Featured Image by Skye Studios on Unsplash
Regardless of your photography skill level, if you ever take photos away from home you’ll probably need a camera backpack at some point. This is especially true as you start to expand your arsenal of photography gear. After all, who wants to try to carry all their valuable gear and accessories without a bag?
That said, there are several factors that are important in a reliable camera backpack. Moreover, due to the wide range of camera backpacks on the market, finding the best one to suit your needs can be daunting.
That’s why we’ve compiled our list of the best camera backpacks on the market. Whether you’re just starting out, you’re already juggling tons of gear, or you’re looking for a hiking camera bag, there’s a great option on this list for you.
1. Lowepro Protactic BP 450 AW II
- Highly customizable
- Very ergonomic design
- Tons of storage space for all your gear
- Highly durable construction
- Too big for someone with only a small amount of photography gear
- A bit expensive compared to others
Designed for the serious photographers, the Protactic BP 450 AW II backpack by Lowepro might just be the perfect camera backpack for you. It comes with awesome customizability, durable construction, and a very competitive price tag which makes it a popular choice among pro photographers.
Right off the bat, you can easily see that the backpack is designed with durability in mind. It’s made from high-grade synthetic materials that allow it to withstand a lot of damage. Since all of its compartments can be easily customized, you will be able to arrange all your camera gear without any problem at all.
Despite its hefty weight at 5 lbs., the Protactic 450 AW II certainly doesn’t compromise comfort. It features lumbar support for optimal comfort, and there are even well-designed straps and padding at its back.
Overall, it’s one of the most recommended products you can purchase as far as quality camera backpacks go. However, due to its bulky design, it might sound like overkill for a casual photographer. But if you’re really serious in your photography game, then it’s definitely worth buying.
2. Peak Design Everyday Backpack
- Sleek and minimalist design
- Can be customized to fit a drone
- Features a dedicated slot for a laptop
- Durable 400D nylon canvas shell construction
- Doesn’t come with hip pads
Aimed toward the traveler/photographer market, the 20-liter Everyday Backpack is designed for photographers who travel from place to place regularly. It features a chic modern look along with a minimalist design, making it a worthwhile camera backpack as far as its appearance is concerned.
Of course, looks aren’t the only thing that this camera backpack boasts of. It also comes with several amazing features that will make carrying your photography gear a lot easier.
For one, it comes with customizable compartments to ensure that you can arrange your gear however you want. Apart from that, the dividers are made of high-density EVA foam to make sure that all your expensive stuff is protected against shock and other forms of damage.
If you’re into drone photography or videography, you’ll be glad to know that this bag can store a drone as well. You simply have to arrange the FlexFold dividers to allow a custom fit for your drone.
It’s made of a durable 400D nylon canvas shell which allows it to last for a very long time. Meanwhile, it uses the patented MagLatch technology to allow for easy access to your gear any time you want.
Lastly, the bag comes with a dedicated laptop sleeve, thus allowing you to bring your laptop without the need for an extra bag.
3. Manfrotto Aviator D1 Backpack
- The perfect backpack for a drone
- Protects your gear from water damage
- Very comfortable ergonomics
- Features different carrying options
- Comes with a 5-year warranty
- Not ideal for carrying a proper DLSR camera kit
- Can compromise the safety of your gear if packed too tightly
People who mainly use drones for their photography game will find the Aviator D1 backpack from Manfrotto to be a perfect choice. Specifically, this product is designed with the DJI Phantom in mind.
In terms of construction, the Aviator D1 is made of water-resistant materials to keep your drone properly protected from water damage. Despite weighing a little over 4 lbs, you might not be able to feel the heavy weight at all due to its very ergonomic design. Apart from the main compartment made for storing your drone, the backpack also comes with several pockets for storing your other essential gear. It even comes with enough storage for a 16” laptop.
Of course, you can also take your DSLR or mirrorless camera with you along with two lenses inside a smaller compartment at the top. However, since it’s designed mainly for carrying a drone, you can’t expect to fit a proper camera kit in that tiny compartment.
All in all, the Aviator D1 does a really great job of carrying a DJI Phantom drone. The drone can comfortably fit in the backpack’s pouch while still allowing enough room for other drone accessories.
However, most people find that the storage space works perfectly only for the DJI Phantom 3. Those who tried fitting a DJI Phantom 4 found that the space is a little too tight, though this can be solved by making extra room. The problem is that you won’t be able to fit your DSLR.
4. Think Tank Photo Airport Accelerator
- Can carry up to two DSLRs and tons of lenses
- Includes compartments for a 17” laptop and a 10” tablet
- Meets most carry-on requirements at various airports around the world
- Features a seam-sealed rain cover for water protection
- Too big to wear for long periods
- Only has a few compartments
If you need a large storage backpack for all your photography gear, then this backpack from Think Tank is definitely worth a try. As the name implies, the bag can get you through airport security without any problems. It’s large enough for carrying tons of gear but compact enough to meet carry-on luggage size requirements on airports.
For starters, the bag is designed to accommodate two gripped DSLRs that are attached to 500mm lenses. It can also fit a total of eight additional lenses alongside the cameras. Not only that, but the bag can also carry a 10” tablet and even a 17” laptop.
Due to the bag’s huge size, it appears more like a carry-on luggage than a backpack. Therefore, if you constantly travel via plane from one place to another, then this will come in handy. But of course, it’s not really recommended to wear it for long periods due to its massive size.
Compared to the other camera backpacks we have on this list, the Think Tank backpack doesn’t come with a lot of quick access compartments. It’s more of a camera case than a backpack, and you can’t really bring it with you during hiking, rugged travel, or just about any activity that involves a lot of moving about.
5. USA Gear DSLR Camera Backpack
- Comes with a total capacity of 30 liters
- Perfect for photographers on a budget
- Durable build quality despite the low price
- Comes with a 3-year warranty
- Ideal for light travel
- Convertible to a daypack
- Can only carry a smaller amount of gear
- Not waterproof
The last product we have on this list is designed for photographers who do hiking or simply those who want to travel light alongside their DSLR cameras and essential gear. Manufactured by USA Gear, this SLR Digital Camera Backpack comes in a lightweight and compact design. It’s also multi-functional, hence allowing you to convert it to a small daypack whenever you want.
The backpack is made of high-quality Oxford nylon which is also waterproof to provide added protection to your gear. Meanwhile, its rugged and durable exterior makes sure that your stuff is well-protected from shock and impact.
Compared to the other backpacks we included in this list, this one has a fairly small storage space. Despite that, it’s still roomy enough to fit 2 DSLRs, up to 5 lenses, a 14” laptop, and a tablet. It also has tiny pockets for storing a few essential accessories.
Additionally, its side pockets could carry a tripod or a water bottle. The shoulder straps are heavily padded to ensure comfort while wearing it. It also has an adjustable waist and chest straps for added comfort even when fully loaded. This product can easily be considered as one of the best camera backpacks for hiking.
All in all, it’s the perfect multi-function camera backpack that works best for amateur and professional photographers who are looking for an entry-level backpack.
Deciding on the right camera backpack for your photography needs all boils down to personal preference. You have to base your choice on the amount of gear you want to carry, whether you plan to carry only DSLRs or a drone, and whether you want to swap out your gear for clothing as you travel.
You should also consider where you’re heading. If you plan to go hiking, then a lighter and smaller backpack with less gear will suffice. In this case, you should go for a hiking camera backpack. However, if you want to travel abroad, then a larger backpack would be perfect.
Regardless, these cool camera backpacks we mentioned above are suited for a number of photography needs and preferences. All of them are worthy of being called the best in their own rights.
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