for $50 : Ekster's case is well padded and made from water-resistant 400-denier tarpaulin and polyester from recycled water bottles. It holds its structure without crumpling from other gear in your bag. There are two elastic pouches on one end and a thick, soft divider in the middle, with elastic straps to secure cables. A roomy pouch sits on the other side.

Moment MTW Tech Organizer for $59 :  This bag will satisfy anyone who carries multiple spare batteries for various devices, several cables, neutral density filters, and solid-state drives. I've been using it, as well as the $50 battery organizer , in a variety of my bags for some time. The water-resistant 350-denier recycled nylon exterior has held up well, and it has a nice rigidity that gives it structure.

Manfrotto Street Tech Organizer for $35 : This one is flimsier, with a thinner synthetic fabric that doesn't feel as nice as the Moment. It's roomy, with space for a large battery pack, filters, camera batteries, and Rode wireless mics, but it's not as easy to neatly organize the gear.

Peak Design Camera Cube V2 Backpack

Have You Considered a Camera Cube?

If you already own bags you like, consider a packing cube (also called an “insert”) instead of springing for a new camera bag. All you need to do is put your gear into the cube and insert it into an existing bag. These cubes are made for delicate camera gear, so they are well-padded to protect the jewels of your toolkit. They're designed for bags made by their respective manufacturers, but you can measure your bag to see if a cube made by somebody else will fit.

Peak Design Camera Cube V2 for $70 : Peak Design redesigned its classic camera cube, which now comes in extra small, small, smedium , medium, and large. I tested the smedium size, and there is ample room to fit my mirrorless camera, a speedlight, and two lenses. There's good padding and customizable Velcro dividers, and the weatherproof zippered opening folds back enough that you can keep the cube open for easy access to your gear. It's not a cube I would use as a stand-alone, but it does the job almost perfectly, and the various sizes make it a good option for a variety of bags. I'm not a huge fan of the 360-degree handle, however, because it's quite tight and can be difficult to grab.

Ekster Camera Cube for $60 : Ekster's camera cube is on the smaller side—I can fit my mirrorless camera plus a spare lens or two—but there are zippered pockets to store other accessories, which is a nice touch. The padding is thick, and it's stylish enough to use as a standalone (with hooks to attach a strap). The 400-denier recycled polyester is water resistant too.

Moment MTW Camera Insert for $60 : Moment's insert is one of the smallest I've used, but it's thin and won't take up a lot of room in your bag. Its frame is very stiff, and there's still a decent amount of padding. I really like how the interior is bright red, making it super easy to see what's inside if it's dark. You only get two dividers, but they have stretchy pockets, so you can keep smaller items in them. There are aluminum anchors on the exterior to keep it secure, though it's best used with Moment's own backpacks.

Lowepro GearUp Creator Box XL II for $60 : More camera bags need to have bright interiors. The LowePro's orange liner really makes things easier when it's dark out. You can fit a DSLR with two to three lenses in this 8-liter bag, and use the rear and inner pouches, plus the front zippered pocket, for some smaller items. The padding is pretty decent all around. Toss it in a carry-on or backpack, or you can grab an accessory strap and carry it by itself. The nylon material it's made of makes it decently water-resistant, though I'd limit your excursions to light rain.

Wandrd Camera Cube for $64 : This cube is better for backpacks with side access. It's made of 420-denier Robic nylon and has a weather-resistant coating. You get five thick dividers you can customize via the Velcro lining to fit around your equipment, and three straps to hold everything down. The Essential lineup comes in three sizes, but there are Essential and Pro sizes too, and each also has Plus or Deep variants if you need more room.

Peak Design Leash camera strap

A Camera Strap May Also Work

If you're only carrying around your camera, you can skip the camera bag, but I strongly recommend a strap. It's a safe way to keep your camera secure to your body, so if it fumbles through your fingers it won't hit the ground. Ditch the strap from your camera manufacturer; these alternatives are better.

★ Peak Design Leash for $45 : This is the best camera strap I've used. Attach one side of the Leash to where you usually attach a camera strap, then stick the other end to the bottom tripod mount via the included anchor mount. This allows the camera to droop lens-down on your body, meaning the grip is the first thing you'll grab when reaching for it. It doesn't feel awkward, and the seatbelt-style strap swiftly glides across any outfit.

★ Hex Ranger Camera Wrist Strap for $30 : This is my favorite wrist strap. It's made of nylon and there's EVA foam padding that makes it comfy on the wrist and it doesn't feel constricting. It's easy to attach and detach from the camera via the Hypalon connector, which is rated to hold 80 pounds. But the best feature? If you let go of the camera, the strap automatically fastens; grab the camera again and it automatically loosens. No need to fiddle around with fasteners.

Peak Design Slide Lite for $60 : Peak Design's smaller camera strap is just as comfortable and well-made as the Leash, and it can be worn as a sling around your neck or over your shoulder. It's two-sided with a textured grip on the underside that keeps it from sliding around when you're walking.

Peak Design Capture Clip for $75 : OK, this isn't a strap, and it requires a backpack, but it's one of my favorite ways to carry a camera when I'm covering an event. Attach the clip to your backpack's shoulder strap and attach the anchor to the bottom of your camera. Then just slide this anchor onto the Capture clip and voilà, your camera is now securely resting on your backpack arm strap, hands-free. Push a button to quickly slide it out. I've used this system at major trade shows like CES, and it makes it super easy to snap photos without digging inside my backpack for my camera.

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Honorable Mentions

We've tested a lot of camera bags. Here are others we really like but have been eclipsed by our top picks.

Clever Supply Camera Sling for $236 : I love the look of this waxed canvas bag and its flourishes of full-grain leather. It's a classic and classy design that makes me happy whenever I head out the door with my camera in tow. It's comfy and easy to adjust the shoulder strap, and there are three grab handles on the top and sides so you have a lot of carrying options. It can fit my Nikon Z 6, two small lenses, and a compact tablet. (Smaller than 11 inches; it didn't fit the OnePlus Pad .) There's a zippered pouch inside to store storage cards and a zippered pocket on the exterior for cables. My main gripe is that opening the main compartment sometimes requires two hands—the zipper gets stuck on the corner so I need my other hand to keep the bag in place. I wish the front pocket also had more give; when the bag is full, it feels too tight to put anything in there.

Peak Design Everyday Backpack for $280 : This is the slightly bigger and more feature-packed version of the Everyday Zip we recommend above. Instead of a zipper that goes all the way around, you have two zippers for each side and a flap at the top that you can use Peak Design's MagLatch system to cinch up if you don't need the extra space up top. There are various pouches for organization throughout, as well as side pockets that can hold a compact tripod. I tried the 20-liter model, but if you have a lot of gear, you may want to spring for the 30-liter.

Peak Design Everyday Sling for $160 : The Everyday Sling has long been one of my (Jaina) personal favorites for everyday carry or heading out for a day of shooting. It comes with flexible dividers you can adjust or remove, depending on how much organization or storage space you need. It comes in 3-, 6-, and 10-liter sizes. The 10-liter version has room for a 13-inch MacBook Pro, a charger, and my FujiFilm X-Pro 2 camera. If you need room for additional lenses or a larger camera body, you might want to forego the MacBook; it can get a little tight in there.

Hex Backloader Backpack for $200 : I usually prefer bags with side access, but I've been quite happy with the Hex Backloader. Yes, you need to take it off your back to access all your gear, but an access point at the very top makes it easy to quickly pull out the camera. The main compartment in the back is really spacious and is outfitted with tons of Velcro dividers, so you have lots of room for customization. There are organizational mesh pouches and pockets galore, a padded section in the front that can fit a 15-inch laptop, straps on one side for a tripod, and a pouch on the other for a bottle. It's super comfy to carry around, sternum strap and all.

Hex Cinema Backpack for $240 : This is very similar to the Backloader, except it has a larger 28-liter volume instead of 20-liter, so it can fit a lot more gear. That's not the only change: It swaps out the straps on one side of the bag in favor of a side-access pocket, so it's even easier to access the camera. Where the Backloader feels like an everyday backpack, the Cinema feels like a bag you'd take on multi-day shoots.

Shimoda Explore V2 25 Backpack for $373 : I really like this backpack, but it's a touch too expensive. It's supremely comfortable to carry, thanks to its extensive padding, and the whole thing is water-resistant to keep your gear safe. I was able to stuff it with a surprising number of items despite its relatively slim size (all of which you can access from the rear), including a tripod in its side deployable pocket that you can cinch tight with a strap. There's side access to the camera, tons of pockets for organization (I love the little pouch on the arm straps), and a padded sleeve for a 13-inch laptop.

Wotancraft Scout Daily Camera Bag 9L for $299 : If you're after a stylish messenger, I've always liked the designs from Wotancraft, and the Scout is no different. It's made of durable Cordura with some cowhide leather thrown in for the straps on the flap. The main compartment is spacious and separated by sturdy dividers, along with a padded laptop pouch that can barely fit a 13-inch MacBook Air. There are two pouches in the front that can loosely carry some small items, but there's not much in the way of organization here. There is a luggage pass-through and a rear zippered pocket, but no side pockets and no easy way to attach a tripod.

Ona The Bowery Compact Messenger Bag for $209 :   I've owned this bag (the black waxed canvas version) for seven years, and it remains in great shape. It's attractive and perfect for short outings, with plenty of padding and a divider to keep your gear protected. You'll only be able to fit a camera and one extra lens. There's a pouch on the back I've used to stow a Nintendo Switch or a Kindle, and I shove my cables, batteries, and SD cards in the pouch on the front. Unfortunately, the two side pockets are too tight to fit anything bigger than a pen or a microfiber cloth. One perk? You can quickly detach the strap to turn the Bowery into a camera cube for a bigger backpack. It comes in an array of colors and materials.

Tenba DNA 16 DSLR Backpack for $230 : You can access your camera from the front of this bag, and the compartment cooly folds out, like a drawer. There's enough space to fit a big camera and a few lenses, but don't forget the padded laptop compartment in the back, a roll-top you can expand, and another zippered area for additional items. You can comfortably put a water bottle and a tripod into each side pocket. I took it with me on a trip to DC, and the front looks a bit scuffed up already, but it's an otherwise fine bag.

Manfrotto Pro Light Frontloader Backpack for $235 : Unzip the main front compartment and you can access all your camera gear neatly sectioned apart by the included Velcro divider system. This 25-liter bag is roomy, but that also makes it quite puffy on your back—you might bump into folks in crowds if you're not careful. There's side access for the camera, which is nice, but it's an otherwise dreary-looking pack.

Tenba Fulton V2 16L Backpack for $139 : I really prefer bags that have some way to quickly grab the camera, and that's why the Fulton V2 isn't higher above: The only way to pull out the camera is by taking the bag off and unzipping the back compartment. (Technically, you can access this compartment from the roll top, but that requires undoing a lot of Velcro.) Otherwise, it's a nice, small bag that can fit a good amount of gear, with an expandable roll top to store lunch or spare clothes, a stretchable mesh side pocket for bottles, and a canvas side pocket that can fit small tripods. Tenba says this can fit a 16-inch laptop in the padded compartment on the front, but I could only squeeze in a 13-incher. It's water-resistant and comfy to tote around.

Lowepro PhotoSport Outdoor Backpack III 15L for $139: This pack looks good on the trail and can only fit a small DSLR or mirrorless in its removable cube (with side access!). It'll mesh well with your other hiking gear, and there's a good amount of room for snacks and anything else you'd want on short hikes (including a 2-liter hydration bladder). It's made of 75 percent recycled fabrics.

Gitzo Legende backpack

Avoid These Bags

There are a lot of bags that aren't quite worth your time and money. There are just so many better options. We've listed them here so you can steer clear.

Gitzo Legende Camera Backpack for $250 : This Gitzo bag arguably has the best aesthetic of all the backpacks in this guide, with a look that recalls Indiana Jones heading off on a new adventure. There's a side access pocket, but getting to anything else in the bottom camera cube is a chore. It's just not very intuitively designed. There's a separate section for your laptop, but many of the zippered pockets, side pockets, and pouches are very small and can only fit so much. It's just not sensible considering the price.

Nomatic McKinnon Camera Backpack 25L for $300 : I hate this bag. It's so expensive, yet it lacks crucial features like accessory straps and dividers—you have to spend more for those. And you need straps because a tripod will not stay put in the side pockets without one. The organization is really barebones, and on one trip where I had to stow some items I didn't expect to bring home, one of the zippers for the main compartment broke off as I was closing it. Stay away.

Nomatic McKinnon Camera Tech Organizer for $70 : It feels like this little tech bag was designed for a very specific set of small gear and not much else. I was able to fit a ton more cables, power banks, charging adapters, card readers, and spare batteries into our favorite camera tech organizers above, but had trouble stuffing them into this bag. It's sturdy and doesn't crumple up, but that's about the only thing it has going for it.

Domke F-832 Shoulder Bag for $195 : I used this bag to cover the 2014 December march on Washington, DC, It's fine. The padding at the bottom isn't thick, and the included inserts are flimsily attached via a single line of Velcro on the bag's interior. It's roomy, and you can use it to carry spare clothes, a laptop, and toiletries. Unless you just want to toss your gear into what is essentially a large pouch, you're better off with one of the messengers above.

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The Best Travel Camera Bags for Experts and Amateurs Alike

By Alex Erdekian

Image may contain Photography Rock Beachwear Clothing Adult and Person

Traveling with a camera is always A Thing. It’s stressful and high stakes. The chances of damaging a camera, losing it, having it stolen, or misplacing a key accessory like batteries, are unfortunately high on a trip. Which is why investing in a decent camera bag and doing your research is essential. When a camera is along for the ride, a bag whose design thoughtfully and specifically takes your packing list into account is a godsend. It’s important to consider that different camera backpacks and bags work best in different environments—the receptacle that's ideal for skirting along the edge of a waterfall might not be the one you choose when walking for miles in Paris . Below, we’ve selected the best camera backpacks for every situation, with styles from trusted brands including Lo & Sons, Bellroy, and Thule.

This gallery has been updated with new information since its original publish date. Additional reporting by Meg Reinhardt and Louis Cheslaw.

All products and listings featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you purchase something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Lo & Sons The Claremont

Best overall style

This sleek, luxurious bag from Lo & Sons is simple and beautiful, with rich, colorful full-grain leather and gold hardware. It’s a crossbody style that to the untrained eye looks like a standard purse, not a bulky camera case. Best of all, it’s specifically designed to transport and protect a DSLR camera, and even has space to throw in a small lens or external flash. Inside, padded foam compartments snugly fit the equipment, and there are also slim pockets designed to hold memory cards, as well as your keys and credit cards.

Noteworthy features: Quilted interior, turnlock clasp for security

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Focus Camera square camera case

Best for Instax owners

Fans of Fujifilm’s beloved instant cameras will adore this accessory that makes bringing an Instax along for a trip so effortless and cute. The icy blue synthetic leather and artful stitching make this piece a stand-out. There’s even a detachable cover to take pictures without removing the camera from the case.

Noteworthy features: Detachable cover, adjustable strap

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Only NY compact camera bag

Best for a day of street photography in Lower Manhattan

Ideal for city street photography and for small-scale cameras, this miniature camera bag from Only NY is no-frills and comes in black and camo print. It fits a camera in the padded main compartment, and has a small zip pocket for SD cards and other accessories.

Noteworthy features: Adjustable nylon shoulder strap, belt loop

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Madewell The Transport camera bag

Best camera bag that doesn’t look like a camera bag

This classy leather crossbody from Madewell is perfectly suited for taking a point-and-shoot camera along for the adventure when you're city traveling, but it’s also cute enough to serve as a bag when you leave your device at home. Available in a warm chestnut as well as a glossy black, the vegetable-dyed leather is unique to each bag. We love that there are two strap options to choose from: one skinny leather strap, and one wide fabric strap in a crisp white.

Noteworthy features: Multifunctional, exterior slide pocket for your phone

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Coach Mini Jamie camera bag

Best bag for bringing back your Y2K era

Coach is a classic for a reason, and while it epitomizes Y2K style, you can rock it with even more flair today, evoking nostalgia. The brand’s Jamie Camera crossbody camera bag is 9.5" x 7", making it an ideal size for a small device that you want to tote to a party—or have on your hip while you stroll an urban street abroad. It’s made of smooth, creamy leather and lined with fabric. Chic and functional.

Noteworthy features: Credit card slots, adjustable strap

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Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert

Best for flexibility

This accessory from Fjällräven can transform any bag or backpack into one for cameras, but is specifically designed to click into the brand’s Kånken backpack dimensions. It comes in two sizes, small and medium, depending on how much gear you have. It’s padded with foam compartments that protect cameras, lenses, and other gear like microphones or lights.

Noteworthy features: Water-resistant, Velcro for flexibility

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Away The Front Pocket backpack

Best for business travel

For the trip where there is no time to be spared, a backpack from Away is the way and the light. Just like the brand’s much-loved suitcases, The Front Pocket backpack makes organization a cinch, thanks to the specificity of its design. A small, compact camera easily fits within the main compartment, and there's plenty of space for a laptop and photography gear—chargers, spare batteries, memory cards—and other loose, small travel items. The back of the pack has a space to stow your passport, and a key loop hangs from the bottom.

Noteworthy features: 15-inch laptop sleeve, trolley sleeve that secures to luggage

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Bellroy classic compact backpack

Best for urban exploring

Bellroy’s classic backpack is already ideal for urban adventures, but this compact version might be our preferred size, as it's slim enough that you won’t bump strangers on the subway. It’s got pockets on pockets, a cushioned sleeve for your laptop, a key loop, and more. It even has a water-resistant, padded sunglasses pocket on top. A DSLR camera body with a lens would fit nicely within the main compartment, but this isn’t the pack for toting additional lenses.

Noteworthy features: 13-inch laptop compartment, accessible front pocket, lumbar support for your spine

Founded Travel Gear Brands Brevite

Brevitē The Jumper backpack

Best multi-purpose bag

Designed with shutterbugs in mind, Brevitē's The Jumper backpack has a pocket for each and every essential: there's a sleeve that fits up to a 16-inch laptop; a compartment with removable dividers, meant to hold a full-frame DSLR, three lenses, plus a 70-200mm lens or drone and SD cards; a smaller zip pocket to slide a passport and phone into; a water bottle holder; an open inner compartment to store a change of clothes; and loops on the bottom to tote a tripod. When you want to use it as a standard backpack, take the dividers out to have one large compartment inside. Consider this the personal item of choice for photographers.

Noteworthy features: Quick side access to camera, luggage pass-through sleeve to secure to carry-on

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Peak Design 45L travel backpack

Best for long haul trips

For travelers heading out on a longer journey —say, a safari or an Antarctic expedition—Peak Design's expandable carry-on backpack has plenty of space for everything on your list. It does require purchasing three pieces best used as a set: the travel backpack; a tech pouch for chargers, plugs, and back-up batteries; and a camera cube to safely organize your equipment. Because it can fit so much, it can also get heavy—but padded straps make managing that weight as comfortable as possible. (For a less spacious, but all-in-one option, consider the Peak Design Everyday Backpack , which comes with padded inserts you can configure according to your load.)

Noteworthy features: Expandable side pockets, easy access to gear, weatherproof

Image may contain Accessories Accessory Bag and Handbag

Lululemon crossbody camera bag

Best for day trips

For a last-minute jaunt upstate , to the Cape , or wherever your local getaway may be, this crossbody camera bag from Lululemon is just the ticket. It’s lightweight and hands-free, which means bringing your camera along will feel like a breeze (though as you can surmise from the size, it won't hold all the accessories you might want on longer trips). A back pocket to slip your phone into keeps essentials handy, and water-resistant fabric makes this one safe for a winter stroll by the shore.

Noteworthy features: Drop-in phone pocket, adjustable strap

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Thule Aspect DSLR backpack

Best for skiing and snow sports

The camera gear needed to capture snow sports is a whole different ball game—and that includes the bag. This roomy weatherproof option from Thule has a padded storage compartment that fits a DSLR camera body and two lenses. A pocket accessible from the side lets skiers swiftly retrieve their camera while on the slopes. Front straps help to stabilize the load so that a skier's balance remains unaffected.

Noteworthy features: Space for a drone, sternum strap

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OverBoard 20L waterproof kayak deck bag

Best for aquatic environments

If you’re bringing equipment you care about aboard a boat or dangerously close to a body of water of any sort—kayaking, paddleboarding, on a waterfall hike—you would be wise to go 100 percent waterproof with your camera bag. This one floats, and contents will remain bone-dry if it falls overboard.

Noteworthy features: Removable shoulder strap, webbing, interior pocket for documents, water-resistant

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Lemaire camera bag

Best for formal events

This minimalist, geometric leather camera bag can be worn as a crossbody, shoulder bag, or around the neck. Molded into the basic shape of a camera itself, with a cylindrical magnet closure that mimics a camera lens, this statement item has a subtle whimsy while still being luxurious. It's an outfit-maker and one of the best camera bags if you are your friend group’s designated party, wedding, or night out photographer.

Noteworthy features: Magnet closure, handmade, adjustable strap

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Mountainsmith Tanuck 40L backpack

Best for backpacking

Mountainsmith’s Tanuck backpack was designed in collaboration with landscape and adventure photographer Chris Burkard . Tough Cordura fabric means it is as durable as camera bags get. And for practical purposes, it might as well be Hermione’s bottomless bag from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows : There's enough space for tripods, lenses, light stands, and accessories to go inside this 40-liter daypack.

Noteworthy features : Hydration sleeve to drink water through, hip belt, storm collar, and rain cover

best travel camera bag for dslr

Best camera bag 2024: top backpacks, holsters and cases for protecting your camera gear

The best camera bags, backpacks, shoulder bags and more

Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13V2

Looking for the best camera bag? Then you've come to the right place – we've tested dozens of bags in all shapes and sizes, covering all budgets, gear inventory and carrying needs.

If you're style conscious then the Billingham Hadley range is a solid choice, while Peak Design's Everyday Messenger is an excellent day bag for those that don't have a lot of kit to carry. If you need the best possible protection then a Pelicase is the ticket, while the cavernous Mindshift Gear Backlight will swallow up plenty of gear for those setting out for a heavy day of photography.

Many of the latest designs of shoulder bags, sling bags, and backpacks include padded dividers that protect your gear and enable you to split the space, so you can mix and match photo gear with your daily essentials, which is particularly handy if you're a student who needs to carry your lunch and laptop too. 

Some options also have dedicated pockets for either your tablet or laptop, as well as separate compartments for anything from a mobile phone and wallet, to a packed lunch. You’ll often find a little compartment on the side, to hold a water bottle, and maybe even a tethering system to attach a tripod. We've included our favorite choices that cover a range of needs.

best travel camera bag for dslr

Best camera bags in 2024

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Billingham Hadley Pro

1. Billingham Hadley Pro

Specifications, reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

Billingham is known for its premium, classy camera bags, and the Hadley Pro is a gorgeous example. Though it's a shoulder bag it can take quite a bit of kit. If you have a mind to, you can squeeze in a full-frame Mirrorless body with a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens and a 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom (without tripod collar), and a flashgun. You may not want to (think of your shoulder!) but you can.

Of course, if you are carrying a lot of kit, the optional shoulder pad will be worth the investment to ease the weight a little, and there are also additional 'AVEA' side pockets available. FYI, that is real leather on the straps, so vegans and animal lovers will want to steer clear of this one.

If you need even more space, then the Hadley One is a larger offering, while the tiny Billingham's 72 Camera bag is your choice for a single mirrorless camera with lens. 

2. Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13 V2

Our expert review:

Though it might seem pretty pricey, the Everyday Messenger is bristling with clever touches and is well worth the outlay. A spring-loaded flap-catch with four fastening points is both secure and easy to use, letting the bag expand or contract to suit varying loads. The flap also has a zippered top passthrough for even easier access. There are slots for a 13-inch laptop and tablet, plus you can attach a tripod on top. Rather than using typical foam partitions, the main section contains innovative dividers that snap around and over individual items. Everything’s supported by a wide and supple shoulder strap, and we also like the stabilizing waist strap that prevents the bag from bouncing as you stride. Beautiful build quality and attention to detail seals the deal.

Read our in-depth review Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13 V2

Lowepro Protactic BP350

3. Lowepro ProTactic BP 350 AW II

While it's fairly slim, this backpack can nevertheless hold one or two DSLRs or mirrorless cameras, both with attached lenses, plus up to three additional lenses. There are access points to the cameras at the top and on both sides, so it’s quick and easy to get at what you need. The whole camera compartment can also be opened via a rear zipper, after laying the bag down on its front and angling the shoulder straps out of the way. The backpack also features a 13-inch laptop compartment plus two internal zippered pockets for accessories. Two external pockets are fitted but they’re very small and thin. Build quality is up to Lowepro’s usual high standards, and a range of modular accessories is available too.

Tenba Axis Tactical

4. Tenba Axis Tactical 24L

This is the mid-sized option in Tenba’s range of Axis Tactical backpacks, ideal for holding one or two cameras and six to eight lenses. In addition to the main compartment, there’s a separate, full-height front compartment with its own zipper. An internal sleeve is also fitted that can accommodate a 17-inch laptop. Full access to the main compartment is via the rear but, unusually for this type of design, there’s no need to fold the shoulder straps back out of the way before opening the zipper. There are also zippered access flaps on the top and on the lower left-hand side, enabling quick and easy access to two cameras with attached lenses. The harness and shoulder straps are particularly comfortable and breathable, with an excellent range of adjustments. The same is true of the sternum and waist strap, the latter being completely removable.

Lowepro Photo Active 300

5. Lowepro Photo Active 300

It’s the numerous pockets and Lowepro’s Quick Shelf system that differentiates this bag from its peers. While there’s ample space on the inside for moderate DSLR kits, stretch pockets on the front, two side flaps, and even each shoulder strap let you carry heaps more. The QuickShelf system is based around stiff dividers that keep everything firmly in place, while the huge D-rings on the zips make opening them effortless. Our only reservation is the slight lack of padding towards the top of the laptop compartment, which makes the laptop feel a little exposed – but if your machine measures less than 15 inches, this won’t be an issue.

best travel camera bag for dslr

6. Mindshift Gear PhotoCross 13

Typically slung over one shoulder, this is the larger of Mindshift’s two PhotoCross sling bags, able to hold a DSLR and ‘trinity’ wide-angle, standard, and telephoto f/2.8 lenses. Construction quality is very good, with tough water-resistant external material and zippers, although the inner dividers are relatively thin. As with other sling bags, you can spin it around on your shoulder to gain access to your camera without the need to take the bag off and lay it on the ground. And if you need greater stability when you’re negotiating tricky terrain, there’s a pull-out waist strap to keep the bag firmly fixed in place.

Vanguard VEO Discover 46

7. Vanguard VEO Discover 46

Easy on the eye and with masses of space on the inside, this rucksack/sling hybrid provides a home for a DSLR, 3-4 lenses, a 13.3-inch laptop, and a tripod around the front, together with extra space for smaller essentials. You can access your kit from the left or right sides, and bright yellow padding is generous throughout, with a special scratch and water-resistant base to keep everything safe from harm. The laptop compartment might be a bit small for some, and you can get a bit sweaty as the back isn’t as cleverly contoured as the Lowepro Photo Active (see above). Then again, this one is currently less than half the price, making it a real bargain.

Lowepro m-Trekker SH 150

8. Lowepro m-Trekker SH 150

Perhaps not the sexiest shoulder bag around, but if you’re happy to overlook that you’ll love what this bag offers. There’s enough space for a mid-range mirrorless camera and mounted lens, plus a further optic and a small tablet, while two clasps and plenty of Velcro keep everything secure. Expandable pockets on the outside provide a home to batteries or even a small bottle of sunblock, while a zipped pocket on the front of the lid is joined by a further zipped pocket on the back. Build quality is high and the pad on the shoulder strap is a bonus, plus it can be removed if not wanted. While small in size and super light, it feels very well put together and is comfortable on the shoulder. For holidays and traveling with just a modest kit, this would be a fine option.

MindShift Gear BackLight 26L

9. MindShift Gear BackLight 26L

A problem many photo backpacks have is that you need to take them off and lay them down on the ground to access your camera gear. It can be a pain in dirty or wet conditions, as the side you lay on the ground is also the one you wear against your back. This bag solves the problem by having the main flap at the rear, which also boosts security. Also, by slipping the main straps off your shoulders, you can swivel the bag around on its waist strap, open the main flap and keep it raised by looping the fitted elastic cord around your neck. This makes it easy to retrieve your kit or change lenses on your camera while having the open backpack neatly secured at a comfortable working height. Additional front pockets are surprisingly capacious, able to stow lots of additional items.

Gitzo Century Traveler Backpack

10. Gitzo Century Traveler Backpack

Impeccably turned out in carbon fibre patterned fine-grain Italian leather and weather-resistant nylon, this backpack has the high-quality look and feel that you’d expect from Gitzo. The main compartment is split into upper and lower sections, the bottom of which has a removable camera insert that can accommodate a full-frame DSLR with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens attached, plus another couple of lenses. You can access camera gear from either side of the backpack, while the separate section that forms the top half of the bag is ideal for stowing daily essentials. There’s also a generously proportioned compartment at the rear for a 15-inch laptop.

Peli 1510 Protector Case

11. Peli 1510 Protector Case

Ideal for professional photographers or anyone flying off on a landscape photography expedition, a safari or even just storing your kit when it's not in use, you won't find a better solution than the Peli 1510 Protector Case. It's not just the protection it provides that makes it a great buy – the ease with which you can organize and access your camera kit on location makes it incredibly useful. It's a little heavy and bulky, but it's worth it for the protection it provides.

Read our in-depth Peli 1510 Protector Case review

Lowepro Toploader Zoom 50 AW II

12. Lowepro Toploader Zoom 50 AW II

Lowepro’s Toploader Zoom series of camera holsters are available in no less than five different sizes. The smallest ‘45’ model can accommodate a mirrorless camera or small DSLR with a kit standard zoom, whereas the ‘50’ can hold a full-frame DSLR with a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. The largest Pro 70 and Pro 75 options are big enough to take a pro-grade DSLR with integral battery grip, plus an attached 24-70mm f/2.8 or 70-200mm f/2.8 lens respectively, and a chest harness is available as an optional extra. The two smallest options are available in a choice of black or ‘galaxy blue’, and all of the bags in the range are of the ‘all-weather’ variety. There’s a removable shoulder strap, a grab handle on top, and a belt loop around the back. The bag also features an external pocket on the front, plus an additional internal pocket in the top flap.

Wandrd Hexad Access Duffel (45L)

13. Wandrd Hexad Access Duffel (45L)

If you're going to be traveling a lot with you're camera, then the Hexad Access Duffel is the answer. Featuring a clamshell, one half of the bag can be set aside for clothes and other travel essentials, while the other half is for photo gear, with dual side-access pockets. These can accommodate Wandrd's medium camera cubes (sold separately) which offer protection for your kit. If you just want to use one, you've got even more space for day-to-day stuff. There's also a padded laptop sleeve, stowable backpack straps, and a handy expandable laundry pocket. Then there are the weather-sealed materials used, while the overall finish is excellent. Perfect if you're going to be on a city break and want to travel light.

Will a different bag type suit you better? Check out our favorite picks for Adidas backpacks | backpacks for kids | Amazon backpacks | best school backpacks | best laptop bag

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Tim is the Cameras editor at TechRadar. He has enjoyed more than 15 years in the photo video industry with most of those in the world of tech journalism. During his time as Deputy Technical Editor with Amateur Photographer, as a freelancer and consequently editor at Tech Radar, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with cameras, educating others through news, reviews and features. He’s also worked in video production for Studio 44 with clients including Canon, and volunteers his spare time to consult a non-profit, diverse stories team based in Nairobi. Tim is curious, a keen creative, avid footballer and runner, and moderate flat white drinker who has lived in Kenya and believes we have much to enjoy and learn from each other. 

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best travel camera bag for dslr

The 8 Best Travel Camera Cases and Backpacks of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Keep your photography gear organized and protected while on the go

best travel camera bag for dslr

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TripSavvy / Debbie Wolfe

Cameras are still essential travel gear, but unlike flip-flops and toiletries, cameras require special handling and, ideally, a dedicated camera case. If you’re hitting the road (or tarmac) with expensive camera gear, it’s worth investing in a camera-specific travel bag or case that not only protects your investment but also has a home for each camera, lens, and accessory you might bring along.

To help you find the perfect travel camera case, we had more than a dozen testers get hands-on with 21 of the most popular camera-specific travel cases and narrowed down our favorites. We reviewed bags on their design, layout, comfort when carrying, and even tested the waterproofing on bags that advertised it. These travel camera cases fit different niches within the category, giving you a wide range of options since not all photographers and videographers travel the same.

Final Verdict

How we tested, other camera cases we tested.

  • What to Look For

Why Trust TripSavvy

Best overall, thule camera bag backpack.

Keeps contents within easy reach

Understated design

Can fly as a personal item

May not withstand a serious downpour

While they’re not an endemic camera brand and are probably best known for their ubiquitous roof racks and bike carriers, Sweden’s Thule makes exceptional camera luggage. Their 34.5-liter Aspect strikes an outstanding balance of simplicity and functionality and is unassuming enough to work great as an everyday carry pack even if your camera stays at home. The primary camera and lens storage area has a convenient side entry zip and enough space for a DSLR body with a lens attached and two to three additional lenses and accessories. Our testers loved the placement of this side access compartment because it’s accessible without removing the pack to unzip and pull the camera out quickly if needed.

You can easily rearrange the padded internal dividers to fit your specific gear needs, and there’s a mesh zippered pocket on the inside of the opening flap to hold loose items such as extra batteries and cables close at hand. The top-access compartment provides a separate area to carry extra equipment or miscellaneous non-camera gear, such as layers, snacks, and water. The laptop sleeve holds up to 15-inch laptops or tablets and is roomy enough that you don’t have to fight to get your device in properly. Like most camera bags, tripod storage is along the side and uses a mesh pocket and strap to secure it.

The Aspect is water-resistant, not waterproof, but stood up to direct water exposure in our testing. It also wears like a standard daypack and has a sternum strap and substantial hip belt if you fully load the pack. The hip belt also has mesh quick-storage built in, so you don’t have to overload pockets with things like lens caps and batteries when you’re in the thick of shooting. There’s plenty of room for gear for your average photographer, but the size and shape are small enough to fit under most airplane seat storage areas, so you don’t have to worry about contents shifting during flight.

Capacity: 34.5 liters | Weight: 3.2 pounds | Maximum Laptop Carry Capacity: 15.6-inch | Materials: 100 percent nylon

Best Overall, Runner-Up

Peak design everyday backpack 20l.

Peak Design

Cutting-edge touches

Great for righties and lefties

Pricier than similarly sized bags

Peak Design started as a Kickstarter launch, and their camera bags and accessories are now some of the most sought-after camera equipment. Their Everyday Backpack (now in its second iteration) isn’t just another camera backpack and has loads of intelligent design features you’d expect from Peak Design. Our tester appreciated the ambidextrous side access that lets you into the main compartment from either side by removing one arm from the shoulder strap and slinging the bag around to your front. Inside, Peak’s innovative, origami-like FlexFold dividers keep your camera items from bumping into each other. 

The side-access panels have zippers, but the top flap closes with a dead-quiet MagLatch closure that can clamp down less or more depending on how full that compartment is. The laptop sleeve holds up to a 16-inch computer but can be adjusted for smaller computers so they don’t fall, keeping them easily accessible. We tested the 20-liter model, but you can get the same pack in a 30-liter version for a modest additional fee if you carry more gear than average. If you occasionally need even more capacity, stowaway external carry straps permit multiple configurations for lashing things like jackets, tents, or whatever your adventures call for. There are smart travel features as well. The pack’s back has a sleeve that slides over a roller bag’s handle, and there’s a quick stash top pocket for miscellanies such as phones, chargers, and passports.

Capacity: 20 liters | Weight: 4.43 pounds | Maximum Laptop Carry Capacity: 16-inch | Materials: 400-denier recycled plastic

Tripsavvy / Robert Caponetto

Best Budget

Bagsmart photo camera backpack.

Attractive, non-techy look

Solid weather protection

On-body access

The top compartment lacks padding

Despite being one of the few bags we tested that retails for less than $100, this is a stylish backpack you could use for everyday carry without anyone knowing you're wearing a camera pack. Our tester said, "It looks like a nice, modern backpack that doesn't scream, 'I have expensive equipment in here!'" Inside the water-resistant canvas, however, is a large lower compartment with padded dividers that hold a camera with a lens attached and three to four additional lenses or other gear items. And like more expensive camera bags, there's a side pocket that lets you quickly grab your camera while keeping the bag slung on one shoulder.

The expandable top compartment captures the rest of your stuff with a water-resistant cinch top beneath the canvas flap that closes securely with belt-like leather straps. Side pouches with elastic hold water bottles or tripods, and the laptop sleeve keeps a computer up to 15 inches secure against your back. The canvas is water-resistant but also has a pull-out cover in case the weather takes a serious turn.

Capacity: Not listed | Weight: Not listed | Maximum Laptop Carry Capacity: 15-inch | Materials: Canvas

TripSavvy / Abby Mercer

Peak Design Everyday Sling

Easy on-body access

Improved model

Conveniently compresses when not in use

Not fully waterproof

If you want to travel light with a stripped-down camera gear kit, a bag or pack can be overkill, making it harder to access what you need. For situations like this, we’ve used an earlier version of Peak Design’s 6-liter Everyday Sling for years, and it’s durable enough that it still looks like new. The updated version remains largely unchanged but comes in additional sizes (you can get it in 3-, 6-, or 10-liter versions) and new color options. The latest version also adds more durable zippers and uses recycled materials. The 6-liter is only big enough to hold a tablet, but you can use the external carry straps to bring a tripod when necessary.

The collapsible sling is thick, padded, and fairly stiff and can flatten enough to store inside a larger suitcase. Alternatively, you could pack the smaller sling sizes with your gear and place it inside other luggage to keep your equipment protected in transit and ready to be deployed for lighter trips at your destination. Our tester loved carrying the smaller pack when traveling, taking just enough equipment, and quickly swinging it around to reach gear.

Capacity: 3-liter, 6-liter (tested), 10-liter | Weight: 1.72 pounds | Maximum Laptop Carry Capacity: 11-inch tablet | Materials: 400-denier recycled plastic canvas

TripSavvy / Mariah Tyler

Most Durable

Neewer rolling camera backpack.

Three carry options

Large capacity

Ideal for wet climes

Shoulder straps may be bothersome at times

If you carry a lot of gear, many travel camera packs can make you feel cramped trying to fit Speedlites, large telephotos, and extra camera bodies. Not an issue with Neewer’s luggage-style roller bag, which converts to a backpack, has a regular suitcase carry handle and plenty of interior room, and is rated to handle over 120 pounds of gear. The non-removable wheels and telescoping handle give your back a break when navigating airports and city streets, but the backpack straps (including a waist belt) let you go off-road when needed.

Our tester loved the solid structure and substantial padding to protect their gear and felt the bag could withstand drops and other abuse in transit. The exterior is made from waterproof nylon but has an attached rain cover, just in case. This extra-large backpack is just small enough to fit in overhead storage on a plane, but our tester found a few downsides. Because of the size and weight, it’s not the most comfortable for long-term wear as a backpack, and the backpack straps aren’t removable to prevent snagging when used as a roller bag.

Capacity: 60-kilogram weight-rated | Weight: 9.43 pounds | Maximum Laptop Carry Capacity: 15-inch | Materials: Nylon

TripSavvy / Jacob Fox

Best Organization

Think tank photo airport security.

Extra-durable exterior

Lots of interior space

Should fit in virtually any overhead bin

Hefty, even before packed

You expect durability with “tank” in the brand name, but this airline-ready roller carry-on bag should withstand nearly anything thanks to its ballistic-grade waterproof nylon material and heavy padding. Think Tank designed this bag to meet US and international carry-on requirements, but there’s still tons of room inside, and our tester loaded it up with two bodies and large lenses and still had about 20 percent of the volume left unused. Think Tank’s highest-capacity roller bag accommodates up to 600 millimeters of telephoto lenses.

There’s a laptop compartment that will hold up to a 17-inch device, but otherwise, the bag is essentially one giant equipment compartment with tons of dividers, giving you maximum flexibility to arrange the bag to hold your specific gear configuration. While you could fit smaller tripods inside, the bag has tripod-specific straps for exterior carry and a TSA-approved padlock and cable lock for theft prevention. Our tester loved the build and durability, but the downside is that the pack is heavy, which gets magnified when fully loaded, so you’ll want to use the rolling wheels whenever possible to avoid carrying the total weight.

Capacity: Not listed | Weight: 12.76 pounds | Maximum Laptop Carry Capacity: 17-inch | Materials: 1680-denier ballistic nylon

TripSavvy / Victor Protasio

Most Comfortable

Lowepro protactic 450 aw.

Lots of features available

Built for all-day comfort

For long days shooting in the field, you want a comfortable backpack, and it’s no surprise that a brand with backpacking roots makes our Most Comfortable pick. Colorado-born Lowe Alpine made the first internal frame backpacking pack, and they’ve been making camera-specific bags for over 50 years. The ProTactic 450 AW is for adventurous photographers who need to keep their pack on over countless miles and long days with ActiveZone support that uses firm but supportive padding that leaves room for airflow against your back. Our tester specifically called out the extra-wide waist strap for putting the weight on their hips where it belongs instead of the shoulders. Beyond simple padding, the ProTactic 450 employs FormShell construction lands it somewhere between a backpack and hard-sided luggage.

Everything about the ProTactic 450 AW says “tactical,” and its webbing-wrapped exterior permits attachment of LowePro’s many sold-separately SlipLock accessories, such as pouches for water bottles, phones, and other accessories. Included straps and a tripod cup securely attach to the outside. Despite being stiff and armored, there are four ways into the main compartment for easy access to your gear, no matter where the pack is.

Capacity: 25 liters | Weight: 6.26 pounds | Maximum Laptop Carry Capacity: 15-inch | Materials: Not listed

TripSavvy / Gregory Dupree

Best Storage

Nomatic mckinnon camera pack.

High volume

Adjustable capacity

Very expensive

Extra items not included

Salt Lake City-based luggage company Nomatic likely paired with popular YouTube photographer/videographer Peter McKinnon partly because of his massive following, but the 35-liter McKinnon Camera Pack has developed a loyal following of its own. The pack stands out for its ruggedly urban looks and enormous storage capacity, expandable up to 42 liters to accommodate lots of content creation gear but a few days' worth of clothes and basics. The TPU-coated 900-denier nylon is rugged and waterproof, forming a durable armor that's still flexible enough to feel like a backpack and retain some give despite ample padding everywhere. 

We tested the Nomatic pack in the field, and both testers appreciated how the pack forms to your back and the extra padding in the shoulder straps to ease the weight when fully loaded. Like an excellent backpacking pack, the shoulder straps also have load-lifter straps to help position the weight on your shoulders, and sternum and waist straps help distribute the weight more evenly. The pack is heavy compared to backpacking packs, and it needs to be to pad and protect your equipment, but it's light for its capacity compared to other large camera bags we tested. Even for such a nice pack, the price is high, so we wished Nomatic threw in a few helpful accessory pouches and packing cubes that are part of the McKinnon camera gear line.

Capacity: 35 liters (expands to 42 liters) | Weight: 5.75 pounds | Maximum Laptop Carry Capacity: 16-inch | Materials: EVA back panels, 900-denier TPU-coated nylon exterior, Hypalon lashing points

TripSavvy / Henry Wortock

Our testers loved the Thule Aspect 's streamlined profile and photography-specific build packed with many innovative features. It has an accessible price point, making it an excellent option for pros and casual photographers. We also got most of the same features out of the surprisingly capable Bagsmart Photo Camera Backpack , which has most of the features we loved in pricier packs at a fraction of the cost.

More than a dozen recreational and professional photographers took 21 camera bags out around their home bases and on road and air travel trips. Testers spent time customizing the travel bag’s organization and trying different configurations. They then took the bags into the field, testing for ease of use and accessibility of gear while worn and comfort in transit. 

We also tested the weatherproofing of the bags when present by taking them out in bad weather when possible and spraying them down at home to gauge how well they keep gear dry. Testers examined zippers, fasteners, pockets, storage compartments, and special features for durability and ease of use.

Thule Covert 32L Camera Pack : This well-designed, high-capacity pack is an excellent option for balancing personal and camera gear storage via a removable camera pod that works as a sling. However, we felt the Thule Aspect was a better option for most travelers, thanks to a much lower price point. Pros who want more storage and versatility should consider the Covert if they find the Aspect too small or simplistic.

Manfrotto Advanced III Rolling Camera Bag : This basic camera roller bag ticks most of the boxes on paper, but our tester found the padding lacking and expected more storage from a carry-on-sized piece of luggage.

Think Tank Photo Airport Accelerator Backpack : Our tester loved this bag's size and build quality, but other options in this category edged it out by having more carry options to ease the burden of carrying a higher volume of gear.

Boundary Prima System : We loved the design and modularity of this pack and its components but wished there wasn't an extra charge to make it waterproof and that they included more parts of their system.

Manfrotto MB MA2-BP-GM Advanced² Gear M Camera and Laptop Backpack : We appreciated the comfort and design of this pack despite lacking a hip belt, but felt it was a bit small for travel since there isn't much space dedicated to clothes and personal items.

Wandrd PRVKE : We tested the 21-liter size, and one tester, a professional photographer, felt there wasn't enough gear storage for most pros. We also felt the price was high, especially considering the additional cost of including the "essential" photography bundle.

Brevite The Jumper Camera Backpack : This stylish, small backpack scored high marks from our tester for being lightweight and easy to carry. It comes in many bright solid colors and could be an excellent choice for someone with a streamlined kit.

Hex Ranger DSLR Sling V2 : This is a more modestly priced sling than our Best Sling pick from Peak Design that could be an excellent option for photographers who don't want to spend over $100 on a camera sling. Compared to the Peak Design sling, it lacks some structure and durability, but it's about half the cost.

Bellroy Venture Sling 10L: This oversized sling got high marks from our NY-based tester, who loved the quality, design, and ease of use while walking around for street photography.

Tenba DNA 16 Pro Messenger Bag : If you prefer the ease of access of a shoulder-slung bag like this, the Tenba may be a great fit as a day trip bag, though our tester wished it were a tad smaller.

Lo & Sons Claremont : While it's not for everyone, this shoulder bag looks like an oversized purse and has some basic camera-specific design touches—an excellent choice for someone who wants a camera bag that's a bit chic.

ONA The Bowery Messenger Bag : Another stylish, purse-like shoulder camera bag. Our tester loved the style and could fit her entire kit inside but felt the price was too high.

Gatta Rae Noir : Another leather purse/shoulder bag option. Stylish and reasonably priced but bulky for travel and better-suited for day shoots closer to home for photographers who want a stylish bag.

Poler Elevated Camera Cooler : A fun, lunch-tote-style camera bag that converts to a light-duty lunch cooler after removing the padded dividers. A more unisex option for folks who want a shoulder carry day bag for a small camera kit.

What to Look For in a Travel Camera Case

Camera bag makers use various materials to achieve their design goals, and there’s no one “best” material to look for when evaluating your camera bag options. Some bags use fabrics such as nylon, and many employ coatings such as DWR or rubbery TPU to give them weather resistance. Many manufacturers will list the denier rating of fabric, and if durability is important to you, look for exterior materials with higher denier numbers. However, remember that higher deniers are usually heavier, bulkier, and less flexible.

Most backpacks and camera bags measure storage volume in liters, which can be a useful way to compare the size of different bags when shopping online. We tested some slings 10 liters or less in volume, and most packs fell between 20 and 40 liters. While you can undoubtedly buy camera bags and cases larger than this, they become too big to carry on and fall more into the luggage category than travel bags. When choosing a bag size for your travels with camera gear, consider not only the amount of camera gear you need to transport but any personal items, such as clothing, computers, hard drives, water, snacks, et cetera, that you’ll want to include to estimate the volume that’s right for you.

Additional Features

With most photographers operating in the digital world, most camera bags have a slot for a laptop, and we’ve included the maximum laptop size for any bags with that feature. If you usually employ a tripod, look for bags with a dedicated tripod storage solution. More advanced bags will often have special, smaller compartments for odds and ends that photographers carry, such as memory cards, hard drives, batteries, filters, and more. 

All but one of our picks above cost over $100, and camera bags are generally more expensive than comparably sized backpacks and bags because they include extra features and materials used to organize and protect your gear. You can expect to pay $150 up to $400 for a high-quality, higher-volume camera-specific pack, though smaller bags and slings will generally cost less.

Cleaning and care for camera bags will vary from model to model and brand to brand, but your best bet is to spot clean whenever possible. Waterproof bags can be easier to clean as they repel water, resist stains more readily, and can also be sprayed down if they get dirty. A few bags are machine-washable, but always consult manufacturer recommendations on how to clean individual bags.

Smaller bags can qualify as personal items, and several of our picks will meet size requirements for carry-ons for domestic flights. Because these requirements can vary depending on your location, destination, and airline carrier, it always makes sense to consult your airline’s specific requirements and fees before you fly.

If you happen to be traveling with film, TSA recommends you keep undeveloped film or cameras containing undeveloped film in carry-on luggage and request a hand inspection at security as the scanners used can cause damage to the film.

When traveling with camera gear, bringing any equipment you might need for a particular trip or a photoshoot is a good idea. While no one wants to lug around more gear than they expect to use, it can be expensive, difficult, or even impossible to replace items you didn’t bring when you’re far from home. If you prefer to overpack camera gear, get a bigger pack than you think you need.

Also, anticipate your non-camera needs, such as extra clothes, personal electronics, and food/beverage considerations. If you want one pack to hold everything, choose a camera bag that holds more than just camera gear. Especially when dealing with food and liquids, it’s a good idea to have separate compartments for personal and camera items.

Over 15 years as a professional photographer and videographer, Justin Park has tested and owned dozens of camera bags and cases for both work and play. He has employed and destroyed slings, backpacks, and hard cases filming Olympic games and backcountry sporting events such as mountain bike races and ultramarathons, including Colorado’s Leadville 100.

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10 BEST Camera Backpacks for Travel [2024 Guide]

Picture of Alesha and Jarryd

  • Last Updated: March 27, 2024

If you’re in the market for the best camera backpack to take all your photography gear with you on your next epic adventure, then we’ve got you covered with the best backpack options and all the criteria to consider before making your purchase!

Buying a camera backpack can be one of the more difficult experiences a photographer might face in the retail arena.

The market is flooded with camera backpacks and new innovations are making it harder and harder to choose the right one for you.

The best camera bags out there are multi-functional, sturdy, and reliable and you can expect to spend a couple of hundred dollars to keep your camera safe.

However, your camera gear shouldn’t be compromised, so investing in a camera backpack that fits all your photography gear and will last you many years is imperative.

Here is a look at some of the best camera backpacks available today with some insight into what could make this the best backpack for you.


Peak Design Everyday Backpack

This bag easily takes the top spot in our guide to the best camera backpacks for its impeccable balance of form and function.

The back is sleek and modern, but its high level of adjustability and ample storage space makes it a fantastic everyday backpack and camera bag all in one.

Peak Design Everyday Backpack Best Camera Backpack For Travel

The Best Camera Backpack

After you’ve invested a small fortune purchasing the best travel camera to perfect your photography skills it’s important to protect it with a great camera backpack.

Table of Contents

Wandrd Prvke

Lowepro whistler 350 aw ii, wotancraft nomad backpack, lowepro freeline bp 350 aw, thule aspect, langly multi-pack globetrotter, f-stop dalston 21l urban camera backpack, lowepro protactic 450 aw ii, manfrotto manhattan mover 50, camera bag type, storage/organisation, ease of use, weatherproofing, other unique features.

Of course you need more than just a bag that fits a body and a bit of accessories. So what is the best camera and lens backpack? That’s what we set out to discover!

Let’s look at camera bags that are taking the photography world by storm. We are talking, sleek design, versatility, and innovation, and most of all, comfort.

Peak Design Everyday Backpack

Just as the name suggests, this is an Everyday Backpack . You can easily transform it for uses beyond carrying camera gear without losing any of its organisational potential.

The bag includes three flex-fold dividers that are a revelation. No more floppy foam dividers that never seem to quite line up!

Internal space has been utilized to the max with stretchy internal side and top pockets and slip pockets for a wallet or passport. On the outside, you find side pockets that easily hold a water bottle or tripod.

The Peak Design Everyday Backpack is ultra-comfortable and the vented quick-drying mesh back padding ensures breathable comfort, a must on long, hot days.

The bags are compatible with most body types thanks to the shoulder straps that pivot at axial points giving quick access to the side panels.

Peak Design makes contemporary simplistic bags like no other. The outside is minimalist with no dangling cords or tethers making it sleek and irresistible.

They also come in four muted colors: black, charcoal, midnight, and ash.

  • Opens from either side or top
  • Customizable for different gear
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Feels small for a 20L pack
  • Material not as durable as previous version
  • Thin shoulder straps

Peak Design Backpack

First up, how to pronounce it – “Wandered Provoke”. Now that that’s out of the way…

The roll-top and magnetic tote handles give the Wandrd Prvke a more urban feel and the black, blue, and green colors are right on-trend.

The chunky hardware also gives the bag some added personality but is in perfect harmony with the minimalist aesthetic of the rest of the bag.

The interior is fully customizable with removable camera cubes. The front flap is also covered in pockets, begging the question “do I have enough things for all those pockets?”. The expandable roll-top will add another 5L to your capacity, perfect for last-minute items like a jacket or snacks.

The clamshell design of the Wandrd Prvke is great for organization, and the easy access side panel allows you to quickly grab your camera on the go. The cubes are also easy to remove and customize to make the Wandrd Prvke a great all-around bag.

The fleece-lined tech pocket is great for personal items you need quick access to, and the hidden passport/cash pocket in the back is a favorite feature if you want to keep your valuables close to you.

  • Easy Camera Access
  • Camera cube sold separately
  • Clamshell opening in the back

Wandrd Prvke Camera Backpack In South Georgia

We’re going to let you in on a little secret. This bag is so good, we own two of them!

Lowepro sticks to their iconic soft folding dividers with the addition of two removable pocket dividers for smaller items like a GoPro.

The CradleFit compartment with top access also holds a 13-inch laptop.

The Lowepro Whistler 350 bag offers top and body-side access and you can easily store Standard DSLR & Pro mirrorless cameras with multiple lenses.

The bag is designed for robust outdoor use so accessing some of the compartments might take slightly more effort, but this ensures your photography equipment stays well protected.

It is, however, super simple to convert it from a camera bag to an outdoor bag with enough room for plenty of alpine gear.

The Lowepro Whistler 350 AW ii is one of their more attractive bags with two high visibility orange straps at the front.

The compression straps also allow for the attachment of gear like skis or a snowboard, something you won’t often find on a camera backpack. It can support up to 100kg in weight!

  • Great for heavy equipment
  • Rugged and waterproof
  • Basic organization configuration

Camera Backpack Gear

The bag’s compact size makes it perfect for a mirrorless camera and multiple lenses.

The bag has tons of fun pockets and hidden compartments that might take some time to figure out but will prove to be super convenient in the long run.

It might look a little clunky, but the padded back is very comfortable, as are the wide shoulder straps.

The aluminum bars in the back help to keep the shape of the bag and secure a comfortable fit. Buying the additional waist strap could help shift up to 80% of the weight to your hips, a crucial bonus when carrying heavy photography equipment.

The bag is slightly tricky to figure out in the beginning but with tons of expandable space, it is a great camera bag for traveling. With many hidden compartments and little pockets for SD cards and other goodies, this bag is a treasure trove of organisation.

The bag looks world removed from traditional camera backpacks, and Wotancraft explains that they wanted to create a bag that looks like a nomadic bag. Job well done!

The vintage brass buckles and distressed camo look add tons of personality to the bag. There are also no visible zippers or flaps making the bag extra safe.

Flaps are sealed with magnets making zippers and compartments undetectable. The roll-top adds a lot of extra space, and the bag is designed to facilitate traveling with your gear, i.e. packing clothes and cameras all in one backpack.

  • Most stylish camera backpack
  • Great for gear and luggage
  • Tricky to figure out
  • Not good for lots of gear

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The interior divider on the Lowepro Freeline is revolutionary. It is a three-tiered shelving system that snaps flat and is removed easily to turn the bag into a daypack.

It fits a 15-inch laptop in the back laptop compartment and a removable gear pouch sits in the bottom to organize your cables and chargers.

The side flaps also feature memory card pockets and deep pockets for miscellaneous items.

The bag is one of only a few that stands upright, a feature one often neglects to consider. The side access panels are easy to open thanks to smooth zippers and smart angles.

It is one of Lowepro’s most beautiful bags with minimal detailing and muted branding. The adjustable straps at the front have large buckles that give the bag a little urban twist to break the overall corporate design.

The shoulder strap has an in harness phone pocket on the front that should quite frankly become a standard on all backpacks. It keeps your phone, keys, or cards safe and instantly available.

  • Genius shelf system
  • Modern design
  • Limited configurations
  • No room for expansion

Man Wearing Camera Bag

The side zipper opens to reveal removable dividers so you can custom curate your compartments.

The top flap gives you access to the main compartment and a few small organizational pockets.

The Thule Aspect backpack is a great basic backpack with two easy access points allowing simple access to your camera without the need to take off the bag.

The camera bag is sporty looking with relatively large branding and fun turquoise accents. It only comes in black but the material has an attractive woven design for added texture.

There aren’t many surprises with the Thule Aspect, but one super handy characteristic is the mesh pocket on the hip belt. It is the perfect spot to pop your lens cap in to always have it within reach.

  • Comfortable fit
  • Handy hip-belt pockets
  • Only side access to the camera body
  • Only holds a limited amount of gear

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The Langly Multi-Pack Globetrotter is one of the best camera backpacks if you need to carry a ton of camera bodies and lenses.

It can fit one camera body and 10 lenses comfortably but the compartments can easily be adjusted to fit your preferred configuration.

The laptop sleeve sits at the top and fits a 16-inch laptop and there are seven external pockets and plenty of zip pockets on the inside for smaller items.

This bag is perfect for someone who needs access to a lot of photography gear, quickly and easily. The front completely zips open to expose the whole inside of the bag. There is also a top zipper for items you might need to grab on the go.

The material is completely waterproof because when you are carrying this amount of camera equipment, you do not want to leave anything to chance!

The bag is effortlessly cool and comes in two stylish colors, black and forest green. The vertical straps on the front add some unique detailing to it but the bag’s shape and overall feel lend it a “safari chic” aesthetic.

  • Large enough for a studio setup
  • Rugged and durable with a waterproof body
  • The basic nylon hip strap is not padded
  • No side access, you must take the bag off to get to your camera.

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This is a great bag for an urban explorer carrying their core gear and a few essentials.

It’s great for a mirrorless camera and lens backpack but could fit a smaller DSLR camera body comfortably. There is also an expandable roll-top if you need to add a few last-minute things.

F Stop has made a bag that is simplistic in nature and great for an on-the-go schedule.

The camera is accessed through a large zipper on the side but there is no flap. The bag rather splits open at the side to reveal the camera compartment, making it better for smaller cameras than bulky full-frame gear.

The F-stop Dalston backpack is bold and not afraid to make a statement. It comes in a vibrant orange color or a more muted aloe green and the interior is bright blue.

Roll-tops are increasingly trendy and this bag will fit right in in a chic urban environment.

  • Great waterproofing
  • Expandable rolltop to expand the size
  • The side-slit is difficult to access with larger cameras
  • Limited organizational capability

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The LowePro Protactic is an organisational dream with multiple conversion options with enough room for a full camera kit with multiple bodies, lenses, a drone, and smaller accessories with ease.

The front flap also has clear pockets for easy organization of loose items.

The front has a SlipLock system for hooks and tabs and multiple attachment points, great for adding extra accessories like a tripod or bottle pouch.

The bag is one of the heaviest bags on the list, but the robust removable hip belt works wonders to ease the load. The ActivZone targeted support system focuses on your shoulder blades and lumbar area for optimal comfort.

The LowePro Protactic 450 AW has four access points making it one of the most accessible bags on the market. The front clamshell design allows for full access to the main compartment, the top offers partial access, and two side panels zip open and can be accessed without taking the bag off.

The bag has a futuristic design and the SlipLock system on the front with horizontal attachment points add some extra grit. The hard shell at the top serves a valuable purpose but also enhances the futuristic aesthetic.

  • Semi-hard shell gives excellent protection
  • Multiple access points for ease of use
  • Little external storage and the need for extra accessories arrises
  • Heavy bag at almost 3kg

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This backpack comes with a Flexi Camera Shell divider that provides much more structure than a standard foam camera cube.

It is also removable, converting your bag into an everyday backpack. There is a laptop compartment and a tablet compartment in the front and an expandable water bottle holder on the side.

You can fit multiple lenses and a DSLR camera as well as a drone and multiple accessories.

It is a great DSLR backpack for traveling. The main access point is in the back, and you would always need to take the bag off to grab your gear.

You can get to some camera gear from the top but this would also be hindered if you decide to pack some personal items in that compartment.

Thus, it is a great travel camera bag for carry-on luggage if you don’t need to put your camera away every few minutes. The laptop and tablet compartment is also in the front for easy access.

The bag is sleek and modern with a rectangular shape. It only comes in black and has minimal details on the exterior. It doesn’t shout “camera bag”, something you would want to consider when frequently traveling with your camera gear.

  • Compact design but with optimal storage usage
  • Flexi camera shell protection fits snug around gear
  • Difficult to use if you need regular access to your camera
  • No hip belt so not great for heavy loads

Gear On Backpacks

How to Choose the Best Camera Backpacks

Choosing the best camera bag can be a challenge. If you haven’t already decided on which is best for you, or you enjoy the thrill of the shop, take the following criteria to heart as you consider which camera pack is best for your needs.

READ MORE: Don’t miss our comprehensive travel photography blog , where you’ll find all our expert photo guides and tips.

Camera bags come in all shapes and sizes and chances are you will need multiple to fulfil all your needs.

Some bags are better for the active photographer while others are best suited for long-distance transportation and passive use.

A sling bag or messenger bag is great for quick day trips and for travel photographers with only one or two lenses and a single body.

However, a camera backpack is the best of all worlds and will serve multiple purposes.

Camera backpacks range from around 15L to around 50L, the average being 25L to 30L. It is great to get a bag that is expandable with the addition of a rolltop if you are traveling a lot.

Most bags also come with clip-on capabilities allowing you to add a tripod to the bottom or to the side, a water bottle to the other side, and sometimes even straps at the front for holding down items.

Assess your needs and the likelihood of you using these features, because extra straps could also be a nuisance if you know you will not use them. Then a more compact design would suit you better.

Accessories With Backpack

The more capabilities a bag has, the heavier it is, that’s an unavoidable fact. Rugged material weighs more and compartments also add weight to your bag.

So grabbing the toughest bag might not be the most sensible choice for you.

Not all bags come with waterproof material, and a lightweight sporty bag could offer just as much organizational potential as a robust adventure bag.

READ MORE: Need something for general adventures, not just photography? Check out our new guide to the best travel backpacks on the market!

This is probably the most important aspect of purchasing a camera bag. Most backpacks come standard with foam inserts that attach to the bag with velcro and allow for multiple storage configurations.

It is also important to remember that your camera gear will expand and change over time and you need a bag that will change along with that.

Also, look into how many extra little pockets and side pockets the bag has because you are bound to have lots of bits and bobs that need to be stored.

Batteries, filters, sd-cards, and lens caps are the first things to go missing if your bag doesn’t have multiple storage options.

Lots Of Lenses And Cameras With Bag

Camera equipment is not light by any means, and even just a DSLR body and a lens can weigh a few kilos.

You will be carrying around this bag for hours on end and this weight, along with the weight of the bag, can become very uncomfortable to carry.

Look for a bag that, at the very least, has proper padded shoulder straps that are wide enough to not dig into your shoulder.

A waist belt is a great addition to especially large bags and can shift a massive part of the weight to your hips instead of your back.

It is great if the waist belt is removable as you won’t always be carrying around upwards of 10kg in your bag.

They do make bags more clunky so being able to take it off when you pack light is a great feature.

A padded back panel will also add to the comfort factor and some bags have metal bars that help significantly with your posture.

As bags become more complex, the ease of use sometimes goes out the window. Tons of configurations and pockets might seem like a good idea but how much time are you willing to spend optimizing the bag for your needs?

It is great if you don’t need to take the bag off to access the camera, but these access panels often limit your configuration capabilities.

Clamshell designs allow you to fully open the front flap to the main compartment, and the possibilities are endless for organising.

However, with these, you must take the bag off to access anything which could not be the best in all conditions.

Look for a bag that offers multiple access points and a divide between camera gear and personal items if you plan to use it as a travel backpack.

Zippers are also the first to go so thoroughly test all the zippers and ensure they are smooth as butter.

Lady With Backpack

Will you be taking your camera backpack on a ski trip or deep into the jungle? Or will you simply be zipping around the city or carrying your camera to a concert?

Weatherproofing seems essential but it is not in everyone’s budget and the need for it isn’t always there, but a bag that is water-resistant could be a good middle ground to keep moisture out.

It could add a lot to the weight of the backpack when sometimes a rain cover would do just fine.

It is good to look at abrasion-resistant materials as your bag will be in use for many years and you want it to stay in peak condition.

If you are looking for a weather-resistant or water-resistant bag, also look for reinforced zippers that keep out moisture and dust.

This is the most personal part of buying a camera backpack and there are no hard and fast rules.

Today, camera backpacks are becoming more friendly for everyday use and can be converted into standard backpacks too.

Some bags don’t even resemble a camera backpack anymore and values form over function.

If you opt for a chic bag over a traditional-looking bag, make sure it still has all the functionality of a good bag, and don’t be blinded by a cool design.

READ MORE: Find a suitable travel tripod to take with you on your next trip with our expert buying guide !

Companies are constantly trying to outdo each other with unique features to their bag. Roll-tops are all the rage right now as is innovation on bag inserts.

Other great features include hidden passport pockets for safety, space for attachments, key hooks, a tripod holder, and a laptop compartment.

Again, this all comes down to personal needs and what you want from your camera backpack.

All in all, buying a camera backpack is a deeply personal matter and you won’t always get it right on the first try.

Over time, you realise what you want to carry with you and what your travel needs are.

A bag like Peak Design Everyday Backpack is one of the best travel camera backpacks as it hist the mark in nearly every category.

Organisation, style, and fit are all above the rest, but it is still up to you to assess what your bag needs to offer you in the end.

Peak Design Everyday Backpack

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Fantastic roundup of camera backpacks!

It’s interesting to see how different bags cater to various needs, like the rugged outdoor appeal of the Lowepro 350 AW ii versus the more urban chic of the Wandrd Prvke. My fav is the Peak Design Everyday Backpack. I like that you can use it for travel and other uses even when you don’t have to carry camera kits around.

One thing that caught my attention was the focus on organizational features. It’s a great to have a bag that not only protects your gear but also keeps it easily accessible and organized. I’m curious, though, do you find that more compartments and pockets actually streamline your workflow, or do they tend to make things more cluttered and harder to find?

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11 Best Camera Backpacks for Travel in 2024

best travel camera bag for dslr

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Think “backpack,” and you probably think “travel.” But a camera backpack fills a special role. And it needs to do it well if it’s going to protect your gear—and your back!

In choosing the best camera backpack for travel, we were less concerned about accessibility and ease of use. Our main criteria were protection and comfort. But, of course, the best camera backpacks will shine in all areas.

Our top three choices are no exception. In fact, our favorite camera backpack for travel came second overall in our extensive review of the best camera backpacks . And even then, it missed the top spot by only a whisker. It’s brilliantly designed, roomy, and comfortable to wear.

Manfrotto PRO Light Multiloader Backpack

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Wandrd Duo Daypack Backpack

What Is the Best Camera Backpack for Travel?

We will tell you more about why we like these recommended camera backpacks. But first, here’s a table with a summary of their strengths.

  • Super-comfortable and practical design
  • Unparalleled functionality and design precision
  • Exceptional sturdiness, adaptability, and comfort
  • Spacious structure perfect for serious photographers
  • More than 50 years of gear-making experience
  • Top-notch construction with robust, weather-resistant materials
  • Thoughtfully designed features for enhanced user experience
  • Compact and lightweight, perfect for travel photographers
  • Ample storage with protective padding for equipment safety
  • Worth the investment for its superior quality and durability
  • Designed for speedy access and convenience
  • Lightweight nylon material and quick-access design
  • Minimal yet strategic padding for comfort and security
  • Features QuickDoor access for easy and quick retrieval
  • Lightweight and practical for everyday use

Nomatic McKinnon Backpack

  • Designed by renowned manufacturer and famous photographer
  • Versatile storage with "ladder" insert and removable cubes
  • Lightweight yet ensures gear safety with superior quality
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty for peace of mind
  • Stylish design exudes class, elevating it beyond a simple camera bag


  • Offers impressive carrying capacity
  • Lightweight design for easy travel
  • Provides professional-level gear storage
  • Showcases innovative design elements
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty for quality assurance


  • Ideal for casual photographers with its simple, lightweight design
  • Superior all-weather resistance in a stylish black camo design
  • Durable and tear-resistant, perfect for urban environments
  • Middle-range placement for value, offering good features at an affordable price
  • Large volume version offering ample space for equipment


  • Rugged design for outdoor enthusiasts
  • Durable materials ensure longevity
  • Offers high level of protection for gear
  • Versatile storage with customizable dividers
  • Excellent weather protection for outdoor shoots


  • Designed specifically for air travel
  • Compact and lightweight with efficient space usage
  • Features useful straps, handles, and security lock
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty for long-term use
  • Offers excellent storage capacity and solid protection


  • Designed by photographers for outdoor enthusiasts
  • Durable materials with room for large lenses
  • Excellent weather protection for outdoor expeditions
  • Versatile enough for air travel and endorsed by renowned photographers
  • Ample storage with features like a laptop sleeve and tripod strap.


  • Designed for versatility, blending seamlessly into any setting
  • Withstands various environments, from city streets to harsh climates
  • Unique front camera insert for discreet, easy access to gear
  • Customizable compartments for convenient organization
  • Ideal for travel and street photographers carrying minimal gear


  • Designed by photographers for maximum utility
  • Lightweight with high-tech weatherproof materials
  • Tailored for mirrorless cameras but versatile for DSLRs
  • Packed with thoughtful details and customization options
  • Eco-friendly production in a carbon-neutral factory


Our Favorite Camera Backpacks for Travel

We’ll now look at what these camera backpacks have that makes them so suitable for travel. As you’ll see, it’s a blend of design, practicality, comfort, and protection. So let’s go over what these travel bags have that provides the optimum mix of those criteria.

You’ll also find a link to our in-depth review of each bag. And there you can see how we made our judgments and lots more detail about each bag.

1. Manfrotto PRO Light Multiloader Camera Backpack

The Manfrotto PRO Light Multiloader is a camera backpack that truly stands out. Manfrotto is a brand well-known for high-quality photography accessories. And it shows in this bag.

This bag is designed thoughtfully, with a focus on functionality and detail. So it’s no surprise that it’s a favorite among professionals.

This backpack’s design might be a little dull for some. But its virtues lie elsewhere. It’s sturdy, spacious, and versatile. So it’s perfect for travel.

Its comfort and adaptability are impressive, but it’s not for everyone. There are other options if you’re after a lightweight bag for a day trip.

The Multiloader’s design maximizes interior space. The quality of materials used is top-notch. And the backpack is constructed to a high standard. So it’s a reliable choice for carrying expensive camera gear.

It may take some time to figure out the configuration options. But once you work them out, you’ve got a bag that works as a backpack, a duffel, and a sling .

It has access from the front and both sides. And the rain cover is reversible, with the other side reflective and providing protection from the intense sun.

So if you’re on the lookout for a sturdy, spacious camera backpack for travel, the PRO Light Multiloader is worth considering. It’s a worthwhile investment for serious photographers.

In our full review of the Manfrotto PRO Light Multiloader camera backpack , we scored it 84.9 out of 100. It’s particularly suited for taking all the gear you need for a whole day’s shoot.

If you want to see how this compares to the other camera backpacks for travel we reviewed, read our article on the best camera backpacks .

2. Wandrd Duo Daypack Camera Backpack

The Wandrd Duo Daypack is a fantastic travel companion for the avid photographer. Its robust construction and lightweight design ensure it’s both durable and easy to carry.

Crafted from quality materials, this backpack offers excellent weather protection. It safeguards your camera and equipment very well from the elements.

Wandrd is a company born from a passion for photography and wanderlust. And their vision is evident in the Duo Daypack’s design. It boasts many features that enhance user experience, making it more than just a storage solution.

It has a couple of minor drawbacks, like additional purchases for the tripod straps and hip belt. But the Duo Daypack provides ample storage.

Its versatile pockets can accommodate a variety of items, ensuring all your gear is secure and organized. And the main zipper allows easy access when you need to grab your camera quickly.

It leans towards the higher end of the price spectrum. But the Duo Daypack is worth every penny.

It features high-quality construction, thoughtful design, and overall functionality. So it’s a worthy investment for any travel photographer.

In our full review of the Wandrd Duo Daypack camera backpack , we gave it a score of 82.6 out of 100. You can compare how it fared against all others we tested in our best camera backpack post.

Use our discount code EXPERTPHOTOGRAPHY at checkout for 15% off your first order!

3. Lowepro Fastpack Pro BP 250 AW III Camera Backpack

The Fastpack Pro BP 250 AW III is a camera backpack designed with convenience in mind, making it perfect for travel. It’s made of lightweight nylon material and has a QuickDoor access system.

This makes it a game-changer for on-the-go photographers. So it’s ideal for photojournalists and wedding photographers who need to act quickly to capture the perfect shot.

Despite its focus on speed and convenience, the Fastpack Pro doesn’t compromise on protection. The camera compartment has strategic padding for keeping your gear safe.

But its padding for the wearer could be improved. While it provides padding in the right places, it’s quite minimal and may not be as comfortable for long periods.

The QuickDoor access combines the best of side and full compartment access, providing flexibility and ease of use. So its lightweight design and quick access make it a practical everyday backpack for many photographers.

In terms of design, the Fastpack Pro is functional and user-friendly. It has a boxy shape that utilizes space effectively.

Plus, small protective features demonstrate Lowepro’s attention to detail. It has a fleece-lined section for valuables and a raised laptop compartment. It’s a camera bag built by photographers for photographers.

In our full review of the Lowepro Fastpack Pro BP 250 AW III , we gave it a score of 81.5 out of 100. To check out how this compares to the other camera backpacks for travel we reviewed, read our article on the best camera backpacks .

4. Nomatic McKinnon 25L Camera Backpack

The Nomatic McKinnon 25L camera backpack is a stellar choice for travel. It’s a result of a unique collaboration between a renowned backpack manufacturer and a famous photographer.

The result is a stylish, lightweight, yet incredibly safe bag. The “ladder” insert and removable cubes add versatility that’s hard to beat.

Nomatic is a brand known for its quality and innovation. Their lifetime warranty on the McKinnon backpack is a testament to their confidence in the product.

Its design and build quality are impressive, with ripstop 80/20 nylon and polyethylene fabric adding to its durability.

The Nomatic McKinnon 25L isn’t just a camera bag. It’s a travel companion that offers style and flexibility without compromising protection.

Its only shortcoming might be the lack of quick-access side opening, but the top access arrangements somewhat make up for it. This backpack is an ideal investment for any photographer on the move.

In our full review of the Nomatic McKinnon 25L camera backpack , we scored it 79.2 out of 100. It is a truly good-looking bag while still being functional.

Read our review of all the best camera backpacks . It shows you how they all stack up against each other.

Use our discount code EXPERT15 at checkout for an extra 15% off!

5. Think Tank MindShift BackLight 18L Camera Backpack

The Think Tank MindShift BackLight 18L is a camera backpack that exudes the spirit of adventure. Born from a collaboration of photography enthusiasts, it reflects the mountain climbing heritage of its creators.

The backpack is lightweight and boasts an impressive carrying capacity. So it’s perfect for travel photographers. Small rucksacks inspire its design, but it doesn’t skimp on the essentials of a camera bag.

The bag offers ample storage for professional-level gear. It’s also fitted with multiple fixing points for extra gear, making it a practical choice for hikers or climbers.

But it does have some downsides. Its rucksack vibe might not appeal to everyone. And the padding between the sides and the interior could be improved for better equipment protection.

But despite these minor drawbacks, the MindShift BackLight 18L remains a top contender in camera backpack reviews. It’s a reliable companion for those travel photography adventures.

Our full review of the Think Tank MindShift BackLight 18L camera backpack  gave it a score of 76.1 out of 100. We reckon it’s one of the best for hiking.

But it also works as a general travel camera backpack. You’ll find out how it compares to the other camera backpacks for travel in our article on the best camera backpacks .

6. Tenba Fulton V2 Camera Backpack

The Tenba Fulton V2 is a camera backpack perfect for travel photographers. And its lightweight and simple design also makes it an ideal choice for everyday use.

The bag’s all-weather design ensures superior protection against harsh elements. This makes it perfect for photographers who often work in unpredictable weather conditions.

Despite not being the most feature-rich bag, the Fulton V2 provides value for the right photographer. Its simplicity and durability are perfect for street photographers. And the lightweight nature of the bag makes it a comfortable choice for long days of shooting.

A slight drawback is the limited storage space for personal items. But this isn’t much of an issue for urban photographers who don’t carry many personal items.

The Tenba Fulton V2 is a solid camera backpack that offers good value. Its all-weather design and lightweight nature make it a great travel companion for photographers. It may not have all the bells and whistles of other bags, but it does the job well.

In our full review of the Tenba Fulton V2 Camera Backpack , we scored it 76 out of 100. You can see how this compares to the other camera backpacks for travel we reviewed by reading our article on the best camera backpacks .

7. Thule Covert 32L Camera Backpack

The Thule Covert 32L camera backpack is a top-notch travel choice for photographers. Its robust build quality and durable materials ensure it can withstand the rigors of outdoor adventures.

The Swedish brand, Thule, has a longstanding reputation for quality outdoor equipment. And the Covert backpack is no exception.

Despite being on the heavier side, its weight is justified by its superior construction and functionality. It offers ample storage and customizable padded dividers, making it versatile for different gear setups.

Its weather protection is excellent, safeguarding your equipment from the elements. But the main drawback is its weight. At 4.7 lb (2.14 kg) empty, it’s noticeably heavier than many other camera backpacks.

But traveling photographers who want durability and protection over lightweight convenience will find this a good investment. It’s designed to withstand the challenges of outdoor travel, And it’s a reliable companion for your photo adventures.

In our full review of the Thule Covert 32L camera backpack , we gave it a score of 75.4 out of 100. It’s in our top ten of the best camera backpacks , and you can see how the others fared as well.

8. Think Tank Airport Essentials Camera Backpack

The Think Tank Airport Essentials camera backpack is designed specifically for air travel. It offers an efficient design and useful features.

It’s compact and lightweight. Yet it provides excellent storage capacity and solid protection for your gear. Despite its lack of versatility, it serves as reliable hand luggage for photographers on the move.

The backpack’s outer material is a robust, canvas-like, woven 600D polyester. And it has a water-repellent coating for light showers. For heavier downpours, a removable waterproof cover is provided.

The interior is a blend of polyester and nylon. And it features a layer of soft nylon, providing some protection for your gear.

Security is a major plus with the Airport Essentials. All external zippers have hoops for attaching locks. And there’s a built-in cable lock.

It has limited flexibility. But this camera backpack excels in storage capacity, protection, and design. So it’s a smart choice for photographers who frequently travel. Plus, the bag’s lifetime warranty also adds value. 

Our full review of the Think Tank Airport Essentials camera backpack gave it a score of 75.4 out of 100. This put it in the top ten camera backpacks we reviewed. You can read the article on the best camera backpacks to learn more about all the bags we tested.

9. Gura Gear Kiboko V2.0 22L Camera Backpack

Renowned for its durable materials and ample room for large lenses, the Gura Gear Kiboko V2.0 22L camera backpack is an excellent choice as a travel backpack. It’s also ideal for wildlife and outdoor photographers.

Its robust outer frame offers solid protection, while the interior could use slightly more padding. But it has weather-resistant X-Pac VX-21 outer material. And it includes a waterproof cover to ensure excellent weather protection. So it’s ideal for outdoor expeditions and air travel alike.

The Gura Gear Kiboko V2.0 does have its drawbacks. The butterfly opening design may frustrate some photographers. And the dual opening on the front could limit the bag’s flexibility and capacity.

On the other hand, some photographers love the order and ease of use they provide. It’s also worth noting that this bag is pricier, which could be a deterrent for some.

Despite this, the bag has many strengths, making it a worthy contender for those seeking a reliable travel camera backpack. This includes robust shoulder straps and useful features like a laptop sleeve, tripod strap, and water bottle holder.

Plus, it’s endorsed by world-renowned photographers. So, all in all, the Gura Gear Kiboko V2.0 is a solid investment for photographers who prioritize durability and weather protection.

In our full review of the Gura Gear Kiboko V2.0 22L camera backpack , we gave it a score of 72.9 out of 100. You can see how it compares to others we reviewed in our article on the best camera backpacks . You’ll also find details of all the bags we tested and how we made our choices.

10. Tenba DNA 16 DSLR Camera Backpack

The Tenba DNA 16 DSLR camera backpack perfectly blends style and functionality. This bag is the epitome of versatility. It transitions between various scenarios effortlessly, making it ideal for travel and street photography.

It is designed for on-the-go photographers and offers a unique front camera insert that opens like a mailbox. This provides easy and discreet access to your gear. 

Durability is another strong suit of the Tenba DNA 16. It’s built to last, from the bustling streets of New York to the extreme cold of Antarctica.

It doesn’t just look good, but it’s also made to protect your camera gear in any weather condition. Made from weatherproof materials, it promises to withstand all environments. 

Despite its robust build, the Tenba DNA 16 keeps a low profile. Its sleek design blends seamlessly into any setting, making it less likely to attract unwanted attention. This makes it an excellent choice for photographers who prefer to keep a low profile while traveling.

But the Tenba DNA 16 has its drawbacks. Its camera compartment is rather small. And the padding is thin, which may not provide adequate protection for your gear. This makes it more suitable for photographers who carry minimal gear.

In essence, this is a well-rounded camera backpack for travel photographers. Its unique design, durability, and versatility make it a worthy contender in the market. But its limited camera compartment might be a deal-breaker for photographers with more extensive gear.

In our full review of the Tenba DNA 16 DSLR camera backpack , we gave it a score of 72.5 out of 100. If you would like to see how this compares to the other camera backpacks for travel we reviewed, then check out our article on the best camera backpacks .

11. Gura Gear Kiboko City Commuter 18L+ Camera Backpack

The Gura Gear Kiboko City Commuter 18L+ camera backpack is a product of photographers’ insights. And it’s an ideal travel companion.

It’s lightweight. It’s made from high-tech weatherproof materials. And it offers superior protection for camera gear. It’s designed to accommodate mirrorless cameras but can also fit a full frame DSLR.

This backpack is not just about protection. It’s also about convenience and organization. It has various dividers, allowing you to customize the space according to your needs.

It also features a laptop and tablet section. And both are padded for extra protection.

But the Gura Gear Kiboko City Commuter isn’t just about functionality. It’s about responsibility too. The main component, the external fabric, is produced in a carbon-neutral factory. This makes it a great choice for the eco-conscious photographer.

But, like any product, it’s not perfect. Some may find its design a bit mundane.

Also, accessing the main flap requires removing the bag, which can be inconvenient for some. But these are minor issues and don’t overshadow its overall performance.

In our full review of the Gura Gear Kiboko City Commuter 18L+ Camera Backpack , we gave it a score of 72.1 out of 100. See how we came to this decision and how it compares to other travel options with our review of the best camera backpacks .

Conclusion: The Best Camera Backpacks for Travel

An ideal camera backpack for travel isn’t necessarily about being able to change lenses quickly or how easy it is to attach your walking poles . The best hiking camera backpack isn’t necessarily the best travel bag.

Let’s face it, most travel to far-flung places is by plane. So we need to be confident that our gear will be safe and easy to carry through the airport and onto the plane. That’s why some of our top picks are about capacity rather than convenience.

That said, what impressed us most at ExpertPhotography is just how good the best camera backpacks are. They turn up again and again, whatever category we are looking at.

We love these top three camera backpacks for travel. But we think you’d do well to check out the others to find the perfect solution for your needs.

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Keep your camera gear safe during your next adventure with these excellent camera bags.

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One excellent way to keep your gear safe when on the go is to invest in quality camera bags for travel. They truly are an essential piece of your photography kit. Being able to confidently carry your equipment no matter where your travels take you can open new creative doors and allow you to photograph even more. Whether you are hopping on a plane, going on a road trip, or simply spending the day exploring your own city, having a dedicated bag to store and carry your equipment makes a big difference. Travel cases for cameras not only keep your expensive gear safe from the inevitable jostling around of travel, but they can also help you stay organized and save you some headaches when away from home. We’ve picked these outstanding options as the best camera bags for travel.

  • Best overall: WANDRD PRVKE
  • Best rugged: Shimoda Explore V2
  • Best for hiking: Moment Strohl Mountain Light
  • Best belt bag: Domke 5XA
  • Best sling bag: Peak Design 10L Everyday Sling V2
  • Best roller bag: Manfrotto Pro Light Reloader Switch-55
  • Best protection: Pelican Air 1615

How we chose the best camera bags for travel 

When selecting the bags in this guide, we considered choices from well-trusted brands, a wide variety of styles, and bags suitable for several different travel scenarios. We also put thought into the different amounts and types of gear that a photographer or videographer might need to bring along with them while traveling. For example, it was critical to include bags suitable for long-haul trips with lots of gear and more suitable options for day trips around a new city with more basic camera equipment. It was also important to only include items and brands that we’ve had experience using in the field or tested as part of a product review.  

The best camera bags for travel: Reviews & recommendations

WANDRD PRVKE is the best overall camera bag.

  • Color options: Black, Aegean Blue, Wasatch Green, Yuma Tan, Sedona Orange
  • Laptop sleeve: Yes, up to 16 inches
  • Exterior dimensions: 19 x 12.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Weight: 3.4 lbs
  • Bag type: Backpack
  • Durable, waterproof build 
  • Multi-use, versatile bag
  • Lots of organization pockets for personal items
  • Camera cube must be purchased separately

The WNDRD PRVKE is one of our favorite camera backpacks on the market—a versatile choice for traveling that’s accompanied us on many out-of-town shooting trips. It can hold a lot of gear while doing an excellent job of distributing weight. The dedicated camera cube and laptop sleeve make it easy to travel through airport security, and its many pockets are great for keeping personal items organized as well. The roll-top design allows you to expand its carrying capacity by five full liters, making it easy to toss a jacket or other essentials on top. And it has clever travel-friendly features like a key clip and a passport pocket. 

A left-side pocket makes it easy to access your camera without removing the bag from your body, which is useful when you are on the go. The abrasion-resistant and waterproof material of the bag will keep your gear safe and dry, an ideal feature for the best camera bag for travel. It’s available in 21L and 31L, or if you are looking to carry less, you can check out the PRVKE Lite, which is 11L. If you are traveling with minimal camera equipment, you PRVKE the best camera bag for travel.

The Shimoda Designs Explore Version 2 camera backpack

Mason Marsh

  • Color options: Black, Olive Green
  • Exterior dimensions: 11.6 x 20.3 x 6.7 inches
  • Weight: 8.8 pounds
  • Adjustable torso height
  • Water-resistant
  • Meets EU and Asian carry-on requirements 
  • Removable camera cube 
  • Also available in 25 or 35L sizes

Shimoda designed the Explore V2 with the idea that different people need different bags, and what’s comfortable for one person won’t work for everyone. To do this, they created the ability to adjust the torso height of the bag, a unique feature that will make it more comfortable to carry for different torso lengths. Plus, Shimoda sells different strap types to accommodate different bodies. The backpack also comes in three different sizes (25, 30, and 35L), with the 30L able to hold a medium mirrorless camera or a compact DSLR.

Built with travel in mind, the Explore V2 meets the strictest requirements of EU and Asian carry-on rules. Plus, it has a luggage passthrough, lockable zippers, a passport pocket, and a dual-access document sleeve. In addition, it has pockets on both sides for stashing a tripod and water bottle and multiple access points for camera equipment—including side access.

The bag features highly weather-resistant material and YKK AquaGuard zippers, so your gear will stay dry if you get caught in a brief rain shower. It also comes with a rain cover for more severe downpours. The Shimoda’s Explore V2 is one of the best camera bags for travel when you’ll find yourself exploring the outdoors with your camera. We liked it so much, we gave it a Pop Award as one of the best pieces of gear around.

Blue Moment Strohl Mountain Light 45L hiking camera backpack in a forest

Abby Ferguson

  • Color options:  Black or Blue
  • Laptop sleeve:  None
  • External dimensions:  31.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Weight:  2.6 pounds
  • Holds a lot of gear beyond camera equipment
  • Compatible with water bladders
  • Durable and waterproof
  • Collapses down for packing
  • Doesn’t hold much camera gear

If your travels are taking you on longer hikes that require more gear than just a jacket and some snacks, the Moment Strohl Mountain Light is a fantastic choice. It comes in two different torso lengths—17-18.5 inches and 18+ inches— so you can get a better-fitting bag for your body. And there are plenty of straps to adjust the fit once it’s on.

This hiking camera bag is a stuff sack style with a small camera compartment at the bottom. You’ll either need to buy the MTN Light Camera Insert or use your own internal camera unit (ICU). It’s important to note that this bag isn’t meant to hold a ton of camera gear. Instead, it’s for those who want to travel light and fast or are prioritizing hiking and camping gear over cameras. But, with the addition of the Camera Loader , you’ll get a little extra room and faster access to your camera.

One of the biggest selling points is how lightweight this camera backpack is. It weighs just 2.6 pounds when empty. And the internal frame is removable if you want to cut down on weight even more. It packs down super small, so you can easily toss it in your luggage to use on longer trips. The pack is compatible with a hydration bladder and can expand a lot, making it capable of holding lots of gear when you need it to. I went on a two-day backpacking trip with it and was able to carry everything I needed, and it was still relatively comfortable.

Domke 5XA is the best belt bag.

  • Color options: Black
  • Laptop sleeve: None
  • Exterior dimensions: 8 x 8 x 4.5 inches
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Bag type: Shoulder/belt
  • Can be worn on a belt or as a shoulder bag
  • Compact, lightweight option
  • Durable canvas build 
  • Doesn’t fit large DSLRs or long lenses

Domke is a classic camera brand if you are looking for an inconspicuous bag for a small camera body. This particular version can be worn over your shoulder or attached to your belt—making it a great choice for using in conjunction with a larger backpack for easy access to lenses or a flash. 

The canvas bag features a padded divider wall to keep lenses and camera bodies safe when they aren’t in use. Two small pockets on the front of the bag allow for the storage of small accessories like memory cards or a spare battery. Made of durable, water-resistant material, it will age beautifully over time—there’s a good reason why this style of bag has been a long-time favorite of photojournalists. Although we wouldn’t recommend this for long-haul travel, this Domke bag is an excellent option if you are looking for something compact and straightforward and you won’t be straying far from home. 

Peak Design 10L Everyday Sling V2

Peak Design

  • Color options: Ash, Black
  • Laptop sleeve : Yes, up to 13 inches
  • Exterior dimensions: 16.5 x 9.8 x 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.94 pounds with dividers, 1.5 pounds without dividers
  • Bag type: Sling 
  • Quick adjusting, padded shoulder strap
  • External strap for attaching a tripod
  • Unique flexifold Peak Design dividers
  • 13″ laptop sleeve is a bit snug if bag is fully packed
  • Front stash pocket could be slightly larger 

Peak Design’s Sling bag is an excellent choice for the best camera bag for travel if you are shooting mirrorless or favor a DSLR with a short lens. It has a nicely padded reversible shoulder strap that you can adjust easily with a quick pull feature. On the inside, you will find three of Peak Design’s signature FlexFold dividers for keeping camera lenses and bodies safe and secure during travel and a laptop sleeve that can hold up to a 13-inch laptop or a tablet. A front zippered pocket on the sling bag is best suited for small, flat items—like a memory card. 

Peak Design made their Everyday Sling out of 100 percent recycled material. It has a weatherproof exterior and anodized aluminum hardware. As a sling bag, it doesn’t have the capacity of a Peak Design backpack, but if your travel setup is minimal, this is a good choice. 

Manfrotto Pro Light Reloader Switch-55

  • Laptop sleeve: Yes, up to 17 inches
  • Exterior dimensions: 13.98 x 9.06 x 21.65 inches
  • Bag type: Roller backpack
  • Can be used as a backpack and roller bag
  • Built-in padlock keeps gear secure
  • Durable and weather-resistant
  • Holds a ton of gear

If you need a lot of gear, and thus a larger bag, having wheels can save your back during long airport days. The Manfrotto Pro Light Reloader Switch looks like a traditional carry-on suitcase and offers a useful wheeled format. But it also provides backpack straps, making it easier to transport the bag when you get away from terrain that makes sense for a wheeled bag.

This bag holds a ton of gear, making it ideal for pros who need an entire kit with them. It can hold a pro-level DSLR with a 40mm attached along with another body and up to four extra lenses. Mirrorless shooters will have no issues fitting expansive kits as well. There’s also a pocket on the side for attaching a tripod and a laptop sleeve that can hold up to a 17-inch laptop. The sleeve is quite narrow, though, so thick laptops won’t fit very well.

Manfrotto’s roller bag fits international carry-on sizes , so you won’t need worry about checking it, at least on larger airplanes. And it features a built-in TSA-approved padlock to keep your gear locked up and safe. It’s made of durable materials that are weather-resistant and is complete with straps on the inside of the bag to keep the lid from opening too far, which is ideal for busy airports.

The Pelican Air 1615 has handles on three sides, making it easy to carry and move.

  • Color options: Black, Yellow, Silver, Orange, Graphite
  • Laptop sleeve: No
  • Exterior dimensions: 32.58 x 18.40 x 11.02 inches
  • Weight: 14.06 pounds without foam or TrekPak dividers
  • Bag type: Wheeled hard case
  • Extremely durable construction 
  • Padded protection in a crushproof, dustproof, and watertight container
  • 40 percent lighter than other polymer cases 
  • Expensive 

Though not technically a bag, the Pelican Air is the best travel case for cameras if you have to fly with extensive camera equipment. It’s too large to fit in carry-on compartments, so this hard case will need to be checked with your airline. But because of its highly durable construction, you don’t have to worry about your gear staying safe. I flew with one from Hawaii to Florida, and there was barely a mark on the case. It’s made of lightweight HPX polymer and has a crushproof, dustproof, and waterproof design. And there are stainless steel padlock protectors, so you can lock things up with TSA-approved locks for more security.

Inside, the Pelican Air is lined with Pelican’s TrekPak divider system, which is fully customizable. They will keep your camera equipment safe and organized no matter how far it must travel. You can also opt for foam or padded dividers if that’s more to your liking. The case has wheels on the bottom and an extendable trolley handle, so it’s easy to move around. If you need to lift it to climb stairs, it also features a carry handle. Plus, it’s 28 percent lighter than earlier models and 40 percent lighter than other polymer cases on the market.

With interior dimensions of 29.59 x 15.50 x 9.38 inches, the Air 1615 holds a lot. If you want the same level of protection but would prefer a carry-on size, the Air 1535 is the way to go. It offers interior dimensions of 20.4 × 11.2 × 7.2 inches, so still holds plenty of gear, but you won’t have to pay for an extra checked bag.

Things to consider when searching for the best camera bags for travel

If you are bringing your camera equipment along when you travel—and we absolutely recommend that you do—it’s essential to have a great camera bag to keep your gear safe throughout your trip. You’ll also want something comfortable to carry, especially if you will be lugging your gear around for extended periods, like hiking or long airport days. 

Different bags make sense for different types of travel, and there are many options when it comes to styles of bags. Finding the perfect travel bag for your camera equipment often comes down to personal preference, but before adding a bag to your shopping cart, there are some things to consider. 

In general, look for something comfortable to carry, has padding to keep your lenses and camera bodies from bashing against one another, and is big enough to fit your essential equipment. A few extra pockets to keep personal items organized are great too. Then, answering the following questions can help narrow down your choice even more.

How far are you going? 

If you are traveling far from home and will be away for a while, a larger camera backpack or a rolling Pelican bag are both excellent places to start. These bigger options will allow you to bring more equipment. And they will also have additional space for some non-photography items you may need to pack. They can also offer more protection for your gear than other options.

If your travels mean you will be boarding a plane, look for something that will fit under the seat in front of you or the overhead bin. Some bags will even specify if they are carry-on compliant. In addition, most camera backpacks feature a dedicated laptop sleeve, making it easier to get through airport security quickly. 

If you are staying close to home and taking day trips, a low-profile shoulder bag or sling bag might be a better fit. It will keep you from being weighed down while photographing your adventures while still protecting your gear when you want to stash it. 

How much (and what) gear are you bringing? 

The second thing to consider is how much gear you need to travel with. The size of your equipment is also a factor. For example, DSLR bodies are bigger than most mirrorless cameras and won’t fit in certain bags as a result. If you don’t need to bring many lenses or a laptop, something simple like a shoulder bag or hip belt might be your best bet. For jobs that require a laptop and a more extensive kit of lenses, we prefer to use a backpack because of how it distributes the weight of the gear. 

For jobs that require a ton of gear—multiple cameras, lenses, and lights, for example—we’d recommend a rolling bag. Keep in mind that you can always mix and match. Using a combination of a backpack, hip pouch, and a roller if you need to. Keep reading to learn more about some of our favorite bags for traveling with camera gear. 

How rugged will your trips be?

Lastly, you’ll want to consider how rough your trips may be. For example, suppose you will be exploring rugged, remote places. In that case, you may want features like a pocket for a water bladder or multiple water bottles, solid weatherproofing and tear-resistant material, and additional room for storing non-photography gear. Extra sturdy padding, an interior frame for structure, and exterior attachment points may also be valuable. On the other hand, if you will mostly be romping around cities, a camera bag for travel that is less robust (and potentially cheaper) with less extra room and special features may be plenty for your needs.

Q: Are there any budget-friendly camera bags?

If you are looking to save when shopping for a camera bag, consider an Amazon Basics brand item. While these bags lack some of the features of the bags in this guide and may lack style points, they typically only cost $20-$50, depending on the size and style.

Q: How much does a camera bag for travel cost?

Prices vary widely on camera bags depending on how much gear they hold, what they are made of, and the size. Brand-name bags will often start around $130, while higher-end, rugged bags can be over $300.

Q: Where should I pack my camera when flying?

We recommend packing your camera bag in your carry-on and storing it either in the overhead bin or beneath the seat when flying. While you can have cameras in checked luggage, it is generally safer (and better for your peace of mind) to keep them on you.

Q: How do you travel with expensive camera equipment?

If you are flying with minimal camera gear, we recommend packing it in your carry-on luggage. If you are flying with a lot of camera equipment, we suggest packing your gear inside a well-padded Pelican case. If you have to check your bag under the plane, remember to remove any lithium batteries and store them in your carry-on. Insurance that covers your expensive gear while traveling is also a good idea.

Q: What is the best camera bag for professional photographers?

Professional photographers enjoy a variety of camera bags depending on what they are shooting, how far they are traveling, and what gear they need to bring along with them. For example, a professional landscape photographer will likely have different taste in camera bags than a wedding or event photographer. Also, it’s not unusual for a professional photographer to have a few different camera bags to choose from based on whatever the assignment might be. 

Final thoughts on the best camera bags for travel

Having the best camera bags for travel will give you peace of mind knowing that your gear is safe and sound for use when you arrive at your final destination. It will also help you comfortably carry your camera when out and about and potentially help you bring other essentials. 

Look for a bag with lots of structured padding to avoid damage to your camera equipment and one sized to count as a carry-on item if you will be flying. Of course, the bag that’s right for you will depend a lot on where your travels take you and what you need to bring along, but we are confident that the travel bags in this guide will fit the needs of all kinds of photographers. 

Why trust us

PopPhoto has a long history of delivering the opinions of some of the sharpest and most prolific camera dorks the world has to offer. Since 1937, we’ve been reviewing cameras, providing wisdom from well-known photographers, and generally just nerding out about all that goes into making great pictures. Our current crop of writers and editors have decades of professional photography and camera writing experience among them. Collectively, we’ve probably shot with just about every camera and lens combo you can imagine—as well as some obscure stuff you may not even know about. Remember the Casio Tryx folding camera? PopPhoto does.

We also get that buying a camera is a big decision, which is why we’re dedicated to helping folks choose the right one (or, in our case “ones”) for their needs. Case in point: Handing over top dollar for an expensive rig may leave you unsatisfied if it doesn’t fit your preferred shooting style. Sure, a $6,000 sports-oriented DSLR can capture landscapes, but do you really need to do it at 30 frames-per-second? No, you don’t.

Jeanette D. Moses

Jeanette D. Moses is a New York City–based filmmaker and photographer known for her intimate depictions of New York's creative communities. She’s been a contributor to PopPhoto since 2014, specializing in interviews, gear reviews, and all things analog.

Abby Ferguson

Abby Ferguson is the Associate Editor for Gear and Reviews at PopPhoto, joining the team in 2022. She has been involved with the photography industry in various capacities since her undergraduate training at the University of Kentucky, with work ranging from client photography to program development and management of the photo department at Evolve, a vacation rental company.

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The Best Camera Bags of 2024

Tenba Messenger Camera Bag

Whether you’re an amateur who loves shooting on nature walks or a professional with back-to-back events, having a functional, high-quality camera bag in your tool kit is critical. 

With so many types of bags available, choosing the best one for your needs can be hard. The best camera bag provides padding and protection for your expensive gear, is comfortable for long days of shooting, and offers easy access during those can’t-miss moments. 

With years of professional photography experience, tester Katelyn Clement tested seven satchel camera bags varying in size, protection level, and features. Her goal: to find the best camera bags for all photographers, from the point-and-shooter to the event-going professional.

In her 8-year career, Clement has photographed several large concert events, video shoots, and outdoor excursions. She has shimmied through tight crowds and trekked up muddy trails enough to know that a reliable camera bag is necessary to keep camera gear safe, and her worries about that expensive gear in check. 

We tested on hiking trails, at crowded events in music venues, and many scenarios in between. Whether you need a simple option for everyday use or a multicompartment hauler for your camera quiver, we’ve got you covered. Scroll through to see all of our recommended models. Check out our buyer’s guide , comparison chart , and FAQ to learn more.

  • Best Overall Camera Bag: Tenba DNA 16 PRO Messenger Bag
  • Best Budget Camera Bag: Ruggard Hunter 35 DSLR Holster
  • Best Camera Bag for Event Shoots: WANDRD Rogue Sling 9L
  • Best Protective Camera Bag: Peak Design Everyday Sling V2 6L

Tenba DNA 16 PRO Messenger Bag

  • Weight 2.9 lbs., /1.32 kg
  • Outside dimensions 15.75" x 12" x 7.5"
  • Inside dimensions 14.75"x 11.5" x 6"
  • Materials TPU-coated material (waterproof) with YKK zippers.

Product Badge

  • Exclusive Whisper Hook closure, flap
  • Quick-access top zipper
  • Big padded computer slot
  • Lots of inside room
  • Inserts foldover top
  • Whole insert comes out
  • Plentiful pockets
  • Fits so much that it can get heavy for a shoulder bag
  • May be a little too bulky for short and smaller framed photographers

Finding a bag as universal as the Tenba DNA 16 PRO Messenger Bag ($200) is akin to finding a unicorn. Why do we say that? Well, this modern bag not only holds a ton of gear but also makes it extremely easy to access so you never miss a shot.   

One thing about the Tenba brand, in particular, is its exclusive Whisper Hook design that allows the closure clip to slide and release with ease and securely clip back together. The more gear you have, the harder it is to unclip, but the straps adjust to accommodate the amount of gear you need to carry.

This bag also has an easy-access top zipper large enough so you can dig around for a specific lens without having to put your bag down to unhook the flap. Photography is all about capturing unexpected moments; the Pro Messenger bag is designed so you can do this with speed and ease.   

This bag was full of surprises since it felt like we kept discovering a new pocket or compartment. Our tester took this bag to a professional photo shoot at a concert and easily fit two camera bodies, four lenses, a laptop, and two water bottles, and attached a tripod using the side straps.

The one downside to all this space? It got heavy fast! At hour 2 of this 5-hour event, Clement found the bag wasn’t supportive enough to carry that much gear, so she had to find a secure area backstage for the bag.  Though the adjustable, padded strap makes carrying this bag easy and comfortable for a short amount of time, she found that if it’s loaded up her neck and shoulders start to ache. Clement also found the bag was a little too big for her body frame at 5’6” and 140 pounds. 

With its waterproof material and seam-sealed base, the Tenba fared very well when taken outside. And while the TPU-coated material does keep your gear dry, it gets a little warm in the heat, so it may make you sweat. Bonus feature: the bag comes with a rain sleeve that works well in a downpour.  

This bag may be a little pricey, but it is one of the most durable, versatile camera bags out there. It could easily become a bag you take to the office for work or one you use for exploring a new city along with your camera. If used as a traditional camera bag for professional photographers, the Tenba DNA 16 PRO Messenger Bag is the perfect accessory for large events like weddings and banquets.

Ruggard Hunter 35 DSLR Holster Bag

  • Weight 0.64 lbs. / 0.29 kg
  • Outside dimensions 7.3” x 5.3” x 8.25”
  • Inside dimensions 6.5” x 4.5” x 7.0”
  • Materials Water-repellent exterior and smooth polyester lining, mesh pocket

The Best Camera Bags of 2024

  • Quick-release buckle
  • Adjustable, removable shoulder strap
  • Weather resistant
  • Card slots so you never run out of memory
  • Front zipper pocket keeps accessories organized
  • Very padded
  • Plastic clips may break
  • Only fits crop sensors and smaller cameras
  • The mesh side pocket isn’t very thick

If you’re just starting out as a photographer or are a pro going light for the day, the Ruggard Hunter 35 DSLR Holster Bag ($16) is a great way to protect and carry that single camera body and lens. 

Although the most affordable option on our list, this holster bag has a generous amount of padding for its size. The front zippered pocket, also padded, leaves just enough room for small accessories, while the interior has two SD card pockets just inside the lid. The padded handle allows you to carry without the risk of stressing your hand. 

The zippered top allows for quick, easy access and opens away from your body, so no one but you can use it. The adjustable strap lets you decide the length accordingly, and the nylon is strong enough to handle the weight. However, the plastic clips seem like they would break if put under enough force. 

The weather-resistant material keeps your camera dry in light rain, and the accessory strap allows the user to wear this bag in two different ways: around the shoulder or at the hip. Outdoors, this bag proved to be durable and easy to carry. The only issue we had with this bag is that it can only fit a smaller setup and does not have room for extra lenses due to its shape and size.

The Ruggard Hunter 35 DSLR Holster Bag is perfect for quick, on-the-go photography with a single DSLR camera and one attached lens. There is plenty of room for several extra SD cards and a couple of spare batteries, so it’s a simple, well-padded, protected way to carry all you need for a day of shooting. 

Wandrd Rogue Sling 9L

  • Weight 1.74 lbs. / 0.79 kg
  • Outside dimensions 8.5"X 13.5" X 7"
  • Inside dimensions 7.75” X 13" X 5"
  • Materials 840D Jr. Ballistic nylon with 5PM coating, (weather resistant) 1680D ballistic nylon, weather-resistant YKK zippers

The Best Camera Bags of 2024

  • Does not fall forward when you reach into it
  • Three ways to carry
  • Weather-resistant
  • Three grab handles and key clip
  • Tripod straps work well
  • Fits 16" laptop
  • Comes in a variety of sizes for different needs (3L, 6L, and 9L)
  • When using the laptop pocket, the laptop hangs out, unprotected
  • Sides aren’t very well padded

The WANDRD Rogue Sling 9L ($159) is an extremely comfortable bag with several unique qualities and many forms of protection.  

Available in several colors and three sizes (3L, 6L, and 9L), this bag can be carried over the shoulder, as a messenger bag, or “fanny pack” style. It has easily adjustable straps and three different grab handles.

Additional features make this a great option: extra straps to hold a compact tripod, clips in front for key rings, plentiful pockets for memory cards and accessories, and a “secret” pocket at the base for an umbrella, light rain jacket, or water bottle.

Thanks to these features, its waterproof material, and enough padding to protect a full-frame camera body and two to three spare lenses, this 9L bag is perfect for hiking. We found it very comfortable while on walks and appreciated that it protected our camera gear, water bottles, and snacks from a light rain halfway through the hike. 

Even with three carry options, this bag is well-balanced, easy to access, and doesn’t tip forward when we are digging through it. While we shot a 4-hour event in a concert hall, the strap remained comfortable and never caused an achy neck or shoulder.

Compared to the Tenba DNA 16 PRO Messenger Bag , Clement found that this bag allowed her to carry the amount of gear needed, but was easier to handle with her size and frame.  This bag kept our gear dry from outdoor elements and it also protected us from a syrupy drink spilled on us at the concert venue. The weather-resistant material is also easy to clean. 

Our only concern is that although the WANDRD bag does have a 16-inch laptop slot, there is a zipper you have to undo on the underside to give that sized laptop room to fit. This means the laptop hangs unprotected from the bottom of the bag and has limited protection on the sides. This wouldn’t be a problem for a wearer with a tablet, smaller laptop, or no device at all.

This bag is one of the more comfortable, even when we packed it full of gear. It provides considerable padding and has adjustable inserts for different-sized lenses or camera bodies, making it ideal for shooting events where you need to constantly change lenses. Since the inserts are adjustable and removable, the WANDRD Rogue Sling 9L is versatile and great for other uses like travel. It does come in three sizes (3L, 6L, 9L), so finding the size right for you and your needs is easy. 

Peak Design Everyday Sling V2 6L

  • Weight 1.72 lbs. / 0.78 kg
  • Outside dimensions 13.39-10.63” x 5.12-4.33” x 9.45”
  • Inside dimensions 11-9”x 4.33-3.5” x 8.27”
  • Materials 400D double poly-coated DWR-impregnated nylon canvas shell. 100% recycled post-consumer material, nylon interior. Hardware is anodized aluminum and glass-reinforced nylon (weatherproof)

The Best Camera Bags of 2024

  • Dedicated tablet sleeve with magnetic closure
  • Divider shelves aid in organization & increase versatility
  • Shell is 100% recycled
  • Inside stretchy pockets increase storage and organization
  • Top of the dividers fold over for added protection
  • Tripod and external carry clips allow for extra gear
  • Weatherproof
  • Comes in 3L, 6L, and 10L for varying needs
  • Rigid dividers
  • The inside side pouches are too small for anything
  • Inner zipper pocket fits only small things
  • Front zipper pocket is very flat

The Peak Design Everyday V2 6L Sling ($120) is a slick, sleek sling that provides enough padding and safety for your camera and two to three lenses. With two different ways to wear, cross-body or over the shoulder, this bag allows easy access to your camera and provides room for many accessories. 

On hikes, the Peak Design sling proved extremely durable and comfortable. Its weatherproof recycled 400D shell keeps gear safe with its thick insulation layer. And even after hours in the sun, this material stayed cool and didn’t overheat. We loved how the swivel clips and padded strap made it easy to swing the bag around to the front for quick access. Additional quick-grab hooks and straps mean you can attach a tripod on the bottom. 

The inside of the bag has adjustable shelf dividers, allowing you to customize what you bring, and how you pack and organize your gear. You can fit a camera with two lenses on either side or stack two small lenses with the shelf used as a divider. 

The dedicated tablet sleeve is ideal for bringing along a small screen and has a magnet to keep it closed. Although we could fit an iPad, the sleeve is a bit short, exposing some of the iPad. The sleeve is thick enough to protect from rubbing up against your other gear. 

We felt that some of the storage options fell short. The outside pocket is small and compressed so it is best used for flatter gear like memory cards, phones, or spare batteries. The two inner side pockets are small, making them hard to get into, so they would be best for extra straps. 

While tested against the WANDRD Rogue Sling 9L and Tenba DNA 16 PRO Messenger Bag , Clement found the Peak stiffer and harder to stretch or open. However, the Peak bag could hold the same amount of gear as the WANDRD bag, even though its design was a bit sleeker. 

The Peak Design Everyday V2 6L bag is perfect for everyday carry and discreet enough for street photography. It can be used for simple photo sessions, smaller events, vacations, and hikes. This V2 series comes in 3, 6, and 10 L. We recommend the 6L or 10L bag if you need more than a basic DSLR and lens.

Amazon Basics Large DSLR Gadget Bag

  • Weight 1.56 lbs. / 0.71 kg
  • Outer dimensions 15” x 7.9” x 11.8”
  • Inner dimensions 11” x 6.5” x 7.5”
  • Materials Polyester, nylon, Velcro

The Best Camera Bags of 2024

  • Slot for a small tablet
  • Room for a full frame camera and extra lens
  • Lots of side pockets
  • Rubber feet on bottom
  • Access to gear is a bit cumbersome
  • Plastic clasps seem flimsy

The Amazon Basics Large DSLR Gadget Bag ($43) is true to its name; it is a great, basic camera bag. With tons of pockets and adjustable inserts, it can fit a full-frame camera body, two to three lenses, and a decent amount of gear like cards, batteries, and a small tablet. 

If you’re feeling brave, more gear could fit into this bag. The inside is surprisingly roomy for how small the bag first seems, and the extra pockets stretch out a small amount.

This well-padded bag protects your gear, and it even boasts rubber feet at the base, so there are no worries about wearing down the bottom when you need to set it down. 

Although the material is not considered “water resistant,” it does well at repelling moisture. During a hot day outside, the bag got a little warm, but it kept the camera and gear relatively cool. 

One of our gripes was the difficulty we had getting into the bag quickly. There is no easy-access zipper or opening, so you must unclip and open the top of the bag toward your body. But there is a “belt loop” where you can hook your camera body, or even a spare camera, for quick grabs in fast moments.

Our other concern is that the straps are not the most supportive so the bag can feel a little heavy and get hard on the neck and shoulders depending on how much gear you pack. If you’re used to bringing your entire kit on every walk or adventure, you’ll want to be more choosy when using this bag. 

The Amazon Basics Large DSLR Gadget Bag is a good starter bag for a reasonable price. If you’re a photographer who doesn’t lug around a lot of accessories, or if you work smaller events that don’t require a huge amount of gear, this is the bag for you. 

Fosoto Waterproof Anti-Shock Camera Bag

  • Weight 0.58 lbs. / 0.26 kg
  • Outer dimensions 7.8” x 5.9” x 4.3”
  • Inner dimensions 7” x 5.1” x 3.9”
  • Materials Nylon, mesh pocket

The Best Camera Bags of 2024

  • Adjustable and comfortable strap
  • Water-resistant bag is equipped with extra rain cover
  • Padded anti-shock interior
  • Cannot go into water or heavy downpour
  • Not a lot of extra space
  • Plastic clips could break

Like the Ruggard Hunter 35 DSLR Bag , the FOSOTO Waterproof Anti-Shock Bag ($21) is mainly for smaller-bodied cameras. It is an ideal holster bag for nature walks or simple vacations. 

This bag can be worn over the shoulder or at your hip. The excess strap could be used to carry a compact tripod; anything larger would exceed the size of the bag. The quick-release buckle allows easy DSLR access, and the anti-shock interior and padding keep the gear safe from outside forces. 

The inside zipper mesh pocket holds small gear like extra cords, batteries, and memory cards. The mesh is slightly thinner than other bags with a mesh pouch, and the zipper does not run as smoothly but does stretch enough to fit small accessories.  

The water-resistant exterior keeps your camera dry in light rain, and the rain cover that comes with it protects against heavier showers. It also stayed reasonably cool while in warm weather. 

It provides enough protection for a small-to-medium DSLR, and it is easy to carry with the straps. While testing, Clement found that the top handle also made it easy to move the bag around her body while taking photos. It was lightweight enough to keep her neck and shoulders from getting too fatigued after a few hours of walking. 

The FOSOTO Waterproof Anti-Shock Bag is perfect for beginner or hobbyist photographers. It is compact and provides enough protection that a professional photographer could easily fit into a larger camera bag. Given its protection, the low price point makes the bag a solid, affordable option.

CADeN Canvas Camera Bag

  • Weight 1.87 lbs. / 0.85 kg
  • Outside dimensions 16” x 8”x 9.5”
  • Inside dimensions 11.81” x 5.12”x 7.87”
  • Materials Canvas fabric, polyester, waterproof faux leather straps

The Best Camera Bags of 2024

  • A tripod can be attached at the bottom
  • Waterproof canvas
  • Removable inserts can be used to make a small duffle bag
  • Stylish design
  • No padding on the outside
  • Not a lot of organization in the pockets
  • Snaps aren’t the best
  • Not super comfortable to carry

As far as aesthetics go, the CADeN Canvas Camera Bag ($55) is for photographers who enjoy that vintage travel look. It is made of thick, waterproof canvas with leather straps and brass buckles. There are hidden snaps under these buckles, so you can quickly access your gear by simply unsnapping them without needing to unbuckle anything. 

The side pockets could be great for storing a water bottle or cleaning tools like a microfiber cloth or lens blower. We found this bag, designed to be worn over the shoulder, a bit too cumbersome even with the adjustable strap.

The adjustable straps mean the bag can fit a wide range of people, but the straps don’t really stay put if you are running or moving around a lot. The zippers, although strong, don’t move as smoothly as the zippers on some other bags. 

The inserts are not as padded as other bags we tested, but they are removable meaning the CADeN could be used as an overnight duffle rather than the traditional camera bag. The inserts could also be replaced with more padded options.  This bag, which also has straps for a tripod, could easily hold a bigger camera body and a couple of lenses, but we worry that the canvas wouldn’t be enough to protect such a load.  

At a mid-level price, the CADeN is a decent bag with stylish aesthetics; the worn canvas and leather straps are detailed to the last stitch. Its discreet look means it could be used for small events or street photography.

However, if you don’t have a lot of gear to put around the inserts, they are not stable enough to stay in place and could cause shifting within the bag. If you have a lot of gear, it quickly gets heavy on your shoulders. This bag is ideal for situations where you can put the bag down often or store it somewhere during the shoot. 

Overall, the CADeN Canvas Camera Bag is a beautiful option for casual photographers with light gear looking for just enough pockets and a roomy interior. 

Camera Bags Comparison Chart

best travel camera bag for dslr

How We Tested Camera Bags

The best way to test a camera bag is to fill it with the gear you need and put it to use “in the wild.” So, that’s exactly what our tester, Katelyn Clement, and her partner, Ethan Weise (also a professional photographer), did. With 20 years of photography experience, this dynamic duo made the ideal team to determine each bag’s performance.  

Clement’s first goal was to test whether manufacturer claims for materials between “water resistant” and completely “weatherproof” held up. Cameras, lenses, and associated equipment are never cheap. And, you don’t want something as simple as a fabric to damage an expensive lens.  

In addition to photography experience, Clement and her partner have almost 30 years of outdoor experience. They hike, camp, and raft in every free moment. They hiked these bags through forests and along muddy creeks for a couple of months. They set them down in wet gravel and used them in snow, rain, and sunshine.

Their discovery? Practically all manufacturers were honest when they claimed materials were water-resistant or weatherproof. A few of the less durable bags may show signs of wear sooner (we’ll report on this in our next update), but they survived our initial outdoor test.

The next test came when our testers were hired for photo events. Some of these bags are geared toward professional photographers, so she knew they needed to be compared against one another. At crowded events, bumps and spilled or sloshed drinks are inevitable. Thus, they offered a great opportunity to test durability and protection.

And, of course, comfort is key for any type of camera bag. They also made sure to wear each bag for at least a few hours at a time without a break.


Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Camera Backpack

The best way to choose a camera bag is to first look at how and where you will be using your bag. Are you a hobbyist who loves going on nature hikes with your DSLR and taking bird photos? Do you just do one-on-one shoots like engagements or family portraits? Or do you work large-scale events that require multiple full-frame camera bodies and several lenses? These answers will guide you in choosing the best bag that fits your needs.  

You’ll want to consider various factors including bag size, amount of protection, comfortability, aesthetics, durability, accessibility, and storage. Knowing how and where you will use your camera bag will guide you to the right bag for your needs. 

All the bags above that our team has tested will first and foremost protect your camera. These are over-the-shoulder and messenger-style bags that will serve you whether you are on a nature hike or working a wedding. If you prefer a backpack-style camera bag to protect your precious cargo, check out our guide to the Best Camera Backpacks . 

It’s important to find a bag that will protect your gear and last a long time. Bags with water-resistant or waterproof outer shells will keep your equipment dry and moisture-free. Materials like polyurethane laminate (PUL), vinyl, polyester, nylon, or Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), like those in the Tenba DNA16 PRO Messenger Bag , are commonly used in water-resistant or weatherproof bags.


Seams, bases, and zippers are weak spots where moisture can get in even if the materials are waterproof. YKK zippers are high quality and are often found on the best camera bags. So, choose a bag with a seam-sealed base and solid zippers. The Tenba DNA 16 PRO Messenger Bag and the WANDRD Rogue Sling 9L have these important features.

Finding a camera bag that’s the right size for every situation is challenging. But, choosing a bag that meets your needs most of the time is essential. You don’t want a bag that is too small to hold the number of lenses you need, but you also don’t want a giant bag that requires digging to find what you need. The wrong size bag will be inconvenient and could potentially damage your gear.  


Photographers with single point-and-shoot cameras will want a compact bag like the FOSOTO Waterproof Anti-Shock Bag with padding and protection. An event photographer will need space for two camera bodies and several lenses, SD cards, and a tripod. 

Camera bags often come in a range of sizes measured in liters. For example, the WANDRD Rogue Sling 9L comes in 3, 6, and 9L sizes. Some bags, like the Peak Design Everyday V2 6L Sling , have a 10L option. A 3L bag works best for a small camera with one lens while a 6-liter bag fits a few more lenses. A 9L to 10L bag is perfect for multiple full-frame cameras, lenses, and accessories. 


A comfortable bag is important, especially considering how much gear will be crammed into it and how long you will be on your feet. An adjustable, padded strap allows you to move the bag according to your height. Padding keeps the strap from digging into your neck. We found that the WANDRD Rogue Sling 9L offered the most comfort because it had adjustable straps, a strap pad, and extra padding in strategic places.

Bags that provide two or three different ways to wear them are a plus. Over-the-shoulder will give you quick access to your gear. Making your bag into a cross-body will keep your shoulder and neck from knotting up. A bag with the hip holster-style carry will keep your arms free while giving fast access. If your body is sore after a long shoot, cruise over to our guide to the Best Foam Rollers . Hopefully, you’ll find some relief.



Another important thing to consider when choosing a camera bag is accessibility to your camera and equipment. If you are out for a stroll and you see a bird you want to capture, or you are at a wedding and the groom does something spontaneous, you need to be able to reach into your bag and quickly grab your camera. 

Enter the easy-access zipper. These zippers allow you to reach into the bag instead of opening the main flap. The Tenba DNA 16 PRO Messenger Bag has this zipper at the very top of the bag. It has a smooth glide and is large enough to fit your whole arm in.  

Another easy-access feature is when the flap or top of the bag is designed to open away from your body. The Ruggard Hunter 35 DSLR Holster Bag has such a feature. A top that opens toward your body creates one more obstacle for getting to your camera, while a flap that opens away makes for a quick grab.


Your budget plays a role in which bag you choose. But, considering the cost of the equipment you’re trying to protect, it’s crucial to choose a high-quality bag. The Ruggard Hunter 35 DSLR Holster Bag can fit your budget while offering a solid amount of protection and padding.  

Camera bags can be more expensive than general messengers or slings because of the added padding and protective materials.

A more expensive bag, like the Tenba DNA 16 PRO Messenger Bag , is probably worth the $200 if it means that your lens and several other pieces of expensive camera equipment stay as safe and protected as possible.

However, some very good, more affordable options, like the Amazon Basics Bag ($43) and the CADeN Canvas Camera Bag ($45), offer a solid amount of protection at a reasonable price. They both have the protection and room for a couple of cameras and lenses. 


Special Features

Bags’ special features will vary, but small details make the best camera bags. The Tenba DNA 16 PRO Messenger Bag includes their exclusive Whisper Hook, a clasp that easily slides undone and snaps back together magnetically. 

Good quality bags have the YKK zippers, as mentioned in the materials section above . The easy-access zipper on the Tenba makes a quick grab more efficient and manageable.

Sometimes, we find special features in the oddest of places. The WANDRD Rogue Sling 9L has a “secret” pouch at the bottom of the bag that could hold a light rain jacket, poncho, water bottle, or small tripod. The small pocket at the bottom of this sling hides an excess strap, which can be used to secure items tethered to the outside of the bag.  


Choose the bag based on how you will use it.

Will you be hiking? Pick a camera backpack.

Will you be using it for travel? Pick something lightweight that fits carry-on regulations.

Will you be shooting big events with lots of people? Pick a well-padded bag with shock resistance so that if someone runs into you, you won’t feel panicked about checking your bag for broken gear.

Will you be out all day or constantly need to change cameras and lenses? Choose a larger bag that easily holds a camera body or two, the appropriate accompanying lenses, and pockets with spare batteries and backup cards. 

The number of cameras and lenses you want to carry will determine the type of camera bag you choose. If all you have is a simple point-and-shoot, the Ruggard Hunter 35 DSLR Holster Bag would be best. If you have a DSLR, a bag at least an inch or two larger than the body will give it room. If you need to bring multiple camera bodies and lenses to an event, a larger bag with many pockets, like the Tenba DNA 16 PRO Messenger Bag , is ideal. 


Short answer: No. If you feel like risking it, you can keep your camera in a regular bag. But the likelihood that your camera will be damaged is increased. And if you’re attached to your bag, you can always buy a padded camera cube and then place it in the bag.

However, a camera bag be safer for your camera and will also keep your peripherals organized. This ensures you have access to everything you need when you need it.

Whether you are working an event outside or indoors, your camera bag should at least be water resistant. If it rains, the bag will keep your gear dry while you seek shelter or slip on a rain sleeve. If you’re shooting an indoor event, chances are you will sweat from running around and being in a crowded room.

You’ll want your bag to keep your equipment dry if it’s at your hip or on your back all night. Your sweat will soak through as easily as water. A weatherproof bag is ideal. But, anything that is water or weather-resistant will also work by offering some protection. 

best travel camera bag for dslr

The Best Daypacks of 2024

We tested the best daypacks of 2024 with options for every budget. Top picks include Osprey, Cotopaxi, and more.

best travel camera bag for dslr

The Best Camera Backpacks of 2024

We tested the best camera backpacks of 2024 with options for every budget. Top picks include Lowepro, Peak Design, and more!

best travel camera bag for dslr

Katelyn Clement is a freelance writer and content creator.  She has been writing feature articles and product reviews for about eight years. She was first published in GearJunkie in 2024.

Before that, Katelyn worked as an editor for her university’s publications, The Mirror (newspaper), The EDDA (yearbook), and began the first campus student podcast, Light Reflections during her senior year. She continued her journalism career by becoming a news broadcaster at KELO Radio for two years, before ultimately deciding to switch gears and focus more on featured articles, blogs, product reviews, visual content, and editing.

Based in South Dakota, Katelyn spends her free time reading, biking, playing with polaroid cameras, and forwarding the life expectancy of her eardrums at punk concerts.

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best travel camera bag for dslr

How-To Geek

The best camera bags of 2023.

Find the right camera bag, no matter what you shoot.

Read update

We've reviewed our recommendations and updated our picks for the best leather camera bag, sling bag, and camera bag for travel.

While there is no one perfect camera bag that will work for every photographer, there is one out there that will work for you. We'll cover some of the best camera bags you can get your hands on here.

UPDATE: 12/19/2023

Peak design everyday totepack, manfrotto street slim backpack, lowepro protactic 450 aw ii, thule aspect dslr backpack, wandrd rogue 9l sling, megagear torres mini, what to look for in a camera bag in 2023.

A camera bag is often one of the first items photographers need to buy and an essential camera accessory . But with so many options on the market, it isn't easy to narrow down the best photography camera bag for you.

First, consider what you shoot. Are you a street photographer, or do you mostly shoot weddings? A street photographer will probably need their bag on them at all times, so they'll need something easy and light to carry around. A camera bag for a wedding photographer is more about getting gear from point A to point B, so a bigger, more cumbersome bag is fine so long as it fits everything they need.

What's your camera setup? DSLR shooters will need more room in their bags than people with a small mirrorless camera . A wildlife photographer will need something that stands up to the elements and can fit the massive zoom lenses that are often necessary to grab that perfect shot.

Also, something to keep in mind is that not every camera bag is a backpack. There are also messenger bags, sling bags, and bags that don't look like they're meant to hold a camera at all. It's worth finding which style suits you best in addition to what meets your technical needs. A bag that doesn't work well with you will only be frustrating to work with, regardless of how good it is.

Whatever type of gear bag you end up with, be sure that it's built to last. After all, you'll likely be hauling around several hundred dollars worth of equipment around in it on a regular basis. Cheap bags can be tempting, but it's worth it to invest a little extra into a product that you'll get five to ten years out of instead of something you'll replace in less than one.

With that in mind, here's our roundup of the best camera bags for photographers.

How-To Geek's product recommendations come from the same team of experts that have helped people fix their gadgets over one billion times. We only recommend the best products based on our research and expertise. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product. Read More »

Best Camera Bag Overall: Peak Design Everyday Totepack

The Peak Design Everyday Totepack is an excellent all-rounder if you're looking for a simple go-to camera pack for your everyday carry. It's designed with external cords that fasten a cover if you're trekking through stormy weather, is made from sturdy recycled canvas, and has a weatherproof top closure.

The included insert can also be arranged into multiple configurations to fit your gear. So whether you shoot mirrorless or DSLR, you'll be able to carry a camera body plus a few lenses. The amount of space you get is well-suited for most shooters, as you can fit three lenses total (two plus one attached to the body). If you're heading on a backpacking trip or a shoot that requires more complicated gear, however, you'll want to reach for something with more room.

Peak Design's pack is also one of the few camera bags that doesn't look like a camera bag, so it can easily double as a commuter companion or day pack. That comes in handy both in terms of style and practicality—camera bags that look the part can broadcast to thieves that you're carrying expensive gear. For an everyday carry, the minimal design of the Totepack is perfect.

best travel camera bag for dslr

Peak Design's Everyday Totepack is a well-designed and stylish camera bag you can take anywhere.

Best Budget Camera Bag: Manfrotto Street Slim Backpack

A compact bag from a known manufacturer of quality camera gear, the Manfrotto Street Slim Backpack can fit a ton of gear and still keep a slim outline. That makes it particularly good for walking around the city, lightweight shoots, or a budget everyday carry bag.

Street photographers out for a long day of shooting would get some miles out of this bag, as it can hold both your gear and extras like a laptop , memory cards, and some snacks. There's even room to fit a strobe light for studio shoots.

The styling on this bag is understated, though it does still have some Manfrotto branding, and it comes in multiple colors. The fabric might not hold up as well as more ruggedly-designed, expensive alternatives, but it's fine for a simple everyday carry bag.

A packing cube is included specifically for holding camera gear, which you can remove to make this a regular backpack. There aren't any access points to your camera while you're still wearing the bag, but it does have roomy side pockets and a luggage pass-through as a reasonable trade-off.

All in all, this is a solid choice for a photographer on a budget.

A budget camera bag from a respected manufacturer with many of the same features as pricier options.

Best Camera Backpack: Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW II

Lowepro is a manufacturer that's been around for years and developed a reputation for great products. If you're not worried about your camera bag looking like a camera bag, the Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW II is among the best options out there.

This bag is durable, can fit gear from DSLR bodies to drones , and is padded for comfort. Bags like the ProTactic get flack in some circles for their militaristic look, but if that's the style you're into, this bag delivers.

The ProTactic 450 includes a weatherproof cover for added protection on outdoor shoots. Hard EVA plastic and padding provide some shock absorption and also give the bag that "turtle-shell/tactical" look that people either love or hate.

You'll also get interior dividers that can be repositioned depending on what you're carrying that day and a handy tripod holder. All that adds up to a bag that traveling photographers love to use as an all-rounder.

A hardy, roomy, and relatively inexpensive camera bag you can carry in more rugged terrain.

Best Camera Bag for Travel: Thule Aspect DSLR Camera Bag

Thule’s Aspect DSLR backpack is a durable, water-resistant nylon bag perfect for frequent travelers. A dedicated side zipper entry lets you easily access your DSLR camera and multiple accessories. This compartment is well-padded, so you don’t have to worry about damage to your camera gear during a hike or a bumpy car ride.

Another padded zipper pocket at the back of the bag can hold a 15.6-inch laptop and a tablet, and a quick-access pocket in front can hold snacks and other small items. The main compartment is large enough to hold a few days' worth of clothes, and a side pocket and strap can easily accommodate a tripod.

With how much this backpack can hold and its base weight of 3.2 pounds, it can get heavy quickly, but the padded, removable hip belt helps evenly distribute weight and make the journey more comfortable. On each side of the hip belt, there are small zippered pockets, making it easy to grab a snack or store a lens cap without taking the entire backpack off.

The perfect travel companion for photographers, with a padded hip belt for comfortable long-term wear and multiple padded compartments inside.

Best Camera Sling Bag: W ANDRD Rogue 9L Sling

The ROGUE 9L Sling from WANDRD is a versatile camera bag that can be carried as a traditional sling bag, a messenger bag, or a waist bag. WANDRD’s 5-point adjustment system makes these different carrying styles possible, so it's easy to personalize the fit to your body type and preference.

This bag features a smooth nylon material with 5PM coating and YKK zippers, making the ROGUE 9L Sling the perfect weather-resistant companion for rainy-day shoots. Inside, two removable dividers make it easy to customize how the bag fits all your gear. You can easily fit a camera and multiple lenses inside the 9L Sling, but WANDRD offers a 3L Sling and a 6L Sling if you typically travel lighter.

Both the 9L and 6L Sling bags feature an expandable pocket at the bottom to hold a travel tripod or a water bottle. Then, using WANDRD’s unique laptop case , you can pack up your laptop and attach it to the ROGUE Sling bag. This compact sling bag holds everything you need, and it’s comfortable to wear during long photo sessions.

This weather-resistant sling bag can be worn multiple ways, features removable dividers, and comes in many fun color schemes.

Best Leather Camera Bag: MegaGear Torres Mini

If you’re after a camera bag that’s functional and stylish, check out the Torres Mini from MegaGear . Made with exquisite, high-quality Italian leather, this bag will last for years and turn heads every time you go out to snap photos.

The Torres Mini can accommodate small mirrorless and DSLR cameras, along with one to two lenses or other camera accessories . There are also small pockets on the sides and front of the bag to hold a little notebook and pen, business cards, or other thin, flat items. The bag’s interior features a shock-resistant lining to help protect your expensive camera and removable inserts to customize how your camera gear fits inside.

MegaGear’s Torres Mini bag is a crossbody, which makes it a convenient option for walking photo shoots. You can easily access your camera gear without needing to take the bag off. However, because it’s made with leather, you’ll want to avoid using this bag during wet-weather days.

The stylish Torres Mini from MegaGear is made with genuine Italian leather and features just enough space for a DSLR camera and a few accessories.

The Best Travel-Friendly Camera Bags for Every Type of Photographer, and Every Type of Adventure

best travel camera bag for dslr

Maybe you're a hobbyist photographer who only likes to break out the camera on vacations and other photo-friendly adventures. Or, maybe you're a working photographer who's constantly running from shoot to shoot, desperate for a new travel camera bag for stashing lenses, flashes, film, and what not.

No matter your level or whether your device of choice is a DSLR, mirrorless camera , drone, or vintage Polaroid, a camera is a photographer's number one ally and asset, a vital instrument with many fragile parts and expensive mechanisms that require protection.

The best travel camera bags will not only protect your camera from getting beat up or destroyed by bad weather, but will also offer comfortability, usability, and durability while traveling from point A to point B. The right travel camera bag provides smart packability for all your accessories and equipment to remain close-to-hand when needed for that fleeting shot. They're organized, they're tough, and most importantly, they keep your precious cameras safe and sound.

No matter your next "gig" (paid or personal) are the camera bags and backpacks to keep your focus on for your next destination shoot.

The 15 best travel camera bags for every type of photographer

pelican backpack

Most widely known for their industrial luggage, military-grade travel/work gear, and hardshell transport cases, Pelican Products has leveraged its premium protection expertise into a camera bag for digital creatives’ next global adventure or everyday carry. The 25L Mobile Protect Backpack was built to protect against the harshest elements and the rigors of extreme travel.

  • – The perfect personal item and carry-on size for most airlines.
  • – Weighs just under 2 lbs.
  • – Reflective logos provide added safety during nighttime expeditions.
  • – Lifetime guarantee backed by Pelican.
  • – Compression-molded EVA shoulder straps relieve weight and tension on your back/shoulders.
  • – Outer shell boasts a water-resistant DWR coated nylon for unexpected rainfall or an accidental dip in the creek.
  • – Price varies significantly depending on which color you go with.
  • – The quality of this bag compared to Pelican’s hard-case camera carriers don’t seem to be on par.
  • – Only one interior pocket to store smaller accessories.

thule enroute backpack

Whether you’re en route to a shoot or just venturing out on your personal vacation, show up with this bag and you’ll be taken seriously. The notable and respected Swedish brand, Thule, remains a trailblazer in adventure-seeking carriers and transportation products. Though you won’t find the Enroute attached to the rooftop of an automobile, it is a perfect EDC bag for photographers out in the field, day after day—outfitted with all of the classic technical daypack features outdoorsy creatives crave.

  • -The integrated passthrough strap makes for easy loading atop wheeled luggage.
  • – Customizable DSLR or Mirrorless storage with adjustable dividers that keep everything neat.
  • – You can easily locate your items with a brightly colored highlighter interior lining.
  • – Securely holds a tripod or water bottle in the side zip-away pocket.
  • – Comes with a limited lifetime warranty back by Thule.
  • – Small liter size is considered a daypack, so keep in mind if you have a multi-day shoot.
  • – The padded slip is not conducive for larger laptops.
  • – The “camera packing cube” is a tad bulky and can becomes lopsided when packed.

dakine insert pro

Heading into the backcountry with your camera gear? The Photo Insert Pro by outdoor sportswear company, Dakine, has got your back with a foam and fleece liner construction and customizable dividers to keep your camera, lenses, and accessories secure at all times.

  • – Adjustable and removable shoulder strap allows it to perform as a sleek standalone camera bag outside your pack, too.
  • – Dakine’s Impact Foam displaces hard impact, avoids injury, and protects your central back area for long days of carry and travel.
  • – Limited lifetime warranty backed by Dakine.
  • – Sized to fit inside multiple snow and bike packs (hello, adventurers.)
  • – The thin, flexible profile could be arguably less protective than other packs on the list.
  • – Only one zippered pocket in the interior, which doesn’t leave much storage and organization for smaller items like SD cards, keys, lens caps, wallet, phone, etc.
  • – Smaller in liter size than other bags.


chrome niko

The Niko is a fantastic camera-specific bag that doesn’t scream “camera bag,” but more so a cool backpacker’s pack. With tons of room for equipment and customizable modular dividers, the Chrome Niko F-Stop pack is ready for a spin around town or even weeks on, and off, the road.

  • – Ergonomic shoulder straps are made to fit a wide range of sizes and body types.
  • – Exterior straps let you attach tripods, skateboards, and other large items to the outside.
  • – EVA foam back panel lends comfort and breathability while nylon guarantees durability for your expensive career or hobby.
  • – It exudes professionalism and caters to minimalists and digital nomads.
  • – Heavier in weight compared to other bags similar in size (3 lbs.)
  • – More expensive than other bags on the list.
  • – The paddle laptop compartment inside is sized for only 13 in. laptops or tablets.

poler classic

There’s always more than meets the eye with Poler, the quirky-cool lifestyle brand of practical outdoor apparel and gear. The Poler Elevated Camera Cooler is a great little camera bag that’s having an identity crisis as a cooler. By day, it holds your photography equipment. By night (or by lunch) it easily converts into a cooler for food and drinks. Just remove the camera inserts, and you’ve got room for snacks, beverages, and more.

  • – Boasts vegan-friendly trims and a heavy-duty water-resistant polyester.
  • – Perfect for a 6-pack of beer or seltzer cans, including a central, customizable compartment for your DSLR camera.
  • – Inexpensive compared to others on the list.
  • – Compact, stylish and multi-carry options (over-the-shoulder or by hand.)
  • – Smallest in size and storage by a long shot compared to the other bags.
  • – Not conducive to longer multi-day travel, or even a whole day trip, but more for a morning or afternoon shoot.

wandrd prvke

Packing multiple cameras and lenses for off-the-grid adventures? Get this bundle. Wandrd’s Prvke Bundle Pack underwent a redesign to feature new shaping and padding in the back panel as well as shoulder and waist straps, providing a more comfortable carry for all body shapes and sizes. Wandrd also updated stronger magnets in the tote handles, updated zipper u-pullers, easier-to-use key hooks, and cinch strap webbing organization for an overall neater look.

  • – Product meets the bluesign® sustainability criteria.
  • – Extremely waterproof
  • – The luggage pass-through strap adds travel convenience to slip over the bar handle of your rolling suitcase.
  • – Quickdraw side access ensures your camera is only seconds away so you never miss a shot.
  • – Ample storage for other items.
  • Fairly expensive.
  • Heavier in weight compared to other bags (3+ lbs.).
  • Liter size could maybe be considered too big if you’re dealing with day shoots over extended travel.

matador base

With clients counting on you, or a sunset landscape that can’t be missed, do yourself a favor and not be stuck with a dead battery or a broken lens. The Matador Camera Basel Layer is a step up to stow your camera in. Made of a synthetic down filling, its puffy nature insulates the camera against the cold conditions around you, and provides padding for the cargo in case you bump it or need to set it on a rock.

  • – The roll-top closure makes this bag compatible with most camera and lens combinations, and can be removed from the camera in seconds so you’re always ready to get the shot.
  • – Claims to be fully waterproof with DWR water repellent coating, an integrated dry bag and seam sealed liner, as well as an integrated rain cover that deflects light precipitation.
  • – A strategically placed accessory pocket stores lens caps, cleaning cloths, extra batteries, or hand warmers to sustain camera function in frigid temps.
  • – Inexpensive compared to other models.
  • – High protection variable with the thick “puffy jacket” compressibility.
  • – The slender body profile makes it harder to get to the items.
  • – The small liter size is more for mirrorless cameras and compact DSLRs, and certainly not enough room for other larger items such as laptop, drone, water bottle, etc.
  • – When using the strap around your neck, or hanging from your waist, the camera is prone to hitting things like trees in close quarter.
  • – During active/engaging activities such as hiking, trail running, mountain biking, and skiing, the camera tends to flop around.

peak design everyday

If you’re the kind of photographer that’ll go just about anywhere to capture a stellar shot—whether the summit of a mountain or on the other side of the city, Peak Design’s Everyday Camera Backpack is just what its name entails for all your needs.

  • – Comes in multiple colors, including a light gray that stands out from other bags.
  • – Side-access zipper lets you take out your camera in a flash, while inner side pockets are aplenty for a GoPro, memory cards, batteries, flashes, etc.
  • – A unique magnetic closure system is easy to use and can expand by up to 8L.
  • – Can store large-ticket items and even comfortably fit many popular drones.
  • – The pass-through sleeve and gear straps make it always travel-ready.
  • – Manufacturer lifetime warranty.
  • – The nylon canvas material not as strong or durable as its competitors (400D compared to 1,000D+).
  • – Heavier than others on this list (4lbs).
  • – The back of the bag is super rigid and flat compared to other bags, so it just doesn’t “hug” the back as comfortably.

boundary supply

Design-focused lifestyle brand, Boundary Supply, has created a bag to up your game and ease your path. The MK-1 Camera Cube is built for the ultimate photographer and videographer, as its liter size and storage functionality mean you don’t have to pick and choose which camera gear to take along with you. This includes drone equipment, smaller cameras, and all your accessories, in one “bombproof case.”

  • – Boasts three easy access points on top and sides to quickly get to all your gear.
  • – Perfect carry-on size for flying while having the ability to store multiple lenses and DSLR bodies, as well as a drone.
  • – Very cool, minimalist design with dividers that can be removed or reorganized to safely store attachments.
  • – A unique scratch-resistant liner secures protective dividers, while an impact-resistant sponge adds extra peace of mind for those on the clumsier side.
  • – Great value for the price.
  • – Slightly heavier than other bags on the list.
  • – Its shoulder strap is sold separately.
  • – Only a 3 year warranty against manufacturing defects.

mountainsmith tanuck

Designed with legendary photographer Chris Burkard, the Tanuck is an extremely universal, durable camera bag for outdoor/adventure photographers. Nicknamed the T.A.N. (“Tough As Nails”) this certifiably tough and versatile rucksack is a reliable choice for those voyages out in the wild with your most prized lenses in tow.

  • – Can be combined with the T.A.N. Series Kit Cubes and Tanack 10 lumbar pack to create a custom carry system that fits your personal shooting and travel style.
  • – Its AnEVA frame sheet with air-mesh back panel built into the bag allows airflow keeps your back cool on sweaty, hot hikes.
  • – Built for the toughest of outdoor elements, including a certifiably durable and water-resistant fabric, the storm collar and cord closure, and removable rain cover.
  • – Large and accessory friendly.
  • Covered by Mountainsmith’s lifetime warranty.
  • – Could be considered quite bulky compared to other slimmer, more sleek backpack designs.
  • – Dimensions are too large to be considered a personal item on some airlines.
  • – On the pricier side, comparatively.

hen ranger belt

Hex’s tech-driven fashion and functionality shows in its diverse line of bags, including this belt bag, which comes in two different liter sizes depending on your needs and can be worn as a crossbody sling or a fanny-pack. Perfectly sized to hold a smaller sized camera and other essentials, this compact belt bag is a cool, stylish travel go-to.

  • – Easily accessible to the highest degree.
  • – The structured, boxy silhouette and outer camo pattern is super trendy.
  • – Includes many little zippered mesh compartments, fold-away dividers, and configurable partitions to organize and store all your cords and smaller tech gadgets.
  • – Crafted from a surplus-grade durable material to last years to come.
  • – Features a fold-out bottom panel that can be folded out of the way or completely removed to allow the bag to be packed flat for travel.
  • – Significantly smaller in liter size compared to other bags that are more conducive for longer travel.
  • – Reviews noted the straps and buckles becoming awkward and cumbersome after a couple of hours of loaded wear and carry.

rvca duffel

Surf-lifestyle brand, RVCA, teamed up with esteemed surf and ocean photographer Zak Noyle for an epic collab which culminated in this signature camera duffel. Created from the ground up by Noyle himself, this 45L bag attracts outdoor-focused photographers and avid travelers alike for those long bouts overseas chasing waves and the next frameable print.

  • – A water-repellent textile and abrasion-resistant base.
  • – Equipped with carry handles on all four points for when you get sick of carrying it around one way and want to switch it up.
  • – Storage functions include an interior laptop sleeve and multiple interior organizers.
  • – More roomy and spacious than its competitors offering—made to fit large DSLRs, 4-5 lenses, drones and any other affiliate gear/belongings.
  • – Reviews note that after many days of use, bag looks to have been heavily used, including the fabric color fading and appearing weathered.
  • – No padding on the back of the duffel, which means longer hours of carry can be cumbersome and hard on the back.
  • – Some airlines consider bag size too large for a personal item on flight.

shimoda explore

Built for photographers who want to venture into demanding locations but also need to travel globally, Shimoda’s camera bag is packed with tons of travel-smart features designed to be the perfect co-pilot for your shoot. The Explore V2 Camera Backpack can work both independently or be bought in tandem with Shimoda’s Top Loader bag to become part of a larger travel system.

  • – Features a luggage handle pass-through, lockable zippers, and a base handle for easy carry.
  • – Offers three torso height options of vertical adjustment to fit short or tall, male or female.
  • – Core units provide shockproof protection for Mirrorless, SLR and DSLR cameras and lenses, and can also fit a laptop up to 16 in. (making it the most laptop-friendly on the list.)
  • – Backed by a 5-year warranty
  • – Reviews say bag is not deep enough to fit a gripped or pro body DSLR camera, no matter how you arrange it, or wide enough to fit longer lenses across.
  • – Considerably more expensive than other products.
  • – Heavier than other products.
  • – Not considered water- or weather-resistant. Shimoda recommends regular maintenance—including cleaning, re-applying water repellents, and airing out your gear.

bellroy venture sling

The design-obsessed Australian carry brand recently launched its newest collection: Venture, a perfect addition for point and shoot days with your rig. Designed to handle a range of adventure definitions—whether that be a work commute or a serious outdoor expedition—this camera sling’s performance and folding nature make it a unique buy than most.

  • – Self-compressing gussets adapt to your load, while the sling format hugs your body to remain slim and avoid bumping into objects,
  • – Has a sleeker aesthetic for a more of an everyday traveler look.
  • – Sustainably made from water-resistant, ripstop 100% recycled nylon.
  • – Offers detachable tripod carry straps with integrated anchor loops.
  • – Not as padded for stress-free protection compared to other bags and packs on the list.
  • – The bag may be small enough to not get in the way of shooting, but for many with much more to transport and utilize, the size is an obvious downfall—having the smallest liter size on the list.
  • – The price tag is arguably on the higher side, considering the size of the bag.
  • – Only a 3-year warranty.

vanguard veo

Designed for jet-setting photographers always in air and on the move. The VEO Select line of luggage-style roller/trolley bags by Vanguard is specifically designed for carry-on travel, and yet unassumingly packs a lot more than one would imagine. Swiftly maneuver through airport terminals while safely toting your camera rig and accessories.

  • – The only bag on the list with an optional rolling mechanism—an agile 4-wheel trolley for when you just don’t feel like carrying loads of weight on your back anymore.
  • – Features a super-comfortable ergonomic airflow back and harness, as well as a comfortable padded shoulder strap and carrying handle.
  • – Removable interior divider compartments for use as a regular carry-on suitcase.
  • – Well-padded all around and provides numerous dedicated pockets, organizers and connectors for all essentials, including a tripod carrying system.
  • – The heaviest bag on this list (weighing in at almost 10 lbs. due to the trolley wheels and top handlebar).
  • – Its compact size can be a pro for some, unless you’re hoping to also bring a laptop larger than 13 in. a drone or other large equipment.
  • – If green’s not your color, you’re S.O.L.

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10 Best DSLR & Mirrorless Camera Bags for Travel

Best DSLR & Mirrorless Camera Bags for Travel

Looking for the best DSLR or mirrorless camera bag for travel? We can help!

We know just how personal it is be to find the perfect travel bag, especially when it will be carrying your prized photography equipment.

There are lots of objective qualities that can make a bag “good”, but you’ve still got to find one that feels just right for your own preferences. That’s why we put so much time and energy into making this big guide to the best options on the market.

Whether you’re looking for a backpack, a messenger bag, or a simple camera sling, we did the research to help you find exactly what you need.

TL;DR Cheat Sheet

  • Best Camera Backpack: Peak Design Everyday Backpack
  • Best Camera Sling: Lowepro Slingshot 250 AW
  • Best Messenger Camera Bag: Tenba DNA 15 Messenger
  • Best Cheap Camera Bag: Altura Photo Camera Sling
  • Best Leather Camera Bag: Ona – The Bowery
  • Best Stealth Camera Bag: Fjallraven Kanken Classic + Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert

Best Camera Backpack for Travel

Peak design everyday backpack (20l or 30l).

Peak Design Everyday Backpack

  • 20L Price: (Click to check current 20L price on Amazon)
  • 30L Price: (Click to check current 30L Price on Amazon)
  • Type: Camera Backpack
  • Pros: Extremely versatile & customizable, Very Well-made, Looks great
  • Cons: Expensive

Oh boy. There are a lot of things we love about this one. You can take one glance at the spec sheet and see that Peak Design did their homework when they created this concept.

In a saturated market full of camera bags, the Peak Design Everyday Backpack truly stands out. And that’s not an easy thing to do.

This backpack is one of the most well-thought-out camera bags for travel of all kinds. Whether you’re running a bulky DSLR camera set up or a more compact mirrorless one, you’ll get the performance you’re looking for out of the 30L or 20L option.

The 30L makes a great all-around traveler. It works great as a bigger carry-on that can fit all of your camera gear, a jacket, and a good travel pillow. (We actually have a guide to our favorite travel pillows too)

Amazing Accessibility

First and foremost, we love how accessible the Everyday Backpack is. It’s just about as good as it gets for a backpack this size.

The main compartment of the bag is accessible from three different spots: the top, the left side, and the right side. The convenience of this can’t be overstated, as you can easily access all of your important gear from every angle.

If you’re wondering how exactly that works, here’s a video breakdown of the backpack from Peak Design:

Sitting in an airplane seat and need to pull your camera out of the back? No problem, just open the top flap.

Taking pictures around town and need to quickly change a lens? Just sling the backpack around and access your stuff with zippers on either side.

Innovative Divider System

We all know that there are lots of products out there that claim to be customizable, but aren’t actually useful or practical. This is another area in which the Everyday Backpack nailed it.

The standout customization feature of this backpack are the customizable dividers inside the main compartment. Dividers in bags aren’t a new concept, but Peak Design did some wheel-reinventing in this backpack.

The shape of the bag and the design of the dividers allows you to lay out the inside of the bag in whatever way you’d like. You can align them into layered horizontal shelves that are accessible from both sides of the bag, align them vertical to create a tall compartment inside the bag, or create somewhat of a mixed layout.

There are multi-directional teeth on the dividers’ velcro, giving you the freedom to put them wherever. The ends of each divider flip and fold, making it super easy to completely reconfigure your bag’s interior on the go.

Extra Features Everywhere

From the unique magnetic latch system on the front pouch to the riveted shoulder strap anchor points, there are cool features all over this bag.

There’s a place for pretty much anything you’d want to bring with you while traveling. Dedicated laptop storage, cord storage, tiny pockets for SD cards- you name it, it’s got it.

One of the best travel features on the bag is the inclusion of a pass-through on the back of the backpack. It lets you slide the bag over a rolling luggage handle to keep everything secure. Anyone who has ever tried to keep a backpack secured to their luggage while running through an airport knows just how helpful this is.

The Verdict

Carry-on approved and luggage compatible, the Everyday Backpack is a true do-it-all camera bag for travel. Peak Design knocked it out of the park with this one.

It doesn’t really matter if you’ve got a full size DSLR or something lower profile like a mirrorless Sony A7III (the A7III has some amazing travel lenses, by the way) , you’ll be good to go.

It’s not the cheapest option, but it’s an awesome choice for travelers who want the perfect backpack for hauling all of their gear. The ultralight 400D nylon exterior with weatherproof DWR coating will make sure that your investment holds up over time.

Add a couple of Peak Design’s own packing cubes to the setup and you’re ready for anything.

Best Camera Sling Bag for Travel

Lowepro slingshot edge (150 aw or 250 aw).

Lowepro Slingshot Camera Sling

  • 150 AW Price: (Click to check current 150 AW price on Amazon)
  • 250 AW Price: (Click to check current 250 AW price on Amazon)
  • Type: Camera Sling Bag
  • Pros: Small, Lightweight, Great layout, Built-in weatherproof cover
  • Cons: Too small for large DSLR cameras or lots of gear

If you’re looking for a low-profile bag to fit a mirrorless camera or a compact DSLR, it’s really hard to beat the Lowepro Slingshot. These are some of the most efficient camera sling bags on the market.

The Slingshot is a great choice for travelers who already have primary travel bags or backpacks and want a separate smaller bag for a simple camera setup.

This is perfect for something like a Sony a6000 or a6500 with a few of your favorite lenses. (If you need some help picking, check our favorite a6000, a6300, a6400, and a6500 travel lenses )

The smaller 150 AW is also a great choice if you have a kit full of GoPro or Sony Action cam gear.

A Big Bag in a Small Package

Pound for pound, inch for inch, the Lowepro Slingshot is a champ. There is a ton of utility crammed in this small package.

Unless you’re extremely serious about your travel photography, you’re probably not going to need to pack a massive bag full of camera gear every time you go out. Most of the time it’ll make more sense to carry a simple setup with a camera and a lens or two. That’s where the Slingshot shines.

The camera/lens compartment is big enough to keep your camera body with a lens attached, along with a few spare lenses. Its layout is nice and efficient.

The top part of the bag is a spacious compartment perfect for keeping any accessories and snacks, and the front of the bag has a small pouch perfect for keys, wallet, passport, and so on.

You can even fit a Mavic or other similarly-sized drone in there.

The Slingshot strikes a perfect balance between having a lot of excellent features and keeping the bag at a reasonable size. It’s easy to carry and it’s easy to swing around for quick access.

Built-in Weatherproof Cover

The “AW” letters in the Slingshot AW 150 or AW 250 stands for “all weather”. All Lowepro bags that use this acronym come equipped with built-in weatherproof covers.

This is a lifesaver for a camera bag. It’s very nice to go out and explore without worrying bringing an extra cover.

All you have to do is pull the cover out of a clever little hiding spot on the bottom of the bag. It pulls right out and easily wraps over the top of your bag.

This is one of those little things that you don’t know what you’re missing until you have it. Especially when so many companies choose to sell weatherproof covers separately.

If you’re looking for a really good camera sling bag, start with the Lowepro Slingshot. The 150 AW is a good choice for smaller mirrorless setups, while the 250 AW is the way to go if you have a compact DSLR. Either way, you’re getting an efficient bag that is super easy to carry anywhere.

This won’t be your pick for hauling around a massive DSLR with a battery grip, but it’s perfect for just about everything else.

Best Camera Messenger Bag for Travel

Tenba dna 15 messenger.

Tenba DNA 15 Messenger Camera Bag

  • Price: (Click to check current Tenba DNA 15 price on Amazon)
  • Type: Camera Messenger Bag
  • Pros: Great protection, Plenty of space, Smart layout, Stylish design
  • Cons: Magnetic buckles could be stronger

The Tenba DNA 15 may be the perfect camera messenger bag for travel. It looks and performs as great in an airport as it does out in the field. And for a messenger bag, it’s pretty much bombproof.

Unlike a lot of messenger bags, the DNA 15 can handle even the bulkiest DSLR setup. Mirrorless or compact DSLR photographers may find that they’d prefer to bump down a size to the Tenba DNA 13.

A Black Hole of Storage

The Tenba DNA 15 is a particularly deep bag. It’s the first thing you’ll notice when you start packing it. This is the perfect bag for travel-sized gear setups when you’re carrying a lot, but not quite everything you own.

There are a couple of pockets on the front of the bag, but the main compartment is where you’ll put almost all of your stuff. A removable insert keeps your camera, lenses, and other gear well-organized. The insert has a few segmented compartments and some pockets.

Another cool touch is the bag’s accessibility by both the main flap and by a zipper on top of the bag. This makes it really easy to get into the main compartment quickly.

Here’s a video breakdown Tenba did on one of their special edition DNA bags:

Overall, the DNA 15 Messenger is just the right size for travel. It strikes a nice balance between capacity and maintaining a convenient size.

If you find it to be just a bit too big, simply go for the smaller DNA 13. Same bag, just one rung down the size ladder.

Tough as Nails

Tenba really designed the DNA series bag to go above and beyond the durability you’d expect from a camera messenger bag. This is definitely not a flimsy bag designed only to handle quick urban strolls.

You can take the DNA 15 anywhere. The bag is constructed from an ultra durable 600D Helix material. It’s weather resistant and extremely sturdy. A protective bottom layer keeps the bag dry on wet surfaces.

Extra touches like waterproof flaps along the edges, an included waterproof cover, and a luggage pass-through complete the whole package. Safe, secure, and weather-resistant.

If you want a messenger bag that can go anywhere and do anything, the Tenba DNA 15 is a great fit. This is a bag that is at home in any environment. You can take it for a plane ride, on an outdoor excursion, and a business meeting all in the same day.

The only real gripe with the bag is that the magnetic buckles on the flap could stand to be a bit more powerful. They’re very convenient to pop off for quick flap access though, so it’s not a bad trade-off.

Other Favorites

Wandrd prvke.

WANDRD PRVKE Camera Backpack

  • Price: (Click to check current WANDRD PRVKE price on Amazon)
  • Pros: Versatile, Stylish, Comfortable

The WANDRD PRVKE was birthed out of Kickstarter campaign aimed at creating a do-it-all backpack for travel, photography, and everyday use. It does a pretty good job of delivering on all fronts.

From top to bottom, there are whole host of features scattered throughout this backpack.

Three points of access (side, front, top) make it very usable while on the run. The roll-top design on top is especially useful for travel, expanding to give you an extra 5 liters capacity when needed.

Inside, there’s a removable camera cube that comes in and out easily. This gives the bag some extra versatility for the times you may not want to lug around your whole setup.

Other nice features include a built-in rain cover, a collapsible water bottle pocket, and multiple external gear tie-downs.

A hidden passport pocket on the back is an extra travel-friendly touch.

Altura Photo Camera Sling

Altua Photo Camera Sling

  • Price: (Click to check current Altura Photo Camera Sling price on Amazon)
  • Pros: Very inexpensive, Great layout
  • Cons: Build quality, Durability

If you’ve spent any time at all scouring the web for camera bags, you’ve almost certainly seen the Altura Photo Camera Sling before. It’s on almost every list out there.

Overall, this is a great bang-for-your-buck sling. It’s super inexpensive and it’s incredibly handy, especially for compact DSLR or mirrorless camera setups. The only knock on the bag is its construction and durability, but that’s to be expected for such a low price.

This bag gives you very easy access to all of your gear while you’re wearing it. The layout is intuitive and efficient, placing everything right where it needs to be.

This is a great light-use option for travelers wanting a simple camera bag that won’t break the bank. It’s not going to be the kind of bag to hold up over years and years of heavy use, but it’s a solid performer for the money.

Ona – The Bowery

Ona - The Bowery Camera Bag

  • Price: (Click to check current Ona – The Bowery price on Amazon)
  • Pros: Classic style, Great for light travel, Simple
  • Cons: Too small for lots of gear, Expensive

Ona’s “The Bowery” is a leather camera messenger bag (other materials are available too) that evokes a certain sense of style. It’s a darling in the world of hip, urban photographers. More importantly, it’s just a very good bag.

This is a perfect travel bag for keeping things light and simple. Throw in your camera, a couple of extra lenses and accessories and you’re good to go. It’s just big enough for your personal items and travel photo gear.

You’re obviously not going to be able to cart around everything you own in the Bowery, but that’s not its purpose. It’s meant to be simple, which is what almost all travelers need. Unless you’re a professional doing big shoots on the go, this will be more than enough.

The Bowery is very well-made and will last you a long time. It’s classic, sharp, and able to go anywhere you take it.

For those looking to get away from bags that scream “camera bag”, this is a wonderful choice. If there’s one bag on this list that can effortlessly accompany you around town in your Sunday best, it’s this one.

Thule Aspect

Thule Aspect Camera Backpack

  • Price: (Click to check current Thule Aspect price on Amazon)
  • Pros: Low profile for a larger bag, Lots of space
  • Cons: Dividers could be better

The Thule Aspect is a great no-frills camera backpack. It’s simple, well-made, and it gets the job done.

If you’re looking for a good camera backpack that doesn’t necessarily look like a camera backpack, the Aspect is perfect. You can easily haul all of your photo gear without anyone noticing.

The Aspect is laid out well, with side-accessible camera/lens compartment on the bottom and plenty of regular storage on top. Plenty of pockets are scattered around the bag for everything else.

It’s easy to pack this one down as heavy or as light as you want. The capacity is plenty big enough for carrying big loads, but the bag also works well as a day pack when you want to travel lean.

Peak Design Everyday Sling (5L or 10L)

Peak Design Everyday Sling

  • Price: (Click to check current 5L Everyday Sling price on Amazon)
  • Price: (Click to check current 10L Everyday Sling price on Amazon)
  • Type: Camera Sling
  • Pros: Simple, Efficient, Looks good
  • Cons: Not big enough for large setups

The Peak Design Everyday Sling is one of the best camera sling bags on the market. It’s minimalist dream with a perfect feature-to-size balance.

You can get it in either a 5L or a 10L size. The two sizes give are very different in their application

The 5L is perfect for small setups and it gives you just enough room for a mirrorless camera with 1-2 lenses or a DSLR with a lens. It’s perfect for keeping things light and tight while traveling.

The 10L is basically a full replacement for a backpack or a messenger bag. You can load it down with plenty of camera gear and you also have a dedicated tablet/small laptop sleeve.

You can also compress both sizes down to lay flat when not in use. This makes it a no-brainer to bring the Everyday Sling with you on any trip to use as a day pack.

Both sizes are carry-on approved and will fit under pretty much any airplane seat.

Fjallraven Kanken Classic with Photo Insert

Fjallraven Kanken with Photo Insert

  • Kanken Classic Price: (Click to check current Kanken Classic price on Amazon)
  • Photo Insert Price: (Click to check current Kanken Photo Insert price on Amazon)
  • Type: Standard Backpack with Camera Insert
  • Pros: Classic style, Versatile, Lightweight
  • Cons: Not a dedicated camera bag

The Kanken probably needs no introduction as a daily-use backpack. It’s Fjallraven’s most popular, iconic bag and it’s a common sight all over the world.

Even though the Kanken is traditionally a standard backpack and not a camera bag, Fjallraven makes an insert that converts the backpack into a full-featured gear bag.

The insert has a number of divided sections for storing your camera, lenses, and other gear. Everything is padded and the outside of the bag is constructed with Fjallraven’s G-1000 material. It’s one of the best materials out there in terms of durability and outdoor performance.

It may sound inconvenient to have a separate insert to turn the Kanken into a camera bag, but it’s actually a great fit for a lot of travelers. Having a standalone insert makes it easy to remove it and use the bag as a standard backpack. It’s also nice to have the camera insert for use in regular luggage or a duffel bag.

If you’re looking for a stealth camera bag in the form of a stylish but durable backpack, the Kanken is perfect. It works well for both small mirrorless and large DSLR setups.

f-stop Dalston

f-stop Dalston Camera Backpack

  • Price: (Click to check current f-stop Dalston price on Amazon)
  • Pros: Smart layout, Great for outdoors, Cool style
  • Cons: Can be pretty large for smaller people

The Dalston backpack is a solid performer from the well-known f-stop brand. Their bags are known for quality and performance and the Dalston is no exception.

A large main compartment is accessible from both side and from the top. This design is the way to go when you’re trying to get maximum accessibility out of a backpack-style camera back.

The Dalston is a sizable bag with plenty of capacity. That capacity gets even bigger when you account for the roll-top feature that expands to give you a a decent bit of extra space when you need it.

420D ripstop nylon and a weatherproof laminate keep the bag durable and dry.

The Dalston may be a bit too much bag for a smaller person, but it’s awesome for anyone who wants a large do-it-all camera bag.

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The best travel tripods have to be small enough to pack, light enough to carry, and sturdy enough for shake-free photos!

The Quick List

Best tripod overall, best for sturdiness, best lightweight tripod, best with 3-way head, best for versatility, best alloy tripod, best budget carbon.

  • How to choose
  • How we test

best travel camera bag for dslr

The Quick List ↩ 1. Best tripod overall 2. Best for sturdiness 3. Best lightweight tripod 4. Best with 3-way head 5. Best for versatility 6. Best alloy tripod 7. Best budget carbon How to choose How we test

I like to travel light, whether I’m walking city streets, trekking across the countryside or jetting off to the other side of the world. Conventional full-sized tripods tend to be big, heavy, and unwieldy – so I often leave mine at home, making it completely useless. By contrast, the best travel tripods literally take a load off. They’re made to be compact and lightweight but, in the past, they’ve often been notorious for being flimsy, relatively unstable, and too small to offer a useful operating height. The new breed of travel tripods tempt me with the promise of giving me the best of both worlds.

Most modern travel tripods have legs that swing upwards for storage, so that the head is encircled by the feet. This typically reduces the folded height by as much as 4" / 10cm. Some also include as many as five sections in each leg, and a two-section extending center column, reducing the folded height even further, while still enabling reasonably lofty shooting. I find they take longer to set up and fold away but it’s a trade I’m willing to make for smaller stowage.

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is an encyclopedia when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers, and inks, and just about anything imaging-related.

Here's a quick rundown of all the lenses in this guide. Scroll down for a more in-depth look at the individual products.

Travel tripods BG square

It's the first tripod Peak Design has ever made, but it's the best travel tripod I've ever seen! There is an aluminum version that's a massive 40% cheaper, however, which has all the same design features but just a little less vibration resistance. Read more below

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This is no ordinary tripod; it folds down to just 35cm, opens to a height of 146cm, and has a huge 30kg payload. I like that its detachable monopod leg can be used as a mic or camera boom, and it has a Tri-Mount system for adding accessories. Read more below

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I like that this is one of the outright lightest travel tripods on the market but still packs plenty of useful features. It’s equally adept for taking selfies as much as for shooting landscapes and the like, making it right up my street. Read more below

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Ball heads are all the rage but there are times when I prefer a 3-way head for making precision adjustments. This Manfrotto kit obliges by bucking the trend, and I find it’s well suited to shooting video as well as stills. Read more below

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This Benro carbon tripod's 6-in-1 billing could fool me into thinking that it's all about versatility, but it's a very good travel tripod. Even at full height, it's impressively stable, and it packs extra features that could come in handy whether shooting with a camera or a phone. Read more below

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I often love the creative potential of shooting at really low level and the Corey 2.0 gives me all the flexibility I need to make dramatic shots without the fuss. It’s not a carbon fiber tripod but made from top-notch magnesium alloy. Read more below

Load the next products ↴

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I generally prefer carbon fiber tripods to metal ones, for a saving in weight and enhanced resistance to vibration. I’m not so keen that I often have to pay a whole lot more for the privilege but the Rhino is great value for money. Read more below

The best travel tripods we recommend in 2024

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

Best tripod: Peak Design Travel Tripod

1. Peak Design Travel Tripod

Our expert review:


Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

✅  You like innovative design and photographic kit that makes a real statement.

✅  You want a travel tripod that has the slimmest possible profile, thanks to specially shaped legs.

✅ You don’t mind paying top-dollar for a travel tripod, and can make use of all the features.

❌  You don’t want to pay over the odds for an aluminum or carbon fiber travel tripod – there’s no denying it’s pricey.

❌  You don’t need a mobile phone mount, which is a bit fiddly to get at.

❌ You’d rather have a different type of head, although an adapter is available separately.

The Peak Design Travel Tripod may be the first tripod that Peak Design has made, but it's hands-down one of the best travel tripods that I've ever used! There is an aluminum version that's a massive 40% cheaper, however, which has all the same design features, just a little more weight and less vibration resistance. A couple of the other tripods here will go higher, but the Peak Design will still go to eye level for an average-height person, and it packs down to just 39cm in length.

I like that it's designed to cut out the dead space between the legs and the column when packed, which means it's not just short when folded but very slim too – I can put this inside my camera bag or cabin bag instead of just strapping it to the outside. The low-profile ball head is simple but brilliant, there's a phone holder hidden inside the center column, and best of all for me, the tripod feels seriously rigid.

Read more:   Peak Design Travel Tripod review

  • Back to the top ⤴

3 Legged Thing Leo 2.0

2. 3 Legged Thing Leo 2.0

✅  You want to choose your own head, although you can buy the legs on their own.

✅  You don’t like fiddling with lots of leg clamps and dual center column clamps.

✅ You’re keeping an eye on the bottom line – it’s a pricey travel tripod.

❌  You want to choose your own head, although you can buy the legs on their own.

❌  You don’t like fiddling with lots of leg clamps and dual center column clamps.

❌ You’re keeping an eye on the bottom line – it’s a pricey travel tripod.

The 3 Legged Thing Leo 2.0 is no ordinary tripod. It folds down to just 35cm in length but opens out to offer a maximum height of 146cm and a huge payload capacity of 30kg. That far exceeds the weight of any of my camera and lens combinations but the net result is great rigidity.

I like that it has a detachable monopod leg which can also be used as a microphone or camera boom, a Tri-Mount system for adding accessories, and an innovative two-section center column. That helps it to fold down really small yet reach a decent maximum operating height. You can buy the legs on their own but I’d get the complete kit with 3 Legged Thing’s new and improved AirHed Pro Lever ball head.

The Leo 2 is not the smallest travel tripod you can get, and not the cheapest, but its ratio of folded length to maximum height, combined with its all-around versatility, make it one of the best.

Read more: 3 Legged Thing Leo 2.0 + AirHead Pro Review

Vanguard VEO 3GO 235CB

3. Vanguard VEO 3GO 235CB

✅  You want a tripod that includes a smartphone adapter and even a Bluetooth controller.

✅  You’d like a tripod that works as a monopod and selfie stick as well.

✅ You want one of the absolute lightest travel tripods on the market.

❌  You want a heftier maximum load rating than 4kg.

❌  You’d rather have a taller maximum operating height than 136cm.

❌ You don’t feel the need for a low level adapter or dual rubber pad and spiked feet.

With five sections in each swing-up leg and a two-section center column, this Vanguard folds down to just over a foot long yet gives a reasonable maximum operating height. I find it can easily fit into my daily bag or backpack. It’s also very lightweight although, as expected, the alternative aluminum version is a little heavier. The bottom leg sections are quite spindly, with a diameter of just 11mm, but stability is pretty good even at full stretch.

As well as giving a typically quick and easy change to monopod configuration, the Vanguard is more unusual in coming complete with a smartphone adapter. I like that it works well as a monopod and even a selfie stick, so I only need to take one support for the journey rather than two or three.

Read more: Vanguard VEO 3GO 235CB review

best travel camera bag for dslr

4. Manfrotto Befree 3-Way Live Advanced

✅  You like the idea of a hybrid travel tripod, with a head that works well for video as well as stills.

✅  You feel reassured by buying a tripod from one of the biggest names in the business.

✅ You like flip locks rather than the more usual twist locks for leg clamps.

❌  You’d rather have a tripod kit that has a more usual ball head.

❌  You don’t shoot video, but stick to stills.

❌ You’d prefer a carbon fiber travel tripod rather than an aluminum one.

The Manfrotto Befree 3-Way Live Advanced is a lightweight photographer’s travel tripod paired with a three-way head. Although ball heads have become hugely popular, I actually prefer a 3-way head for the likes of architectural and close-up shooting, where precise adjustments can be critical. The 3-way fluid head in this case uses a hydraulic damping system to make it easy for smooth, fluid camera movements, so I find it also works well for shooting video.

The tripod, meanwhile, provides a good balance between capacity, weight, and price. It’ll take 6kg of kit and only weighs 2kg itself. I’ve tested lighter and stronger tripods, but they tended to be more pricey than this one.

It’s not as tall as some of the other tripods in this guide, and doesn’t fold down particularly small, the latter not helped by having a 3-way rather than ball head. But, for the vast majority of purposes, this is an impressive all-around package and merits serious consideration for any traveling photographer or videographer.

Read more: Manfrotto Befree 3-Way Live Advanced tripod review

Benro MeFoto RoadTrip Pro Carbon Fiber tripod review

5. Benro MeFoto RoadTrip Pro

✅  You like different color options for the finish, instead of just black.

✅  You’d like a tripod that can adapt for tabletop and other uses.

✅ You want a tripod that comes complete with a smartphone mount.

❌  You don’t need a tripod with the extra versatility, which can be fiddly.

❌  You’d rather save money and buy the aluminum version of the tripod.

❌ You don’t like having so many leg and column clamps to deal with.

I thought the headline attraction of the so-called ‘6-in-1’ Benro MeFoto RoadTrip Pro would be its versatility. That’s obviously a headline feature but I’ve found that it's also a very good travel tripod, pure a simple. Even at full height it's impressively stable for its build, and it packs a few extra features that come in handy when I’m shooting with a camera or a phone.

I’ve found that it's an excellent travel tripod and, again, thanks to its versatility, it works well as a monopod and also as a mini table tripod, which are genuinely valuable additions. It's great that things like the hex key, small tripod legs, and smartphone clamp are contained within or attached to the tripod, making it much less likely that I’ll leave them behind or lose them along the way. The flip side is that the extra bits and pieces make the tripod a little heavier than it needs to be.

Read more:  Benro MeFoto RoadTrip Pro Carbon Fiber review

3 Legged Thing Punks Corey 2.0

6. 3 Legged Thing Punks Corey 2.0

✅  You’re happy with a magnesium alloy rather than carbon fiber travel tripod.

✅  You want great performance and versatility at a bargain price.

✅ You like the ability to shoot creatively from really low levels.

❌  You’d rather spend more on a carbon fiber tripod that’s not cold to the touch.

❌  You’d rather have something simpler, with less leg and column clamps to operate.

❌ You don’t need the 14kg payload because you’re using lightweight kit.

I find that all of the Punks tripods from 3 Legged Thing are very travel-friendly, but the Corey 2.0 is the smallest and easiest to pack for the journey. It has the usual swing-up legs to save stowage space, this time with five sections in each, plus a two-section head, enabling a decent maximum operating height but a very small stowage size.

Don’t be put off that this one’s not a carbon fiber tripod. It’s actually made from aerospace grade magnesium alloy and the upshot is that it’s still lightweight yet very strong, with a hefty 14kg maximum load rating.

It ticks another two boxes on my  wish list by easily converting to a monopod, and enabling ultra-low-level shooting with the option of attaching the ball head directly to the canopy (leaving the center column out of the equation). All three legs are removable, and Vanz footwear (sold separately) transforms the Corey 2.0 into a stylish tabletop tripod.

Read more: 3 Legged Thing Punks Corey 2.0 review

Benro Rhino FRHN05CVX20 review

7. Benro Rhino 05C (Zero Series) VX20

✅  You want a really small, lightweight tripod that still has a hefty 10kg load rating.

✅  You’re after a carbon fiber tripod that’s reasonably priced.

✅ You can make use of the secondary pan axis for shooting panoramas and video.

❌  The monopod configuration is nice to have but only stretches to a maximum height of 141cm.

❌  You’d like a travel tripod with a quick setup time.

❌ You’d prefer a tripod with feet that have metal spikes as well as rubber pads.

A plus point for me when space is at a premium is that the Benro Rhino 05C VX20 (also called the Rhino Zero Series VX20) is the smallest in a group of four recently launched Rhino travel tripods. Compactness doesn’t equate to flimsiness though and I’ve found that it’s remarkably rigid and robust for such a compact tripod. Another nice touch is that Benro’s companion VX ball heads have a secondary pan axis just under the camera plate. It’s great for taking sequences of panned shots to stitch into a panorama, and shooting video, as the panning axis remains on the level without the need to meticulously level the legs as well as the head.

I find that travel tripods have limitations, including a lower maximum working height and longer ‘unfolding’ time, but this goes with the territory and I can’t criticize the Rhino for that. Sure enough, this Benro doesn't extend to a particularly tall height, and outright rigidity can feel a little compromised if I fully extend all of the leg sections and both of the center column sections. When it’s not at full stretch though, I find this Benro is as rigid as much bigger and heavier tripods.

Read more: Benro Rhino 05C VX20 review

How to choose the best travel tripod

It’s good to be choosy when picking your perfect travel tripod for your needs and budget. Here’s a few things to bear in mind…

Carbon fiber is pricier than aluminum, but is it worth the extra?

Up-market tripods are usually made from carbon fiber instead of aluminum. They have a more luxurious feel, a smarter looking finish, and can be slightly more resistant to vibrations. Carbon fiber can also feel less cold to the touch. But the main advantage of carbon fiber is that it’s more lightweight than aluminum, giving it a clear advantage when you’re trying to shed weight. However, there can be diminishing returns. Although the weight-saving can be substantial in full-sized tripods, it’s much less noticeable in relatively small tripods. For many travel tripods that are available in both aluminum and carbon fiber options, the latter typically only saves around 200g in weight, little more than 10 per cent. Considering that the carbon fiber editions are often about 50 per cent more expensive to buy, aluminum travel tripods can be more cost effective.

How small is the tripod when folded?

A decade ago, the Giotto’s company launched a series of Vitruvian tripods, named after Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing, ‘The Vitruvian Man’. As in the drawing, the legs swing upwards but, in the case of the Giotto’s tripods they swung up completely, adopting a vertically upright orientation for stowing away. The trick was that, by fully extending the center column before swinging the legs up, the tripod head no longer extended beyond the length of the legs, making the carrying size much smaller. Many recent travel tripods fold down small enough to fit inside a bag or backpack, rather than needing to be tethered to the outside.

Can I save space by using a tripod as a monopod as well?

A neat trick of many recent travel tripods is that you can unscrew one of the tripod legs, detach the center column, and join the two together for use as a monopod, complete with ball head. That can be a real space saver if you like using a monopod as well as a tripod, as you only have to carry one bit of kit.

What’s so good about multi-angle legs?

Pretty much all travel tripods these days have legs that can be locked at multiple angles to the center column. Typically either two or three alternative angles are available, in addition to the legs being able to swing up vertically. This can help when you’re shooting on uneven terrain, or when there are obstacles in the way. For example, you might need to use one or two legs in a near-horizontal orientation and place the feet on a wall or table to get into your desired shooting position. Another bonus is that, by splaying the legs to a wider angle when shooting at low operating heights, you can increase stability and reduce the risk of the tripod toppling over if knocked.

How low can you go when shooting with a tripod?

Multi-angle legs help to reduce the minimum shooting height but the limiting factor is generally the point at which the center column touches the ground. The minimum height is therefore the height of the center column plus the ball head. A two-section extending center column can help to further reduce the minimum operating height, as well as the carrying height.  Some tripods are supplied with a short, stubby ‘low angle adaptor’. You can attach this to the tripod head and use it instead of the center column. The center column is also removable in most tripods, so you can invert it and shoot from between two of the legs with the camera upside down, right down at ground level.

What’s best for feet, pads or spikes?

Rubber pads are the normal footwear for tripods these days. They work well on solid ground as well as on grass and sandy areas. For soft surfaces like carpet, spikes can offer a more assured footing. Some tripods are supplied with both rubber pads and metal spikes, so you can swap between them as needed. Another option that used to be more common in the past is rubber pads on a threaded mount, so you can screw them in to reveal metal spikes beneath.

How we test travel tripods

We measure the maximum operating height of each tripod and its folded height for carrying, complete with head attached. We also measure the combined weight of each set of tripod legs and head, using electronic scales, and measure the diameter of all leg sections, from the widest to the thinnest, using digital calipers. We check the ease of use, smoothness and precision of all available adjustments in each set of tripod legs and heads. This ranges from adjusting leg sections and pivot facilities (where available), to the locking mechanisms of the head, as well as independent pan and friction damping adjustments, where fitted. To check overall stability, we shoot with a range of camera bodies fitted with wide-angle, standard, telephoto and macro lenses. We look for good resistance to flexing and vibrations throughout the whole range of operating heights, including the tallest available settings with the legs and center column fully extended.

You can find out more about how we test and review on Digital Camera World .

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Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.

  • James Artaius Editor

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19 Best Camera Straps of 2024 (+ PRO Tips for Choosing)

It's hard to settle on just one, so here's a list of the best 19 camera straps in 2023! Neck, wrist, waist & shoulder straps for DSLR and mirrorless.

Camera Gear Guides | Strap Guides | By Mark Condon

Shotkit may earn a commission on affiliate links. Learn more.

I’ve spent months researching and updating this guide in my quest to find the best camera strap available in 2024.

Much like camera bags, most photographers own several cameras straps, swapping them around to suit the camera or the situation.

I own everything from lightweight hand grip camera strap s to fancier leather straps , alternating them during my personal and professional photography work.

peak design camera strap

High-quality, affordable camera strap that’s versatile, comfortable and lightning quick to adjust.

There are also times when I don’t use anything at all or experiment with minimal camera wrist straps, backpack clips or even a photographer vest .

Whether your goal is to reduce the load on your wrist, spread more of the load across your shoulders, or simply to add a layer of security when shooting, there are plenty of options available to us to carry our cameras.

Here are the best camera straps of the year so far.

Table of Contents

Best Camera Straps in 2024

1. peak design slide | best all round camera strap.

man wearing cross body camera strap

Much like the other Peak Design products, the Slide is a hugely popular DSLR camera strap that Peak has called “the most versatile pro camera strap in the world”.

For mirrorless camera shooters, there’s also the Slide Lite –  a slimmed-down version of the same crossbody camera strap, which is also suitable for lightweight entry-level DSLRs such as the Nikon D3400.

Available in black with red accents, or grey with brown accents, the Slide is a hugely popular strap among both amateur and professional photographers.

You get a well-designed, comfortable and stylish camera strap that can be worn as a sling, shoulder or neck strap, that’s also excellent value for money.

This is by far my favourite cross body camera strap, since it supports the weight so nicely and when adjusted to the correct length, hangs your camera right at your hip where you can grab it.

The internally padded nylon webbing has a smooth side that glides over clothing in sling mode, and a grippy side that prevents slipping in shoulder mode.

Dual quick-adjusters provide instant access and easy reconfiguration.

As with other Peak Design camera straps, the Anchor Link system can be attached/detached quickly, and the dual points of connection keep your camera more stable than traditional sling straps – see the video above for an explanation of how they work.

In addition, the Anchors now work with any 3rd party tripod plate or L-bracket, as well as any Peak Design plate.

As a testament to Peak Design’s rigorous testing and meticulous attention to detail, the Anchor Links have gone through numerous design iterations before arriving at this most recent edition, which Peak guarantees can support an incredible 90kgs (200lbs)!

It’s a strong enough camera strap for heavy lenses attached to bulky DSLRs but equally suited to smaller mirrorless setups too.

With best-in-class abrasion resistance, you can be confident that these thin cords will support whatever camera/lens combination you attach to it.

If you have a smaller camera, you could also consider the Slide Lite, a thinner version of its big brother (review below).

  • Peak Design Slide Review
  • Peak Design Slide Lite Review

2. Clever Supply Anchor Strap | Best Leather Camera Strap

camera with leather strap attached on table

Want the practicality of Peak Design’s quick-release anchor fasteners, but prefer the good looks of a more classic leather strap? The innovative ‘Anchor’ from Clever Supply may be the best option for you.

Made from high-quality full-grain leather, tanned and hand-finished in the USA, the Anchor attaches to your camera using Peak Design anchors. That means you get the quick-release functionality of a high-tech strap combined with a classic, vintage design. Win-win!

The leather not only looks great but  feels  great too – right out of the box. Clever Supply uses medium temper leathers meaning they come with a comfortable, ‘broken-in’ feel to them… and they just keep getting better with age.

The strap comes in three colourways: chestnut, English tan and black. Regardless of which one you choose, it’s bound to work perfectly with whatever you’re wearing – casual or formal – thanks to its stylish retro design.

This makes it great for street photographers and wedding photographers alike (plus anyone in between, really).

The Anchor strap also comes in a range of sizes, so you can choose the length that works best for you and your gear and is suitable for any camera, from film or DSLR cameras to mirrorless.

It may not be the cheapest strap out there, but with the trifecta of quality construction, stylish design and best-in-class quick-release functionality, it’s well worth the spend.

3. Peak Design Capture Camera Clip | Best Camera Clip

close up of man's shoulder with backpack and peak design capture clip holding camera to strap

If you’re looking for the most innovative way to attach your DSLR to any existing belt or strap, look no further than the Peak Design Capture Pro Camera Clip.

You can attach your camera to a backpack strap or bag strap, or even your trouser belt by securing the Peak Design Capture Pro Camera Clip and sliding your camera in place. (The ‘pro’ in its name relates to its ability to carry larger DSLRs.)

If you own one of Peak Design’s award-winning camera bags, you’ll have specifically reinforced loops that have been made especially for the Capture Pro Camera Clip.

The quick-release lock on the inside of the Clip keeps your camera secure yet instantly accessible and works equally well with compact cameras as well as with a DSLR with a large lens attached.

With an all-aluminium, extra-durable construction, the Peak Design Capture Pro Camera Clip can actually be used as a tripod head, fitting most Arca-type and Manfrotto RC2 tripod heads. (See more travel tripods here.)

The quick-release lock and all-aluminium  construction hold your camera during any physical activity while providing instant access for picture-taking.

If you wear a backpack and need the fastest access to your DSLR, the Peak Design Capture Pro Camera Clip is the perfect solution.

It’s the best camera strap for hiking since you can attach it to any specialist hiking backpack you already own.

  • Peak Design Capture Clip Review

4. HoldFast Gear Money Maker | Best Dual Camera Strap

photos of man's back showing dual straps holding two cameras

HoldFast Gear wants to help photographers capture their images… in style . Ethically made in the USA, the HoldFast Gear Money Maker is a multi-camera strap with a difference.

Yes, this camera harness has many features of a dual sling camera strap, such as tripod socket connectors (allowing you to carry the camera inverted by your hips), sliders, and safety catches…. but on top of all this, it’s the best leather camera strap for two cameras that simply oozes style .

Worn like a gun holster over the shoulders and in an X across the back with a camera at each hip, you’re sure to attract compliments at every job – there’s not a wedding photography gig that I shoot where at least one guest doesn’t mention my Money Maker strap!

The Money Maker has quickly become one of the most popular camera straps for wedding photographers , or anyone who carries two camera bodies at the same time and cares about their appearance.

It’s been improved since I wrote my original review, with reinforced D-rings and additional safety catches.

There’s also an optional attachment that allows you to carry a third camera across the front of the body, suspended in between the two main straps.

The D-rings can be used to secure a range of other accessories by Holdfast Gear, including several popular leather camera bags, as well as lens pouches like the HoldFast Explorer.

For ladies or those with slender frames, there’s the Money Maker Skinny, which features narrower 1″ straps and removable shoulder pads/D-rings. There’s also the MoneyMaker Solo for wielding just one camera.

Due to their strength, the Money Makers are perfect as a DSLR strap but still flexible enough to be used on smaller mirrorless or compact camera setups too.

Available in a myriad of colours and skins, this is one robust dual leather camera strap that will age beautifully and last a lifetime .

  • HoldFast MoneyMaker Review

5. Peak Design Leash V2 | Best Adaptable Camera Strap

man wearing grey shirt with camera slung across body with strap

The entirely crowdfunded Peak Design brand started just a few years back with its first product to help adventurous creatives carry their gear more easily. Fast forward to today, and they now have over 20 products and multiple product design awards.

(Peak Design also features heavily in my roundup of the best camera bags )

The newly re-designed Peak Design Leash v2 (aka the L-BL-3) is a versatile camera strap that represents many functions all in one: camera sling strap, camera neck strap, safety tether, and video stabilizer (if you don’t have a dedicated camera stabilizer ).

In short, the Leash v2 can adapt to any shooting situation via its unique anchor link connection system.

You connect up to 4 of the included anchors to your camera, then slide an anchor into the strap fastening to lock it into place.

The Peak Design Leash is slim, lightweight, and comfortable, with seatbelt style webbing that glides easily over your clothes. It has a huge range of adjustments (19-60 inches), and it’s quick and easy to attach or detach your camera with the Anchor Link system.

The Peak Design Leash is super strong, despite its ultralight credentials and the fact that you can easily fold it away into your bag when you don’t need it. The anchor system can support up to 200 lbs (90kgs)!

It’s a well-engineered, minimalist strap that covers all the essentials. Make sure you’re ordering the newly re-designed version of the Leash by clicking the button below. Available in black or ash.

  • Peak Design Leash Review

6. Lucky Straps Standard 53

man looking into distance wearing leather strap attached to his camera

Among all the big-name camera strap manufacturers out there, it feels good to shed some light on a bespoke player with a global reach. We’re talking about the gorgeous leather camera straps created by the team at Lucky Straps.

Lucky Straps has succeeded in creating a popular range of gorgeous leather camera straps that are comfortable, secure, stylish, and completely customizable.

The Standard 53 in Desert Tan is my favourite in the range – a simple, classic design in flexible, soft nubuck leather and strong stitching.

It can be combined with a Quick Release system to make a quick release camera strap allowing fast attachment and removal of the strap from your camera without leaving any dangles or attachments, enabling you to shoot strap-free in seconds.

The camera strap Quick Release system is theft-proof, thanks to a clever locking mechanism. When you pair the Quick Release system with the slash-proof Dyneema webbing and durable leather, you can travel and work worry-free.

The straps and QR system have been load tested to over 110lbs (50kg) – way heavier than any camera + lens combo you’d ever encounter!

Aside from a choice of leather finishes, stitching color and length, you can also emboss the Standard 53 with initials, full name, business name, or business logo for a truly one-of-a-kind strap. You can even infill the embossing with a range of foil colors.

As for sizing, there’s the Standard 53 broader Lucky Strap range for those who shoot larger DSLR and medium format cameras. Or, if you’re sporting a smaller mirrorless camera or classic film SLR, the Slim 30 is the best bet.

There’s also a range of customizable wrist straps too, with everything handmade in Australia and distributed worldwide.

  • Lucky Straps Review

7. Black Rapid Breathe Curve | Best for Females

smiling woman in vest and jeans wears camera across her body on a black strap

Having made all their camera straps sling style, BlackRapid became the creators of some of the most innovative camera straps ever, offering an unmatched level of ease and access to your camera, as well as strength and safety.

Blackrapid’s cross-body strap style (also known as a 3-point slinger for cameras ) places the camera upside-down against your waist, allowing for fast and easy access at a moment’s notice.

Using ripstop nylon, bomb-proof webbing, fastening to the camera or lens from underneath via the locking FastenR3, the BlackRapid Breathe Curve combines flexibility with reliability and efficiency.

The BlackRapid Breathe Curve further stabilizes the attached camera when used with its included Stabilizing Strap, which secures the strap under the user’s left shoulder and prevents the attached camera from twisting as it rests along one’s right side.

Optimized specifically for female photographers, the BlackRapid Breathe Curve is designed with ergonomic curves for comfort, breathability and even-weight distribution without any compromise in integrity.

It’s strong enough for any DSLR or mirrorless camera and lens combination you throw at it.

Out of all the DSLR camera straps Black Rapid produces, this is the most popular, and it’s easy to see why.

  • Black Rapid Breathe Curve Review

8. Think Tank Camera Strap V2.0

cameras and straps on grey table

Think Tank Photo designs and produces a wide range of camera-carrying solutions for the professional photographer. The Think Tank Camera Strap V2.0 is a simple, unobtrusive camera neck strap strong enough to support pro-DSLR bodies with pro lenses attached.

The camera lanyard’s 1 inch wide poly spun strap with 3ply bonded nylon thread is both strong and durable. It has non-slip silicone on both sides, saving you the task of checking which side is which when you sling your camera over your shoulder.

This is actually a design feature overlooked by many camera strap manufacturers – having a grip on both sides of the strap is a huge time-saver over the course of a day’s photography.

The Think Tank Camera Strap V2.0 is available in two colours, blue and grey, to quickly differentiate between two similar camera bodies.

Designed to be compressed easily for less bulk and increased portability while travelling, the Camera Strap V2.0 also attaches to Think Tank backpacks and harnesses. It’s frequently used by professional photographers in this way.

9. SpiderPro Camera Holster | Best Holster Strap

crouching woman with holster on waist containing camera

The SpiderPro Camera Strap Holster was founded by professional photographers who have revolutionised the way to carry your camera.

The hip holster system frees the upper body by using a utility style belt, with your camera at your hip ready to draw and shoot anytime.

Besides making you feel like a gunslinger, this belt and holster reduce neck and back pain, camera swing, and tangled straps (since there aren’t any).

The Spider Camera Holster belt is padded for comfort, and its triple action buckle ensures that you can’t accidentally undo it.

The camera strap holster plate screws onto the belt, and a pin (that screws into your camera’s tripod socket) slides neatly in and out of the plate, with the holster’s locking system ensuring that your camera is secure.

Comfortable, reliable, and professional, the Spider Camera Holster is perfect for the photographer who wants to invest in a carrying system that will protect the neck and back from the rigors of carrying heavy cameras.

It’s also one of the best camera holsters you’ll find.

  • Spider Pro Holster Review

10. Lance Non-adjust Neck Strap

cord style camera strap attached to Fujifilm

Lance Camera Straps was created in 2012 when a street photographer was looking for a camera strap to suit a long day walking around with his camera. It’s a family-run business that offers a range of handmade in the USA, stylish, durable mirrorless camera straps.

The Lance Non-adjust Neck Strap features the high-quality materials that your camera deserves: sturdy polyester cord straps, high-grade weather resistant rubber rings, and stainless steel connectors.

Although touted as a camera neck strap, this stylish, minimalist strap can also be worn as a camera shoulder strap, across the body, or even wrapped around the hand as a camera wrist strap.

However you choose to use them, the Non-adjust straps are hugely popular with compact and mirrorless camera owners . It should be said that they’re slightly too slim to be used comfortably with heavier DSLRs.

They also offer the convenience for photographers to interchange straps by easily detaching the string loop connectors – a feature I wish was on all mirrorless camera straps.

Besides the unique look of the black rubber rings, they also serve to tighten the spliced ends of the strap for added security. The rings are made of high-grade material and are all-weather resistant. Available in several colours.

  • Lance Non-Adjust Camera Strap Review

11. OP/TECH SLR Wrist Strap

lady peers through camera over water with wrist strap attached

With over 460 positive reviews on Amazon, it’s hard to ignore the popularity of the OP/TECH SLR Wrist Strap in this roundup of the best camera straps of the year. It’s also the best camera wrist strap at this bargain price point (click here to see the latest price).

The OP/TECH SLR Wrist Strap is built from durable, comfortable, non-slip neoprene, which adjusts around the wrist with a security slide to keep it firmly in place.

If you dislike the weight of a camera hanging around your neck, I highly recommend a camera wrist strap, and few are as comfortable, affordable and well-built as the OP/TECH SLR Wrist Strap.

Leather and other materials may be more stylish, but neoprene is definitely the most comfortable for prolonged usage .

Another consideration is the size of the braided ribbon cord, which connects this wrist strap to the camera – it’s substantially wide, about 3/8″ x 1/8″, and definitely not a weak link in the strap assembly.

I love the inclusion of quick-release clips that allow you to quickly attach/detach the OP/TECH SLR Wrist Strap from your camera.

Most camera straps’ quick-release functionality is hugely underrated – being able to quickly detach your camera from the main bulk of the strap provides freedom and versatility.

The OP/TECH SLR Wrist Strap is comfortably wide and can be secured to your hand with the included security slide. The length is just right – not so long that your camera will dangle far from your wrist when you let go of it.

Available in royal blue, black, steel grey and forest green.

12. Custom SLR Glide One Strap System

top down shot of man wearing webbing style strong camera strap

When two photographers were fed up with tangling camera straps, they came up with an idea to solve the problem, enlisted the help of a friend, and produced the immediately popular C-Loop. Following its success, the Custom SLR Glide One Strap System was born.

If you’re fed up with your DSLR bouncing on your chest as you walk, this strap is for you. It uses a comfortable sling strap with the camera hanging upside down at your hip.

When you’re ready to get that shot, you just glide your camera smoothly up the strap, much like a BlackRapid sling strap.

The Glide One Strap System offers quick, easy access to your camera without it getting in your way the rest of the time.

It’s easy to set up and adjust, and with features like the Split Strap Technology (to distribute weight evenly on your shoulder), neoprene padding, and silicone inner grip, it’s a feature-rich and highly functional camera strap.

Swivelling camera strap quick-release buckles allow the camera to rotate freely for maximum flexibility, then detach altogether for increased mobility.

13. Gordy Wrist Strap

multiple images of Leica camera with strap attached

The Gordy Strap was created by a photographer who couldn’t find the strap he wanted on the market. Originally a one-man band, Gordy has grown into a local, family-run business where they create a range of beautiful, handmade leather camera straps.

Gordy camera wrist straps are timeless, stylish, simple, and robust leather straps handmade in the USA. They’re especially popular as a mirrorless camera strap or with Leica and Fuji X100 owners.

You can add a pad for heavier cameras to distribute the load and a rubber o-ring to tighten the strap around your hand if you prefer.

Camera wrist straps are a great way to carry your camera, securing the camera to the wrist without getting in the way. If you need your extra hand, you can let the camera dangle safely from your wrist.

Wrist straps can be attached to the right or left side of the camera depending on your preference – their simplicity makes them the best camera straps for mirrorless shooters or for any camera whose small size/weight would make a bulkier strap an annoyance.

The leather on the Gordy, which will soften over time, is secured with a durable waxed cord available in various colours.

Gordy straps have been described as “elegant and rugged all at once”  and are often imitated but never bettered. It’s a simple product at first glance, but I have to say that after using mine for over 2 years, it’s the best leather camera wrist strap I’ve ever used.

14. Custom SLR Air Strap

perforated strap held to the light

Born out of a successful Kickstarter campaign a few years ago, the Custom SLR Air Strap promises “to do more with less.”

For under 20 bucks, if you’re a traveller or live somewhere with a hot climate, it’s definitely a cheap camera strap that’s worthy of your attention.

Breathable vents made from a moisture-wicking fabric run along with the padding of the Custom SLR Air Strap, allowing air to flow under and through it, meaning no more sweaty marks when the mercury begins to climb. It also makes it extremely lightweight – just 0.32oz./9g!

With its unique quick-adjust slider, you can keep your camera secure at your side to manoeuvre through crowds and tight spaces – when you need to take a photo, just pull and slide to extend the strap.

The wider strap and ergonomic design distribute weight evenly, making your load feel lighter. Cushioned neoprene padding absorbs shock for maximum comfort, and unique swivel-buckle rotates for better flexibility.

If you really want to make the most of the Custom SLR Air Strap, I’d recommend investing in a camera strap attachment called the Custom SLR C-Loop Camera Strap Mount.

This combination allows you to attach the strap to the camera’s tripod mount, leaving the camera to hang upside down at your waist and swivel freely as you move.

15. Opteka Professional Wrist Grip Camera Strap

hand holding camera with wrist strap attached

This is one unassuming camera hand strap by a company that has amassed thousands of fans – just check out all the raving customer reviews on Amazon!

The Opteka Professional Wrist Grip Camera Strap is a simple, well-made product that provides a comfortable base to help you hold your camera steady while shooting.

Compatible with all DSLR and mirrorless cameras that feature a standard 1/4″-20 tripod socket, the Professional Wrist Grip Strap is very quick and easy to install.

The padded, adjustable strap fits neatly around your hand so you can hold your camera securely without worrying about accidental drops. It is also designed to stabilize your camera while shooting.

Priced at under $10, photographers looking for an affordable solution to free up their necks and shoulders from the nuisance of a camera strap will love this neat solution.

The Opteka Professional Wrist Grip Strap is frequently purchased together with the Spider Camera Holster D-Ring for Wrist Strap and the Spider Pro SCS -Single camera System Camera Holster, creating the ultimate camera carrying system for your wrist.

16. Tarion Vintage Camera Strap

vintage style camera strap worn by woman

At first glance, Tarion seems to be a producer of camera straps Amazon has decided to sell exclusively. However, on closer inspection, Tarion is actually just a little-known manufacturer of low-cost, high-quality photography accessories that has managed to fly under the radar.

I’d seen hundreds of positive reviews for the Tarion Vintage Camera Strap, and since it’s less than $8 , I decided to order one to review.

For less than the price of a hot meal, you get a surprisingly well-made, albeit very simple, cotton yarn/PU, cheap camera strap which has a stylish white/brown weave outer and leather-look brown accents.

On the inside of the strap is a non-slip surface that allows you to have your DSLR or mirrorless camera slung over one shoulder without any worry.

The Tarion Vintage Camera Strap fastens to your camera using the metal loops at the top, much like any regular Nikon or Canon camera strap – it just looks a whole lot better with its vintage… dare I say it… hipster aesthetics!

Other styling elements that add to the overall look include an embossed logo and camera image and a small, brass-look ‘pin’ in the shape of a button. Tarion appears to give all its camera straps vintage aesthetics, and I really like the look and feel of this one.

17. TrueSHOT DSLR Camera Strap

blonde girl looks through camera viewfinder while wearing fashionable camera strap

Whilst this isn’t officially an Amazon camera strap, the TrueSHOT is one of several camera straps on Amazon that doesn’t appear to have its own dedicated site.

Dubious origins aside, the TrueSHOT Camera Strap has managed to sneak its way into this roundup of the best camera strap due to its enormous popularity among both amateur and professional photographers around the world.

Since the TruSHOT costs under 15 bucks , I ordered a camouflage version to see what the fuss was about.

Fashioned out of neoprene, the same durable but soft material used to make wetsuits, it turned out that this humble camera strap is one of the most comfortable straps I’ve ever tested!

Most camera straps are made from nylon or leather, which looks good but may not be comfortable over extended shoots. The cushion-soft neoprene on the TrueSHOT, on the other hand, is 4mm thick, ensuring even the heaviest camera won’t cause the strap to dig into your skin.

The outside of the TrueShot Camera Strap features your choice of colour (there are 17 available!) and two expandable pockets – perfect for spare batteries, memory cards and business cards. It’s actually a really handy feature to have pockets on a camera strap, and I wish more brands implemented this.

The inner side of the strap features a non-slip surface which keeps your camera from sliding off your shoulder – another feature that nylon or leather camera straps often lack.

I love the inclusion of quick-release clips where the TrueSHOT connects to the camera. This allows you to attach or remove it in seconds – something I find myself doing multiple times during a shoot, especially when shooting in portrait orientation.

All in all, it’s a great value for money, comfortable and functional camera neck strap that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.

18. Leica NeckStrap with Anti-Slip Pad

Leica original camera strap with thick rubber padding

If you can afford to buy one of this iconic camera brand’s R or M series cameras, then you will be blessed with your very own Leica Carry Strap with Anti-Slip. If you can’t, then you just have to buy the strap! As one reviewer put it, “Quite possibly the only Leica item I will ever own!”

As this camera strap is intended to be used on a Leica rangefinder, it’s better suited as a mirrorless camera strap rather than a DSLR camera strap.

It’s also popular among Fujifilm X100-series shooters due to the similar aesthetics to a Leica rangefinder.

The strap itself is lightweight, flexible, and well designed, with D ring connectors that will attach to your camera’s strap lugs. At 42″, it’s longer than the regular Canon or Nikon camera straps that come with your camera, so it goes over your shoulder and under your arm easily.

Aside from the prestige of owning something by Leica, the main reason I decided to include this seemingly simple product in my roundup of the best camera straps of the year is the surprisingly effective anti-slip pad, which allows you to carry your camera on the shoulder without any worries.

Each end of the Leica Carry Strap with Anti-Slip strap is secured by both a D-ring lock and a buckle, meaning that if either piece were to break, the camera would still remain safely attached.

19. Lifemate Scarf Camera Strap

scarf style strap with floral design is attached to a DSLR

The brand ‘Lifemate’ appears to be another of the camera straps Amazon chooses to stock in one location, but this is one scarf camera strap that’s definitely worthy of our attention.

Scarf camera straps are extremely popular for female photographers who want a comfortable way to carry their cameras, without sacrificing style.

As with camera bags for women , the best camera straps for women often complement an outfit, remaining fashionable without sacrificing function.

The Lifemate Scarf Camera Strap uses rayon, a comfortable and affordable fabric that helps keep its price a bargain at under $12!

The camera strap scarf section offers a choice of stylish patterns to suit every taste, whilst the strap section that attaches to the camera is strong, easy to adjust and dependable.

No matter what vintage, ethnic, polka dot, stripe, or other crazy patterns you choose, the base of the camera strap’s scarf section attaches to the strap with a stylish leather-look brown tab.

If you’re looking for an original way to bring a little colour to your outfit as a photographer, this Lifemate Scarf Camera Strap is affordable and fun. The only problem is choosing one out of the 32 funky patterns!

  • Lifemate Scarf Camera Strap

Types of Camera Straps

  • Camera Neck Straps

Carrying a camera around your neck isn’t recommended unless your camera is light… or you’re built like a rugby player!

Having a camera bouncing around your chest while you walk isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, but it does allow extremely fast access to your camera – there’s no fishing around by your side; you just instinctively grab the camera in the right place every time.

If you use a compact camera or lightweight mirrorless set-up and don’t plan on moving quickly, carrying a camera around your neck is still a viable option.

  • Shoulder/Cross-Body Camera Straps

This is the most popular type of camera strap, allowing you two principal ways to carry your camera – hanging off one shoulder next to the same side waist or over one shoulder with the camera hanging on the opposite side waist (cross-body).

Having the camera hanging off one shoulder is arguably the fastest way to gain full access to the camera, but it can also be rather insecure.

Having the camera strung across your body allows you to move freely whilst still giving you quick access to your camera.

Spreading the weight across your shoulder and chest can also help alleviate neck pain, which typically makes this style the best camera strap for DSLR shooters.

  • Camera Wrist Straps

I’m a big fan of the camera wrist strap for its ability to make the camera feel almost strap-less. Used to provide extra security from accidentally dropping your camera, wrist straps are also a great way to stabilise your shot.

It’s rare to use a camera wrist strap to merely have your camera dangling from your wrist, although I’m sure you could do this if you had something ultra-lightweight, like an instant camera .

Camera wrist straps are a great way to have your camera literally always in hand, which is where it needs to be if you need the absolute fastest method of deployment!

  • Camera Clips

I’ve got to hand it to Peak Design – if they’re not creating innovative camera bags and straps, they’re innovating brand-new ways to carry our precious gear.

Case in point, the camera clip. You can expect to see a whole host of imitations hit the market here in 2019, but trust me – none will come even close to the quality of Peak’s offering.

If you wear a backpack, shoulder bag, belt, or any other form of clothing that features a strap, you can attach a camera clip to it, and then attach your camera.

it’s a truly liberating way to carry even the heaviest of camera/lens setups. Still, it really comes into its own with a lightweight compact or mirrorless camera, where you’ll hardly notice the additional weight.

  • Dual Camera Straps

Wedding and event photographers, this one is for you! Being able to carry two camera bodies with two different focal lengths attached is often a necessity in the fast-moving environments of weddings and events.

Dual camera straps have come a long way since those hideous bullet-proof vest contraptions we used to see.

Now, having a camera dangling off each hip isn’t an unusual sight, and thanks to a few key leather camera strap manufacturers, you can look pretty damn good while you’re at it ;-)

  • Camera Waist Straps

Carrying a camera on your waist is a polarizing one – some photographers swear by it… others claim it pulls their pants down!

Suspending your camera from your waist does take the weight off your shoulders/neck/back, but the debate is still on as to whether having it distributed over one hip is more or less a strain on your body.

One thing’s for sure – being able to grab your camera in an instant, and then return it back with a reassuring click is definitely practical… not to mention a lot of fun.

Aside from feeling like a gun-slinger, camera waist straps also mean that there aren’t any dangling straps to get in your way while shooting.

How to Choose the Best Camera Strap for You

Best camera straps

My collection: Roberu leather strap, UPstrap, Gordy wrist strap, BlackRapid RS7 & Holdfast Money Maker.

Choosing a camera strap isn’t as simple as you might first think! Here are a few quick questions to ask yourself when making the decision:

  • What material?

The usual choices are leather or nylon, although there are some other fabrics too. Leather looks the best and ages beautifully but can be heavy or uncomfortable in hot climates. It also doesn’t offer the grip of some synthetic materials.

  • What attachment?

Depending on the type of attachment, you can attach the strap via the loops on top of your camera or via the tripod screw hole. Some offer quick-release camera strap attachments, and others fasten to your belt or camera backpack straps via clips.

  • Neck, wrist or shoulder strap?

Most camera straps can be worn on your neck or shoulder, but some are specific to each. Camera wrist straps are popular for smaller format mirrorless cameras or compact cameras .

  • How many cameras?

You can hold one, two, or even three cameras using custom camera straps, which hang on your shoulders or on your waist.

How to Put on a Camera Strap

Before we get into the camera strap reviews, here’s a video that shows how to put on the camera strap that comes with your camera.

You’ll see that in the video, we’re using the one that comes bundled with a Fujifilm X-T2, but the process is the same for any Canon camera strap, Nikon camera strap, or anything else that comes free when you buy a camera.

Don’t immediately assume that you need to invest in some custom camera strap – the one that comes when you purchase a camera is usually adequate – it’s just a shame that the brand (and sometimes the model) of the camera is emblazoned over it in big white letters… perfect to attract unwanted attention!

Despite this, you’ll see plenty of pros still rocking the original strap that came with their camera… and if it’s good enough for them, I’m sure it’d do for you too. Maybe just consider using a black marker to hide the lettering a bit ;-)

What is the Best Length for a Camera Strap?

If you’re wondering how long your straps should be or how to choose a strap length, the answer is that it depends on your personal preference, shooting style, height and body shape.

For most people, a strap that is around 25-30 inches (63-76 cm) long should be sufficient. This length allows you to wear the camera comfortably around your neck or shoulder and easily bring the camera up to your eye to take a photo.

However, if you’re taller or have a larger build, you may prefer a longer strap to accommodate your body size. Conversely, if you’re shorter or have a smaller build, you may prefer a shorter camera strap.

It’s also worth noting that some camera straps, like the Peak Design Slide , are adjustable, allowing you to customize the length to your liking, making it a great option.

Ultimately, the best length for your camera strap is one that allows you to comfortably and securely carry your camera while shooting.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best camera strap?

Our top pick for the best camera strap would be the Peak Design Slide. While there are a lot of great options out there, this one can carry an impressive amount of weight, is smooth and comfortable and quick to adjust.

Do professional photographers use camera straps?

Plenty of professional photographers use camera straps, though which type they use depends on their personal preference and their needs. For example, a lot of wedding photographers use a dual-strap system like the Holdfast Gear MoneyMaker in order to easily switch between two camera bodies. In contrast, many travel photographers carrying lighter gear prefer a wrist strap like the Peak Design Cuff.

Which camera strap is best for DSLR?

The Peak Design Slide is a great option if you’re looking for a camera strap for DSLR due to its ability to comfortably take a lot of weight (up to 200lbs /90kgs). Even with a heavy lens on your DSLR body, you can still rely on it to support your gear.

What are camera straps made of?

Most camera straps are made from nylon or leather, though occasionally you also find them made from other fabrics like neoprene (for example, the TrueSHOT Camera Strap), which makes for a comfortable and soft alternative.

Final Words

Holdfast Swagg

Me testing out the Holdfast Swagg dual camera strap in the Sydney heat.

It’s funny – camera straps can actually make photography more enjoyable. Our gear might be getting lighter and lighter each year, but they need to find an efficient way to carry it on our bodies.

From previous experience, I’d recommend that you don’t try and limit yourself to just one single camera strap for all uses.

I’m not advocating buying camera gear for the sake of it, but I do believe you can efficiently use multiple camera straps in different situations for various cameras.

Fortunately, most camera straps are relatively inexpensive when compared to other camera gear, which will allow you to own more than one.

Even after 10+ years of photography, I still haven’t settled on one single type of strap for my cameras. I much prefer swapping and changing depending on my mood, and I encourage you to do the same too.

I hope you found this review useful. I’ll be updating it as the year progresses when I come across other great products that I think you should know about.

What do you find is the best camera strap for your photography? Leave us a comment below with your recommendations!

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Mark Condon is a British wedding photographer and editor of Shotkit. When he’s not taking photos or reviewing the latest camera gear and software, Mark can be found cycling around the northern rivers.


Very nice article! Awesome amount of detail, thank you.

I can’t live without my Camera Wrist Straps, great reviews here!

simple and in-depth review, love this.

These are all great straps but for the last 15 years I have used the nylon OP/TECH USA Utility Strap-Sling. At $25 (B&H) they are inexpensive, comfortable, easy to use and at that price I can afford to buy one for each of the cameras I use, in any camera bag I grab (yup, lots of those too) without having to switch around my $200 leather straps to the cameras for that day. I have any number of straps and these are my favorite for walking around photography, like weddings or news assignments and getting in and out of vehicles (cars or motorcycles). Because they are nylon they are strong, light and they pack well in a camera bag without taking a lot of space, like my fancy leather ones. The waistband straps are great too for certain applications but they are cumbersome if you’re in tight spaces which I frequently am. Two of these worn across your chest and you are good to go for the day and you can grab them and pull them toward the center of your body to protect them when squeezing between people in large crowds. I really do like cool equipment but I hate carrying a lot of it around and most especially, paying for it only to have it sit in a closet because I can’t fit it in my camera bag. Simplicity and economy work for me. Two cameras with a closeup and telephoto lens on each, 2 spare batteries and cards, a reporters notebook and a spare pen get me through any situation I encounter for the day without going into a backpack or spending $200 apiece on straps.

Wedding photography kits are all different and no one persons views are right for everyone but for me, I like to be free I have my kit bag with everything in there I pick what I want during the day. I have a handful of cards numbered in cases in my pocket together with a spare battery, and in my hand one full-frame camera with a prime 40-70 usm canon lens and thats it. A TTL flash, portrait lens 70-200, wide-angle 17-40, a spare camera that’s used for night and low light conditions, spare batteries and a good light meter not forgetting the puffer with an attachable light brush for lens cleaning. Ive seen other wedding photographers strutting around like peacocks with fancy straps and having two expensive DSLRS dangling around the neck and they bend down and the lenses dive into the mud or wet ground and other times these two lovely cameras clashing together. I don’t have the latest gear I have gear that functions for me it’s not a fashion parade its more about people skills and getting the pictures that you as a photographer have been paid to capture. Andy from Woodland Studios, Lowestoft

I use a combination of the Blackrapid Breath Curve and Cotton Carrier Scout. I bought the Blackrapid as my first strap, then got the Cotton Carrier when it launched on Kickstarter.

I say I use them in combo as I carry 2 bodies on me for shooting events and parties. I don’t like the “double” straps where you have one on each side of your body, it just isn’t comfortable for me when I am working. The dual setup allows me to have one camera by my right side and one camera on my chest, and when I don’t need both I can just take one.

If I were to say which is better, the Cotton Carrier is for me. More padding, keeps the camera safer near your chest rather than dangling by the side, and faster/easier to remove the camera from the strap if you need to hold it low to the ground or high in the air. Also, if you have a long lens such as 200mm you don’t have to worry about it hitting the ground if you bend down to get a shot.

RE PD Capture v3 Great reviews Mark, as usual. I cycle a lot, usually the rides are often fast with enough body movement to cause a camera to swing about with a standard strap. I don’t think the sling straps will improve things much. After reading your review re PD Capture V3 I concluded that could part of the solution. the camera would hang below my shoulder for easy access. What I also need is a harness, same as a backpack harness, minus the backpack. This would give me a firm non-slip fit while riding. Perhaps clip/hang some other gadgets on it. Anyone seen any available in Australia, thnx? Cheers Greg

You could try just tightening the strap really tight, and having the camera in front of you, Greg – when you’re cycling, I think that would work best.

Great review Mark!

Although I am surprised that Tap & Dye is not on this list. I currently own 7 of their straps and they are just absolutely stunning. I even have two straps with integrated peak design anchors. The quality and craftsmanship is top notch, extremely soft and comfortable as well with no break in time. Although they take a while to ship, they are definitely worth the wait.

All I see is Chinese made junk!

You must have bad eyes then Sam :p Several straps here made in the USA, Australia, UK, Poland…

I have loved the quick release system from Peak Design. For astrophotography, I need to take the strap off so it doesn’t blow in the wind and that works flawlessly.

I had purchased the Peak Design capture clip for my Sony A7 but was in inclement weather and found the Sony isn’t weather sealed like the trusty Nikons, so I was afraid to have it out in the elements.

I sold the Sony, bought the Nikon Z6 and had returned the capture clip because I didn’t use it (it’s a bit pricey – but quality workmanship). Then I went trekking and wished I had the clip on my backpacking backpack!!! I had to MacGyver my strap to the backpack and it kept banging me. The quick releases did help once I wrapped the strap tight enough, I just needed to use the clips to access the camera.

Great feedback Dailyn – nice to hear how you’re using your straps ;-)

I have a strap from Deadcameras on my Fugi xpro-2 and love it. They’re in Portugal, ship quickly and have great customer service.

Ah they look nice – thanks for sharing, Donna!

I use a combination of Peak Design products: Slide, Slide Light, Leash, and Clutch (the latter is a low-profile wrist strap that I almost always leave on my DSLR, mounted to an Arca-Swiss body plate). I have their Anchor connectors installed on all my cameras. Depending on what I need to do at the moment (hand-held, large/small camera, binoculars, camera mounted on tripod without a neck strap, etc.), I can easily remove a strap from the camera and/or switch to another camera for a different scenario. It’s a comfortable and flexible system that I’ve grown to like.

That’s a popular system you’re using there, Byron – am just about to publish an article on Shotkit based on exactly that actually! Look out for it ;-) Thanks for sharing

Another great roundup of very useful accessories, Mark. I’m a fan of Peak Design stuff too and currently use their Anchor Link system in conjunction with the BosStrap Gen3 Sliding Sling Strap. The advantage of this is that there is only one point of contact via the Anchor Link between the camera and strap. The sliding ring makes it super easy to get the camera hanging from your hip to shooting position in a flash. They can be found here: (and no, I don’t work for them, I just like the simplicity of their stuff).

Granted, I don’t have a very heavy rig (Sony a6500 & 18-135mm OSS) so this solution may not work for those with heavier gear and wanting two points of attachment. I also use the PD Cuff for when I’m out and about on short photo jaunts.

Now that I’ve seen the PD Capture Camera Clip I think I need to look into one of those to free up my hands while hiking with my wife. You’re right, though, you can never have too many ways to safely carry your gear!

haha thanks Clay, sorry to fuel your GAS! Seriously though, the Clip is a great accessory and really innovative in this space. I’ll check out Bos Strap – thanks for the recommendation.

You’re recommending the BlackRapid Cross Shot – but the review is for the Curve Breathe?

Yes, good spot Dom – I plan to add more full reviews here as the year continues. Next up is a full review of a Black Rapid dual camera strap, then after that will update this with the Cross Shot. The Curve still stands as one of my other recommendations too… basically, it’s a bit hard to choose an absolutely ‘best’ among the BR’s as they’re all good and for particular uses.

I tired out the Moneymaker, adjusted to fit, but found it pinched my shirt occasionally. I am now a big fan of Sardine also heard Old Straps are also awesome.

Hmm interesting, not heard that issue with the MM, Gaving, but I guess everyone’s fit is different. I’ll look at those two recommendations – thanks.

I definitely recommend the Carryspeed camera straps. They have multiple attachments points, the base is arca-swiss compatible so no problems with tripod attachment and they are constantly improving.

Thanks Jacob!

I suggest you guys check out ! They have the coolest straps for cameras! Very secure and beautiful patterns.

Thanks for the tip, Colina – are you the one that makes them?

Artisan & Artist : Acam – real silk non-adjust cord from japan. supersmooth. Extremely nice to wrap around wrist 2 or 3 times also when more active. Actually use it with dslr. Only problem is the rings, one time one simply bend open with heavy 70-200 attached.

Thanks for the feedback Bart. That’s a heavy lens to be using with any strap, but the ring bending doesn’t sound ideal :/

Wapiti are so good!

Will have to check them out – thanks Rob!

The TrueSHOT from Amazon would be ideal, except for one design flaw: the quick-release clips are female-female on the camera! The strap I use (ancient, has film loops) is like that one, but has male-female quick-releases, for conversion into a wrist strap. It also has thick fleecy fur against your neck. Very comfortable. It’s 30 years old and still working great. Wish I could find it today. Business opportunity for someone…


Aha! that’s a critical design flaw isn’t it Joe?!

I love a lot of the straps that made it on your list, and there are some that I wasn’t familiar with, but I am definitely going to look through again and eye which ones I would try out next. For now, I am over the moon with Peak design, and how easy and comfortable it has made my life.

That’s great Thuy! PD has many well designed products

I started out using a black rapid, which I love for day shoots. However, I realized that it is pretty useless when you have to pull out a tripod, and it was bulky to transport when folded down. I just hated having to unscrew the tripod attachment. Later, I tried Peak design and found that it worked a lot better for me, b/c I can unclip and change their products with ease.

I use the Black Rapid Double Strap Slim, and I when I use two cameras with it, I still have to pull the back strap all the way to get it fit me. I’m tiny, just 5’0 and around 105 pounds. But I love how I can attach the straps to use them separately and they cross my body comfortably.

I use a Really Right Stuff L-Plate with my DSLR. Then I use a PeakDesign Slide strap with it. Sometimes if I’m using a small prime, I use my smaller PeakDesign Slide Lite strap. I also have a PeakDesign Clutch attached so I can just carry it in my hand. I can attach/detach quickly and use the strap with other cameras.

Anyone have any recommendations for straps that allow you to go between attached to strap to tripod quickly. Most straps attach at tripod mount and have to be removed to mount to tripod.

I use a Peak Design Slide. It comes with an Arca Swiss style anchor plate that fastens to the base of the camera, to which you attach the strap connectors. As the Peak Design uses a quick release toggle to connect the strap, you can quickly disconnect it and attach the camera to an Arca Swiss compatible tripod. (in fact you can attach it to the tripod without disconnecting the strap if you want too!). I chose this strap over the BlackRapid RS-7, partly because it suited my shooting style and partly because of this tripod compatibility!

I recommend Peak design system because it’s not attached to the tripod part. I had to stop using my black rapid for this reason. I use the skinny strap for my d750 and it works fine.

I use the BlackRapid as its the only one that you can wear & use comfortably with a backpack on. (except for neck straps which are too uncomfortable). I really wish BlackRapid could design their attachement so that it doesn’t bounce around so much at your side. The Peak Design one looks like the right solution but it doesn’t work well when you’re wearing a backpack. And Im always wearing a backpack.

I have bought some straps for my camera but they were not good quality and i was really disappointed. But after viewing these it looks much more better. Can anyone please tell that they are made of leather or any else material.?

Which straps are you referring to, Alex?

I used to use a holdfast money maker to shoot weddings, whilst it helped not carring a bag all day it did have some things to be aware of. When shooting a wedding you move fast through doors etc the cameras whith expensive lenses on catch and bag around. The same goes for when you kneel down the cameras can catch the floors. I now use billingham camera strap they are great, strong and large enough to go across the body but rare to find now.

Very true, Philip. I cradle my cameras using the insides of my elbows when moving in tight places with the MM, but I know what you mean – I’ve nearly knocked things over many times!

Yes I used to do that also Mark for a while, the final time for me with the MM was when I caught my FL900R flash whilst doing a cradle type position near a door from the back during a wedding. Overall the MM looks cool and allows you to carry two focal lengths during a wedding or event, but the disadvantage of damaging expensive camera gear or missing that important shot due to looking at the position of the cameras does spoil the experience.

I use a Spider Holster with 2 camera’s. It took me a while to get used to it but now I feel so comfortable without something hanging off my neck. Highly recommend.

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