Best Camera Backpacks

Best Camera Backpacks of 2018
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This guide to the best camera backpacks in 2020 is updated each month to include all of the latest and greatest releases.

You might want to keep checking back to see what’s new! Right now, here are our top recommendations.

At A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Camera Backpacks

If you’re anything like me, you never settle on just one camera bag – finding the perfect way to carry all your precious photography gear is a never-ending quest!

Fortunately for us photographers, there are so many great mirrorless and DSLR backpacks to choose from.

To save you some time on your quest to find the right ones for you, I’ve handpicked a selection of the very best of the year so far.

What is the best camera backpack for photographers in 2020?

Best Camera Backpacks in 2020

Image Product Features
shk2-table__imagePeak Design Everyday Backpack V2OUR TOP PICK
  • 100% recycled waterproof shell
  • Expandable
  • Flexfold dividers
  • Instant access
View Price →
shk2-table__imageWandrd PrvkeTOP-RATED
  • Quick side camera access
  • Checkpoint friendly laptop sleeve
  • Magnetic tote handles
  • Removable camera protection
View Price →
shk2-table__imageWontancraft NomadGREAT VALUE
  • Adjustable dividers
  • Expandable rolltop
  • Hidden wing pockets
  • Quick access
View Price →
shk2-table__imageLowepro Freeline BP 250 AWPOPULAR CHOICE
  • Versatile
  • Quick access
  • Laptop compartment
  • Quickshelf divider
View Price →
shk2-table__imageTenba DNA 15 Backpack
  • Durable
  • Expandable, water-repellent rolltop
  • Comfortable airflow harness
  • Removable insert
View Price →
shk2-table__imageMindshift Backlight
  • Dedicated compartments
  • Back-panel access
  • Comfortable
  • Generous storage
View Price →
shk2-table__imageShimoda Explore 60
  • Multiple access points
  • Height adjustable harness
  • Modular interior
  • Carry on friendly
View Price →
shk2-table__imageF-Stop Dalston
  • Roll top design
  • Padded back panel
  • Removable storage compartment
  • Durable
View Price →

 

1. Peak Design Everyday Backpack V2

man wearing best peak design everyday camera backpack in woods

Capacity: 30L (-8) | Dimensions: 24.5 x 14.2 x 7.8 in (62 x 36 x 19.8cm | Weight: 4.65 lb (2.11 kg) | More: Peak Design Everyday Backpack Review

  • Build

Peak Design recently updated their hugely successful Everyday Bag lineup, and with it the Everyday Backpack. The build quality is still excellent, with a 400D double poly-coated DWR-impregnated nylon canvas shell, 900D waterproof bottom liner, anodized aluminum/glass reinforced nylon and durable ‘UltraZips’.

To top it all off, everything is made from 100% recycled post-consumer material!

If you already own the V1, no matter when you bought it, I’m guessing it’s still in good condition – such is the build quality of these bags. Peak Design Everyday Backpack V2 is similarly built to last.

9/10

  • Weight

Without the internal dividers, you’re looking at around 3.8lbs (1.7 kg), but adding them in brings the weight of the 30L version to 4.65 lb (2.11 kg). This isn’t heavy for a 30L backpack with this many features, but it definitely isn’t light either.

Give some thought about how you intend to pack it, and whether you need it to be within any strict airline carry-on luggage allowances, and you should be fine.

8/10

  • Fit
best bag for camera and lenses

Sliding the backpack around to your front to gain side access is fast and efficient.

I always found the shoulder straps on the V1 fine, but apparently some people complained… so Peak updated everything for the Everyday Backpack V2.

Even when fully loaded, it feels great on the shoulders and back, and adjusting things while the bag is on your back is simple.

It’s important for the best photography backpack to be comfortable to carry, even when fully loaded with your camera gear. Fortunately this one hits the mark.

9/10

  • Looks

Available in black, charcoal, ash and a brand new ‘midnight’ colour, this may be the hardest decision you have to make when buying a new camera backpack!

The all-black variant is my favourite, but the other colours include brown leather accents, which really add a certain something.

The Everyday Backpack V2 is without a doubt very modern (futuristic?) looking, resembling some kind of rocket pack strapped to your back.

This will definitely appeal to many, but I imagine for some, it can be a little too much. (Check out the Everyday Backpack Zip review for something a little more refined.)

9/10

  • Capacity

The 30L version fits 2 full-size cameras and 4-5 lenses, with lots of pockets and pouches for accessories. I also like the 20L version (reviewed below), but it’s more suited to smaller set ups (obviously), and hence, not quite as versatile.

With the 20L version, I managed to fit a Fujifilm X-Pro3 and a handful of the best Fuji X lenses to go with it (all primes), and still had room for plenty of small accessories and my sandwiches.

The capacity on both size Everyday Backpacks can be collapsed or expanded – on this 30L version, the collapsed capacity is 22L, while on the 20L version it’s 17L. Changing size is simple and quick, using the re-designed MagLatch system.

9/10

  • Unique Features
detailed images of peak design everyday camera back pack v2

(Clockwise from left): Customizable flexfold dividers; Improved Maglatch closure; Magnetic shoulder straps; adjustable laptop sleeve.

Remember that this is the camera backpack that introduced the world to various features, which have since been ‘borrowed’ by other brands.

Let’s start from the sides, with two ‘UltraZips’which run the entire length of the flanks, opening easily with one hand – Peak Design’s weatherproof zips are easily the best I’ve come across, and those on the Everyday Backpack V2 are even smoother than before.

The MagLatch on the front is more ergonomic and sleek than the V1, and can be opened/adjusted easily with a quick tug. This may not have all the hipster-value of a roll-top for increasing carry capacity, but it’s far more practical and fast. You can also do it one-handed.

The internals feature customisable ‘FlexFold’ dividers – basically padded origami ‘shelves’ for your gear, all attachable by some mysterious hook and loop material that never pulls the ‘receiving’ fabric off. One thing to note – the padding on the dividers is quite minimal.

The 15″ protective laptop sleeve has a unique adjustable feature, making sure those with smaller laptops can easily retrieve their device, without having to ‘fish’ for it.

On the outside, there are 4 external carry straps for cinching down bulkier items like jackets, via a unique Cord Hook system – I never use it but it’s nice to have it there all tucked away neatly for times of need.

Finally, there’s a luggage pass-through, which doubles as a bit of extra back-padding, and a place to store the straps when not in use.

10/10

  • Ease of Use

Dual side access points provide fast, one-handed entry. Zippers are smooth and durable. Adjusting straps is quick. It’s dead-easy to get your gear in and out of the Everyday Backpack V2.

Only small niggle is that the zippers on the inside of the side access panel isn’t completely covered when stowed, meaning it can come in contact with your gear.

9/10

  • Value for Money

At around $290 for the 30L version (latest price here), we’re in premium camera backpack territory… but not overly so. For a product that will last a life-time without looking like it’s made for the army, I think it’s still good value for money, and covered by Peak’s excellent life-time warranty.

8/10

  • X-Factor

There’s no other camera backpack that looks like this. You’ll get compliments and questions from any tech-nerd who hasn’t seen one before, but that’s arguably very few people. Using it will make you feel like you’re from the future.

Also, the midnight blue colourway with brown leather accents is a really unique look.

9/10

FINAL SCORE: 80/90

CHECK THE PRICE OF THE PEAK DESIGN EVERYDAY BACKPACK

2. WANDRD PRVKE

Camera backpack Wandrd Prvke best backpack with laptop compartment

Capacity: 31L (+5)| Dimensions: 19 x 12.5 x 7.5 in (48 x 31.7 x 19 cm | Weight: 3.4 lb (1.5 kg) | More: Wandrd Prvke Review

  • Build

This is one of the most durable camera backpacks I’ve come across (that doesn’t look like it’s come out of an army surplus store!). Built from waterproof tarpaulin and Robic 1680D Ballistic Nylon with weather resistant zippers, the Prvke will last a life time of abuse.

10/10

  • Weight

For a 31L camera backpack, it’s surpisingly light at 3.4 lb (1.5 kg). There are obviously lighter products on the market in 2020, but none with this level of durable build. The 21L variant (available here) is 2.8 lb (1.3kg), but I recommend sacrificing that extra bit of weight for an additional 10L storage capacity.

8/10

  • Fit

The padded shoulder support and foam back panels distribute the weight nicely, even when fully loaded. Despite being a relatively large 31L, it’s not overwhelming for smaller frames – my wife found it comfortable too.

9/10

  • Looks

Available in black, green and blue, this is another hard decision to make. I usually default to an all-black camera backpack, but the ‘wasatch green’ and ‘aegean blue’ look amazing too.

The WANDRD PRVKE has a great minimal look, with branding that’s large but the same colour as the rest of the bag, so doesn’t stand out. The logo on the included rainfly looks great too, as do the trademark tote-style grab handle and over-sized buckle.

It’s hard not to use the ‘h’ word when describing roll-top backpacks, but this good-looking bag is definitely going to appeal to a certain Instagrammable crowd!

9/10

  • Capacity

backpack capacity wandrd prvke - best camera bags for additional lenses

The 31L version accommodates a Medium camera cube, which can house a pro-size DSLR with lens attached and 3-4 lenses, or 3 small lenses and a flash. If you decide to use the rest of the capacity for camera gear too, you can obviously take much more, but it won’t be protected by the cube.

With the 21L version, you can fit one lens+camera combo, and a couple of lenses.

The best part of the WANDRD PRVKE is the expandable roll top, that creates an addition 5 litres of space on top of the quoted sizes.

9/10

  • Unique Features

There’s not a lot going on with this backpack, but it has all you need. My favourite feature is perhaps the simplest – magnetic tote handles that snap together, providing a comfortable and useful grab handle.

The durability of the tarp material is also unique, especially since the backpack isn’t excessively heavy.

There’s also a rainfly hidden away in the base of the backpack, and a handy top pocket for your phone/passport at the upper-back, not visible when wearing it.

8/10

  • Ease of Use

Getting things in and out of the WANDRD PRVKE is simple. The zippers feel good, but they’re not quite on par with the glidiness of the Peak Design bags.

The roll top buckle looks like it should be fiddly, but it actually isn’t, and is quite fun to use. I also appreciate the velcro on the roll top fabric for a more secure (water-tight) closure, although the noise when opening could annoy some.

Side access when the backpack is on your back is simple too, and can allow a ‘quick-draw ‘when a photo opp presents itself.

The front pocket is a little tight when the bag is fully packed, but you can still squeeze in a tablet or some documents.

9/10

  • Value for Money

At around $204 for the 31L version and $184 for the 21L (latest prices here), the larger capacity PRVKE is definitely the best value.

It’s definitely a premium price tag, but not overly so, and a good deal cheaper than the aforementioned backpack. It’s also covered by WANDRD’s ‘Wander more, worry less’ life-time, no-questions-asked warranty.

9/10

  • X-Factor

It’s definitely a unique look, and miles apart from any other camera backpack currently on the market. I love its minimal-but-still-present branding, and the overall look of this bag – you’re sure to get compliments and questions.

9/10

FINAL SCORE: 80/90

CHECK THE PRICE OF THE WANDRD PRVKE

3. Wotancraft Nomad

wotancraft_nomad camera backpack on garage floor

Capacity: 25L (+5) | Dimensions: 16.5 x 10.6 x 5.3 in (42 x 27 x 13.5 cm) | Weight: 3.75 lb (1.7 kg) | More Info: Wotancraft Nomad Review

  • Build

Wotancraft loves using a blended material called ‘Cordura’, which is lightweight and apparently 5x stronger than waxed cotton! The Nomad looks like it’s made for the army out of heavyweight canvas, but Cordura is thankfully much lighter, while still providing the durability of a much heavier material.

Zippers all feel rugged are are weather-proofed, complete with good-looking leather loops to ease with opening/closing.

10/10

  • Weight

At around 3.75 lb (1.7 kg), this isn’t a light camera backpack by any means, but it looks and feels like it should be much heavier – I was pleasantly surprised when I first picked it up, especially since Wotancraft’s other creations are mostly on the heavy side.

8/10

  • Fit

Wotancraft have nailed it with the Nomad. Despite having somewhat WWII aesthetics, it’s thankfully quite modern on the rear where the bag meets your back – the padding is thick and aerated, ensuring plenty of air flow even in hotter climates. I’m happy to use this fully loaded here on the Gold Coast…

The shoulder straps are equally well-padded, and the whole thing feels great on the back even when fully loaded. The removable hip straps help distribute everything nicely, and don’t add much weight either.

9/10

  • Looks

Available in a unique desert-camo and dark-grey, the Wotancraft Nomad with its side ‘flaps’ is unlike any other camera backpack here in 2020. The more you look at it, the more you’re appreciate the level of detailed craftsmanship that’s gone in.

I absolutely love the look of the Nomad, but I can appreciate that it’s appearance may not suit a lot of photographers. However, you have to admire Wotancraft for sticking to their niche.

9/10

  • Capacity
backpack capacity wandrd prvke - best easy access laptop compartment

© Athol Hill

At 25L with the roll top down, and 30L with it fully expanded, the Nomad can actually fit a lot more in than you expect. Thanks to various nooks and crannies (see below), you can cram in a couple of camera bodies, 4-5 lenses, accessories and enough clothes for the weekend – this is, after all, marketed as a travel backpack.

9/10

  • Unique Features
nomad details - among best camera bags with padded laptop compartment

Magnetic flap closures; customizable padding, main storage+hidden space; tripod holder.

There are certainly a few surprise on this backpack, and it does take a little experimenting to get right. Hidden away behind the front of the bag is a half-pouch like space, which can accommodate a jacket, or a couple of packing cubes – I keep a Peak Design Tech Pouch in mine.

Behind this (inside the bag), there’s another small space for more clothes, in between the front and the padding for your camera gear.

Then you have the side ‘flaps’, which magnetize to the flanks of the Nomad, helping to hold in whatever you have in the aforementioned space, and a minimal luggage pass-through on the back padding.

The tripod holder is also rather innovative – a rolled up piece of padded fabric designed to roll around the tripod legs and secure to the side of the bag.

All in all, this is a really fun backpack to use, and is actually my favourite of the year so far.

8/10

  • Ease of Use

I love the hidden front pouch thing (!), which allows you to slide your hand in to retrieve the item while the backpack is actually still on your back.

Side access panels are also great, and the zippers slide easily. The whole bag also stands upright nicely too, but this will depend on how you’ve packed it.

The side flap pockets are a bit hard to get into quickly, and although they can fit bulkier items, this may affect whether the magnets can ‘reach’ the side of the bag to close – you may end up looking like you’re wearing a wing on your back…

7/10

  • Value for Money

Priced at around $300 (see latest price here), this is yet another premium product from Wotancraft… but I’m ok with that. The Nomad is truly unique, and built to last a life-time, and arguably look better and better over time too. It also looks and feels like no other backpack on the market, and many will pay the price to have something of this level of craftsmanship.

8/10

  • X-Factor

It looks like no other backpack you’ve ever seen.

10/10

FINAL SCORE: 78/90

CHECK THE PRICE OF THE WOTANCRAFT NOMAD

4. Lowepro Freeline BP 350 Aw

Lowepro_freeline best backpack with padded laptop section

Capacity: 25L | Dimensions: 11.54 x 8.19 x 19.17 in (29.3 x 20.8 x 48.7 cm) | Weight: 4.13 lbs (1.87 kg) | More: Lowepro Freeline Review

  • Build

The LowePro Freeline is built from super high-grade Nylon 66 with water and abrasion resistant Carbonate coating, YKK weather-proof zippers, reinforced padded base and a rain cover (Aw = all weather).

Feels like it’d last a good 10+ years of abuse on the outside, and the inside is equally well-constructed. I particularly like the hook-and-loop attachments for the dividers, which are designed not to rip at the fabric.

9/10

  • Weight

Not bad at all for the quality and features of this bag. Remember it’s a dedicated backpack with camera compartment insert – not just any old bag with the insert as an afterthought.

8/10

  • Fit

The straps are comfortable with just the right amount of padding. The back ‘plate’ is ribbed to allow good air circulation. Shoulder straps can be further tightened with sternum strap. Optional hip strap is a little less substantial, but stows tidily when not in use.

9/10

  • Looks

Available in heather gray and black, the Lowepro Freeline BP 350 Aw is smart enough to use in the city, and doesn’t scream camera backpack. Lowepro branding is prevalent, but tasteful in raised silver lettering.

8/10

  • Capacity
best bags for cameras with laptop compartment

© Andy Day

Fits a full frame DSLR, stored horizontally with mounted 70-200mm f/2.8 lens; a full frame DSLR with grip plus a mirrorless body with grip, compact drones with controller, up to a 15” laptop, travel tripod, cords, cables, water bottle and smaller items.

9/10

  • Unique Features

The ‘QuickShelf’ divider system is a great idea! Unfolds into a 3-tier shelf that snaps flat for easy removal, converting the Lowepro Freeline BP 350 Aw into a regular backpack in seconds. Expandable side pockets are a nice touch. Side and front clip straps useful to secure misc items.

Expandable shoulder strap pocket is ingenious! Every backpack needs one of these. Perfect for storing batteries, pens, keys – anything you need quick access to, including your phone.

The grab handles at both sides of the rear are a great inclusion too.

The Freeline also includes a handy tech pouch storage bag that’s the perfect size to stop smaller items such as laptop chargers, cables and memory card pouches from floating around inside the main backpack.

9/10

  • Ease of Use

Dual side access points provide fast entry. Zippers are buttery smooth. The internal shelf has a plastic back to enable fast, smooth removal. Straps can be tightened and unfastened quickly, allowing you to remove gear items from the side without removing the bag from your back.

It also stands upright, which is a useful, often overlooked feature of a camera backpack.

9/10

  • Value for Money

At around $260 (latest price here), the Lowepro Freeline BP 350 Aw isn’t cheap by any means, but it’s still priced reasonably for all its fine construction, features and the years of backpack know-how of Lowepro.

8/10

  • X-Factor

It doesn’t look like any other backpack I’ve come across. From the cool, metallic silver logo down to its understated appearance that wouldn’t look out of place in an office, the Lowepro Freeline BP 350 Aw is a good-looking DSLR backpack.

8/10

FINAL SCORE: 77/90

GET THE LOWEPRO FREELINE BP 350 AW

5. Tenba DNA 15 Backpack

best camera bag with laptop compartment
Capacity: 20L (+3) | Dimensions: 18 x 11 x 8.5 in (46 x 28 x 22 cm) | Weight: 3.7 lb (1.7 kg)

  • Build

Designed to give the year-round, all-weather, rugged performance of a bike messenger backpack, the DNA 15 feels sturdy and built to last.

9/10

  • Weight

Lighter than some of the other backpacks I reviewed which are of a similar size.

8/10

  • Fit

Feels great on my back and on my wife’s. Tenba’s ‘Airflow’ padding raises the bag to allow good air circulation, and is made from lightweight, spongey foam which provides great padding. Shoulder straps are adequately padded. Sternum strap minimal but does the job.

9/10

  • Looks

Unique graphite colour/texture makes the Tenba DNA 15 backpack stand out from the crowed, without it being too flashy. Branding is visible on front strap, but not too prominent. Angled front zipper pocket is a nice design touch.

Doesn’t look like any other backpack I’ve come across.

9/10

  • Capacity

Fits a mirrorless or DSLR camera with 4-6 lenses, plus a laptop up to 15″ (38 cm). Nice organisation options in front pocket for business cards, batteries and smaller items. Side pocket can carry tripod, assisted by side straps. Roll-top can be re-velcroed at various points to expand the upper storage area.

9/10

  • Unique Features
fit dslr cameras personal items and camera equipment

Lightweight fabric/pockets; slide-out storage compartments; magnetic clips; large interior storage space.

Lenses or smaller camera bodies are accessible via a slide-out compartment which remains open at an angle to allow you to remove items quickly and easily – first time I’ve seen something like this on a backpack.

Main front clip fastens via a slide/magnet mechanism which is another first – works really well and is fun to operate.

Staggered velcro fastenings on front allow roll top to be fastened more securely at various stages, allowing more to be carried in upper section.

9/10

  • Ease of Use

Aforementioned slide-out front pocket makes getting gear items out quick and simple. Roll top entrance allows quick access to cavernous interior.

9/10

  • Value for Money

At around $200 (latest price here), it’s a good quality backpack at a mid-ranged price which I feel is totally justifiable.

8/10

  • X-Factor

There’s definitely something that grows on you about this backpack. Initially I didn’t think much of it, but after using it for a few days, I found myself reaching for it over the others tested.

8/10

FINAL SCORE: 78/90

GET THE TENBA DNA 15

6. Mindshift Backlight

backlight camera bags for dslr cameras with easy access and laptop compartment

© Teriyani Riggs

Capacity: 26L | Dimensions: 11.4 x 20.3 x 7.9 in (29 x 51.5 x 20 cm) | Weight: 3.9 lb (1.8 kg) | More: Mindshift Backlight Review

  • Build

Incredibly well-built, with every feature feeling solid and durable, from the zipper pulls to the interiror pockets. All thel exterior fabric has a durable water-repellant coating, plus the underside of the fabric has a polyurethane coating.

It also has abrasion-resistant YKK® RC-Fuse zippers, 420D velocity nylon, 420D high-density nylon, 320G UltraStretch mesh, 350G airmesh, nylon webbing, 3-ply bonded nylon thread. Pretty much bomb-proof.

10/10

  • Weight

Not particulary light, but then again, this is a hiking backpack built to carry and protect your camera gear, and that requires some decent padding and heavy-duty material.

8/10

  • Fit

Mindshift (part of ThinkTank Photo) knows their stuff when it comes to building comfortable bags, and the Mindshift Backlight is no exception. The padded back support and shoulder/waist/chest straps feel secure, distributing weight around your body very well.

We’ve chosen the 21L version, but there’s actually an 18, 36 and 45L version too (see them all here). The 21L is the sweet spot for an all-day hike, where you’re not tempted to take every gear accessory you own, and the backpack doesn’t get unnecessarily heavy.

9/10

  • Looks

It’s a hiking camera backpack, but it’s it’s not offensive to look at – that’s actually quite hard to achieve! Both the woodland green and the charcoal options look great, but the green zipper pulls of the charcoal version spoil it a little.. but I can understand why they did it.

You definitely wouldn’t want to use this much in an urban environment, but that’s not its intention.

7/10

  • Capacity
best camera bag for hikers

© Teriyani Riggs

The 26L Mindshift Backlight fits 1 standard size DSLR (or 2 mirrorless cameras), plus 4-6 zoom lenses and a flash or 2. Then there’s additional room in the 9L front compartments for a load of other stuff – this thing can hold a lot more than its 26 litres would have you believe.

9/10

  • Unique Features

Not particularly unique per se, but the rear-access panel serves well as a main access point. Also, padding on the rear panel is excellent, with just enough cushioning where you need it (particularly in the lumbar area), and a nice wide gap for your upper back to take a break from the heat.

There’s also a pouch that comes out of a pocket on the bottom of the bag, so you can carry a tripod attached to the front, along with some straps that come out of a zippered pouch on top.

7/10

  • Ease of Use

Getting gear in and out of the Mindshift Backlight is simple and intuitive, although the tripod mounting pouch/straps are a bit fiddly. As long as your tripod is compact enough, I’d recomend trying it in the water bottle pouch instead, found on the side of the backpack.

8/10

  • Value for Money

At around $250 (latest price here), it’s not cheap, but it’s not over-priced either. The build quality gives you confidence that it’ll survive even the most hardcore of hikers.

8/10

  • X-Factor

Nothing to report, although the woodland green does look really nice when you’re out hiking.

7/10

FINAL SCORE: 73/90

GET THE MINDSHIFT BACKLIGHT

7. Shimoda Explore 60

Shimoda-explore best hiking camera bags for photographers needing lots of compartments

Capacity: 60L | Dimensions: 24 x 11.4 x 11 in (61 x 29 x 28 cm) | Weight: 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg)

  • Build

Construction quality is top-notch. Coated nylon exterior similar to mountaineering bags feels tough and rip-proof, and shoulder straps feel secure.

9/10

  • Weight

Despite being the biggest camera backpack in this review, the Shimoda Explore 60 still remains relatively lightweight. Obviously the (empty) weight will vary depending on the modular accessories you add to it, but these are all lightweight too.

9/10

  • Fit

Feels like a hug from a good friend! The fit can be tailored via height adjustable shoulder straps. Hip strap is one of the comfiest I’ve used on any backpack. EVA compression moulding in straps feels like a child standing on your shoulders wearing Nike Air shoes…amazing.

10/10

  • Looks

It’s hard to make a hiking camera backpack look cool, but Shimoda has managed it. Designed by the ex-lead designer of F-Stop Gear, it’s easy to see why. My wife’s first reaction: “I love the colour!”

Both the ‘Blue Nights’ and the ‘Sea Pine’ look like no other bag I’ve seen – really unique tones, tastefully complimented with brown accents on zipper pulls.

9/10

  • Capacity
shimoda explore details - compartments, adjustable belt, removable separators

Leather zipper pulls; spacious upper pocket; storage pouches on straps; adjustable strap height.

At 60L, there’s not a lot that can’t fit in the Shimoda Explore! Depending on what modular unit you insert, prepare to shoulder everything you own…and then some.

10/10

  • Unique Features

The height adjustable shoulder straps are unique in the way that they can be adjusted – a lot of design consideration has gone into this. The straps themselves are amazingly comfortable with their moulded design.

Hip straps features cutaways to prevent bone-rub – the first time I’ve seen this on a backpack, and a great feature.

Rear padded portion features some serious padding and a unique design to increase airflow while hiking.

Pockets on front of the shoulder straps are great – one zippered, the other elasticated. Both large enough to hold a mobile phone.

9/10

  • Ease of Use

Easy to slide on and off the body. Getting gear in and out is easy too. Strap system takes a bit of getting used to, but this is to be expected on a technical outdoor camera backpack.

As with all backpacks that feature a separate internal camera bag, it’s never quite as quick as simply opening the main bag and getting to your gear – you need to unzip the internal one too.

7/10

  • Value for Money

Yes it’s expensive (see here), but you’re paying for function and years of design experience via F-Stop, and now Shimoda – the cool styling is just an added bonus. Compared to some of the heavy leather camera backpacks costing the same amount or more, this is actually a good value.

Remember to take into account the cost of the modular accessories (the ‘Core Units’) too, though.

7/10

  • X-Factor

This is the first hiking backpack that I want to wear with casual clothes! The colour is really unique, and putting it on and securing it to your body is a joy too. I never expected to want to use a hiking backpack this much.

8/10

FINAL SCORE: 78/90

GET THE SHIMODA EXPLORE

8. F-Stop Dalston

Fstop-dalston lighter camera bag with simple main compartment

Capacity: 21L (+3) | Dimensions: 18.9 x 11.4 x 6.3 in (48 x 29 x 16 cm) | Weight: .8 lbs (.8 kg)

  • Build

YKK Aquaguard zippers, DWR, 420D Ripstop Nylon with TPU laminate and Hypalon detailing – there’s not actually much to the F-Stop Dalston, but what there is is well-made. I can’t imagine much going wrong with this bag.

8/10

  • Weight

This thing’s as light as a feather! If only all camera backpacks were this light. At only 0.8kg / 1.8lbs, you can really make the most of your carry-on allowance on those strict internal airline carriers. It’s also a perfect weight to be carried all day around a city, which is how it’s intended to be used.

10/10

  • Fit

The F-Stop Dalston isn’t designed to be loaded with gear, so the carrying straps, sternum strap and back support are rather minimal. I wouldn’t want to carry it for a long time fully loaded.

However, it’s worth remembering that this backpack wasn’t intended to be used to cram in all your gear – I see it more as a day pack, making use of its feather-light weight to help you carry only what’s absolutely necessary for the day’s city adventure.

7/10

  • Looks

With its fashionable (hipster?!) roll-top design, textured/shiny exterior, and funky colour names (Aloe, Nasturtium and … err.. blue?), the F-Stop Dalston certainly stands out from the crowd. I particularly like the muted black square logo on the front, which doesn’t detract from the overall statement.

This is definitely not a bag that looks like your typical camera backpack, and would be a great thief deterrent as such.

10/10

  • Capacity
dalston details - main compartment with removable dividers for photographers

Minimal branding; interior pockets; adjustable dividers; minimal straps.

At only 21 liters, the Dalston is probably most suited as a mirrorless camera backpack, or at least just for un-gripped DSLR bodies. Having said that, thanks to the thin outer material, it does have rather tardis-like properties – I was able to squeeze in a Nikon Z7, Nikon D750, a 70-200, 35mm, 13″ Macbook Pro and various other small gizmos.

For a smaller bag, it’s surprisingly spacious.

It might not be the best DSLR backpack if you need to carry a lot of gear, but it’s definitely one of my favourites.

9/10

  • Unique Features

There’s not all that much to the F-Stop Dalston – it’s a simple camera bag that’s as fashionable as it is functional, but as for standout features, I don’t have anything to add here.

As a roll-top, it does offer expandable storage in the main section.

7/10

  • Ease of Use

It’s a little hard to get in and out of the lowest internal compartment, since the size zip doesn’t run low enough. Also, I find roll-top bags a little fiddly and unnecessary with their additional steps to get gear in and out of.

Having said that, you can access all your gear (including stuff stored on top of the dividers) from the side access zippers.

7/10

  • Value for Money

Even though the Dalston may feel like it should cost less (due to its light weight), at about $170 (latest price here) you’re paying for the quality of F-Stop products.

F-Stop is best known for their high-quality outdoor camera backpacks that are built to withstand Everest, and some of the tech has trickled down to the Dalston. I think the price is justifiable for the quality. Warranty is 2 years – I’d like it to be a little longer.

8/10

  • X-Factor

I couldn’t stop playing with the Dalston for the whole 2 weeks I tested it! Virtually everyone commented on it, photographer or otherwise. I can imagine in the loud orange (‘nasturtium’) colourway, you’d get even more attention.

It’s nice to have something as unique as this on your back in a world full of rather boring-looking camera gear.

10/10

FINAL SCORE: 76/90

GET THE F-STOP DALSTON

9. Langly Alpha Globetrotter

Langley_Alpha_Globetrotter for fashionable photographers close to nature

Dimensions: 18 x 8 x 14 in (45.72 x 20.32 x 35.56 cm) | Weight: 4.2 lbs (1.92 kg)

  • Build

Langly’s been making great bags for a long time and the Alpha Globetrotter is no exception. The straps, pulls, tough rubber bottom, and bag material are all of the finest workmanship and will clearly last a long time. The outer material and zippers are entirely weatherproof, and this latest version has reinforced camera inserts that securely cradle your gear.

9/10

  • Weight

This backpack looks like it should feel heavier to be honest – I was expecting it to weigh a ton. It’s not lightweight by any means, but for its size and robustness, it’s not actually too bad.

8/10

  • Fit

Featuring ventilated shoulder straps, a custom-molded air-flow back panel, waist and chest straps, the Globetrotter attaches securely to your body and feels great on the back. My wife agreed too. The shoulder straps feel a little thin, but the padding is adequate and the materials wicks sweat away well.

8/10

  • Looks

The Langly Alpha Globetrotter is Instagram-fodder, pure and simple. Great for any photographer who cares about style – don’t we all, secretly?!

9/10

  • Capacity

Plenty of capacity for the average photographer. For the pro, there’s enough room if you pack light. It holds a DSLR and up to 5 lenses or a combination of lenses and speedlights. The top compartment is quite roomy, and can be used for anything from books to Pocket Wizards or anything else. The zippable laptop sleeve is designed for a 15” laptop.

The outer pockets are a little small for some flash units, but can fit smaller primes, hard drives, chargers, etc. You can use the secret compartment on the rear of the bag to hide a phone, passport or money. Also has a water bottle pocket and straps for attaching a tripod on the bottom.

8/10

  • Unique Features

The secret pocket on the inside-back is a nice touch for hiding valuables, and thanks to the raised-contouring of the back panel, you can actually put items like keys that aren’t completely flat, and not ‘feel’ them on your back.

The ventilated straps aren’t particularly unique, but the styling is – it’s all blended in nicely with the rest of the backpack.

7/10

  • Ease of Use

An update from the Alpha Pro, Langly updated the Globetrotter to have a front loading panel, making it much easier to access the camera compartment than in previous versions. The laptop is also easy to access. Still, there’s only one access point for the camera and you still have to (mostly) take the bag off to get to it.

My only gripe is that the upper zippers don’t go around the corners easily, making it tempting to leave it partially unzipped when in a hurry. Also, my tripod’s a bit too big to attach easily at the bottom without sticking out at the sides.

Also the button fastening on all the straps is rather unusual and takes a little getting used to, especially with cold hands – opening it is easy as tugging, but fastening is a little fiddly. Thankfully the zippers have larger pull grips with stylish leather accents.

7/10

  • Value for Money

This is a bag that’s going to last for a long time, so while it’s definitely a bit pricey (see latest price here), it certainly looks and feels like it will be with you for decades or more. The warranty is only 1 year though, which is a little disappointing.

8/10

  • X-Factor

It’s easy to be drawn to this bag. The vintage hiking backpack form is often imitated, but rarely equaled, especially at this quality level. The look, the feel, the high quality materials… everything about the Langly Globetrotter makes it one of a kind.

9/10

FINAL SCORE: 74/90

GET THE LANGLY ALPHA GLOBETROTTER BACKPACK

10. WANDRD Veer

packable camera bags for minimal camera equipment

Dimensions: 18 x 11 x 9 in (45 x 27.9 x 22.8 cm) | Weight: 0.8 lb (363 g) | More: WANDRD Veer Review

  • Build

Being a packable backpack, there’s really not much to the Veer, but everything that’s there feels well made. Materials include weather Resistant N100D Robic Dynatec, N210D Robic HD Oxford, and weather resistant zippers.

8/10

  • Weight

At around the weight of a paperback book, this is one camera backpack you can fit inside your main backpack, and hardly notice. However, due to its features, it’s not actually that light compared to other packable backpacks.

9/10

  • Fit

The straps are mesh and very minimal, and with the inflatable back insert, the Veer is surprisingly comfortable, particularly when using it as a simple camera and lens backpack, without over-packing it.

8/10

  • Looks

I love the look of the WANDRD Veer – it’s minimal, while still retaining enough detail to make it interesting. As far as collapsible backpacks go, this is easily the best looking.

9/10

  • Capacity
spacious main compartment

© Greg Cromie

Surprisingly spacious for a backpack that can pack down so small. Also has a water bottle pocket and several loops for attaching more things, although you wouldn’t want to attach anything heavy to it.

8/10

  • Unique Features
camera bags that can be collapsed

Upper pocket (becomes pouch for entire bag); webbed straps for airflow; inflatable camera cube; mouth-piece details.

This whole bag is unique! It all packs away neatly into its own pouch, ready to be deployed in a few seconds. The straps are lightweight and breathable, featuring meshed webbing that really helps to disperse heat.

The full size water bottle holder is a nice touch, and can be used to carry a small travel tripod too.

The best feature is an inflatable back ‘skeleton’, which provides much needed padding and support, while adding minimal bulk to the bag when stowed. If you opt for the additional inflatable lens cube, there’s adequate protection for a camera with lens attached.

9/10

  • Ease of Use

Unpacking and re-packing the bag is simple and fun, although a bit of a squeeze. Getting your camera out of the inflatable cube is a bit of a fiddle, but at least there’s a mesh compartment to stop the cube from moving around the bag.

8/10

  • Value for Money

For around $99 (see latest price here), this is amazing value for money! That said, you will have to spend an extra $49 for the inflatable camera cube to keep your main camera/lens safer.

10/10

  • X-Factor

This bag is truly unique, and manages to look great too. It’s the best packable backpack we’ve used.

9/10

FINAL SCORE: 78/90

GET THE WANDRD VEER

11. Manfrotto Manhattan Mover 30

Manfrotto_Manhattan_Mover camera bags featuring removable dividers

Dimensions: 11.42 x 6.69 x 17.32 in (29 x 17 x 44 cm) | Weight: 3.1 lbs (1.4 kg)

  • Build

The Manfrotto Mover 30 was built with urban travel in mind. It’s shaped to fit perfectly as a carry-on and packs efficiently, with the camera access at your back. There’s no wasted space.

Each compartment does exactly what it’s designed to and holds a surprising amount of gear. My only gripe – the top zipper seems to take all of the weight. I think a buckle would have been better.

The outside is drizzle-resistant and the pack also comes with a rain cover.

8/10

  • Weight

The weight seems in line with the material and internal padding.

8/10

  • Fit

Fits comfortably on my back. The straps are reasonably wide and well-padded and I was able to adjust them to get the right fit. I’m not particularly a fan of square backpacks, but this one didn’t bother me.

8/10

  • Looks

If you’re into the urban commuter look, you’ll like this bag. The colour is also quite unusual and attractive, and so is the overall shape.

8/10

  • Capacity
manhattan_mover camera backpack for photographers

Concealed attachment straps; expandable side pockets; customizable dividers; more pockets for storage.

Surprisingly roomy. I was able to carry a Nikon D850 and three lenses, including a 70-200mm f/2.8, a charger and two batteries, a 15″ laptop, my Kindle, a flash, some snacks, and a couple of changes of clothes. I had to take the tripod off to fit it in the overhead compartment, but that wasn’t really a problem.

The central divider in the top pouch can be removed for larger items (like a lunchbox). Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with what I could carry in the Manfrotto Mover 30 .

Also has a water bottle pocket.

9/10

  • Unique Features

Not really much going for it in the way of unique features, but since the bag does pretty much everything you need it to, they’re not particularly missed.

7/10

  • Ease of Use

No problems here. Everything’s easily accessible, the laptop and tablet sleeves are convenient. The tripod carry takes a bit of playing with to get snug.

8/10

  • Value for Money

If you’re a frequent commuter/traveler, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of this bag. Priced at around $140 (latest price here), it’s great value for money. If you need a little more space, the Mover 50 is only $20 more.

8/10

  • X-Factor

In my opinion, square bags aren’t particularly stylish. The slightly cheap feeling materials on this one don’t really keep me coming back for more.

7/10

FINAL SCORE: 71/90

GET THE MANFROTTO MOVER 30

12. F-Stop Ajna

Fstop_Ajna_camera-backpack for photographers

Capacity: 20L (+3) | Dimensions: 23.5 x 13 x 10.5 in (59.7 x 33 x 26.7 cm) | Weight: 3.75 lbs (1.7 kg)

  • Build

The F-Stop Ajna is made of an extremely durable materials. It honestly feels like you could set this down anywhere – on dirt, rocks, sand, or even mud – and not have to worry about the material getting damaged. The bag itself is waterproof and the waterproofing on the zippers is high quality.

9/10

  • Weight

For what the Ajna offers (and the fact that hikers tend to need less weight than more), this bag weighs just right. It’d be hard to imagine it offering the space it does and getting any lighter.

9/10

  • Fit

While the straps and waist belt are a bit thin on the padding, the pack fits surprisingly comfortably. There’s more than enough comfort for long hikes.

9/10

  • Looks

The Ajna is available in Nasturtium (bright orange), Anthracite (black), and my personal favourite, Aloe (seen above). The Nasturtium is F-Stop’s signature colour, which would certainly turn heads, and is probably a good thing for safety (increased visibility) while hiking.

Obviously black and aloe are far more practical for everyday use. I like the F-Stop branding and this certainly doesn’t look like a regular hiking camera backpack.

9/10

  • Capacity

Shoulder strap hooks; large internal storage; customizable dividers inside cube; strap details.

The camera carrying portion of the F-Stop Ajna uses removable ICUs (Internal Camera Units) and can hold up to a Large Pro. Depending on how you configure it, the Pro can hold 1-2 camera bodies and 4-6 lenses, plus other goodies. Need more space for hiking essentials? Choose a smaller ICU like the Slope or the Shallow. (All sold separately.)

There’s a sleeve that accommodates a hydration bladder and as well as attachment points for the sipping valve on the shoulder straps. However, there’s no water bottle pocket so if you’re not into hydration bladders (or don’t want to risk it leaking all over your gear) you’re a bit out of luck here.

You can mount a tripod on either the front or the side of the pack. There are also loops for trekking poles or ice axes on the outside.

There’s plenty of room both at the top and in the front pouch for layers, snacks and other trail necessities and plenty of external straps to attach things to. The only downside here is that there aren’t a lot of places to stow smaller things like SD cards or lens cloths.

9/10

  • Unique Features

As previously mentioned, this bag is hydration-system-compatible. That’s pretty rare.

Another unique feature is F-stop’s ICU system – once you get used to it it actually works really well, and I like being able to pull the entire ICU out to store my gear. You can also velcro the ICU in for added security.

Also comes with gatekeeper mounting points and internal and external MOLLE webbing for even more attachment points.

8/10

  • Ease of Use

Like many adventure-style bags, the camera access is from the rear. That’s fine if you’re planning on taking time to setup, but if you’re on the trail and see something interesting, you’ll have to take off the bag to access your camera.

I also found that the frame of the bag got in the way while trying to unzip the Large ICU.

Another thing that bothers me is that it’s hard for me to reach the side pockets. There aren’t any pockets on the hip belt either. The exception is your hydration tube and whatever you might have stowed in the little mesh pockets on the shoulder straps.

7/10

  • Value for Money

This bag is definitely on the expensive side. So while it truly is one of the best trekking camera backpacks out there, you do pay for it. That said, there is a 20-year warranty on any defects in material or workmanship.

7/10

  • X-Factor

I really like the look and feel of this bag. The design, F-Stop’s branding and colour make it stand out from any run-of-the-mill hiking backpack.

8/10

FINAL SCORE: 75/90

GET THE F-STOP AJNA

13. LowePro ProTactic 450 AW II

lowepro_pro-tactic 450 II

Capacity: 20L (+3) | Dimensions: 13.70 x 10.63 x 19.21 in (34.8 x 27 x 48.79 cm) | Weight: 5.72 lbs (2.59 kg) | More: LowePro Protactic BP 450 AW Review

  • Build

The LowePro ProTactic 450 AW II feels very well built indeed. The top-access flap is a semi-hardshell and feels like it could take quite a beating. The camera rucksack itself is not waterproof, but comes with a rain cover.

Inside are a few thick well-cushioned dividers for the main compartments and a number of thinner MaxiFit system pads for customization.

All in all, sturdy and very well-constructed.

9/10

  • Weight

This bag is definitely heavier than other bags of the same capacity, but that might be due to the extra protection provided by the top flap.

7/10

  • Fit

The shoulder straps seem thin but were surprisingly comfortable, even when the pack was fully loaded. The detachable hip belt is beefy and does a good job of keeping the weight off the shoulders. Comes with an ActivZone harness that rides a bit higher up the back and provides a bit of extra ventilation. The only real drawback is that the bag feels a bit over-stiff when fully loaded or when I added my laptop.

8/10

  • Looks

The LowePro ProTactic 450 AW II’s sleek, black, PALS-covered exterior will be a definite draw to those into the “tactical” look. Otherwise the pack is rather unassuming and would fit in just about anywhere.

9/10

  • Capacity

Side access; strap pouches; ActiZone back panel; padded internal dividers.

On the inside, it fits 1-2 Pro DSLRs, one with up to 70-200mm f/2.8 lens attached, 6-8 lenses/speed lights, and a 15″ laptop. It also comes with a number of PALS accessories for carrying a tripod, water bottle and other accessories on the outside.

9/10

  • Unique Features

PALS is amazingly customizable. You can attach the accessories that come with it, any MOLLE pouches you already have, or simply tie on your gear in any way imaginable.

The rear panel access is also quite handy, allowing you to lay the bag down front-first and access the entire contents. This is a serious plus if you do a lot of outside work and hate getting the back of your bag dirty (the part that goes up against your back).

If you travel a lot, the semi-hard shell top flap will give your gear another level of protection.

8/10

  • Ease of Use

Great access, with two side flaps, top access, and a back panel that zips open. The straps adjust quickly, making it easy to flip the backpack sideways for panel access. The waist belt tends to get in the way a bit when unzipping the back panel right to the bottom, though.

I haven’t really used the PALS system much in the past, but if you’re into loading up gear on the outside I can’t imagine a better way.

8/10

  • Value for Money

Version I of this bag was extremely popular, and priced more than $100 less than this version II. I wasn’t able to compare the two side by side, but I do always like investing in the latest version of anything.

At around $270, it’s certainly priced in the premium category, but the LowePro ProTactic 450 AW II feels worth the money for sure.

8/10

  • X-Factor

Super cool look if you’re into tactical packs, MOLLE accessories, or being a bit stealthy with your photography.

8/10

FINAL SCORE: 74/90

GET THE LOWEPRO PROTACTIC 450 AW II

14. Gitzo Adventury 30L

Gitzo-Adventury

Capacity: 20L (+3) | Dimensions: 12.20 x 7.48 x 18.90 in (31 x 19 x 48 cm) | Weight: 4.5 lbs (2.05 kg)

  • Build

As you’d expect from a brand that’s a spinoff from Manfrotto, the build quality of the Gitzo Adventury is excellent. Made from water-repellent fabric, it’s fine under heavy downpours too. Straps feel very solid. Can see it lasting well for 10+ years.

9/10

  • Weight

It’s rather heavy, especially for a backpack made out of such lightweight fabric. There’s a lot of padding inside, which is great for your gear, but not so great for your back.

7/10

  • Fit

Excellent shoulder and back padding, with raised areas on the back panel for air circulation. The shape of the shoulder straps contours well, and the sternum and hip straps are equally comfortable.

10/10

  • Looks

Despite the rather prominent branding (silver logo on the front and rather odd metal badge on the shoulder strap), the Gitzo Adventury is a great looking DSLR backpack.

I love the army green colourway and black strap webbing…although it may be a little too much for some people. Thankfully there’s a way to tuck two of the main front straps away at the back.

9/10

  • Capacity

Looking at the inside of the Gitzo Adventury camera bag

At 30L, the Adventury does a good job at cramming in a lot of camera gear – even a 400mm lens, plus body, two small primes and a flash. More common configurations include a pro DSLR body with a 70-200mm attached, two large primes, a Mavic Pro and a DSLR tripod on the front.

9/10

  • Unique Features

The roll top opening is actually really functional, allowing the capacity to be extended by another 10-15L or so.

Opening the backpack from the rear panel, you’re greeted with a semi-transparent zippered cover before you get to your gear. This can be tucked away for quicker access, but provides some added security/padding for your gear.

8/10

  • Ease of Use

No complaints. Easy to take on and off, and to insert/remove gear.

9/10

  • Value for Money

The Gizto Adventury feels like its asking price of around $250 (latest price here), largely due to the heft of the bag.

8/10

  • X-Factor

There’s definitely something about this backpack that makes you want to use it. Maybe it’s the colour or the rugged appearance, but it’s something that would attract compliments for sure.

8/10

FINAL SCORE: 67/90

GET THE GITZO ADVENTURY

15. Langly Multi-Pack Globetrotter

Langly Multi-Camera Bag Globetrotter

Capacity: 20L (+3) | Dimensions: 20 x 8 x 18 in (50.8 x 20.32 x 45.72 cm) | Weight: 5.5 lbs (2.53 kg) More: Langly Multi-Pack Globetrotter Review

  • Build

Like the Alpha Globetrotter, Multi-Camera Globetrotter is also exceptionally well-built. The exterior feels like some sort of rubberised canvas (?), which is strong and weather-resistant. The straps, zippers, and hardware fasteners feel very tough too. I can’t imagine anything on here breaking any time soon, even fully loaded. The bottom is rigid so the pack will stand up on its own if you don’t have a tripod attached.

9/10

  • Weight

Although not lightweight by any means, the relative heft of the bag seems reasonable for its size and the quality of material and build. Still a tad heavy for my liking though.

7/10

  • Fit

The ventilated shoulder straps aren’t padded much but feel comfortable, even when the bag is fully loaded. I wouldn’t want to hike too far with it in this state though, despite the minimal waist and chest straps that do their job of stopping the Multi-Camera Globetrotter from sliding around your back.

8/10

  • Looks

This is a classy bag. It’ll look sharp in just about any setting, despite being aimed more at outdoor photographers. Not quite as Instagram-worthy as the Alpha Globetrotter, but a stand out piece nevertheless. The leather accents definitely add a touch of class to an otherwise stealthy appearance.

9/10

  • Capacity

As one would expect, the Multi-Camera Globetrotter can carry just about anything. There’s front panel access to your main camera with lens attached and the rest of camera compartment can hold up 10 lenses or a combo of lenses, and speedlights, and secondary cameras.

There’s also room for a 15″ laptop, loops on the bottom for attaching a tripod, and three external pockets with room for other odds and ends. There are also 3 deep zippable mesh pockets on the inside for lens cloths, SD cards, and the like.

10/10

  • Unique Features

Other than its build, its capacity, and the high quality of the materials, there aren’t a lot of special features to this bag. I do, however, really like the multiple zippers on the inside of the flap.

There’s also an adjustable strap running horizontally across the back, much like the Alpha Globetrotter. I’m assuming this is to secure it to the handle of rolling luggage, although it’s a unusual that it’s adjustable…

Oh and those secret pockets – there are three of them this time on the inside-back. One of them runs the entire length/width of the backpack’s back plate, although I’m not sure what this would be used for.

8/10

  • Ease of Use

Pretty much the same as the Alpha Globetrotter, except that it has a main front panel access to the camera (which I far prefer).

Push button fastenings are a matter of form over function in my opinion. I wasn’t a huge fan as they’re a bit fiddly to attach when your fingers are freezing. The main zipper slides around the bag relatively smoothly, but is slightly restricted at the corners, probably due to the water-proofing flaps either side.

There’s an unusually placed zipper on the front of the bag right above the main pocket’s flap which runs deep, but is rather hard to get inside. I think it may be for a or tablet, although getting it back out might be a bit hard.

The large secret pocket on the rear is rather unusual, and requires you to fiddle a little with the luggage strap (?) to get the zipper past.

7/10

  • Value for Money

Quite pricey, but you’re paying for that Langly style and quality, as well as for a backpack that can hold all your gear without skipping a beat. Definitely feels like it’s worth the money, and at only $30 more than the Alpha (latest price here), I’ve got to say this one’s the better deal.

8/10

  • X-Factor

Like all Langly bags, the look and the feel of this backpack will make you want to come back to it over and over again. It’s understated at first glance, but features subtle styling that elevates its looks from all the other large photography backpacks out there this year.

9/10

FINAL SCORE: 74/90

GET THE LANGLY MULTI GLOBETROTTER BACKPACK

16. Lowepro Flipside 400 AW II

Lowepro_Flipside_400_AW_II

Capacity: 20L (+3) | Dimensions: 12.60 x 9.96 x 19.29 in (32 x 25.3 x 49 cm) | Weight: 3.31 lbs (1.5 kg)

  • Build

The Flipside is a compact backpack made of sturdy polyester. It seems small but holds a lot. The zips feel durable, there’s a lot of padding on the backside and in the hip and shoulder straps, and everything works. The exterior isn’t waterproof, but comes with a rain cover.

The retracting tripod cup is a bit weird, but so far seems to work (at least for a smaller tripod).

9/10

  • Weight

It’s not particularly light for its size, but neither is it heavy.

8/10

  • Fit

The Flipside fits well enough on my back and on my wife’s. The straps and hip belt are comfortable and it seems like I could wear it for quite a while without needing a break.

9/10

  • Looks

Ok looking. Nothing special. Just a neutral look.

8/10

  • Capacity

LowePro_FlipSide_details

Quite an amazing capacity for such a compact bag. The Lowepro Flipside fits a DSLR with up to a 300mm attached lens, 4-6 additional lenses, a compact drone, flash, 15″ laptop, and a 10″ tablet. It has Lowepro’s trademark Sliplock webbing on the outside for attaching more gizmos to the exterior.

Definitely holds enough for the average traveling photographer who wants to stay active and nimble.

9/10

  • Unique Features

The tripod mounts stay hidden until needed, so no dangling straps or annoying cups in your way.

Built to flip over so that you can access the camera compartment without taking off your bag.

8/10

  • Ease of Use

The laptop sleeve is on the flap that accesses the camera compartment, which puts it squarely in your way if you’re attempting to get to your camera without taking the bag off. It also means your laptop will be moving each time the flap has to be undone to open the bag.

It takes some practice to flip it around and access the camera compartment without taking the bag off. Otherwise, everything is standard.

7/10

  • Value for Money

Not a bad value for around $150 (latest price here). It’s soundly built and carries enough despite its small size.

8/10

  • X-Factor

The Flipside has a bit of an understated look to it, which is helpful if you’re not wanting it to be unduly noticed. No real x-factor though.

7/10

FINAL SCORE: 73/90

GET THE LOWERO FLIPSIDE 400 AW II

17. Lowepro Photo Hatchback 150 AW II

Lowepro-photo-hatchback

Capacity: 16L | Dimensions: 10.83 x 7.28 x 18.50 in (27.5 x 18.5 x 47 cm) | Weight: 1.78 lbs (0.8 kg)

  • Build

I like the fact that the Photo Hatchback is both lightweight and compact. The exterior made from water-resistant rip-stop nylon and lots of padding in the camera compartment. Comes with an all-weather (AW) rain cover that sits in its own compartment at the bottom of the pack.

The camera compartment comes with a customisable divider system and a storm-flap to keep out rain and dust, which adds to its all-weather (AW) rating. Everything seems well made and like it will hold together well.

8/10

  • Weight

At just 1.78 lbs (0.8 kg), the Photo Hatchback is one of the lightest full-fledged camera backpacks on the market. For what you’re getting and all it can hold, this is amazing.

10/10

  • Fit

Even though it’s a small backpack, I found that it fit surprisingly well and so did my wife. There’s plenty of padding in the shoulder straps and back and the sternum and waist straps work well, too.

9/10

  • Looks

The Photo Hatchback is sporty little bag that doesn’t really stand out overly much. I think it would look better without the reflective strip on the back, though I understand why it’s there. Perhaps they could have used a darker colour.

8/10

  • Capacity

Lowepro Photo Hatchback 150 AW II

This bag wasn’t really designed to carry much. It’ll fit a mirrorless with an attached lens, one extra lens (under 100mm), and few accessories like a GoPro or a hard drive. It doesn’t officially have room for a laptop, but you can get around that by unzipping the divider between the compartments on one side and slipping it down through the top. It does, however, fit an 8″ tablet in a separate sleeve.

The top compartment is roomy enough for a jacket and some snacks and such. It also has a few other inside pockets that can hold batteries, cables, etc. There are two side pockets that can hold water bottles or a Gorillapod. It’s not the sort of pack you’d want if you need your 60-200mm lens or need to bring along anything larger than a compact DSLR.

7/10

  • Unique Features

The coolest feature is that the camera compartment on the Photo Hatchback is removable and allows for a quick conversion to a simple day-pack. This really makes a huge difference if you’re on the road and don’t want your camera gear with you when you go out.

The tablet slot has a suspension system to keep your device from hitting the bottom of the bag. While this would be cooler if it held a laptop, tablet users will definitely appreciate it.

8/10

  • Ease of Use

I found this bag super easy to use for smaller day trips with my Sony A7III. I love the fact that despite the small size and light weight, there’s still enough room for personal gear and that it also converts easily to a straight day-pack.

9/10

  • Value for Money

I found Photo Hatchback for under $60 (see here). That’s a tremendous deal for everything it offers.

10/10

  • X-Factor

Nothing significant in the looks department, but due to its feather light weight, I did enjoy using it.

7/10

FINAL SCORE: 76/90

GET THE LOWERO PHOTO HATCHBACK BP 150 AW II

18. Lowepro Photo Sport 300 AW II

Lowepro_Photo_Sport_300_AW_II

Dimensions: 10.63 x 9.45 x 22.05 in (27 x 24 x 56 cm) | Weight: 3.31 lbs (1.5 kg)

  • Build

As far as action backpacks go, the build on the Lowepro Photo Sport 300 AW II is fantastic. Like some of the higher end backpacking bags, the outer material is high-tech and built to withstand hard use. There’s an adjustment strap just about everywhere it matters, allowing you to cinch down everything from the camera compartment to how the pack sits on you.

There are a number of different attachment points for skis, trekking poles, or tripods, and it comes with space for a hydration bladder, an all-weather rain cover, and an ActivZone harness to keep things from bouncing too much while running or jumping. The bag is fairly narrow and hugs the body well, making is easy to do things like climbing.

The camera compartment is side access, so you could keep the bag on and access your gear at the same time (though it’d be nice if there were at least one more access point).

9/10

  • Weight

You can really see the effects of the lightweight fabric here – just 3.31lbs for a fairly spacious, though not overly large, hiking backpack.

9/10

  • Fit

If you can figure out how to adjust the straps just right, you can get this pack to fit perfectly on most bodies. Everything’s adjustable and easy to cinch down. There is an issue, though, if you use a hydration system. I found that a full 2L bladder makes the back of the pack a bit uncomfortable, but you could always go smaller and not have this issue.

9/10

  • Looks

Empty, the Lowepro Photo Sport 300 AW II isn’t much to look at – especially the top compartment, as it loses its form. When full, it fills out and looks great. I was given the black model to review, but it also comes in blue.

8/10

  • Capacity

The Lowepro Photo Sport Camera Bag

The camera compartment is a bit small and doesn’t really hold much. If you’re a 3-lens user like I am then you’ll probably be a bit disappointed. It also doesn’t hold larger cameras or larger lenses. For example, it won’t fit the Canon EOS 1D/1Ds/1Dx Mark II, Nikon D4/D4s/D5 and Sony Alpha A850/A900. But, for those who go mirrorless and/or don’t need more than 2 lenses, you’ll probably be fine.

Otherwise there’s plenty of room in the top compartment for the things you need on a long hike, as well as a large zippered compartment on the lid, and front slide-in pocket for things that are flat or soft.

7/10

  • Unique Features

Built like a standard mountaineering backpack, the Photo Sport 300 really does have the rugged design needed for hard-core activities. The cinch-ability of the straps on this bag is far more comprehensive than just about any other camera bag I’ve tried. The ActivZone harness is also nice. These together allow me to get this bag to fit me snugly and comfortable enough that I can go climbing.

While not exactly unique, the hydration-system compatibility is appreciated and fairly rare in camera bags.

8/10

  • Ease of Use

It takes a bit of trial and error to get the straps cinched just right, but that will be true on any mountaineering/action backpack. The side access makes the camera easy to get to. The flopping top compartment is a bit of a pain when empty, and the bag can’t stand up on its own.

One thing that’s missing are some internal mesh pockets that are good for holding small things like batteries and SD cards.

7/10

  • Value for Money

At less than $140 (latest price here) it’s a lot cheaper than many standard hiking backpacks of its type, yet has a camera compartment to boot. I’d say it’s well worth it if it fits your camera gear.

9/10

  • X-Factor

Though not particularly snazzy when empty, the Photo Sport 300 AW II looks good when full. And if you like the hiking/mountaineering style of backpack, this will definitely end up being your go-to.

8/10

FINAL SCORE: 74/90

GET THE LOWEPRO PHOTO SPORT 300 AW II

19. ONA Camps Bay

ONA-camps-bay

Dimensions: 17 x 13 x 6.5 in (43 x 33 x 16.5 cm) | Weight: 4.41 lbs (2 kg)

  • Build

The Camps Bay is crafted from waxed canvas with leather accents and feels solid and hard-wearing to the touch.

9/10

  • Weight

This is my main complaint with this backpack – it’s a bit too heavy for me to consider using it at full capacity.

6/10

  • Fit

Minimal shoulder strap padding and just adequate rear cushioning. I can imagine the straps digging in after prolonged use, especially when fully loaded. Fits well on my back, if slightly large on my wife’s.

7/10

  • Looks

Understated, fashionable, tasteful – three adjectives you rarely hear to describe a DSLR camera backpack! The ONA Camps Bay is designed for the hipster in mind, and it’s refreshing to see a bag with zero prominent branding and such thoughtful but subtle detailing. Expect compliments from men and women.

10/10

  • Capacity

Metal details; subtle branding; spacious interior; front-access customizable dividers.

The Camps Bay can hold a camera with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens attached, up to seven additional lenses, a 17-inch laptop and small personal items. There’s also a small separate space at the top to hold something about the size of a men’s jacket.

8/10

  • Unique Features

None to report. It’s designed to be a simple backpack and achieves that perfectly, so no complaints here.

7/10

  • Ease of Use

The push/slide strap fastenings aren’t the fastest, but are in keeping with the styling of this backpack. Getting large lenses in and out of the spaces on the edges of the main compartment was a little awkward when the bag was completely full. Side outer pockets are rather tight – I couldn’t find a use for them.

6/10

  • Value for Money

It’s a pricey bag for a certain customer (latest price here). If you value form over function, it’s … well, it’s still a pricey bag! Having said that it does feel very well made, and is one-of-a-kind in the camera backpack world.

7/10

  • X-Factor

You’ll get compliments. :-) There’s not much else alluring about this bag other than it’s understated looks, but there is something about it that makes one to keep touching it!

8/10

FINAL SCORE: 71/90

GET THE ONA CAMPS BAY

20. Peak Design Travel Backpack

Peak_Design_Travel_Backpack
Capacity: 35L (+10/-5) | Dimensions: 22 x 13 x 9 in (56 x 33 x 23 cm) | Weight: 4.52 lbs (2.05 kg) | MoreInfo: Peak Design Travel Backpack Review

  • Build

100% recycled 400D nylon shell feels tough and rip-proof. Zippers and straps good quality too. Lifetime guarantee is a welcome addition.

9/10

  • Weight

This is the only thing that lets the Peak Design Travel Bag down in my opinion. It’s rather heavy when empty, so packing it to meet carry on limits on some internal airlines is difficult. The weight it largely justified by the amount of features, but still, a slight disappointment.

7/10

  • Fit

Comfortable shoulder and hip straps. Back panel allows you to fold in the sides to increase ventilation by raising the centre padding. Feels good even when fully loaded. Minimal sternum strap does the job.

8/10

  • Looks

I can’t think of any improvements I’d make to the aesthetics of this bag. My preference is black, but the Ash is beautiful too.

10/10

  • Capacity

Dual flaps for storage/separation; side access to camera cube; rear panel conceals straps; dividers in cube.

This is designed primarily as a versatile 45L travel backpack with optional camera insert (the ‘camera cube’), which is available in S, M and L sizes. I managed to fit all my mirrorless camera gear (body + lens attached, 2 primes, 2 flashes and batteries) into the S, leaving the rest of the bag free for clothing, etc.

If you’re not making full use of the upper storage area, you can pinch the top together to create an angled upper, reducing the overall size appearance – can be handy for sneaking through check in. ;-)

9/10

  • Unique Features

Too many to list here, and slightly over-designed if I’m being honest. It all gets a bit overwhelming, so I recommend you get used to just one way of using the features, and sticking with it! Have a look at all the features here.

10/10

  • Ease of Use

It takes a little bit of getting used to since there are so many pockets/sleeves/zippers, but once you’ve decided on what to put where, it’s a very well thought out backpack. Zippers are wonderfully smooth, as with all Peak Design products.

9/10

  • Value for Money

The backpack itself is priced at a premium (see here), and adding in the various Packing Tools (like the camera cube) really starts to push the price up. Slightly hard to justify, despite the great build and unique features…BUT there’s a no questions asked lifetime warranty, so this could be the last backpack you ever need.

8/10

  • X-Factor

Whilst I haven’t ever got any compliments per se, I absolutely love this bag and have chosen it as my travel backpack for destination wedding photography gigs. Despite being entirely stealth and unassuming, it still manages to stand out with a unique design that’s genuinely useful. You’ll want to keep touching it and experimenting with all the zippers and pockets too.

9/10

FINAL SCORE: 79/90

GET THE PEAK DESIGN TRAVEL BACKPACK

21. Tenba Axis 20

Tenba_axis-tactical

Capacity: 20L | Dimensions: 19.5 x 12 x 8.75 in (50 x 30 x 22 cm) | Weight: 4 lbs (2 kg)

  • Build

Modeled after a tactical, military backpack with horizontal MOLLE webbing running across the front, the Tenba Axis features a rubberised water-resistant coating on the sides and upper and a seam-sealed cover for use under heavy rain. Straps are sturdy and well-padded.

9/10

  • Weight

In the 20L iteration I tested, the weight is manageable, even when fully loaded, although not outstanding. It’s fine as a day-pack weight.

8/10

  • Fit

The shoulder straps are height adjustable via a plastic card, which basically loosens the hook and loop fastenings within the rear pocket to allow you to slide the straps up or down. This ensures a snug fit of both the upper straps and the lower hip strap, whatever your size. Great feature, although it does require a fair bit of fiddling initially.

9/10

  • Looks

Cool, understated military-inspired looks spoiled only by a white tripod logo on the rear-front – why, oh why Tenba?! Curiously enough, the tripod symbol isn’t visible on the bag shown online, so maybe I received an odd one.

8/10

  • Capacity

What the Tenba Axis 20 can hold

Can fit 1-2 mirrorless, DSLR or Cine cameras with 5-7 lenses up to a 300mm f/2.8, a laptop up to 15″, a compact drone and a tripod via a reinforced cup on the exterior.

8/10

  • Unique Features

The height-adjustable straps – all camera backpacks need this! We’re all different sizes, after all.

8/10

  • Ease of Use

Getting gear in and out via the rear panel is simple enough. I wish the front zippered pocket zipped all the way down both sides instead of stopping halfway – makes reaching smaller items that have slipped down a little annoying.

8/10

  • Value for Money

Around $200 for a bag of this size seems slightly pricey to me, despite the fact that it’s well made and there’s clearly some thought gone into its design.

7/10

  • X-Factor

Makes you feel a bit like a soldier…if not for the branding. Men might compliment, women probably won’t. :p

8/10

FINAL SCORE: 73/90

GET THE TENBA AXIS

22. Thule Aspect

Thule_Aspect_DSLR_Backpack

Dimensions: 11.8 x 8.7 x 20.5 in (27.9 x 22.09 x 52.07 cm) | Weight: 3.2 lb (1.45 kg)

  • Build

The Thule Aspect is well constructed and the materials feel like they’ll last a good long time. The zippers have glove-friendly pulls, the straps are well padded, and the bag holds its shape enough to stand up on its own. It’s not particularly weather-proof (especially the zippers) and doesn’t come with a rain cover. Size-wise it fits easily in the overhead compartment of most planes and even under the seat of some others.

8/10

  • Weight

One of the big pluses of this bag. At a mere 3.2 lbs the Aspect comes in at one of the lightest camera bags of this size and caliber.

9/10

  • Fit

I found the Aspect comfortable enough. Not quite perfect, but few packs are for me. Still, the straps were easily adjustable and I could get it close enough. The air mesh back panel did add a bit of comfort and breathability.

8/10

  • Looks

The accent colour adds to an otherwise drab exterior. I’m not a huge fan of the prominent Thule branding, though I know this won’t bother most people. Looks great on my back and on my wife’s.

8/10

  • Capacity

The camera compartment on the Thule Aspect has three modifiable fairly deep slots that can hold a DSLR or mirrorless with an attached lens, a couple spare lenses, a speedlight, and a few other accessories. There’s plenty of raw space, but unfortunately the dividers are poorly sized and particularly don’t work so well if you have smaller cameras. Also, the velcro of the dividers doesn’t stick particularly well.

The top compartment is fairly roomy and has multiple pockets inside. Great for personal items or a drone.

7/10

  • Unique Features

Can be easily converted into a simple day-pack by removing the camera compartment dividers. The hip belt comes with zippered pockets which is a huge plus in my book – every backpack needs one.

8/10

  • Ease of Use

Easy to use in almost every aspect. The side-access camera compartment is easy to get to without taking the bag off. The zippers all move smoothly. The pockets in the upper compartment are right where you’d expect them to be. The only difficult part is getting the camera compartment dividers to fit right.

9/10

  • Value for Money

Very reasonably priced at around $130 (latest price here).

9/10

  • X-Factor

It definitely doesn’t look like a camera backpack. The turquoise accents do add to its appearance, and I like the uncluttered exterior. Just wish that the branding was a little subtler.

8/10

FINAL SCORE: 73/90

GET THE THULE ASPECT

23. Thule Covert

Thule_Covert

Dimensions: 17.7 x 7.9 x 21.3 in (44.96 x 20 x 54.1 cm) | Weight: 4.97 lbs (2.25 kg)

Versatile roll-top backpack for the urban explorer’s photo equipment and personal gear.

  • Build

Feels solid and good quality. Nylon outer is water resistant and feels tough to the touch. Built to last.

8/10

  • Weight

Could be lighter, but ample padding and numerous pockets are bound to add to the overall weight.

7/10

  • Fit

Comfortable straps despite minimal padding compared to some other photography backpacks. Back panel provides adequate air flow. Height adjustable sternum strap minimal but does the job. Overall, feels good on both male and female backs.

8/10

  • Looks

Quite ‘busy’ in the looks department – buckles, pockets, zippers…but it’s all functional so can be forgiven. Prominent branding is a little annoying, but ‘Thule’ does have a bit of a cool appeal as a Swedish brand. Doesn’t look like a camera bag.

Some might find the squareness and width of the roll top upper a little odd.

7/10

  • Capacity

Thule Covert backpack

Customisable storage fits up to prosumer DSLR body with small zoom lens attached, plus a DJI Mavic Pro (or drones up to 260mm x 200mm x 100mm), 2 other prime lenses, a flash and smaller accessories. Zip-out divider separates top and bottom compartments. Lots of pockets for further organisation.

8/10

  • Unique Features

There are lots of organisation options inside the pockets on the Thule Covert. Rolltop compartment can be size-customised depending on length of straps.

8/10

  • Ease of Use

Fast and easy to get gear in and out of the Thule Covert, but the plastic buckles are a bit on the stiff side. The loud ‘click’ of buckles may not be suitable for all uses.

7/10

  • Value for Money

Around the $200 mark (latest price here) seems to be the sweet spot for camera backpacks of this caliber.

8/10

  • X-Factor

No other bag I’ve tested looks like the Covert, so thumbs up in that respect. My only gripe from an aesthetics point of view is the prominent branding, but this is just personal preference. Many people love both the look and the functionality of roll tops, and this is one of the better ones. Plenty of 5-star reviews on Amazon.

8/10

FINAL SCORE: 67/90

GET THE THULE COVERT

24. Wotancraft Sniper

Wotancraft_Sniper
Dimensions: 18.11 x 8.27 x 7.28 in (46 x 21 x 18.5 cm) | Weight: 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg)

  • Build

Wotancraft likes to fashion their bags like military goods. The Sniper is built from tough, weather- and abrasion-resistant Cordura fabric (the toughest canvas on the market) which feels like it would last a lifetime. Straps are equally heavy-duty, with all metal fastenings and tough leather accents.

10/10

  • Weight

It’s a small bag and much lighter than the other Wotancraft creations – a common gripe with their goods, despite the fact that tough/rugged usually does mean additional weight. The Sniper is a nice weight to carry all day long.

9/10

  • Fit

At first, I thought the Wotancraft Sniper would be way too small for my back. However, it fits surprisingly well, with the unique ‘shoulder plate’ strap keeping everything well distributed. The size makes it a great fit on females too, as confirmed by my wife.

The rear panel also features a slight padded lumbar support, which is a nice touch for when your load is heavy.

9/10

  • Looks

Wotancraft have made a name for themselves thanks to the unique look of their products, and the beautifully crafted Sniper is no different. This is pretty much as far as you can go from a ‘regular camera backpack’ design, and I love that.

Absolutely no branding on the exterior in sight, the Wotancraft Sniper is unassuming while still standing out from the crowd. I love both the colourways (vintage grey/ash green), and the dark leather accents/metal buckles compliment it perfectly.

8/10

  • Capacity

The Wontancraft Sniper is made for full-frame Mirrorless cameras like the Sony A7 series

The Sniper is intended to be a full frame mirrorless camera backpack. Its slim interior can accommodate a 1 camera like the Sony a7III + battery grip + 70-200mm lens attached, as well as several other smaller lenses, flashes, other personal items and a travel tripod on the outside.

8/10

  • Unique Features

I love the magnetic closures on all flaps which are a quick (and silent) alternative to the zippered pockets that lie beneath them.

The ‘shoulder plate’ does a great job distributing weight to a larger surface on your upper back, rather than two spots on your shoulder muscles. Great engineering, at no cost to the overall look of the product.

The leather accents/metal buckles really add to the functionality and looks of the Sniper – they aren’t an afterthought like on some backpacks, but have been instead integrated throughout the bag really thoughtfully. I especially like the sternum strap which looks great from the front.

The interior module accessories allow you to secure smaller items (wires, earphones, batteries) inside the bag, keeping everything neat and tidy and looking great while at it.

A two piece door flap prevents precious gear from falling out accidentally – a simple but useful addition.

10/10

  • Ease of Use

Due to the heavy duty metal zips, it does require two hands to open and close the Wotancraft Sniper. Other camera backpacks offer much smoother zip operation, but having plastic zips on the Sniper would definitely sacrifice its style. Style over function – up to you to decide.

Once zips are open, getting your gear out via the side access point while the backpack is still on your body is relatively easy.

7/10

  • Value for Money

Make no mistake – Wotancraft make premium products that attract a premium price tag. You’re investing in a one-of-a-kind product that you’re unlikely to see on another photographer’s back at your local camera meet up.

Yes, anything over $400 (see latest price here) is an exorbitant amount of money for a camera backpack, but you’re paying for handmade quality and uniqueness.

7/10

  • X-Factor

You’ll get compliments on this backpack everywhere you go…especially from men…who are in the army. Just joking. It’s a great looking bag that is super tactile – you’ll find yourself just wanting to hold it and open and close the magnetic flaps over and over again click-clack-click-clack – very addictive!

10/10

FINAL SCORE: 78/90

GET THE WOTANCRAFT SNIPER

25. Tamrac Anvil 27

Tamrac-anvil-27

Capacity: 27L | Dimensions: 21 x 12 x 10 in (53 x 31 x 25 cm) | Weight: 4.8 lbs (2.2 kg)

  • Build

I’ve come to expect first-rate construction on bags from Tamrac and the Anvil 27 is no exception. It’s built like a tank and is likely to withstand anything a back-country trip can throw at it. The materials are top-of-the-line, even down to the zippers and buckles.

The foam dividers work really well too. (Tamrac claims that it used over 10 foam types in the construction of this bag!)

10/10

  • Weight

One of the heavier bags on this list due to the heavy-duty materials used in its construction.

7/10

  • Fit

The harness and suspension system is what you’d expect on a hiking/mountaineering backpack – it holds the weight well, and can be adjusted for a smooth, snug fit. The waist belt is thick and takes the weight well. I’ve done hikes up to 4 miles with it fairly well loaded and it still felt comfy.

9/10

  • Looks

Sorry Tamrac, but this is one ugly camera backpack!

6/10

  • Capacity

The Tamrac Anvil 27 camera bag for backcountry exploring

The Anvil 27 has room for everything you need on a wilderness trek, at least as far as photography is concerned. The camera compartment has space for larger DSLRs with battery grips and/or with zoom lenses up to 18″ (35.56 cm) long attached them. There’s plenty of space for extra lenses, flashes, chargers, etc. as well.

Not much room for the non-photography things you’d need on a hike into the back-country – layers, snacks, lots of water, etc., which is surprising, since that’s what this pack seems to have been made for. Holds a 15″ laptop and a tablet as well.

9/10

  • Unique Features

If you like attaching things onto the outside of your bag, the Anvil 27 s arc attachment points hold MAS and SAS components and a variety of other accessories including MOLLE.

Also, the quick release tripod straps work really well.

8/10

  • Ease of Use

There’s only one access point for the camera and that’s a bit of a downer for me, especially when shooting wildlife or when you need quick access to your camera. Other than that, everything works well on this bag. The dividers in the main compartment are particularly easy to customize.

8/10

  • Value for Money

At over $260 (see latest price here), the Tamrac Anvil 27 is rather pricey. However, it’s really well made and can hold a lot of gear very safely. You’re definitely investing in quality that will last a long time.

7/10

  • X-Factor

Nothing that makes me want to keep touching this backpack, and you certainly won’t get compliments on your taste. However, looks aren’t everything of course!

6/10

FINAL SCORE: 70/90

GET THE TAMRAC ANVIL 27

26. Miggo Agua Versa 90

Miggo-Agua_Versa

Capacity: 20L (+3) | Dimensions: 17.7 x 10.2 x 7 in (45.0 x 25.9 x 17.8 cm) | Weight: 4.4 lbs (2 kg)

  • Build

The Miggo Agua Versa Backpack features a unique water resistant design for enhanced protection from adverse weather. Built out of tarpaulin, neoprene, lycra and polyester, everything feels not only water proof but tear proof too – all in all, very solidly built indeed.

9/10

  • Weight

Slightly on the heavier side, mostly due to the solid build quality

7/10

  • Fit

Sat well on both my back and my wife’s. The hip adjuster spreads heavier loads nicely, and the padding on the back panel and all straps felt good.

8/10

  • Looks

As far as a backpack that’s been designed to keep out the elements goes, it’s actually not bad looking! The logo and branding is prominent, but definitely not an eye-sore. I’d opt for the grey highlights over the blue version we received though (grey available here).

7/10

  • Capacity

Miggo_Agua_Versa

Easily fits a large DSLR and up to 3 lenses, plus a multitude of accessories in its zippered and velcro mesh inner pockets, which actually prove really useful for smaller items – everything is hidden beneath the side flap for easy access.

The front zippered pocket is good for larger items like an iPad Mini or notepad, but can be a little fiddly to get into if the bag is packed full. Thanks to the roll top fastening, carry capacity can be expanded to include more soft items on top of your gear.

8/10

  • Unique Features

An integrated USB cord with a built-in cover allows you to connect a portable battery charger, meaning you can quickly plug in and charge your devices safely while carrying the bag. I haven’t seen this on any other backpack before.

9/10

  • Ease of Use

Due to the rigidity of the bag’s fabric (essential to provide that water-resistance), everything feels a bit like you’re handling a stiff bit of tarpaulin. However, access is simple through the multiple entry points, and getting to your gear is fast.

8/10

  • Value for Money

Since this waterproof camera backpack is rather unique in the market, with its ability to withstand a storm and still keep your gear bone dry, I think it’s great value for money at around $150. Definitely not small change, but worth every cent, particularly if you value the contents.

7/10

  • X-Factor

It looks like something a diver would carry, which does give it a certain uniqueness. It may look a bit weird when used in an urban environment, although some may like that – its glossy outer is reminiscent of the popular North Face duffel bags.

8/10

FINAL SCORE: 66/90

GET THE MIGGO AGUA VERSA

27. Manfrotto RedBee

Manfrotto_red-bee

Dimensions: 20.08 x 9.84 x 13.39 in (51 x 34 x 25 cm) | Weight: 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg)

  • Build

The Manfrotto Redbee is made of standard ripstop nylon and comes with a fairly well-padded base. Everything seemed in order with it–from the zipper pulls to the straps and pockets.

8/10

  • Weight

About what you’d expect for a pack this size.

8/10

  • Fit

I really didn’t like how it sat on my back. Couldn’t get comfortable with it – same thing with my wife. Maybe it’s due to the small width and rigidity.

7/10

  • Looks

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder… but I’m really not a fan of how this backpack looks! Others might find the red accenting attractive, though.

7/10

  • Capacity

What the Manfrotto Redbee Camera Bag holds inside

Easily fits two camera bodies with attached lenses (one can be up to 400mm), two extra lenses, and a few accessories. You can even arrange them in way to have quick access to both of them. Fits a 15″ laptop and/or a tablet.

There really isn’t much extra storage space – just a little zippered compartment on the inside of the flap for flatter items (that’s where I put my batteries). The two external pockets are too small to be useful

8/10

  • Unique Features

The 4-point access is pretty cool, especially since you can set it up so both of your cameras are quickly available.

8/10

  • Ease of Use

While the access points boost up the ease of use rating for the Manfrotto Redbee, the lack of external storage compartments and the fact that the laptop and tablet are stored in the flap take it back down. Also, it’d be helpful if you could either detach the waist strap or tuck it in somewhere.

7/10

  • Value for Money

It’s certainly worth it on sale for around $120 (on Amazon here at the time of writing). But the full $199…not so much. There are better options out there at that price.

7/10

  • X-Factor

Sorry to say it but this one’s definitely not my favorite in neither looks nor design.

6/10

FINAL SCORE: 66/90

GET THE MANFROTTO REDBEE

28. Case Logic SLRC-206

Case_Logic_SLRC_206

Capacity: 20L (+3) | Dimensions: 12.5 x 8 x 17 in (31.75 x 20.32 x 43.18 cm) | Weight:

  • Build

From its super-thick cushioned dividers to its rigid hardshell bottom, this bag is built to protect. The tripod straps are beefy and the padding both inside and out is considerable. It even has a memory foam flap that fits over the top of the camera to protect the LCD screen. With all this protection, though, its nylon exterior isn’t water resistant and it doesn’t come with a raincover.

Inside, the main camera storage space comes with a suspension system that holds your camera and attached lens above the bottom of the case. I actually really like this feature, which works well with a medium size lens.

One thing to consider if you’re traveling is that the Case Logic SLRC-206 is not particularly theft proof. The easy access is, well, easy. Still, the bag seems built to last and the construction is sound.

8/10

  • Weight

At just 2.7 lbs when unloaded, the Case Logic SLRC-206 lands squarely among the lightest of the top-rated bags. It’s also fairly difficult to overload, as the bag’s outer material doesn’t really have much stretch. So if packing light is important to you, this is a great bag.

9/10

  • Fit

Felt a bit small on my back, but I think it would probably fit fine on someone smaller or less broad in the back. The padding on the shoulder straps and on the back is ample, so again, it might be great on a smaller person. It doesn’t come with a hip belt, though since the bag itself is light and it’s difficult to overload, this probably wouldn’t be a problem.

7/10

  • Looks

I gotta be honest – I’m not too impressed with this Case Logic’s looks. It seems more like a kid’s school bag than a bag I’d like to be seen on the street with or at a shoot with.

6/10

  • Capacity

The Case Logic SLRC-206 doesn’t really hold a huge amount of gear. That’s good if you want to keep things light, but not so good if you travel with multiple cameras/bulky lenses. Fits 1-2 camera bodies (only one with attached lens), 1 telephoto lens, and 2-4 other lenses. Can also fit a DJI Mavic Pro (or drones up to 320mm x 270mm x 140mm).

The side and front pockets are pretty small–great for things like filters, cables, batteries, and SD cards, but not so great for anything with any bulk. There’s also no pocket for a water bottle.

One bonus to this bag, however, is that the laptop compartment is big enough for a 17″ laptop, where almost every other bag can only fit a 15″.

7/10

  • Unique Features

This bag comes with a rigid, hardshell base that not only can take some impact, but also lets you put it down on muddy or wet surfaces without worrying about getting the bag dirty. Also keeps the bag upright when you set it down.

And again, the hammock suspension for the main camera is pretty cool.

8/10

  • Ease of Use

The top access panel combined with the fact that the Case Logic SLRC-206 stands up on its own makes it pretty easy to get at your DSLR. Changing lenses is not quite as smooth though, as you need to open up the entire second compartment for that. Still, everything works well on this bag, from the zippers to the straps. No complaints.

8/10

  • Value for Money

At around $80 (check price here), this bag is excellent value for the money. It also comes with a 25-year warranty – it’s clear they don’t expect anything to break. And if it does, you’re covered.

10/10

  • X-Factor

Style-wise, this bag just isn’t that impressive.

6/10

FINAL SCORE: 69/90

GET THE CASE LOGIC SLRC-206

How the Camera Backpacks were Reviewed

bag scoring criteria

Each backpack was reviewed individually for its merits and shortcomings

Each camea backpack is marked on the following criteria and given a score out of 10. A perfect 10/10 score is only given when a backpack excels.

Then the scores are tallied up, giving the backpack a final score out of 90.

Here are the criteria against which each bag was scored:

  1. Build – is the backpack built to last? Does it survive the ‘pull the straps as hard as I can’ test.
  2. Weight – is it too heavy to count as carry-on luggage on strict airlines?
  3. Fit – how does it feel on my back/my wife’s back?
  4. Looks – does the backpack look cool?
  5. Capacity – whether it’s 10L or 40L, is it designed in a way to take full advantage of its size?
  6. Unique Features – usually only features I hadn’t seen before/often.
  7. Ease of Use – can you get your camera gear in/out easily?
  8. Value for Money – could it be priced much higher?
  9. X-Factor – do I want to keep using the backpack? Do I get compliments on it?

Obviously, some of the criteria are highly subjective. Whether a camera ‘looks cool’ or not was left to me and my wife to decide, and you may not agree with our taste!

As for ‘Fit’, since I’m a 6ft 4” (194cm) male, my guidance as to how well each backpack feels on my body may not be relevant to you.

To gain a better perspective on ‘Looks’, (as well as ‘Fit’, and ‘X-Factor’), I asked my wife (5ft 7” / 175cm) to weigh in with her opinion too.

In this roundup, you’ll find a mixture of the latest camera backpacks and others that have been on the market for several years – after all, a product doesn’t need to be brand new to be considered great.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose a camera bag?

The most important thing when choosing a camera bag is to carefully consider your individual needs. Think about what you need to carry and what situations you’ll be using the bag for. Maybe you need something waterproof and rugged, something smart and professional, or something small and inconspicuous. These factors are important considerations along with the aesthetics and price of the bag you choose.

What is the top camera backpack?

Our top pick is the Peak Design Everyday Backpack V2. It’s lightweight and durable, expandable and capable of fitting plenty of gear, and has a cool, understated design.

How do you pack a camera for air travel?

If you’re using your camera backpack for air travel, be sure to utilise any padded inserts correctly to prevent your gear from getting damaged. Make sure any breakable items like camera bodies and lenses are carefully stored each in their own padded compartment. In the event of any turbulence or your bag getting jolted around, you’ll want your gear to be snug but not over-cramped.

What should I keep in my camera bag?

That all comes down to what you’re shooting and which size bag you choose; but at a minimum you’ll probably want to keep your camera body (or bodies), several lenses to cover most situations, and extras like memory cards or film, spare batteries, any flash or lighting equipment, and – if you have enough space – a laptop or tablet to do your editing.

Camera Backpack Reviews | Final Words

camera-backpacks-on-kids

Our kids have quite a selection of bags to choose from for school now…

If you’ve made it this far, I’m sure you’ll sympathise with me when I say I’m pretty much sick to death of reviewing bags! (…and so are my wife and kids…)

One thing’s for sure – there’s no shortage of amazing camera backpacks in 2020, and it’s nice to see every brand putting out so many high quality products which are sure to please even the most critical photographer.

I hope this review will help you choose the right way to carry your precious camera gear this year.

Be sure to leave a comment with your own recommendations, and please share this post with a photographer friend – it’ll make me feel a little bit better about devoting so much time to putting it together!

Cheers and happy snapping :-)

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

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

80 Comments

  1. Tess on February 13, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    Hi Mark,

    Thank you so much for the in depth review! It’s very helpful. I have a 20L Peak Design Everyday Backpack but I just don’t think its what I actually want in a camera backpack so I’m returning it and looking to get the Lowepro Protactic BP 450 Aw ii. I’m roughly your wife’s height, what did she think when the bag was fully loaded? Too heavy? Would I be better off opting for the 350?

    Thank you again for all the time and effort you put into this.



    • Mark Condon on February 14, 2019 at 11:36 am

      Sure thing Tess, and great question! The Protactics are great bags, but they are rather heavy. I’d definitely recommend this one, as you said. If you’re on a tighter budget, the version I (here) is also decent too, although the access isn’t as good. Let me know how you get on, and how it compares with your old PD one ;-)



  2. Kerry on February 3, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    Thanks very much for your time and effort into reviewing all these bags… I appreciate it. It’s always so hard to find that perfect bag and now my decision will be a little clearer. thx



    • Mark Condon on February 4, 2019 at 6:01 am

      Ah, glad you liked it Kerry! Thanks for letting me know ;-)



  3. Josh Anderson on January 24, 2019 at 2:38 am

    Howdy!

    Thank you for this review, I spent a long time before Christmas looking backpacks and reading reviews for bags that included a laptop slot, and I thought I’d found the perfect one for me, and my wife ended up getting it for me! The Case Logic SLRC-206. I was so exited, it fit my Df and lenses, my 15.6″ Laptop and cables all so neatly and tidily, and securely.

    Then I put it on. You see, I am 6’4″ 250lbs, and at it’s loosest it was a bit tight, but I figured I’d give it a shot, just have to get used to it, you know? But it seems like this bag was specifically engineered to fall off your shoulders, when I’m carrying it on one shoulder from my car to my front door, no matter how I contort my body, it falls off. Every. Single. Time.

    After a month of fighting with it, I just don’t think this is the bag for me, and since it was purchased within the Christmas window, my return period is still open, so I’m going to be using your page here as my guide for getting a replacement, I do so like that you have included pictures of your 6’4″ self with each bag, so I can more easily gauge it’s size and fit, so thank you very much for that!

    I’m still on a budget, so I’m personally leaning towards that Bagsmart Olympus, but we’ll see how it all shakes out in the end. I just wanted to say thanks, and warn against the Case Logic for any big and tall folk out there!



    • Mark Condon on January 25, 2019 at 11:43 am

      Thanks for the feedback, Josh – will take a closer look at that CL bag. Re. the Olympus, I think you’ll like it – it’s slightly heavier than some of the other backpacks on this list, but really well built, and can hold a lot of gear. All the best!



  4. Victor Zubakin on January 19, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    Great review Mark.

    Can’t agree with you about the looks of the Shimoda Explora 60 backpack. Great pack but I reckon the looks are pretty agricultural – almost enuff to turn me off the pack. The harness system on the Shimoda is awesome – better than F-Stop bags methinks.

    I’m in the market for a 50-60ltr camera backpack & I recently found out about a cheaper option for a large backpack for backcountry use or even maybe a couple of nights camping. It’s the Mammut Trion 50+7 Pro. It’s not a dedicated camera backpack but it has a panel opening on the back where the harness is to allow easy access to your camera gear, and it just fits a large ICU from F-Stop. It has an extendable lid section for carrying extra gear and has attachment points for a tripod.

    Being a dedicated alpine hiking pack, the harness is 1st class, and Mammut gear is renowned for its rugged quality, and it has a removable hipbelt & an internal alloy frame. The hipbelt is adjusted from the outside of the belt inwards just like on Osprey packs – this system works better than the conventional method of adjusting from the middle of the belt as it helps the belt hug the hips. The pack is quite weatherproof with a 5,000mm rating but doesn’t come with a raincover.

    Of course you miss out on a few bells & whistles like numerous pockets that are found on camera bags, but it is about half the price of a large F-Stop or Shimoda backpack, so represents good value. I’ve sourced it online for about $260-$280 AUD.

    Here’s a link to the Mammut website:

    https://www.mammut.com/p/2510-02222-0051/trion-pro/

    This is a link to a YouTube video where Canadian landscape photographer, Adam Gibbs, reviews the pack. Info about the Mammut pack starts at 11mins.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHQNtnPXnIo

    Cheers,
    Vic.



    • Mark Condon on January 20, 2019 at 6:39 am

      Hey Vic, thanks for the interesting comment! That Mammut does look nice, I agree, but styled like any other hiking backpack. I’m still more of a fan of how the Shimoda looks. That’s great you found the Mammut for a good price – let us know how it performs.



  5. Patrick Samson on January 17, 2019 at 7:44 am

    Excellent review. Very thorough and very helpful. Makes me think of turning to a life of crime so I can afford a Wotancraft!

    Just a quick comment on your math though… Some scores as over 80, some over 90, and some over 100… ;-)



    • Mark Condon on January 17, 2019 at 2:35 pm

      haha yeah those Wotancrafts sure are tempting! Thanks for picking up on the scoring errors – maths was never my strong point!!



  6. Jan on January 15, 2019 at 7:19 am

    Is there a reason you didn’t include any Vanguard backpacks Mark? Just coincidence ? Or not to your liking , if so please tell why ?



    • Mark Condon on January 15, 2019 at 8:22 pm

      Hey Jan, I reached out to them and Think Tank (both excellent bag manufacturers), but unfortunately they couldn’t provide me with any backpacks for testing over Christmas. If I get hold of any from them, I’ll consider adding them to the review. Are you a fan of Vanguard?



  7. Clay on January 15, 2019 at 4:21 am

    Once again, an excellent and thorough review of the plethora of backpack options out there for shutterbugs. Like you, Mark, I have owned several camera backpacks in search of that perfect “does-it-all-in-every-situation” pack and I’m still looking. This article has certainly opened my eyes to some options that I might not have considered before. I showed your review to my wife and suggested she could wear one of these packs to help me carry gear around. The withering look I got in reply just reaffirmed that she might not be quite as supportive as your wife is of you!

    One extra bit of information that might be helpful is that I have owned both the Lowepro Photo Hatchback and the Lowepro Fastpack BP 250 AW II and have lost the sternum strap on both of them when they went through a security scan at the airport. It might be design flaw that makes them susceptible to catching and being pulled off inadvertently. Also, when I used the Hatchback as my main tote I could fit an 11″ Macbook Air in the tablet slot quite easily.

    Thanks again for such a comprehensive review and I’m now currently researching what my next backpack will be.

    Best regards,



    • Mark Condon on January 15, 2019 at 6:11 am

      Great feedback – thanks Clay! “suggested she could wear one of these packs to help me carry gear around” – made me laugh!! My wife was getting tired of me making her wear the backpacks for the photos, I can tell you that much! Thanks for the feedback on the sternum straps – I know exactly what you mean, and this is the case with several of the backpacks now I look closer. Let us know which backpack you end up going for!!



  8. […] Finding the best camera backpack that holds all your accessories […]



  9. […] also going to need to choose a camera back or a high-quality backpack for your camera and other equipment. You have to keep your gear protected so choosing the right bag […]



  10. […] or share your thoughts in the comments sections below. Our friend Mark from Shotkit has a great list of backpacks you can browse […]



  11. Yasin ALI on May 26, 2018 at 9:32 am

    Great article with much information I like the lowe pro runner backpack inshallah I am gonna buy that one for my next trip.



  12. Sara de Viajar Lo Cura Todo on April 26, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    What a great article! I am looking for a backpack with rear access for my olympus em5 + 12-40 and that still have enough space for 20-25L of clothing. I would like it to be quite casual (or hiking type) but not very big or bulky.
    Any idea? Thanks!



    • Mark on April 29, 2018 at 1:15 pm

      Thanks Sara! There are several on this list that would be ideal for that amount of gear, but it depends on your tastes/style preference…



  13. Martin on March 21, 2018 at 3:28 am

    F-Stop Loka UL is amazing. 37L carrying mirrorless body, 4 primes, 3 zooms, full flash and accessories all in a medium ICU. Carry on size on all airlines. Just as tough as F-Stop Loka. I also have Ajna when I need to pack clothes. F-Stop has fixed all its supply issues and has great customer service now.



    • Mark on March 21, 2018 at 5:14 am

      Thanks Martin – I wasn’t aware of the supply issues, but agree that the F-Stop range is excellent.



  14. release Backpack Anti-theft – pleasevoteforme on January 26, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    […] Best Camera Backpack in 2018 – Camera Backpacks Reviewed […]



  15. Richard Reader on January 23, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    Hi Mark, have you looked at the Thinktank Shapeshifter series. I’m using the Naked Shapeshifter along with a number of Thinktank pouches, lens changer , Hubba Honey etc. which makes a versatile modular system which can be adapted for different occasions. As I use Fuji mirrorless I can get two bodies, 5 or 6 lenses, filters, batteries etc. in.



    • Mark on January 24, 2018 at 6:56 am

      Hey Richard, they’re great backpacks – I like how slim they are in contrast to how much you can fit in them. As you’re shooting Fuji, I’m assuming you need a lot of space for spare batteries…! Thanks for the tip!



  16. Hilmy M. on November 21, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Really helpful list. The selections of best camera backpack are meticulous and unbiased. Love it, Thanks



  17. kity on October 6, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    you just made my day
    i was planning out with my friends … plus i love photography
    your post have so much information… thanks for helping … thanks for sharing



  18. Alex on September 21, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    This is an amazing article – especially for backpack geeks. Short, well written and fun to read, with good use of imagery and video!



    • Mark on September 23, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      Glad you liked it, Alex! Good luck with your next backpack purchase ;-)



  19. hikingcare on September 18, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    i love this post because it has a complete data.



  20. J on August 10, 2017 at 1:17 am

    Hi Mark, I’m after a comfortable camera backpack for walking/hiking (so a good waist belt is advantageous) but I can’t justify spending over £100 on a backpack, some of the prices on these backpacks are insane. I get that a lot of R&D went into them but still…

    What do you think of using a dedicated hiking pack (something like an Osprey Stratos) with an insert for all the camera equipment? Obviously you lose the ability to quickly get at your camera but it would be better for hiking and it would probably work out cheaper I reckon?

    Thanks



    • Mark on August 10, 2017 at 10:45 am

      I think that’s a great idea J – I use a camera insert or a Domke wrap all the time with regular bags I own. The Osprey series of backpacks are all second to none, so it’d make the most sense if you want a great hiking backpack first and foremost. Good luck!



  21. Martin on August 3, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Great new list Mark. I have the F-Stop Loka and Ajna and will now be ordering the Tilopa. As an experienced outdoorsman and downhill skier all over the world, these are the best photography packs made today IMO. They are very comfortable and extremely well designed. They are hard to order as the company does run out of stock so be careful when you order but man when it arrives, you cannot possibly be disappointed. I have 3 sizes of ICU’s to fit my needs. Expensive set up but with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Was also looking at the Wotancraft bags – stellar quality as well. Just haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Keep up the great work.



    • Mark on August 3, 2017 at 10:38 am

      Thanks Martin. Yes I agree, the F-Stop range are excellent. They’re clearly designed by people who know the outdoors, and function equally as well as backpacks with or without the ICUs as you obviously know. Wotancraft are great too, but very different, and also slightly on the heavy side IMO. However, they’re releasing a new light-weight range later this year, so stay tuned to Shotkit where I’ll review them ;-)



  22. Tom Robak on July 27, 2017 at 6:37 am

    I have PeakDesign 30L. Since 8 months… I highly recommend that backpack to all destination wedding photographers. Maybe it’s not a hipster look, but it do the job!



  23. John Willis on June 27, 2017 at 2:50 am

    Hi, Great Article. Thanks



  24. Craig on June 26, 2017 at 11:01 am

    None of your packs have water bladders. Where do you hike? Where I hike 3 l of water is mandatory. They look cool,but. What about space for sat phone, gps, not to mention first aid kit. Not all of us walk where we can use a cell phone to call mom if we stub our toe.



    • Mark on June 26, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      The post is more of a focus on backpacks for photography than for hiking. Having said that, F-Stop offer great bags for photography that can accommodate bladders.



  25. Damon Chin on May 20, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Hi Mark, thanks for the wonderful list. But I’m torn between the between the Wotancraft Commander and Peak Design Everyday Backpack. I like the looks of Wotancraft but the innovation of Peak Design. If money is no object, which one would you recommend?



    • Mark on May 22, 2017 at 10:06 pm

      I agree with you Damon – much prefer the Wotancraft’s looks, but I have to say that the PD is much more practical.



  26. satrain18 on May 1, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    The U-lock Holster on the Chrome Niko is designed specifically for holding wide bike locks. It is not designed to hold camera bodies or lenses; they will slip right through.
    https://ridebrooklynny.com/images/library/large/krypt_997986_nyfu_07_m.jpg



  27. Stina Gränfors on April 18, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Hi Mark!

    Do you have a camera insert in the herschel on the first picture?



  28. Geoff Wilkings on April 1, 2017 at 5:01 am

    Great review Mark, is there a bag that is similar to this one https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1246871-REG/tamrac_g0500_1979_uinta_30l_backpack_kit.html



    • Mark - Shotkit on April 1, 2017 at 5:55 am

      Thanks Geoff! That’s a nice looking bag – similar in what way? What do you love about it?



      • Geoff Wilkings on April 1, 2017 at 5:59 am

        I’ve been after a bag that I can fit tons of camera gear in that is comfortable and practical. Something more personal for landscape photography or winter photo shoots that I’m trekking in snow or summer mountain top weddings.



        • Mark - Shotkit on April 1, 2017 at 6:48 am

          Ah gotcha. Hmm well if that one doesn’t have any unique features as such, I’d just recommend any of the ones in this post that you like the physical appearance of since many of them fit a lot of gear and are comfortable…



          • Ann H on April 2, 2017 at 12:54 am

            Hey there! Could you recommend a fantastic site for my travel blogs?
            Next Destination: The Black Sea side of Turkey & Cappadoccia



          • Mark - Shotkit on April 2, 2017 at 5:30 am

            Site? What do you mean Ann?



          • Ann H on April 2, 2017 at 8:23 pm

            Mark, I’m working on a travel blog about wonderful places to discover in turkey. I’m selling pics and travel blogs



          • Ann H on April 9, 2017 at 5:13 am

            Photos of Cappadocia are ready. Fresh and original content…contact me if you’re interested



  29. maquilladora a domicilio valencia on February 19, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Nice post!



  30. fotógrafos Paterna on February 19, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Fantástico artículo y gran producto!



  31. David Flynn on January 6, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    I am surprised the Lowepro Pro Tactic BP 350 AW or 450 AW did not get a mention on your list, they have won awards all over the world.



  32. Kim on October 31, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Did you physically handle every bag in this review?



    • Mark on November 1, 2016 at 6:27 am

      Between me and my reviewers we did!



  33. Mark Pool on October 26, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Really well written article, with tones of information, examples and pictures. Thanks for sharing this, you have clearly put a lot of effort into it.



  34. FOTOBOX MIETEN WIEN on October 20, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    GOOD INFO ! THANKS



  35. Dante Busquets on October 18, 2016 at 4:20 am

    To me, the order of the criteria changes a bit, being: 1) Construction/Durability 2) Design 3) Value for Money
    4) Looks.
    Looks is way at the very end of my list because I almost want my backpack to look as uninteresting and crappy as possible. Anything that helps deter thieves as much as possible is welcome. Being from a country with a high crime rate, admittedly makes me high on the paranoia rate, and if I have a lot of eyes on my backpack full of equipment, it makes me very uncomfortable to say the least. I also sometimes go to photograph in countries where camera theft is high, so for me, the least enticing, the better. It might be a great bag, but if there’s Manfrotto, LowePro or recognizable photo brands written all over it, it’s a definite no no.
    Fortunately, I see that there’s a lot of “new” brands, which have chosen to be a bit more discreet, while still making great products.



    • Mark on October 18, 2016 at 11:18 am

      Couldn’t agree more Dante – for me Looks are important, but not to the extent where the bag looks flashy or stands out. I like the stealth, unbranded approach, but still want something a little fashionable or at least not like your typical camera bag so it’s enjoyable for me to carry and use.



  36. Lee Gerstein on October 15, 2016 at 6:17 am

    Ever heard of Thinktank (https://www.thinktankphoto.com/)? Used by professionals more than any other bag. Superb construction and design. Not for backpacking. I have no relationship with them.



    • Mark on October 17, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      Yep I have a couple of Think Tank bags and included a few in this list too https://shotkit.com/best-camera-bags/ I haven’t handled their backpacks so can’t comment, but assume they’re great too. Will no doubt add to this list in the future.



  37. Martin on October 14, 2016 at 3:39 am

    I notice in your opening picture you feature a Herschel Little America. Why did you not feature this bag after you included it in your picture? Just curious. Thanks and keep up the great work on the website.



    • Mark on October 14, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      Hey Martin! Good spot ;-) I didn’t include it as I don’t really consider it a camera bag, even though they’re great bags. I guess you could use it with an insert though…



      • Martin on October 15, 2016 at 10:29 am

        H Mark: Guess what I found in your Best Camera Bags of 2016 section on your website – that’s right a Herschel Little America used by Joann Pai. https://shotkit.com/best-camera-bags/ Thanks for the quick response. Agreed not a dedicated camera bag. Cheers.



  38. Yeshen Venema on October 14, 2016 at 3:19 am

    Excellent list Mark!

    I would highly recommend the KATA and Manfrotto bags. In fact. Manfrotto merged with Kata in 2014 so if you see a Kata bag it will be an old model – they might even be on sale, get ’em quick.

    https://www.carryology.com/bags/manfrotto-interview-kata-merger/

    I use a roller bag from Manfrotto and it’s superb.



    • Mark on October 14, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      Hey Yeshen, ah glad you found this post interesting. I’ve seen the Manfrotto rollers and they look very nice! Will check the KATA ones too. Thanks!



  39. Bent Christensen on October 14, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Agree with the Wotancraft, their bags looks fantastic. The price though kept me from buying them.
    Next year have a look at Peak Designs backpacks. Though I haven’t see them live yet (delivery December), most reviews promises a lot. Having used their Messenger for close to a year now (along with a few other PD products) I am impressed with the quality and usability and expects the same from their backpack.



    • Mark on October 14, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      I have a pre-order Peak Design Everyday backpack on its way and I already know it’ll make an appearance in this list! Cheers Bent! Mark



  40. John bivins on October 13, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    I use a Think Tank Photo Airport Essentials.. With my Canon 1d miii with 24 to 105l tamron 70-300, sigma 50, full size flash and bunch of other stuff, It has a rain cover and movable dividers room for a laptop and ipad and more. Not sure how this did not make the list at the top.



    • Mark on October 14, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      Hey John, ah thanks so much for mentioning the Airport Essentials – I wasn’t aware of this one! Will no doubt add it to the list when I get my hands on a review unit. Cheers



  41. Tarik Ahmet on October 13, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Nice article, I have the Manfrotto Street dSLR Backpack, and it’s a pretty decent bit of kit – though a little on the long side so for the slightly vertically challenged folk like myself, you find it too far down your back. But it fits in so much gear and brilliant for travel as you can fit all your gear (2 bodies 3 lenses in my base) along with laptop (15″ macbook pro) no trouble. Those ONA bags look lush however, maybe a New Year pressie to myself could justify the cost? :) Good one Mark.



  42. Terri Waters on October 13, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    I recently bought the Lowepro Flipside 400 AW Backpack from https://www.wexphotographic.com/ for £89 and I love it.
    It carries everything I need for a shoot and much more. It’s better than my handbag!



    • Mark on October 14, 2016 at 3:24 pm

      Better than your handbag, Terri?! I should hope so! :p I agree with you though – it’s a great bag and probably one that I should have included here…



    • Dave on November 26, 2017 at 11:22 am

      I have it too. Great bag although no laptop slot which sucks!



  43. Bill on October 13, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Hi Mark, you missed a few – I went around this journey in the Spring/Summer and came up with a different (and very practical) answer! https://macfilos.com/photo/2016/7/3/photo-bags-millican-billingham-domke-samsonite?rq=ohyo



    • Mark on October 14, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      Hey Bill, what a great blog post – thanks for sharing! I’ll have a proper read of it this weekend. Looks like you found the best camera bag solution in the end for you then ;-)



  44. Marcel on October 13, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Got 2 bags here :
    https://www.wotancraft.com/en
    Love them…



    • Mark on October 13, 2016 at 2:59 pm

      Ah yes! I was meaning to add the Wotancraft Commander to this list. I reviewed a couple here.