Best Camera Backpack

Best Camera Backpacks of 2018

One thing I’m asked time and time again by photographers is “What is the best camera backpack?”

shk-fs-table__imageLowePro ProTactic 350 AW Built to last with the working photographer in mind, providing numerous access points for fast insertion and removal of camera gear.View Price

Obviously ‘best’ is somewhat subjective, but nevertheless, I’ve updated this post for 2018 to show you my selection of favourites in the hope of uncovering the best camera backpack for you.

One thing’s for sure – there’s no shortage of great camera bags available in 2018. From a stylish leather camera bag to a rugged outdoor one, the number of carrying optiochrons on offer to photographers is quite overwhelming.

The best dslr backpack for one photographer will be quite different to that of the next, but I hope my reviews below will help you make your next decision when choosing the right one for you.

Best Camera Backpacks in 2018

Image Product Details
shk2-table__imageLowePro ProTactic 350 AWOUR #1 CHOICE
  • Available in 2 sizes and fits at least 1-2 Pro DSLRs.
  • Material: Nylon
  • Dimensions: 12 x 9 x 17 in
  • Weight: 4.40 lb
View Price →
shk2-table__imagePeak Design EverydayTOP-RATED
  • Holds 2 DSLRs and 3-6 lenses.
  • Material: Nylon
  • Dimensions: 13.0 x 20.0 x 8.0 in
  • Weight: 3.4 lb
View Price →
shk2-table__imageVinta S-SeriesGREAT VALUE
  • Fits your dSLR body and 3-5 lenses.
  • Material: Nylon
  • Dimensions: 11.5 x 15.75 x 5.5 in
  • Weight: 2.2 lb
View Price →
shk2-table__imageBurton F-Stop
  • Comfortably fits a large dSLR body with lens
  • Material: Nylon
  • Dimensions: 25.5 x 12 x 7.5 in
  • Weight: 5.1 lb (2.3 kg)
View Price →
shk2-table__imageChrome Niko Pack
  • Fits any pro-sized dSLR body plus 2 lenses.
  • Material: Nylon
  • Dimensions: 20.6 x 11.6 x 7.6 in
  • Weight: 3.5 lb
View Price →
shk2-table__imageIncase DSLR Pro Pack
  • Fits 3 prime lenses, a 70-200mm zoom lens & a pro-sized dSLR camera body.
  • Material: Nylon
  • Dimensions: 12 x 20 x 9 in
  • Weight: 2.7 lb
View Price →
shk2-table__imageLowePro Pro Runner X450
  • Fits Pro sized dLSR camera body with zoom lens attached & up to 4 smaller zoom lenses.
  • Material: Nylon
  • Dimensions: 20 x 9 x 13 in
  • Weight: 9.6 lb
View Price →
shk2-table__imageMindshift Rotation 180° Panorama
  • Perfect camera backpack for hiking.
  • Material: Nylon
  • Dimensions: 9.8 x 19.7 x 8.3 in
  • Weight: 2.9 lb
View Price →
shk2-table__imageONA Camps Bay
  • Handcrafted from waxed canvas and leather.
  • Material: Canvass
  • Dimensions: 16.5 x 11 x 5 in
  • Weight: 4.4 lb
View Price →


There are so many cool camera bags released each year, and I’m fortunate enough to receive a good number of them to review on Shotkit.

In order to keep this roundup of the best camera backpacks reasonably concise, I needed to adhere to some criteria:

  1. Construction/Durability – it needs to be rugged and well-built to last your lifetime as a professional or amateur photographer.
  2. Looks – as photographers, we are conscious of the way things look. It’s hard to do camera backpack reviews without favouring the cool looking ones over those that are dull/boring. This is again, a very subjective factor, but nonetheless important.
  3. Design – by this I mean whether I deem the bag to function well for its purpose. Is it just a regular backpack with a camera insert for example, or has it been designed from the start as a dslr camera backpack.
  4. Value for Money – ‘Cost’ is obviously a large deciding factor for many. However, since everyone’s budget is different, I chose to concentrate more on whether I deem the bag to represent good value for money. An expensive leather camera backpack may actually be good value, when you take into account the quality of the workmanship, for example.

In this roundup, you’ll find a mixture of camera backpacks which were released recently, and others which have stood the test of time since their release several years ago.

After all, a product doesn’t need to be brand new to be called the best camera backpack of the year.

I’ll be adding to this list of backpack reviews whenever I come across a bag that’s worthy, so keep checking back to find the latest additions.

[Related: Check out my review of a travel backpack which raised over $3.8 million on Kickstarter]

Camera Backpack Reviews

LowePro Tactic 350 AW

ProTactic 350 AW best Camera Backpack

Dimensions: 12 x 9 x 17 in (30 x 22 x 43 cm)
Weight: 4.4 lb (1.9 kg)
Price: Click here to check the latest price

Despite a couple of years passing since its release, the LowePro Tactic 350 AW is definitely still up there as one of the most popular backpacks for photographers available in 2018.

Have a quick glance at the hundreds of raving 5 star reviews on Amazon – it’s clear that this camera bag has a legion of happy fans, but what is it exactly that makes the LowePro Tactic AW so good? At first glance, it looks just like your average everyday backpack for travelling. However, inside you’ll be able to store away all your camera gear with ease.

ProTactic 350 AW Camera Backpack

The stealthy looks of this good looking backpack no doubt attract photographers who are more interested in remaining undercover than being seen as someone carrying thousands of dollars of expensive gear.

The webbing running across the front of the LowePro Tactic 350 AW seem to have been inspired by the special forces, and serve to give the backpack unrivalled strength, as well as providing over 50 attachment options!

You can get versatile with your carry options with 5 modular packing accessories: water bottle pouch, accessory case, tripod cup and 2 cinch straps, which are all included with this backpack. Attach them to the webbing to customise the outside of the LowePro Tactic 350 AW to suit your storage needs.

ProTactic 350 AW Camera Backpack

The LowePro Tactic 350 AW is extremely rugged and durable, standing rigid and upright when left alone for ease of access. It was built to last with the working photographer in mind, providing numerous access points for fast insertion and removal of camera gear.

The ActivZone back panel and harness provides ventilation and comfort for support on the move, and proves particularly useful in warmer weather when your back is more likely to get hot.

ProTactic 350 AW Camera Backpack

The waist belt is removable to reduce the profile of the LowePro Tactic 350 AW for packing or travel. In addition, two zippered hip pockets are handily placed, offering space for quick-grab items.

What’s really unique about the LowePro Tactic 350 AW is the 4 way access – you can grab your camera gear from the right, the left, the top and the back, basically allowing every access point to be opened quickly and easily.

ProTactic 350 AW Camera Backpack

The LowePro Tactic AW is available in 2 sizes, with both being able to fit at least 1-2 Pro DSLRs, one with up to a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens attached plus spare flash and a couple of small lenses.

Other features include an all weather cover, cradle fit laptop pocket and MaxFit system dividers – click here to check out the LowePro Tactic 350 AW on Amazon to read more about each feature and make sure you watch the video above too.


Affordable Camera Backpack

Evecase Classic Canvas Laptop Backpack

affordable camera backpack

Dimensions: 15 x 12.5 x 7 in (15 x 32 x 18 cm)
Weight: 3.2 lb (1.45 kg)
Price: Click here for the latest price

Evecase is a lesser-known dSLR camera bag manufacturer, but it’s one that should be on your radar.

Anyone who wants the great looks of the more established brands out there but can’t justify the price tag, the Evecase Classic Canvas Laptop Backpack is an decent substitute.

Actually, ‘decent’ is a bit of an understatement, judging by over 150 positive customer reviews of the camera bag on Amazon! The Evecase Classic Canvas Laptop Backpack clearly offers much more than just good looks.

Featuring an adjustable interior which can hold a pro camera body, 2-5 lenses, up to a 14” laptop, tripod, and plenty of other photography accessories, this affordable dSLR backpack has a discreet appearance that won’t stand out as a camera bag whilst you travel.

affordable dslr backpack

The main benefit of the Evecase Classic Canvas Laptop Backpack is the ease of access it provides. The front of the bag has a discreet zipper which opens to the spacious and compartmentalised camera storage unit. Adjustable dividers allow you to carry one pro sized camera body as well as 2-5 prime lenses, or 2-3 pro-sized zooms.

Above the camera storage area, the top section of the Evecase Classic Canvas Laptop Backpack allows you to carry a jacket, books, some snacks and whatever else you need to access quickly via the main flap like a regular travel backpack.

The multiple accessory pockets allow you to neatly organise your smartphone, charger, battery packs, memory cards, business cards and more. There’s 1 large top front pocket and 4 bottom pockets, allowing you to be as particular as you like with the organisation of your bits and bobs!

Multiple storage options in this affordable camera backpack

Additional useful carry options include tripod holder straps on the bottom and a stowaway side pocket, allowing you to carry a water bottle or small umbrella.

There’s even a waterproof rain cover to protect your previous haul from the elements. This attention to detail is not common on a photography backpack in this price bracket.

stylish and affordable camera backpack

For an affordable camera backpack that’s currently on sale for well under $100, it’s impressive how comfortable the Evecase Classic Canvas Laptop Backpack is to carry. Thick, shoulder padded straps and a sternum strap distribute weight evenly, allowing the backpack to be carried for long periods without soreness.

If you’re looking for a great looking camera backpack that won’t break the bank, the Evecase Classic Canvas Laptop Backpack should definitely be at the top of your list.


Peak Design Backpack

Peak Design Everyday Backpack (30l)


Dimensions: 13 x 20 x 8″ (33 x 51 x 20 cm)
Weight: 3.4 lb (1.54 kg)
Price: Click here to find the latest price

Even after the phenomenal success of the Peak Design Everyday Messenger, the Peak Design Everyday Backpack, Tote and Sling blew away everyone’s expectations on Kickstarter, with a staggering $6.5 million pledged!

[RELATED: 6 month usage report of the Everyday Backpack]

It’s easy to see why I’m still recommending this as one the best camera backpacks in 2018 – my favourite is the all-black colour scheme released recently.

OK, so what’s all the fuss about? Well the Peak Design Everyday Backpack is billed as a pack that adapts to your ever-changing gear, lifestyle and environment. It’s one of the few backpacks for camera and gear lovers that can’t decide what to leave at home!

What this means in essence is that the backpack offers a high level of accessibility, expandability and organization, all packaged up in an attractive, waterproof body that’s sure to turn heads.

There really are too many features on the Peak Design Everyday Backpack to list properly in a short camera backpack review such as this, but the ones that really stood out during my first week of testing are described below.

The magnetic latch fastening on the front of the Peak Design Everyday Backpack really is the fastest method for undoing./doing up a bag that I’ve ever seen. It really is a joy to use, and since it’s patented, the ‘MagLatch’ is something you won’t find on another camera backpack anytime soon.

The MagLatch also allows this Peak Design backpack to expand in size by up to 8 litres on the 20 litre version of the bag and 12L on the 30 litre version.

peak design everyday camera backpack black
The MagLatch allows the Everyday Backpack to expand to accommodate more gear.

Some camera backpacks offer side access to frequently used gear, but the Peak Design Everyday Backpack chooses to offer 2 side access points, each featuring waterproofed zips and even a built-in anti-theft zipper pull – the first I’ve seen of this kind.

The same FlexFold dividers that photographers loved in Peak Design’s other bags have made their way to the Peak Design Everyday Backpack, allowing for endlessly configurable organisation options. Numerous internal accessory pockets keep smaller items in check.

Peak Design Everyday BackpackIt’s the small design details on the Peak Design Everyday Backpack that really set it apart, and it’s clear that the team of engineers, designers and photographers who worked on this bag have put a lot of thought into it.

I particularly liked the dual height laptop sleeve which ensures that those of you with a smaller notebook or tablet won’t lose it in the cavernous 16″ laptop compartment.

Carrying options are also excellent, with a smooth, padded side grab handle on either side and top of the bag, comfortable and fully adjustable shoulder straps with sternum strap for support and a trolley sleeve to attach to a rolling bag. (Check out the best rolling camera bags.)

Another neat touch are 4 adjustable tension straps which tuck away out of sight, ready to be removed for the attachment of further gear items such as sleeping bags or tripods.

Peak Design Everyday Backpack

I found the Peak Design Everyday Backpack‘s shoulder strap positioning, contoured strap shape and sliding axial straps to be so well fitted to my back, even when fully loaded. Allowing the top of the straps to freely rotate is ingenious, and truly allows this backpack to be one-size-fits-all.

In terms of the carry-load of the Peak Design Everyday Backpack, well as you can see by the image below, it’s very impressive.

However, whilst any large backpack can carry a lot of stuff, this one can do it with a level of organisation that’s hard to match by other brands – there seems to be a pocket or a sleeve for almost everything, and everything is quickly and easily accessible.

Peak Design Everyday BackpackSince the 30 litre version of the Peak Design Everyday Backpack is only 30 dollars more than the 20 litre one and still small enough to be considered carry on luggage by most airlines, I’d definitely opt for the larger version. At only3.4lbs (1.5kg) it’s definitely still a lightweight bag.

I really didn’t expect to like the Peak Design Everyday Backpack after such a short period of time using it, but it’s just such a well thought out bag that you can’t help but admire the amount of effort that has gone into producing it.

Everything you touch on this camera backpack oozes quality and durability, and there’s nothing included that doesn’t serve a specific purpose. I really can’t imagine anyone being disappointed with the functionality of this incredible backpack.

Aside from choosing between the four attractive colours, your only other challenge will be to actually get your hands on one of these amazing backpacks! Click the button below to see if it’s still in stock on Amazon.


Travel Camera Backpack

Wotancraft Commander Backpack

travel camera backpack

Dimensions: 13 x 6 x 17 in (33 x 15 x 44 cm)
Weight: 5.7 lb (2.6 kg)
Price: Click here for the latest price

Wotancraft is a somewhat a lesser-known but nonetheless popular high-end bag and watch strap atelier. You can read more about what they do and some of their other products here.

The Wotancraft Commander has been newly released in a WWII inspired charcoal black colourway, and is just as gorgeous as the more traditional earthy tones variant that came before.

As with all their products, the build quality of the Commander is top-notch. It’s handmade from premium materials, from the tough full grain cowhide leather shoulder straps with their shoe cushion padding to the rugged composite waxed canvas Cordura exterior, this is one travel camera backpack that’s built to outlast you.

We especially like the PU coated underside of the Wotancraft Commander which prevents any moisture from entering the backpack when placed upright. The Commander takes its cues from the most hard-wearing military-grade manufacturing, and it’s a delight to behold.


Of course, all this quality and workmanship does come at a price, but for those that appreciate a beautifully hand-made item that will turn heads wherever its used, the price is justifiable.

As for functionality, the Commander is first and foremost a travel camera backpack and serves its purpose well. The upper compartment features adjustable/removal dividers for the arrangement of a smaller camera body and lenses. Without the dividers present, you can carry your lunch or some spare clothes.

The upper compartment is accessible via the top flap/zippered lid and also via a handy side zipper for a faster way to grab something on the fly.

The bottom compartment offers an adjustable T-shaped divider which can hold a couple of pro body cameras with prime lens attached, or a couple of larger zoom lenses or flash units. This space is also accessible by side zippered pockets, allowing you to swing the Commander around your body to gain quick access to a camera.

Check out the video below to see how you can pack the Commander and just how much camera gear you can fit inside it.

For those wishing to pack more non-camera gear for a weekend hiking trip for example, you can remove all the protective padding and leave the separating internal zip unfastened, to be able to use the entire internal space as one.

On the outside of the Wotancraft Commander you’ll find plenty of sizeable pockets, large enough to hold flashes, chargers, ipads and more. On the back there’s a large padded sleeve than can hold your 15″ laptop.

Whilst most travel camera backpacks force you to attach a tripod on the side or the bottom of the bag, the Commander chooses to have the attachment straps on the front. Here’s a list of the best travel tripods that we’d recommend using to keep the weight down as much as possible.

This is great since it means you can stand the bag upright with the tripod attached, although it does mean that you lose usage of the large front pocket when doing so.

Perhaps the best thing about the Commander aside from its drop-dead gorgeous looks is the build of its shoulder straps.


Not only is the padding some of the comfiest we’ve used on any dslr camera bag, but the contoured straps themselves are something of a hand-stitched feat. Balance is perfect thanks to multiple anchor points, including a central link that distributes the load.

Despite being relatively heavy for a travel camera backpack, the design allows it to be carried for long distances without trouble, and the durability will mean your Wotancraft Commander can take an absolute beating from the elements. For this, we salute it. You won’t be disappointed.


Designer Camera Backpack

Vinta S-Series dSLR Backpack

designer camera backpackDimensions: 11.5 x 5.5 x 15.8 in
Weight: 2.2 lb
Price: Click here to find the latest price

‘Live and explore’ is the motto of this startup which set out to design not only something new, but to create something that feels truly different.

The Vinta S-Series dslr backpack is one of a few similarly styled adventure travel backpacks in the Vinta range, which is styled for the wanderlust fuelled Instagram generation.

I’m also looking forward to getting my hands on one of Vinta’s latest creations, the Type ii, which is currently receiving funding on Kickstarter.

The aesthetic of the Vinta S-Series designer camera backpack appeals to the outdoor lover, with 3 colour-ways that blend beautifully into your adventure. Our favourite is the aptly titled ‘Forest’, but we’d be equally happy to carry the black or grey variants on our backs too.

designer camera backpack

Whatever the colour, each Vinta S-Series dslr backpack features a waterproof poly-canvas hybrid outer giving it both rugged looks and functionality in the great outdoors. A leather-wrapped handle, fastenings and other details make this designer camera backpack stand out, and we’re confident the leather will age beautifully over use.

Magnetic snap closures hold the front straps shut in place of the faux belt closures which would be far too fiddly for frequent use.

2.2lbs is light for a dslr backpack of this size, with a minimal design and patent pending lightweight structured exterior helping to keep the weight down.

designer camera backpack

The Vinta S-Series dslr backpack can securely fit your dSLR body, 3-5 lenses, and small accessories in the exterior pocket which features separate slots to hold film, memory cards, notebooks, and a smartphone.

A dedicated laptop slot holds up to a 15″ laptop if inserted into the bag from the top, or a 13″ laptop if inserted into the bag through the back of the bag.

As with many camera backpacks these days, the inner velcro dividers are completely removable, allowing you to use the Vinta S-Series dslr backpack as a regular backpack, ready to carry whatever you want.

However, what sets this designer camera backpack apart is its slim form factor which protrudes only slightly from your back, making it far less bulky and more streamlined for extended use.

The adjustable shoulder straps are comfortable and long enough to cater for all sizes, allowing male and female photographers to easily carry this dslr backpack on day-long hikes.

If you’re looking for a designer camera backpack with style and functionality that won’t make you look like you’re carrying thousands of dollars of camera gear, look no further than the Vinta S-Series dslr backpack.


Outdoor Camera Backpack

Langly Alpha Pro dSLR Backpack

Langley Alpha Pro outdoor camera backpack

Dimensions: 18 x 14.5 x 8 inches
Weight: 3.5 lb
Price: Click here to find the latest price

As yet another successful outdoor camera backpack company that started its beginnings with a humble Kickstarter campaign that went viral, Langly has been going from strength to strength.

The Langly Alpha Pro dSLR Backpack is arguably the king of all Langly outdoor camera backpacks, meticulously designed as one of the best looking outdoor camera backpacks on the market. The only problem is that it’s sometimes a little hard to find the Alpha Pro in stock in 2018.

Mixing large capacity organisation with functionality, the Langly Alpha Pro dSLR Backpack have been improved with stiffer, reinforced camera inserts that securely cradle your camera and up to 4 additional lenses. There’s also a tripod mount on the bottom of the backpack.

Outdoor camera backpack

The upper compartment has been designed to stow all the rest of your daypack luggage: rolls of film, a jacket, compact camera, maps… and a sleeve that will accommodate up to a 15” laptop.

In addition to the tough leather, rust-proof brass hardware and durable, military-grade twill to seal out the elements, a zipper has been added to the top of upper compartment, providing contents with improved shelter from the elements.

On the sides, expanded and gusseted exterior pockets now hold even more cargo, making the Langly Alpha Pro dSLR Backpack the bag of choice whether your next adventure takes you for a walk into town or deep into the woods.

It’s hard to ignore just how gorgeous the Langly Alpha Pro dSLR Backpack is to look at. Taking its influence from the classic WWI soldier’s pack, this outdoor camera backpack is cool in all its attractive colourways: black/brown, olive, black and coyote.

Langley Alpha Pro outdoor camera backpack

You’re paying for high quality craftsmanship and materials with the Langly Alpha Pro dSLR Backpack – the price point may be higher, but this is a camera backpack that will easily last a lifetime. All materials are heavy-duty, stitched together by hand for a build that’s bomb-proof.

As functional as it is fashionable, the Langly Alpha Pro dSLR Backpack can carry your camera gear and other accessories in comfort, with padded, sweat-wicking back and shoulder straps.

A fully water-resistant exterior is to be expected on an outdoor camera backpack, but still, it gives you peace of mind that your contents will arrive safe and sound.

The Langly Alpha Pro dSLR Backpack is one of our favourites – an outdoor camera backpack that will bring a smile to your face every time you pack it, and turn heads every time you carry it.


Burton Camera Bag

Burton F-Stop Camera Backpack

Burton camera bagDimensions: 25.5 x 12 x 7.5 in
Weight: 5.1 lb
Price: Click here to find the latest price

I’m not too sure why but recently there’s been a lot of buzz about this lesser-known Burton camera bag. In fact, ‘Burton camera bag’ is one of the most searched-for camera gear related terms in 2018… and I’m willing to bet that it’s this Burton F-Stop Camera Backpack that is the target of peoples’ interest.

Whilst a huge name in snowboarding, Burton is perhaps not so well known for its Burton camera bags. However, the Burton F-Stop Camera Backpack is a popular way for photographers around the world to carry their camera gear and accessories.

Available in jetblack which will suit most photographers shooting in cities, it’s actually the army green ‘drab crinkle’ colourway that piqued our attention, particularly for outdoor/hiking use where you want to remain relatively inconspicuous.

Burton camera bag

Whether you shoot professionally in extreme conditions or not, Burton has taken its expertise in building bags for snowboarders and transferred it to the Burton F-Stop Camera Backpack.

Featuring a hard-wearing coated Nylon outer and tough buckles and straps, this Burton camera bag that is comfortable to play hardball with the elements.

Burton knows how to make comfortable and dependable backpacks. The Burton F-Stop Camera Backpack features a vertically adjustable, ‘super cush ergonomic shoulder harness’ and ‘load-balance waist harness’ – this results in one of the most comfortable and well-balanced ways to carry your heavy camera gear on your back for long periods.

We love the removable storage pocket which is the perfect size for film, batteries, spare cards and even a compact camera.

Another nice touch which proves essential during a hot-weather shoot/hike is the side-access cooler pocket, which fits a small water bottle, can of drink or some sandwiches.

As for camera gear, the Burton F-Stop Camera Backpack can comfortably fit a large dSLR body with lens attached and multiple lenses and small accessories. The interior is fully customisable and padded to ensure this Burton camera bag backpack can take whatever you throw at it.

burton camera bag inside

The black colourway is made from Ripstop Cordura and PU Tarpaulin, while the green is made from Nylon Heather Crinkle PU2 Coated – whichever you opt for, the feel is slightly different but the build is equally bomb-proof.

If you’re looking for a Burton camera bag made from the masters of extreme outdoor pursuits, look no further than the Burton F-Stop Camera Backpack.


Cheap Camera Backpack

Canvas dSLR Hiking Backpack

cheap camera backpackDimensions: 17 x 11.8 x 6.6 in
Weight: 3.3 lb
Price: Click here to find the latest price

I’m always a bit wary of using the word ‘cheap’. It tends to have negative connotations, especially when talking about cheap camera gear. However, when compared to the other camera backpacks in this list, it’s hard to find a better adjective to describe the unbranded Canvas dSLR Hiking Backpack.

For the bargain price of just over $50, you’ll get a canvas camera backpack that’s a similar size and weight to the others on this list, a removable inner bag for protecting your camera gear, rain cover, multiple pockets and comfortable carrying straps.

Also it’s hard to ignore the fact that this camera backpack is actually quite attractive to look at! Backpack camera bags on Amazon are a dime a dozen, but most of them look pretty ugly!

As photographers, we’re surrounded by brand names that we trust, so when something comes out of left-field with no recogniseable name, it’s easy to ignore it, despite its attractive design and pricing.

That’s why I felt the need to purchase one of these Canvas dSLR Hiking Backpacks for myself, to see whether the positive reviews on Amazon were real or just written by the manufacturer…whoever that is!?

cool cheap camera backpack

As you’ve probably guessed by now since it appears on my best camera backpacks of the year list, the no-name Canvas dSLR Hiking Backpack is a great performer, and for its price, is the best cheap camera backpack I’ve ever handled.

I managed to squeeze in my two Nikon D750 bodies, 2 primes lenses and even two flashes, and still had space for my ipad Mini and a spare shirt! It’s worth noting that you can only carry a laptop if you remove the camera insert first i.e. you can’t carry your camera gear and laptop at the same time.

In order to produce a cheap camera backpack, the manufacturer has made cost savings by using cheaper leather on the straps, but combined with canvas that’s both hard-wearing and good-looking, I’m confident that the Canvas dSLR Hiking Backpack can take a beating and keep my gear safe and sound inside. There’s also a one-year warranty just in case.

cheap camera backpack

I actually like the fact that the mysterious Canvas dSLR Hiking Backpack has absolutely no branding, and simply looks like a fashionable overnight bag, which is exactly how I use it when I don’t need to carry the camera insert.

The addition of the rain cover is surprising considering the price of the Canvas dSLR Hiking Backpack too. It won’t allow you to carry the backpack on your back whilst keeping it covered, but will keep the rain off if you’re sitting waiting for your shoot to restart!

cheap camera backpackAll in all, the is a cheap camera backpack with no real cons. If you’re umming and erring about spending hundreds of dollars on one of the branded bags that look so similar, perhaps this would be your best bet to save some money and achieve the same outcome.


Cool Camera Backpack

Chrome Niko Camera Backpack

Chrome Niko cool camera backpack

Dimensions: 20.6 x 11.6 x 7.6 in
Weight: 3.5 lb
Price: Click here to find the latest price

For those who don’t need to carry multiple camera bodies and lenses, the compact Chrome Niko Camera Backpack might be the perfect cool camera backpack for your needs.

Obviously ‘cool camera backpack’ is in the eye of the beholder, but judging by how many compliments you receive when carrying the Chrome Niko Camera Backpack, I’ve deemed it a cool camera backpack by most people’s standards!

Weighing in at a respectable 3.5lbs (1.49kg), the weatherproof Chrome Niko Camera Backpack was designed with day-event shooters in mind. What this means is that you can fit any pro-sized dSLR body plus 2 lenses and small accessories into the bag and still have room for a laptop and tripod.

cool camera backpack

We especially like the zippered pockets on the inside of the main compartment that allow you to neatly organise smaller items such as memory cards, cords, spare batteries, rolls of film and even a portable hard drive. Making these pockets see-through was a nice touch too.

The top compartment of the Chrome Niko Camera Backpack allows you to seperate things like a rain jacket and bottle of water from the rest of your camera gear for added peace of mind and faster access.

Another neat feature is the side access ‘U-lock Holster’, which provides a way to grab your camera or spare lens without opening the main compartment. This means you can slide the Chrome Niko Camera Backpack around the front of your body on its side, then access your camera gear via the side-pocket very easily.

The Chrome Niko Camera Backpack is made with a tough, weatherproof, denier-nylon outer shell and military-grade, truck-tarpaulin liner. This makes it fully weather-resistant, and PU coated zippers complete a camera backpack that can take on all the elements with ease.

All straps are extremely tough, made from the same material as car seatbelts – there’s no way these things will rip, let alone fray, even after daily use.

The Chrome Niko Camera Backpack is comfortable to carry thanks to its strong shoulder straps which each feature a large D ring which we found useful for hanging keys, a torch and a lens cloth. The straps are easily adjustable, and feature a sternum strap for added security/stability when walking long distances.

The size of the Chrome Niko Camera Backpack won’t suit everyone, but if you’re looking for a cool camera backpack that can hold more than enough for a day’s shoot whilst remaining stealth, you can’t go far wrong with this cool camera backpack.


Top Camera Backpack… Discontinued?

Filson Harvey Camera Backpack

top camera backpack

Dimensions: 4.5 x 18 x 15.5 in
Weight: 2.5 lb
Price: Click here to check for stock

Unfortunately, this top camera backpack seems to be no longer available in 2018 – I have included this review on the off chance that Amazon choose to re-stock it, or perhaps you can find it second hand somewhere.

C.C. Filson Co. has been a big name in outdoor goods in the American West for more than a century, specializing in goods to outfit the stampeders to the Klondike Gold Rush. Thankfully they’re also a dab hand at creating amazing camera backpacks.

Not to be confused with the somewhat inferior Filson Photographer’s Backpack, the Filson Harvey Camera Backpack is named after Magnum photojournalist David Alan Harvey. Apparently Mr Harvey is extremely critical when it comes to camera bags, but they seem to have created something that has satisfied him in the Filson Harvey Camera Backpack.

Available as a camera messenger bag too, it’s the backpack variant of the Filson Harvey that we’re interested in here. The reason why I’ve titled this bag ‘top camera backpack’ is due to the fact that is is sold out/unavailable at all the major stockists, and we’re still waiting for it to be restocked.

Sharing the same good looks Filson Harvey Camera Backpack is built from army green tempered cotton which provides water-resistance and impressive durability.

The design of the Filson Harvey Camera Backpack is relatively simple, with 2 large front pockets, ideal for storing keys, wallet, phone, sunglasses, notepads etc. The inner-rear features a 15″ laptop sleeve, and the inside offers a removable, padded bag which allows you to carry a camera body and a couple of lenses.

top camera bag

There’s also a zippered inside front pocket and D-ring which allows you to attach a keychain or carabiner carrying any other accessory, On the side are two slim open-topped pockets about the size of a Field Notes notepad.

A couple of things that should be mentioned relate to the usability of the Filson Harvey Camera Backpack. The first is that the front main strap features an actual belt buckle style closure. Some camera backpacks have straps that look like belt-fastenings, but in reality they’re actually fastened using hidden magnets, or similar push-button closure. A belt fastening isn’t as quick to open/close, but does provide more security.

The second thing to note is that the interior padded bag used to house your camera gear must usually be removed completely to access the gear. The Filson Harvey Camera Backpack seems more like a good-looking backpack which can also carry a camera gear insert, rather than a dedicated camera backpack perhaps.

However, due to its rugged durability, understated good-looks and reputable brand name, the Filson Harvey Camera Backpack deserves its place as one of the best camera backpacks in 2018 – if you manage to find one in stock, grab it before it’s too late.


Best Camera Backpack for Smaller Loads

Incase dSLR Pro Pack

best camera backpack

Incase dSLR Pro Pack Specifications

Dimensions: 12 x 20 x 9 in
Weight: 2.7 lb
Price: Click here to find the latest price

The best camera backpack doesn’t always need to have a big price tag. This hugely popular Incase dSLR Pro Pack is a great example of a good-looking, well designed camera backpack that’s available for around $100.

As I mentioned at the start of this best camera backpack roundup, the ‘best camera backpack’ is entirely subjective. However, going by the sheer number of positive customer reviews on Amazon for the Incase dSLR Pro Pack, it’s hard to deny that it’s certainly up there.

The long and thin design of the Incase dSLR Pro Pack means that it sits comfortably in the middle of your back, suitable for all sizes of photographer.

Don’t let its thin stature fool you though – this dSLR backpack features a large volume main compartment with an array of fully customizable dividers to safely house all kinds of camera bodies, lenses and flashes.

In fact, users have reported to fit 3 prime lenses, a 70-200mm zoom lens, a pro sized dSLR camera body, 2 flashes and some flash triggers in the main compartment of the Incase dSLR Pro Pack.

To support heavy loads and add comfort, the fully padded shoulder straps and mesh back panel offer excellent breathability and comfort while the adjustable sternum strap stabilises the pack. If you prefer to carry your bag by the handle, the option is available thanks to the reinforced top carry handle.

InCase are well known for churning out high quality, well-designed bags and their venture into the world of photography with the Incase dSLR Pro Pack is a successful one – numerous positive reviews on Amazon prove that this is a popular bag with many happy fans.

The main camera storage area is accessed with a back panel that zips open when you lie the pack flat. There’s also a quick access zippered opening via the top into the top of the main camera gear compartment, as well as tripod straps on the side.

We found the zippered, netted internal pockets on the back of the main flap of the Incase dSLR Pro Pack useful for storing memory card, sync-cables, spare batteries and all the knick-knacks that a photographer usually needs to access often.

best camera backpack

Since the laptop compartment on the Incase dSLR Pro Pack is at the front of the bag, your heavier camera gear is situated closer to your back, resulting in increased stability and comfort. Having the main load of the bag nearer your centre of gravity definitely helps on long walks with the bag.

One thing to be noted though is that the Incase dSLR Pro Pack doesn’t feature a waist strap, so this isn’t the bad to take hiking.

However, if you’re looking for a mid-sized camera backpack to carry a laptop and a selection of camera gear around the city, the Incase dSLR Pro Pack is an affordable option with legions of loyal fans. Whether it’s the best camera backpack for you or not, the low price certainly means you can afford one to find out for yourself.


Best Photography Backpack for Women

Kelly Moore Pilot Camera Backpack

best photography backpack

Dimensions: 17 x 11.5 x 13 in
Weight: 6 lb
Price: Approx. $300 – Click here to find the latest price

Don’t be put off by the female brand name – this attractive camera backpack is actually unisex, looking equally great on the slender frame of a woman or the broad shoulders of a man! (See: Camera backpacks for women.)

It’s not just the size and shape of the Kelly Moore Pilot Backpack that makes it the best photography backpack for both men and women – the colour and materials could complement the clothing of both sexes too.

With a sand canvas body and brown leather features, the palette is neutral enough to look great whatever your fashion sense, whilst still oozing high quality in both the construction and the design.

I loved the distressed brown leather flap of the Kelly Moore Pilot Backpack which looks like it’ll age beautifully over time. It’s great that so much thought is going into producing these cool camera bags for women who want to look stylish while shooting, without sacrificing functionality.

The straps and carrying handle are simple but comfortable and can be adjusted to suit all body sizes.

The closure of the Kelly Moore Pilot Backpack is a drawstring which is quick and easy to access, with the leather flap folding over the top, to be fastened by leather belt straps which conceal magnetic closures. Although belt straps look great on bags, they can be a pain to fasten and undo, so the addition of the magnetic closures is a nice touch.

The Kelly Moore Pilot Backpack can be used without the internal camera bag ‘basket’, simply as an overnight or travel bag. It’s a sizeable bag, allowing you to easily fit enough clothes for an entire weekend if you choose to use it as regular backpack.

Being able to remove the ‘camera bag elements’ mean that the Kelly Moore Pilot Backpack becomes multi-purpose, and a much wiser investment than buying several bags.

The basket includes 5 Padded, removable, adjustable Velcro dividers, creating multiple sections inside Kelly Moore Pilot Backpack for your camera gear, as well as 1 large divider that acts as a cover for the basket. This means that you can easily stack clothes, books or other items on top of it within the backpack and keeps everything nice and separated.

best photography backpack unisexEven without the basket, the exterior walls and bottom of the Kelly Moore Pilot Backpack are padded to provide protection whatever the contents.

The basket can hold Up to a 10″ lens, camera body, flash, phone, batteries and other accessories.

Additional storage locations include 2 internal pockets and a large front pocket with sections for credit cards and memory cards too. It’s good to see the memory card slots can house larger CF cards as well as SD cards. Finally, there’s a zipper pocket behind the laptop sleeve, which can accomodate up to a 15″ laptop.

If you’re looking for a cool camera backpack that doesn’t look like a typical camera bag, the Kelly Moore Pilot Backpack should be at the top of your list. The mixture of distressed leather, antiqued brass hardware and durable canvas provides strength as well as beauty.

If you’re the type of person who thinks that scuffs and scratches make a product look better, you’re sure to love how the Kelly Moore Pilot Backpack looks in 5 years’ time! It truly is a product that’s designed to age gracefully with you, making it truly unique to its owner. That’s why we’ve named it the best photography backpack for women.


Best dSLR Laptop Backpack

LowePro Transit Backpack 350 AW

best dslr laptop backpack

Dimensions: 18.9 x 12.01 x 9.45 in
Weight: 2.2 lb
Price: Click here to find the latest price

LowePro are well known for high quality, utilitarian bags that are well built and get the job done. Thankfully this dSLR laptop backpack from LowePro is also not bad to look at either, in understated grey with a basic but functional design that remains discreet enough to pass unnoticed as a camera backpack.

Described by one reviewer as a “the best dSLR laptop backpack that’s simple and just works”, the LowePro Transit Backpack 350 AW has been a huge favourite of both amateur and professional photographers since its release in 2013.

Labeling the LowePro Transit Backpack 350 AW the best dSLR laptop backpack is a big call, but judging by the number of positive reviews for this bag on Amazon, you have to be admit that it’s certainly in the running.

The front panel opens completely to allow easy access to the spacious interior that is big enough to house a pro dSLR with attached lens (up to 70-200mm for side access, or 300mm when stored vertically), 2 spare lenses, flash and accessories, tripod and a 15″ laptop.

best dslr laptop backpack

If you prefer to carry your cameras without their lenses attached, you can comfortably carry 3 pro sized camera bodies, lenses and a few other accessories too. This makes LowePro Transit Backpack 350 AW a good option for traveling wedding photographers.

LowePro’s patented UltraFlex™ fit system offers versatile ways to organize and protect your camera gear via the central flex divider, lens cradle and smaller dividers, which are all padded and with hook/loop fasteners.

Pulling the red tab attached to the central flex divider allows you to fold it down to separate your camera gear from other luggage.

Those who like fast access to their camera without removing their dSLR backpack will love the side opening, allowing you to rotate the LowePro Transit Backpack 350 AW to your front to quickly grab, shoot and move on.

The LowePro Transit Backpack 350 AW is perfectly styled for a professional city shoot, but can holds it own as a travel backpack, with a built in all weather cover, stow-away stabilizing waist strap, chest strap, and a padded, mesh-covered backpad which provides soft and breathable all-day wearing comfort.

Perhaps the best thing about the LowePro Transit Backpack 350 AW is its price – by no means a cheap camera bag, but for $100, it’s certainly affordable and great value for money considering it’s likely to last your lifetime as a photographer, and let you find out for yourself whether this is still the best dSLR laptop backpack of 2018.


Best Camera Backpack for Travel or Safari

National Geographic Africa dSLR Backpack

best camera backpack roundup

Dimensions: 10.8 x 5.5 x 16.9 in
Weight: 2.2 lb
Price: Click here to find the latest price

Arguably the best camera backpack for travel, (with an aesthetic that’s particularly suited to safari), you can’t get more rugged than this National Geographic Africa dSLR Backpack. It’s a high quality camera bag built with high quality materials, giving it a unique, worn-in look that’ll suit even the most hardcore traveler.

There are admittedly a few areas where form has trumped function in the design of the National Geographic Africa dSLR Backpack. For example, the chest strap consists of two metal loops, as a fastener where a simpler buckle could have been used to provide a much quicker way to secure the straps. Also the push-pin fastenings on the straps aren’t the most secure option, but they still work fine.

The National Geographic Africa dSLR Backpack is built from hard-wearing canvas, leather and brass and is the perfect ‘anti-camera bag’ for the traveler who wants to pass through un-noticed.

There’s lots of room on the inside for a pro body dSLR and 2 lenses, a laptop, and plenty of small gadgets in the zippered internal pockets. The camera gear section is accessed via a flap opening at the front, where inside, all your gadgets are contained in a removable cradle fashioned in a funky Massai tribe inspired African design.

best camera backpacks of 2016

The sides allow secure fastening of a tripod and small light stand, and on the back there’s a trolley strap to attach the National Geographic Africa dSLR Backpack to your roller case. Pockets on the front and sides allows storage of smaller items, and one of the side pockets conceals a pull-out elasticated mesh pouch.

Being a travel backpack, the National Geographic Africa is comfortable to carry for long hikes in the wilderness, featuring a padded, breathable fabric on the back ensuring cool, low-friction carrying. The adjustable shoulder straps also provide adequate shoulder comfort even when the camera backpack is fully laden.

Water bottle, passport, books, jackets and other travel accessories are stored in the upper section of the National Geographic Africa dSLR Backpack, kept separate from the camera gear cradle beneath.

best camera backpack roundupIf you need to use the National Geographic Africa dSLR Backpack purely as a travel backpack, the gear cradle can be easily removed, leaving you with a spacious and good looking way to carry your luggage.

The leather flap and sturdy straps keep any rain and dust out of this camera backpack and adds to its rugged appearance. Over time the leather will no doubt wear beautifully, making it completely unique to its lucky owner.


Urban Camera Backpack

Manfrotto Street dSLR Backpack

urban camera backpack

Dimensions: 18.11 x 5.91 x 11.02 in
Weight: 2.43 lb
Price: Click here to find the latest price

More famous for its high quality line of tripods, the popular Italian manufacturer Manfrotto also makes a range of functional and good looking camera bags – pick of the bunch being the Manfrotto Street dSLR Backpack.

In typical Italian style, the Street range of Manfrotto camera bags have been made with great attention to materials and design, taking inspiration from the latest fashion trends to create the ultimate urban camera backpack.

The Manfrotto Street dSLR Backpack features a mixture of durable fabrics in a versatile green with red accents on the outside, but the real quirky design is shown on the interior paneling with a funky camouflage colour scheme.

Looks aside, the Manfrotto Street dSLR Backpack is a multi functional urban camera backpack for everyday activity, with a protective removable camera compartment with interchangeable dividers. It provides the perfect protection for your dSLR with an attached standard zoom lens, two additional lenses and various accessories.

In practice, this equates to a Canon 5D Mark IV, 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 all in the bottom area. On top of this in the upper section, you’re left adequate space for flashes and other accessories.

manfrotto urban camera backpack

The Manfrotto Street dSLR Backpack also features a dedicated 15” laptop compartment, plenty of easily accessible zippered pockets in which to organize accessories, and a tripod hanging solution.

For added comfort, the back panel is padded and its shoulder straps are fully adjustable. The smart sleeve allows you to attach the backpack to your rolling luggage, making it perfect for overseas photography work.

If you’re looking for a uniquely designed urban camera backpack that performs as good as it looks, the Manfrotto Street dSLR Backpack is a great investment. Manfrotto gear is traditionally in the premium price bracket, but this urban camera backpack is actually quite affordable and very good value for the quality.


Best Travel Backpack for Photographers

Pacsafe Camsafe V25 Anti-Theft Camera Backpack

travel backpack for photographers

Dimensions: 20.1 x 11.8 x 8.7 in
Weight: 2.5 lb
Price: Click here to find the latest price

Arguably the best travel backpack for photographers and wary travelers alike, the Pacsafe Camsafe Camera Backpack is innovative and well designed, with legions of avid fans.

Perfect for the adventurer and photographer looking for a reliable, versatile, comfortable travel backpack, the Pacsafe Camsafe Camera Backpack features a number of anti-theft technologies to give you peace of mind whilst out and about.

Built into and concealed within the most commonly vulnerable areas of the Pacsafe Camsafe Camera Backpack is something called eXomesh Slashguard, a lightweight, flexible stainless steel wire mesh that protects your gear from a slash-and-run theft.

travel backpack security features

In addition, the Carrysafe Slashguard shoulder straps are embedded with flexible, lightweight stainless steel wire to help prevent similar slashing thefts which are increasingly common for photographers traveling with expensive gear.

Built into one of the pockets of the Pacsafe Camsafe Camera Backpack is RFID blocking technology, meaning your chip enabled credit cards are safe from thieves attempting to skim your personal ID.

Finally, a combination of Turn & Lock security hooks and smart zippers prevent pickpockets from reaching into your travel backpack or attempting a snatch-and-run theft.

Despite all this impressive anti-theft technology, the Pacsafe Camsafe Camera Backpack remains a durable, lightweight dSLR travel backpack, able to carry a pro sized dSLR body and 3 lenses in its lower compartment and other accessories in the upper area. There’s also room for a 15″ laptop in the rear sleeve.

camsafe travel backpack

Gear is accessed via a front flap which opens wide enough for fast, easy loading/unloading, and remains open for simple organisation of the removable velcro dividers.

A concealed waterproof cover rounds off this very well designed and useful travel backpack for photographers which should be on the Christmas list of any traveling photographer conscious about the safety of his/her gear.


Thule Covert dSLR Backpack

Thule covert camera backpack

Thule Covert dSLR Backpack Specifications

Dimensions: 17.7 x 7.9 x 21.3 in
Weight: 5.2 lb
Price: Click here to find the latest price

Described by one avid Amazon reviewer as “Perhaps the most well thought out camera back pack in existence”, the Thule Covert dSLR Backpack deserves its spot in this best camera backpacks list.

With other 70 positive reviews on Amazon, fans describe the Thule Covert dSLR Backpack as a stylish, comfortable and totally functional backpack to carry your computer, camera and other gear. I have to say I agree on all accounts – this is one seriously impressive camera backpack.

The water-resitant Oxford nylon outer is rugged, with comfortable shoulder straps and padding along the back of the Thule Covert dSLR Backpack to help cushion the carrying experience.

Zippers, straps, velcro and other fastenings feel high quality, in keeping with the rugged outer which is built to last a lifetime.

The SafeZone removable camera pod system features a dual density padded bottom, ensuring protection against all manner of bumps and drops. Access is via the side, allowing easy entry to your cameras and lenses, and the origami-inspired divider system allows full customisation.

You can expect to carry one pro sized dSLR camera body with attached zoom lens, and two other zoom sized lenses, as well as a smaller accessory such as a charger in the divider compartment of the Thule Covert dSLR Backpack.

thule dslr backpack

The spacious top storage section features a flap which rolls down to secure the contents when closed, and is large enough to fit plenty of travelling accessories. Some users have even added another separate camera inset into the upper compartment to create two camera bags in one.

All the padding for protection and comfort do add up to create a somewhat heavy bag even when empty, but for those looking for a great looking, well designed, spacious bag, look no further than the Thule Covert dSLR Backpack.


Hex Camo dSLR Backpack

dslr camera backpack

Dimensions: 20 x 12 x 8 in
Weight: 3.5 lb
Price: Click here to find the latest price

As a relatively unknown brand in the photography world, Hex doesn’t inspire confidence with a website that’s largely broken. However, we won’t hold that against them as they seem to know what they’re doing when making quality dSLR backpacks!

The Hex Camo dSLR Backpack is a relatively rigid bag, built from a padded coated canvas which is water resistant and provides enough stiffness for it to stand up easily to allow easy access. All-over water resistance is handy when shooting in beach locations where the sea or sand may be an issue.

dslr backpack

Padding features all over the Hex Camo dSLR Backpack, especially on the rear and adjustable straps, which are fashioned in yellow to provide a fashionable contrast to the camo tones. Clearly this is a bag that will help you stand out from the crowd, without making you look like the average photographer carrying thousands of dollars of gear.

The top of the Hex Camo dSLR Backpack features a zippered access panel which provides fast access to your camera (or whatever gear item you choose to place uppermost in the bag. Internal dividers are fully customisable, allowing you to make the choice of what to store where quite easily.

On the sides, a tripod mounting strap and a couple of zippered pockets, again with yellow highlights on the zipper pulls.

The front of the Hex Camo dSLR Backpack features a padded zippered pocket with a soft, furry lining perhaps made to carry a tablet or other fragile item.

The real functionality of this camera backpack is apparent when you open the large zippered front compartment to reveal a large 20″ deep storage space, 15″ laptop sleeve and some handy zippered and velcro pockets behind the flap.

You can expect to carry a pro sized dSLR camera body with large zoom lens attached, plus 2-3 smaller lenses and accessories depending on your configuration of the internal space.

The Hex Camo dSLR Backpack is a cool camera backpack that will perhaps appeal to the younger generation of photographer out there. Camouflage is a colour scheme not often seen in the photography world, especially on camera backpacks, and for this reason and the high quality build of the Hex Camo dSLR Backpack, we recommend it as one of the best backpacks in 2018.


Best Rolling Camera Backpack

LowePro Pro Runner X450 AW II Rolling Camera Backpack

best rolling camera backpack

Dimensions: 20.67 x 9.02 x 13.78 in
Weight: 9.6 lb
Price: Click here to find the latest price

I tried to concentrate on camera backpacks that I deemed ‘good-looking’ in this roundup of the best camera backpacks. However, in order to find the best rolling camera backpack, it was necessary to stray a little…

The LowePro Pro Runner X450 AW II won’t win you any complements as a fashion accessory, but for pure functionality, it’s hard to beat. There are several rolling camera bags that feature backpack straps, but I felt that the LowePro Pro Runner X450 AW II holds its own as the very best rolling camera backpack.

Sized to meet carry on requirements, the LowePro Pro Runner X450 AW II can fit a pro sized dlsr camera body with zoom lens attached and up to 4 smaller zoom lenses or other photography accessories. Padding is excellent, and all dividers are fully customisable to suit your camera gear.

best rolling camera backpack

Zippered internal pockets seem to be standard on most camera backpacks and provide a useful location for memory cards, hard drives, spare batteries and the like. Mesh side pockets allow easy access to a water bottle, lens caps or anything else non-valuable.

The shoulder, sternum and waist straps which convert this rolling camera bag into a fully fledged camera backpack tuck away or remove tidily when not in use.

Features like the comfortable 3D mesh padding on the back panel and contoured shoulder straps makes the LowePro Pro Runner X450 AW II stand out from other roller/backpack camera bags on the market.

best rolling camera backpack

Travel-friendly details include YKK locking zippers, front document pockets, a built-in all weather cover (the ‘AW’ in the name), sturdy urethane wheels for smooth pulling and of course the quickly deployable trolley handle.

One thing to note is the weight of the LowePro Pro Runner X450 AW II, but if you’re looking for the best rolling camera backpack which provides impressive protection and functionality, this is the bag for you.


Camera Sling Backpack

Kata 3N1-22 DL Sling Backpack

camera sling backpack

Dimensions: 16.9 x 9.8 x 9.8 inches
Weight: 2.3 pounds
Price: Click here to find the latest price

I’m not a huge fan of sling camera bags since the inherent weight of camera gear usually makes the load unbearable for long carries on just one shoulder strap. However, the unimaginatively titled Kata 3N1-22 DL Sling Backpack has made it into this best camera backpacks roundup and here’s why.

The unique build of the Kata 3N1-22 DL Sling Backpack actually provides 3 carrying options in one, morphing from right sling to backpack to left sling. It’s rare for a sling backpack to offer this customisation, which obviously suits those who favour one shoulder over the other.

Changing carrying positions is fast and simple by use of its quick release buckles. In backpack configuration, the sling straps cross over the front of the body in an ‘X’ which is actually more comfortable than it looks.

Unbuckling one strap also allows you to quickly swing the Kata 3N1-22 DL Sling Backpack round to the front of your body.

camera sling backpack

The Kata 3N1-22 DL Sling Backpack carries a pro-sized dSLR camera body with battery pack and lens attached, plus 2-3 additional lenses and other small accessories. There’s also a laptop sleeve, but this can only carry up to a 12″ Macbook Retina, iPad or similar sized computer. Modular dividers allow simple customisation to your needs.

Not everyone will be a fan of the bright yellow internal padding of the Kata 3N1-22 DL Sling Backpack, but it certainly adds some colour to an otherwise stealthy dSLR backpack.

In sling position, the Kata 3N1-22 DL Sling Backpack swings around from back to front to allow easy access to your main camera and backup lenses via the side access flap, and also provides a platform for fast and safe changing of lenses.

Other neat features include a front mounted tripod strap (which keeps the tripod out of the way from your arms), rain cover and built in trolley sleeve allowing simple attachment to your rolling luggage at the airport.

If you’re looking for a dSLR sling backpack large enough to hold a good selection of pro camera gear, the Kata 3N1-22 DL Sling Backpack is a great option. It’s also one of the cheapest camera backpacks on this list, at under $80!


Hiking Camera Backpack

Mindshift Rotation 180° Panorama

hiking camera backpack

Mindshift Rotation 180° Panorama Specifications

Backpack dimensions: 9.8 x 19.7 x 8.3 in
Beltpack dimensions: 9.8 x 8.2 x 5.1 in
Weight: 2.9 lb
Price: Click here to find the latest price

Still the most innovative hiking camera camera backpack on offer in 2018, the Mindshift Rotation 180° Panorama is popular today with both amateur and professional photographers from all genres.

The key feature is the rotating belt pack which can hold a camera body plus 2 medium sized lenses and small accessories. When not in use the belt pack sits behind the user as part of the backpack, only to rotate around to the front of the body to attach to the other side as a belt pack.

Not only does the belt pack provide fast and easy access to your main camera gear, but it also becomes a stable surface for the changing of lenses, cleaning of equipment or other commonly performed actions between shots.

The belt pack can also be removed completely for shorter outings, making the Mindshift Rotation 180° Panorama a very versatile hiking camera backpack.

The main and upper sections of the Mindshift Rotation 180° Panorama has plenty of room for jackets, gloves, lunchbox etc., with a top pocket providing quick access to smaller items such as passport, snacks and sunglasses.

The Mindshift Rotation 180° Panorama is a comfortable, well-designed hiking camera backpack, with a breathable, padded airflow harness, curved back panel with aluminium stay for stability, load-lifter adjustable straps and attachment points for a tripod suspension kit, lens switch case and filter hive – all Mindshift’s proprietary systems for carrying more gear.

As is to be expected from a hiking camera backpack, 2 seam-sealed rain covers function with the rotation design for extra protection in heavy downpours. The Mindshift Rotation 180° Panorama is clearly a bag made for the avid hiker or outdoor lover, and its colourways reflect this.

hiking camera backpack

Our favourite is the black/grey combination, but there are sure to be fans of the great looking two-tone Tahoe blue colourway too.

If you’re looking for the best way to access your camera gear without removing your backpack, the Mindshift Rotation 180° Panorama should be on your short list. The ability to remove the belt pack to use it as a standalone camera bag makes the Mindshift Rotation 180° Panorama a great value for money hiking camera backpack.


Cool Camera backpacks

ONA Camps Bay Camera Backpack

cool camera backpacks

ONA Camps Bay Camera Backpack Specifications

Dimensions: 16.5 x 11 x 5 in
Weight: 4.4 lb
Price: Click here to find the latest price

For some time now ONA has been well known as a purveyor of cool camera backpacks. As one of its most popular products, the ONA Camps Bay has remained one of the most sought after dSLR backpacks on the market.

Whilst function will always trump form over the long term, the ONA Camps Bay is the kind of cool camera backpack that will attract compliments wherever you go, be it from other photographers or simply passers by.

Fortunately the ONA Camps Bay is also well designed and functional in its main purpose to carry and protect your camera gear.

Handcrafted from waxed canvas and leather, the ONA Camps Bay is both durable and good looking, able to carry a pro sized dSLR body with zoom lens attached and up to 6 lenses – yes, this is a camera backpack that can hold all your camera gear in style.

The depth of the upper compartment can be adjusted depending on the amount of personal items you wish to fit, but expect to be able to carry a change of clothes, passport, sunglasses and a book. A padded sleeve at the back of the ONA Camps Bay allows you to carry up to a 17″ laptop.

cool camera backpacks

The ONA Camps Bay is comfortable to carry for long periods thanks to the thick air mesh padding on the shoulder straps. As for the belt buckle strap fastenings, they’re definitely in keeping with the authentic ‘Indianna Jones’ styling of this camera backpack, but they’re definitely not the fastest way to open/close a bag.

Fortunately the zip over the main compartment does a good job to keep out the elements, with the front flap only needing to be closed as a final measure.

Available in field tan, smoke and black nylon, there’s an ONA Camps Bay to suit all tastes, although it must be said that they are hard to come by – click the button below to see what colours Amazon has left in stock of these cool camera backpacks.


Camera Backpack for Hiking

F-Stop Tilopa Backpack

camera backpack for hiking

Dimensions: 23.5 x 14 x 12 in
Weight: 4 lb
Price: Click here to find the latest price

Describing the F-Stop Tilopa as a camera backpack for hiking is a bit of an understatement. You’d pretty much be able to take this hiking camera backpack to Everest and back and again!

Make no mistake – the F-Stop Tilopa is a big camera backpack. At 50 litres of volume, you’d struggle to get a fully laden Tilopa on your next carry on flight… but who cares as this isn’t its purpose!

The F-Stop Tilopa is perfect for multi-day trips and day hikes off the beaten path. Features such as H-frame ski straps and attachment points for back-country equipment, the Tilopa is suitable for even then most hardcore of outdoor professionals.

For any extreme sports photographer, the F-Stop Mountain Series range of backpacks is second to none. All bags in the F-Stop range are sold ’empty’, with users needing to purchase internal camera units (ICU’s) to safely store and organise camera equipment.

camera backpack for hiking

A combination of Oxford-weave ripstop nylon and thermoplastic polyurethane film form a lightweight, virtually unrippable fabric which protects your gear from all the elements. The reinforced base means you can pretty much place the Tilopa in a puddle of water for long periods with no worry.

Numerous zippered pockets can be found all over the F-Stop Tilopa, with the most handy of which being the stretch mesh sleeves on each shoulder strap – perfect for quick access to energy bars or other small items.

Camera gear is accessed via the rear panel or the top main compartment opening. Depending on the ICU that is purchased, a considerable amount of camera gear can be stored in the F-Stop Tilopa. You’re likely only to be limited by how heavy a load you can carry rather than the space afforded by this mammoth camera backpack.

camera backpack for hiking
Don’t be deceived – Jay Cassario is an ex-body builder, so the Tilopa looks ‘normal-size’ on his back!

As is to be expected from a camera backpack for hiking of this caliber, the F-Stop Tilopa is a pleasure to carry. Featuring ergonomic soft flex injection molded EVA belt and shoulder straps, adjustable sternum strap and EVA molded rear panel, this backpack is first and foremost made for adventure.

If you’re the type of photographer who skies off-piste or rides downhill mountain bikes in pursuit of your next shot, the F-Stop Tilopa will fit perfectly into your all-terrain lifestyle.

It’s a high quality mountaineering backpack that also does a good job housing a heck of a lot of camera gear. Click here for a full review of the F-Stop Tilopa.


I hope you enjoyed this camera backpack roundup. I’ll be adding to it every time there’s a new candidate released in 2018, so be sure to check back regularly.

If you have any recommendations or comments on any of the camera backpacks featured in this post, please join the discussion below!

Disclaimer: All recommendations are impartial and based on user experience, with no bias to the products or the brand. The products in this post contain affiliate links which help support Shotkit.

Mark Condon is a British wedding photographer based in Australia and the founder of Shotkit.