One of the items that almost all photographers use is their camera bag. While some photographers can be picky with their bags, some prefer a simple backpack. Whether you’re an amateur who only uses their camera once a year or a full-time professional photographer, having a good camera bag is essential. However, with a variety of bags and designs to choose from, finding the proper one may be a bit overwhelming.
That's why we've searched online and created a list of the top 10 bags to buy this year. Topping our list is Beschoi's DSLR Camera Bag since it's waterproof and has a ton of storage space. Along with nine other great options, we've also included a buying guide at the end to help you find your perfect bag.
If you've got a regular bag and a lens cap, you don't need a camera bag, right? Wrong! Here's what photographer Melissa Castor says on why you need a camera bag:
"Camera bags are a secure and private way to safely transport your equipment when moving from one location to another. You don't need the world to see what gear you're carrying, and you don’t want to haphazardly throw it in a duffle bag either.
Keep your precious gear safe and organized with a bag specifically made to transport cameras and gear. You're likely spent a lot of money on your gear, so it's worth spending just a little more to keep it safe in a bag meant for cameras."
Below is our list of the best camera bags that you can find online. We did extensive research so you don't have to! Each product was selected based on the safety and durability of the camera bag and the overall comfort and experience of the photographer.
*Please note that these products were chosen through extensive research and by combing through customer reviews by our staff at mybest. They are not necessarily affiliated with Melissa Castor.
|Size||13 x 9.8 x 5.5 in.|
|Bag type||Messenger bag|
|Size||12.2 x 7.8 x 4.7 in.|
|Material||High-density canvas and leather trim|
|Ideal for||Casual, professional, outdoor|
|Bag type||Shoulder bag|
|Size||9 x 7 x 6 in.|
|Ideal for||Casual, professional|
|Bag type||Sling bag|
|Size||16.1 x 10.2 x 6.7 in.|
|Size||3.4 x 3.1 x 3 in.|
|Size||7.5 x 7.5 x 3 in.|
|Ideal for||Casual, travel|
|Bag type||Wheeled backpack|
|Size||24 x 15.3 x 10.6 in.|
|Bag type||Hard case|
|Size||22 x 9 x 13.8 in.|
|Ideal for||Travel, professional|
|Bag type||Wheeled case|
|Size||33.5 x 12.2 x 11.8 in.|
|Material||Cordura webbed nylon and plastic base plate|
|Size||18 x 12 x 8 in.|
|Material||Padded nylon, heavy-duty waterproof bottom|
|Ideal for||Casual, professional, travel|
DSLR Camera Backpack (Large)
Vintage Camera Messenger Bag
Soft Padded Camera Bag
Sling Bag Style Camera Case
BlackWidow Camera Holster
ProInStyle Dual Shoulder Leather Harness
Wheeled Camera Backpack
1510 Case With Foam
Equipment Trolley Carry Bag
DSLR Camera Backpack
Waterproof Backpack with Lots of Room
Multi-Purpose, Easy to Use and Stylish
Medium-Sized Bag Ideal for One Camera
Ideal for Travel and Outdoor Photography
Perfect for Point-and-Shoot Photographers
A Great Alternative to a Traditional Camera Bag
A Perfect Travel Companion
A Camera Bag Ideal for Check-In Luggage
Transport Your Big Equipment Like Lights and Tripods
Perfect Amount of Space For All Your Camera Gear
|Bag type||Backpack||Messenger bag||Shoulder bag||Sling bag||Holster||Harness||Wheeled backpack||Hard case||Wheeled case||Backpack|
|Size||13 x 9.8 x 5.5 in.||12.2 x 7.8 x 4.7 in.||9 x 7 x 6 in.||16.1 x 10.2 x 6.7 in.||3.4 x 3.1 x 3 in.||7.5 x 7.5 x 3 in.||24 x 15.3 x 10.6 in.||22 x 9 x 13.8 in.||33.5 x 12.2 x 11.8 in.||18 x 12 x 8 in.|
|Material||Water-repellent nylon||High-density canvas and leather trim||Nylon, microfiber||Nylon||Plastic||Leather||Nylon||Quality ABS||Cordura webbed nylon and plastic base plate||Padded nylon, heavy-duty waterproof bottom|
|Ideal for||Outdoor||Casual, professional, outdoor||Casual, professional||Travel||Casual||Casual, travel||Travel||Travel, professional||Professional||Casual, professional, travel|
Melissa Castor is a concert photographer who enjoys traveling for the music, and taking photographs of the sights along the way. There are so many places to see, and she's trying to share a little of what she sees with the world. We asked her for some expert insight on how to choose the best camera bag for you. You can check out her Flickr to see some of her work!
When choosing a camera bag, questions you should ask yourself are: first, do I need a camera bag? What equipment am I carrying? How big a bag do I need?
Do I need to hold all my gear or a select kit? Where will I carry my bag and is it comfortable? Finally, what's my budget? With these questions in mind, choosing the right camera bag will be a bit easier.
Before choosing a bag, consider the style of photography you are doing. If you’re a landscape photographer, then a backpack could also be the simplest choice for you.
If travel photography is your passion, hand luggage that also holds your laptop, passport, and tickets would be ideal. You would also want to pack a smaller bag to use once you get to your destination.
There is a camera bag for every possible situation! If you choose a backpack, consider your own physical strength and how long you'll have that on your back. If you travel often with a lot of gear, you will need something strong and sturdy.
Always remember that nature has a mind of its own, so be prepared for any type of weather and keep your gear protected from the elements.
Whether you have one camera and lens or are a professional with a whole set of equipment will influence your choice greatly! It's also important to consider where you want to bring your camera and how you want to use it.
Camera messenger bags and shoulder bags are definitely very practical. With many compartments and zippers, these messenger bags provide fast access to your camera and room to hold extra lenses.
Carrying your laptop, lunch and a water bottle makes messenger bags multi-functional. Most designs feature comfortable straps, rain flaps, and sturdy zippers.
You'll likely need more than just a camera if you're going on location, and juggling multiple bags can be a hassle. Consider a bag that has space for water bottles, and possibly a laptop or tablet. You might even need toys if you're working with kids or animals and want to catch their attention. Having all your items in one bag makes it easy to never forget a thing!
Whether it’s a soccer game, or a safari at the zoo together with your kids, all you may need is a single camera and lens. If you think “holster,” you’re probably imagining something strapped around your waist during the times of the Wild, Wild West. But the main similarity here is that it helps you to draw, aim, and shoot with ease.
Holster bags are unique as they’re designed for carrying your camera and your favorite lens. There’s no space for an extra lens or accessories with these bags. There are holsters made to suit both mirrorless cameras and DSLR cameras. Some holster bags are designed to hang off your belt around your waist or be carried by a strap.
This is great because it takes all the load off your shoulders and offers easy accessibility to the camera. Holster bags are made to guard your camera. They sometimes include a built-in rain protector to protect your gear from the elements. These rain protectors easily slip over the bag.
If you're only using a single camera and lens for the day, a holster is a perfect option and you'll feel unencumbered to move around compared to traditional larger-sized camera bags.
This is great for any level, but especially if you're just starting out and getting the hang of things. This grants you easy access to your camera at all times and is especially great when shooting outdoors so you'll never miss a moment - nature moves fast.
Camera roller bags are great for transporting huge amounts of heavy camera gear without having to hold it all on your back. They're especially popular when traveling since you can take all your gear with you.
The inside of the roller bag is broken up into a variety of protective compartments to hold lenses, laptops, and tablets. Studio lights, flashes, and gimbals are no longer hard to pack items.
Nobody wants to hear you're forced to check your bag when getting on a plane, but it can happen! A roller camera bag is different from a typical suitcase in that it has padded separate compartments (customizable with Velcro!) for all your gear to fit snuggly and not move around.
It's also great if you have heavy gear you can't carry on your back, as wheels on a bag make transportation a breeze.
Camera backpacks are popular for carrying around your gear. If you're hiking through areas that will include streams, mud, and elements that put your camera’s well-being in danger, you'll need a bag that's up to the task. Hunt for something that’s not just waterproof, but is also crush-proof and designed for travel.
Backpacks are designed to hold camera gear and items like your phone, keys, or a snack. When traveling, you would like a snug camera backpack that will carry your equipment, lenses, and tripods. You will also have enough room for things like water, food or a jacket.
Nature is unpredictable, and if you plan to go hiking, you'll want a durable camera backpack. If you don't get a waterproof bag, you'll definitely want a waterproof cover that fits over your entire bag for protection from the rain. You just never know, and it's not worth the risk.
Rain protection covers are lightweight and should always be kept inside your bag. Be sure to pack water and food if you plan to be out for long periods of time, and don't litter. Take your trash out with you. Nature will thank you!
Since camera bags are used to protect your camera and accessories, it's important to look for one made from materials that can withstand the weight of your equipment. Most camera bags are made from natural fibers or man-made high-tech materials. Canvas, cotton, nylon, and leather are used by most brands for their durability.
Your backpack should protect your camera and equipment from rain, dust, and even shock while you travel with your gear. Camera bags should be water-resistant and prevent dust and moisture from getting in.
Remember that the regular insertion and removal of the camera and equipment can wear out weak materials fast, and placing the bag on the floor and dragging it also causes it to wear out fast.
When looking for a camera bag to purchase, it's important to consider your gear. Take inventory of what you plan to carry in your bag or if you're planning to purchase new lenses or camera bodies. How much gear will you be carrying? That will determine the type of bag you need.
Zippers are also very important; you want zippers that won't snag and will last a long time through many open and closings.
When buying a large camera backpack, remember that the more storage capacity that’s available, the more weight you will have to lug around.
When considering the size of the bag take into account the amount of equipment and accessories you will need to carry. If you travel by air, there may be luggage size limits that may affect your choice of bag.
The number and sizes of the different compartments inside and outside the backpack should not be overlooked. If you travel with a variety of cables, battery packs, lenses, and other equipment, consider a bag that has multiple pouches that can fit your items.
Large camera bags are great until you remember you're going to be the one carrying around all that weight for the amount of time you'll be out.
If it's a backpack, keep in mind your own physical ability - how much weight can you actually carry in a backpack? If you're going for a hike for more than eight hours, you will carry that on your back the entire time, and it will feel heavier the longer you wear your gear.
Features you might want to take into consideration are room for the camera cleaning kit and enough padding for the camera and lens. Waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof specs are absolutely necessary.
It’d be best to shop for a bag that may not require you to shop for external dust and rain covers to guard your valuables. Check the quality and materials of the bag to make sure that they're dustproof. The bag should include flaps that provide extra protection.
Zippers make it easy to access equipment and the camera fast. Choose backpacks that give you access to the major compartments without the need to remove the straps for those quick shots.
A full photo backpack opens the entire bag with one zipper, while a half photo bag opens halfway to give you access to the lower half of the bag. If you are buying a small backpack a full photo backpack would be ideal. The half photo bag is ideal for larger backpacks that carry several accessories inside the bag.
Do you want to be able to reach behind you and grab your camera out of your backpack without taking it off your back? Then be sure to purchase a bag with a side enclosure that allows for easy access!
Camera bags these days have so many features that you don't realize you'll need until you're out in the world using your bag. I love the ability to grab my full camera and lens from my backpack without taking it off.
Melissa has been on a trek or two throughout her photographer career, so she has some important advice especially for the ladies: "If you're a female, you might want to consider a camera bag that looks like a purse. They are inconspicuous, especially if you're traveling alone.
Nobody will know you have valuable camera gear inside if it looks like a standard purse. These are often small, but generally have room for at least one camera body and lens, and space for your wallet, keys, phone, and more."
To be a photographer you need more than just a camera bag. Become great with these products.
A camera bag is a must-have accessory for every photographer, regardless of the type of photography. Bigger bags are great for photographers who like to carry all their equipment with them. Yet, some photographers are more concerned with conforming to the carry on baggage regulations on flights.
Lighter bags can be carried easily for hours on end, especially on hiking trips. Whatever your requirements are, we hope that this buying guide made your choice easier.
Author: Mart-Mari Jansen van Vuren
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