Best Backpacking Camera Bag: Keeping Your Camera Safe and You Looking Cool

Written by Kane Dane

Would you agree with us that a well designed camera backpack will definitely keep your camera equipment and accessories safe from scratching, rain, and elements?

Also, you have to agree that in order to keep your camera safe during your outdoor adventures, you need to find the best backpacking camera bag the market has to offer because in this case, cheap, doesn’t mean good, right?

Your camera is with you for every step of your backpacking journey so it is very important to make sure you have a camera bag you can rely on, one that fits all your requirements: it’s comfortable, it’s waterproof, it’s affordable, it has compartments for all your gear, and it’s durable.


In this article, we have taken a look at which features of a camera bag are important when buying one, and reviewed ten of the best products that come highly recommended by users. You can use this information to compare products, share buying ideas with your friends or relatives, and for future reference.

Produt NameWeightBest UseSpecial FeaturesPrice
One Tigris QZF180.3 lbDSLR/SLR camera, camera lens, iPad and NetbookPortable, lightweight, and foldableCheck price on Amazon
LowePro LP364311.98 lbDSLR/SLR camera, camera lens (Up to 18 - 55 mm zoom), 2-3 extra lenses, tablet and personal items or a GoProTurns into a daypack, dedicated tablet pocket, built-in weather AW cover, tall side pocketsCheck price on Amazon
X-Freedom XX190F1.76 lbDSLR/SLR camera, camera lens, iPad and NetbookScratch resistant Oxford nylon material, impervious to light rain, and MOLLE system designCheck price on Amazon
TAMRAC Anvil 234.6 lbDSLR camera, purse/wallet, water bottle & daily suppliesComfortable airflow harness, large main compartment, and Arc & MOLLE belt systemCheck price on Amazon
ProTactic 350 AW4.56 lbPro DSLR camera, tripod, laptop, and accessoriesActivZone system technology, SlipLock compatible strap system, MaxFit system dividers, all-weather AW cover, CradleFit laptop pocket, and limitless set-upsCheck price on Amazon
HILLPOW 19580R2 lbSLR/DSLR cameras - Samsung, Pentax, Panasonic, Olympus, Sony, Nikon, and CanonWise applicability, magic construction, waterproof nylon, and three interior color optionsCheck price on Amazon
Think Tank TT8532.9 lb1-2 medium to large mirror-less bodies with lens attached, 5-8 additional lenses, up to 10” tables and a 15” laptopCompatible with mirror-less camera, low-contrast & matte black finish, adjustable/padded dividers, and dual zipper pullsCheck price on Amazon
Timbuk2 B00XCGBLIE0.7 lbSLR/ GoPro camera bag, lens and batteriesPadded & convertible protection, external grab straps, fits in messenger and backpackCheck price on Amazon
MindShift BackLight1 lb1 standard-size DSLR, 4-6 standard zoom lenses, plus a flashCharcoal color, daisy chain, ice axe loops, waist belt, neck strap, and adjustable dividersCheck price on Amazon
X-Freedom XNVQD1.4 lbDSLR/SLR cameras, USB cable, battery, flash, and lensesModern/casual sport design, and it is highly durable, versatile, and waterproofCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

A great number of backpack manufacturers are producing camera backpacks and inserts. Therefore, the market is flooded with numerous brands and models. To help cut down on search time and effort, we have provided you with the following buying tips.

Is it waterproof?

When backpacking, you get caught in all types of weather, it can be sunny one second and the next there’s a torrential downpour. If there’s a chance you’re going to be caught in the rain, and then it’s paramount you select a camera bag that isn’t just water-resistant but waterproof.

Image of a man looking at his camera bag being outside in the winter time

Image Credit:

However, if you plan on purchasing a camera bag to go inside another bag and the main bag is waterproof then you can get away with buying a water-resistant bag. Consider your use of the bag before committing to a purchase.

What about the weight, size, and interiors?

Chances are your camera equipment is heavy; you don’t want to add to this weight by buying a camera bag that’s going to add too much weight, thus making it impossible for you to comfortably cart your gear and fully enjoy your trip. If you need to fork out a little more cash to buy a lighter, yet, just as durable bag it may be a wise buy. Not being able to reach the top of an epic hike because your equipment is weighing you down would really suck!

Imagine spending a couple of hundred dollars on a camera bag and realizing it’s too small! Okay, you can likely send it back, but if it’s a last-minute purchase just before your next epic trip you’re going to be stuck. So, have a look at the dimensions of the bag, make sure they are adequate for your camera and accessories.

You want to make sure the bag is big enough, but at the same time you don’t want it to be too big – you don’t want your camera to be sliding all over the place, it needs to be a tight fit. After making sure the dimensions match your requirements, ask yourself these questions: Are there additional compartments? Is there room for extra camera lenses? And is there a zip compartment for extra memory cards?

Durability and style

Unlike a conventional backpack, a camera backpack needs to be stylish. You need to buy a bag that will not only offer better housing for your camera equipment and accessories, but also compliment your outfit and personality.

The bag’s material and design ought to be reliable. Go for a camera backpack made of high-quality material, such as high density nylon. The most durable backpack has good waterproofing abilities and is highly resistant to scratching and ripping.

Top Products on Today’s Market

Now that you know what really makes up a good camera bag, it is time to check out the best models. We came up with the following list after a thorough consideration of the best features and performance in extreme conditions.

One Tigris QZF18 Camera Bag
One Tigris QZF18

Price: Approx. $20

Weight: 0.3 lb

Dimensions: 8.86 x 4.33 x 11.81 in

Specific features: Durable nylon Oxford EPE, rain-proof, anti-wrinkles and anti-scratch, removable dividers – soft construction allows it to adjust to almost any shape

Best use: DSLR/SLR camera, camera lens, iPad and Netbook

Description: The One Tigris QZF18 Camera Bag is easy to position and soft padded Velcro separators make it perfect for getting a custom fit for your lenses and other equipment. The durable and lightweight design makes it a perfect choice to be an insert bag.

This unique bag fits easily into most backpacks to safely store away your camera equipment. The cover flap makes gaining access to your camera super quick and easy. The product has received very positive feedback from other users.

The most notable feature is how the bag gives you extra protection for your camera gear and that the size is adequate for a camera and additional lenses. The bag is incorporated with three padded partitions for easy storage of items.

The bag’s coffee complexion is stylish and very attractive. A feature unique to this bag is the easy disassemble. You can remove the interior partitions and the top cover for effortless storage of the bag in your backpack.


  • The bag weighs only 0.3 pounds, making it ultra-lightweight and convenient for light backpacking of your camera and accessories.
  • It is the inexpensive alternative of buying pricey camera bags; it will certainly fit your budget.
  • This is a padded camera bag that supplies you with three compartments for easy storage.
  • The interior is made from soft padded liner to ensure that your contents will be free of scratches and shock.


  • The available capacity is relatively small, thus limited storage.

Related: We recommend you buy this camera bag along with the Domke F-34L Protective Wrap. You can cover your lenses with the wrap for added protection.

Check the price on Amazon

LowePro LP36431 Hatchback Camera Backpack
LowePro LP36431

Price: Approx. $70

Weight: 1.98 lb

Dimensions: 18.5 x 7.28 x 10.83 in

Specific features: Slate gray, turns into a daypack, dedicated tablet pocket, built-in all weather aw cover, tall side pockets

Best use: DSLR/SLR camera, camera lens (Up to 18-55mm Zoom), 2-3 extra lenses, tablet and personal items or a GoPro

Description: The LowePro LP36431 Hatchback Camera Backpack is a twin strap bag which can easily be converted into a daypack. The easily removable, padded camera box with storm-flap closure and grab handles offers customizable storage for a complete camera kit.

This allows for the bag to be converted into a fully functional daypack in seconds. A really great feature of this bag is the body-side, hatchback opening; this provides easy and secure access to your camera gear.

The capacious upper compartment of the bag provides overflowing space for storing personal items, including sunglasses, a jacket, or even lunch. The compartment is also integrated with a zipped pocket, along with two stretch-mesh pouches and a key fob.

This is a highly versatile bag that will thrive in extreme conditions. This is made possible by the integrated all-weather AW cover. The cover ensures that the bag and its contents are well-protected from external elements, including dust, mud, and light showers.


  • This is a resourceful and versatile camera bag that you can effortlessly convert into a daypack for use and convenience.
  • It is a spacious bag with numerous pouches for storage, including the roomy upper compartment, the dedicated tablet pocket, and the tall side pockets.
  • It is a very comfortable bag to carry, thanks to the comfortable back-pad that is breathable for effective cooling.
  • The integrated all-weather AW cover makes the bag resilient against external elements, such as light showers and dust.


  • The available capacity isn’t plentiful enough for some users.

Related: You should consider buying the backpack along with the ALTURA KM0544 Neoprene Pouch Set. The set will protect your gadgets against scratches, accidental bumps, dust, sand, and moisture.

Check the price on Amazon

X-Freedom Camera Back Pack
X-Freedom XX190F

Price: Approx. $30

Weight: 1.76 lb

Dimensions: 11.81 x 6.30 x 11.81 in

Specific features: Dark brown, oxford nylon material, MOLLE system bag, shoulder bag, impervious to light rain

Best use: SLR camera, purse/wallet, water bottle & daily supplies

Description: The X-Freedom Camera Back Pack is a modern, casual military design engineered from the Oxford nylon material. The bag is very durable and great for outdoor activity. Whether you are running, travelling, camping, hiking, hunting or cycling this messenger bag will serve you well.

The bag has many good-sized compartments to fit all camera accessories and other objects you may need for backpacking. This bag comes well recommended, other users seem to love the multi-purpose functionality of the bag; ideal for hiking and fishing.

This is a negative for some, those searching for a photography-only bag state this isn’t the one. If you are just shooting with one camera, it’s a good option, but with professional equipment there are better bags out there.

Regardless of the minor design flaws, the X-Freedom Military is a stylish camera bag that will complement your outfit, especially when on a sightseeing expedition in the summer holidays.


  • The bag is made from Oxford nylon material, which is not only scratch resistant, but also very durable, compared to most materials.
  • The X-Freedom is equipped with multiple pouches and compartments for stowing away camera and other accessories.
  • It is a highly versatile camera backpack that you can use for different applications apart from camera/accessory storage.
  • The bag is designed to be used for both indoors and outdoors expedition, including cycling, hunting, hiking, camping, traveling, and running.


  • It is available in limited size options and colors for preference.

Related: We recommend you to buy the TENBA 638-273 Messenger Protective Wrap along with the backpack for protecting your camera and accessories against scratch. Make sure you choose the appropriate size.

Check the price on Amazon

Tamrac Anvil 23 Backpack
Tamrac Anvil 23

Price: Approx. $260

Weight: 4.6 lb

Dimensions: 12.2 x 9.8 x 18.5 in

Specific features: No PVC, duraflex & woojin acetal buckles, 210d oxford nylon lining, 840d polyester dobby fabric, 600d polyester fabric, and 2x pu coating

Best use: DSLR camera, purse/wallet

Description: The Tamrac Anvil 23 Backpack has been designed to carry all your photography gear and accessories to the grittiest and most beautiful places on earth. Thanks to the engineered materials, over ten different optimized foams, used to make this backpack the bag is tough, but conveniently lightweight for backpacking.

The main compartment is designed to carry multiple pro-sized DSLR bodies with lenses attached. A front, padded pocket holds 15 inch laptops and exterior pockets hold accessories. Thanks to the belt system any amount of gear you wish to carry will be easy to do so.

Many users back up the fact that this bag can carry a lot of camera equipment, there are no complaints when it comes to size. There are a few cons to this bag though, and it seems to come down to the comfort of the straps and there is no mesh pocket for a water bottle.


  • The bag is made from heavy-duty 600D and 840D polyester fabric, which offers the required protection from the elements.
  • The fabric is coated with a 2X PU coating for waterproofing and long-lasting durability.
  • The large main compartment allows you to backpack multiple pro-sized cameras with attached lenses.
  • The bag’s versatility is improved by the Arc & MOLLE belt system and comfortable airflow harness.


  • The backpack is available in limited color options.

Related: You should consider buying the ALTURA KM0544 Neoprene Pouch Bag along with the backpack. The thick neoprene pouch offers protection in extreme conditions and it ensures that your camera and accessories are protected from scratches and accidental bumps.

Check the price on Amazon

ProTactic 350 AW Camera Backpack
ProTactic 350 AW 

Price: Approx. $170

Weight: 4.56 lb

Dimensions: 16.93 x 12.13 x 9.06 in

Specific features: ActivZone system technology, five modular accessories, slip lock strap system, turret-loading top, MaxFit system dividers, and available in two versions (350 AW and 450 AW)

Best use: Pro DSLR, tripod, laptop, and accessories

Description: The ProTactic 350 AW Camera Backpack comes with five modular accessories, water bottle pouch, accessory case, tripod cup and two cinch straps, which are all, slip Lock-compatible for effective storage and easy access.

This hard-shell backpack has lots of spaces for all your gear, which can be easily adapted, thanks to the adjustable dividers to fit your gear measurements. The technology used to create this backpack delivers targeted support and constant comfort.

This bag is highly rated; many others speak of its comfortable fit, abundance of storage and strong build. The integrated all-weather AW cover provides you with the required protection against surrounding elements and light rains. The vast setups make the pack versatile and reliable.

Regardless of the few design hitches, the ProTactic 350 AW is exactly what you need for stowing your camera and accessories. This backpack will offer unmatched protection for your camera gear. In fact, it will perform excellently in extreme weather.


  • The backpack’s ActivZone harness technology offers you great ventilation along with targeted comfort when moving over long distances.
  • The MaxFit system dividers allow you to pack as much gear as the bag can support, and still provide a snug fit.
  • The included all-weather AW cover ensures that your entire bag is protected from external elements, especially light rains.
  • This is a very versatile backpack with vast setups, including the SlipLock compatible strap system.


  • The backpack is available in the black color only, limiting your options for preference.

Related: Consider buying the Indigo Marble Premium Medium Camera Cover along with the backpack. It will provide additional protection for your camera.

Check the price on Amazon

HILLPOW 19580R Camera Backpack
HILLPOW Camera Backpack

Price: Approx. $20

Weight: 2 lb

Dimensions: 10.6 x 5.9 x 13.8 in

Specific features: Support SLR/DSLR cameras, three interior color options, flexible & removable partition, and waterproof rain cover

Best use: SLR/DSLR cameras – Samsung, Pentax, Panasonic, Olympus, Sony, Nikon, and Canon

Description: The HILLPOW 19580R Camera Backpack has wide applicability: fitting most DSLR/SLR cameras; Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, etc. The cushions inside the bag can be removed, allowing the backpack to be used as an ordinary bag.

The water-repellent nylon material is heavily reinforced with stitching and expedition-grade harnesses, making the bag highly durable. The rain cover provides additional peace of mind, keeping your equipment safe from the rain.

The dividers are easily customizable and can accommodate different sized cameras and other equipment. When compared to other camera backpack designs, the HILLPOW is a very unique model that is compatible with both DSLR and SLR cameras as well as accessories.

The bag is available in three interior color options for your preference, including the Green X, Orange, and Red. This is a highly compact camera bag that is very convenient for long-distance expeditions. You will have an easy time carrying this backpack around with you.


  • This lightweight camera backpack is available in a very unique and compact design that fits most occasions.
  • The bag has a wide applicability for both SLR and DSLR cameras and accessories from Samsung, Pentax, Panasonic, Olympus, Sony, Nikon, and Canon.
  • The magic construction includes removable and adjustable taped cushions that you can conveniently remove when you want to use the bag for something else.
  • The heavily reinforced shoulder straps, expedition grade harness, stitching, and water-resistant rain cover makes the bag highly durable.


  • The bag is not equipped with exterior pockets for convenience.

Related: Consider buying the TENBA 638-273 Messenger Protective Wrap. The wrap will provide additional protection for your camera bodies, flashes, and lenses.

Check the price on Amazon

Think Tank TT853 Backpack
Think Tank TT853 Backpack

Price: Approx. $200

Weight: 2.9 lb

Dimensions: 7.09 x 11.02 x 18.31 in

Specific features: Black color, tripod can be carried on the side of the backpack, rain cover, matte black appearance, and waterproof nylon

Best use: 1-2 medium to large mirror-less bodies with lens attached, 5-8 additional lenses, up to 10” tables and a 15” laptop

Description: The Think Tank TT853 Backpack is a well-built camera backpack for the money. In terms of quality, the bag is built like a tank! The zips, pulls, handles, straps and fabric are very thick, strong and sturdy. Although, the bag is strong, it is also lightweight, given its size.

The body is rigid with decent padding to protect all your camera gear. The bag fits lots of equipment and can be used for carry-on luggage for your international travels. There are also compartments for books, a tablet and a laptop of up to 15 inches.

This bag is receiving a lot of positive feedback. People appear to be fitting all their gear in the bag, even the largest of lenses. Furthermore, the build quality has received much praise; it is a very sturdy bag. The only drawback associated with this bag is the narrow external holders, which may be too narrow for accommodating larger bottles.


  • The backpack is available in a compact/lightweight design with low-contrast & matte black finish.
  • The bag is highly conveniently for mirror-less equipment with quality construction and premium materials.
  • The dedicated zipper pocket is capable of accommodating a 15-inch laptop and a full-sized tablet.
  • This is a versatile bag that allows you to carry a tripod on the side for convenience.


  • The bag is not spacious enough to carry additional items.

Related: You should consider buying the backpack along with the Domke F-34M Protective Wrap. You can use the wrap to cover all the gear that needs protection, but make sure you choose the right size.

Check the price on Amazon

Timbuk2 B00XCGBLIE Snoop Camera Insert
Timbuk2 B00XCGBLIE

Price: $20 – $60

Weight: 0.7 lb

Dimensions: 8.86 x 3.94 x 15.16 in

Specific features: Tricot material, insert unfolds like origami, so you can turn it into a flat, clean organizational space

Best use: SLR camera bag, lens and batteries

Description: As far as insert bags are concerned, the Timbuk2 B00XCGBLIE Snoop Camera Insert features an impressive design with a characteristic appearance. It is available in small and medium sizes for your preference. The black color is beautiful and attractive.

The Timbuk2 Snoop Camera Bag is designed to fit inside the Timbuk2 classic Messenger bag. The bag has a fully padded interior with movable internal walls to protect the camera, accessories and personal products.

There are double reinforced adjustable straps for securing tripods. “Excellent for a travel camera backpack” seems to be the message from most users of this bag. They claim it to be the perfect for converting your ordinary bag into a camera bag and keeping your equipment safe.

The bag features a lightweight, strong, and sturdy ripstop fabric that will always keep you camera, lenses, flashes, and accessories safe from scratch and extreme weather. You will not be disappointed with this multipurpose insert.


  • This is a highly versatile camera insert that is compatible with both backpacks and messengers.
  • The lightweight, strong, and sturdy ripstop fabric is highly durable and convenient for extreme conditions.
  • The insert does suitably unfold, allowing you to convert it into a clean and flat organizational space.
  • The D-string attachment allows you to make use of your preferred straps, and you can also buy an additional strap pad.


  • The insert is not convenient for stashing heavy camera accessories.

Related: Consider buying the Timbuk2 B00P8DUKE0 Super Strap Pad, which is compatible with a great number of messenger straps and it is highly breathable.

Check the price on Amazon

MindShift BackLight Camera Backpack
MindShift BackLight

Price: Approx. $250

Weight: 1 lb

Dimensions: 11.4 x 20.3 x 7.9 in

Specific features: Charcoal color, daisy chain, ice ax loops, waist belt, neck strap, and adjustable dividers

Best use: 1 standard-size DSLR, 4-6 standard zoom lenses, plus a flash

Descriptiom: The MindShift BackLight Camera Backpack  is designed in a way that you can get to your camera gear, take it out (or put it back in), without the need to take the backpack off your back. Therefore, this is a very resourceful backpack during your adventures.

Rear-panel access adds security when traveling, since your camera gear is protected behind your back, with air channel and lumbar support on rear-panel for all-day comfort. This bag is great for carrying all your camera equipment as well as personal gear.

This bag is receiving fantastic reviews; simply put as “great bag that can carry lots of gear” you can’t say fairer than that. The bag is strong in every detail from lining to zippers!

The bag will fit lots and lots of gear, but because of this, it is unlikely to fit under a seat as your carry-on luggage. The adjustable dividers allow you to carry larger telephoto lenses. You also get extra lash points with the side compression straps.


  • The backpack is available in a single color and size design that is strong and durable.
  • The dedicated compartments allow you to store a full-sized tablet and a 15-inch laptop.
  • The incorporated ergonomic zippers are easy to use, even when wearing gloves.
  • You get additional lash points with the side compression straps and the locking SR buckles.
  • The two massive water bottles allow you to stay hydrated while going about your photographing activities.


  • The main compartment is not deep and spacious enough.

Related: The backpack is frequently bought together with the MindShift 019207 Gear Filter Pouch. This insert is convenient for compact packing and it improves organization.

Check the price on Amazon

X-Freedom XNVQD Camera Bag X-Freedom XNVQD

Price: Approx. $1,300

Weight: 1.4 lb

Dimensions: 12 x 10.2 x 6.6 in

Specific features: Modern/casual fashion sport designs, available in the red color, made of nylon fabric, zipped & buckle closure, and waterproof nylon

Best use: DSLR/SLR cameras, USB cable, battery, flash, and lenses

Description: The X-Freedom XNVQD Camera Bag is a state-of-the-art camera bag for the money. It is certainly a pricey bag for a person with a tight budget. But it offers so much in terms of design features and performance compared to most camera bags you will find on the market.

The bag has a very unique design that you will rarely see from other backpacks. The most unique feature of this bag is the one handle, which offers you a stylish look when wearing the backpack. The handle allows for easy maneuverability and access to the bag’s interiors.

The interior design offers you a true definition of a well-organized camera bag. The bag provides you with two access entries, one on the front and the other one on the side for easy access to your cameras and accessories.

The bag stands out as one of the best as far as durability goes. It is engineered to withstand light rains, and extreme conditions during use.


  • The modern/casual fashion sport design is classy for any outdoor adventure.
  • The interior of the X-Freedom camera bag is fitted with enough compartments for your use.
  • The Velcro adjustment system allows you to effortlessly adjust the compartment for convenience.
  • This modern sport camera bag is convenient for both outdoors and indoors adventure, including vacation and travelling.


  • It is without a doubt an expensive camera backpack for a person with a tight budget.

Related: We advise you to buy the Domke F-34M Protective Wrap along with the backpack. The wrap will provide additional protection for your cameras and accessories. Make sure you choose the correct size and color.

Check the price on Amazon

The Wrap Up

The X-Freedom Modern Camera Bag marks the end of our product reviews. Each camera backpack was carefully selected after a comprehensive evaluation of design features (weight, size, material, compartments, and backpack technology), performance, and user recommendations.


A real camera backpack doesn’t have to be a massive or pricey model. You will want a true dedicated camera bag that comes with all the features you need to keep your camera and accessories safe from scratching, water, and elements.

What you have just learnt by reading this article are the best buying tips and product suggestions that you certainly need. We have done our part. The main purchasing decision depends entirely on your preference and budget.

Did you get what you were looking for? Did we fail to mention any important camera backpacks? If so, please share your thoughts, concerns, and suggestions with us in the comments section below for a fruitful discussion.


Kane Dane


  • Interesting article. I was about to buy a Think Tank Photo Urban when I realized that it would be too heavy. I have to bring my own huge backpack and now I have to carry another bag? Is there a waterproof backpack for camping that has a camera storage area included?

  • You can find many backpacks that have larger pockets so you can store your camera. Look for backpacks that have lots of pockets and zippers. You can also use a carabiner to attach other bags to your backpack.

  • I have my Nikon D800 with the 24-70mm lens attached. I would like to know which of these mentioned bag will suits for me? I bought one before and it was cheap. It didn’t last for a long time

    • Find one from the list we mentioned and see if it is the right size for your camera. You want something with quality materials.


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