Best Camera Bags for Women
One thing that I’ve been asked frequently on the Shotkit Facebook page is what are the best camera bags for women. It appears that whilst there are lots of great women’s camera bags available, there’s a lack of resources that provide the information all in one place.
I reached out to a handful of manufacturers of ladies camera bags and asked them to send me what they considered to be their best camera bags for women. Then I gave each bag to my models (who also happen to be photographers) for a week to play around with, and summarised their views below.
Obviously, all types of camera bags are usable by females (click here for a selection of the best camera bags), but in this post, I wanted to focus on womens camera bags that are specifically made for all you lady photographers out there!
One thing’s for sure – if you’re after dslr camera bags for women, there’s a great selection of products on the market. So with that said, let’s get stuck in!
Best Camera Bags for Women in 2021
In order to keep this roundup of the best camera bags for women reasonably concise, I adhered to the following criteria:
- Construction/Durability – the best bags need to be rugged and well-built to last your lifetime as a professional or amateur photographer.
- Looks – as photographers, we are conscious of the way things look. It’s hard to do camera female camera bag reviews without favouring the stylish looking ones over those that are dull/boring. This is again, a very subjective factor, but nonetheless important.
- Design – by this I mean whether I deem the bag to function well for its purpose. Is it just a women’s handbag with a camera insert for example, or has it been designed from the start as a camera bag.
- Value for Money – ‘Cost’ is obviously a large deciding factor for many. However, since everyone’s budget is different, I chose to concentrate more on whether I deem the bag to represent good value for money. An expensive leather camera backpack may actually be good value, when you take into account the quality of the workmanship, for example.
In this roundup, you’ll find a mixture of women’s camera bags which were released recently, and others which have stood the test of time since their release several years ago.
After all, a product doesn’t need to be brand new to be good.
I’ll be adding to this review whenever I come across a bag that’s worthy, so keep checking back to find the latest additions.
Table of Contents
Women’s Camera Bag Reviews
Kelly Moore Pilot Backpack
Type: Womens Camera Backpack
Dimensions: 13″(length) x 11.5″(width) x 17″(height)
Weight: 4.3 lbs
This first womens camera bag is actually unisex, looking equally great on the slender frame of a woman or the broad shoulders of a man!
It’s not just the size of the Kelly Moore Pilot Backpack that makes it work well for both men and women – the colour and materials could complement the clothing of both sexes too. With a sand canvas body and brown leather features, the palette is neutral enough to look great whatever your fashion sense, whilst still oozing high quality in both the construction and the design.
I loved the distressed brown leather flap of the Kelly Moore Pilot Backpack which looks like it’ll age beautifully over time. The straps and carrying handle are simple but comfortable and can be adjusted to suit all body sizes.
The closure of the Kelly Moore Pilot Backpack is a drawstring which our models found quick and easy to access, with the leather flap folding over the top, to be fastened by leather belt straps which conceal magnetic closures.
Although I love the look of belt straps on camera backpacks, they can be a pain to fasten and undo, so the addition of the magnetic closures is a nice touch.
The Kelly Moore Pilot Backpack can be used without the internal camera bag ‘basket’, simply as an overnight or travel bag. Our models love the option of using their women’s camera bag as more than just a camera bag.
Being able to remove the ‘camera bag elements’ mean that the Kelly Moore Pilot Backpack becomes multi-purpose, and a much wiser investment than buying several bags. One day you may use it as your dslr camera bag… the next as a nappy bag!
The basket includes 5 Padded, removable, adjustable Velcro dividers, creating multiple sections inside the for Kelly Moore Pilot Backpack for your camera gear, as well as 1 large divider that acts as a cover for the basket. This means that you can easily stack clothes, books or other items on top of it within the backpack and keeps everything nice and separated.
Even without the basket, I appreciated how the exterior walls and bottom of the Kelly Moore Pilot Backpack are padded too.
The basket can hold Up to a 10″ lens, camera body, flash, phone, batteries and other accessories.
Additional storage locations include 2 internal pockets and a large front pocket with sections for credit cards and memory cards too. It’s good to see the memory card slots can house larger CF cards as well as SD cards. Finally, there’s a zipper pocket behind the laptop sleeve, which can accomodate up to a 15″ laptop.
If you’re looking for one of the most stylish camera backpacks for women that doesn’t look like a camera bag, the Kelly Moore Pilot Backpack should be at the top of your list. The mixture of distressed leather, antiqued brass hardware and durable canvas provides strength as well as beauty.
If you’re the type of person who thinks that scuffs and scratches make a product look better, you’re sure to love how the Kelly Moore Pilot Backpack looks in 5 years’ time!
Kelly Moore Kate
Type: Women’s Cross Body Camera Bag
Dimensions: 16″(length) x 5″(width) x 11.5″(height)
Weight: 4 lbs
The second women’s cross body camera bag from Kelly Moore Bag is the Kate, also part of the Canvas Collection of stylish, multi-purpose camera bags for women.
The sand coloured canvas body with brown leather trim theme is continued with the Kelly Moore Kate, creating an attractive women’s messenger bag that is equally at home for professional work or leisure.
Messenger bags are a love/hate option for women looking for a new camera bag. On the one hand they provide faster and easier access than a dlsr backpack, but on the other hand they can cause shoulder strain (since they are supported by one rather than both of your shoulders).
The relatively large size of the Kelly Moore Kate, (which is actually unisex) can tempt you to over-fill it, but as our models quickly found out, an over-stuffed messenger bag carried for long periods can be very tiring. This is obviously a general comment on all one-shoulder bags, and not the Kelly Moore Kate in particular.
If you do like dlsr messenger bags, I’m sure you’ll love the Kelly Moore Kate. Storage options include a zipper pocket on the front flap, a zipper front pocket under the flap, a rear zipper pocket and of course the main compartment which houses the removeable padded basket.
Additionally, there’s an internal zipper pocket on the back wall of the Kelly Moore Kate, and a small pocket on the side of the bag, perfect for sliding your phone in and out. This is one of the beauties of a messenger bag such as the Kelly Moore Kate, with your essential gear close at hand and very easily accessible.
For the OCD amongst you, there’s also a selection of pockets to house credit cards, memory cards and pens on the inside of the large front pocket.
The 3 padded, removable, adjustable Velcro dividers make up the basket, leaving you with 4 sections for your camera gear. In practice this means you can carry up to a 10″ lens, camera body, flash, phone, batteries and other accessories.
One feature that we liked about the Kelly Moore Kate is that, thanks to the shape of the base, this messenger bag can stand upright on its own. This means that you can place the bag on the ground during your shoot with it remaining upright, meaning easy access to your gear.
As for carrying the Kelly Moore Kate, you can choose from an adjustable, removable shoulder strap as well as a shorter ‘grab-strap’ which is also removable. In practice, we found this grab strap the most useful for times when you frequently pick up and put down the bag – typical of an engagement shoot or other photography work on location.
Overall, we were impressed at how incognito the Kelly Moore Kate is for a women’s camera bag. One of our models noted that she’d use it more as an everyday bag as it looks and feels so good. Highly recommended!
Kelly Moore Luna
Dimensions: 12″ (length) x 5.5″ (width) x 10″ (height)
Weight: 2.25 lbs
Kelly Moore Bag is perhaps better known for its women’s camera bags that resemble women’s handbags and other female carrying accessories. The Kelly Moore Luna seems to have been modelled on a classic women’s shoulder bag, and depending on the colour-scheme you choose, can actually accentuate your outfit as a fashion accessory.
I was sent a Kelly Moore Luna in Walnut, but our models agreed that the Kelly Moore Luna in Bone (with contrasting dark grey) was “cuter and more of a statement piece!” It’s clear that camera bags for women have come a long way from the boring black generic products we used to see.
The Kelly Moore Luna is crafted out of ‘Cambrio’ material, exclusive to Kelly Moore Bag. I’m always suspicious when manufacturers come up with brand-specific materials/features with exotic names, but I have to say I’m impressed with this Cambrio stuff!
Apparently Cambrio is a vegan-friendly material, but more important to photographers, it’s abrasion and water-resistant too. It feels just like leather too.
The Kelly Moore Luna is clearly aimed more at photographers looking for stylish camera bags for women rather than those who need an everyday workhorse for all their camera gear. The size of the Kelly Moore Luna limits carrying capacity to a smaller camera body with lens attached, or a pro camera body with a separate lens (up to 8″), and small accessory such as a flash.
Other storage options include 2 vertical front zipper pockets (the right size for your phone/keys etc), 1 inside zipper pocket, 2 spaces on either side of the basket to store an iPad, notebooks, magazines, etc. and 3 open clear envelope pockets.
The removable padded basket features 2 padded dividers which can be customised to suit your carry-load. To secure the bag, there’s a zip as well as the flap, which when folded over closes with a magnet.
The branding on the Kelly Moore Luna of a gold plated logo on the front flap won’t be for everyone . It definitely complements the bag and adds to its appeal for those looking for a stylish camera bag for women, but could be a little bold and shiny for some.
One thing’s for sure – no one will mistake the Kelly Moore Luna for a camera bag, which allows you to pass incognito as a photographer. Ironically, the Kelly Moore Luna looks so much like an expensive handbag that thieves may prey on it simply as that alone, not knowing about the expensive gear held within!
As for the carrying options on the Kelly Moore Luna, the long messenger strap (up to 40″) means that you can adjust it to suit all heights, then quickly shorten the length at times when you don’t want the bag to swing as much.
Be sure to check out the 3 colourways available for the Kelly Moore Luna – the walnut version we received certainly makes for a stylish womens camera bag, but the bone/grey and mustard/grey options are equally striking too.
Compagnon Camera Bags
The Compagnon Unique
Type: Camera Tote Bag
Dimensions: 12″ (height) x 18.1″ (width) x 3.9″ (depth)
Weight: 2.6 lbs
Compagnon is a family owned premium leather bag manufacturer based in Germany’s Black Forest region. All their products, including the stylish Compagnon Unique Camera and Laptop bag, are made from 100% naturally tanned buffalo leather, produced in Italy.
The inside of the Compagnon Unique is just as luxurious, with ‘prime velcro velour’, allowing for the fixing of the storage separator panels but also offering strength and durability. When compared to nylon and other synthetic materials used on lesser women’s camera bag inserts, this velour hybrid will stand the test of time whilst providing excellent protection for your gear.
Camera tote bags which also feature shoulder straps, as offered by the Compagnon Unique, are a popular option for those looking for a stylish women’s camera bag. The tote handles allow for the Compagnon Unique to be carried by hand, over the shoulder/close to the arm pit, and at a longer length via the padded shoulder strap as a messenger-type bag.
The main zipper is 40cm long, opening about 30cm wide. In practice, we were able to fit one full frame dSLR with battery grip (or a larger flagship body such as the new Nikon D5), with a lens as big as the 70-200 f/2.8 zoom attached. Alongside this, you can squeeze in 2 additional medium sized lenses (we added a 35mm and an 85mm), or a lens and a flash.
The Compagnon Unique also features a padded laptop compartment which can house a 13″ Macbook or similar.
There’s also a zipper pocket on the front and one on the interior, plus open-topped compartments inside for a phone, a small wallet or notepad and pens.
The 4 padded dividers are movable and customisable, and can also be removed completely so you can use the Compagnon Unique as an everyday bag, although for this usage, it is rather large – you could fit a small dog inside it quite comfortably!
It’s obvious that a lot of love has gone into the manufacturing of the Compagnon Unique camera tote bag. The leather gives off a beautiful aroma, strap fastenings are shiny and solid and all zips are both smooth and strong at the same time. It’s clearly a bag that will last a photographer’s lifetime.
One minor niggle from one of the girls who used the bag for a week was the branding – since Compagnon is not a well-known name over here in Australia, the model wasn’t keen on having it emblazoned in gold on the front of an otherwise plain and well-designed bag.
However, if you’re not a ‘brand-whore’ (!!), I’m sure you won’t care about the name, or will probably appreciate the exotic and unknown nature of your bag’s origin!
Whatever the case, the Compagnon Unique Camera and Laptop bag deserves its place on this best camera bags for women list. If you’re looking to invest in a handmade, stylish women’s camera bag that’s easy to carry, functional and will last forever, be sure to check out the Compagnon Unique.
Think Tank Photo Camera Bags for Women
Think Tank Photo Lily Deanne Mezzo
Type: Shoulder camera bag
Dimensions: 8.5″ (height) x 10″ (width) x 6.3″ (depth)
Weight: 2.3 lbs
Did you know that the godfather of all camera bag manufacturers Think Tank Photo made a women’s camera bag? The Think Tank Photo Lily Deanne Mezzo is a dslr camera bag for women that is stylish, well made and functional, that oddly enough seems to have flown under the radar since its release.
‘Lily Deanne’ actually refers to 2 women, the first a product designer and the second a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer… but let’s be honest, you’re not buying this women’s camera bag based on 2 people you’ve never heard of! Instead, the Think Tank Photo Lily Deanne Mezzo will no doubt catch the eye of those of you looking for stylish camera bags for women.
The bag comes in 3 sizes, with each one designed to accommodate pro-sized camera bodies and lenses. We received the most popular ‘Mezzo’ (mid-sized model), which in practice allowed us to carry a Canon 5D Mark III with a 24-70mm f/2.8 attached, plus a 50mm f/1.2 and 85mm f/1.2 next to it. We even managed to squeeze in a flash on top of all that.
Apparently the Think Tank Photo Lily Deanne Mezzo was developed after a “decade interviewing female photographers and a 1.5 years developing the bag”. This has resulted in a design that provides quick access to both camera body, lenses, an 11″ laptop or tablet and also a wealth of smaller accessories thanks to the well-placed pockets.
In addition to the multiple pockets for your smaller personal items, the expandable pockets on the Think Tank Photo Lily Deanne Mezzo allow you to carry a water bottle or sunglasses case.
We particularly liked the addition of a large ‘pass-through’ on the back of the bag, which alows you to slip the Think Tank Photo Lily Deanne Mezzo over the luggage handle of a rolling case.
As with all Think Tank Photo products, the quality of the Think Tank Photo Lily Deanne Mezzo is top-notch and built to lasta lifetime.
The exterior is treated with durable water resistant coating, while the underside features polyurethane coating, also water resistant. Accents are made from full-grain Dakota leather, chrome plated metal hardware, velocity nylon, seatbelt webbing… basically the highest grade materials that won’t rip or break after heavy-usage!
The interior of the Think Tank Photo Lily Deanne Mezzo is a a striking turquoise colour, which contrasts nicely with the subdued black exterior (the Photo Lily is also available in Chestnut Brown). Business on the outside, party on the inside!
The only thing that struck me as a little strange with the Think Tank Photo Lily Deanne Mezzo is that even though it’s clearly aimed to appeal to photographers looking for stylish camera bags for women, Think Tank Photo have chosen to have a relatively large metal logo on the front of the bag.
Although this won’t matter to many of you, I think it’s a shame that Think Tank Photo didn’t choose more subtle branding, as is the case on their popular Think Tank Retrospective series of camera bags.
Incidentally, the Think Tank Retrospective camera bags are unisex and popular with many female wedding photographers I know. Check out the mini review in this list of the best camera bags.
It should be mentioned that the Think Tank Photo Lily Deanne Mezzo would make a great gift for a female photographer – it comes in an attractive gift box, wrapped carefully in tissue paper like a high-class handbag, sure to please the recipient. Husbands of photographers – listen up!
Jo Totes Camera Bags (Johansen)
Jo Totes Bellbrook Camera and Laptop Backpack
Dimensions: 15.75″ (height) x 12″ (width) x 6.25″ (depth)
Weight: 4 lbs
If you’re looking for a camera backpack for women which is both modern and fashionable, the Jo Totes Bellbrook Camera and Laptop Backpack should be on your shortlist. This backpack was one of the favourites amongst our models, who commented that they’d feel comfortable using it as a bag to take to college or hiking, not to mention on the next photo shoot.
Handscrafted from water-resistant, American-made waxed canvas and trimmed with high-quality leather, the Jo Totes Bellbrook Camera and Laptop Backpack is comfortable, versatile and chic – at least that’s what the website said, and we have to say we agree!
Available in Olive (our favourite), black and a cute blueish-grey, the Bellbrook features a satin-brass closure to secure the front flap, adding to the overall stylish appearance of the bag.
Our reviewers particularly liked the exclusion of any overt branding on the bag – in fact, we had to search for anything at all, finally finding the brand name embossed subtly on a zipper pull.
We wish more women’s camera bag manufacturers would realise that overt branding is not necessary – if someone likes your bag enough, they will ask you who makes it!
Two neat features of the Jo Totes Bellbrook Camera and Laptop Backpack are the side-access pockets, which allow you to access your camera gear quickly, by swinging the backpack around your body and reaching in from the side.
As well as room for up to a 15″ laptop, the Bellbrook also features a large zippered pocket on the front and multiple organisation pockets in the rear compartment which we used for business cards, mobile phone, spare batteries, notebook and pens.
We loved the durable feel of the waxed canvas which really suits the olive colour-way, and the grey brushed nylon interior is soft and smooth to the touch – perfect for storing lenses without their caps if that’s your thing!
The padded, adjustable divider system on the Bellbrook allows you to customize the backpack to accommodate your belongings and camera equipment. When the bag is divided into upper and lower compartments, the top area can store additional camera equipment vertically with padded dividers, or with an insert (included) which can be placed in the top area for additional protection.
In practice, our reviewer was able to carry a Nikon D610 body and 85mm f/1.8 lens (unattached) and a Nikon SB-910 flash, plus a 13″ Macbook Pro in the laptop sleeve.
As with the other women’s camera bags in this review, all dividers can be removed to use the Jo Totes Bellbrook Camera and Laptop Backpack as an every day backpack.
If you’ve been searching high and low for the most stylish camera bags for women, you’ve probably encountered numerous products from Jo Totes. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we recommend you go for the Bellbrook, which offers great storage, easy access and modern good-looks.
Jo Totes Gracie Camera Bag
Type: Shoulder Bag
Dimensions: 13.25″ (height) x 13″ (width) x 4.75″ (depth)
Weight: 4 lbs
I must admit it was hard to choose which bag by Jo Totes to include in this roundup of the best camera bags for women photographers. I narrowed down the choices by turning to Amazon reviews, and was interested to find that the Jo Totes Gracie Camera Bag had many 5 star reviews by happy customers.
Available in Mint, Magenta, Marsala and Butterscotch (our review bag), it’s clear that Jo Totes is trying to capture the hearts of a broad spectrum of female photographers with both their purse camera bag designs and colours.
Out of the 4 colour options on offer, our reviewers universally agreed that Butterscotch was the most versatile, looking good with almost any outfit.
Anyway, enough about how this stylish camera bag looks! How does it function? Well, boasting an impressive seven spacious pockets, the Jo Totes Gracie Camera Bag can hold a surprising amount of gear for a women’s camera bag in this price range.
On the exterior of the Gracie, there are two front pockets with magnetic button closures, one large front pocket with a zippered closure, one back pocket that includes a zippered compartment and a quick-access non-zippered compartment which we found useful for our lens covers and filters.
On the inside, there’s a zippered iPad pocket on one side of the Gracie and another zippered pocket for your phone and keys on the other side. For your camera gear, you can customise four removable velcro pads to suit your needs on the day.
In practice, we were able to fit a Canon 5D Mark III with 35mm f/1.4 lens attached, a 580 EX II flash and still have room for the model’s cardigan on top.
Aside from the looks and carrying abilities of the Jo Totes Gracie Camera Bag, it’s the shape and material which really sets it apart. Even though the Gracie is made from faux-leather (presumably to keep the price down, which they’ve succeeded in doing), the quality is excellent and the bag remains supple, allowing it to comfortably wrap around the body .
With women’s messenger camera bags, it’s preferable if the bag wraps nicely around the contours of the woman’s curves, rather than jutting out like some harder women’s camera bags tend to do. Since the camera gear portion is at the lower half of the Jo Totes Gracie Camera Bag, the upper portion is left ’empty’ and able to wrap nicely around your hip, when the bag is carried across your body.
Included with the Jo Totes Gracie Camera Bag is a removable shoulder strap, cross body strap and shoulder pad, allowing a few different carrying options. By using the shorter shoulder strap, you can carry the Gracie higher up your body, minimising swing.
Switching to the longer strap allows you to carry the Gracie across your body. During our review, we kept both straps attached at the same time and the bag looked great and functioned well too.
The interior of the Jo Totes Gracie Camera Bag deserves a mention – if you opt for the Mint, Magenta or Marsala colour options, the interior is a subdued light-grey. However, on the Butterscotch Gracie, the interior is a powder-blue, which reminded us a little of a nappy (diaper) bag!
Having said this, the Jo Totes Gracie Camera Bag is so nice-looking and comfortable to carry that at this price, it actually can double very well as a nappy bag when you’re not shooting!
If you read the customer reviews of the Gracie on Amazon, you’ll see that many women actually use the bag as a stylish everyday handbag. With this versatility all for just over 100 bucks, it’s hard to pass up the Jo Totes Gracie Camera Bag, however you choose to use it.
Jill-E Designs Camera Bags
Jill-e Designs Small Leather Camera Bag
Type: Camera HandBag
Dimensions: 14″ (length) x 6″ (width) x 8″ (height)
Weight: 3.6 lbs
I must admit that I probably would have skipped over this unassuming camera handbag had it not been for the numerous positive customer reviews on Amazon. Despite it’s rather unimaginative name, the Jill-e Designs Small Leather Camera Bag seems to have legions of fans…
Whether the Jill-e Designs Small Leather Camera Bag is one of the more stylish camera bags for women or not is in the eye of the beholder, but looks aside, you have to admit that the design is original and markedly different from the other women’s camera bags in this review.
Built from top grain, weather-resistant leather, the Jill-e Designs Small Leather Camera Bag feels strong and durable, and thanks to the padded exterior walls, your camera gear will be safe and sound despite any bumps.
The dual zipper top access point is an interesting addition. Our reviewers initially disliked it, but the more they used the bag, the more they began to understand its unique advantage – namely, allowing you to access the contents using one hand.
By carrying the Jill-e Designs Small Leather Camera Bag over a bent arm, you are able to open the top flap with one deft yank of the double zipper.
Since this camera handbag is so shallow, you’re able to see and access all your gear very quickly and easily. In terms of what you can fit in the Jill-e Designs Small Leather Camera Bag, our reviewer carried a medium sized Nikon D3300 body with 50mm f/1.8 prime lens attached, flash and 18-55mm kit lens, along with all the smaller bits and bobs that you ladies have in your handbags!
The dual zippers also mean that the top opening is large, allowing you to see into the entire bag. You can also unzip only one side to easily slide things in and out of the bag on the fly.
Pockets are plentiful and include 3 mesh pockets on the inside lid, a detachable zippered pocket inside, 3 pockets with magnetic closures on the front and sides, and a zippered pocket on the rear. This allows plenty of room to store keys, a phone, a wallet, or any other necessities.
Carrying the Jill-e Designs Small Leather Camera Bag on the inside of your arm can quickly become tiring, so our reviewers found themselves attaching the included shoulder strap for most of the day.
Due to its size limitations, the Jill-e Designs Small Leather Camera Bag is aimed more the hobbyist or semi-pro female photographer rather than the full-time pro who needs to carry multiple items of gear.
It’s somewhat a niche product, and its appearance reflects this, but due to its affordable pricing, durable construction, unique access point and non-camera bag good-looks, we feel the Jill-e Designs Small Leather Camera Bag deserves its spot amongst the best camera bags for women.
Jill-e Designs Jack Messenger Camera Bag
Dimensions: 15″ (length) x 8″ (width) x 12″ (height)
Weight: 4.5 lbs
Jill-E designs is another women’s camera bag manufacturer that offers many products for the female photographer. When I asked them to send me their 3 most popular camera bags for women, the Jack Messenger Camera Bag came in at number 2.
The Jack is actually unisex, although I have to say that the contrasting stitching and other small design features do edge it more in favour of being a camera bag for women. Strange that they decided to call it ‘Jack’!?
Built from durable but soft top grain, weather-resistant Colombian leather, the Jill-e Designs Jack Messenger Camera Bag looks like it will scuff and scratch over time, leading to a weathered but attractive worn appearance.
The leather is much softer than that used on the Jill-e Designs Small Leather Camera Bag reviewed above, which would be able to withstand more abuse before looking worn.
The Jill-e Designs Jack Messenger Camera Bag is deep enough to house a 15″ laptop, up to 2 dSLR camera bodies and 3 to medium sized lenses. You can even carry two camera bodies with pro-size zooms attached, making the Jack Messenger a good option for wedding photographers or those who shoot regularly with 2 cameras at once.
The two zippered front pockets also contain smaller interior pockets for a mobile phone and memory cards. The side pockets are useful for small items such as business cards or keys, but we would have liked them to be slightly larger to be able to accommodate a flash or small lens.
A neat addition is the zippered trolley pocket which allows you to attach the Jill-e Designs Jack Messenger Camera Bag to a rolling bag, making a great option for travelling photographers.
The front flap is styled with a belt-style closure, but actually closes by way of a push button closure, a much simpler and faster option for easy access.
As with most camera messenger bags, the flap doesn’t need to be closed until the end of the day when a shoot is complete, with the flap providing adequate protection remaining down but unfastened.
The interior of the Jill-e Designs Jack Messenger Camera Bag is where it really shines, with nice, thick padded adjustable velcro dividers, giving you a myriad of organisation options.
Our reviewers found the Jill-e Designs Jack Messenger Camera Bag comfortable to carry using the padded rear handle or detachable shoulder strap. For run-and-gun style photography shoots (e.g. engagement sessions), the rear handle proves most useful, although you’ll quickly feel the weight.
As with most messenger style bags that house this much camera gear, it should be noted that the bag won’t wrap around the curve of your hip, but rather stick out like you’re carrying a large shoe box on your waist. This is accentuated due to the box-like structure of the Jill-e Designs Jack Messenger Camera Bag.
This said, if you’re looking for a medium-large size leather women’s camera bag which is stylish enough to pass for an overnight bag, the Jill-e Designs Jack Messenger Camera Bag is a good-looking and functional option.
Jill-e Desgins E-Go Camera Bag Insert
Dimensions: 10.5″ (length) x 3.5″ (width) x 6.25″ (height)
Weight: 0.5 lbs
Although the Jill-e Desgins E-Go Camera Bag Insert could be used as a standalone bag thanks to its shoulder strap (albeit a very basic one), I still chose to include it in this list of the best camera bags for women even though it’s just an insert. This was mainly due to my own personal preference of using an insert (or rather, a Domke wrap) to extend the carrying capabilities of any of my non-camera bags.
In other words, using an insert such as the Jill-e Desgins E-Go Camera Bag Insert allows you to quickly and easily convert any of your existing generic bags into a camera bag.
There’s not much to the Jill-e Desgins E-Go Camera Bag Insert – it’s just a compact, weather-resistant, microfiber case which fits inside your favourite carry bag.
The padded interior with adjustable dividers offers ample protection for a small camera body (we used a Canon 700D), one lens and another small accessory such as a LaCie Rugged portable hard drive.
There’s also a handy net pocket on the inside of the top flap which we used to store business cards, batteries and SD cards.
The Jill-e Desgins E-Go Camera Bag Insert weighs next to nothing and is reasonably priced, so we recommend it for anyone who hasn’t quite decided what style of women’s camera bag to invest in. Just purchase the insert and try it out in your existing messenger, tote, sling and other bags to see which way of carrying your gear suits you best.
Capturing Couture Womens Camera Bags
Capturing Couture Americana Camera Backpack
Type: Backpack or Messenger
Dimensions: 16″ (width) x 12″ (high) x 7″ (deep)
Weight: 3 lbs
After all the leather and plain synthetic stylish women’s camera bags featured in this list, I was keen to include one of the more girly camera bags that polarises opinion a bit.
Some might call the Capturing Couture Americana Camera Backpack a stylish women’s camera bag, but then again, others might say it resembles a kid’s sandwich bag! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all.
One thing’s for sure – the Capturing Couture Americana Camera Backpack is certainly funky, and lives up to Capturing Couture’s slogan of ‘well crafted products for joyful living.’
Using this bag will quite literally put a smile on your face every time you pick it up – the design isn’t for everyone, but those who like it, fall in love with it.
Carrying the Americana will also attract/repel your kind of client, which could be an advantage/disadvantage depending on your business.
Looks aside, the Americana is a well designed, well constructed backpack that doubles as a handy messenger bag, allowing you to carry 2 dSLR bodies, 2 smaller lenses, a flash, a telephoto lens, laptop/tablet and lots of other small accessories,
The Capturing Couture Americana Camera Backpack includes 2 zippered pockets on the front panel, a laptop/tablet sleeve (fits up to a 12″ laptop, such as the sexy Macbook Retina 12″), a back zippered pocket which can also be used to slide onto a rolling luggage handle, a main compartment with 5 removable panels and an interior key clip.
We loved the option to access the Capturing Couture Americana Camera Backpack via the wide top opening as well as via the zippered front opening, which allows you to lay the bag flat for quick access to all your gear. The front flap closes via magnetic buckle clips.
The Capturing Couture Americana Camera Backpack felt durable and high quality, and we especially liked the water-resistant base with 5 metal feet. However, we felt the included backpack and shoulder straps were a little basic, and could probably warrant some form of padding if you’re carrying heavy loads.
Branding was subtle and stylish, with a shiny metal badge on the front with Embossed same-colour logo – you can’t see the brand name unless you really study it.
Bottom line is, you’ll know in one second if the Capturing Couture Americana Camera Backpack is for you. One of our reviewers who loves girly camera bags fell in love with it and said she’d use it as her everyday carry… another said it was perfect… for her 6 year old girl’s sandwiches!
Whether you decide to invest in the Americana or not, be sure to check out Capturing Coutures other funky bag and strap creations.
F-Stop Gear Women’s Camera Backpack
F-Stop Gear Kashmir UL
Dimensions: 12.5″ (width) x 20.5″ (high) x 27.9″ (deep)
Weight: 2.5 lbs
Volume: 30 litres
Not all women’s camera bags are designed for the everyday female photographer. The F-Stop Gear Kashmir UL is the first adventure bag by F-Stop Gear which has been designed exclusively for women. I got my hands on a pre-release version and handed it to our female reviewer to see what she thought.
Those familiar with the F-Stop Gear range of camera bags will know that they usually offer 3 basic colourways – all black, and a bright turquoise or orange colour option. The F-Stop Gear Kashmir UL features a mixture of the two, making it eye-catching without being too loud.
You’ll either love or hate the turquoise accents on the Kashmir, but they do serve a purpose, making them visible in harsh conditions where you need to quickly grab a strap or buckle.
Harsh conditions are what the F-Stop Gear range of camera bags were designed for, and the F-Stop Gear Kashmir UL is no different. The ‘UL’ stands for ultralight, but that doesn’t mean it’s low-quality. Far from it in fact – I’ve never heard of an F-Stop bag ripping, thanks to abrasion resistant ripstop nylon and polyurethane coating which offers water/weather resistance.
As for storage options, the Kashmir offers elasticated side mesh pockets allowing easy access to water bottles and small lenses, a zippered mesh underside lid pocket which is perfect for a passport, wallet and other less commonly needed items, a multi-puprose internal sleeve which can be used to house up to a 13″ laptop or a hydration bladder, and a front panel pocket.
We also found the zippered pockets on the hip strap especially useful for travel passes and money, allowing fast and easy access whilst still remaining relatively concealed.
The F-Stop Gear Kashmir UL can stand its own as a dedicated hiking backpack, with ergonomic Soft Flex injection molded EVA belt and shoulder straps, and adjustable sternum strap with integrated whistle for emergencies.
Special attention has gone into the structure of the Kashmir, which has been scultped specifically to match the female torso. The waist straps distribute weight efficiently while the harness features the longest adjustable sternum strap we have ever made to accommodate a range of bust sizes.
As with all F-Stop Gear bags, the carrying of camera gear is performed using Internal Camera Units – basically, inserts with customisable dividers. The Kashmir supports all Shallow ICUs allowing you plenty of protected space for gear in the field.
As an example, using the Medium Shallow ICU ($75), you can carry up to 3 pro dSLR bodies and a large telephoto lens e.g. 3x Canon 5D Mark IIIs and a 40mm f/5.6L. Alternatively, a Canon 5D Mark III with 70-200mm f/2.8 attached, plus a Canon 7D body, 35mm f/1.4L, charger and spare batteries.
The F-Stop Gear Kashmir UL is clearly a niche product aimed at female sports photographers, or lifestyle photographers who perhaps cater more for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. It’s also a great option simply as a hiking backpack, with the removeable ICU giving you the flexibility to use it for professional photography use when it suits you.
Aide de Camp Camera Bags
Aide de Camp Leyden
Dimensions: 14″ (width) x 11″ (high) x 6″ (deep)
Weight: 2.5 lbs
As one of the most stylish camera bags for women on the market, I was eager to get my hands on the sophisticated Aide de Camp Leyden in the new ‘sable brown’ colour-way for review.
By using a mixture of durable, water-resistant nylon, genuine cow leather handles/trim and 14-karat champagne gold plated hardware, the Aide de Camp Leyden straddles the line between functional women’s camera bag and stylish everyday handbag. With minimal branding and a fashionable silhouette, the Aide de Camp Leyden is clearly for female photographers who don’t want to look like photographers.
I can see this bag being popular for bloggers who want a discreet way to carry their bulky dSLR, whilst remaining stylish and incognito.
The Aide de Camp Leyden features a removable cross-body strap with a soft neoprene centre (think spongy wetsuit material) for maximum comfort. You can also use the shorter double handles to carry the bag over a bent arm – the preferred method of our reviewers when the carry load wasn’t too heavy.
As for storage options, the Aide de Camp Leyden offers an impressive nine pockets, both internal and external. Our reviewers loved the organisational capacity of the Leyden, with smaller slip-in style pockets allowing you to arrange your mobile phone, business cards, earphones and other small accessories to your OCD heart’s content!
When it’s time to load your camera gear, you can customise the removable padding box to accomodate a couple of camera bodies and lenses. We managed to stuff in a Nikon D700, 35mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.8, 85mm f/1.8, Kindle, iPhone, purse, makeup, business cards and a scarf.
The top of the Aide de Camp Leyden zips up to fold over on itself when carried. Although it would affect the appearance of the bag, you also have the option of adding more items on top of the padding box, then leaving the zipped flap standing upright, allowing a little extra room.
If you’re looking for a stylish women’s camera bag that wouldn’t look out of place when used in the evening at a restaurant, the Aide de Camp Leyden should be on your shortlist.
Whilst the Leyden is not suited to professional photographers who lug around a ton of gear, it does provide a great solution for those female hobbyist/semi-pro photographers who want to pass unnoticed, and look good while they’re at it. It’s also available in black.
Aide de Camp Nadine
Dimensions: 22″ (width top) x 15″ (width base) x 12″ (high) x 9.5″ (deep)
Weight: 2.6 lbs
One style of women’s camera bag that hasn’t been mentioned in this best camera bags for women post is the humble tote. I’ve got to say that if I were a woman, I’d use a tote as my everyday camera bag, and the Aide de Camp Nadine is the best-looking camera tote I’ve come across.
All our reviewers agreed that the Aide de Camp Nadine is a great looking bag, whether used as a weekender, nappy bag or camera bag. It’s a little on the large side to use everyday for just your essentials, but we’re happy for the size, since it allows us to accommodate a lot of camera gear and still look great when carried.
Totes provide a unique way of carrying, with the load on one shoulder and the bag suspended near waist height. This allows you to use your hand on the side to grasp the bottom of the tote, stopping it from swinging.
The handles on the Aide de Camp Nadine seem durable, although offer no padding so could prove a little painful for extended use, especially on bare shoulders.
As for storage options, the Aide de Camp Nadine offers 3 external pockets, 6 interior pockets and a padded sleeve which can house up to a 15″ laptop. The removable internal compartment can house one dSLR and up to 4 lenses, depending on their size. We managed to squeeze in a Nikon D750 body with 35mm f/1,4, 85mm f/1.4, Yongnuo YN-622 wireless triggers and a Nikon SB-700 flash.
There’s also a handy rear trolley sleeve, allowing you to give your shoulder a rest whilst whizzing around the airport. Another feature which was spotted by our model with a newborn was the removable laptop padding, which can also be used as a wipeable mat for that quick nappy change!
Thankfully the premium European canvas of the Aide de Camp Nadine’s exterior is water-resistant, just in case you can’t put that nappy on fast enough :p
Our models loved the colour options of the Aide de Camp Nadine – charcoal, cream and slate, all in pastel tones that could complement a broad spectrum of outfits.
Branding is very minimal (and removable), and the design is subtle enough to go unnoticed, but will draw compliments upon closer examination – the two-tone front is both stylish and quirky.
If you’ve used a tote as your every day bag for some time, you’ll appreciate the convenience of a shoulder bag which doesn’t swing. For its good-looks, functionality and build-quality, the Aide de Camp Nadine should be at the top of your Christmas list!
Lei Momi Purse Camera Bags
Lei Momi Lisbon Camera Bag
Type: Handbag style camera bag
Dimensions: 15″ (length) x 5.5″ (width base) x 12″ (high) x 9.5″ (deep)
Weight: 2.6 lbs
Seeing as I’ve been a resident of Australia for the past 7 years (originally I’m from the UK), I thought it would be remiss of me not to include at least one Ozzie womens camera bag manufacturer on this list of the best camera bags for women!
The Lei Momi Lisbon is available in coral/saddle and cocoa/brown colour-ways, and we received the most popular of the two – the coal/saddle version. It’s certainly an unusual design/colouring that will no doubt polarise opinion straight away.
Woven cotton canvas combined with a faux leather trim makes up the exterior of the Lei Momi Lisbon, and from a distance the bag looks like it’s made from twill. It’s certainly a stand-out piece, and in the coral/brown option would complement a beachside outfit nicely.
As for exterior carrying options on the Lei Momi Lisbon, there are two front pockets, two zipper pockets on the front and the back, and two side pockets for your phone, keys, extra batteries or lip gloss!
On the inside, the Lei Momi Lisbon offers 5 padded adjustable dividers which allow you to customise the space as you wish, and also includes a section for a 13″ laptop or tablet. We managed to fit one Nikon D610 camera body, a 35mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.8, as well as a Macbook Air into the Lisbon.
Whilst some of the bags in this reviews of the best camera bags for women included metal zippers, the Lei Momi Lisbon uses a nylon main zipper, which helps to prevent any scratches on your precious camera gear.
The Lei Momi Lisbon was comfortable to carry in the fold of one arm, then later in the day when our reviewer started to tire, the adjustable/detachable cross-body cotton webbing strap with shoulder pad offered a comfortable option to take the weight.
Branding on the bag includes a polished silver name plate on the front, but with a subtle embossing in the same colour so it doesn’t stand out too much. The silver also complements nicely with the twist closures on the two front pockets.
The Lei Momi Lisbon offers a unique, well constructed design in an original fabric, and for that reason, it deserves its place in this best camera bags for women round up. We hope you agree!
Lei Momi Alice Camera Bag
Type: Women’s Messenger Camera Bag
Dimensions: 13″ (length) x 5.25″ (width) x 9.5″ (height)
Weight: 2 lbs
The Lei Momi Alice Camera Bag was definitely one of the most popular women’s camera bags amongst both our reviewers, and any other non-photographer female that came across it. It’s hard to resist such a cute and stylish women’s camera bag in a classic satchel design.
Available in 4 vibrant but tasteful colours (Toupe Grey, Summer Ochre, Poppy Red and our review unit in Caribbean Green), the Lei Momi Alice Camera Bag is clearly for the female photographer who wants to stand out… or perhaps just wants to smile every time she picks up her camera bag![Speaking of colours, follow this link to find out how to take better pictures using the colour red].
Whilst we want our camera bags to serve their purpose and function well as camera bags, often we also want them to look good as standalone pieces too. I’ve tried to focus on stylish camera bags for women in this review, and the Lei Momi Alice Camera Bag with its cutesy-appeal, lack of overt branding and supple faux leather exterior ticks all the right boxes.
Enough of its looks! How does the Lei Momi Alice Camera Bag perform? Well, despite its soft and spongey appearance, it can actually protect your precious camera gear well too.
Metal feet and padding on the base of the bag, padding on each wall and 4 padded adjustable dividers offer good protection for any bumps and drops along the way.
In terms of storage, the Lei Momi Alice Camera Bag offers one main zippered front pocket which conceals separate spaces for business cards and memory cards as well as a mesh net for other bits and bobs. We especially liked the pleating on the side of the main pocket, allowing it to open wider to allow easier access.
Two narrow side pockets could be used to squeeze in a phone or lipstick perhaps, then another open topped pocket on the rear is a good size for an iPad Mini or Kindle. On the inside of the Alice there’s a zippered mesh pocket under the lid, and the main compartment which features a nylon zip closure to prevent any accidental lens scratches.
The main flap closes via magnets, our preference for speed and ease of one-handed access. Branding includes one silver plate on the side – we’re so glad this was placed here rather than on the front, which could have spoiled the cuteness of the Lei Momi Alice Camera Bag!
There’s an adjustable and detachable cross-body cotton strap with shoulder pad if you want to carry the Lei Momi Alice Camera Bag like a messenger bag, or a padded hand grip on the top.
As for how much it can carry, expect to fit a camera body and up to 2 lenses and small accessories into the Alice – perfect for the hobbyist or food blogger who wants to pass incognito as a photographer but still wants to have a statement piece by her side.
Womens Camera Bags | Final Words
So there you have it – my selection of the best camera bags for women available in 2018201. If I’ve missed any camera bags for women off this list, leave your recommendations in the comments below.
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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.