A leisurely read

The Best Camera Backpack for 2023

Our recommended choices will enable you to carry your camera gear in the backpack intended for them

Camera Backpack

One of the more challenging buying situations a photographer may encounter is shopping for a camera bag. Choosing the best camera backpack can be challenging due to the proliferation of these products on the market and the introduction of new features.

The finest camera backpacks include a lot of extra space for accessories and distribute weight properly. They often have weatherproof exteriors and padded interiors to prevent the contents from banging against each other or the ground.

You may anticipate spending a few hundred dollars on one of the best camera bags, which will be multifunctional, durable, and trustworthy. However, you shouldn’t skimp on protecting your camera equipment, so it’s wise to spend money on a camera backpack that can hold all of your photographic gear and endure for years.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best camera backpacks on the market right now and discuss the features that may make one of them ideal for you.

How We Picked

  • Size & shape

    Shape is provided by the frame, which also aids in carrying and distributing weight. While internal frame packs have become the norm, external and frameless packs are not completely obsolete. This distribution affects the size and the weight which we considered to make sure that it was large enough without being too cumbersome.

  • Design/style

    Never let trends be the sole deciding factor when purchasing a backpack, but don't disregard them, either. Although a functional bag is important, its lack of aesthetic appeal may discourage you from wanting to use it regularly. Therefore, the design and style were considered when making our recommendations.

  • Comfortable to carry

    Your camera backpack will be what you will be hauling whenever you want to go out with your gear. For that, it needs to be comfortable enough not to be a burden since you intend to use it for years.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    The cost of purchase and the availability of a warranty were also factors that we considered. Camera backpacks are usually expensive, but this does not mean they are all of excellent quality. Therefore, we crossed out the extravagant options to provide you with the best cost options.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Peak Design Everyday Backpack

Peak Design Everyday Backpack

Enjoy peak design, any time, any day.

A full-frame DSLR camera body and three to four lenses can be carried in the bag's 12 to 20 liters of storage space. The padded compartment may accommodate notebooks up to 16 inches in size. Lenses, cameras, and drones can all benefit from the cushioning provided by three Flexfold dividers. Useful as a slick camera bag for pros. A 400D nylon canvas exterior that is waterproof, poly-coated, and DWR. Excellent, watertight zippers. subdivisions and exterior Things like batteries, pencils, filters, and memory cards can be stored in the interior compartments.

Buy Now for $409.00

This backpack focuses on ease of access, organization, and security.

Runner Up

Lowepro Whistler Backpack 350 AW II

Lowepro Whistler Backpack 350 AW II

Protect all essentials with top-quality backpack material.

Equal amounts of camera, video, and practical outdoor gear may be found in the Whistler BP 350 AW II's storage compartments. A large front pocket allows you to store additional gear for your mountain adventure. With its TPU/PU dual lamination and 420 Nylon Ripstop construction, this bag is extremely resistant to wear and tear and water. It also features a waterproof barrier with a drain hole to keep wet items from contaminating the main compartment. Enhanced coziness is provided by the ActivZone back panel and the harness's dual-density foam. In any environment, you can rely on the strength of Nifco side-release buckles and Duraflex hooks.

Buy Now for $249.99

This ultra-durable backpack can withstand the elements for four seasons, making it ideal for carrying sensitive photography gear or survival supplies into the outdoors.

Most Cost-Effective

Amazon Basics - Large shoulder bag for DSLR camera

Amazon Basics – Large shoulder bag for DSLR camera

Anti-theft and waterproof quality for all your items.

This camera bag is perfect for transporting and preserving your investment in a DSLR camera and up to three lenses. This large, sturdy black bag with varying interior colors is included to carry your DSLR camera and accessories. It allows for the insertion of a Mini iPad, Nexus 7, or Kindle Fire and a safe and sound closure is guaranteed by the sturdy plastic clasps. There are top carrying handles and an adjustable shoulder strap for ease of carrying.

Buy Now for $34.01

With its simple minimalist design, this large shoulder bag is made for photographers who want to get great quality without concerning themselves with fashion.

Almost Made The Cut

Lowepro PhotoSport BP 24L AW III

Lowepro PhotoSport BP 24L AW III

A backpack designed especially for the outdoors.

The PhotoSport backpack was designed specifically for outdoor photographers. 75% of the PhotoSport III's fabric is recycled, and it's exceptionally lightweight and resistant to the elements. The accessory strap system allows for a variety of carrying combinations, so you can put your phone, camera, and GearUp boxes exactly where you need them to be, while also protecting your expensive photography equipment with removable and integrated GearUp camera inserts.

Buy Now for $249.95

This compact, versatile camera bag is ideal for everything from day hikes to holiday adventures.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Peak Design Everyday Backpack

Peak Design Everyday Backpack

Enjoy peak design, any time, any day.

$409.00

Buy Now

Runner Up

Lowepro Whistler Backpack 350 AW II

Lowepro Whistler Backpack 350 AW II

Protect all essentials with top-quality backpack material.

$249.99

Buy Now

Most Cost-Effective

Amazon Basics - Large shoulder bag for DSLR camera

Amazon Basics – Large shoulder bag for DSLR camera

Anti-theft and waterproof quality for all your items.

$34.01

Buy Now

Almost Made The Cut

Lowepro PhotoSport BP 24L AW III

Lowepro PhotoSport BP 24L AW III

A backpack designed especially for the outdoors.

$249.95

Buy Now

Who This Is For

As a photographer who understands the importance of transporting your equipment from location to location without incident. You know that the most practical and secure method of carrying and storing your photography equipment is in a backpack. So, if you’re a photographer looking for the best camera backpack to bring all your photography gear with you on your next spectacular excursion, we’ve got you covered with the finest backpack options and all the criteria to think about before making your purchase.

Camera backpack vs regular backpack — what’s the difference?

Instead of a single huge storage compartment, the best camera backpacks feature multiple smaller ones, all of which are tailored to the unique dimensions and storage needs of photographic gear. Each accessory is kept safely away from the others by padding walls and dividers.

The very best camera backpacks feature dedicated sections for a laptop computer and a tripod in addition to ample space for your camera, lenses, cables, and other supplies. Shoulder straps also allow you to carry your camera bag like a standard backpack, distributing the load evenly across both shoulders.

Remember that the best camera backpacks will give you more freedom and storage capacity than a conventional camera bag, which is usually slung across your shoulders and has a place for your camera and perhaps an additional battery or two.

Is it worth splurging on?

When it comes to securing your camera and other gear, a backpack may not seem like an obvious place to splurge. However, it is prudent to invest in a sturdy camera bag with several separate sections.

There are a wide variety of camera bags available, from compact sling bags to big backpacks. To protect its contents from being damaged by accidental bumps or drops, you should choose a container constructed of thick and durable material. Expert photographers advise that you should not use a regular backpack to carry your camera gear, even if you are just beginning your photography journey. You run the danger of breaking the internal components and fittings, which could lead to costly repairs or replacements.

Does it have different compartments for equipment?

This is the single most crucial factor to consider when choosing a camera bag. Most backpacks have foam inserts that you can attach with velcro, giving you a variety of storage options. Keep in mind that your camera equipment will grow and evolve with time, necessitating a bag that can adapt to these changes as they occur. If you know you’ll need a lot of space to carry miscellaneous items, check the bag to see if it has many little interior pockets and exterior slip pockets. If your luggage doesn’t have a lot of compartments, small items like batteries, filters, S.D. cards, and lens covers will quickly disappear.

Why You Should Trust Us

Experts in the respective fields and experienced users were enlisted to help with the information we needed to compile our reviews. Our reviewers tested each of the selected bags to see how they fare in terms of carrying capacity, durability, weight, and other factors that we used to evaluate them, like whether or not they conform to airline carry-on dimensions. To ensure that we only recommend products that we believe in and use ourselves, we based our recommendations on what we’ve learned through testing and evaluation after which we went through online reviews to see what content creators had to say about the bags and what opinions sellers had about why some were preferred above others.

How We Picked

Comfortable to carry

Even a DSLR camera body and a lens on their own might weigh several kilograms. You’ll be toting this bag around for hours on end, and with its own weight and whatever else you throw in there, it may get very heavy. Choose a bag that has wide, padded straps that won’t cut into your shoulder if you have to carry it all day. With particularly heavy loads, a waist belt can redistribute the load to the hips, relieving strain on the lower back. Since you probably won’t always have more than 10 kg in your luggage, it’s wonderful if the waist belt can be detached. Since they add bulk to suitcases, the option to remove them is welcome when traveling light. Some bags feature metal bars that greatly aid with posture, and a padded back panel will contribute to the comfort level.

Size

Different-sized and sized-capacity camera backpacks will have different weights. You should evaluate the size of the backpack you need concerning the camera and equipment you usually carry. A larger bag will provide more space for your accessories, which is important for professionals who use a lot of them. The larger the bag, though, the more it will likely weigh. While flying, it’s important to think about the carry-on size limit set by airlines, as well as smaller alternatives.

Shape

The shape of the backpack is a visual representation of the contents it’s meant to carry. The clearer the language, the more specialized it is to a particular occupation. Bags that appear like active bags and are good on the shoulder but are difficult to use in their intended role are becoming increasingly common as a result of current trends, further blurring the line between urban and backpacks. We considered shapes to settle in for ease and professionalism.

Design/style

This is the most subjective aspect of purchasing a camera backpack, hence there are no hard and fast guidelines. These days, camera backpacks are versatile enough to double as regular bags for your daily commute. In other cases, aesthetics have been prioritized over practicality, leading to bags that no longer resemble traditional camera backpacks. Don’t be fooled by its stylish exterior; if you choose a trendy bag over a more classic one, ensure that it still serves all the purposes you need it to.

Price

Cost is always a relevant factor in any purchase. When buying your camera backpack, you should consider your needs and the reason for buying the bag. If this is something that will need you to make an upgrade in the future, you may want to consider buying one that will be used in that timeframe. Also, it would be wise not to be extravagant or settle for poor quality because you want it cheap. Therefore, we made sure to settle for quality and cost on the middle ground.

Durability

The selection of a bag that can withstand the elements and the accumulation of dust should be prioritized. If you believe you’ll need it, or even if you don’t, a bag with shock resistance is also something to keep an eye out for.

Type of material

Selecting a sturdy and long-lasting material for your backpack is crucial. Check out not just the exterior, but also the lining, the base, the straps, and the padding. Make sure the seams are strong and well-sewn at all times.

Type of straps

Single- or double-strapped options are available for camera backpacks. Backpacks with two straps are bulkier and can come with a waist strap for added stability. In general, smaller, single-strap bags are more convenient for people who want to carry fewer items. This is especially true for those who plan to bring cameras and lenses with lower sensor sizes. However, you may discover that carrying these bags causes greater strain on your shoulder because they only have one strap. When compared to double-strapped bags, single-strapped bags provide easier access to all of the bag’s compartments without having to remove them completely.

The number of compartments

You should put compartments at the top of your list of priorities. Countless bags are available with a wide range of sizes and numbers of storage pockets. Take into account the dimensions of your camera and any additional equipment you plan on bringing with it to help you decide on the ideal size and number of storage slots. Keep in mind that you’ll probably need space to keep things like cords, spare batteries, the camera body, lenses, and an action camera. Some bags include dedicated storage spaces for electronics, documents, or makeup. Make sure you can always get the photo on time by giving some thought to how readily you can access the compartments and whether or not you’ll wish to put some goods externally for quicker access.

Waterproof

You should look for a waterproof bag first and foremost. Waterproof bags are always a good idea because you never know when you’ll get caught in the rain, and they can help prevent any spills that may occur. In addition, you should think about the bag’s seams and zippers, as here is where the most moisture can enter and damage your camera and other equipment. The zippers and seams of some bags are guaranteed to be watertight as well.

Our Picks For You

Our Top Pick - Peak Design Everyday Backpack

Best Pick

Peak Design Everyday Backpack

Peak Design Everyday Backpack

Enjoy peak design, any time, any day.

A full-frame DSLR camera body and three to four lenses can be carried in the bag's 12 to 20 liters of storage space. The padded compartment may accommodate notebooks up to 16 inches in size. Lenses, cameras, and drones can all benefit from the cushioning provided by three Flexfold dividers. Useful as a slick camera bag for pros. A 400D nylon canvas exterior that is waterproof, poly-coated, and DWR. Excellent, watertight zippers. subdivisions and exterior Things like batteries, pencils, filters, and memory cards can be stored in the interior compartments.

Buy Now for $409.00

Who It’s For:

The Everyday Backpack has been redesigned with the needs of professional photographers in mind, with an emphasis on ease of use, modularity, and durability.

Why It’s Great:

The new Everyday Backpack has a simple design with no extra straps or buckles, and it is amazingly flexible to accommodate your ever-evolving belongings, routines, and surroundings.

Potential Flaws:

The 20-liter capacity isn't reflected in the pack's overall impression of size, the material isn't as sturdy as it was in the previous iteration, and the shoulder straps are extremely thin. The other best option would be the Lowepro Whistler Backpack 350 AW II.

Other Features:

With Peak's outstanding lifetime warranty, this bag is a great buy for something that will last a lifetime without appearing like it was designed for the troops.

This is a backpack meant for everyday use, as the name says. Without sacrificing any of its storage space, you can modify it for reasons other than transporting camera equipment. The three flex-fold partitions in this backpack are brilliant. The construction is top-notch thanks to the use of a 400D double poly-coated DWR-impregnated nylon canvas shell, 900D waterproof bottom liner, anodized aluminum/glass-reinforced nylon, and long-lasting 'UltraZips. Finally, everything is constructed entirely from post-consumer recycled content. Peak Design has been verified as climate neutral; the company is committed to cutting carbon emissions throughout its operations and supply chain.

Multiple inside pockets, including slip pockets large enough to hold a passport or wallet, maximize available space. The exterior features side pockets, perfect for storing a water bottle or tripod. Peak Design's Everyday Backpack has a padded, ventilated back made of quick-drying mesh for maximum breathability—crucial for carrying heavy loads on hot days. As a bonus, they are offered in four understated hues: black, charcoal, midnight, and ash.

Due to the bags' shoulder straps' ability to swivel at axial points, they may be worn comfortably by a wide range of people. Bags from Peak Design are the pinnacle of modern minimalist style. Outside, there are no extraneous cords or tethers, giving it a clean and alluring look.

Product Specifications

Product Dimensions (20L): 18 x 12 x 6.75 inches
Weight: 2.9 pounds
Material: 400D double poly-coated DWR-impregnated nylon canvas shell
Hardware: Anodized aluminum and glass-reinforced nylon
Waterproof: Yes
Capacity: 17L min, 20L max/22L min, 30L max

Runner Up - Lowepro Whistler Backpack 350 AW II

Runner Up

Lowepro Whistler Backpack 350 AW II

Lowepro Whistler Backpack 350 AW II

Protect all essentials with top-quality backpack material.

Equal amounts of camera, video, and practical outdoor gear may be found in the Whistler BP 350 AW II's storage compartments. A large front pocket allows you to store additional gear for your mountain adventure. With its TPU/PU dual lamination and 420 Nylon Ripstop construction, this bag is extremely resistant to wear and tear and water. It also features a waterproof barrier with a drain hole to keep wet items from contaminating the main compartment. Enhanced coziness is provided by the ActivZone back panel and the harness's dual-density foam. In any environment, you can rely on the strength of Nifco side-release buckles and Duraflex hooks.

Buy Now for $249.99

Who It’s For:

The sturdy construction and long-lasting materials make this camera bag an ideal travel companion for photographers who spend a lot of time shooting in the great outdoors.

Why It’s Great:

With 20% extra room inside, the Whistler II can carry all of your belongings and then some. You may lash on bulky items like skis, ice tools, or a professional tripod without losing access to the main storage area. Because of its many attachment points, it can accommodate even more gear, such as skis, a snowboard, and hiking poles.

Potential Flaws:

This backpack is cumbersome and lacks sophisticated compartmentalization. It is because of this that we recommend Peak Design.

Other Features:

This backpack comes at a great price, though expensive. However, it does have a warranty that covers defects which makes it a good deal at its cost. To accommodate smaller goods like a GoPro, Lowepro maintains its signature soft-folding dividers and adds two removable pocket dividers. Additionally, a 13-inch laptop can be stored in the CradleFit section that can be accessed from the top.

The Lowepro Whistler 350 bag is designed to carry Standard DSLR and Pro mirrorless cameras and various lenses, and it provides easy access from both the top and the body side. Accessing some of the compartments may require a little more work, but rest assured that the bag's durability will keep your shooting gear safe from the elements.

However, it is really easy to transform it from a camera bag into a spacious outdoor backpack suitable for carrying all of your alpine necessities. A particularly stylish model is the Lowepro Whistler 350 AW ii, which features two bright orange straps at the front for easy identification. While compression straps are typically not used on camera backpacks, they can be used to attach other items such as skis or a snowboard. One hundred kilograms of weight is no problem for it.

Product Specifications

Product Dimensions: 1.18 x 3.94 x 7.09 inches
Weight: 5.28 pounds
Material: 420 Nylon Ripstop with TPU/PU dual laminate
Hardware: ActivZone back panel
Waterproof: Yes
Capacity: 30L

Most Cost-Effective - Amazon Basics – Large shoulder bag for DSLR camera

Most Cost-Effective

Amazon Basics - Large shoulder bag for DSLR camera

Amazon Basics – Large shoulder bag for DSLR camera

Anti-theft and waterproof quality for all your items.

This camera bag is perfect for transporting and preserving your investment in a DSLR camera and up to three lenses. This large, sturdy black bag with varying interior colors is included to carry your DSLR camera and accessories. It allows for the insertion of a Mini iPad, Nexus 7, or Kindle Fire and a safe and sound closure is guaranteed by the sturdy plastic clasps. There are top carrying handles and an adjustable shoulder strap for ease of carrying.

Buy Now for $34.01

Who It’s For:

This bag is best for photographers looking to have a basic backpack with the necessary compartments without the added gear and support in other backpacks.

Why It’s Great:

This bag's double top or its outer hood, which can be folded over and secured with buckles is one of its best features. There's a zippered top that stays closed underneath, protecting your equipment from dust.

Potential Flaws:

It lacks the compartmentalization present in other backpacks and has only one shoulder strap. If you prefer a backpack that will meet all your needs, we recommend our top pick.

Other Features:

At its incredibly cheap price, Amazon's own-brand camera bag may not have the same name recognition as some of our other picks, but a well-made shoulder bag that comes in at just under twenty pounds has a lot going for it.

You probably won't be able to fit more than a mid-sized DSLR and a few lenses inside this bag, but if you shoot with a mirrorless camera, this might be all you need. As a bonus, the Gadget Messenger Bag has a padded compartment for a tablet and slip pockets on both the front and sides for additional accessories.

Product Specifications

Product Dimensions: 5.89 x 3.1 x 4.65 inches
Weight: 1.56 pounds
Material: Plastic
Added feature: Adjustable Handle/Tripod mounting
Waterproof: No
Capacity: Depends on equipment

Almost Made The Cut - Lowepro PhotoSport BP 24L AW III

Almost Made The Cut

Lowepro PhotoSport BP 24L AW III

Lowepro PhotoSport BP 24L AW III

A backpack designed especially for the outdoors.

The PhotoSport backpack was designed specifically for outdoor photographers. 75% of the PhotoSport III's fabric is recycled, and it's exceptionally lightweight and resistant to the elements. The accessory strap system allows for a variety of carrying combinations, so you can put your phone, camera, and GearUp boxes exactly where you need them to be, while also protecting your expensive photography equipment with removable and integrated GearUp camera inserts.

Buy Now for $249.95

Who It’s For:

The third iteration of the PhotoSport backpack was designed specifically for outdoor photographers who are on the lookout for a compact, lightweight solution for their everyday hiking and vacation needs.

Why It’s Great:

The PhotoSport III is tough enough to withstand all of your hiking experiences, and it's constructed from eco-friendly fabrics like Ripstop with Robic Nylon and Polyester that won't let you down.

Potential Flaws:

There's no way to protect your SD cards, and you can't use a leash or brakes when wearing it around your waist. The straps across the shoulders are a tad stiff and will require some time to soften up. Gear storage is cramped and the lid is too narrow for large telephoto lenses. You should consider our top pick or the Lowepro Whistler Backpack 350 AW II if you need better alternatives.

Other Features:

Hikers will appreciate the PhotoSport BP's portability, comfort, and storage space for camera equipment and other outdoor necessities. The bag is equipped with Lowepro's ActivZone harness system, which provides a comfortable carrying experience using padded shoulder and waist straps and a ribbed back panel that allows air to circulate. The luggage will stay safe and comfortable all day with this handy accessory. A three-liter water reservoir can be stored in the base, and there are multiple places to attach walking sticks, tripods, and other accessories.

The bag's interior is divided into two sections: the top one is for quick-access items like an umbrella, a map, your phone, and some food, while the bottom one is dedicated to your camera and other photographic equipment. The camera sleeve is well-padded and can be accessed by a side zipper. There's enough area for a mirrorless camera and a pair of lenses, and the compartments are removable. The camera compartment is detachable, and there are extra straps provided so that the bag can function as a lightweight camera case on its own.

Product Specifications

Product Dimensions: 10.63 x 8.66 x 19.69 inches
Weight: 3.28 pounds
Material: Sustainable fabrics (nylon & polyester)
Hardware: ActivZone harness system
Waterproof: Yes
Capacity: 24L

Care and Maintenance

How to wash & dry my Camera backpack, and how often?

The frequency with which you carry it, the places you go, and the conditions it is left in all play a role. Your bag will need to be washed more frequently if you use it for daily excursions to a sandy beach than if you use it for weekly excursions to a studio. However, once every few outings are what we suggest.

Experts advise against using washing machines for camera bags because of the risk of water damage. It can be machine-washed, but it needs to dry in the air for quite a while thereafter to prevent any mold or mildew from forming.

Start by giving the inside thorough vacuuming to remove any accumulated dust or debris. Scrub the exterior of the bag with a soft washcloth or sponge and a mild detergent. You should then lay it out to dry after wiping it down. To begin spot cleaning, you should wipe down the camera bag with a dry cloth. As soon as you’ve wiped it off, you’ll be able to see exactly where the stains are, and that’s where you should apply a mild cleaner, scrub, and then allow it to dry.

Where to store when not in use

Placing a backpack in a climate-controlled space with clean, dry paper is the best approach to keep it safe from moisture and extreme temperatures. It’s crucial to clean your backpack before storing it. Your backpack has to dry off entirely in a dry, low-humidity environment. Take a time to put desiccant packages in the pockets if you plan on storing your backpack in a less climate-controlled space, like an attic, cellar, storage unit, or even a closet. These silica-filled packets act as a moisture barrier, preventing the growth of mold and mildew in damp, stuffy storage areas.

In case of rips or spills

If you are unfortunate enough to spill any liquid on your backpack, make sure to spot-clean it immediately or wash it as soon as possible. In the case that your backpack is ripped, make sure to contact an expert for repairs, or consider getting a new one if you’re up for it.