Camera Backpacks for Photographers to Protect Your Gear

By Ann Young 20 days ago, Bags

Carry your gear and laptops comfortably with one of these camera backpacks.

top camera backpacks

Need a camera backpack to carry your gear, laptops and tripods? You’re about to travel the world but don’t have a safe, secure backpack for it? You can find budget options in the $50 range but if you want to purchase something of higher quality and more reliable, then you’ll have to pay about $200-$500. The best camera backpack is one that is multifunctional, durable, and made of quality materials.

Fast access is also a huge advantage for moments when you stumble upon a scene that you want to take a picture of. Additionally, a good backpack should have proper padding and adjustable dividers. Regardless of whether you’re interested in a basic, affordable option or a multi-compartment equipment-hauler, this article has a backpack for you.

Top 12 Camera Backpacks to Buy

  1. LowePro Tactic 450 II - $369 - For beginner photographers
  2. NOMATIC McKinnon’s Camera Pack - $399 - For travel photographers
  3. Shimoda Action X30 - $344.95 -Impressive water resistance properties
  4. Peak Design Everyday Backpack - $379.95 -Convenient side-body access
  5. Tarion Backpack - $44.99 - Budget model
  6. Lowepro Pro Trekker 450 AW II - $429 - Optimal choice for destination photoshoots
  7. Toxic Valkyrie - $317.84 - Water-resistant "frog" pocket
  8. Lowepro DroneGuard BP 250 - $88.38 - For carrying drones
  9. Manfrotto MB LF WN BP - $169.99 - Lifestyle backpack
  10. Wandrd Prvke - $313.63 -Integrated camera protection
  11. GoGroove - $69.99- Stylish look
  12. Gitzo Adventury Camera Backpack - $439.88 - For wildlife photographers

A trait that you might notice in most good camera backpacks is that they not only are properly padded but also offer adjustable dividers that can be freely moved around to ensure you can fit your gear perfectly.

Such a modular build allows you to “construct” your perfect camera and lens backpack, regardless of whether you’re bringing one big lens or a bunch of smaller ones. Quality bags are also frequently supplied with pullout rain covers, tripod straps, and built-in sleeves for laptops, as well as some spare pockets for non-camera-related items.

1. LowePro Tactic 450 AW II

For beginner photographers
lowerpro tactic 450 aw ii camera backpack

Weight: 6.09 lbs | Material: Nylon | Capacity: 25L | Laptop: 13 in | Dimension: 20.31 x 15.35 x 9.8 inches

  • ✚ Allows customizing the interior
  • ✚ Terrific impact protection
  • ✚ Anti-theft zippers
  • ✚ Fast 4-point access
  • Not found

This camera bag offers a customizable interior as well as extra exterior attachment options and accessories that let you create the perfect setup for all your gear. The manufacturers of this product also show care for the environment by ensuring 63% of this item consists of 37% recycled fabrics and 26% solution-dyed fabrics.

lowerpro tactic 450 aw ii camera backpack

The four-point access build ensures you’ll have no trouble taking out your equipment any time you want. This backpack offers a FormShell-molded top loading system with an instant-reach entry on the sides. It also provides complete back access for increased security. Additionally, the included SlipLock loops and tabs allow you to attach pouches and cases for conveniently carrying bottles, SD cards, etc. Finally, ActivZone provides more support for your shoulders, lumbar, and waist to ensure you can walk around comfortably while the back panel secures additional ventilation.

2. NOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack

For travel photographers
nomatic mckinnon camera backpack

Weight:9.78 lbs | Material: Nylon | Capacity: 35-42L | Laptop: 16 in | Dimensions: 9.1 x 22.4 x 13 inches

  • ✚ Allows adjusting the packing
  • ✚ Fast access
  • ✚ Comfortable weight distribution
  • Camera clips aren’t suitable for thisitem

Amazon started a partnership with Peter McKinnon to develop this DSLR camera backpack that guarantees the protection of all your gear while also offering enough space for packing spare clothing, making it the perfect option for 2-5-day hiking trips. The interior is filled with adjustable dividers and you can also increase the capacity of this backpack from 35L to 42L at any time you want.

nomatic mckinnon camera backpack

The built-in supports are made in a way that offers superior weight distribution while the added external adjustments, support straps, and detachable waist strap make carrying this backpack even more convenient. This model also has lockable zippers, employs water-resistant cover materials, and an RFID-safe compartment for storing your most valuable items.

3. Shimoda Action X30

Impressive water resistance properties
shimoda action x30 camera backpack

Weight: 3.74 lbs | Material: Nylon | Capacity: 7L | Laptop: 16 in | Dimensions: 6.3 x 11.8 x 19.7 inches

  • ✚ Expandable roll-top
  • ✚ Customizable torso height
  • ✚ Several access points
  • ✚ Super supportive shoulder straps
  • The compartments inside the roll top don’t offer convenient access

This model is the best camera backpack featured in this review if you value weather resistance above everything else. The Shimoda Action X30 offers 3 height settings, allowing you to ensure it fits your back perfectly regardless of your height or stature, which is rarely the case with similar backpacks.

shimoda action x30 camera backpack

Another unique addition to this model is the roll top that allows you to add 7 liters of space to the backpack. If you're looking for a hybrid bag that is suitable not only for carrying photography gear but for sports as well, then you'll be impressed by the detachable helmet holder, ski fastening straps, hydration routing, and overall material quality. With such a reliable backpack on your person, you can embark on any journey you need, no matter how challenging it is.

4. Peak Design Everyday Backpack

Convenient side-body access
peak design everyday camera backpack

Weight: 3.99 lbs | Material: Nylon | Capacity: 18-30L | Laptop: 15" | Dimension: 11.8x6.7x18.1 inches

  • ✚ Flex-fold dividers
  • ✚ Side access
  • ✚ Laptop and tablet sleeves
  • ✚ Made of top-grade materials
  • Straps aren’t properly padded

The expandable build of this model lets you enjoy between 18 to 30 liters of space, which is enough for fitting two DSLRs and between 3 to 6 lenses. The proprietary MagLatch secures instant top access while the dual side-loading system is secured by a pair of weather-resistant zippers. You can also attach a ton of gear to the exterior thanks to the convenient tuck-away straps and a pair of expandable side pockets.

peak design everyday camera backpack

The built-in luggage carry ensures this backpack can be used for both everyday commutes and longer trips. The conveniently adjustable FlexFold dividers help you ensure all your equipment is neatly organized and protected instead of randomly lying on top of each other. Lastly, the padded accessory compartments help you store smaller gear pieces without damaging them.

5. TARION Backpack

Budget model
tarion camera backpack

Weight: 1.87 lbs | Material: Nylon | Capacity: 16.5L | Laptop: 15 in | Dimension: 11.8 x 6 x 17 inches

  • ✚ Lightweight
  • ✚ Great weather resistance
  • ✚ Durable and reliable
  • ✚ Eight customizable dividers
  • Doesn’t offer much spacefor your gear

This camera backpack consists of highly-durable, tear-resistant nylon while also sporting a weather-resistant rain cover. Even though it’s offered at a relatively cheap price, it provides terrific sturdiness while the 8 padded dividers let you adjust Tarion’s interior to your liking. You can also completely remove all the dividers and simply carry it around as a regular backpack.

tarion camera backpack

This product weighs only 1.8lbs when empty, making it one of the most lightweight options available. Tarion is also not prone to overloading since the exterior material doesn’t stretch much, reinforcing the belief that this model is best suited for people who aren’t heavy packers.

6. Lowepro Pro Trekker 450 AW II

Optimal choice for destination photoshoots
lowerpro pro trekker rlx 450 aw ii camera backpack

Weight: 10.3 lbs | Material: Nylon, Polyester | Capacity: 36L | Laptop: 15.4 in | Dimension: 12.6x14x20.3 inches

  • ✚ Increased mobility thanks to the inclusion of wheels
  • ✚ Can fit a ton of gear
  • ✚ Customizable partitions
  • ✚ Durable straps
  • Not particularly secure
  • Isn’t suited for comfortable backpacking

This durable model can double up as a roller bag that you employ for transporting your mobile photography studio while conforming to carry-on standards imposed by the majority of American and international airports. The spacy main compartment offers a customizable partition build with a dozen dividers that allow packing a DSLR, a 70-200mm lens, a 600mm lens, 3 spare lenses, and even a shoe mount flash.

lowerpro pro trekker rlx 450 aw ii camera backpack

The split-level partition lets you place equipment pieces on top of each other without damaging them. Meanwhile, the dual compression straps that come with side-release buckles let you attach tripods, monopods, and folded clothing with minimum effort.

7. Toxic Valkyrie

Water-resistant "frog" pocket
toxic valkrie camera backpack

Weight: 3.96 lbs | Material: Nylon | Capacity: 25L | Laptop: 15 in | Dimension: 18.27 x 12.99 x 18.9 inches

  • ✚ Comfortable to wear
  • ✚ Packed with clever design solutions
  • ✚ Built from tough and high-end materials
  • ✚ Customizable internal organization
  • Could use more innovation from the brand
  • Limited color options

First off, this backpack is incredibly comfortable to wear. The straps are well-padded and adjustable, so you can customize it to fit your body perfectly. Plus, the build quality is top-notch, using tough and high-end materials that can withstand some serious wear and tear.

toxic valkrie backpack

Inside the backpack, you'll find clever organization options. The dividers have integrated pockets for your cables, filters, and lens cloths, keeping everything neat and easily accessible. And let's not forget about the dedicated padded laptop and tablet storage. It's perfect for those of us who need to stay connected while on the go.

While this backpack is definitely a step away from the typical black nylon designs, I was hoping for a bit more innovation and a bolder statement from Morally Toxic. It's a great option if you're tired of the same old camera backpacks, but it could have pushed the boundaries even further.

8. Lowepro DroneGuard BP 250

For carrying drones
lowerpro droneguard bp 250 camera backpack

Weight: 2.9 lbs | Material: Nylon, Polyester, Polyurethane | Capacity: 17L | Laptop: 15 in | Dimension: 11.4x6.7x18.5 inches

  • ✚ Budget
  • ✚ Adjustable inner panels
  • ✚ Shoulder straps can be removed
  • ✚ Special room to store batteries and a tablet
  • Can’t store drones with a propeller attached
  • Isn’t suitable for DJI Phantom 4

This drone backpack is designed according to the DroneGuard’s FormShell technology, so the coating is tough and strong. There is a handle attached and two removable straps. Otherwise, it is possible to put away all the harness and transform the backpack into a drone case.

lowerpro droneguard bp 250 camera backpack

The most essential feature I’ve found while examining this backpack is its workspace. You shouldn’t worry about items rolling out of there. It has curved edges and its bottom is even to organize comfy repair area.

There is also a bottom box with a zipper which you can use for batteries. There are so-called DroneGuard dividers that are customized the way you need to fit different drones. It’s very convenient if you have more than one drone to put into a backpack.

9. Manfrotto MB LF-WN-BP

Lifestyle backpack
manfrotto mb lf wn bp camera backpack

Weight: 2.34 lbs | Material: Genuine Leather, Nylon, Synthetic Fabric | Capacity: DSLR with 70-200 f/2.8 attached and 2 additional lenses| Laptop: 15 in | Dimension: 8.7x18.1x12.6 inches

  • ✚ Much space
  • ✚ Detachable padded tray
  • ✚ Good-looking interior design
  • The absence of memory card slots
  • Complicated side access

This Windsor backpack is the right option for those photographers who travel a lot and are trying to find a convenient and elegant bag. The designer backpack has detachable cushioned inserts and dividers on touch fasteners. It gives selective access to your gear on the sides and from above. Then padded tray also can be fully taken off which gives you an opportunity to use it as a typical travel bag.

manfrotto mb lf wn bp camera backpack

The pack is equipped with a huge top flap with drawstring closure beneath which provides weather protection. This backpack has designated padded laptop compartments. Besides, it features both interior and exterior pockets to provide your equipment and accessories with extreme security on different occasions.

10. Wandrd Prvke

Integrated camera protection
wandrd prvke camera backpack

Weight: 2.8 - 3.4 lbs | Material: Tarpaul, nylon | Capacity: 21L | Laptop:15 in | Dimension: 5.39 x 10.83 x 15.75 inches

  • ✚ Three access points
  • ✚ Terrific interior build
  • ✚ Impressive water resistance
  • ✚ Minimalistic design
  • Tarpaulin is prone to scratches
  • Several pockets aren’t easily accessed when the backpack is filled to the brim

This model is among the best photography backpacks in terms of durability. It’s made of waterproof tarpaulin and Robic 1680D Ballistic Nylon and supplied with weather-resistant zippers, making it the perfect option for long-distance travel.

The shoulder straps have terrific padding while the foam-supported back panels offer great weight distribution even if the backpack is filled.

wandrd prvke camera backpack

The bag itself offers a pleasant minimalistic design. It also has cool magnetic tote handles that snap together, serving as a convenient grab handle. The backpack’s base contains a rainfly and a useful top pocket, which you can use for storing a smartphone or your passport. This pocket is very easy to reach while being invisible to the people around you when you’re wearing the backpack.

11. GOgroove

Stylish look
gogroove camera backpack

Weight: 2.7 lbs | Material: Nylon | Capacity: 7L | Laptop: 15.6 in | Dimension: 17x12x7 inches

  • ✚ Easiness in access via side zippers
  • ✚ Practical compartments
  • ✚ Convenient sections
  • ✚ Comes with a rain cover
  • No anti-theft protection
  • No velcro straps

Are you eager to change your old-fashioned bag into something trendy? Then the GOgroove DSLR backpack is designed just right for you. Filling inside allows carrying different DSLRs and laptops of varying size. Moreover, this large backpack is equipped with durable zips that prevent from losing your accessories if the buckle breaks.

gogroove camera backpack

Likewise, it includes rain cover, a tripod holder and a practical handle. Each detail is produced to simplify the photographer’s life. It is available in red, black, gray, tan and blue-green colors, which makes it one of the best bags for women photographers.

12. Gitzo Adventury

For wildlife photographers
gitzo adventury camera backpack

Weight: 6.39 lbs | Material: Nylon | Capacity: 45 | Laptop: 15 in | Dimension: 13.8x8.7x21.6 inches

  • ✚ Outside attachments for a tripod
  • ✚ Cabin luggage
  • ✚ Removable and flexible dividers
  • ✚ Rain protection
  • Too large

This is one of the best camera backpacks for travel that is a frequent choice of pro photographers involved in wildlife or landscape shooting. You can carry heavy equipment without any discomfort. In addition, it provides reliable protection in various weather conditions. Removable dividers and GITZO G-Cushion prevent any damage of your camera and lenses.

gitzo adventury camera backpack

If you do not need the inner insert, you can remove it quite easily. You can even carry a large tripod in a special outer side pocket opening from the bottom and top. Another advantage of this hiking backpack is excellent protection against rain and water, so weather problems won’t frighten you. It is worth noting that even completely filling this roomy backpack with your equipment, it will be comfortable enough to carry.

lowepro tactic 450 aw ii camera backpack
LowePro Tactic 450 AW II
  • Terrific impact protection
  • Anti-theft zippers
  • Fast 4-point access
nomatic mckinnon camera pack camera backpack
NOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack
  • Allows adjusting the packing
  • Fast access
  • Comfortable weight distribution
shimoda action x30 camera backpack
Shimoda Action X30
  • Expandable roll-top
  • Customizable torso height
  • Several access points

How to Choose a Camera Backpack?

To help you cut down the time you spend trying to determine the best camera backpack for your needs, I’ve put together a rundown of essential factors you have to consider when making your choice. 

CONSTRUCTION / DURABILITY. The backpack must be durable and, at the same time, convenient for photographers of different categories. First of all, keep the size and weight in mind. If you travel a lot and have to carry a lot of equipment with you, then choose spacious models made of light materials. Try to choose the option with the most efficient organization of space so that your backpack is not too bulky.

PROTECTION. If you take a lot of photos outdoors, then all-weather protection should be very important to you. Dust, moisture, dirt, and accidental shocks can badly damage your equipment and entail huge expenses. Therefore, you should opt for camera backpacks made from special moisture and dust resistant fabrics or having a special removable rain cover.

camera backpack lifestyle

DESIGN. Сonsider the additional features of each backpack (how many pockets it has, if they are large or small, etc.). Design matters because photographers are artists. You also need to mind the equipment you plan to carry with you. Depending on this, choose bags with the capacity you need. Do not forget that in addition to the camera, you will need spare batteries and lenses, a tripod, maybe a tablet or laptop and other small things.

camera backpack lifestyle

PACK ACCESS. You need to have the ability to take out your gear within seconds of seeing something worthy of a photograph. The most convenient camera backpacks offer side access that you can instantly fold open to take out your camera without taking off the bag.

Ordinarily, the zipper goes further to the other side of the backpack, providing a bird’s-eye view of your gear (when the bag is laying on the ground). Clamshell backpacks are also highly convenient, as they allow you to fully open the exterior and instantly examine all the equipment you’re carrying around.