Best Camera Bags

Best camera bags in 2018

For photographers around the world, the search for the best camera bag seems like a never-ending conquest.

At A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Camera Bags

If there’s one thing for sure when building up your photography gear, it’s that you’ll never settle on just one bag.

I’ve been through well over 20 camera bags over my years as a pro photographer, and am still testing new products to find the perfect selection for me. (Note I say ‘selection’ – I could never settle on just one bag!)

Here in 2019, there are so many ways to carry your camera gear – messenger bags, slings, backpacks, rollers, you name it. The problem is just deciding on which ones to suit you and your photography.

Take a look first at my recommendations in each category, then read the camera bag reviews below for a deeper dive into the year’s top products.

Best Camera Bags in 2019

Image Product Features
shk2-table__imagePeak Design Everyday BackpackBEST OVERALL BACKPACK
  • Holds 2 Cameras & 3-6 Lenses
  • Innovative Divider System
  • Sleek, Minimal Design
  • Water Resistant
View Price →
shk2-table__imageAmazonBasics DSLR BackpackBEST BUDGET BACKPACK
  • Holds 2 Cameras & 3-4 Lenses
  • Great Value
  • Removable Interior
  • Comfortable Carry Straps
View Price →
shk2-table__imageDomke F-2 Shoulder BagBEST OVERALL MESSENGER
  • Holds 2 Cameras & 3-6 Lenses
  • Classic Styling
  • Non-Slip Strap
  • Durable Construction
View Price →
shk2-table__imageKattee DSLR Messenger BagBEST BUDGET MESSENGER
  • Holds Camera & 3 Lenses
  • Great Value
  • Durable Construction
  • Stylish Design
View Price →
shk2-table__imageThink Tank TurnStyle V2 SlingBEST OVERALL SLING
  • Holds Camera & 2-3 Lenses
  • Ultra-Lightweight
  • Fast Rotation
  • Useful Stablizer Strap
View Price →
shk2-table__imageAmazonBasics Camera SlingBEST BUDGET SLING
  • Holds Camera & 1-2 Lenses
  • Great Value
  • Minimal Design
  • Durable Construction
View Price →
shk2-table__imageThink Tank Airport AdvantageBEST OVERALL ROLLER
  • Holds Several Cameras & Lenses
  • Ultra-Lightweight
  • Smooth Operation
  • Fits a 600mm Lens
View Price →
shk2-table__imageAmazonBasics Rolling Camera BackpackBEST BUDGET ROLLER
  • Holds Several Cameras & Lenses
  • Converts into Backpack
  • Smooth Operation
  • Exteriror Tripod Straps
View Price →
shk2-table__imageApe Case CubezeBEST CAMERA INSERT
  • Small, Medium or Large Sizes
  • Great Value
  • High-Vis Interiror
  • Lightweight & Compact
View Price →


I’ve categorised these camera bag reviews into the the most popular styles.

Click on the relevant link to skip ahead to each section:

I’ve also added my recommendations for DSLR camera bags and mirrorless camera bags to help photographers looking for something of a specific size to suit their camera system.

Obviously you can use any camera bag designed to carry DSLRs for your mirrorless or compact camera set up, but you might find that the interior is a little too cavernous for smaller bodies/lenses, resulting in you having to ‘fish for’ your gear.

Camera bag manufacturers hesitate to label their products as ‘mirrorless’ for fear of piegon-holing them into one category, but nevertheless, I’ve tried to select the bags that suit smaller systems below.

How to Choose a Camera Bag

Shotkit reviews camera backpacks

Reviewing camera bags takes a toll on the space in our garage!

With all the choice available on the market for photographers, it’s sometimes hard to know where to start when selecting a camera bag.

Here are a few of the factors that I always consider when evaluating whether a bag is right to add to my collection:

1. Size

This isn’t so much a question of how much gear you own, but rather, what gear you need to carry with you on a certain outing or assignment. The reason I own several camera bags, is that I like to select the bag depending on what I’m shooting, and how much gear I require.

2. Type

There’s a time and a place for each of the different types of camera bag. If I’m popping out with the kids to the park, I grab a sling bag that fits my camera and one extra lens. If I’m traveling, I might opt for a camera backpack, to leave my hands free to carry other luggage. If I’m shooting a wedding, I’d use a rolling camera bag to squeeze more gear in, and save my aching back… you get the idea.

3. Design (Usability)

This one’s key. If a camera bag doesn’t let you get your gear in and out easily, it’s not worth your time. I omitted some of the most stylish camera bags from this list, simply because I found them a pain in the a** to use! Function over form… in most cases!

4. Design (Style)

This is obviously very subjective, but I recommend you buy a camera bag that makes you happy to look at and touch each day. Invest a little more on something above the ‘budget’ recommendations, and you’ll get something that a design team has given some thought on, with regards to the looks as well as the usability.

5. Durability/Warranty

You usually get what you pay for with camera bags – spend more on a well-known brand name, and you should get more years out of it. Some even offer warranties, which guarantee breakages for several years.

6. Cost

Another subjective one, but I’d say that you should experiment a little here. If you’ve invested in a pricey brand-name camera backpack for example, try opting for a more affordable sling bag (like this one) – when you’re still not sure what type of camera bag is best for you, spend your money wisely until you’re ready to drop the big bucks.

1. DSLR Camera Bag Recommendations

Despite the growing popularity of downsizing our gear with the latest mirrorless cameras and compact cameras, the most popular format for both pro and amateur photographers is still the humble DSLR.

I’ve picked out the best DSLR camera bags in 2019 which represent great design, value for money, robustness and above all, functionality.

Even the most stylish camera bags need also to be functional. ‘Looks’ are subjective, so I’ve included a range of styles to suit every taste.

Messenger / Shoulder Camera Bags

Messenger camera bags are still the most popular way to carry cameras in 2019.

Despite the entire load supported on just one shoulder, messenger bags allow for quick access to equipment without the need to remove the bag from your shoulder.

Most styles allow you to carry the bag in an ‘open’ state, i.e. with the main flap folded behind the bag, which facilitates fast and easy insertion and removal of gear.

I’ve included a selection of my favourite messenger and shoulder camera bags below, and have also mentioned any Shotkit photographers who currently use each one.

Peak Design Everyday Messenger

peak design best messenger camera bag

Dimensions: 17 x 12 x 7 in. (43 x 30 x 18 cm)
Weight: 2.5 lb (1.2 kg)

Click here for the latest price

The Peak Design Everyday Messenger is the biggest Kickstarter success story for a camera bag in history. Designed by photographers for photographers, this smart camera messenger bag has been brilliantly thought out and executed, deserving its spot in at the top of this list.

Partnering with travel photographer Trey Ratcliff, Peak Design have managed to create what they describe as the ultimate messenger bag for photographers.

The Everyday Messenger features innovations such as the MagLatch closure, the origami-inspired FlexFold divider, a weatherproof expandable protective shell, Anchor-link fastenings to attach to their quick release camera strap system and a hyper-adjusting internally padded seat-belt strap.

Available in 15” and 13” variants to suit the most popular laptop widths (my pick is the 15” version in ‘Ash’), this versatile bag can squeeze in a surprising amount of gear, including a camera, 3 lenses, tripod, laptop and a myriad of other accessories.

[Related: best Sony e mount lenses]

Dedicated clip attachment points and front access panel on the Peak Design Everyday Messenger are designed specifically around the photography workflow, although it has to be said that this messenger camera bag is actually very popular with non-photographers too.

Perhaps this is the reason why Peak Design chose not to include the words ‘camera bag’ in the title – the Everyday Messenger is actually perfect for anyone who needs a functional messenger bag.

Available in stylish ash, heritage tan and charcoal, this bag is for photographers, travellers, commuters and everyone in-between. Check out the full review of the Messenger here.

Used by: Trey Ratcliff


Domke F2 Shoulder Camera Bag

domke f2 best messenger camera bag

Dimensions: 17 x 6.75 x 9 in. (43.18 x 17.145 x 22.86 cm)
Weight: 3lbs (1.4 kg)

Click here for the latest price

Made to carry 2 DSLRs with 6-10 lenses plus accessories, the Domke F2 is part of a hugely popular series of shoulder camera bags by a brand that somehow manages to fly under the radar of most photographers (Domke is part of the Tiffen group).

The Domke F2 is widely regarded as the perfect size of shoulder camera bag – not too big to be unwieldy, but still big enough to fit a wide range of camera gear.

Featuring no less than 12 compartments and pockets, the Domke F2 is constructed of tough, breathable, compressible, waterproofed canvas made to hug your hip closely rather than ‘stand out’, bouncing around like some of the other messenger bags mentioned in this roundup.

domke f2 shoulder camera bag

The wide, robust strap is fully adjustable and goes all the way under the bag for extra strength. There are two large end pockets which are easily adjustable, and big enough to carry accessories such as spare lenses, that you may need close at hand.

Adjustable closures are a handy feature, allowing you to close the bag even when you completely stuff it!

The only polarising feature are the ‘clip-style’ main closures, that take a little more effort to close than velcro would, for example. However, they are also much more robust than velcro.

The Domke F2 blends in perfectly as a travel bag in several attractive colours, and definitely doesn’t shout “I’m a camera bag!” with its styling.

Used by: Dave Hill, Phil Moore, Eric Cheng


Tenba Messenger DNA 15

tenba messenger dna camera bag

Dimensions: 16 x 11.5 x 9 in. (41 x 29 x 23 cm)
Weight: 3 lbs (1.4 kg)

Click here for the latest price

With hundreds of positive customer reviews for the Tenba Messenger DNA 15, it was hard to ignore this hugely popular bag in this roundup.

Not only is the Tenba Messenger DNA 15 great looking, it’s also durable and highly functional which is sleek enough to use for business or pleasure. After all, the majority of these camera bags can also function quite easily as regular bags for non-photographers.

The Tenba Messenger DNA 15 was actually designed to provide the kind of year-round, all-weather, rugged performance demanded by New York City bike messengers, but with an interior that’s tuned to protect delicate cameras, lenses and computer gear.

The front flap of the Tenba Messenger DNA 15 extends over the top of the bag and has a sewn hinge to ensure easy closure and excellent weatherproofing at the corners.

For additional wet weather protection, the Tenba Messenger DNA 15 includes a removable and reversible cover that’s silver on one side to reflect the heat, and black on the other side for stealth and subtlety.

To prevent the bag from sliding forward while riding a bike or running for the bus (like when you get the start time of your photo shoot wrong…!), an adjustable security strap connects to D-rings on the back of bag which anchor it in position behind you.

Special magnetic clips allow blind, drop-on attachment and a unique slide release which Tenba claims is the quickest clip in the world!

The Tenba Messenger DNA 15 is built to house a professional dSLR with 2-3 lenses. The rear padded sleeve will hold a laptop up to 15″, and a second sleeve will protect an iPad or similar sized tablet.

It’s unusual to find such a great looking camera messenger bag that’s also well-thought out and comfortable to use, and for that reason, the Tenba Messenger DNA 15 deserves its spot in this guide.


Think Tank Retrospective 30

think tank retrospective camera bag

Dimensions: 16 x 10.5 x 7.5 in. (40.6 x 26.7 x 19 cm)
Weight: 3.8 lb (1.7 kg)

Click here for the latest price

My full review of the Think Tank Retrospective 30 was actually the first review I wrote for Shotkit, since this was the first camera bag I ever owned.

The Think Tank Retrospective is also the most popular shoulder camera bag amongst all the photographers featured on Shotkit.

Having tested hundreds of bags for Shotkit and for my own photography business, I settled on the Think Tank Retrospective 30, which I find to be one of the best camera bags of all time.

Durable and rugged, but soft enough to be stuffed into tight spaces when necessary (I store mine under my scooter saddle!), the Retrospective 30 allows me to carry 2 pro dSLR bodies with lenses attached, 4 lenses, 2 flashes and numerous other small accessories.

(If you’re looking for a smaller style mirrorless camera bag, the Retrospective 7 is a popular option.)

The silencing tabs are a welcome addition (particularly for wedding photography during the ceremony), allowing the bag to be opened without noise.

The strap is one of the most comfortable I’ve ever come across. It’s also strong and very grippy on the shoulder – essential when carrying the bag for long periods.

The Retrospective is available in several sizes and colours, and more recently, a leather version has also been released.

Whichever style you choose, every camera bag in the Retrospective series features minimal branding for an understated appearance that won’t attract thieves.

Whilst many other camera bags focus on innovative features and quirky aesthetics, the Think Tank Retrospective 30 is a classic, no-nonsense design that just works.

As with all Think Tank products, the Retrospective 30 is built to last a lifetime – I’ve had mine for over 5 years now, and it still looks as good as new,

Used by: Brett Butterstein, Richard Koci Hernandez, Tom Hoops, Damien Lovegrove, Frederick Frognier


Billingham Hadley Pro Shoulder Bag

billingham hadley pro camera bag

Dimensions: 13¾ x 4¾ x 11 in. ( 35 x 12 x 28 cm)
Weight: 2.4 lb (1.1 kg)
Price: Click here for the latest price

Often imitated but never equaled, classic British brand Billingham make some of the most iconic and classic camera bags available today.

With so many different sizes available in their lineup, it’s rather confusing to choose the right Billingham for your needs… but take it from me, the awesome Billingham Hadley Pro is the safest place to start your collection!

As seen on the shoulders of photojournalists around the world, the Hadley Pro is the best selling Billingham bag and it’s easy to see why – the size is perfect for most photographers, both professional and amateur.

Beautifully crafted with clean, elegant lines, hand finished leather and brass detail, the Hadley Pro features a carry handle on top (as well as a shoulder strap) which is reinforced with fibreglass to minimise stress on the bag as you lift it – a small example of the careful thought and engineering put into its design.

The Hadley Pro comes with a removable padded insert (including a lid) made with fabric covered foam that protects your gear from all sides.

You can remove the insert completely to turn the Hadley Pro into a stylish messenger bag for everyday use – this is actually what I do when I want to cram a little more into it, as you can see in the short video below.

The main flap is sculpted around the sides of the opening to prevent rain, snow or unwanted fingers getting into the bag – perfect for street photography.

Like all Billingham bags, the Hadley Pro is made from a three layer fabric with a core of butyl rubber that is impermeable to water. This ‘FibreNyte’ fabric also serves to make the Hadley Pro strong but also lightweight.

The weight of a camera messenger bag is extremely important, due to their being carried on one shoulder. Weighing in at only 2.2 lb (1kg), the Hadley Pro is perfect in this regard.

As for its volume, the Hadley Pro features 2 expansive pockets on the front, large enough for spare flashes, lenses, or even a compact camera. The main compartment is large enough to carry a DSLR with an attached lens, a flash and several other accessories. If you use smaller prime lenses, you can even carry 2 DSLRs with lenses attached.

Built to last a lifetime in one of the most classic, timeless designs, imitated the world over. This is the kind of stylish camera bag you can use for 40 years, then hand down to your children… which is what I intend to do :-)

Used by: Bal Deo, Samuel Docker


ONA Brixton

ONA Brixton messenger camera bag

Dimensions: 13.5 X 10.5 X 5 in. (34.29 x 26.67 x 12.7 cm)
Weight: 3.1 – 4.1 lbs (1.4 – 1.8 kg)

Click here for the latest price

If you’re looking for a stylish camera bag and your preference is to carry on one shoulder, look no further than the fashionable ONA Brixton.

Founded in 2010 in NYC, ONA bags are designed for and inspired by creative professionals, featuring timeless designs that protect your essentials while complementing your style.

The ONA Brixton is available in attractive full-grain Italian leather, or a more practical waxed canvas. I appreciate the aesthetics of the leather version which will age beautifully over time, but my preference is the canvas model due to its weight savings (4.1 lb vs 3.1 lb), and obviously the significant price difference.

Designed to protect a camera, up to three lenses and a 13-inch laptop, four removable dividers make it easy to customise the ONA Brixton to suit your needs, while two front pockets provide room for your lens caps, batteries and small personal items.

ONA Brixton messenger camera bag inside

There’s also a handy magazine pocket along the back of the bag offers just enough room for a tablet.

In this roundup, you’ll notice that I often recommend products that don’t look like camera bags. The ONA Brixton is a perfect example – a messenger bag so easy on the eye that you’ll want to use it everyday.

As with most fashionable camera bags, the only problem you’ll have is choosing the colour – as of 2019, the ONA Brixton is available in 8 varieties, including an all-black Nylon version.


Filson Original Sportsman Camera Shoulder Bag

Filson Original Sportsman Camera Shoulder Bag

Dimensions: 16.0 x 10.5 x 8.5 in. (40.6 x 26.7 x 21.6 cm)
Weight: 4 lb (1.8 kg)

Click here for the latest price

Filson is an all-American purveyor of finely crafted, hard-wearing outdoor goods for the most manly of men!

Their focus is more on clothing, and they have an annoying habit of making great camera bags… then discontinuing them! The Filson Original Sportsman Camera Bag is currently still available on Amazon, but no longer on their site – so hurry up and snag one of the final few!

Built out of 22 oz. rugged twill and 12.5 oz. 100% cotton tin cloth, the Original Sportsman looks and feels as if it can survive anything the great outdoors throws at it.

An especially nice touch are the bridle-leather handles with wrap-around snap grip, much like you find more commonly on high-end holdalls.

Being this rugged and hard-wearing doesn’t really sacrifice weight – the Sportsman isn’t a lightweight by any means, but 4 lb (1.8 kg) for a camera bag of this size is perfectly respectable.

Size-wise, the Original Sportsman accommodates a DSLR, four lenses, and two flashes between padded, removable dividers inside the main camera compartment. It also features a zippered top flap, and plenty of internal pockets for accessories.

A front buttoned pouch and dual side snap-flap pouches with concealed slip pockets offer easy-to-access external options. An interior zip pocket and dual slip pockets are situated at the back of the bag too.

Available in tan and my preference, otter green/tan, this is one bag that’s sure to turn some heads. Equally useful packed full of camera gear or clothes for a weekend getaway, I highly recommend grabbing one of these before they’re discontinued altogether.


Think Tank SubUrban Disguise 30

Think Tank SubUrban Disguise 30

Dimensions: 12 x 10 x 7.3 in. (29.2 x 25.4 x 18.5 cm)
Weight: 2.3 lbs (1.0 kg)

Click here for the latest price

The Think Tank SubUrban Disguise is a series of shoulder bags that are meant to slip under the radar, looking more like business travel bags that are camera bags.

Featuring full-grain leather accents and Think Tank’s trademark subtle branding, the Urban Disguise 30 is my pick of the bunch for its near-perfect size.

Large enough to house a standard DSLR, 2–4 zoom lenses and up to a 10” tablet, the zippered lid is a unique design element that folds away from your body to provide rapid access to gear.

At less than $100, the the Urban Disguise 30 is one of the more affordable camera bags on this list, but don’t let this fool you – like all Think Tank products, it’s built to last and features premium materials, metal hardware and YKK zippers.

I love the thought that goes into organisation of smaller accessories in the the Urban Disguise 30. Beneath the front zippered pocket are numerous slots to house a mobile phone, cables, batteries, pens, notebooks and other easy-to-grab everyday items.

Inside the main flap there’s also a handy see-through pouch to house filters, memory cards or other important gadgets that require a little more protection.

Used by: Penny de Los Santos


Wotancraft Trooper (L)

wotancraft trooper camera shoulder bag

Dimensions: 19.7 x 8.3 x 11.8 in. (50 x 21 x 30 cm)
Weight: 3.7lb (1.7 kg)

Click here for the latest price

Here’s another rugged, handsome camera bag from Wotancraft which is built to last and lifetime and wear beautifully over consistent use. It’s the kind of bag that can withstand any conditions, completely water and abrasion resistant, thanks to its close-weave cordura/canvas body.

What really makes the Wotancraft Trooper stand out is the option to fully customise the interior via the use of modular components, allowing to organise all the smaller items we tend to carry with us day to day.

In addition to innovative organisational options, the Trooper also features two concealed side pockets, 2 front pockets, a rear pocket with rolling camera bag handle slot, and straps that allow you to carry a jacket or tripod on top of the bag.

Particularly impressive is the workmanship that’s gone into making a unique ‘clamshell’ flap-to-interior closure system which gives all the protective benefits of a roll-top camera bag, but with speedier access and without the extra bulk.

I’ll keep this short since you can read more in my full review of the Wotancraft Trooper or get one for yourself by clicking the button below.


ONA Union Street Camera Laptop Bag

ONA Union Street Camera Laptop Bag

Dimensions: 16.5 x 11 x 5 in. (42 x 28 x 13 cm)
Weight: 3.7 – 4.4 lbs (1.7 – 2 kg)

Click here for the latest price

Available in water-resistant, highly durable waxed canvas or sumptuous leather, the Union Street is one of the most stylish camera messenger bags available in 2019.

Looks aren’t all the Union Street possesses. Designed to hold a camera, a 15″ laptop, up to 4 lenses and your personal items, it’s the perfect size for a day’s photography.

Camera bags with laptop compartments seems to be the norm these days, but few do it with as much style as this one. In ONA’s own words,

“The Union Street’s modern styling offers a timeless alternative to the ubiquitous, boxy camera bag we all know too well.“

Similar to the other bags in the ONA lineup, the Union Street is available in waxed canvas of sumptuous leather.

I’m not a big fan of leather camera bags due to their inherent weight, but it’s nice to see ONA providing for photographers who really want to make a statement with something truly unique.

I particularly like the front zippered pocket on the Union Street, with sewn pockets to hold memory cards, batteries, cables and more.

Used by: Kevin Mullins, Robert Hill


Domke F-803 Satchel Shoulder Bag

Domke F 803 Satchel Shoulder Bag

Dimensions: 13.5 x 4.6 x 9.7 in. (34.29 x 11.68 x 24.64 cm)
Weight: 1 lbs (0.45 kg)

Click here for the latest price

This smallest of the Domke Satchel camera bags has gained a large following among photographers who don’t want to call attention to their expensive equipment.

Many describe the F-803 as a bag that manages to slip under the radar with an original design and minimal branding.

Made of hard wearing, waterproof cotton canvas, the Domke F-803 features 2 interior compartments, 2 large expandable cargo pockets with individual weather flaps and a rear zippered pocket.

As with some of the other Domke camera messenger bags, the F-803 features a strong cotton camera strap which runs along the underside of the bag to provide additional strength and stability whilst carrying.

The Domke F-803 is a rugged and functional bag that looks more like a school satchel than your average camera bag, making it perfect for traveling unnoticed.

Used by: Ross Harvey, Nicholas Goodden


AmazonBasics Large dSLR Gadget Bag

AmazonBasics Large dSLR Gadget Bag

Dimensions: 12 x 7 x 9 in. (30 x 18 x 23 cm)
Weight: 1.6 lb (0.73 kg )

Click here for the latest price

Here’s an Amazon own-brand camera bag that made my jaw drop when I saw the price and thousands of 5 star reviews, with many reviewers naming this as the best DSLR camera bag they’d ever owned!

We’re so accustomed to paying top dollar for all the big name brands that’s it’s easy to forget that good quality camera bags are available for much cheaper.

The AmazonBasics dSLR gadget Bag is labeled as ‘Large’, but in my mind it’s more of an everyday type bag rather than something to use professionally with multiple camera bodies and lenses.

Having said this, it does the job of every day walk-around very well.

No matter what equipment you use, the removable interior of the AmazonBasics dSLR gadget Bag can be adjusted to fit a dSLR camera body, up to three lenses and other accessories.

Amazon Basics best camera bags

There’s a padded slot on the inside that fits an iPad Mini or Kindle too. The bag also features adjustable straps on the exterior to attach a tripod.

As with the other camera bags in the AmazonBasics range, the adjustable, heavily padded shoulder strap makes the AmazonBasics dSLR gadget Bag comfortable to wear even when loaded with all your gear.

It’s hard to argue about bag with so many positive reviews, that’s available for around 25 bucks. Get one while they’re still in stock!


Filson McCurry Sportsman

Filson McCurry Sportsman

Dimensions: 15.5 x 9.5 x 8.5 in.(39.4 x 24.1 x 21.6 cm)
Weight: 4 lb (1.8 kg)

Click here for the latest price

Filson, oh Filson. Purveyors of some of the best camera bags for travel… but are so often out of stock! Right now, Amazon is out of stock of the McCurry Sportsman, but here’s to hoping that by the time you read this, it’ll be back on their shelves!

The McCurry is named after Magnum Photographer Steve McCurry, who’s famous for having an insane collection of bags!

When it’s actually in stock, the Filson McCurry Sportsman ain’t cheap, but it looks and feels like a luxury item, oozing quality and craftsmanship.

This is the kind of bag that would probably outlive you, with its tough, weather-proof outer and rugged fixings.

The Filson McCurry features 5 exterior pockets and a divided compartment inside, allowing you to carry 2 dSLR bodies, several lenses, flashes, triggers and whatever other gadgets you want. It’s a seriously roomy bag, and the strap distributes the weight well if you decide to fill it up.

I love how this bag doesn’t look like a camera bag, and even blends into the surroundings nicely, perfect if you’re an outdoorsy type!

Used by: Neville Black


Kelly Moore 2 Sues 2.0

Kelly Moore 2 Sues

Dimensions: 15.5 x 6 x 11 in. (39 x 15 x 28 cm)
Weight: 3.2 lbs (1.5 kg)

Click here for the latest price

As one of the best camera bags that look like handbags, the Kelly Moore 2 Sues is perfect for the fashionable female photographer who’d rather not let velcro and canvas ruin her outfit!

Sporting a sharp redesign and styled like an oversized handbag, the designer clearly thought just as much about how this bag would look as how it would handle carrying camera gear.

The 2 Sues bag can be used to carry a pro DSLR body and a couple of lenses at a squeeze, but where this bag excels is its ability to merge the everyday with the functional.

There’s an ingenious flap for example that houses both memory cards in one section and credit cards in the other.

I asked some female photographer friends to help me review a selection of camera bags designed for women.

The internal ‘basket’ compartment is completely removable, converting the Kelly Moore 2 Sues from a small camera bag into a regular and stylish everyday handbag with ease.

There aren’t a whole host of stylish camera bags for women to choose from here in 2019, but it’s nice to see a few dedicated brands releasing well-designed, good-looking products such as this one.

Used by: Juliet Shayne Lui


Camera Backpacks

Camera backpacks are another popular way to carry gear. Due to their nature, camera backpacks must be removed before accessing contents, but this also means that the bag is ‘out of the way’ – a preference for many photographers.

Be sure to read my super in-depth camera backpack reviews for a more detailed look at some of my personal favourites, but for now, read below to see the most popular camera backpacks on Shotkit.

LowePro Tactic 350 AW

LowePro Tactic 350 AW

Dimensions: 12.13 x 9.06 x 16.93 in (30.8 x 23 x 43 cm)
Weight: 4.40 lbs (2 kg)

Click here for the latest price

If it weren’t for the LowePro branding on the LowePro Tactic 350 AW, you’d be forgiven for thinking this good looking bag was made for the military.

Both on the inside and out, the LowePro Tactic 350 AW features unique functionality which makes this high-performance professional camera backpack one of LowePro’s most popular ever.

If you work frequently in warmer climates, you’ll appreciate the ActivZone back panel and harness, which provides ventilation and comfort for support on the move.

Then there’s the waist belt which is removable to reduce the profile of the LowePro Tactic 350 AW for packing or travel.

LowePro Tactic AW best camera backpacks

In addition, two zippered hip pockets are handily placed, offering space for quick-grab items.

Get versatile with your carry options with 5 modular packing accessories: water bottle pouch, accessory case, tripod cup and 2 cinch straps, which are all included with this backpack.

There’s also a version II of this backpack available here, that offers slightly better access and some other relatively minor improvements.

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

Our favourite is the 350 AW model which can fit 1-2 Pro DSLRs, one with up to a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens attached plus spare flash and a couple of small lenses. If you need a bit extra room, opt for the Lowe Pro Tactic 450 AW which allows you to squeeze a bit more in.


ONA Camps Bay

ONA Camps Bay

Dimensions: 17 x 13 x 6.5 in. (43.18 x 33 x 16.51 cm)
Weight: 3.9 – 4.4 lbs (1.8 – 2 kg)

Click here for the latest price

Another trendy creation from ONA, the Camps Bay is crafted from durable and attractive waxed canvas and detailed with brown leather.

There’s also a more understated black nylon version of this stylish camera backpack.

The ONA Camps Bay is designed to hold a camera with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens attached as well as up to 7 additional lenses, a 17″ laptop and small personal items in the front zippered compartment.

It’s definitely a bag that doesn’t look like a camera bag, which many photographers conscious about their appearance will no doubt appreciate.

The interior compartments of the ONA Camps Bay are fully customisable to accommodate your gear as you like, and removable in case you want to use it as a regular backpack.

With thick padded shoulder straps and a layer of mesh on the back, the Camps Bay can be worn comfortably for long periods.

The only slight downside in my opinion is that it weighs a fair bit, even before you start to load it with your gear – something worth bearing in mine if you intend to carry a lot inside it.

Used by: Max Wanger, Kurt Boomer


AmazonBasics Backpack

AmazonBasics Backpack

Dimensions: 15.59 x 10.94 x 7.24 in (39.6 x 28 x 18.3 cm)
Weight: 2.69 lb (1.2 kg)

Click here for the latest price

I must say I was in two minds as to whether to include the AmazonBasics Backpack in this list. It must be the snob in me to immediately turn my nose up at own brand items, especially cheap camera bags!

However, I decided to give the AmazonBasics Backpack a closer look after a recommendation from a photographer, and am so glad I did. The 4,500+ positive reviews on Amazon blew me away for a bag that’s under $30!

The AmazonBasics Backpack may not win any design awards, but it’s well proportioned, inconspicuous, durable and judging by what the reviewers rave about, very functional too.

It holds and protects 2 smaller dSLR camera bodies, 3-4 lenses and numerous additional accessories. The front panel zips open to reveal plenty of space on the inside to secure all your camera equipment.

The outside of the AmazonBasics Backpack has two side pockets with flaps (great for keys, iPhone and hard drive) and two large zippered pockets (great for manuals, notebooks, or even a light jacket or rain poncho).

The side straps and flexible cord on the front can hold a travel tripod or umbrella.

The AmazonBasics Backpack‘s adjustable, heavily padded, shoulder straps and wide, adjustable waist and chest straps make the backpack comfortable to wear even when loaded with all your gear.

It may not be one of the best camera backpacks out there, but for under $30, this is definitely a bargain!

I have to say, it’s probably the camera backpack that you should buy first to use for a year or 2 to see what else you actually require in a camera bag. Maybe it’ll be all you need!


Chrome Niko Pack

Chrome Niko Pack

Dimensions: 8 x 11 x 17.75 in. (20.3 x 27.9 x 45 cm )
Weight: 3.3 lb (1.5 kg)

Click here for the latest price

This rugged, tough, weather-proof backpack with customisable interior and padded laptop compartment is popular for both amateur and professional photographers.

It’s a well-proportioned, good-looking backpack that oozes high-quality, and has a rather unique method of access – see image below:

Chrome Niko best camera backpack

The quick-access, top-loading compartment makes it easy and fast to get at your gear. The outside of the bag features industrial-strength hook and loop fastener straps to secure a tripod or other small item like a skateboard.

The Chrome Niko Pack holds a considerable amount of gear (e.g. Canon 5D Mark 3, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8, Canon 24-105mm f/4, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8, Canon 50mm f/1.2, Macbook Pro plus memory cards and cables.

Used by: Max Thompson, John Towner


Peak Design Everyday Backpack

Peak Design Everyday Backpack

Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 7.75 in. (51 x 33 x 20 cm)
Weight: 2.9 – 3.4 lb (1.35 – 1.5 kg)

Click here for the latest price

Anyone else a bit tired of hearing just how good Peak Design bags are?! With no less than 4 products in this list, they’re starting to dominate the market!

Despite their global omnipresence, it’d be unfair of me not to mention the Peak Design Everyday Backpack… especially as there’s even a 6-month review of it right here on Shotkit.

Peak Design have been wise in their choice of naming convention for their line of bags – nowhere in any of the titles do the bags mention the words ‘camera bag’. And herein lies their strength – Peak Design bags are flexible enough to be used for everyday use, whether you plan to carry camera gear or not.

As with all the products in the line, the Peak Design Everyday Backpack, features FlexFold dividers which allow easy customisation of the interior space to suit your needs. Where other bags use a mixture of bulky, padded velcro dividers, Peak Design’s solution is more compact, elegant and versatile.

The dividers are just the start of a long list of innovative features on this camera backpack – it really shows what’s capable when a talented design team puts their brains together on a project.

Peak Design Everyday Backpack Black-1

Available in 4 colours, the most recently released all-black version of the Everyday Backpack is my current fave.

In terms of carry capacity, the 30L version of the Peak Design Everyday Backpack can fit a helluva lot of gear – pro-size camera body with lens attached, multiple lenses, flashes and more. The 20L version is good too for those with smaller frames, but I’d recommend the 30L just for the extra space.

Fans of organising gear so that everything has its place (i.e. me!) will love the multiple pockets and sleeves which ensures everything can have its place.

If you want a stylish camera backpack which is comfortable to carry and offers multiple organisation options, the Peak Design Everyday Backpack is second to none.

The only tough decision is choosing a colour – tan, ash and charcoal all look great, and there’s a new black version which is my personal favourite.


Evecase Classic Canvas Laptop Backpack

Evecase Classic Canvas Laptop Backpack

Dimensions: 15 x 12.5 x 7 in (38 x 32 x 18 cm)
Weight: 3.3 lb (1.5 kg)

Click here for the latest price

Evecase is probably a manufacturer that you’ve never heard of, but it’s one that should be on your radar in 2019.

Anyone who wants the looks of the more established but somewhat expensive brands out there (I’m looking at you Langly!), but can’t justify the price tag, the Evecase Classic Canvas Laptop Backpack is an adequate substitute.

In fact, ‘adequate’ is a bit of an understatement, judging by over 150 positive customer reviews on Amazon!

The Evecase Classic offers much more than just good looks – featuring an adjustable interior which can hold a camera body, 2-5 lenses, up to a 14” laptop, tripod, and plenty of other photography accessories, this fashionable canvas dSLR backpack has a discreet appearance that won’t stand out as a camera bag whilst you travel.

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

Camera bags with laptop sleeves sometimes neglect adequate padding, but thankfully this isn’t the case with this Evecase model – the closed-cell, dense foam padding is shock-proof and secure.

Evecase camera bag

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

I particularly like the multiple accessory pockets, allowing you to neatly organise your smartphone, charger, battery packs, memory cards, business cards and more. There’s 1 large top front pocket and 4 bottom pockets, allowing you to be as OCD with your organisation as you wish!

Additional useful carry options include bottom tripod holder straps and a stowaway side pocket, allowing you to carry a water bottle or small umbrella. There’s even a waterproof rain cover to protect your previous haul from the elements.

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

If you’re looking for a great looking camera backpack that won’t break the bank, this should be at the top of your list.


Filson Harvey Backpack

Filson Harvey Backpack

Dimensions: 15.5 x 18 x 4.5 in. (39.3 x 45 x 11.4 cm)

Click here for the latest price

Arguably the best camera backpack for photographers who don’t want to look like photographers, the Filson Harvey will turn heads with its stylish good looks. Don’t get your hopes up too high though – read on to avoid disappointment…

Available in green, tan and grey, the Filson Harvey features water-resistant, tempered cotton with bridle leather trim, giving it a distinct, military like appearance.

Storage wise, the Filson Harvey is able to house a dSLR with attached lens and flash inside a removable camera insert, a 17″ laptop inside a dedicated sleeve, accessories in an interior zipped pocket and in the dual front pouches which feature snap flap closures.

The only issue I have with this backpack (and several of Filson’s other creations) is that it’s very difficult to find in stock. At the time of writing in 2019, it’s currently unavailable, but I’ve still linked to it just in case of a restock.

Used by: Nordica, Gabe McClintock


F-Stop Dalston

F-stop Dalton in Salmon and Grey

Dimensions: 18.9 x 11.4 x 6.3 in. (48 x 29 x 16 cm.)
Weight: 1.8 lbs (.8 kg)
Price: Click here for the latest price

A super-light, good looking bag with a simple, functional design, the F-Stop Dalston is the perfect around-town bag. At only 0.8kg / 1.8lbs, it’s truly feather-light.

At only 21 litres, the F-Stop Dalston is probably best as a mirrorless daypack with just enough room to help you carry only what’s absolutely necessary for the day’s city adventure.

But lightness isn’t its only feature – it also looks cool. It’s unusual enough to turn heads, but doesn’t scream “camera bag.” It’s frankly just good looking and well-designed.

Capacity-wise it’s remarkably spacious for a smaller bag – I was able to squeeze in a Nikon Z7, Nikon D750, a 70-200, 35mm, 13″ Macbook Pro and various other small gizmos. The roll top offers expandable storage in the main section and the light fabric is also a bit expandable.

The F-Stop Dalston isn’t designed to be loaded with gear, though. It’s really meant as an ultra-light city bag. It wouldn’t be particularly comfortable carried around fully loaded for extended periods of time.

Still, out of all the backpacks I tested, the F-Stop Dalston is the one I’ve chosen to use as my everyday backpack – its lightness, simple design and good looks really set it apart.


LowePro Vertex

LowePro Vertex

Dimensions: 12.6 x 10.2 x 18.5 in. (32 x 26 x 47 cm)
Weight: 7.3 lb (3.3 kg)

Click here for the latest price

The solidly made, rather unusual looking Vertex 200 AW can hold up to 2 pro dSLR bodies, 6 lenses, a 15″ laptop, tripod and a whole host of other smaller accessories.

Thanks to the its depth, the Vertex 200 AW can hold a dSLR with a large zoom lens still attached – often a convenient choice for photographers who want to save time attaching lenses.

The interior compartment features plenty of configurable padded dividers, as is the norm for most camera bags these days.

LowePro Vertex camera bags

One extra that’s specific to the Vertex is the ‘Glide-Lock’ system, which allows you to add accessory pouches at various heights along the sides and front of the bag.

The harness system is comfortable to use, with 8 adjustment points, a well-padded waist belt and stretchable chest strap that can expand with your chest as you breathe. This is actually a really nice touch, especially when the bag is full of gear and the chest strap needs to be tight.

Used by: Phil Moore


LowePro Flipside AW Pro ii

LowePro Flipside AW Pro

Dimensions: 11.9 x 10 x 18.1 in. (30.23 x 25.4 x 45.97 cm)
Weight: 2.76 lbs (1.25kg)

Click here for the latest price

Made for outdoors enthusiasts who want to carry a couple of camera bodies plus lenses and accessories, the Flipside is a practical solution that is secure and comfortable to wear.

A nice feature are the silent zipper pulls, useful for wedding photography or wildlife photography, where being discrete is essential.

The best feature of the LowePro Flipside is its back-entry compartment, which features a double zip that accesses the main storage area, which can’t be opened while the pack is being worn. This is great for theft prevention.

When you need your gear, you simply unclip the chest strap, slide off the shoulder straps and swing the bag around to the front of the body. It will hang there thanks to the waist strap, providing you with a ‘table’ on the reverse of the bag, and direct access via that rear zip to your gear.

Also included with the LowePro Flipside is an all weather cover which pulls out from a slot as the base of the pack.

Available in two sizes (300 & 400), this is a popular camera backpack with a unique access feature which definitely sets it apart from all the others in the market.

Used by: Dane Tozer, Ivan Pedretti


LowePro Pro Runner Carry-On Camera Backpack

LowePro Pro Runner Carry On Camera Backpack

Dimensions: 12.4 x 5.51 x 18.11 in (31.5 x 14 x 46 cm)
Weight: 5.35 lbs (2.43 kg)

Click here for the latest price

This is one of the most popular dSLR camera backpacks on Amazon. Available in 4 sizes, my pick is the newly released Pro Runner x450 AW II, which gives the best bang for the buck, allowing you to carry the most amount of camera gear.

The Pro Runner x450 AW II allows you to hold up to 2 Pro dSLRs with attached lens (even big zoom lenses such as the 70-200mm f/2.8 or 300mm), 5-6 extra lenses and speedlights/accessories.

All sizes include a discreet, travel-friendly profile, free of dangling parts, which makes them easy to wear and to stow in overhead lockers.

The interior features a fully padded and adjustable camera compartment which, depending on the size you go for can hold a pro dSLR camera with lens attached and several other lenses, flashes and accessories.

As with all LowePro products, the straps on the Pro Runner provide excellent comfort, distributing the weight well. An all weather cover is also included.

Used by: Samuel Luna, Carla Coffing, Theilen Photography


MindShift BackLight

MindShift BackLight

Dimensions: 13.8 x 22.4 x 10.2 in. (35 x 57 x 26 cm)
Weight: 4.9 lbs (2.2 kg)

Click here for the latest price

Mindshift is the sibling company to Think Tank, so you can expect top quality and innovative features from their range of bags.

The MindShift BackLight is rugged but elegantly designed, looking more like a regular backpack that may be concealing thousands of dollars of camera gear.

Whether you opt for the 27 litre or 36 litre version of the MindShift BackLight, the bag is designed to have ample room for your regular daypack gear too – extra layers, food, books etc., whilst still being to fit in a surprising amount of cameras/lenses and other photography equipment.

You’ll be able to squeeze in 6 lenses, two camera bodies, flashes, spare batteries, filters and even a 15″ laptop inside this spacious hiking camera backpack.

Back-panel access on the MindShift BackLight means that you can get to all your camera gear without taking the bag off, allowing you to work out of the bag without getting the bag dirty.

You can change lenses or just snap a quick photo simply by spinning the bag around to the front of your body while the waist belt is still secured.

Rear-panel access on the MindShift BackLight also adds security when traveling since your camera gear is protected behind your back.

Outer attachments include large zipper pulls, ice axe loops, daisy chains, water bottle holder, a tripod holder and various other additional lash points, meaning you can easily expand the carry capacity.

Another nice touch is the built in seam-sealed rain cover for when the outdoor elements are against you. The MindShift BackLight is backed by a lifetime limited warranty giving you additional peace of mind. Available in green or black.


Tenba Shootout Backpack

Tenba Shootout Backpack

Dimensions: 12 x 15.75 x 8.5 in. (30 x 40 x 22 cm)
Weight: 3.2 lb (1.5 kg)

Click here for the latest price

In creating each of the Tenba Shootout bags, Tenba’s goal was to design the most comfortable backpack on the planet – something that can be used for hardcore hiking but still look professional enough for client work.

The unique Pivot Fit™ straps on adjusts automatically to different shoulder shapes, and each strap is covered in a moisture-wicking smooth lycra that moves easily and doesn’t create friction on clothing.

Tenba Shootout bags are made of water-repellant, durable and tear-resistant nylon and feature numerous velcro inserts allowing you to customise the inside as you wish. They’re available in a variety of sizes from 18L up to 21L, with the 18L version being the most popular.

Used by: Don Giannatti


Kattee Professional Canvas dSLR Backpack

Kattee Professional Canvas dSLR Backpack

Dimensions: 11.81 x 5.12 x 16.93 in. (30 x 13 x 43 cm)
Weight: 2.2 lb (1 kg)

Click here for the latest price

I must admit I’d never heard of Kattee until recently but I thought I’d better include this camera bag on this list due to the great reviews it’s been getting on Amazon.

Available in yellow, black or blue canvas in the main body and PU leather on the bottom, the Kattee Professional Canvas backpack may look like a simple school bag, but it’s actually a very well thought out small camera bag.

Aside from the main compartment, there’s also a zipper wall pocket, an open wall pocket and two pen loops in the upper backpack.

The shoulder straps are air cushioned and its back is ventilated – perfect for those who travel a lot in warmer climates.

At the bottom of the Kattee backpack sits the padded camera case, large enough to fit any dSLR camera body plus a couple of lenses. There’s also a handy built in rain cover and room for a 13″ laptop.

For under $50, this DSLR backpack is one cute camera bag that doesn’t label you as a photographer, by remaining stylish and unassuming.


Herschel Little America

Herschel Little America

Dimensions: 19.5 x 11.25 x 7 in. (50 x 29 x 18 cm)
Weight: 2.1 lb (0.96 kg)

Click here for the latest price

Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be a Herschel camera bag in production yet. However, I’m a big fan of using regular bags in conjunction with camera bag inserts, or camera wraps to carry photography gear, and decided to include this regular backpack since I’ve noticed a few photographers on Shotkit using it too.

Using a regular bag such as this good-looking Herschel Little America is a ‘stealth’ option for carrying your expensive gear, and also it gives infinite possibilities, meaning that you can use your favourite (and often best looking) bag as your camera bag.

The Herschel Little America is one of the most popular backpacks around thanks to its timeless design, spacious interior and durable construction.

Featuring a 17″ laptop compartment and a cavernous internal space, you’ll be able to stuff a couple of cameras, lenses and lots of accessories in this stylish backpack. The padded shoulder straps are much more comfortable than your average camera backpack too.

The Herschel Little America is available in a myriad of colours – my choice is black with brown trimmings.

The interior is the signature red/white candy stripes common to Herschel bags, and offers an internal media pocket with headphone port.

It’s worth noting that aside from padding to protect the laptop sleeve, there’s no additional padding on the Little America, so make sure to invest in a camera insert or wrap when transporting your gear.

Used by: Joann Pai


2. Mirrorless Camera Bag Recommendations

mirrorless camera bags shotkit

A selection of the mirrorless camera bags I rotate for use with my Sony a7III

The popularity of mirrorless cameras is growing everyday and doesn’t look to be stopping. The mirrorless vs DSLR debate continues, but there’s no denying the fact that mirrorless cameras are the future of photography.

Whilst it’s unusual for a bag to be marketed specifically as a mirrorless camera bag, the carrying options I’ve recommended below definitely lend themselves better to the small format.

I’ve picked out the best bags which represent great design, value for money, robustness and above all, functionality.

Peak Design Everyday Sling 5

Peak Design Everyday Sling 5

Dimensions: 12.2 x 7.48 x 4.33 in (31 x 19 x 11 cm)
Weight: 1.2 lbs (0.5kg)

Click here for the latest price

Released just last year, the Peak Design Everyday Sling 5L is in my mind the perfect sling bag for a mirrorless camera.

In the brand new stealth all-black colourway, this 5 litre camera sling bag includes 2 of Peak Design’s trademark FlexFold dividers which offers instantly customisable organisation for all your mirrorless camera gear.

As the smallest, lightest bag in the Peak Design Everyday Line, the Everyday Sling 5L is ideal for organisation, transport, and quick-access of essentials, whether you’re carrying your camera, drone, or everyday gear. (I use mine to carry my Fuji X100F mirrorless camera and Mavic Pro Platinum.)

Peak Design Everyday Sling 5

Our son Harry inspecting the Peak Design Everyday Sling 5L

Wearable as a cross-body sling or a waist bag, the Sling’s convertible strap features a quick-adjuster that you can loosen when accessing gear and tighten when actively hiking or biking.

A weatherproof zip provides quick inner access without removing the bag from your body.

As a mirrorless camera bag, the Peak Design Everyday Sling 5L can fit one mirrorless body with lens attached, one spare lens, numerous batteries and memory cards and any tablet up to 11”.


ONA Bowery

ONA Bowery

Dimensions: 10.5 x 7.0 x 4.0 in (26.7 x 17.8 x 10.2 cm )
Weight: 1.7 – 2 lbs (0.77 – 0.9 kg )

Click here for the latest price

Maker of cool camera bags for the image conscious photographer, ONA is becoming more and more popular thanks to stylish and versatile mirrorless camera bags such as the Bowery.

Thanks to its compact size, the Bowery can be used as a shoulder bag to carry your camera gear one minute, then with the strap removed, as an insert and bag organiser inside a larger bag.

It’s kind of like a cross between a camera bag and a camera bag insert.

You’ll be able to fit a smaller DSLR, rangefinder or mirrorless camera and one lens – perfect for street photography.

To protect your camera gear, the Bowery is padded with closed cell foam, designed with top-quality water-resistant waxed canvas and detailed with full-grain leather, antique brass hardware and a secure front closure.

In its canvas form, the ONA Bowery is available in several colours, or for the more discerning, their leather camera bag comes in gorgeous antique cognac leather – it’s slightly more expensive, but it’s also the best leather camera bag for mirrorless gear that I’ve come across.

Used by: Dixie Dixon, Benj Haisch


Holdfast Roamographer (Small)

Holdfast Roamographer Small

Dimensions: 14.5 x 9 x 8 in. (36.8 x 22.9 x 20.3 cm )
Weight: 5.5 lb (2.5 kg)

Click here for the latest price

Whilst we’re still on the topic of stylish camera bags, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention something from Holdfast Gear, purveyors of some of the finest handmade leather camera bags you’re ever likely to come across.

I wrote a review of the Holdfast Roamographer when it was released a few years ago in its large format. I found it to be a beautifully crafted bag that would suit the image-conscious photographer looking for something entirely unique.

However, I also found the original Roamographer slightly heavy for my own uses, which is why I was so happy to see the release of this scaled-down version – the Roamographer Small.

Whilst still retaining enough rugged manliness as a leather camera bag to prevent from looking like a handbag, the Roamographer small manages to fit inside a decent selection of mirrorless camera gear, keeping it protected in luxurious style.

At this price point it’s definitely not a bag for the masses, but rather, a unique, beautifully hand-crafted product for the discerning photographer who wants a beautiful and unique way to carry camera gear.


Holdfast Explorer Lens Pouch

Holdfast Explorer Lens Pouch

Dimensions: 10 x 9 x 5 in. (25.4 x 22.9 x 12.7 cm)
Package Weight: 2.7 lb (1.2 kg)

Click here for the latest price

The Explorer Lens Pouch from Holdfast is an all weather bag made from waxed canvas with a leather trim, insulated with plush sheep wool. It is specifically designed to be carried on the MoneyMaker dual camera strap, but with the attached D-rings, it can be attached easily to a variety of other camera straps too.

The four outer pockets on the Explorer Lens Pouch include a snap-shut pocket for wallet and other small items; a large front pocket for camera accessories; a side pocket for a flash or water bottle, and a zipper pocket on top for memory cards and other flat items.

As with all Holdfast goods, the Lens Pouch is strong, rugged, great looking and practical.

Just because this bag has the word ‘lens’ in the name doesn’t mean it can’t be used to carry a camera body – the fluffy, dense sheep wool lining provides the ultimate protection for a mirrorless camera and lenses, even allowing you to carry them with no lens cap or base cap whatsoever.

Available in three stylish colours, the Holdfast Lens Pouch competes with dedicated mirrorless camera bags as one of the most unique, robust and functional ones of the lot.


Think Tank Speed Freak V2

Think Tank Speed Freak V2

Dimensions: 12.5 x 10.5 x 8.5 in. (31.8 x 26.7 x 21.6 cm)
Weight: 2.5 lbs (1.1 kg)

Click here for the latest price

The Speed Freak V2 is part of the hugely popular Think Tank Speed Convertible series of hybrid shoulder bags/beltpacks.

It’s a no-nonsense design, compact enough to make it an excellent mirrorless camera bag option, or a way to carry a standard DSLR with up to a 70-200mm lens.

One of the most unique features of the Speed Freak V2 is the integrated waist belt, which is conveniently concealed in two zippered pockets on either side of the bag.

This allows it to be carried on the shoulder, or with weight distributed evenly around your hips, which may be a preference for all-day usage.

Using the flexible belt around the waist also provides better stability while walking, especially when used as well the shoulder strap.

The exterior is coated with a durable water-repellent, providing the strength and durability associated with all Think Tank Photo products.

Used by: Vittore Buzzi


LowePro Event Messenger 100

Lowepro Event Messenger 100

Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 8.5 in. (22.0 x 14.0 x 21.5 cm)
Weight: 0.88 lb (0.40 kg)

Click here for the latest price

This simple and impressively cheap camera bag features 2 main sections: a front zipper pocket and a covered main compartment.

The front zipper is designed for small items and easy access, whilst the main section offers a large compartment with padded dividers for your mirrorless camera gear.

As with the Think Tank Retrospective line of bags, the LowePro Event Messenger 100 has a neat way of silencing the velcro fastenings for use during church weddings or other environments where silent operation is necessary.

The velcro features tabs which can be folded over, preventing the ripping sound of the hook and loop fastening.

Size wise, the Event Messenger 100 can carry up to a pro-sized mirrorless camera, 2-3 lenses and a flash. There’s also a dedicated space for a tablet.

It’s great to be able to take advantage of the compact form factor of the mirrorless camera system in such an affordable camera bag. Click the button below to read more reviews on this impressive little offering from LowePro.

Used by: Fabio Camandona


Rolling Camera Bags

For professional photographers who need to carry a lot of camera gear, a rolling camera bag is usually the best option. Being able to roll heavy loads is preferable to having to carry it, after all.

After 2 years of breaking my back with a few of the other bags mentioned in this list, I switched to a rolling camera bag and have never looked back. I realised that my tiredness after a day of shooting was mostly related to carrying my bag!

I’ve gone way more in depth with my rolling camera bag reviews, so be sure to check that out if you’re interested.

Think Tank Airport International V3

Think Tank Airport International V3

Dimensions: 14 x 21 x 8 in. (35.6 x 53.3 x 20.3 cm)
Weight: 11.5 lb (5.2 kg)

Click here for the latest price

The third generation of Think Tank’s award winning rolling camera bag is the gold standard for camera gear transporters.

The version 2 of the Airport International was a hugely popular case, used by numerous photographers featured on Shotkit.

With the V3, Think Tank has listened to its customers and added small enhancements such as user-replaceable parts (wheels, handle, wheel housings, feet and kick plate), a newly reinforced telescoping handle, greater durability and a padded, lockable pocket for a 15” laptop.

The Think Tank Airport International V3 is designed to take full advantage of the carry on space for US International flights. It can hold two gripped DSLRs with lenses attached, plus two to four additional lenses (up to a 500mm f/4 or 400mm f/2.8), a 15” laptop, and a 10” tablet.

Other unique features include a serial number for Lost & Found registration; extra tall wheel housings protect your bag from scrapes and scratches; stretchable front pocket; tripod mount pocket on side; interior zippered pockets for batteries, memory cards, filters and accessories, and so much more.

Used by: Rik Pennington, Davina & Daniel, Nate Hassler, Jeremy Cowart


Think Tank Airport Roller Derby

Think Tank Airport Roller Derby

Dimensions: 14 x 22 x 9 in. (35.6 x 55.9 x 22.9 cm)
Weight: 10.5-11 lb (4.8 – 5 kg)

Click here for the latest price

An apt name for a bag that can navigate itself so easily on its 4 dual wheel sets (8 wheels!), the ThinkTank Roller Derby is a joy to use.

You’ll be able to ‘skate’ in between obstacles when you’re in a hurry, typically in the airport. Roll it upright at your side like a modern suitcase or tilt it to use the back wheels. You can even use the side wheels to roll through narrow airplane aisles – a really useful feature.

Ideal for US domestic and international travel, as well as and on-location assignments, the ThinkTank Airport Roller Derby‘s high-capacity provides easy access to 2 DSLRs, a tripod, 15″ laptop, multiple lenses, flashes and more.

Used by: Max Wanger, Tom Hoops, Art Meripol


LowePro Pro Roller x200 AW

LowePro Pro Roller x200 AW

Dimensions: 14 x 9 x 22 in. (35.5 x 22.9 x 55.9 cm )
Weight: 12.7 lb (5.8 kg)

Click here for the latest price

It’s rare for camera bag reviews to not mention the highly reputed brand LowePro. As one of the market leaders in the industry, LowePro are world-famous for their high quality, durable and functional camera bags which are hugely popular amongst amateurs and professionals alike.

Strong and resilient rolling camera bags are worth their weight in gold. To be able to carry so much camera gear with ease and take every bump and knock in their stride, it’s worth investing in a really good one.

The LowePro Pro Roller X200 AW ticks all the right boxes, and has been a favourite for travelling photographers since its release.

The most unique feature of this rolling camera bag is the removable ‘Reserve Pack’, which unzips from the hard-shell exterior to become a backpack, creating two separate cases. This means the carry capacity of the Pro Roller X200 is effectively doubled.

Storage wise, the Pro Roller X200 allows you to carry 2 pro bodies with lenses attached and about 8 lenses, or flashes, or whatever else you want to squeeze in.

A small but incredibly useful feature which should be implemented on all camera bags is the card holder, which allows you to mark each compartment as ‘full’ or ’empty’, as you fill up your memory cards.

A ‘MaxFit System’ delivers great protection, whilst the hard-wearing, ballistic nylon hardshell exterior offers high-impact protection. There’s also a built-in rain cover that can be deployed from back pocket to protect valuable camera gear from the elements.

The handles are chunky and comfortable, as are the backpack straps of the internal case.

Most importantly, the wheels roll smoothly and can be replaced easily if you manage to wear them out. Clearly the Pro Roller X200 is in it for the long haul, and its popularity on Shotkit speaks for itself – it’s quite simply the best camera bag for those who need the flexibility of a bag that can literally double its capacity in an instant.

Used by: Gareth Byrne, Ryan Schude, David Einar, Mike Allebach, Citlalli Rico


Pelican 1510 Rolling Case

Pelican 1510 Rolling Case

Dimensions: 22 x 13.8 x 9 in. (55.9 x 35.1 x 22.9 cm)
Weight: 13.6 lb (6.2 kg)

Click here for the latest price

It’s somewhat surprising that a somewhat niche rolling camera bag has garnered over 1,300 positive reviews on Amazon. (See my full review of the Pelican 1510SC where I named it the best waterproof camera bag of the year.)

The Pelican 1510 is a heavy duty rolling camera case that can carry all your gear in complete protection, and looks badass while at it! I’m pretty sure that most photographers buy this camera hardcase due to its looks, and have rarely used it to its full potential…

Weighing in at 6.7kgs the 1510 certainly isn’t light, but still seems somewhat compact, and can meet the carry-on requirements of most airlines.

Pelican 1510SC Review

Here’s what I squeeze into my Pelican 1510 when traveling.

Maneouvering it is easy with the front and side handles as well as an easy to release extension handle when you want to make use of the wheels.

Many find the size of the Pelican 1510 perfect for small shoots, and the appearance is certainly very professional.

As with all Pelican cases, the 1510 is virtually indestructible – watertight, dustproof and guaranteed for life. Another hugely popular bag on Shotkit.

Used by: Mark Lobo, Dana Neibert, Sittig Fahr Becker


Think Tank Airport Take Off V2

Think Tank Airport Take Off

Dimensions: 14 x 21 x 8 in. (35.5 x 53.3 x 20.3 cm)
Weight: 7 – 8.7 lb (3.2 – 3.9 kg)

Click here for the latest price

If you’re in the market for a versatile rolling camera bag, this Version 2 of an incredible popular one from Think Tank should definitely be on your short list.

The Airport Take Off V2 has the useful ability to convert into a camera backpack, thanks to some ingeniously concealed, padded backpack straps. As a backpack, it’s comfortable to wear even for extended periods of time.

It meets international and most domestic carry-on requirements, but you’ll obviously have to check any weight restrictions on your airline first.

The Airport Take Off V2 can hold up to 2 pro dSLR bodies with or without lenses attached, a 15-17″ laptop in the front pocket and numerous lenses and other accessories inside. It also features a front lock and cable to secure laptops, with lockable sliders on the main zipper.

The Airport Take Off V2 is the same size externally as the Airport International V2.0, but the carrying capacity is slightly less due to the backpack strap system. You can zip up the backpack straps when they’re not in use.

The Take Off is first and foremost a camera bag for DSLR shooters who need the flexibility of rolling and backpacking their gear. I love the option to carry the roller on my back if necessary, with grassy or rocky terrain obviously not always suited to a rolling camera bag.

Used by: Art Meripol, Tom Hoops


Camera Sling Bags

If you’re carrying a small amount of camera gear, (or are invested into the mirrorless camera system), a sling bag is a great option.

With all the hand-freeing benefits of a backpack, combined with the fast-access convenience of a messenger bag, sling bags are rapidly growing in popularity in 2019… probably due to the growth in popularity of mirrorless cameras.

I own no less than 3 of the bags mentioned below, rotating between them as travel camera bags and for engagement sessions of smaller photography jobs.

Incase Ari Marcopoulos Camera Sling Bag

Incase Ari Marcopoulos Camera Sling Bag

Dimensions: 18.9 x 11 x 6.7 in. (48 x 28 x 17cm)
Package Weight: 2.6 lb (1.18 kg)

Click here for the latest price

This is a stylish, functional, limited edition version of the classic Incase dSLR Sling Bag that’s very hard to find in stock.

Sling bags are getting increasingly popular due to the ability to quickly slide the bag from your back to your front in one easy movement, and this limited edition version definitely stands out from the crowd.

Once on your front, the Incase Ari Marcopoulos Camera Sling Bag is positioned as a handy ‘shelf’ for you to rest gear you have in your hand before swapping it for whatever is inside the bag.

The Incase Ari Marcopoulos Bag can hold a dSLR with attached lens, a second lens, 2 smaller digital cameras or accessories and an iPad.

Made from heavy duty canvas with a water-repellant coating, the Incase Ari Marcopoulos Bag also features a handy, pack-away rain cover.

This unique bag is designed by its namesake – a professional photographer, and includes custom branding elements bringing this good-looking bag a step above the rest.

Is it worth one hundred bucks more than the basic Incase DSLR Sling Camera Bag? Hmm, tough call, but one thing’s for sure – if you’ve got an eye for detail and keen design, it’s money well spent!

Used by: Todd McGaw, Roberto Panciatici


Think Tank Turnstyle V2

Think Tank Turnstyle V2

Dimensions: 9.3 x 17.3 x 5.4 in. ( 23.5 x 44 x 13.7 cm)
Weight: 1.2 lb (0.5 kg)

Click here for the latest prices

I’ve had a love hate relationship with camera sling bags. Done well and they are a super functional, comfortable way to carry camera gear. Done badly and you’ll spend more time pushing it around to your back than taking photos!

Luckily, the Think Tank Turnstyle series of bags are great, with the larger version of the two being my go to bag for small shoots last year.

I know many wedding photographers who use just one body/lens, and use the Turnstyle to carry a couple of other lenses and a spare body.

camera sling bags

My Peak Design Sling 5L, Think Tank Turnstyle & Peak Design Sling 10L

The newly updated V2 model brings with it slight changes to the look and feel, making it more elegant, durable and comfortable to carry.

There’s no real need to update if you own the first version (see my Think Tank Turnstyle review), but if you’re buying a sling bag for the first time, I’d definitely recommend the V2.

There are 3 sizes of the Think Tank Turnstyle– the 10, 20 and 30. The 20 is plenty big enough, able to fit a Canon 5D Mark III, Sigma 35mm f/1.4, Sigma 85mm f/1.4 and a Canon 135mm f/2, for example.

As with all Think Tank bags, build quality and carry comfort are excellent, and the price really makes this one a no-brainer.

Used by: Maurizio Solis, Sam Hurd


Peak Design Everyday Sling

Peak Design Everyday Sling

Dimensions: 16 x 9 x 5.5 in. (40 x 23 x 14 cm)
Weight: 1.5 lb (0.7 kg)

Click here for the latest prices

Peak Design are still paving the way with some of the best camera bags of the year. Their functional designs with truly innovative features have made them a firm favourite with photographers worldwide.

I came across the Peak Design Everyday Sling 10L last year, and since then it’s become my regular dSLR bag for small, everyday items and for engagement photography shoots when I require less camera gear than normal.

I’d also go far as to say that this is one of the bags for travel I’ve ever used, thanks to its compact size, robustness, light weight and unique organisational abilities (thanks to the pliable ‘FlexFold dividers). It’s also the perfect size to fit the DJI Mavic Pro, with controller and accessories.

In Peak Design’s own words, the Everyday Sling is the ultimate low-profile, quick-access day bag for light carry and gear minimalists. It’s a great mirrorless camera bag too, or for when you need to carry a little less gear.

Built from weatherproof 500D Kordra, the Everyday Sling can carry a pro sized DSLR with prime lens attached, plus up to 2 small lenses, a 12” Macbook Retina or tablet, memory cards, cables, keys and even a tripod suspended from the bottom.

My advice would be to not overload any sling bag, since when carried on one shoulder, it can quickly become tiring. Having said this, the Everyday Sling is by far the best small camera bag I own – check out a full review of it here.


Camera Bag Inserts

Any bag can be converted into a camera bag via the use of a camera bag insert or wrap.

When I’m only carrying one camera, my preference is to use a regular bag with a camera wrap. If I’m traveling overseas, I often use a regular suitcase with a camera bag insert.

Camera bag inserts allows you to organise, protect and carry your camera gear as if you were using a dedicated camera bag… but at a fraction of the cost. If you don’t know where to start with all the bags on this list, I’d highly recommend you consider a wrap or insert.

F-Stop Gear Internal Camera Units (ICU)

F Stop Gear Internal Camera Units

Dimensions: 5 x 11.5 x 11 in. (12.7 x 29.2 x 27.9 cm)
Weight: 0.95 lb (0.43 kg)

Click here for the latest prices

F-Stop Gear is best known for its unbeatable hiking camera backpacks, made for the extreme outdoorist – check out this F-Stop Tilopa review for example.

The core of the F-Stop gear hiking camera backpack system is something known as an Internal Camera Unit (ICU) – basically a padded camera insert, allowing you to store, protect and organise your camera gear inside an F-Stop Gear camera backpack, or indeed, inside any other bag you own.

The F-Stop Gear ICU’s are extremely lightweight, featuring minimal (but adequate) padding and velcro fastenings to stop your precious camera gear moving around too much.

When I travel overseas to shoot destination weddings and wish to only carry one carry-on bag, I use an F-Stop Pro XL ICU in conjunction with my regular Samsonite Omni PC rolling travel bag, as you can see in the video below.

The above set up allows me to safely transport my camera gear plus all my clothes and other items all in the same bag. Typically I’ll also have another smaller bag (such as the Billingham Hadley Pro) which I use for small carry on items, then switch out to use as my main camera bag on shoot day.

If you’re like me and can’t decide on the best camera bag, using a camera insert such as the ICU’s allows you to use any regular bag to transport your gear safely.


Koolertron Shockproof Camera Bag Insert

Koolertron Shockproof Camera Bag Insert

Dimensions: 10.6 x 6.3 x 4.7 in. (27 x 16 x 12 cm)
Weight: 0.35 lb (0.16 kg)

Click here for the latest prices

At the more budget-friendly end of the camera bag insert scale lies this functional number from a relatively unknown camera bag brand called Koolertron.

With a velvet liner and anti-static exterior, the Koolertron Shockproof Camera Bag Insert is available in 4 funky colours (including plain old for you traditionalists!), and can fit a small DSLR with lens attached, flash and spare lens, or similar.

The insert is sealed by way of a draw cord, allowing larger lenses and camera gear to protrude slightly from the top of their compartments.


ONA The Roma

ONA The Roma

Dimensions: 10.5 x 7 x 4 in. (26.7 x 17.8 x 10.2 cm)
Weight: 1.2 lb ( 0.5 kg)

Click here for the latest price

As purveyor of some of the most stylish camera bags around, it’s no surprise that this camera bag insert from ONA looks the part.

Handcrafted from premium waxed canvas with leather accents, it’s almost a shame to hide the ONA Roma away inside another bag!

Made to be used in most small to medium sized non-camera bags, the ONA Roma features leather side handles for easy removal, and no less than five exterior pockets that will help keep your photography gadgets organised.

You’ll be able to fit one pro-sized body with lens attached, or one body and two small lenses, plus wallet, keys, passport etc.

Closure is via two magnetic clasps. All in all, this is one bag insert that’s very well-priced for how durable and good-looking it is – many people actually use theirs as a grab-bag for everyday carry essentials.


Cable Stable DLX

Cable Stable DLX

Dimensions: 10.75 x 8.25 x 2.25 in. (27.3 x 20.9 x 5.7 cm)
Weight: 0.8 lb (0.36 kg)

Click here for the latest prices

It’s not technically an insert, but nevertheless, the Skooba Cable Stable is a great addition to any of the camera bags on this list.

As photographers, we seem to have a plug, cable and adapter for every gadget, each one a different size or length. Stuffing all these items in your camera bag is one way to go about it, but for better organisation, check out the clever Skooba Cable Stable.

This compact organiser has 15 elasticated slots for earbuds, usb/charging cables, plugs, drives, batteries, compact cameras and whatever else you need to keep packed up and out the way.

The floating elastic hold-down grid provides fast, simple and versatile stowage without the constraints of fixed-size pockets and pouches.

The fluorescent green interior may not be to everyone’s tastes, but it does serve a purpose, making it much easier to see darker coloured accessories than a black interior might.

A zippered pocket on the outside front cover of the Skooba Cable Stable is a perfect place for notes, tickets, hotel key cards, or other flat items.


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.


  1. Ruthvik Konda on September 18, 2019 at 4:22 am

    Hi Mark!

    First of all, I just want to say this is a solid review of camera backpacks. I’ve been doing research on camera backpacks for days now, and I can confidently say this is one of the most comprehensive reviews I have seen. I am currently a college student that has been doing photography for the last 4 years as my main hobby. I need a backpack that both serves as a solid camera backpack and a good everyday backpack that I can use for school. Please note I am willing to pay a premium as long as the price is justifiable for the quality so as long as you believe they are worth the price, feel free to give some slightly pricey recommendations. I’m currently leaning toward the Peak Design Everyday backpack but what are your recommendations? Here are some other bags currently on my list: Lowepro ProTactic BP 350 or 450, Lowepro Freeline, F-Stop Dalston, F-Stop Loka, Boundary Supply Prima, Boundary Supply Errant, WANDRD PRVKE, WANDRD Duo. Thanks for your time.

    • Mark Condon on September 18, 2019 at 10:06 am

      Hey Ruthvik, check this page out for more in-depth reviews on most of the backpacks that you mention:

      • Ruthvik Konda on September 18, 2019 at 2:14 pm

        Hi Mark I’ve actually read that whole article as well but I’m still conflicted on which bag to buy. What would be your personal recommendation on the best photography backpack that can also be used for everyday use (for a college student)?

  2. Erika Koen on July 15, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    Where can I buy one of these camera bags

  3. John Michael on July 3, 2019 at 10:22 am

    I agree. You won’t just simply be contented with one or two camera bags as the need for more/different functionalities changes as your style change.
    Langly has functional and stylish camera bags.
    Really great article. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Fotograf Ślubny Kęty on May 20, 2019 at 8:21 am

    thx! i must change my bag xD

  5. Ashley Casey on January 26, 2019 at 5:09 am

    Look for one that doesn’t look like a camera backpack.

    Having a fancy one (Case Logic or similar) just screams “I have a lot of expensive gear in here” to everyone around you.

  6. sccollections on December 4, 2018 at 8:41 am

    In search for lesser weigh i would like to see shoulder bags like the domke f 803 in the range of 0.3 kg or lower. Must be possible with the materials of today.

    • Mark Condon on December 5, 2018 at 3:31 pm

      Yeah I agree! I look forward to reviewing some lighter camera bags in 2019.

      • Jon Peden on May 17, 2019 at 1:21 pm

        Hi Mark, you should check out our new range of lightweight camera bags, it might be what you are after.

        • Mark Condon on May 18, 2019 at 4:45 am

          Thanks Jon, they look like a much needed product! Good to see you’re based on the Northern Beaches too :-)

  7. 10 Best Dry Bags in 2018 | Reviews - Globo Surf on October 18, 2018 at 8:29 am

    […] If you’re looking for a selection of great camera bags, check out this in-depth review. […]

  8. Khürt Williams on July 26, 2018 at 5:28 am

    The Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L seems ridiculously expensive. $299 on Amazon.

    • Mark on July 26, 2018 at 10:02 am

      You get what you pay for in this instance, Khurt. You should check out their design team – the price reflects the amount of work that’s gone into it.

  9. David on April 18, 2018 at 7:08 am

    I didn’t see many secure bags where one can lock. I dislike the flap and buckle bags so unsure how they made to the top of the list. Looking at a Vanguard ALTA ACCESS 33X Shoulder Bag or Lowepro Magnum 400W which are better in my opinion then this selection, for my purposes.

    • Mark on April 18, 2018 at 7:23 am

      Yep, everyone’s needs for camera bags will obviously be different, and the flap and buckle style still remain a popular option. I use a lightweight travel cable lock when I need to secure my bag.

    • Frederic Hore on April 20, 2019 at 2:46 am

      Hi David,
      I’ve always travelled with backpacks, because of their capacity and flexibility to carry whatever you desire. Besides padded solder straps, the other very important element, is a padded waist belt, that can carry 60 to 80 percent or more of the weight, thus relieving your shoulders of the strain.


For the last few years, my bag of choice for day trips, has been the Packsafe Venture 40 hiking backpack. It features an anti-theft, internal wire mesh of high tensile steel to prevent robbery by bag slashers. All zippered pockets and access points can be secured to keep out pickpockets and miscreants.

      Unfortunately, bag slashing by miscreants has become a worrying trend in some European cities and in Latin America’s big cities like Buenos Aires, especially in popular areas with throngs of tourists. It hasn’t happened to me yet, however I met one traveller who was targeted by a coordinated gang of three people (one who does the slash, the other two scooping and running with the fallen objects) in Santiago and it wasn’t pretty.


My Nikkor lenses are expensive investments, so I place them inside padded LowePro lens cases, which are then placed inside the backpack. I carry a 70-200 f/2.8, 200-500 f/5.6 and sometimes a 20 f/1.8. There is room for an iPad or 15 inch laptop too! All of this fits comfortably inside. Several external zipped pockets allow a filer pack, maps, books and other small essentials. Two exterior mesh pockets allows the addition of a small 1/2 litre water bottle and collapsed umbrella for inclement weather.

      My D700 camera and 24-70 2.8 lens is carried separately in another Lowpro Street and Field toploader bag. Ya… I am a bit of a mule! But it works for me, especially on long hikes or city treks.

 I should mention the waistbelt on my backpack, can be folded and tucked away in a small pocket, if you don’t want to use it.


Pacsafe bags are tough, I have yet to have a zipper fail, even after 7 expeditions to Antarctica where the pack was in and out of zodiacs for excursions to penguin colonies! The US based company has a range of backpacks. I highly recommend them. More here:

      Hope this helps!
      Frederic in Montréal

  10. Rashi on March 12, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    Hello Mark,
    This is an awesome compilation of the best camera bags. We have developed 2 basic messenger style designs at
    Please do check them out sometime.

    • Mark on March 15, 2018 at 2:45 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Rashi!

  11. Georges Pécontal on March 9, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Hiya Mark,
    You’ve forgotten the strictly street bag, the one you can have at your belt all the time and in which you can keep your precious (X100, G1X mark 2, Sony RX100V,…)
    I’ve found the National Geographic series (NG A1212 or NG A1222). Sure, you can only place the camera (and the X100 is the bigger for the 1212), a filter and a battery but its enough to avoid the worst picture : the one you have not done :)

    • Mark on March 12, 2018 at 8:32 am

      Ah yep looks handy, Georges. Would be nice to use to carry your phone too.

  12. Kerilou on February 11, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    Hi Mark, I just thought I’d let you know about the Tamrac Sling Bag for mirrorless cameras. It’s brilliant! If I want to take a photo, I just swing it around to my front, unzip the camera pocket and take my camera & appropriate lens out. I don’t have to put the bag down and as I carry it across my back, both my hands are free. I fit my Oly Om-d E-m10 with attached 14-42 lens and 3 other lenses into it. I can carry my smartphone and a few other bits & pieces in the top section. I love it!
    If you are interested, here is the link: . Cheers

    • Mark on February 12, 2018 at 6:23 am

      Thanks Kerilou! I know that bag but I couldn’t get my hands on one for the purposes of this review – it looks great though! I’m a big fan of camera sling bags too…

  13. Jazz1 on February 7, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    The 5L Sling will not fit the iPad 10.5. I tried. Peak has updated their description

  14. […] and wedding photographers with more disposable income than sense (I’m one of them – just check out my bag collection!!) don’t care about these details – we just want a quick way to edit our photos and make […]

  15. Daniel on October 23, 2017 at 10:49 pm


    Please have a look on our development, the Peerless int. bag for street photographers and digital nomads.

    • Mark on October 25, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      Looks nice Daniel – good luck on the project!

  16. Mike Ewanus on October 21, 2017 at 8:29 am

    I enjoyed the reviews.
    The two photos that are supposed to be of the Lowepro Mini Trekker are of two different bags. The Mini Tekker cannot hold a 500 mm f4 lens mounted on a camera body.
    Thank you,

    • Mark on October 23, 2017 at 11:24 am

      Thanks for that Mike – I’ll look into that.

  17. […] best that,” and while they’re all very popular (check out the best cameras under $500 and the best camera bags for a couple that you should find useful) at the end of the day, it’s just an […]

  18. […] I’m not publishing geeky content on Shotkit about the best point and shoot camera or the latest Nikon camera bag, I’m either spending time with my family or shooting weddings locally or […]

  19. Gabs on July 19, 2017 at 1:33 am


    You really miss the Thule Covert !
    I had around 10 bags, and this is the one that rules !


    • Mark on July 22, 2017 at 9:16 am

      Ah I’ve been meaning to review that one Gab! I’ll add it to my todo list…

  20. 10 Tip Penjagaan Kamera – My Kamera Guy on July 5, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    […] Boleh lihat senarai bag terbaik bagi tahun 2017 di website Shotkit. […]

  21. camera exchange store on May 31, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    Awesome collection of camera Bag And good Information you have provide here.

  22. […] for the Shotkit blog, posts such as the best cameras under $500 and the best camera bags may seem like an Amazon affiliate link carnival to some (!), but they’re actually very popular […]

  23. Daniel S. on February 21, 2017 at 11:45 am

    This is the standard that everyone is going to try to beat for best camera bag articles.

    • Mark on February 22, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      Thanks for saying that, Dan.

  24. Michael Maurer on January 24, 2017 at 4:44 am

    Fantastic job on putting together such a comprehensive list! Would’ve loved to see a Langly on it, though.

  25. Paul on January 21, 2017 at 2:39 am

    Fantastic article. I have about 5 bags and its a photographers nemesis isnt it. Always looking for the next camera bag!!

    • Mark on January 22, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      So true! I have quite a bag collection too…

  26. Karizma Photography on January 8, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Thank you for great selection! Very helpful!

  27. Tim Whiting on October 13, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Blown away by this comprehensive collection. Good to see my favourite (Think Tank Urban Disguise) making the list. These guys make a quality bag at a sensible price. However, I’m sure you can’t go far wrong with a majority of these. Good work, excellent resource!

    • Mark on October 14, 2016 at 3:23 pm

      Glad you like it, Tim! Yep, Think Tank products are excellent.

  28. herrepunge on October 6, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    As a amateur photographer, I feel the need to have one of the best camera bags that can be used in the protection of my investment. With the use of such bags, I can easily bring my camera anywhere, without the need to be worried

  29. Mahbubur Rahman on August 30, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Jack Wolfskin ACS PHOTO PACK PRO Camera backpack ( also one of the good backpack for camera with accessories carry. I should recommended to add this in this list.

    • Mark on August 31, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Looks like a good bag for hiking! Thanks Mahbubur for the tip

  30. Jen on August 30, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Wow!! You have like every camera here. I always have a hard time finding a large camera backpack. I’ve been looking at the great explorer altura photo backpack, not sure if anyone has used it before:

  31. Bianca on August 10, 2016 at 8:35 am

    For me, one of the newest and best photography brand is Default By Permission
    Hand made waxed canvas bags, really nice design anda style.
    Made in Spain.
    I recommend taking a look ti their web!

    • Mark on August 10, 2016 at 4:23 pm

      Thanks for the tip Bianca! I’m assuming this is your brand?

  32. […] lenses, tripods and other cool gear on offer to compliment your snaps. A final word on this though: get a good bag! It does not need to be bulletproof, but something that’ll keep your gear secure long term is […]

  33. Julie on May 6, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Hi Mark,

    I am heading to NYC in a few months and I want to buy a shoulder bag to hold my 2 DSLR cameras (D750 & D7100) plus 3 lenses (50mm and 18-35mm ). I want a bag that doesn’t look like a camera bag. Any suggestions?

    Many thanks.

    • Mark on May 8, 2016 at 5:46 am

      Hey Julie, if none of the ones on this list are suitable, maybe look at more from ONA who do nice leather satchels.

  34. Toby Chapman on April 4, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Hey Mark! Just bought my first DSLR – a Nikon d7200 and was thinking about what bag to get. Found this article at the top of Google search results and extremely informative. Now which one to choose? There are so many options!

    • Mark on April 5, 2016 at 8:26 am

      Hey Toby! Funny you should pop up here! The D7200 is a great camera. Just get the bag you like the look of the most – if your tastes haven’t changed since the last time we met, I’d go for the Filson or an ONA one. All the ones featured here can easily carry your D7200 and a few lenses. Cheers

  35. Craig Holtz on March 13, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Mark: Great article. I have several camera backpacks and none are perfect. I’m going to Europe, and I want a better backpack. I am looking for your recommendation. Here is my gear that I plan on taking with me:

    Canon 5D Mark III

    EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM

    EF 24-105mm f/4 IS USM (I may replace with a 24-70)

    EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS II USM

    Speedlite 430EXII flash (I may leave this at home)

    Gitzo GT2542T Series 2 tripod

    Really Right Stuff BH-40-LR Ballhead

    Format Hitech filter set in a pouch

    I want room for my iPad mini, extra batteries, cards, jacket, water bottle, etc. It’s got to fit on a plane.

    What do you recommend?

    • Mark on March 16, 2016 at 5:17 am

      Hey Craig, hard to say as it’s based a lot on personal taste. Having said that. I do like the simple aesthetic of the Filson backpack above. One advice I would give you is that you probably don’t need all those lenses for traveling unless you have a very specific purpose for them – that’s a lot of weight to be carrying.

  36. Gavin on March 10, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    Hi Mark,

    I’m in the market for a new bag… your blog has helped thanks.

    It’s a tie between The Backpack by Companion Bags

    Kitting out a Freitag with a camera insert, check out there clever product videos :)

    or the Langley Alph Pro.

    Gear is minimal includes 2 XT-1 & 2 Nissin i40. Macbook and accessories. Need for hand luggage.

    It’s a tough choice!


    • Mark on March 11, 2016 at 6:32 am

      Looks like a fine set up to me, Gavin! Don’t worry – you’ll never settle on just one camera bag :p

  37. Dan @ Isle Of Vintage on February 27, 2016 at 11:42 am

    What a great selection of camera bags! I especially like the worn look of the last bag.

  38. Mark on February 23, 2016 at 11:22 am

    To those who mentioned the F-Stop camera bags, you might like this review of one of their best:

  39. Peter on December 30, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Very nice list, but where are the F-stop Mountain series backpacks? There other great backpacks, but still there is simply not a single other backpack available that can compete against F-stop. I own the Loka and the Guru myself, and they’re killing everything I’ve ever tried before, and I might also get another larger one like the new Sukha (for bringing other essential gear on longer hikes, not camera gear, no one needs to bring all their camera gear with them, like ever).

    With that said, I’m just about to order the Scout from Wotancraft, since F-stop’s shoulder bags are not as cool looking. :P

    • Mark on December 31, 2015 at 6:36 am

      F-Stop Tilopa full review coming soon Peter! Thanks for the insight – it seems F-Stop have some loyal fans!

  40. Amish on December 4, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    F-Stop should totally be on that list. The Loka is one amazing bag. Another vote for the Everyday Messenger bag as well.

    Highest funded camera bag on kickstarter ever by the awesome guys at peakdesign.

    • Mark on December 5, 2015 at 6:42 am

      Thanks for the tips, Amish. There’s a review for the F-Stop Tilopa coming soon actually.

  41. Ian A on December 1, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    For those in Australia who aren’t brand conscious and also don’t wish to spend exorbitant amounts see:

    Bought one for X-T1 kit and works perfectly.

    • Mark on December 2, 2015 at 9:36 am

      it’s true, Australia has a crappy selection Ian. One day Amazon will come to us…

  42. Viv on November 20, 2015 at 2:54 am

    Woo, such a long post, don’t know how many hours it might have taken you to write this.
    I did wrote a similar post few months backs at:

    and it took me many many hours to collect the info, and yours is longer :)
    Hats off to you sir.

    • Mark on November 20, 2015 at 9:43 am

      Thanks for sharing Viv. Yes, we covered some of the same ground!

  43. David Samuel Vogt on October 24, 2015 at 7:52 am

    Just got my first backpack from F-Stop Gear, the Tilopa. A wonderful piece of equipment, with modular interior, tough exterior and plenty of pockets, attachment-points, etc:

    • Mark on October 24, 2015 at 9:35 am

      Ah yes, the Tilopa! There’s a review of that coming soon actually David.

  44. TIM on October 9, 2015 at 4:44 am

    Fascinating Stuff! I have several of the bags listed and reviewed and use them for different uses – one lens day-bag/travel with too many lenses/etc. Always on the lookout for something new and cool!

    • Mark on October 9, 2015 at 9:03 am

      Thanks Tim. I’ll be adding more bags to this list soon, so stay tuned!

  45. Marq Riley on September 30, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Nice post, but Im kind of surprised that Crumpler is missing.
    I have five including one of their awesome half photo backpacks and my absolute favourite, the legendary Cork & Fork (also used by Jonas Peterson). They’re just unbeatable in durability, plus incredibly functional, adaptable and comfortable.

    • Mark on September 30, 2015 at 3:39 pm

      Thanks for the tip Marq. I live quite close to a Crumpler store but was never sure of how popular they were with photographers. I’ll add one to this list when I get hands on one for sure.

  46. Ron Jon on September 30, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Missed these:

    Vanguard Skyborne

    Vanguard Up-Rise II

    Vanguard The Heralder

    • Mark on September 30, 2015 at 3:39 pm

      I’ll look into those too – cheers Ron!

  47. Gabs on May 19, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    I love my Naneu Pro Sahara bag !

  48. Jean-Luc on May 10, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    Where have you find the first bag (header’s photo)?
    Thanks a lot
    My photo’s bag is a Filson Magnum

    • Mark on May 12, 2015 at 7:43 am

      Hi Jean-Luc, that’s a Holdfast Explorer Lens Pouch – I’ll be reviewing it soon!

  49. Jakob on April 21, 2015 at 7:22 am

    Really surprised to not see any mentions of Langley bags…they’re by far the best I’ve used.

    • Mark on April 21, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      Langley are nice looking bags Jakob, I agree! Not held one in person yet though…

  50. Greg on April 20, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    great post.

    Im off to an army surplus store. You can get some hard wearing bags, give them a coat of waterproofing spray, buy some padded inserts and you can have a seriously tough bag for next to nothing.

    They may not have as many pockets and zips though….

    Great post again mark. really enjoying and making use of your tips.


    • Mark on April 21, 2015 at 3:55 am

      That’s a great idea Greg, and you could replicate the look of some of the expensive bags in this post (notably the Filson) with a nice army surplus one that’ll no doubt cost a fraction of a price. Will be hard-wearing too! Thanks for the comment.

  51. Neil Griffiths on April 15, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Good article and very relevant as ever shooter has their own preferences.
    I tried many before I happened on the Jim Garner designed Boda V3 lens bag.
    I used to carry my Tamrac Pro 20 on assignments, but never realised why I was carrying a bulky bag when my bodies were on straps around my neck?
    The Boda V3 is simply a lens holder with pockets for flash, a bottle of water etc, and can be carried over the shoulder or around the waist.
    Simply genius, my Nikon 14-24/ 24-70/ 70-200/ 85 1.4 and triggers all fit in this perfectly.
    It’s beyond brilliant but you can only get one on eBay now as they stopped making them???

    • Mark on April 16, 2015 at 5:25 am

      Hi Neil, thanks for the tip about the Boda – I’d never heard of that bag before. What a shame they stopped making them though! Good luck with your photography. I had a friend from Lancashire actually…!

    • Paul de Leon on September 1, 2015 at 7:34 pm

      I own a Boda bag. I use it for events and weddings. Definitely not a transport bag, but a bag meant to be worn all day. I use pelicans to get to where I’m at, then load my Boda to run around. I wish I they made them just a little bigger. I carry a 70-200, 50 and 24-70 with 2 speedlights, remote, wallet, phone keys, cards, mem cards a pen and some snacks. Doesn’t look like there’s a suitable replacement yet…

      • Mark on September 3, 2015 at 1:51 am

        Nice choice of bags, Paul. That doesn’t sound like a lot of gear you need to carry though – maybe it’s time to upgrade the Boda to something bigger!

  52. Iceman Baldy on April 13, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Great article! I find that I tend to use a few bags and move my gear between them depending on where I’m going and what I’m planning to shoot. Most times, I simply carry one body with one lens so that I always have a camera with me but when I need a little more, these bags tend to be my default traveling partners.

    Daily travel–Tenba Black Label satchel: Fuji X100T with teleconverter, flash and Instax printer
    Daily travel plus versatility: ONA Pince Street: X100T and OMD EM5 Mk II
    Event shooting: ONA Brixton: X100T and XT1 or OMD EM1 and EM5 Mk II
    Full system kit–Domke J-812 Satchel: OMD EM1 and EM5 Mk II with two flashes and an arsenal of lenses

    Thanks for a great resource on camera bags.

    • Mark on April 14, 2015 at 6:33 am

      Thanks for the comment and useful info on your bag collection Iceman! Those ONAs are great looking bags! Glad you found the post useful.

    • Chase Castor on August 24, 2016 at 2:37 am

      Which Tenba bag do you have?

      • Mark on August 24, 2016 at 7:01 am

        I need to add the Tenba DNA15 to this list, Chase!

  53. Sep on April 11, 2015 at 4:04 am

    What bag is that in the top photo?

    • Mark on April 11, 2015 at 6:42 am

      It’s the Holdfast Explorer – review coming soon!!

  54. Animesh on April 9, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Whoa! This has to be the most extensive list of awesome camera bags I have ever seen on the net! Kudos to you, Mark for this stupendous list.

    But I do think that rather than checking out another photographer’s profile to gauge the proficiency of a bag for your need, it’s more worthwhile to actually see how much of an gear one is carrying. For example, a wedding photographer carrying 4 pro bodies with 6 lenses and 3 flashes, has to have a much bigger bag than say a photographer carrying only 2 semi-pro bodies with 4 lenses and a single flash, even though their work might be extremely similar in output. Just a thought.

    Hats off again for this article. One of the very best on camera bags (a much disregarded topic IMHO) on the entire net.

    • Mark on April 10, 2015 at 6:28 am

      Hey Animesh, thanks for the comment and kind words. Yes, what photographers carry in their bags is definitely important! Will keep that in mind next time.

  55. Cody Priebe on April 9, 2015 at 8:55 am

    I love these large posts. I like many probably have more camera bags than we do cameras.

    Two bags I come to use and can not replace are made by Artisan and Artist and by F-Stop.

    The F-Stop Loka

    Great bag if you are outdoors, and even better if you are hiking in the mountains. Easily modified internal storage, they call it ICUs. This comes on all my outdoor trips. There are larger and smaller bags made by them as well.

    The Artisan n Artist ACAM-1000

    Fits two Leica bodies, 2 extra lenses, a spot light meter and film. Perfect size. If the canvas is to boring there are other bags with leather. Cant say enough about this bag or the manufacturer.

    • Mark on April 10, 2015 at 6:29 am

      Hey Cody, thanks for the comment and those recommendations. I’d heard about the Loka but not the Acam. Nice looking bags!

  56. Tim Hanson on April 9, 2015 at 1:26 am

    2. Check out which Shotkit photographer uses it
    3. Visit the photographer’s page/site to see if your own work is similar

    How are these two points even remotely relevant?

    • Mark on April 9, 2015 at 5:14 am

      Well, you may see that the photographer in question hikes a lot in the mountains on engagement sessions (e.g. Robert Hill). Therefore the bag they choose would probably be more suited to you if you did a similar thing, as opposed to a wedding photog who shoots predominantly in the city (e.g. Ryan Brenizer) Does that make sense, Tim?

      • Tim Hanson on April 11, 2015 at 7:02 am

        Yes…okay it may be helpful to see how other photographers would incorporate your chosen bag into their routine, but I would argue that the bag of your choosing should fit your own unique style, regardless of what others would use.

        • Mark on April 11, 2015 at 12:52 pm

          Fair point! Well, I hope you found the post useful in some way despite the misleading intro paragraph ;-)

  57. Cheyenne Morrison on April 8, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Great review, but I have to offer a conflicting view.

    The bags such as Wotancraft, Ona, and Billingham are pastiches of the traditional field bags used by hunters and fishermen since the 19th century. Often these bags instead of using the traditional waxed cotton instead use nylon, or cotton nylon blend. The leather instead of being vegetable tanned is chromium tanned, the finishing is poor and again nylon instead of waxed linen thread. They are the equivalent of Ralph Lauren men’s bags, they look good, but a poorer imitation of the original. Even companies such as Filson no longer use the old fashioned methods and materials they did in their heyday.

    Here are direct comparisons which illustrate what I mean.

    Billingham: Much lauded and almost de rigeur for every Leica user vs.Brady Monmouth Briefcase

    This is the bag that Billingham pretends to be, made in England by skilled craftsmen using traditional manufacturing methods and the best quality materials; traditional Brady English harness leather, triple layered waterproof canvas and solid brass fittings.


    Domke vs. Melville and Moon (South Africa)

    Melville & Moon provide travel gear for African hunters. Envision the bags carried by Ernest Hemingway on his safaris and that’s what you have; genuine tough bush gear. Their African Ranch Bag makes a great camera bag.


    Herschel Little America & Filson Harvey Backpack vs.Swiss Army Rucksack (Seesack Schweizer Armee)

    Perhaps the best military canvas rucksack of all time and certainly the most sought-after, this is the 1950’s canvas and leather Swiss Army Mountain Pack. The design was so successful it remained in use for decades even being re-made using a ballistic nylon material as seen in our Swiss Mountain Pack from the 1980’s. A beautiful elegant and functional design, this pack is made in a very lightweight flax and nettle canvas typical of Swiss army packs of that era. Like eveything Swiss this is the Rolls Royce of military bags, absolutely nothing surpasses this bag!

    This is the smaller version


    Ona Bowery vs. Don’t Mourn Organise (Utah)

    Vegetable Tanned Messenger, Brass Fittings

    Horween Chromexcel messenger bag

    Scott Willis uses only top quality hides from American Tanneries, and the best solid brass and stainless steel hardware. Our products are constructed by age old leather crafting processes and made one at a time. They are hand cut, hand dyed, hand punched, hand edged and burnished, and stitched on vintage machines or by hand. This is superb, old-fashioned craftsmanship from an artisan maker and at a fraction of the price of other bags.


    NEW vs. OLD

    Military Surplus bags are way better than any modern bag. They were made of the finest materials and designed to be tough enough for years of battle.

    You can buy beautifully made, and aged bags from Eastern Europe for as little as $11

    The British Satchels Signal Bag is made of the toughest canvas you will ever see, ideal for 1 camera, a few lenses and an ipad.The Signals Satchels was a small bag similar to the haversack but having one closing strap. It was generally used during and after the Second World War by Signalmen to carry headsets for various types of Wireless Sets.–659-detail?Itemid=0

    • Mark on April 9, 2015 at 5:16 am

      Congratulations on the biggest comment I’ve ever seen Cheyenne! I’ll have to contact you for the next bag review I think ;-) Thanks for the info – very useful.

    • Shaan on July 4, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      Very well said!

      It’s great to hear someone who has a similar understanding of what goes into bag manufacturing. Most people want light, waterproof, inexpensive bags that are also bombproof and masquerade as well made. But well made bags, using proper materials comes with a price tag. It’s as simple as that. Same with well made shoes. You get what you pay for.

      But most photographers don’t understand this as they’ve never compared a Brady, or a Croots, or one of our bags with those others you mentioned side by side. It’s very hard to see the quality difference unless you place the bags in front of someone and show them those differences.

      Our camera bags are made in a very similar way to Brady’s bags. In fact, Brady has made some bags for us in the past. They are absolutely top notch! Not even in the same league as those others you mentioned. It’s like getting in a BMW and thinking you’re in the finest car ever made. Until you get into a Bentley.

      Luckily, there are a myriad of choices out there and a bag for everyone!

    • John Ford on August 24, 2017 at 6:35 am

      Seems to be thorough review, but really – Kattee? They are just trying to ripoff Kata with similar name.

  58. Tiago Emerick on April 8, 2015 at 1:11 pm

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