Best Camera Backpacks to Protect Photography Equipment

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 4, 2017
A camera backpack is an excellent solution for photographers who need to have all the photo gear at hand. The best backpack will hold several cameras, lenses, a flash and all the necessary accessories. We've selected 5 best camera backpacks to suit the most demanding needs of the artists. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
TYPE
MATERIAL
COMPARTMENTS
WATER-RESISTANT
PROTECTION
CONVENIENCE
WARRANTY
 
PROS
The unique system of shoulder straps fixing offer you an ability to wear the bag as both a backpack and a slip pack. This backpack is designed with convenience in mind, allowing users to access the gear in 3 different ways.
CONS
This backpack doesn't feature a wide variety of dividers placement variations.
OUR VERDICT
The high-quality backpack is fabricated from close fabrics to ensure an excellent protection of photo gear while you are on the road. Even the most demanding photographers will adore this bag owing to the provided wearing comfort.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Backpack / Sling bag
MATERIAL
Polyester, Nylon
COMPARTMENTS
Camera body, lenses and flash compartment. Side pockets for small accessories, Access to a camera from left and right side of the backpack, Top compartment for personal items, Zippered internal pockets
WATER-RESISTANT
Weatherproof nylon base, rain cover
PROTECTION
Soft padded dividers in the main compartment, foam-padded shoulder straps, waist belt and chest strap
CONVENIENCE
Slip out pocket and straps for a tripod fixing, Adjustable waist and lumbar straps
WARRANTY
5 years
PROS
The material the interior is made of features water repellent properties ensuring long service life of the backpack. 3D padded back guarantees improved breathability in hot weather.
CONS
The backpack doesn't offer additional space to place your personal items.
OUR VERDICT
Altura DSLR backpack literally holds tons of photo gear and different accessories. Thus, the very bag is the perfect item for those photographers who want to have all the available camera gear at hand in any weather conditions.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Backpack
MATERIAL
Nylon
COMPARTMENTS
The main compartment holds a DSLR with lens attached, additional lenses and a flash. Side pockets, compartments for a 13'' laptop and 10'' tablet
WATER-RESISTANT
Water-repellant nylon base, rain cover
PROTECTION
Velcro fastened dividers, expedition-grade harnesses and shoulder straps
CONVENIENCE
Adjustable waist and lumbar straps, Slip out pocket and a strap for a tripod fixing or water bottle placing
WARRANTY
90 days
PROS
Bright orange compartment makes it easier for users to find the needed accessories in low-lit conditions. EVA base with a water-resistant coating allows for placing the backpack even on wet surfaces.
CONS
The pack doesn't have waist and lumbar straps to provide a better support.
OUR VERDICT
Case Logic is an affordable and durable backpack with the variety of advantages that ensure your photo gear protection. If you cannot imagine traveling without a laptop, this pack will hold up to 17'' models.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Backpack
MATERIAL
Nylon
COMPARTMENTS
Roomy compartment for a camera, lenses, and a flash. Internal zippered pockets, Side and front pockets for accessories, Computer compartment compatible with 16" laptops and the 17" MacBook Pro
WATER-RESISTANT
Waterproof EVA base
PROTECTION
Soft padded dividers, Hammock system for safe camera fixing, Backpack lid memory foam interior
CONVENIENCE
Hook-n-loop straps for a tripod fixing, Strap Management system for even weight distribution secures shoulder straps in place while excess strap material is rolled up
WARRANTY
25 years
PROS
There is no need to remove the pack from your shoulders to access a camera. Just swing the pack around and have your camera ready for shooting. SlipLock attachment loops can be used for additional pouches, cases, and bags fixing.
CONS
In case the pack is stuffed to the gills you may experience pain in a shoulder.
OUR VERDICT
Be sure that with this camera backpack you won't miss a chance to snap precious scenes. A compact yet roomy backpack is designed to accommodate both your photo gear and personal items.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Sling bag
MATERIAL
Polyester, Nylon
COMPARTMENTS
DSLR with lens attached, additional lens and flash compartment, Upper front compartment for personal items, Internal and external zippered pockets for small items
WATER-RESISTANT
Built-in Weatherproof Cover
PROTECTION
Padded divider system, SlipLock attachment loops that expand carrying capacity
CONVENIENCE
Additional waist strap, Sewn in flap for camera's display safe keeping and cleaning
WARRANTY
Limited Lifetime
PROS
Quite a capacious compartment that can hold a number of photo gear and some small accessories.
CONS
A rain cover should be bought separately.
OUR VERDICT
AmazonBasics backpack is a perfect match for those who want to have all the gear at hand but don't want to spend lots of money on a camera pack. Fabricated from durable materials this model ensures long service life.
detailed parameters
TYPE
Backpack
MATERIAL
Polyester, Nylon
COMPARTMENTS
The main compartment accommodates a camera, several lenses, and a flash. Internal zippered pockets for small items, External and side zippered pockets
WATER-RESISTANT
None
PROTECTION
Soft padded dividers, adjustable straps for camera and lenses fixation
CONVENIENCE
Adjustable waist and lumbar straps, 2 straps for a tripod fixing
WARRANTY
Amazon's 30-day return policy

What is a Camera Backpack?

Many a man considers the way of camera carrying right before its purchase. And it is quite an important question since if you are going to take your camera and some other gear along with you on a trip, vacation or just on a stroll around the city, then everything should be stored properly. It is a common knowledge that DSLR cameras are pretty fragile, thus you cannot just put one in your purse. For safe transportation, you need a camera backpack. Wearing a backpack of the kind is pretty comfortable and pressure-free, all the load is evenly distributed along your body. So, whether you've just bought your first camera or look for the upgrade, having a camera backpack is a must.

You may also need camera tripods for taking shots in a photo studio or in the field. And ring lights will help you take stunning and eye-catching videos and photos, so look through our reviews and consider most popular brands.

What Features to Compare

Type and Material

When choosing a camera backpack, you should firstly consider the ways how you're going to wear it. There are two types of camera backpacks in this regard - backpacks and sling bags. Backpacks are worn on a back and fastened with two straps that go over the shoulders while a sling bag is worn over one shoulder with a strap across the chest. A lot of people choose to opt for a backpack type since it's commonly considered more comfortable to wear, yet, sling bags aren't a worse option too, especially if you need to have a quick access to your gear on the go. The next thing to pay attention to is the material used. Most popular fabrics are polyester and nylon. They are known for high-tenacity and a close texture that protects a bag best from moisture and dust. 

Capacity and Protection

Camera backpack is an essential accessory for those photographers who travel a lot and so, it is preferable if the chosen backpack can accommodate not only camera gear but some other personal belongings too. You wouldn't want to grab one more bag with you, right? Inner compartments for camera, lenses, a flash and other fragile accessories should have regulating straps to hold these items firmly and have enough space for storing there some other essentials of a bigger size. The best backpacks feature different constructive solutions to enhance resistance to shocks or falls, which makes transportation safer. Some models come fitted with a rain cover ensuring the dual protection of your gear from moisture when it is raining outside. And finally, check if a camera backpack has zippered compartments for storing memory cards, batteries, and other tiny items which are easy to lose. 

Convenience

It is important to opt for a maximum comfortable backpack since you are going to use it frequently and for prolonged periods of time, for sure. Thus, one of the crucial features in any camera bag is how easy it is to access the gear. It is preferable if a backpack is designed with all sides' access and has some additional fasteners for carrying a tripod or a water bottle. Lastly, go for a backpack with additional chest straps and regulating shoulder straps to firmly secure a camera bag to your body.

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Tamrac 5786

Wear as You Like

Tamrac 5786 Evolution 6 camera bag is designed to meet the demands of the pickiest photographers. It can be worn both ways as a backpack and a sling bag owing to the unique fixation system of shoulder straps. Thus, to convert this camera backpack to a sling pack you only need to cross-connect a shoulder strap. The strap connections are color-coded for right and left shoulder set up and so, which position to choose is up to you. There are 3 different ways to access your photo gear: to slip it off the shoulder and swing around to access left or right side doors or reach your camera through the front door panel when the backpack is removed. With this pack, you will always have a quick access to your photo gear as if you were wearing a camera around your neck. Tamrac 5786 Evolution 6 camera bag is really versatile since you can customize each compartment size and shape and what's more the dividers are fabricated from impact-resistant materials so you can be sure of your gear safekeeping.  To sum up, we'd like to say that the camera backpack is the ideal option for a DSLR with 5½ " lens attached, 2 additional lenses, a speed flash, and a number of different camera gear arranging. Tamrac 5786 Evolution 6 camera bag is made of the water-repelled material that will protect your gear in a light rain while a removable rain cover will come in handy during extreme weather. Owing to Tamrac's QuickClip tripod attachment system you will be able to carry a tripod with you and have both your hands free.

Review of Tamrac 5786 QuickClip Tripod Attachment System

The Top Compartment

If you are not going to use your backpack as a top loader, you can use its upper zippered compartment for storing your valuables and belongings. It is capacious enough to hold a foiled raincoat, some snacks, and even additional camera lenses. Thus, even though this bag looks very compact, it makes enough room for quite a lot of things you may need to take to go. 

Tamrac 5786 QuickClip Tripod Attachment System in the use

Keep Your Gear in Place

We all know that photographers keep their gear in places they can easily access. For this very purpose, Tamrac company added a few more pockets to the back where users can store their small and fragile items. The pocket has a mesh insert to provide a clear view of the contents of a bag. For convenient transportation of a tripod (if you use one), the bag has a special Tripod Foot Pocket with a QuickClip attachment to which you can fix it and comfortably move around.

Detailed review of Tamrac 5786 QuickClip Tripod Attachment System

Protection

In order to make it safer for you to transport expensive photo equipment, the Tamrac 5786 Evolution 6 was made of water-repelling material and comes with a rain cover for wrapping the bag up.

Tamrac 5786 QuickClip Tripod Attachment System application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Tamrac 5786
Tamrac 5786
 

Altura Photo KZ0274

Really Gigantic Backpack

If photography is not just a fancy but your bread and butter having the right camera backpack is just as essential as the having the high-quality camera. We bet that you travel a lot in chase of outstanding pics and naturally, drag the heaviest bags with "tons" of photo gear for different purposes. Today, we'd like to present you a really huge bag that will hold lots of equipment and won't make you bent under the strain of its weight.  Its main compartment is quite roomy and supports up to 2 DSLRs, 4 lenses, and 2 flashes. What's more, the main compartment can be customized up to your needs and is designed with a mesh that protects your gear from falling out in case you need to stand the backpack up. Taking into account the listed above number of camera gear the backpack can hold you may easily assume that this bag must be really gigantic. In some sense it is, considering that it also can accommodate a 13" laptop, a 10" tablet and a tripod. Finally, the backpack opens from the rear and it means that no one will be able to steal your equipment while you're wearing it.

If you're looking for some accessories to ensure additional protection of your camera lenses, consider a pouch set. The pouches will protect your priceless gear from moisture, dust, scratches and even accidental impacts.

Review of Altura Photo KZ0274 Great Explorer

Ideal Weight Distribution

To make even the longest journeys on foot comfortable, there's an ergonomic wide waist belt that supports the weight of the bag and distributes the load evenly along a user's back. The adjustable straps can be customized to multiple users and securely locked. 


Altura Photo KZ0274 Great Explorer in the use

Bulky Tripod? No Problem!

Similar to most camera backpacks produced these days, the Altura Photo KZ0274 has a side strap and many additional loops for carrying tripods, monopods, laptops, phones, tablets. Professional photographers will love such a versatile design. 

Detailed review of Altura Photo KZ0274 Great Explorer

Protection Against Rain

No one can be 100 percent sure about the weather. You can go out when the weather's brilliant, find a picturesque scenery and then get caught in the rain. Not so great anymore, isn't it? Fortunately, if you have the AlturaPhoto DSLR Camera Backpack, you will not need to be in panic. This bag will keep your expensive lenses and cameras protected even if it pours. This camera bag is made of high-quality nylon to repel water and comes with a special rain case to wrap the entire bag up for additional protection. 

Altura Photo KZ0274 Great Explorer application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Altura Photo KZ0274
Altura Photo KZ0274
 

Case Logic SLRC-206

Reliable Protection

Case Logic company has been manufacturing different cases, bags, and backpacks for many years and owing to a long story of company's success we'd like to recommend you their SLRC-206 camera bag. This model shows high reliability, convenience, and safety features above all the rest. This backpack is a perfect match for photographers who constantly carry around a pile of gear and other personal stuff. What we like most about this backpack is the hammock system for camera storage. To specify, a camera with the attached lens is suspended above the bag's bottom ensuring excellent DSLR impact protection and quick access while memory foam on a backpack guarantees a camera's display safekeeping. In addition to the listed above features, the very bag is designed with an EVA Base with a water-resistant coating that allows you to put the backpack on the ground and worry not about the camera's safety. The internal dividers are really thick and quite soft; they provide a camera gear with an extra layer of protection from both side to side and front to back. We also like the orange color of the padding, which ensures outstanding visibility even in low-lit conditions. All in all, Case Logic SLRC-206 will meet the demand of any photographer who wants to have everything at hand.

Do not forget to keep your gear clean since any fingerprint on a lens can easily spoil your shot. Don't let this happen and opt for a camera cleaning kit.

Review of Case Logic SLRC-206 Waterproof

Good Sized Backpack

This backpack looks big, and it really is. Inside, there are dozens of pockets for holding many different things. The removable dividers enable users to customize the space inside the bag so that there would be enough room for everything. This all makes this backpack a great choice for people who often travel with quite bulky gear like telephoto lenses or DLSR cameras. With all photo equipment packed up, there's still more space for a laptop or MacBook Pro the size up to 17". You'll be amazed with how many pockets and compartments a single bag may provide.

Case Logic SLRC-206 Waterproof in the use

Keep Everything Organized

Like we've mentioned above, this backpack seems to have tons of space for plenty of different stuff. The best of it all, it keeps it well-organized and neatly arranged, not like a pile of mess tossed all over inside. On the exterior of the bag, there are four special pockets for holding such small accessories as memory cards, batteries, lens filters, cables, etc. This allows users to keep them separately from the rest of equipment and easily access them when on the go. For holding more bulky accessories, a Tripod Attachment System offers two industrial strength Velcro straps. There you can fix your tripods, first aid kits, and other things.  
Detailed review of Case Logic SLRC-206 Waterproof

For Those Keen on Portraiture

For shooting great portraits, using an expensive camera alone might be not enough. If this is your new hobby and you'd like to stun others with the quality of shots your camera takes, we recommend you to get a portrait lens. In our review you'll find the 5 best lenses for making portraits with detailed guides and tips on how to choose the right one. 

Case Logic SLRC-206 Waterproof application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Case Logic SLRC-206
Case Logic SLRC-206
 

Lowepro LP36172

Fast Access to Your Camera

Slingshot Lowepro gives users a chance to easily access their camera gear no matter what. Comparing to backpack models that have to be taken off the shoulders first, this one is worn right in front of you with the main zippered compartment before your eyes. All you need to do to take the camera (or lens) out is unzip the bag. The main compartment has several removable dividers for you to organize the inner space in the most convenient way, making it possible to accommodate there as many items as you need. In whole, you can easily store there away one DSLR camera with a lens attached, 1 or even 2 additional lenses and a flash. Due to the padded interior, storing and transporting all the gear is going to be not only comfortable but also safe. There’s also a small zippered pocket for holding tiny items such as memory cards, a charger, batteries, etc.

Review of Lowepro LP36172 DSLR Sling Camera Bag

Improved Design

Being a recent model in a line of Lowepro's backpacks, the LP36172 now has a more solid and heavy-duty design. The arrangement of pockets and compartments both inside and outside the bag has also been improved so that it could become possible to store not only more things but store them neatly, with all gear being easily accessible. This backpack looks quite narrow and it's not surprising a lot of customers mistakenly consider it small. In practice, though, the bag provides more than enough space for various stuff. Even the biggest one of your cameras will fit in it well if laid not flat but crossways. There are 3 more Sliplock attachment loops on the front of the backpack; you can use them to attach additional cases, pouches, purses, etc. The Hideaway Tripod Mount system with quick-release straps allows you to carry and transport monopods, tripods and other hefty accessories for taking photos. 

Lowepro LP36172 DSLR Sling Camera Bag in the use

Material Quality and Protection

Made of high-denier nylon and polyester, this backpack isn't going to fade in the sun and will resist water and wear well. For additional protection, the company supplies this bag with a special cover which you can pull out of one of its pockets in case of a heavy rain. As an added bonus, all Lowerpro backpacks come with microfiber cloths for wiping camera screens and lenses.  

Detailed review of Lowepro LP36172 DSLR Sling Camera Bag

Camera Bags for

Dragging a big camera backpack around the town might not be such a good idea if you only need a camera and one lens to make several shots. For these cases, carrying a smaller camera bag would be a better option. Just like backpacks they provide great protection against water ingress and have several compartments for neat arrangement of photo gear. 
Lowepro LP36172 DSLR Sling Camera Bag application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Lowepro LP36172
Lowepro LP36172
 

AmazonBasics 1393R1

Capacious and Affordable Backpack

If you are looking for an inexpensive, comfortable and yet roomy camera backpack that will protect your photo gear while you are on the road, the AmazonBasics Backpack for SLR/DSLR cameras is just the thing. This model has a capacious main compartment with adjustable cells that can be re-arranged to hold more stuff. Thus, this bag can hold 1 or 2 DSLR cameras, several lenses, a flash and a number of smaller items like cables, chargers, batteries, memory cards, etc. You can also make enough room for your MP3 player, smartphone, keys, and even some extra lenses. Fixing a tripod is also possible, thanks to the adjustable straps. What else is good about this bag is that it's made of water-repelled material composition (polyester and nylon) and so, can protect your expensive gear from the negative impact of moisture. All that is now available for you at a very attractive price.

Review of AmazonBasics 1393R1 Durable

What's on the Front?

The flexible cord on the front of the backpack doesn't add to the overall size of the backpack but makes it possible for you to carry more things. All bulky items like a tripod and even umbrella can be reliably attached there. The outside of the backpack features several more side pockets for sports water bottles thus saving you more space inside the bag. 2 removable straps on one of the sides of the bag allow you to fix additional photo equipment like a tripod, etc. 

AmazonBasics 1393R1 Durable in the use

Adjustable Straps

For added comfort, the AmazonBasics backpack features padded shoulder straps that damp possible rubbing while removing strain from the weight of the bag. The waist and chest straps are all adjustable to fit people with various body build and positioned so they could keep the load of the bag stable helping even distribution of weight along a user's back. Obviously, this AmazonBasics 1393R1 backpack has been designed with the user's comfort in mind. 

Detailed review of AmazonBasics 1393R1 Durable

Find the Right Lens

With the right camera lens, capturing crisp and high-quality photos will be a breeze. There's a great variety of lenses available for sale, yet choosing the best one may still be quite tricky as you will need to figure out the specs that are important for your photo genre. Some lenses are specially designed for landscapes, others work best for portraits. In our review on camera lenses, you will find the selection of the best camera lenses for different genres from which you should be able to pick the one that will suit your projects best. 

AmazonBasics 1393R1 Durable application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


AmazonBasics 1393R1
AmazonBasics 1393R1
 

Infographics

Comparison of Camera Backpacks to Protect Photography Equipment

FAQ:

Q: How do I choose the backpack of the right size?

A: This will depend on how many accessories you've got and usually carry around. If you don't have a huge collection of gear, buying a backpack with a few pockets will be a great option. As a rule, such backpacks are very lightweight and very convenient to wear. However, if you own several cameras and often use tripods, lenses and other stuff, it'd be much better to opt for a bigger bag that would accommodate all this equipment. 

Q: Which type of backpack to choose?

A: If you mostly shoot landscapes, and hence spend a lot of time outdoors, we'd recommend you to consider backpacks that feature some additional weather and water protection like water-repelling materials, rain covers, etc. You will also need to make sure the backpack has enough room for other stuff besides photo equipment. Otherwise, you may end up dragging behind you two bags instead of one. If you love street photography, you will need to look for mobility. Therefore, we'd recommend you to consider small-ish bags with slings that can offer you quick access to your gear. 

Q: Are camera backpacks waterproof or water-resistant?

A: Most of the bags are made of water-repellent or water-resistant materials suitable for outdoor use and usually come with additional rain covers to wrap the backpack up in case of a heavy rain. If your backpack doesn't have this cover, buying it optionally will be a good idea, since zippers can't guarantee you full protection. 

Q: Are camera backpacks shockproof?

A: All backpacks are padded to protect your photo equipment. Yet, you still should be careful not to drop down your backpack, even padded, from lofty locations as there's no guarantee the camera inside won't break. 

Q: How do I clean my backpack?

A: Clean your backpack with due care. Do not use aggressive detergents and wash it only in mild soap solution. Instead of washing the bag in a washing machine, wash it with hands. Machine washing, unfortunately, often results in marring materials. 

Sources:

1. Paula Felps In the Bag: 7 Things to Consider When Buying Your Next Camera Bag, B&H Photo Video.

2. Camera Bags: How to ChooseREI.

3. Michael Gabriel How to Pick the Right Camera Bag for Your NeedsContrastly. April 21, 2014.

4. Daniel Smith Choosing the Right Camera Bag – and Why You May Need More than OneDigital Photography School.

5. How to Choose a Camera BackpackTrails.com.

6. Darren Rowse Choosing a Day Bag For Your CameraDigital Photography School.

7. Tim Barribeau The Best Camera Bags and Accessories to Carry With YouThe Wirecutter. June 23, 2016.

8. Andy Orin The Pros, Cons, and Alternatives to Using a Camera Strap, Lifehacker. May 16, 2014.

9. Philip Greenspun Camera Bags, Photo.net. April 2013.

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