Best Travel Camera Bags of 2021: Backpacks & Cases

Here is a selection of the best camera bags suitable for all shapes and sizes of gear.

You are looking for the best camera bag, suitable for carrying your camera and its accessories – finding the rare pearl is easier said than done.

Photographic equipment can vary greatly in weight and size, ranging from small compact cameras to sprawling hybrid systems or even reflex cameras and their cohort of lenses of all kinds, not to mention flashes, filters, and other essential accessories. In this buying guide, we offer you a selection of the best camera bags suitable for different configurations, so you can find the one that will perfectly fit your equipment.

For compact cameras, a simple pouch or soft case is usually sufficient to protect your equipment when you go out. For equipment consisting of housing and several optics, as well as a few accessories and possibly a flash, the best choice seems to be a traditional shoulder bag or a satchel, both practical to use. These bags are often equipped with interior compartments to store essentials such as car keys, mobile phones, and even for some a tablet or a small laptop.

Best Travel Camera Bags of 2021: Backpacks & Cases 1

For photographers with a lot of gear, several lenses, and accessories, and sometimes even a spare case, shoulder camera bags can quickly become very uncomfortable. In this case, a backpack is more suitable and much more comfortable, because it allows you to distribute the weight on both shoulders and part of the back. Other options include split backpacks, featuring a photo and personal space, hard cases, rolling suitcases, and more.

In all our photography tours, we recommend always a backpack. As it’s the bigger and most comfortable way to bring all your equipment. Trips like any Iceland Photography Tour, you not will need to carry so long in your shoulders, so it’s the perfect way to have all you need always close to you.

best camera bags

Let’s take a closer look at the best models currently available on the market:

Camera BagTypeCompatible devicesAdditional lenses / AccessoriesLaptop / tablet compartmentTripod mountAdditional compartmentsDimensionsWeightBest price
Billingham Hadley ProShoulder bagSLR, Hybrid3TabletNo2350x120x300mm1,100g$255
Peak Design Everyday Messenger BagMessenger bagReflex, Hybrid313″Yes3380x270x120mm1.100g$219.95
Nest Athena A40Messenger bagReflex, Hybrid4TabletNo1380x195x310mm1,200gNo avalaible
Lowepro Dashpoint 10 Camera PouchPouchCompactNoNoNoMemory card pocket93x60x134mm100g$16.99
Lowepro Nova 200 AW IIShoulder BagReflex Hybrid4NoNo3385x245x320mm1,700g$104.99
Mindshift Gear Multi-Mount Holster 20HolsterReflex Hybrid0NoNo1265x210x165mm550g$75.00
Billingham 445Shoulder bagSLR, Hybrid813″ (optional cover)Optional straps4430x250x300mm2,100g$435.00
Lowepro Whistler BP 450 AWBackpackReflex Hybrid6NoYes2310x302x572mm3,300g$139.95
Think Tank TurnStyle 20 V2.0Shoulder bagSLR, Hybrid4TabletNo1235x440x137mm500g$99.75
Lowepro ProTactic 450 AWBackpack2x Reflex, Hybrid8 15″Yes1348x270x488mm2,600g€250.00
Tenba Axis 637-701Backpack2x Reflex, Hybrid817″Yes59.5 x 12.5 x 20.25 pulgadas1.5 pounds$229.95
Manfrotto Street Medium BackpackBackpackReflex, Hybrid215″Yes3280x150x460mm1,100g$149.98
Thule Aspect DSLR backpackBackpackReflex, Hybrid215.6″No330x22x52 cm1.4kg$112.26
Manfrotto Reloader 55 Roller BagPhoto case with wheelsSLR, Hybrid10Laptop + TabletYes2350x230x550mm4.900g$315.00
Vanguard Pelican StylePhoto caseSLR, Hybrid11NoNo024.75 x 20.5 x 9.5″7,820g$ 307.74

The best camera bags

Billingham Hadley Pro camera bag

1. Billingham Hadley Pro

Sumptuous quality, the best camera bag in all categories

Type: Shoulder bag
Compatible devices: SLR, Hybrid
Additional lenses / Accessories: 3
Laptop / tablet compartment: Tablet
Tripod mount: No
Additional compartments: 2
Dimensions: 350x120x300mm
Weight: 1,100g
Best price :  $255.00 on Amazon

The most :

  •  Slim design
  •  Magnificent build quality

The least :

  • Shoulder protectors are sold separately
  •  Size a bit tight

Classic design bag reminiscent of a satchel in some ways, the Hadley Pro exudes quality. The full-grain leather and brass fixings, combined with the canvas body, give this bag a chic and relaxed style while remaining perfectly waterproof. Unlike many camera bags of this size, it is slim and easily organized. It can accommodate a full-frame DSLR with a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens mounted, plus a 70-200mm f / 2.8 zoom (without tripod clamp) as well as a flash.

Two additional pockets on the front allow you to store other accessories separately and the zippered back pocket is large enough to slip in a tablet . For heavier equipment, it is better to invest in shoulder protectors sold separately and additional “AVEA” pockets can be added to the bag if necessary.


Peak Design Everyday Messenger Bag

2. Peak Design Everyday Messenger Bag

A stylish, high-quality messenger bag to carry your camera.

Type: Messenger bag
Compatible devices: Reflex, Hybrid
Additional lenses / accessories: 3
Laptop / tablet compartment: 13″
Tripod mount: Yes
Additional compartments: 3
External dimensions: 380x270x120mm
Weight: 1.100g
Best price :  $219.95 at Amazon

The most :

  •   Easy and secure access
  •  Adjustable dimensions

The least :

  • Rather expensive
  •  Semi-rigid design

The Everyday Messenger is rather expensive but well designed: it’s chic enough to take you to your workplace, light enough to not get in your way in transport, and roomy to carry everything you need – like your laptop or a laptop. bike locks – in addition to your photographic equipment.

On the outside, the flap has a spring clasp, has four attachment points, enhancing security and making it more flexible – you can easily expand or tighten it to best suit your size. what you are carrying. Inside, the main compartment has two handy “FlexFold” semi-rigid dividers that prevent your camera and additional optics from getting damaged by bumping into each other. The brand says it was inspired by origami for the design of this bag and although it is very practical to protect your equipment, you will need a little adaptation time to learn how to handle it well.

A zippered pocket on the back accommodates a laptop (choose the model that suits you best – the Everyday Messenger is available in two sizes, 13″ and 15″) Stabilizing straps at the chest and waist are rows out of sight as well as a sturdy sleeve, attached to the inside of the flap, for carrying a tripod. Improved waterproofing and small interior pockets in durable fabric complete the package. If the price doesn’t put you off, this bag is one of the best camera bags available today.


Nest Athena A40

3. Nest Athena A40

Is your budget a little tight? This bag is a very good choice

Type: Messenger bag
Compatible devices: Reflex, Hybrid
Additional lenses / accessories: 4
Laptop / tablet compartment: Tablet
Tripod mount: No
Additional compartments: 1
External dimensions: 380x195x310mm
Weight: 1,200g
Best price :  Price not available on Amazon

The most :

  • Well created
  • Generous capacity

The least :

  • Not the most stylish
  • The shoulder strap is not very qualitative

The largest of Athena’s three Nest messenger bags, the Athena A40 has generous dimensions allowing it to accommodate large SLRs and long telephoto lenses. You can even add a 13″ tablet or laptop in the rear compartment. The front pocket is ideal for storing filters, spare batteries, or memory cards. Well constructed, in waterproof nylon, it is even equipped with additional rain protection and rubberized feet. Its clip closure is quick and easy to use and the zippered flap closure secures your contents. It is not the most stylish bag on the market and the shoulder strap is not of the best quality, but this bag, available in brown or black, has an unbeatable value for money.


camera backpack lowepro

4. Lowepro Dashpoint 10 Camera Pouch

A perfect small pouch for compacts

Type: Pouch
Compatible devices: Compact
Lenses / Additional accessories: No
Laptop / tablet compartment: No
Tripod mount: No
Additional compartments: Memory card pocket
External dimensions: 93x60x134mm
Weight: 100g
Best price :  $16.99 on Amazon

The most :

  • Reputable brand and excellent build quality
  • Resistant while being compact and light

The least :

  • More expensive than other pouches
  • Less resistant than a hard case

Lowepro is a legendary brand in the field of camera bags, renowned for its thoughtful designs and the strength of its construction. The Dashpoint Pouch Series is available in three sizes “10”, “20” and “30” and two colors, slate gray or galaxy blue, to accommodate different compact camera formats. For the smallest of compacts, the Dashpoint 10 is probably the most suitable format, but it’s always best to make sure the exact dimensions of your equipment before buying. Each pouch size opens wide for easy access to its contents, has impact resistant padding and a removable shoulder strap.


 Lowepro Nova 200 AW II

Lowepro Nova 200 AW II

A traditionalist bag to wear over the shoulder

Type: Shoulder Bag
Devices supported: Reflex Hybrid
Lenses / Additional accessories: 4
compartment laptop / tablet: No
Mounting Tripod: No
Additional Compartments: 3
External dimensions: 385x245x320mm
Weight: 1,700g
Best Price :  $104.99 Price at Amazon

The most :

  • Classic design cleverly diverted
  • Roomy enough to accommodate most equipment

The least :

  • No laptop compartment
  • Quite bulky

Available in two sizes, 13″, and 15″, the Lowepro Magnum 200 AW camera bag is ideal for carrying a mid-size camera along with a 13″ or 15″ laptops. Its innovative design includes quick-release magnetic closures and its zippered top flap allows quick access to gear without having to open the entire bag. Origami-inspired “FlexFold” dividers are very practical for securing your equipment but require a little adaptation time. Version 2 has improved waterproofing and small interior pockets made of durable fabric.


Mindshift Gear Multi-Mount Holster 20

6. Mindshift Gear Multi-Mount Holster 20

The best photo case on the market

Type: Holster
Compatible Devices: Reflex Hybrid
Lenses / Additional accessories: 0
Sub laptop / tablet: No
Mounting Tripod: No
Additional Compartments: 1
External dimensions: 265x210x165mm
Weight: 550g
Best Price :  $75.00 Price at Amazon

The most :

  • Large choice of sizes available
  • Convenient additional front pocket

The least :

  • The choice of colors will not be to everyone’s taste
  • Limited additional storage space

Holster cases are intended to carry SLR cameras with mounted lenses and generally do not have any additional space to carry other equipment such as, a flash or an additional lens. They are particularly suitable for SLRs equipped with standard zooms, for trips where you will be satisfied with the single lens mounted on your camera. The big question is how do you know if the lens will fit well in the case? This is why the Multi-Mount Holster comes in four different sizes named, 10, 20, 30 and 50. The Mindshift Multi-Mount Holster 20 is probably the perfect size for the majority of DSLR users and unlike the majority.


camera backpack waterproof

7. Billingham 445

This luxurious camera bag is a real beauty

Type: Shoulder bag
Compatible devices: SLR, Hybrid
Additional lenses / accessories: 8
Laptop / tablet compartment: 13″ (optional cover)
Tripod attachment : Optional straps
Additional compartments: 4
External dimensions: 430x250x300mm
Weight: 2,100g
Best price :  $435.00 on Amazon

The most :

  • Spacious main compartment
  • Excellent build quality

The least :

  • Expensive to purchase
  • Weighs over 2kg

Billingham’s mid-size Series 5 bag – the Billingham 445 – accommodates up to two SLRs and up to eight additional lenses, flashes or accessories. A full-height front pocket can accommodate a 13″ laptop, a dedicated sleeve is available as an option. Nine pockets are included and can be rearranged at will to accommodate different photo props and exterior “Delta pockets” are also available separately and can be attached to the bag. While the quality is magnificent across the board, the bag is quite heavy and although padding is included at the shoulder level it can be tiring to carry fully loaded.


The best Camera bags backpacks

Lowepro Whistler BP 450 AW

8. Lowepro Whistler BP 450 AW

The best camera bag for traveling photographers

Type: Backpack
devices compatible: Reflex Hybrid
Lenses / Additional accessories: 6
laptop compartment / shelf: No
mount for tripod: Yes
Additional Compartments: 2
External dimensions: 310x302x572mm
Weight: 3,300g
Best Price :  $139.95 at Amazon

The most :

  •  All-season protection
  •  Fully customizable interior compartments

The least :

  • Too heavy filled to fit in cabin baggage with some airlines

Adapted for air travel, the design of the Whistler BP 450 AW camera bag is designed to adapt to the size restrictions of cabin luggage imposed by airlines. It makes this backpack, an ideal option for our photography workshops. It can however contain a beautiful collection of the photo or video equipment, the different elements will all find their place thanks to the system of fully customizable interior compartments. You can also choose to remove them entirely and use the bag as a standard backpack. On the other hand, the large front compartment can be widened to accommodate additional gear. There are also no limitations to the places you can visit thanks to its all-season protection that is resistant to snow, rain, dust, and sand.


Think Tank TurnStyle 20 V2.0

9. Think Tank TurnStyle 20 V2.0

Let your style do the talking with this shoulder camera bag

Type: Shoulder bag
Compatible devices: SLR, Hybrid
Additional lenses / Accessories: 4
Laptop / tablet compartment: Tablet
Tripod mount: No
Additional compartments: 1
External dimensions: 235x440x137mm
Weight: 500g
Best price :  $99.75 on Amazon

The most :

  • Spacious and light
  • Easy access to equipment

The least :

  • The weight is not distributed
  • What, it’s not available in black?

Available in three sizes and two colors (blue / indigo and charcoal), the “20” model is the largest of the Think Tank’s TurnStyle camera bags. With a single strap instead of the two traditionally present, this camera bag is worn like a shoulder bag. A good point is that you can slide it over the shoulder strap for quick access to its contents without having to remove it from your back or put it on the floor – the downside of this system is that the load is not distributed well. on your back like a classic backpack. It is wide enough to accommodate a DSLR and up to four additional lenses or accessories. The “10” model can carry one less lens and the “5” model is more suitable for carrying mirrorless cameras, like these Sony. Each version has a special tablet pocket and an additional storage compartment at the front. Even the largest model, the 20 is pleasantly light and yet very robust.


Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW

10. Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW

A very good camera bag for hiking

Type: Backpack
Compatible devices: 2x Reflex, Hybrid
Additional lenses / accessories: 8
Laptop / tablet compartment: 15″
Tripod mount: Yes
Additional compartments: 1
External dimensions: 348x270x488mm
Weight: 2,600g
Best price :  $250.00 About Amazon

The most :

  • Multiple access points
  • Removable support belt

The least :

  • Rather bulky
  • Quite heavy

The Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW Camera Bag is a large backpack that can carry two professional SLRs and up to eight additional lenses or accessories, allowing you to take much of your gear with you when you go hiking to do landscape photography. Access to gear is quick and easy with four separate access points, located on the top, sides, and back of the bag. For hiking on rough terrain, a support belt helps stabilize the whole bag and even offers some extra storage for small items. You can remove it if you want a more urban look. Lowepro’s “ActiveZone System” design provides real comfort that you will appreciate on long rides.


Tenba Axis 637-702

11. Tenba Axis 637-701

Another very popular photo backpack

Type: Backpack
Compatible devices: 2x Reflex, Hybrid
Additional lenses / accessories: 8
Laptop / tablet compartment: 17″
Tripod mount: Yes
Additional compartments: 5
External dimensions: 9.5 x 12.5 x 20.25 pulgadas
Weight: 1.5 pounds
Best price :  $229.95 About Amazon

The most :

  • Top or side access
  • Large storage space

The least :

  • Rather heavy, even empty
  •  Lateral access limited to one side

Tenba offers its Shootout camera bag backpacks in three different sizes, 18, 24 and 32 liters. The Shootout 32L is the largest of the three. It offers enough storage space to carry two SLRs and up to eight lenses or additional accessories, it is in our opinion the best camera backpack on the market. In addition to the main compartment, additional pockets and compartments allow you to store even more gear and even a 17 ″ laptop. The design is built around a sturdy aluminum frame along with pivot straps that distribute the weight of the load between the shoulders, back and hips, making it particularly comfortable to carry, but still heavy. , weighing more than 2.5 kilos empty.


camera backpack bags

12. Manfrotto Street Medium Backpack

A camera bag that adapts to the constraints of everyday life

Type: Backpack
Compatible devices: Reflex, Hybrid
Additional lenses / accessories: 2
Laptop / tablet compartment: 15 ″
Tripod mount: Yes
Additional compartments: 3
External dimensions: 280x150x460mm
Weight: 1,100g
Best price :  $149.98 on Amazon

The most :

  • Separate photo and day compartments
  • Convenient size for a day trip

The least :

  • Limited photo space
  • Only available in green

Whether you’re on your way to the office or out for a walk, you’ll probably need a little more than your camera. Like all camera bags of its kind, the Manfrotto Street Medium backpack has two separate compartments. The lower compartment can house a DSLR and its mounted lens, plus two other optics or accessories of similar sizes. The top compartment, which opens with a separate zipper, accommodates the rest of your essentials. Other separate pockets make it easy to organize and include a dedicated 15″ compartment for your laptop. A smaller edition of this bag is also available, more suitable for mirrorless cameras.


Thule Aspect DSLR backpack

13. Thule Aspect DSLR backpack

Space for a DSLR, a computer, a tablet and even a small drone

Dimensions: 30x22x52 cm
Weight: 1.4kg
Lenses: 2
Rain protection: No
Padded belt: Yes
Tripod mount: Yes
Laptop compartment: 15.6″
Tablet compartment: Yes
Best price :  $112.26 on Amazon

The most :

  • Support belt
  • Can carry a drone

The least :

  • Can only carry one reflex
  • Velcro dividers are not great

With its Aspect backpack, Thule has designed a camera bag that meets the basic needs of hiking enthusiasts. A side opening provides access to a compartment spacious enough to accommodate a reflex and a few lenses and an elastic compartment in the flap protects memory cards and small accessories. Almost invisible behind the back panel padding is a large laptop compartment, which can also hold a tablet. The upper compartment is large enough to accommodate the picnic or possibly a small drone, like the Mavic Pro from DJI for example. The shoulder straps are comfortable and the support belt is removable.


The best Camera Cases

Manfrotto Reloader 55 Roller Bag

14. Manfrotto Reloader 55 Roller Bag

A good wheeled bag for your gear

Type: Suitcase with wheels
Compatible devices: SLR, Hybrid
Additional lenses / accessories: 10
Laptop / tablet compartment: Laptop + Tablet
Tripod mount: Yes
Additional compartments: 2
External dimensions: 350x230x550mm
Weight: 4.900g
Best price :  $315.00 on Amazon

The most :

  • Built-in casters can bear a large load
  •  Passes in cabin baggage with most airlines

The least :

  •  Heavy, even empty
  •  Expensive to purchase

Ideal for travel by train, plane or car, the Manfrotto Reloader 55 is a very good rolling suitcase. You can safely transport a large quantity of equipment in the very well-protected main compartment which can be adjusted at will thanks to its modular dividers. Additional pockets are housed in the lid to accommodate and protect a tablet as well as a laptop up to 17 ″. Several other pockets are attached to the interior flap for smaller accessories. Its solid wheels and extendable handle, typical of this kind of suitcase, make it easy to maneuver without having to lift it. Because when you lift it, be warned, it is heavy, already weighing 5 kilos empty.


hard camera case

15. Vanguard Pelican Style

Rigid photo transport case, but soft inside

Type: Photo case
Compatible cameras: SLR, Hybrid
Additional lenses / accessories: 11
Laptop / tablet compartment: No
Tripod mount: No
Additional compartments: 0
External dimensions: 24.75 x 20.5 x 9.5″
Weight: 7,820g
Best Price :  $307.74  Price at Amazon

The most :

  • Removable internal padding
  • Resistant, secure and waterproof

The least :

  • Heavy to carry
  • Bulky (smaller sizes available)

For ultimate protection of your gear, nothing is better than a travel camera case and the Vanguard Supreme 53D Hard Case paired with the Divider Bag storage system is our best choice. This Vanguard photo suitcase is very durable, completely waterproof and dustproof, has reinforced steel eyelets for attaching a padlock and an automatic pressure regulating valve that adapts to changes in air pressure at altitude, especially when traveling in the hold of an aircraft. This extremely resistant suitcase is fitted with O-rings ensuring its waterproofness up to 5 meters deep, the padded interior, made up of modular compartments, is also removable. No less than three handles are attached to the suitcase for you to lift it,


About the author

Eduardo Fuster is a Spanish landscape & travel photographer. Graduate in Art & Design, and master in Motion Graphics. More than 15 years of experience working for advertisement, tv, cinema, real estate & stock agencies.

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