Choosing the best camera holster can offer a streamlined photography experience, paring back the gear you carry to a single camera and lens that can be accessed instantly.
Run-and-gun photographers and those who shoot wildlife or weddings all benefit from the lightweight build and accessibility offered by camera holsters.
As a landscape and wildlife photographer, I’ve found that using a camera holster with a backpack gives me the versatility needed to avoid missing great shots while outdoors.
If you’re looking for a new way to carry and access your camera without needing a camera sling strap, these camera holsters will open up a new shooting style.
Table of Contents
What is the Best Camera Holster in 2023?
Peak Design Capture Clip (Camera Holster Clip)
- Easy quick draw locking system
- Incredibly lightweight
- Easy to change lenses
- Affordable price
- Accessories are expensive
- ARCA plate incompatible with some tripods
The Peak Design Capture Clip is a small and ultra-lightweight quick-release camera holster clip for a camera body and lens that has been designed specifically for outdoor photography.
When attached to a belt or shoulder straps of a backpack, it allows you to carry and instantly access your camera using the quick-release plate and shoot pictures in a matter of seconds.
(It also pairs perfectly with the Peak Design Everyday Backpack, which offers a dedicated belt loop on the shoulder strap.)
This camera clip is impressively low in weight, and its small size is complimented with a rugged design. The rust-resistant and weatherproof construction make it a durable camera holster suitable for adverse weather conditions.
While it’s perhaps unsuitable for cameras with large telephoto lenses, if you’re shooting primarily with a prime lens or kit lens, the Peak Design Capture Clip makes carrying and using this setup a pleasure.
Simple to set up, it can be positioned in a variety of places in addition to a backpack shoulder strap, and when mounted on a belt, it can be rotated to allow for swapping the attached lens out for another.
Peak Design has gone to town to make the Design Capture Clip as user-friendly as possible, offering a comprehensive range of accessories to match specific lens manufacturers, as well as mounting binoculars and GoPro cameras.
This combination of broad compatibility, discreet design, and ease of use makes the Peak Design Capture Clip the best all-around camera clip-style holster on the market, complementing a rucksack to store additional gear perfectly.
Think Tank Digital Holster 10 V2.0
- Adjustable height for different lenses
- A decent selection of sizes is available
- Nice selection of features
- Sturdy build quality
- No colours available other than black
Think Tank have drawn upon their years of experience manufacturing high-quality camera bags to deliver the Digital Holster 10, designed specifically for smaller cameras featuring a kit zoom lens.
The extended bottom featured on all their models in this range opens up the option for a longer lens, accessed easily via the intuitive zipper arrangement similar to that found with carry-on luggage.
It comes with two adjustable compartments with removable inner partitions, so users can easily modify the arrangement to suit the specific dimensions of their camera and lens.
This also offers additional space for an extra lens, side compartments, and other discreet storage space for accessories, which can be accessed quickly and easily.
The removable shoulder strap, top grab handle, and oversized belt loop make the Digital Holster 10 an incredibly versatile camera holster that can be easily carried in a range of ways.
It’s also durable and weather-resistant, with a slip-over rain cover that can be quickly pulled out to cover the holster when caught in heavy rain or snow, ensuring everything remains dry.
Photographers who aren’t using large professional cameras or telephoto lenses and who are looking for a versatile camera holster bag will find plenty to love about the Think Tank Digital Holster 10.
Ruggard Hunter 35 DSLR Holster Bag
- Great value for money
- Designed for additional optional pouches
- Compact size
- Waterproof construction
- The back panel is a little flimsy
- Unsuitable for longer lens setups
The best camera holsters don’t have to break the bank, and the Ruggard Hunter 35 DSLR Holster Bag offers great value for money without skimping on the essential features needed to perform the task properly.
It comes with the standard features expected from a basic camera bag, including a removable shoulder strap and a belt loop, with additional pockets to store spare memory cards, batteries, and other miscellaneous items.
Build quality is exceptional considering the price, with the bag’s construction combining a water-repellent exterior with a smooth polyester lining to prevent your lens from getting scratched.
In addition to the central storage section for a camera and lens, there’s a mesh side pocket alongside two side loops where you can add additional pouches that allow for multiple combinations of use.
The Rugged Hunter 35 DSLR Holster Bag also meets the FAA and airline carry-on specifications, so you don’t have to stow it in the hold and risk damage when traveling internationally.
While the camera holster bag may be on the small side for some camera and lens combinations, Rugged manufacture their DSLR holster bags in a range of sizes, catering to photographers who use larger zoom lenses.
With its versatile selection of pockets and pouches that allow for a great degree of customisation, the Ruggard Hunter 35 DSLR Holster Bag is a great entry-level camera bag for hobbyist photographers.
Spider Camera Holster System V2
- Packed with security features
- Suitable for larger, heavier lenses
- It can be used for two cameras
- Easily adjustable
- It doesn’t include any cover
- Quite expensive
In some shooting circumstances, opening up a camera bag and removing the camera can make the difference between capturing a great shot, so something with faster access is required.
The Spider Camera Holster System V2 rectifies this lag by taking away the bag and mounting the camera directly on the user’s hip in the style of a utility belt, making it the perfect choice for event and wedding photographers.
The simple yet effective camera belt holster system makes this so much fun to use. The additional holster allows for a second DKLR and lens setup, opening up greater versatility for potential shots.
Setting up the Spider Camera Holster System V2 is easy, with the camera attached to the belt via tripod mount on your camera and a sliding adjustable waist pad to ensure comfort and support.
Despite its modest size, it’s suitable for housing cameras with larger and heavier lenses, with the option to upgrade the rig to allow for a second camera or other lenses and accessories.
While the belt holster system doesn’t feature a cover, event and wedding photographers shooting primarily indoors will find this a fair compromise, given the absence of a cover means one less thing to get in the way when unholstering.
The Spider Camera Holster System V2 is a must for photographers who aren’t concerned about the elements and want rapid access to their camera.
Shimoda Top Loader
- Affordable price
- Expandable for telephoto lenses
- Rugged construction
- Too small for pro-sized DSLRs
- Waterproofing could be improved
Shimoda’s Top Loader camera holster is another solid option for photographers who use smaller DSLRs and mirrorless cameras and who want something that covers the fundamentals on a reasonable budget.
Able to comfortably house a camera with an attached 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, it can be expanded to fit a camera with a longer zoom lens with minimum fuss, with a tight, compact fit.
There are several carrying options when using the Shimoda Top Loader, including via the adjustable shoulder strap, or with the top handle and belt loop, depending on your personal preference.
The construction is tough and durable, although the absence of a waterproof rain cover combined with the regular zipper means you may want to avoid using it in heavy downpours.
Shimoda sells a selection of useful accessories that can be used to increase the versatility of their Top Loader camera holsters, including a detachable waist belt and compatibility with their backpacks.
While pockets and pouches are limited, there’s enough discreet room here to store memory cards, batteries, filters, and other smaller accessories in the bag’s compartments for convenient access.
Overall, the Shimoda Top Loader is a simple yet effective camera holster that is ideal for mirrorless cameras, with the added bonus of functioning as a quick-access bag for carrying smaller drones.
Lowepro ProTactic TLZ 70 AW DSLR Toploader
- Designed to hold a pro body
- Discreet pockets for accessories
- Exceptionally well padded
- Features an all-weather cover
- Pocket depth could be better
- Awkward access to zippers
One of the major issues with some camera holsters is their incompatibility with larger professional cameras, particularly when these are also fitted with a camera battery grip.
It’s a problem that professional photographers can avoid by choosing the best camera holster for large cameras, such as the Lowepro ProTactic TLZ 70 AW DSLR Toploader, specifically designed for these users.
Lowepro has been among the leaders of the pack for camera bags and other accessories, and the TLZ 70 AW DSLR Toploader delivers the same level of high-quality materials found throughout their range.
It’s a toploading holster that can fit a good-sized single camera body and lens in its main compartment and useful pockets for additional peripherals you might need to access in a rush.
While the slightly small pocket depth compared to other camera holsters prohibits the use of large and heavy zoom lenses, it’s spacious enough for most photographers to hold their gear comfortably.
It’s also nicely padded for comfort as well as fully waterproofed and comes with an easily fitted rain cover for additional peace of mind if caught out in a heavy downpour.
The Lowepro ProTactic TLZ 70 AW DSLR Toploader is specifically designed for use with a pro body and 24-70mm lens. Still, there are other models available if you do need a camera holster with more space.
It’s among the best camera holsters available for pros, combining useability and durability in a solid package that’s also surprisingly affordable when compared to its closest rivals.
Think Tank Digital Holster 150
- Comfortably holds a gripped DSLR or mirrorless camera
- Includes straps for tripod
- Suitable for large telephoto lenses
- Well padded and comfortable
Wildlife photography enthusiasts and other long-lens users need something considerably more spacious and hardwearing when looking for the best camera holsters to satisfy their requirements.
Enter the Think Tank Digital Holster 150, offering a range of configurations to suit bespoke camera and lens combinations, with the additional option to adjust the depth of the bag according to the size of your zoom lens.
Capable of holding large lenses such as a 150-600mm super-telephoto with ease, the Think Tank 150 camera belt holster houses the camera and lens in shooting position, with plenty of room for accessories.
The weight is offset through the shoulder strap, while a healthy amount of padding and support ensures the holster is comfortable to wear when taking it out on a hike (additional attachment points and straps allow for greater support.)
Think Tank has clearly thought long and hard about the overall design, with a rain cover, envelope pockets, and handy compartments for memory cards, lens caps, and other peripherals well-positioned for a smooth workflow.
With the inclusion of additional straps for carrying a tripod, and the ability to modify the compartments and pockets to suit your specific gear, the Think Tank Digital Holster ranks among the best camera holsters for more complicated rigs.
Photographers who work with professional DSLRs and lean towards using long lenses they need to access quickly will find the Think Tank Digital 150 camera holster bag offers optimal performance for shooting wildlife.
Case Logic DCB-306 SLR Holster
- Affordable price
- Good selection of pockets
- The bag is fully padded
- Suitable for DSLR with standard zoom lens
- Cheap quality zipper
Not all photographers are using high-end camera gear and lenses, and if your setup is low-budget, you’ll want to avoid spending a huge amount on a suitable camera holster.
The Case Logic DCB-306 SLR Holster is a fantastic low-budget camera holster bag for entry-level amateur photographers who want something cheap yet effective for their camera and mounted kit lens.
Its ultra-low price belies its solid construction and features, delivering a sleek and lightweight user experience with a nylon textured material and padded interior to protect the camera and lens.
For additional storage, there’s a zippered pocket in the lid for memory cards and filters, while zippered side pockets on the side of the holster offer extra space for cables, batteries, and other smaller accessories.
Carrying the Case Logic DCB-306 SLR Holster is versatile, thanks to the top carry handle, adjustable and removable shoulder strap, and belt loop, each of which can be quickly fitted and removed from the holster.
Despite its cheap price, it isn’t a cheap-looking or feeling product, and aspiring photographers who don’t want to break the bank on premium camera holster bags will get plenty of use out of this product.
What to Consider When Buying a Camera Holster
The best camera holster for your needs will depend on the equipment you want to carry, the conditions you plan on shooting in, and any additional gear you’re using.
These considerations will influence the size and weight of the camera holster you choose and any other specific features that your shooting style requires.
Camera holsters come in a variety of sizes and dimensions, so you need to choose the best fit for your camera and primary kit lens of choice.
Any additional compartments should also deliver a snug fit for any other gear you want to stow in your holster, maximising the use of space.
You should also check the size to ensure a comfortable fit on your body, providing easy access to your camera with good weight distribution and minimal discomfort.
The weight of a camera holster is also something worth checking, particularly if you’re expecting to wear it for long durations, such as shooting a wedding or trekking for landscape photography.
Strike the right balance between durability and ease of access while keeping the overall weight and bulk as low as possible, so you can wear it for long periods without noticing it.
It’s important to have a camera holster with a secure clip to keep it closed. It’s also a bonus is the strap is made of strong webbing or canvas that’s hard for a would-be thief to slash with a knife.
4. Ease of Access
The main benefit of a holster over a camera sling strap or regular camera bag is that it’s smaller and easier to access. You need to find a holster that allows you to get into it quickly.
5. Accessory pockets
At the bare minimum, the camera holster needs a place to store a spare memory card and a battery. Larger holsters or camera pouches may even have space for a nifty fifty.
Frequently Asked Questions about camera holsters
What is the best way to carry a camera?
There are several ways you can carry a camera, in addition to the standard use of the camera strap that comes as a standard accessory with most cameras.
Camera bags and backpacks allow you to carry plenty of lenses and other accessories along with your camera and are great for more complicated shoots where more gear is needed.
For long shoots where weight and bulk are an issue, professional photographers often use a camera harness or holster, which allows you to pare back your gear to the essentials with easy access.
How do you carry a camera while hiking?
Photography while hiking brings with it its own considerations, with weight and size potentially increasing fatigue and chaffing when walking long distances.
At the same time, ease of access to your primary camera setup is essential, and it goes without saying you need waterproof gear to keep everything safe from the elements.
Hiking photographers often use a sturdy, lightweight camera holster since these allow for quick access to avoid missing shots and can be harnessed to a backpack when trekking on difficult terrain.
You should also check the best camera straps for hiking and backpacking.
What can I use instead of a camera holster?
If camera holster bags aren’t delivering the experience you’re looking for, there are several alternatives you can consider that offer comparable useability.
A rapid strap allows you to slide your camera up and down the strap, giving the same flexibility as a traditional shoulder strap but with the advantage of being able to reposition your camera out of the way.
If you want to have access to additional lenses and accessories, a dedicated camera bag or backpack will give you more room to play with, and are capable of carrying bulkier items such as a tripod mount.
Using the best camera holsters is a fantastic way to open up new avenues when shooting photography, giving you quick access to your camera, so you don’t have to miss out on great shot opportunities.
There’s a wide range of camera holster bags available to suit all camera and lens combinations, and I’ve covered a broad selection here to ensure there’s an appropriate model to cater to all shooting situations.
If you’ve had experiences with any of the holsters featured in this guide, or recommend one not listed here, feel free to share the details in the comments below.