At first glance, the stylish exterior of the Abonnyc Vintage DSLR Backpack with its leather accents, Batik canvas, and metal hardware, gives you the impression that it’s not really meant for life off of paved streets. Yet Abonnyc has tastefully infused this camera backpack with the kind of durability to support you for an off-the-grid photoshoot.
The Batik canvas exterior material is water-resistant. There are also 7-layers of protective padding to help protect your camera gear with superior shock and drop-resistance. There’s also an exterior holster area for a tripod and an independent pocket for a 13.3-inch laptop.
There is a zippered mesh pocket inside the main access panel to hold quick-access small items like your phone or keys. Velcro straps are then used to secure camera gear into the flexible padded dividers. All told there is sufficient room to hold a single digital SLR camera body, as well as 3 lenses, with a little extra space for some clothing items like a rain poncho.
The CADeN DS6 Camera Backpack was designed for amateur photographers who need a reasonably priced backpack to hold all their essential camera gear. The exterior shell is made from 900 denier nylon which is very durable and offers superior water resistance. There is even a tripod pouch a separate water bottle.
This camera backpack is also comfortable to wear. It has adjustable padded shoulder straps with a chest strap and a lightly padded back.
The CADeN DS6 Camera Backpack has PE padded compartments in the interior compartment which are configured to hold a single digital SLR camera, as well as up to 3 additional lenses or similar items. There is a panel inside the zippered flap that is designed to hold a 14-inch or smaller laptop.
- Smart Storage interior with adjustable dividers
- Easy access top, side, and rear zippers and large lower compartment
- Padded shoulder straps and back panel, with sternum and waist strap
The Vanguard Alta Sky 51D is designed to hold enough camera gear and other equipment to support you for a full day trip. It has a large interior compartment with a “Smart Storage” system of adaptable dividers that let you customize it to your needs. You can access the compartment via a rear, top or side zipper.
The Vanguard Alta Sky 51D also a large lower compartment, which can be used to store support items like clothing or additional camera gear like a telephoto lens or a collapsible tripod. This camera backpack also has a proprietary “Alta Link” system of straps to help secure larger items, an accessory pack, or perhaps some camping gear
The exterior is water-resistant and a “Total Rain Cover” is included in the purchase. The Vanguard Alta Sky 51D has a padded, breathable back panel, as well as padded shoulder straps, a sternum strap and a waist strap. There’s even a water bottle pouch to help you stay hydrated throughout the course of a shoot.
How We Picked
The camera backpack niche can be a bit crowded to the point where you feel spoiled for choice. When filtering out the options we tried to not look at single-camera carrying cases, which many people simply keep inside a larger camera backpack. Instead, we tried to stay focused on camera backpacks and camera sling bags that accommodated a superior amount of gear.
There are some pretty serious swings in pricing, materials, and design in the remaining field. So, from there we tried to prioritize camera backpacks that had thoughtful organization built into them. This included units with modular, adjustable, or customizable interior compartments. A separate compartment for a laptop or a tablet was also something deserving of an extra star, as it gives you the ability to work with digital images shortly after capturing them.
Exterior material and features were also something factored in. This included things like water-resistant fabrics or fabrics that had somehow been treated for superior water-resistance as well as things like a rain cover included in the purchase.
Comfort and protection are also important factors we kept in mind during the review process. Padded shoulder straps, sternum straps, and waistbands might not seem like a big deal on the screen, but they can make a world of difference if you need to pack your camera gear for an all-day nature shoot!
From there we looked for other thoughtful exterior features like tripod holders, water bottle pouches, phone pouches, or easy access panels. Things like rolltop compartments or rear storage containers for clothing items were also something important. They let you do things like bring a sweater or raincoat with you for a shoot where the weather might become a factor during the day.
Vanguard Alta Sky 51D
- Smart Storage interior divider system
- Side, rear, and top zipper access to the interior
- Will accommodate a 15-inch laptop
- Alta Link rear multi-connection straps for a tripod
- Large lower compartment
- Padded shoulder straps
- Sternum and waist straps
- The breathable padded back panel
- Total rain cover accessory
- Water bottle pouch
The Vanguard Alta Sky 51D is part of a broad line of large camera backpacks. It’s designed to hold enough camera gear and other equipment to support you for a full day trip.
The large interior compartment features a “Smart Storage” series of dividers that let you adapt the interior to meet your needs. Each padded divider helps protect sensitive equipment like lenses, filters and other essential items. The interior can be accessed by rear, top and side zippers, letting you maximize the versatility of the Smart Storage system.
There is also a large lower compartment, which can be used to store support items or perhaps something like a telephoto lens or a collapsible monopod. The rear of the Vanguard Alta Sky 51D has its proprietary “Alta Link” system of straps that allows you to secure large items like a tripod.
The exterior itself is not specifically waterproof. However, the Vanguard Alta Sky 51D does come with a “Total Rain Cover” which was designed to cover the backpack compartment but might not be sufficient for the total coverage of the Alta Link strap system.
The Vanguard Alta Sky 51D was also designed with comfort in mind. This includes a padded, breathable back panel, padded shoulder straps, a sternum strap, and a waist strap. Vanguard also thoughtfully included a water bottle pouch to help you stay hydrated while hiking to your location.
What We Liked
The Smart Storage interior with its adaptable divider lets you customize the interior to specifically meet your needs. The side, rear, and top zipper access also lend to this usage. The padded shoulder straps, sternum straps, waist strap and the breathable padded back, also help it feel comfortable while hiking your gear to your location.
It’s also worth noting that fully packed the Vanguard Alta Sky 51D when properly packed will fit into most airline overhead storage compartments.
If you are a wilderness photographer or you simply want to take all your photography gear with you on a vacation, you might want to put the Vanguard Alta Sky 51D high on your list. The padded shoulder straps and back along with waist and sternum straps make it remarkably comfortable. The smart storage system with its multiple dividers not only helps keep your camera gear safe and organized, but it also helps you pack it for a comfortable balance.
It would be nice if the material itself had a waterproofing treatment. The rain cover does a good job, but you shouldn’t trust it blindly in heavy rain or seriously wet conditions.
- Smart Storage interior with adjustable dividers
- Easy access top, side, and rear zippers and large lower compartment
- Padded shoulder straps and back panel, with sternum and waist strap
Lowepro ProTactic 350 AW II Black Pro Modular Backpack
- EVA molded top armor section
- Padded exterior layers
- Zipper panel with zippered pouches for easy access to small items
- Flexible adaptive dividers
- Dual modular quick-lock straps
- Slip lock straps
- ActivZone System for better support and comfort
- Water-resistant fabric
- Fits under an airline seat
The Lowepro ProTactic 350 AW II looks and feels very much like a “Tactical Backpack” without technically being a tactical backpack. There is no MOLLE compatible system installed. Yet it can still mimic a lot of a tactical backpack’s durability and versatility.
The exterior is thoroughly padded to help protect the sensitive contents. The top has an EVA molded armor section. This helps to buffer the sensitive contents against blows and accidental drops. If you really needed to you could check this camera backpack when you fly. Though when properly packed it will fit under most airline seats or in an average overhead carry-on compartment.
The exterior of the Lowepro ProTactic 350 AW II is water-resistant, but not completely waterproof. There is a rain cover included which will help you travel with the pack during a light rain. It also has quick-lock straps to quickly secure and deploy things like a tripod. This camera backpack also features a proprietary “ActivZone System” which is ergonomically designed to provide superior support for shoulder blades, the lumbar region and waist.
There is a zippered panel in the interior with small zippered pouches that allow you easy access to small items. The interior compartment also has a series of flexible adaptive dividers, which lets you customize it to fit all your various camera components securely.
What We Liked
The Lowepro ProTactic 350 AW II has a variety of “Tactical Features” that let you comfortably take your camera gear with you. The ActivZone System in the straps and back panel makes it especially comfortable to carry with you on long hikes.
At the same time, the EVA molded exterior armor and padding with the flexible adaptive dividers keep your sensitive gear safely secure. It also allows you to properly balance the load for long hikes over uneven ground.
The Lowepro ProTactic 350 AW II certainly has the durability to handle a lot of tough conditions, including travel on a plane. It would have been nice if they would have found a way to upgrade it from water-resistant to waterproof to make this a true all-weather camera backpack. Still with proper use of the rain cover this pack should be able to endure long before most lesser camera backpacks have failed.
- Designed with tactical backpack functionality and durability
- ActivZone system for superior comfort on long hikes
- External Quick Lock straps for carrying things like a tripod
Abonnyc Camera Backpack Fit 2
- Flexible interior dividers
- Separate compartment for a 15-inch laptop
- Anti-Theft zippers
- External side straps for a tripod
- Hanging loops
- Water-resistant exterior with a waterproof rain cover
- Padded shoulder straps with sternum and waist straps
- 1-year warranty included in the purchase
The Abonnyc Camera Backpack Fit 2 was designed with professional photographers in mind. It has a water-resistant exterior fabric with waterproof rain cover, with padded shoulder straps, waist and sternum straps with reflective striping. There is also a flip-out tripod holder with side straps.
The interior has multiple flexible, padded dividers. It was specifically designed to accommodate Nikon d3400, Canon t5i, Sony A6000 with room for up to two digital SLR cameras. Though it can, in fact, accommodate a wide range of similar devices. There is also a separate compartment designed to hold most 15-inch laptops.
The Abonnyc Camera Backpack Fit 2 was also designed to accommodate airline overhead and under-seat compartments. It also has anti-theft zippers to help protect what is ultimately a very high-value investment.
What We Liked
The flexible internal dividers with flip out tripod straps make it easy to customize the Abonnyc Camera Backpack Fit 2 to your particular setup. The fact that the 15-inch laptop compartment is completely separate is also a nice touch, and not something you see in most of the direct competitors.
They even go so far as to back it with a 1-year warranty, which is a strong statement about their faith in the overall quality and materials.
The Abonnyc Camera Backpack Fit 2 is a very well-designed camera backpack that was intended to appeal to professional photographers as well as amateur enthusiasts who need to protect their investment.
It might be a little bit on the small side for someone who wants to get far off the grid for nature photography, as it really won’t help carry any additional support items beyond essential camera gear. Yet it’s practically perfect for day hiking or taking with you on an architectural tour of a city.
- Flexible internal divider system to hold up to two DSLRs
- Separate compartment for a 15-inch laptop
- Comfortable strap configuration with reflective striping and anti-theft zippers
Abonnyc Vintage DSLR Backpack
- Stylish design
- Batik canvas with water-resistant treatment
- Front panel with mesh pocket
- Comfortable shoulder straps with D-rings for sternum straps
- 7-layer shock and drop resistant padding
- Flexible interior dividers
- Holds a DSLR, 3 lenses, tripod
- Separate pocket for a 13.3-inch laptop
When you first look at the stylish exterior of the Abonnyc Vintage DSLR Backpack with its Batik canvas, leather, and classic metal hardware, you could be misled into thinking it’s not very durable. While you can indeed adapt it to take a picnic to the park or carry your work papers on the subway, it also has the built-in durability to support you for an off-the-grid photoshoot.
The Batik canvas material has a water-resistant treatment. Within you will find an impressive 7-layers of protective padding. While it does slightly reduce the interior capacity it also imbues the Abonnyc Vintage DSLR Backpack with superior shock and drop-resistance.
The main access panel has a zippered mesh pocket to hold quick-access small items like your phone or keys. The interior has flexible padded dividers with Velcro connections. It has room to hold a single digital SLR camera, 3 lenses and some clothing items. There’s also an exterior holster area for a tripod and an independent pocket for a 13.3-inch laptop.
The Abonnyc Vintage DSLR Backpack is also covered by a 90-day satisfaction guarantee.
What We Liked
The fact that this camera backpack manages to look like a stylish day bag, but still have the durability and water resistance to handle a nature photography expedition is pretty rare at this price point.
If you need a camera backpack that can also play double duty as a day pack for getting back and forth to the office, while also being shock resistant as well as water-resistant, then the Abonnyc Vintage DSLR Backpack needs to be on your radar.
There are a few minor complaints in that the interior dividers aren’t as versatile as some of the competitors, and the D-ring sternum straps aren’t as supportive as more affixed straps. Still, these are minor peccadillos that will rarely get in your way for a day trip photoshoot. Also bear in mind that it was designed to hold a 13.3-inch laptop.
TARION Pro XP Camera Backpack
- Rolltop compartment for clothing items
- Rear and side access with anti-theft zippers
- Compartment for a 15-inch laptop
- Water-resistant fabric with a rain cover
- Padded interior compartment with Velcro holding straps
- Holds up to 2 DSLRs and 3 lenses
- Tripod pouch
- Padded shoulder straps, sternum strap, and waistband
- Reflective strips and accents
- Durable top handle
Tarion is a fast-rising German company founded in 2008 with a vision focused on supporting amateur enthusiasts and professional photographers. The TARION Pro XP Camera Backpack represents the middle of their line where high-quality materials and engineering combine forces with a very friendly price tag.
The exterior is made from a water-resistant fabric with a rain cover that was designed to provide superior water resistance. It has a roll-top compartment for holding a sweater or emergency rain poncho. This is great for times when you might start out your day on a cold morning, and you need to stash your sweater or jacket when the day warms up.
It also has padded shoulder straps, a sturdy sternum/chest strap, and a waistband. The back is comfortably padded and designed to be breathable. There’s also a tripod pouch, and a heavy-duty top handle. Tarion also made sure to design the Pro XP with reflective striping and accents for times when you might be out in low light conditions.
The interior can be accessed via a rear or side zipper panel. It was designed the EPE padded compartments with secure Velcro holding straps. It comes configured to hold up to two digital SLR cameras and three lenses. There’s also an independent compartment that will hold a 15-inch laptop.
What We Liked
The roll-top compartment for holding clothes lets you take some clothing items with you. It’s a great option for holding a sweater and a raincoat for times when you might be out for a shoot with an inconsistent weather forecast.
The water-resistant fabric and the rain cover offer superior coverage compared to some of the competitors. There are some higher units in the Tarion line with this same configuration that carries an IPX 5 waterproof rating. However, this particular unit hasn’t been assigned a rating yet.
This is a very well-designed camera backpack made from high-quality materials. It is exceptionally comfortable to wear and use. The fact that it holds up to two digital SLR cameras and three lenses with a tripod pouch, separate laptop compartment, and a rolltop compartment for clothing items makes it very convenient.
Though it would be nice if the EPE padded interior compartments with Velcro holding straps were more adjustable. For the most part, you have to use the compartment space they give you without a lot of versatility. Though it was still thoughtfully designed, and the configuration Tarion chose is intuitive.
- Rolltop compartment for clothing and a separate laptop compartment
- Water-resistant with a good rain cover
- EPE padded interior to hold 2 DSLRs and 3 lenses, with a tripod pouch
CADeN DS6 Camera Backpack
- 900 denier waterproof nylon exterior
- Adjustable padded straps with sternum straps
- Tripod pouch and water bottle pouch
- Internal compartment with PE padding
- Holds 1 SLR camera, 3 lenses, 1 flash and filters
- Panel for a 14-inch laptop
- 1-year warranty
A lot of amateur photography enthusiasts are working on a limited budget which forces them to balance between buying the essential gear, and the equipment needed to protect the investment. CADeN helps address this need with their DS6 Camera Backpack.
It has an extremely friendly price tag for the quality of materials and design. The 900-denier nylon exterior shell is very durable and offers superior water resistance. The exterior also has a tripod pouch and another pouch to hold a water bottle.
The CADeN DS6 Camera Backpack has adjustable padded shoulder straps and a lightly padded back. There is also a chest strap to help distribute the load evenly. Technically CADeN rates this camera backpack to hold up to 110-pounds, though it’s hard to imagine camera gear ever pushing this claim.
The interior of the CADeN DS6 Camera Backpack has PE padded compartments. It’s configured to hold a single digital SLR camera, with room for 3 additional lenses, a flash and perhaps some filters. There is a panel inside the zippered flap that is designed to hold a 14-inch or smaller laptop.
What We Liked
The quality materials and room to hold all the essential gear that you need to get started all at a friendly price point is probably the CADeN DS6 Camera Backpack’s most attractive feature. The water bottle pouch might not seem all that “Special” but you would miss it if it wasn’t there, and it’s something that not every camera backpack manufacturer thinks to include!
If you are just getting started and you need a camera backpack to hold all your gear, then this might just be the bag for you. You certainly can’t argue with the price.
It’s worth noting that heavy-duty nylon fabric like that used in the CADeN DS6 Camera Backpack and the PE padded compartments do have a bit of a reputation for carrying an artificial odor. Especially if they spend a long time in air-tight storage. This is the sort of thing that will fade over time. Leaving it out for a day or two on a breezeway or a sheltered porch will help any off-putting odors to dissipate.
The internal laptop panel is only large enough to hold up to a 14-inch, slip laptop. Though if you absolutely do need to carry a 15-inch CADeN does offer a slightly larger model, with most of the same characteristics and pouch that will just hold a 15.3-inch laptop.
Case Logic SLRC-205 SLR Camera Sling Bag
- Over the shoulder sling bag
- Single padded strap with a top ring
- Optional waistband
- Memory foam interior will hold a camera body with attached lens
- Patent-pending “Hammock” system to help protect the camera
- Large zippered external pocket for additional items
- 3 small pockets for small items like keys and memory cards
Case logic is a well-established company in the electronics industry providing a wide range of carrying equipment and apparel for supporting electronics like digital SLR cameras. Their SLRC-205 SLR Camera Sling Bag is designed to be worn over the shoulder and allows you to swing the main compartment around for quick access to a single camera with an attached lens.
The main compartment of the Case Logic SLRC-205 SLR Camera Sling Bag is lined with scratch-resistant memory foam. The camera is then held in Case Logics patent-pending “Hammock System” which suspends it up from the bottom of the compartment. This helps to prevent camera damage from accidentally bumping into something.
There is also a large zippered compartment that measures in at 8.5 inches by 6.5 inches by 4.5-inches. This is about enough room to hold another lens or perhaps a flash. There are also three small external pockets for holding things like keys, or a memory card.
What We Liked
The padded strap on a sling bag is a nice feature and one that you don’t always see with the competitors. The optional waistband also lets you keep the sling close to your body.
The patent-pending hammock system is thoughtful but doesn’t technically make the Case Logic SLRC-205 SLR Camera Sling Bag “Shock Proof.”
If you need a quality camera sling bag, there’s a lot to like with the Case Logic SLRC-205 SLR Camera Sling Bag. Just bear in mind that it is not waterproof or even really water-resistant. If you need to use it when there’s the threat of rain the forecast, you should adjust the strap close to your body, where the camera compartment should fit under a large raincoat or poncho.
- Memory foam compartment with a suspended Hammock system
- Large zippered pocket for an additional lens
- Designed to hold a single camera body with an attached lens
Qipi E00452 Sling Bag Camera Case Backpack
- Sling-style camera bag with single cross-body padded strap
- Exterior tripod holder
- The main compartment holds a camera body with a zoom lens
- Removable modular inserts
- Hidden anti-theft pocket for valuables
- Separate smartphone pocket
- 6 months satisfaction guarantee
- 6-month warranty
Camera sling bags are very popular with professional and amateur photographers who need to shoot on the go. Yet one of the big complaints against them is their limited carrying capacity, which often forces you to leave things behind, or over-plan how a specific shoot might go.
The Qipi E00452 Sling Bag Camera Case attempts to solve this problem by including additional storage space inside the relatively large interior. It is set up to hold a camera body with an attached zoom lens. Though there is still additional space in the compartment to hold other items. The removable modular inserts allow you to customize it to your specific needs.
There’s also a hidden anti-theft pocket for holding valuables, as well as a separate smartphone pocket. Another area that the Qipi E00452 Sling Bag Camera Case Backpack distinguishes itself from the competitors is by offering a tripod holder that is big enough to hold a small tripod or monopod.
The exterior shell is water-resistant, and there is also a rain cover included in the purchase. Qipi further backs this camera sling bag with a 6-month warranty and 6-month satisfaction guarantee.
What We Liked
The additional storage space and the fact that you can carry a tripod with you is certainly a nice touch. It’s especially handy if your shoots tend to change location or you need to move from one location to the next.
If you are on vacation touring a foreign town, you can walk with the camera in hand to shoot some live-action shots. Then if you need to capture still life or a careful piece of architecture, you can quickly set up the tripod for a steady shot. This level of versatility is somewhat rare in camera sling bags.
The Qipi E00452 Sling Bag Camera Case Backpack is a thoughtfully designed camera sling bag that lets you take more gear with you on a single shoot than most of the competitors in this niche. It is a little bit on the heavy and bulky side, but that’s too be expected given the superior capacity.
- Superior storage for a camera sling bag
- Hidden anti-theft pocket and separate smartphone pocket
- Includes a tripod holder
These days smartphone cameras and small handheld units are very popular. They let the average person capture pictures of special moments in their life, like a child’s birthday party, or even something as mundane snapping a quick pic of a great meal. The image quality is usually perfectly fine for on-screen display, and things like depth of field and other fine-tuned image quality tend to fall by the wayside.
For professional photographers, people in specialist fields and even amateur enthusiasts, capturing the images they need requires a major investment in an SLR or Digital SLR, as well as the tools and accessories that come with it.
For many of these people, a simple camera bag simply won’t suffice for protecting such a major investment. Not to mention individuals like nature photographers who need a camera backpack that lets them transport all their necessary photography equipment during off-the-grid forays into the wild.
As you can imagine, there are some important features to consider when finding the best camera backpack for you. Taking them into account before you start clicking through a maze of online options will help you quickly filter out the camera backpack you need for today and into the future.
Overall Size and Storage Capacity
Quality camera backpacks can range in size from small units that serve as dry bags for keeping everything on hand, even if your car is still just a few yards away. On the other end of the spectrum, there are some large camera backpacks that are designed to carry all your essential accessories, while also helping to support you for a day or more in the bush. Some of these units even have detachable pouches that let you take a few essential accessories with you, while you leave the bulk of your photography equipment back at camp.
If you already own your camera, or you are still shopping for a new one, you should try gathering all your equipment and essential items. Put it on a blanket on your floor or bed to help you gauge just how much total volume you really need.
You might also want to take into account the size limits of an airplane’s overhead storage compartment. Most people who travel with their camera equipment like to keep it with them on the plane, or at least keep the camera and high-value accessories with them.
With everything laid out, you should try a little “Thought Experiment.” Imagine that you are in the bush trying to capture a fleeting picture of an animal or walking backward as a bride comes down the aisle. Whatever it is you are most likely to be using your camera for, imagine the kind of accessories you need to have quick access to.
Maybe it’s a lens filter, or a special grip to get that perfect angle. Perhaps it’s a tripod you need to quickly set up to capture a coming event. This will help you to dial-in the kind of external pouches, clips or panels you want to prioritize.
It can also help to think about the weight rating of the bag. Some pieces of camera equipment can be surprisingly heavy for their size. If you have a lot of accessories that you plan to take with you, it’s not out of the question to weigh each of them individually on something like a kitchen scale. Then you can add them all up to make sure you are getting a camera backpack that can handle all that girth.
While you are contemplating all the accessories and equipment you want to take with you, make sure to also take into account things like your laptop, or even some basic items like an emergency poncho.
A lot of quality camera backpacks include things like padded dividers or adjustable internal compartments. This allows you to essentially customize the internal layout specifically to hold your sensitive camera equipment in place. With thoughtful packing, you can also use these divider systems to balance out the backpack, which is great when you need to take a long hike, or you will be packing your camera equipment across uneven ground.
Let’s face it, the instant you pack it, your camera backpack is going to be a high-value item. The camera itself, the accessories, and essential equipment can all add up to a very serious investment.
The last thing you want is a casual bonk in a crowded airport or a light rain soaking the interior. Even something as simple as poorly sealing zippers can let moisture dust and other contaminants into critical compartments.
Ideally, a camera backpack that advertises things like sealed or welded seams helps prevent dust intrusion. These packs often have superior carrying capacity and are less like to rip if you accidentally overload it. You might always want to prioritize a camera backpack that includes superior interior padding or other shock-resistant features.
There are also other exterior features to consider. Something like a heavy-duty top-mounted handle might be especially beneficial for times when you might have the camera in your hand, and you need to move with your equipment to get just the right shot.
Pay attention to the zippers as well. Even if the exterior of a camera bag is water-resistant or carries some type of waterproof rating, the zippers could still be vulnerable when soaked with rain.
Of course, zippers are also a factor when you need to quickly access accessories stored inside the camera backpack. Take a moment to think about things that you might need to pull out in a hurry to set up a shot. If you frequently use tripods, you might want to give higher priority to a camera backpack with a large, easy to open zipper or an external pouch with an easy access flap.
If you frequently need to change out filters or small flash elements, you might instead give higher priority to small zipper or Velcro pouches. Especially ones that you can access from the exterior or via a quick-zip panel.
Straps and Overall Comfort
The larger your camera backpack is, the more important overall comfort becomes. Especially if the pack will be helping to support you on a long hike or extended period of time in the wilderness. Ideally, a pack with padded compression straps should move up your list. The same holds true for other large camera backpack comfort features like a padded back panel, breathable mesh, a sternum strap or a waist strap with accessory pockets.
Considering Camera Backpack Sizes
There are some manufacturers who will offer specialty camera backpacks or units that are specially tailored to meet a certain menu of needs. While you are shopping for the right camera bag for you, there are a few key terms that might help you filter through the size and features you prioritize.
An “Ultra-Compact” camera backpack is more of a grab bag. Many photographers will keep an ultra-compact camera bag inside their backpack to help better protect the camera and a few small essential items like lens filters.
A “Compact Camera Bag” is a step up in size and versatility from their ultra-compact little brothers. Some have one or two basic straps. The interior is usually padded, and you will likely find a pouch or three to hold small accessories. This is the sort of camera bag that you will take with you for a quick shoot, but your car or the office is still close by to hold the larger camera bag or other larger items like a monopod or tripod.
A “Travel Camera Bag” or “Sling Bag” is yet another step up and has more pouches and often have a single over the shoulder strap. Some also come with a waist strap or some type of belt with pouches.
A “Bridge Camera Bag” is a larger camera backpack that might have multiple exterior pockets and a large interior pocket. These camera backpacks tend to give you the ability to bring all your essential accessories with you, and perhaps room for an ultra-compact camera bag. This is the sort of pack you might take with you for a three or four-hour hike taking pictures of wildlife and scenic landscapes. It just doesn’t have enough space to support you on a longer trek or an overnight trip.
A “Compact System Camera Bag” is a broad term used for a variety of large camera bags. They have space for a significant amount of camera equipment with enough room to hold other support items that you might want to take with you if you’re going to be off the grid or away from your vehicle or office for more than a few hours.
They tend to multiple exterior pouches, quick access panels, and large interior compartments. Within this category, you will likely find multiple configurations to meet specific niche interests.
A “Messenger Bag” is sometimes multi-purpose. Many have a padded laptop compartment with room for documents, prints and a smaller compact camera bag. They are handy for digital SLR photographers who want to be able to explore, tweak, or manipulate a photographic image on the spot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are There Camera Backpacks Designed For Drones?
A: The relatively affordable cost of drones, and their ability to hold high-quality cameras and video cameras with the ability to wirelessly stream footage has helped propel their popularity. This, in turn, has inspired some camera backpack manufacturers to provide bags with special compartments to keep a drone safe when you are hiking.
Q: What Is EVA Molding?
A: EVA molding stands for Ethylene-vinyl acetate. This is a special type of foam material that provides superior cushioning and compression set. There are several different grades of EVA molding, which allows this material to be soft and flexible, or rigid and stiff.
Some camera backpack manufacturers use EVA molding to help protect or essentially armor the pack against damage caused by accidental blows or drops. It’s especially nice to see if you plan to check your camera backpack for an airline flight.
Q: What Does It Mean When A Backpack Talks About Liters?
A: With a lot of hiking, camping, and tactical backpacks liters tend to be the standard unit of measurement to describe the maximum internal volume. This is less of a factor with camera backpacks which tend to have dividers and padded compartments.
However, there are some camera backpacks that can also double as a day pack or hiking pack. With these, the manufacturer will sometimes note the number of liters to help you determine if it can hold everything you need for a picnic or a backwoods hike.
There are a lot of worthy options to consider when shopping for a camera backpack worthy of your investment. For a professional or experienced photographer, a large camera backpack that can hold multiple camera bodies and lenses, with space for a tripod lets you keep everything that hand for a full-day shoot.
Yet even something like a sling bag camera case can also serve you for shoots where you need to be on the go, or simply changing locations. Just make sure that the sling bag you choose can fit everything you need on a planned shoot. After all, running back to get something from the car or the office might not always be feasible.
For the amateur or new photographer hobbyist, the challenge is often allocating just how much of your budget you want to spend on camera gear, and just how much of your budget you want to spend on protecting your investment. Fortunately, there are some modest-size camera backpacks and camera sling bags out there for the budget-conscious photog, who doesn’t want to cut corners.
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