travel camera case with equipment

Best Soft & Hard Travel Case for Camera Equipment in 2023

A travel case for your camera equipment is a good idea if you need to keep everything protected and easy to access. Here are the best cases.

If you want to travel with your photography gear, a camera case is an essential purchase to keep your equipment organised and protected.

I travel with different camera cases all the time as a professional photographer, and in this guide, I’ll tell you about all the best bags that have stood the test of time.

Whether you’re looking for a hard shell camera case with foam dividers for the ultimate protection while travelling or a soft travel camera case for convenient everyday use, you’ll find something right for you in this guide.

Peilican 1510 Hard Camera Case

Water, dust and crush proof, a great-looking rugged camera case that will keep your gear safe and secure.

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I’ve included several inexpensive camera cases, but if you want to save more money by going the DIY route, I’ll show you how to make a camera case.

This guide is mostly for photographers who want to protect their digital camera or drone while travelling, but since smartphone photography is still a big thing in 2023, we’ll also discuss camera cases for iPhones too.

It’s also worth asking if a camera case is necessary for you at all – sometimes, wrapping equipment in a towel and placing it in a regular bag is enough.

However, if you regularly travel, investing in a travel case for your camera gear is advisable.

So, let’s jump into the recommendations.

Best Soft & Hard Cases for Camera Equipment in 2023

Image Product Features
shk2-table__imagePelican 1510OUR #1 CHOICE
  • Waterproof & Crushproof
  • Automatic Pressure Equalization Valve
  • Reinforced Padlock Protectors
  • Stainless Steel Wheels
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shk2-table__imageVanguard Alta FlyBEST ROLLING CASE
  • Easy to Tansport
  • Easily Customizable
  • Dedicated Tripod Straps
  • Durable Moisture Resistant Materials
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shk2-table__imageNeewer 2-in-1BUDGET ROLLING CASE
  • Durable & Sturdy Construction
  • Large Storage Capacity
  • Anti-shock Detachable Compartments
  • Airplane Carry-on Compatible
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shk2-table__imageLowePro DroneGuardTOP RATED DRONE CASE
  • Removable Organization Panels
  • Rugged and Protective Construction
  • Compression FormShell Technology
  • Holds Transmitter Securely
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shk2-table__imageTemdan [Real 360]BEST IPHONE CASE
  • Dust & Waterproof
  • Shock & Anti-drop Protected
  • Built-in Glass Screen Protector
  • Supports Wireless Charging
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shk2-table__imageLowepro TahoeBEST COMPACT CASE
  • Removable Shoulder Strap
  • Adjustable Internal Storage Options
  • Cushioned Polyester Interior
  • Weather-Resistant Exterior
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shk2-table__imageMeijiaBEST SMALL WATERPROOF CASE
  • Reinforced Stainless Steel Construction
  • Easy Open Latches System
  • High Quality Pressure Valve
  • Premium ABS Material
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shk2-table__imageBagsmartBEST SHOULDER CASE
  • Quick Access Points
  • Detachable Padded Shoulder Strap
  • Thick Durable Vinyl Material
  • Versatile Size for Traveling
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Pelican 1510 | Best Hard Camera Case with Foam

  • Water-, dust-, and crushproof
  • Protective foam layer
  • Release valve controls internal pressure
  • Comfortable handles prevent blisters
  • Lockable via metal padlock holes
  • Wheels offer no suspension

If you’re a travelling photographer who needs the ultimate in camera protection, look no further than the dependable Pelican 1510 Camera Case.

Considered the crème de la crème by industry experts, it’s fit to serve your most challenging gear protection needs — big or small.

And with a rugged design that’s equally durable and sleek, you’ll enter any set or studio looking and feeling like a consummate professional!

The Pelican 1510 is built for use in tough conditions for the military, law enforcement, and fire safety industries, protecting your camera and its accessories from damage in treacherous, high-risk adventures. And you can rest assured that if top-performing professionals rely on it, you can too.

The Pelican 1510 Camera Case has foam inserts to provide the shielded layer that your camera needs — resisting impact and dust for lasting use. And its watertight design keeps moisture out when you’re near bodies of water, stuck in rain, or have an accidental spill.

You can also rearrange the interior to meet your preference or contents’ needs, allowing you to change it up from day to day or project to project.

An automatic equalization pressure valve controls interior pressure and prevents water from getting in for added protection and peace of mind when travelling on planes or boats or anywhere pressure changes may affect delicate equipment.

Whether you’re heading out to rough it on a shoot or just want extra camera protection during transport, you can count on this Pelican 1510 Camera Case to live up to its reputation for being the best hard camera case with foam.

Vanguard Alta Fly | Best Rolling Camera Case

  • Compact for TSA carry-on
  • Compartments keep items contained
  • Versatile backpack/rolling design
  • Total-coverage rain shield
  • Shallow depth
  • Looks not for everyone

The Vanguard Alta Fly Camera Case is designed to accommodate all your photography gear while keeping up with your on-the-go photographer lifestyle.

You can strap this case onto your back like a backpack for convenience or extend the handle to roll it around airports or photoshoots. Its wheels also swivel to seamlessly move and turn with you without slowing you down, making it one of the best rolling camera cases available.

Built from materials that resist scratches and moisture, you can depend on the Vanguard Alta Fly Camera Case to withstand even the toughest wear-and-tear to give you the longevity you need for portrait, lifestyle, and landscape photography projects.

Designed to hold larger items like 14-inch laptops and tablets, you can confidently pack all the camera and work supplies you need without a hassle. And two security buckles add an extra layer of security.

Two inner pouches let you securely store critical items such as identification, money, plane tickets, and more. And they’re removable, so you can easily grab them when going through security.

And because the Vanguard Alta Fly Camera Case comes padded and with a rain shield, your equipment will be protected against damage from drops, moisture, and more.

Straps for your tripod are also included for convenience. And a variety of compartments make it easy to organize your belongings into easy-to-find sections.

Getting the portable gear protection you need is easy with the Vanguard Alt Fly Camera Case.

Neewer 2-in-1 | Budget Rolling Camera Case

  • Convertible, waterproof design
  • Wheels for easy transport
  • Adjustable, comfortable shoulder straps
  • Affordable for budgeters
  • Capacity conflicts with photos
  • Water-resistant, not waterproof

This Neewer 2-in-1 Rolling Camera Case is the ideal budget rolling camera case for those mindful spenders who don’t want to sacrifice quality.

Durably designed for lasting use at an affordable price, the Neewer 2-in-1 Camera Case delivers the perfect balance of brawn and budget-friendliness. And its sharp, sleek style offers the professional look you want when you arrive at the job site.

Its convertible design can quickly go from backpack to luggage with a long handle that easily extends, and its large size holds photography gear while adhering to TSA guidelines.

(Some users even said the Neewer 2-in-1 Rolling Camera Case could hold all the items they previously needed two bags to contain!)

The Neewer 2-in-1’s rugged handle delivers the firm grip you need during travel, loading, and unloading, while the anti-slip design on the bottom ensures even easier mobility.

And it also has high-quality wheels for seamless, bump-free transport through tough terrain or airport terminals.

Its shoulder straps adjust for comfort and a secure fit when used in backpack form and can easily be tucked away in the back pocket when not in use.

And because it’s waterproof, you won’t worry about rain or spills, so the Neewer 2-in-1 Camera Case is perfect for wedding and landscape photographers out in the elements. 

All in all, it’s a fantastic camera case for an affordable price.

LowePro DroneGuard | Best Drone Travel Case

  • Designed specifically for Drones
  • Impact-resistant and waterproof
  • Removable panels for customization
  • Convenient shoulder phone strap
  • Straps can slip
  • Slightly tight

Trek through the toughest conditions while protecting your fragile gear with the LowePro DroneGuard Camera Case.

Classified as the best drone travel case, this camera case was designed to hold your DJI Mavic Pro and Transmitter, so it’s perfect for aerial photographers.

A transmitter pad safeguards control sticks at all times, even during transit, while FormShell innovative technology shields your equipment from damaging impact. 

The LowePro DroneGuard can also safely store extra batteries, cords, tablets, and 15-in laptops, so you can travel with everything you need without making an extra stop.

Its rugged design resists impact to protect your camera from drops, while removable panels with elastic straps easily arrange contents and move to meet your preference or storage needs.

A shoulder strap holds your phone for easy access, so you can quickly grab it to check calls or texts when you’re on the go.

And because it’s sleek and lightweight, the LowePro DroneGuard can also fit in larger bags as needed for convenient gear transport.

Temdan [Real 360] | Best Waterproof iPhone Camera Case

  • Waterproof to protect your phone
  • Resists impact for durability
  • Washable to stay clean
  • Feels like your actual screen
  • Only for iPhones
  • Sides can be slippery 

Get the small and mighty protection your phone needs with the Temdan Real 360 iPhone Camera Case.

Built to withstand rain and spills, it’s easily the best waterproof iPhone camera case. And an oleophobic layer boosts protection against dust and oil.

The Temdan Real 360 not only resists damage from a variety of substances and circumstances, but it’s also washable for easy cleaning by hand. You can also simply add it to the dishwasher to ensure it stays looking new and free from germs.

It’s designed with tempered glass and built-in screen protection to feel like your phone, so you won’t experience the thickness or grit you usually would on a phone cover.

And a 12-month warranty offers added peace of mind during your first year of use.

You can give your phone the protective shield it needs with the Temdan Real 360 iPhone Camera Case – definitely an essential accessory for any iPhone camera user.

Lowepro Tahoe | Best Small Case for Compact Cameras

  • Rugged, compact design
  • Quilted padding for protection
  • UltraFlex™ panel folds
  • Padded, comfortable strap
  • Too small for some users
  • Quality could be better

We can’t discuss heavy-duty cases built for bulky cameras without also covering the cases for compact models. And that’s where the Lowepro Tahoe comes in.

Designed for on-the-go users, the Lowepro Tahoe features a sleek handheld build and quilted padding to protect your delicate belongings from damage, making it the best small case for compact cameras.

It’s the best small case for compact cameras and point and shoots, clipping right onto your belt or slung around your body with the included shoulder strap.

You can easily fold the UltraFlex™ panel for additional space, or use the external zippered pocket to store ear plugs, writing utensils, and more.

Its shoulder strap is also padded to ensure comfort during use.

Because the Lowepro Tahoe is intended for compact cameras, you can bring your camera to any indoor or outdoor setting without worrying about getting bogged down with extra baggage.  

Meijia | Best Small Waterproof Camera Case

  • Water- and weatherproof
  • Portable design for ease
  • Foam insert adds extra protection
  • Valve to release air pressure
  • Lockable corners
  • Loose hinges
  • Foam quality could be better

The MEIJIA Portable Camera Case will become your new must-have item for travel or outdoor activities if you need something smaller (and cheaper!) than the aforementioned Pelican.

The stainless-steel hardware ensures durability while providing the strength that your camera needs to keep it dry and protected from impact when you’re fishing, hunting, or out on the job.

It resists weathering and water and has a lightweight design, making it the best small waterproof camera case for those who simply want to grab it and go.

Its latches allow for easy opening and closing, so you can access or shield your equipment as needed, and the corners even feature holes for padlock.

The foam inserts protect multiple levels of fragile accessories for added peace of mind.

The MEIJIA Camera Case also has a built-in pressure valve to manage air pressure while preventing water from getting inside for added confidence during travel.

Experience the confidence you need to safely transport your camera and its components with the MEIJIA Portable Camera Case.

Bagsmart | Best Shoulder Camera Case for DSLRs

  • Waterproof design for durability
  • Easy-to-organize sections
  • Detachable strap for convenience
  • Tough, easy-to-clean vinyl construction
  • Quality could be better
  • Not large enough for telephoto lenses

Quick, swift travel with bulky camera equipment is easier than ever with the spacious BAGSMART Over-the-Shoulder Camera Case.

Its thick vinyl construction promotes lasting durability for years to come and can be easily cleaned if it gets dirty, while the rain cover hidden on the back of the case protects your valuables in the event of a downpour or spill.

The lightweight design and padded handle ensure comfortable use, while the sling fits perfectly over your shoulder, so you can easily secure your camera and hit the road with peace of mind.

You can also enjoy the versatility of the trolley strap, which can be quickly attached to your luggage without worry.

Three compartments with mesh pockets are perfect for your DSLR, phone, batteries, lenses, memory cards, and more. And two side pockets are ideal for keeping water bottles or other beverages contained.

A rear zippered pocket is also great for holding the stuff you always need to access, such as keys, wallets, books, and more.

The BAGSMART Shoulder Camera Case naturally features a padded shoulder strap, which can also be detached for quick attachments to other luggage, making it the best shoulder camera case for DSLRs.

Get where you need to go, and with everything you need, with the BAGSMART Shoulder Camera Case.

How Do You Make a Camera Case?

My prefered way to make a camera case is by purchasing a camera bag insert (sometimes called ‘ICUs’, or Internal Camera Units) that’s the right size to fit in any existing bag you own.

Then it’s just a matter of filling the insert with your cameras, lenses, drones and other equipment, zipping up the front and placing it in your regular everyday bag.

This has the added benefit of remaining completely stealthy – no one will ever know that you’re actually carrying expensive camera gear.

Here’s another way to turn any bag into a camera bag:

Shotkit Writer, Product Tester & Instagram Manager

Jeff Collier is an experienced film photographer who enjoys experimenting with modern digital photography equipment, software and apps. He’s also an ex-world champion triathlete and avid cyclist, clocking hundreds of km each week in the beautiful Tweed Valley of northern NSW, Australia.

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