Photography and travel fit together like peanut butter and chocolate, but if you are going to travel the world with a DSLR and all of the associated equipment, you had better have a good travel bag to hold all of it in. Cameras are expensive and delicate, which means traveling with them presents a unique set of challenges.
The best DSLR camera bag buries your camera and gears beneath too many straps or closures, or requires clumsy unbuckling, hinders access and is a bad bag. In this review, you will find out some more about the best DSLR camera bags for Nikon, Canon, and others, for most photographers.
What to Consider When Buying the Best Camera Bag
A great camera bag for travel photographers will be defined by several features that will make or (literally) break your equipment. Photographers must consider aspects like material, size/weight, capacity, discreteness, security, and comfort in order to choose the right camera bag.
Below is a brief breakdown of each of these features and why they are important to the buying and shooting process.
If you travel a lot, your camera is going to be subject to the elements very often. Overexposure to the likes of weather, grime, and/or physical trauma can compromise your equipment and lead to failure or breakage.
This is why it is very important to get a sturdy travel camera bag made from high-quality and rugged materials. With better craftsmanship, your camera will be better protected from dangerous forces.
Canvas – and all of its varieties – is one of the most used materials in travel camera bags and for good reason: it’s durable, relatively waterproof, and cheap.
Many of the best travel camera bags in this list will have some canvas in some degree. Leather is also a good material that is used quite often in camera bags but make sure that it’s real – the fake shit will degrade and fail much sooner than the authentic leather.
Some camera bag manufacturers are using newer, synthetic fabrics that offer optimal quality and protection. Note that if a bag has higher quality synthetic materials, then its price will usually be higher.
The inside of travel camera bags are usually – and should be – full of foam inserts that offer extra protection to equipment inside.
A good travel camera bag will have lots of these barriers that can be rearranged to provide the proper housing for your camera kit. These padded dividers should be somewhat rigid, thick, and properly sized.
In addition to interior padding, your travel bag should have a number of pockets and compartments that should be sealed and in working order. If they are not properly constructed, then your camera will be susceptible to water and other harmful elements.
You’re obviously going to need a camera bag that is big enough to house all of your gear.
Each type of travel camera bag is going to be appropriately sized for a certain amount of equipment. Smaller messenger bags will be able to accommodate a small mirrorless or compact camera with an extra lens or two while larger camera backpacks will be better suited for full-frame DSLRs and a plethora of lenses.
Figure out how much camera equipment you will need to carry and then decide on how big of a bag you will need.
Cameras are thieves’ favorite targets so it’s imperative that you find a bag that will ward away not only the elements but human perpetrators as well.
Many camera bags will come with latches, locking zippers and other deterrents that will hamper robbers’ attempts at stealing your gear. Should an attacker threaten you, good sturdy construction – like the kind mentioned in the materials section – will prevent them from tearing or cutting your bag and getting to the inner contents.
Some camera bags that are built from luxurious materials just scream “steal me” as well. Buying a bag that is relatively simple and inconspicuous looking will attract less attention from possible assailants. Avoiding theft in the first place is the best way to prevent it.
Travel photographers will most likely have their gear on their person for most the day so it’s very important to consider how comfortable a travel camera bag will be.
If you’re just planning on bringing a small camera with an equally diminutive lens or two, then a messenger bag will feel very natural.
Start adding more lenses and a larger camera body though and straps begin to cut into your shoulders – a more spacious and ergonomic backpack will probably feel better.
Being able to access your equipment in a comfortable way is also worth considering. Are you going to have to take your bag off and reach into it everytime you want to take a photo? That may get tedious.
Can you get away with using a holster or small messenger bag? Being able to reach for a travel camera that is near the front of your body will feel much better.
10 Best Travel Camera Bags 2018
Now that you have a good idea as to what to look for when investing in a good travel camera bag, let’s look at some of the best.
Below is a list of 10 of the best travel camera bags for 2018. Each one should serve a different type of travel photographer, from the budget minded to ultra-light backpacker. Choose the one that is best suited for your style of shooting.
1. AmazonBasics Large DSLR Gadget Bag
Though the exterior of this bag is completely black, it features an orange exterior which is quite an interesting touch. They also have one with a gray interior if you prefer something a bit more low-key. This bag is able to store and carry a large DLSR camera as well as its equipment. Even better, it also holds slots for your tabs, phones, and kindles if you want. You can also fit up to 3 lenses in there. It happens to be cheaper than some of the other camera bags that are out there so if you are on a budget you should definitely look into it. Since it is heavily padded and includes a sturdy shoulder strap, even if you pack it fully, it is still comfortable to carry and does not dig in. What is more, it also has adjustable straps on the outside that have been specially placed to carry your tripod as well.
2. DSLR Camera Backpack Bag By Altura Photo
This backpack is a fantastic solution for anyone who will be walking with their camera. Anyone exploring a new city on foot or going on a wilderness hike will be grateful for the two shoulder support. The interior has foam segmentations. It can hold one DSLR body and four to six lenses along with flash, tablet, and other photo essentials.
It is water resistant and comes with a sturdy waist strap, which helps distribute the weight of some of your heavier camera equipment. The exterior dimensions are 12.5″ x 8.5″ x 18.5″, making it just small enough to be your in-flight personal item. It weighs only 3.79lbs.
3. Abonnyc DRLBP-CZ Waterproof Anti-shock Backpack
This one is both waterproof and shock-resistant which two features every camera owner looks for are. It is a deluxe padded backpack so it evenly distributes weight across your shoulders making it the perfect accompaniment on travel adventures. It also features dividers on the inside which makes it customizable according to your requirements. You can use all areas of this bag to also fit in lenses, filters, tripods and more. Its overall construction is built to last so you need not worry about longevity. The color is also an interesting one; an earthy brown mixed with pale green which is great for blending in during hikes or treks. You can neatly pack everything in so they do not shuffle about when on the move. Even though it costs a lot more, it is most definitely a worthy contender. Do give it a look.
4. Case Logic SLRC-206 Travel Camera Bag
At around $75 new, the Case Logic SLRC-206 is the best budget travel camera bag that you can find! With a very spacious interior and a nice rigid frame, this backpack is sure to handle all of your needs.
The Case Logic SLRC-206 can accommodate most full camera systems including multiple DSLRs and a litany of lenses.
The various spacers and dividers inside can be readjusted to fit any lens or camera as well, allowing for the usual customization.
Some users of this bag have complained that the various internal compartments are too shallow though so users of overly-large equipment may be frustrated. In addition, there are plentiful pockets for accessories and a rear compartment that can fit a 16” laptop.
The most notable feature of the Case Logic SLRC-206 is its camera“hammock” found near the top of the bag. This conveniently suspends your camera inside of the bag, allowing for quick access and excellent protection.
5. DIGIANT DSLR Backpack
This bag is both stylish and practical. From the outside, it is a trendy looking backpack, from the inside, it is a one-bag solution for all of your camera gear. It can carry one to two camera bodies, and four to six lenses. It also has a myriad of external pockets for any tripod, battery, memory card, flash, or tablet you may need. The foam insert on the interior is adjustable, and the waist strap helps distribute the weight of all of the equipment you are packing.
6. Koolertron Waterproof PU Leather DSLR Camera Bag
Koolertron also offers a good option as far as camera bags go. It actually looks more like a satchel compared to conventional camera bags. Built out of PU leather it can comfortably fit in a DSLR camera along with 2 lenses. The material used means that whilst it possesses many of the traits that come with leather, it does not require as much care. Having said that, you do still need to take good care of it if you want to use it for a long time. What is more, if you take the liner out you can use it like any other regular bag so it is quite versatile. Their bags are all brown, though in various shades so you can opt for one that you like the most. It is a little pricier than some others out there, however seeing as how you can use it as more than just a camera bag it is worth it.
7. Acuvar DSLR Camera Backpack
The interesting thing about this camera bag by Acuvar is that it comes complete with a rain cover which is a huge plus. Come rain, hail or shine, you can take your favorite photographs from wherever you are. It has enough space to house up to two DSLR cameras or two camcorders (small). You can also fit in up to 3 or 4 lenses as well as flashes, filters, and other accompanying accessories. Since the exterior is built out of a tough combination of nylon and polyester, it can withstand rough use so if you travel a lot, this is ideal. The interior features a customizable foam which is also thick offering you both ample protection and flexibility in how you want to use it. Seeing as how it is water resistant too, you have little to worry about. Despite all of this, though, it is incredibly easy to carry around. Definitely worth looking into.
8. Manfrotto MB PL-3N1-35 Backpack
This camera bag has 4 carrying positions, quick draw side access, one hand opening, internal Height-44cm, 28cm internal length, and 16cm internal width. Just like any other Manfrotto’s camera bags, this MB PL-3N1-35 Backpack Versatile is quite functional and extremely ergonomic. The rain covers provide waterproof protection for your photo or video camera allowing you to continue your shoot confidently knowing your camera remains dry. A specially applied coating to the fabric keeps it water resistant. This camera bag can hold your camera, two lenses, some accessories and a tripod.
9. Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW Camera Backpack
This ProTactic 450 AW camera bag by Lowepro features ActivZone System technology to deliver targeted support at shoulder blades, lumbar and waist for comfort on the move. This is a professional backpack for Pro DSLRs and DJI Mavic Pro Drone. One of the best thing about this camera bag is that it can safeguard your valuable gear with the patented, built-in All Weather AW Cover that protects the pack from the elements. This bag would be too large to carry-on smaller planes. The smaller version (ProTactic 250) or Photo Sport AW 300 would be better choices to carry your gear on. What you really need to know is that this Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW camera bag will not comfortably load two pro cameras with battery grip.
10. Evecase SLR Camera Bag
Choose from black, gray and brown with Evecase camera bags. It is a large canvas bag for both SLR and DSLR cameras. It also comes with a rain cover offering extra protection even if the weather turns sour. There is also a convenient tripod strap included. Not only does it have plenty of space, it is heavy duty and what is more, doubles up as a leisure bag if you need. The removable camera insert offers enhanced flexibility and is built out of both padding and soft cotton for superior cushioning. You can also fit up to 2 or 3 lenses depending on your needs. Best of all, it can also fit your laptop in so you can edit your pictures as you go which is a great option for professional photographers. Do bear in mind though that it can only fit 14-inch laptops. Whether you need to take this bag to work or on outdoor treks, it works nonetheless.