Best Camera Bags for Photographers in 2023 (Real User Tests)

If you need a new camera bag to protect your cameras, lenses and photography accessories, this is a guide to the best bags of the year, for all budgets.

Bag Guides | Camera Gear Guides | By Mark Condon and Ash Darrow | Last Updated: September 14, 2023

We tested over 150 different products to bring you this guide to the best camera bags of the year.

For photographers around the world, the search for the perfect mirrorless or DSLR camera bag is a never-ending conquest, especially here in 2023, where there’s just so much variety!

Our reviewers have put the top messengers, backpacks, slings, cases and rollers to the test to find the best camera bag for your needs.

Peak Design Everyday

Award-winning camera bag with multiple storage options and useful design details. Keeps you gear organised and secure.

Dedicated camera bags and hard cases can be expensive, but they’re a worthwhile investment for protecting your precious gear while travelling.

(Buying cheap camera bags from unknown brands may be tempting, but they usually have inferior quality and don’t last long.)

Stick to our recommendations below, and you’ll find the perfect camera bag for your needs which will last your lifetime as a photographer.

Table of Contents

What are the Best Camera Bags & Cases in 2023?

Image Product Features
shk2-table__imagePeak Design Everyday Backpack OUR #1 CHOICE
  • Expandable
  • Instant Access
  • Flexfold Dividers
  • 100% Recycled Waterproof Shell
Check PEAK DESIGN Price → Check AMAZON Price →
shk2-table__imagePeak Design Everyday SlingBEST FOR EVERYDAY
  • Multiple Pockets
  • Great Value
  • Lightweight
  • Weatherproof
Check PEAK DESIGN Price → Check AMAZON Price →
shk2-table__imagePgytech OneMoBEST VALUE
  • Hugely Customisable
  • Highly Versatile
  • Wear & Water Resistant
  • Expandable Storage Space
Check PGYTECH Price → Check AMAZON Price →
shk2-table__imageWandrd PrvkeBEST FOR TRAVEL
  • Quick Side Camera Access
  • Removable Camera Protection
  • Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Sleeve
  • Magnetic Tote Handles
Check WANDRD Price → Check AMAZON Price →
shk2-table__imageBrevite JumperBEST SMALL BACKPACK
  • Holds a Decent Kit
  • Stealthy
  • Strong & Robust
  • Easy Access
Check BREVITE Price → Check AMAZON Price →
shk2-table__imageThink Tank RetrospectiveBEST SHOULDER BAG
  • Soft & Form-fitting
  • Thoughtful Design
  • Dedicated Pockets
  • Padded Interior Dividers
Check AMAZON Price → Check B&H Price →
shk2-table__imageMindshift BacklightBEST FOR HIKING
  • Back Access to Camera Gear
  • Well-built & well-designed
  • Extremely Comfortable
  • Integrated Tripod Carry System
Check AMAZON Price → Check B&H Price →
shk2-table__imageLowepro HighLineBEST ROLLING BAG
  • Dedicated Laptop Protection
  • Roll with Confidence
  • Double Weather Protection
  • Premium Packing
Check AMAZON Price →


1. Peak Design Everyday | Best Everyday Camera Bag

  • Versatile with built-in innovative features
  • Stunning capacity for cameras and gear
  • Durable
  • Compact FlexFold dividers
  • Lacks small external side pockets
  • Waist strap not included

Capacity: 20L, 30L | Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 7.75 in. (51 x 33 x 20 cm) | Weight: 2.9 – 3.4 lb (1.35 – 1.5 kg)

The enormously popular Peak Design Everyday took the Internet by storm in a Kickstarter campaign some years ago and has gone on to win numerous awards as one of the most innovative carry products ever produced.

Peak Design has been wise in their choice of naming convention for their products – nowhere in any of the titles do they mention the words ‘camera bag’… and herein lies their strength – Peak Design bags are flexible enough to be used for everyday use, whether you plan to carry camera equipment or not.

It’s an everyday camera bag that wouldn’t look out of place in a college hall or an office.

As with all the products in the line, the Everyday bag features FlexFold dividers, which allow easy customisation of the interior space to suit your needs. Where other brands use a mixture of bulky, padded velcro dividers, Peak Design’s solution is more compact, elegant and versatile.

The dividers are just the start of a long list of innovative features on this bag – it really shows what’s capable when a talented design team puts their brains together on a project.

everyday bag peak design

Credit: Tommy Williams

In terms of carrying capacity, the 30L version of the Peak Design (pictured above) can fit a helluva lot of gear – a pro-size camera body with a lens attached, multiple lenses, flashes and more.

The 20L version is good, too for those with smaller frames, but I’d recommend the 30L just for the extra space.

Fans of organising gear so that everything has its place will love the multiple pockets and sleeves, which ensure everything can have its place.

If you want a stylish Sony Alpha camera bag that is comfortable to carry and offers multiple organisation options, the Everyday is second to none. It’s innovative, stylish, functional, durable and customisable, with everything backed up by Peak Design’s lifetime warranty.

The only tough decision is choosing a colour – tan, ash and charcoal all look great, and there’s a new black version which is my personal favourite.

2. Peak Design Everyday Sling | Best Small Camera Bag

everyday sling

Credit: Tommy Williams

  • Merges the best of both hip pack and message bag worlds
  • Weatherproof
  • Ability to carry a tripod beneath it
  • Maximum carrying capacity for its compact size
  • Limited space for a large laptop or tablet
  • No padding on bottom to cushion interior contents

Capacity: 3L, 6L, 10L | Dimensions: 16 x 9 x 5.5 in. (40 x 23 x 14 cm) | Weight: 1.5 lb (0.7 kg)

I came across the Peak Design Everyday Sling last year, and since then, it’s become my regular crossbody DSLR camera bag for small, everyday items and for engagement photography shoots when I require less gear than normal.

The great thing about camera sling bags is that they cover two bases – they allow you to keep both hands free like a rucksack but also let you have fast access, like a messenger bag.

It’s the best small camera bag if you only need to carry a camera and a couple of lenses, or a drone and camera like in the photo below.

Thanks to its compact size, robustness, lightweight and unique organisational abilities (the pliable ‘FlexFold’ dividers are ingenious), the Everyday Sling 10L is perfect for all manner of equipment and is also the perfect size to fit the DJI Mavic Pro, with a controller and accessories.

Built from weatherproof 500D Kordra, the 10L version of the Everyday Sling can easily carry something like a gripped Fujifilm X-T4, plus 2-3 lenses, a 12” Macbook Retina or tablet, memory cards, cables, keys and even a tripod suspended from the bottom.

The Peak Design Everyday Sling also makes a great 35mm film camera bag. Simply throw in a few rolls of 35 and you can quickly sling the bag around to reload when you run out of frames!

Peak Design is still paving the way with some of the top products of the year. Their functional designs with truly innovative features have made them a firm favourite with photographers worldwide.

sling camera bag

Credit: Tommy Williams

My advice would be to not overload this sling camera bag, when carried on one shoulder, it can quickly become tiring. Choose the 6L version if you’re usually tempted to bring too much!

We spent a few months testing each of the slings and came to the conclusion that all sizes are equally useful – since then, I’ve added the 3L cross-body camera bag to my rotation and use it just as often as its bigger brother.

For maximum carry capacity and flexibility, our choice is still the 10L which can fit a surprising amount of camera gear.

If you’ve never tried a sling bag before, make sure the Everyday Sling is top of your list – there’s really no need to try anything else – it’s that good!

It’s affordably priced, available in several attractive colour ways, and in stock all year round right here on the official website. If you can’t decide on the size, pick up a couple as I did!

3. WANDRD Prvke | Best Camera Bag for Travel

  • Exceptionally well-crafted design
  • Competitively priced
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Innovative and versatile design
  • Robust enough for rough travel
  • Heavy, especially with a lot of camera gear in it
  • Not the most stylish bag on our list

Capacity: 31L Dimensions: 19 x 12.5 x 7.5 in. (48 x 31 x 19 cm) | Weight: 3.4 lb (1.5 kg)

WANDRD is another Kickstarter success story, having validated their products way before production with hundreds of thousands of dollars in backing funds.

I have to admit to being rather sceptical after watching the various hipster influencers heaping their praise on this hugely Instagrammable photographer accessory, but ironically, it was our very own review that made me really take notice.

WANDRD has since built a name for itself despite all the other camera bag brands for offering well-made, stylish carrying goods that are competitively priced, especially when you compare to their biggest rival (see above!)

With the PRVKE, they’ve flipped the regular camera bag template on its head with something that resembles a giant tarpaulin tote bag… that just happens to sit on your back!

Available in 2 sizes (21L and 31L) and three great-looking colours (black, green and blue), it’s a hard decision choosing the right one for you – I opted for the 31L in blue, and frequently get compliments, even from non-photographers.

The biggest benefit of the PRVKE is arguably that it doesn’t resemble a camera bag at all. The branding is subtle, the colours are muted, and the design is innovative whilst being understated and minimal.


backpack capacity wandrd prvke

A removable camera cube sits at the heart of the PRVKE, allowing you to carry a selection of cameras and lenses. In addition, you can slip in up to a 16″ laptop with a charger, plus numerous clothing items and other camera accessories – the 31L version really is tardis-like.

Build quality is top-notch, with the heavy-duty tarp outer and water-proof zippers ensuring that this is one carry option you’ll be able to carry in any weather – if you have the roll-top done up tightly, I’m pretty confident that your gear would remain dry even if you submerged the bag… but don’t quote me on that!

The only downside to all this robustness is the weight – at 3.4 lb (1.5 kg), you’ll have to think carefully about your other gear choices, especially if you intend to fly carry-on only.

The grab handle at the top of the WANDRD PRVKE is magnetised to click together when you need to hold it – it’s a small touch, but something that works really well and is enormously useful when you’re in a hurry. I actually wish all camera bags had this feature.

There are a ton of other features on the PRVKE that make it such a popular bag for both photographers and non-photographers, who seem to love it as a regular everyday bag – if you intend to use it as a daypack and have a minimal setup, the 21L version is your number one bet.

4. Brevite Jumper | Best Small Camera Bag for Travel


  • Lightweight, functional, and compact
  • Quick access door for spur-of-the-moment shots
  • Machine washable
  • Dual tripod carrying capacity
  • Built-in support unavailable
  • Large compartments can easily be accessed by thieves

Capacity: 18L | Dimensions: 16 x 9 x 5.5 in. (40 x 23 x 14 cm) | Weight: 1.5 lb (0.7 kg)

If you’re looking for a customizable camera bag you can take practically anywhere, check out the Brevite Jumper. This small camera backpack may look like your normal bag, but it’s much more than that.

Made from lightweight materials to stay compact and yet functional, the Brevite Jumper is available in numerous colours, from poppy red, nimbus grey, and boulder tan to lemon yellow, pine green, and moonlit blue.

It’s been a favourite of CNET, IGN, and Wired users, earning the Good Design Award for 2023.

The simple design of the best top loader camera bag may fool you into thinking it doesn’t have a lot of capacity, but don’t be tricked! You can easily fit several camera accessories in it, from the smaller front pocket to the large main pocket that zips open.


Credit: Greg Cromie

As you can see, the Brevite Jumper camera bag can accommodate multiple camera bodies, as well as lenses, batteries, water bottles, and whatever else you can get to fit into it.

It also has loops on the bottom to secure a tripod so you can capture images hands-free if the moment strikes you.

The outer material on this camera bag is both weather-resistant and machine-washable. It also has a lifetime warranty should anything happen to it. Due to its size and attractive styling, the Brevite is also a really popular camera bag for women.

Additional storage compartments in this camera bag with an iPad compartment include a hybrid camera compartment divider, an organizational pocket, an expandable water bottle pocket, a phone pocket, and a hidden internal pocket.

With so many compartments for your gear and accessories, it would be hard to run out of space in this camera bag!

If you’re someone who likes to bring their laptop along, there is a laptop compartment that’s separate from the rest of the camera bag contents. It’s sealed with a water-resistant zipper making this an ideal camera and computer bag.

Due to its light weight, non-flashy styling and surprisingly large carrying capacity (despite its carry-on dimensions), it’s our pick as the best small camera bag for travel when you need the weight distributed over both shoulders (as opposed to a sling.)

5. Think Tank Retrospective | Best Professional Camera Bag

think tank retrospective 4 version 2.0

Credit: Athol Hill

  • Durable yet flexible for storing in tight space
  • Second generation (though it keeps all the good stuff intact)
  • Understated styling for a professional look
  • Comfortable shoulder strap that’s also grippy
  • Not as secure as other camera bags on our list
  • Styling can be somewhat dull for more creative photographers

Dimensions: 16 x 10.5 x 7.5 in. (40.6 x 26.7 x 19 cm) | Weight: 3.8 lb (1.7 kg)

The Think Tank Retrospective is the most popular shoulder bag among all the professional photographers featured on Shotkit.

It’s also been updated to a second generation, although thankfully, it’s relatively unchanged from the hugely popular original.

Durable and rugged but soft enough to be stuffed into tight spaces when necessary (I store mine under my scooter saddle!), the Retrospective 30 allows me to carry 2 pro DSLR bodies with lenses attached, 4 lenses, 2 flashes and numerous other small accessories.

(If a DSLR bag like this is too big and you’re looking for smaller style mirrorless carry options, the Retrospective 7 is popular too.)

The silencing tabs are a welcome addition (particularly for wedding photography during the ceremony), allowing the bag to be opened without noise.


Credit: Bhagi Siva

The strap is one of the most comfortable I’ve ever come across. It’s also strong and very grippy on the shoulder – essential when carrying the bag for long periods.

The Retrospective is available in several sizes and colours, and recently a leather version has also been released. This new leather satchel camera bag not only holds all of your gear but also has a high-end feel!

Whichever style you choose, every product in the Retrospective series features minimal branding for an understated appearance that won’t attract thieves.

Whilst many other products focus on innovative features and quirky aesthetics, the Think Tank Retrospective 30 is a classic, no-nonsense design that just works. It’s a professional camera bag with everything needed to get the job done, and nothing superfluous.

As with all Think Tank products, the Retrospective 30 is built to last a lifetime – I’ve had mine for over 7 years now, and it still looks as good as new.

6. MindShift BackLight | Best Camera Bag for Hiking


Credit: Teryani Riggs

  • An unassuming profile hides that you might have thousands of dollars worth of camera gear
  • Large zipper pulls for quick access
  • Back panel access point improves security
  • Deceivingly large storage compartment
  • No designated SD card slots
  • Can be heavy and hard to carry once loaded up

Dimensions: 13.8 x 22.4 x 10.2 in. (35 x 57 x 26 cm) | Weight: 4.9 lbs (2.2 kg)

Mindshift is the sibling company to Think Tank, so you can expect top quality and innovative features from their range.

The MindShift BackLight is rugged but elegantly designed, looking more like a regular bag that may be concealing thousands of dollars of camera gear.

This combination of rugged utility and forward-thinking design makes the MindShift BackLight the best travel videographer bag.

Whether you opt for the 27-litre or 36-litre version of the BackLight, the bag is designed to have ample room for your regular daypack gear too – extra layers, food, books, etc. whilst still being to fit in a surprising amount of cameras/lenses and other photography equipment.

You’ll be able to squeeze in 6 lenses, two camera bodies, flashes, spare batteries, filters and even a 15″ laptop inside this spacious hiking camera bag.


Credit: Teryani Riggs

Back-panel access on the BackLight means that you can get to all your stuff without taking the bag off, allowing you to work out of the bag without getting the bag dirty.

You can change lenses or just snap a quick photo simply by spinning the bag around to the front of your body while the waist belt is still secured.

Rear-panel access on the MindShift BackLight also adds security when travelling since your gear is protected behind your back.

Outer attachments include large zipper pulls, ice axe loops, daisy chains, a water bottle holder, a tripod holder and various other additional lash points, meaning you can easily expand the carrying capacity.

Another nice touch is the built-in seam-sealed rain cover for when the outdoor elements are against you. The MindShift BackLight is backed by a lifetime limited warranty giving you additional peace of mind. Available in green or black.

7. LowePro ProTactic 450 AW II | Best Large Camera Bag

LowePro ProTactic 450 AW II

  • Multiple interior access points
  • Removable waist belt
  • Superior ventilation and comfort
  • Dual hip pockets
  • Heavier than other similar bags
  • Military styling can be offputting for some

Dimensions: 13.70 x 10.63 x 19.21 in (34.8 x 27 x 48.79 cm) | Weight: 5.72 lbs (2.59 kg)

If it weren’t for the LowePro branding on the LowePro PROTactic 450 AW II, you’d be forgiven for thinking this good-looking bag was made for the military.

Both on the inside and out, the Pro Tactic 450 AW II features unique functionality which makes this high-performance professional bag one of LowePro’s most popular ever.

Thanks to a recent update, this version II model features several updates, including:

  • a more adaptive interior, multiple access points
  • modular exterior attachment capabilities
  • convertible utility belt
  • utility pouch, water bottle holder, tripod cup and two Quick Straps.

If you work frequently in warmer climates, you’ll appreciate the ActivZone back panel and harness, which provide ventilation and comfort for support on the move.

inside protactic camera bag

Make no mistake – this is a large camera bag that becomes heavy when full loaded. Credit: Jared Gant

Then there’s the waist belt which is removable to reduce the profile of the ProTactic 450 AW II for packing or travel.

In addition, two zippered hip pockets are handily placed, offering space for quick-grab items.

Get versatile with your carry options with 5 modular packing accessories: a water bottle pouch, accessory case, tripod cup and 2 cinch straps, which are all included with this camera bag.

What’s really unique about the LoweProPro Tactic 450 AW II is the 4-way access – you can grab your gear from the right, the left, the top and the back, basically allowing every access point to be opened quickly and easily.

Our favourite is the 450 AW model, which can fit 1-2 Pro DSLRs, one with up to a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens attached, plus a spare flash and a couple of small lenses – it’s a large camera bag that’s built to protect all your gear from every knock you encounter.

8. PGYTECH OneMo Camera Bag


Credit: Tommy Williams

  • Impressive capacity for its size
  • Well-built and durable
  • Unlimited customization of internal compartment
  • Practical and useful features, from the field to travel between jobs
  • Side pockets can be hard to reach for some
  • Not the best camera bag for carrying on a daily basis

Dimensions: 18.9 x 12.6 x 9.05 in (48 x 32 x 23 cm) | Weight: 4.63 lbs (2.1 kg)

The PGYTECH OneMo Camera Bag is an ultra-durable and customizable camera bag designed to make the most of the space on your back. Plus, it’s sleek and waterproof, with a water-resistant outer layer included to keep you and your camera gear dry.

As the best camera bag you can invest in for the biggest return in regards to capacity, the PGYTECH OneMo includes 11 dividers you can use to customize the interior of this bag. No matter what you plan on carrying in terms of camera gear, this bag will swallow it all.

The fabric remains scratch and tear-resistant as well, which is nice for shooting on location. You won’t have to worry about tree branches snagging your bag if you have to run through the woods fast to capture that perfect image.

onemo interior gear

Credit: Tommy Williams

Plus, the seams are also reinforced to ensure your camera gear stays contained. Really, this camera bag from PGYTECH is built for carrying as much as you can possibly fit into a bag without it busting at the seams!

Speaking of shoulder straps, you can also carry it across your back or over your shoulder, depending on how much gear you have packed into it. You can also attach it to your belt and carry it that way.

9. Camera Sling by Clever Supply Co. | Best Mirrorless Camera Bag


Credit: Tommy Williams

  • Lightweight
  • Stylish and comfortable
  • Feels higher capacity than it is
  • Stays upright on your body
  • Durable Weather Resistant Materials throughout
  • No external carry options
  • It’s so nice I’m scared to get it marked and damaged!

Dimensions: 12.5 x 8.5 x 4 in) | Weight: 1.5lbs

Beautifully designed wax-canvas camera sling bags are few and far between, but Clever Supply Co. has nailed it with this one.

Currently only available on Kickstarter (with retail expected for later this year), the Camera Sling is a portable, lightweight and robust way to carry a camera, lens, flash, and other accessories.

It also makes a great everyday carry bag if you’re into that whole outdoor/camping/hipster look that’s so popular right now.

You can adjust internal dividers to suit your main gear, then use the zippered pocket, elastic loops and clipped sleeve to carry a surprisingly large amount of gear.

Premium-priced, the Camera Sling’s exterior will patina over time to make it well and truly unique. Something you’re likely to own forever, then pass down to the next generation.

Due to its compact size, lightweight, good looks and overall durability, it’s our pick as the best mirrorless camera bag, perfectly matched with a retro-inspired Fujifilm XPro-3 and selection of prime lenses.

10. Lowepro Dashpoint Camera Pouch | Small Pouch for Compact Camera


  • Built-in SD card pocket
  • EVA padding
  • Multi-functional use
  • Wide-mouth opening for easy access
  • Single-compartment camera bag
  • May not hold larger cameras

Dimensions: 3.66 x 2.36 x 5.28 in | Weight: 0.1325lb

The Lowepro Dashpoint Camera Pouch comes in slate grey, pepper red, and galaxy blue. It is a camera bag you can easily clip to your belt loop for quick access to your camera. This is easily the smallest DSLR camera bag on today’s list!

This camera bag features the T-lock attachment system that incorporates both vertical webbing and horizontal flaps. You can easily attach accessories to these points if need be.

With a wide-mouth opening and reverse zippers, the Lowepro Dashpoint Camera Pouch is both lightweight and rugged. The multi-functional design allows you to use it for any storage you’d like, from a camera bag to a snack holder (in case you get hungry).

EVA padding keeps the contents of this camera bag safe. There is also a built-in SD card pocket so you can easily store your memory card, even in the field.

The Lowepro Dashpoint Camera Pouch also features a removable shoulder strap that can be adjusted as well. Plus, rotating snap-hooks help you keep everything in its place.

11. Wotancraft Pilot | Stylish & Rugged Shoulder Camera Bag

wotancraft pilot

Credit: Athol Hill

  • CORDURA material is durable and tear-resistant
  • Both shoulder strap and padding widened
  • 360-degree rotatable ring helps keep this bag on your shoulder
  • Stylish vintage brass buckle
  • Attracts hair like a magnet
  • Front clip hard to use in a hurry

Dimensions: 15.75 x 6.3 x 11.02 in | Weight: 2.5lbs

The Wotancraft Pilot is a durable messenger bag ready to take on whatever conditions you trek through. The CORDURA material is tear-resistant and yet soft at the same time.

This camera messenger bag features a G-hook that makes closing the bag easy once you get used to it. You can also easily access your gear via the zipperless opening beneath, which helps to keep your gear free from zipper scratches.

The interior of the Wotancraft Pilot is filled with Wotancraft Interior Modules, which help you organize your camera bag for the best results. There are also two vertical loop strings you can take advantage of.

Beneath the Wotancraft Pilot lie two adjustable straps meant for carrying a tripod. There are also additional optional add-on pouches you can use for extra storage space.

Wotancraft has increased the Pilot’s shoulder straps, along with the padding underneath. There is also a 360-degree rotating ring that helps keep this shoulder bag right where it belongs.

When you’re carrying the Pilot around, you can also use the built-in luggage handle. Plus, the vintage brass buckle gives it that extra something.

12. LowePro HighLine x400 Roller | Best Trolley Camera Bag

  • Plenty of internal pockets
  • 2 sets of lockable zippers
  • Retractable handle
  • Fits a 15-inch laptop and 10-inch tablet
  • Fixed wheels won’t rotate direction
  • Can become quite heavy once you pack it

Dimensions: 12.7 x 7.9 x 20.3 in | Weight: 3.73lb

Sometimes taking your photography on the road means dedicating an entire suitcase to your camera and accessories. If that’s the case, take a look at the LowePro HighLine x400 Roller Camera Bag.

The pain point for most rolling camera bags is that they’re terrible on uneven ground, or grass. However, the HighLine sits upon treaded wheels, which helps to keep things a bit more stable.

It also has a retractable handle for manoeuvring it around easily and storing it once you’re at your destination.

The interior of the LowePro HighLine x400 Roller includes lightweight cubes, mesh pockets, and a liquids pouch to keep everything separate. This OCD level of organisation is useful for keeping small photography accessories separate from each other, so they don’t go missing.

There are also 2 sets of zippers on this rolling bag that are lock-compatible, helping you keep your belongings safe while you travel.

The LowePro HighLine x400 Roller can handle up to a 15-inch laptop or a 10-inch tablet plus a heck of a lot of additional cameras and lenses.

13. Billingham Hadley | Classic Shoulder Camera Bag

  • Made in England (Quintissentially British!)
  • Concealed rear zip pocket
  • Expandable front pockets
  • Adjustable shoulder strap
  • Buckles can be hard to fasten in a hurry
  • Expensive

Dimensions: 10.24 x 5.51 x 12.99 in | Weight: 1.76lbs

Made in England, the Billingham Hadley bag is iconic in its design and heritage among street photographers in particular, but you’ll also see it commonly on the shoulders of press photographers.

Billingham’s bags are classic minimalist in design and built to last a lifetime, actually improving in look as they age.

They’re the kind of beautifully styled product you’ll hand down to your children, confident that they’ll last their lifetimes too.

The Billingham Hadley comes in various colours, including black, blue, green, red, brown and our favourite, sand. It can hold a small DSLR camera and an extra lens, as well as various accessories in the pockets at the front.

Best of all, this top-shelf camera bag includes a rear zip pocket that’s hidden from view – perfect for carrying a passport or sensitive travel documents. The front pockets also expand to hold whatever you’d like to store in them – I’ve been able to squeeze a couple of flashes in each one.

The exterior of this camera bag features hand-finished leather and brass details. It also comes with an adjustable shoulder strap.

You can also use the top handle to carry the Hadley, although you should make sure the front buckles are already done up to prevent anything from falling out.

Inside, there’s a removable camera insert, along with two small dividers and two large dividers for the interior.

14. McKinnon Camera Pack | Best DSLR Camera Bag

mckinnon camera pack

Credit: Tommy Williams

  • 9 included dividers of various sizes
  • Rear access for optimal security
  • Thick padding on shoulder straps
  • Made from durable high-end materials
  • Large capacity makes it ideal for DSLRs
  • Gets heavy, quickly
  • Doesn’t repel dirt and debris well

Dimensions: 22 x 13.5 x 9 in | Weight: 5.75lb

Peter McKinnon is a popular YouTuber who’s gradually releasing camera equipment to the masses, including most recently filters and camera bags.

The McKinnon camera pack is actually a collaboration with Nomatic, a well-known bag brand with plenty of fans. However, this is a premium bag made for a niche audience.

With thick adjustable straps, a myriad of storage options and waterproof zippers, the McKinnon Camera Pack is one of the more versatile and well-built bags on our list, all of which is reflected in its premium price.

inside mckinnon camera bag

Credit: Tommy Williams

The McKinnon pack is made from water-sealed, high-end materials that make it a favourite among travelling photographers. However, be mindful of the weight – even when empty, it’s a bit of a beast!

On the flip side, though, it’s pretty much bombproof and will keep your cameras and lenses safe and sound no matter the project.

Plus, it also features side access for your convenience – you’re able to get a camera out while one of the straps is still on your shoulder by swinging it around.

You can also access the interior of the McKinnon Camera Pack through the rear with a zipper. This helps to keep your camera and accessories secure, with the main opening shielded next to your back.

The McKinnon camera bag includes a total of 9 dividers for internal organization. You can also take advantage of the luggage passthrough and the magnetic close bottle/tripod pocket.

Why have we labelled it as the top ‘DSLR camera bag’? Well, you could fill it with mirrorless gear, video cameras or whatever you want, really, but it accommodates the bulkier nature of modern DSLR cameras and lenses much better than the other options on this list.

Its heavy-duty construction also makes it more able to protect the somewhat fragile nature of DSLRs from knocks, especially when traveling.

15. Fosoto Waterproof Anti-Shock Travel Camera Case


  • Dual loops for carrying a tripod
  • Made from durable and water-resistant nylon material
  • Includes shoulder strap and padded carry handle
  • Two padded inserts
  • Won’t hold a lot of camera accessories
  • No dedicated storage for SD cards

Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.9 x 4.3 in | Weight: 0.58lb

The Fosoto Waterproof Anti-Shock Travel Camera Case is made from durable nylon material. The exterior is a dark heather grey, while the interior is a vibrant red to help any small accessory stand out from within.

Most Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Sony DSLR and mirrorless cameras will fit in this camera case, but obviously not any large flagship models.

(For some reason, people often search for ‘Nikon camera bag’, or ‘Canon camera bag’, thinking that there are specific designs to suit each particular brand.)

There are two rings on the side to easily attach a shoulder strap, but you can also use the padded handle to transport this compact camera bag.

With double zippers and dual padded inserts, the Fosoto Waterproof Anti-Shock offers a surprising amount of room for a camera, lenses, and any other small accessories you need.

The mesh padded compartment on the underside of the lid can keep the tiniest of accessories secure so you don’t have to go looking for them.

The Fosoto Travel Camera Case also includes dual belt loops to carry a tripod, although you’ll need to make sure it’s a lightweight travel tripod, so the bag doesn’t feel overloaded or lopsided.

You can also use the included waterproof cover in case the weather turns nasty.

16. LowePro Flipside AW Pro II

  • Silent zipper pulls for times when noise level is a priority
  • Main compartment accessible via back entry
  • Built-in waist straps
  • Base of bag holds protective cover for inclement weather
  • Double zippers in front are easy access for thieves
  • Not as many pockets for water bottles or additional accessories

Dimensions: 11.9 x 10 x 18.1 in. (30.23 x 25.4 x 45.97 cm) | Weight: 2.76 lbs (1.25kg)

Made for outdoor enthusiasts who want to carry a couple of camera bodies plus lenses and accessories, the Flipside is a practical solution that is secure and comfortable to wear.

A nice feature is the silent zipper pulls, useful for wedding photography or wildlife photography, where being discrete is essential.

Our favourite feature of the LowePro Flipside is its back-entry compartment, which features a double zip that accesses the main storage area, which can’t be opened while the pack is being worn. This is great for theft prevention.

When you need your gear, you simply unclip the chest strap, slide off the shoulder straps and swing the bag around to the front of the body. It will hang there thanks to the waist strap, providing you with a ‘table’ on the reverse of the bag and direct access via that rear zip to your gear.

Also included with this LowePro camera bag is an all-weather cover that pulls out from a slot as the base of the pack.

Available in two sizes (300 & 400), this is a popular camera bag with a unique access feature which definitely sets it apart from all the others in the market.

17. Think Tank Airport International | Best Rolling Travel Case for Camera


  • Easily replace parts if/when they fail
  • Holds up to a 15-inch laptop
  • Telescoping handle is newly reinforced
  • Holds up to 2 gripped DSLR cameras, including lenses
  • Limited side carrying capacity
  • More of a suitcase than a daily travel bag for camera gear

Dimensions: 14 x 21 x 8 in. (35.6 x 53.3 x 20.3 cm) | Weight: 11.5 lb (5.2 kg)

The third generation of Think Tank’s award-winning rolling products is the gold standard for photographers who prefer to roll their gear and save their backs from heavy loads!

Version 2 of the Airport International was a hugely popular case, used by numerous photographers featured on Shotkit.

With the V3, Think Tank has listened to its customers and added small enhancements such as user-replaceable parts (wheels, handle, wheel housings, feet, and kick plate), a newly reinforced telescoping handle, greater durability, and a padded, lockable pocket for a 15” laptop.

inside airport international think tank

The Think Tank Airport International V3 is designed to take full advantage of the carry-on space for US International flights.

It can hold two gripped DSLRs with lenses attached, plus two to four additional lenses (up to 500mm f/4 or 400mm f/2.8), a 15” laptop, and a 10” tablet.

Other unique features of the best camera trolley bag include a serial number for Lost & Found registration; extra tall wheel housings to protect your bag from scrapes and scratches; stretchable front pocket; tripod mount pocket on the side; interior zippered pockets for batteries, memory cards, filters and accessories, and so much more.

18. Pelican 1510 Rolling Case | Best Rolling Waterproof Camera Case

best rolling camera bags

  • Built-in wheels make it easy to travel with
  • Professional look
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Quick-release extension handle
  • Completely waterproof camera bag
  • Not as light as other camera bags
  • Not as easily slung over your shoulder

Dimensions: 22 x 13.8 x 9 in. (55.9 x 35.1 x 22.9 cm) | Weight: 13.6 lb (6.2 kg)

It’s somewhat surprising that a somewhat niche rolling camera case/waterproof travel case for camera gear has garnered so many positive reviews on Amazon.

The Pelican 1510 is a heavy-duty rolling camera case that can carry all your gear in complete protection and looks badass while at it!

It’s the best waterproof camera bag if you don’t mind lugging around a hard case and carrying it by hand (there are no straps).

I’m pretty sure that most photographers buy this camera hardcase due to its looks and have rarely used it to its full potential…

Pelican 1510SC Review

Weighing in at 6.7kgs, the 1510 certainly isn’t light, but it still seems somewhat compact and can meet the carry-on requirements of most airlines.

The 1510 is far more durable than a large camera duffle bag. If you’re worried about your camera gear getting knocked around while travelling, this photographic fortress is exactly what you’ve been searching for!

Manoeuvring is easy with the front and side handles as well as an easy-to-release extension handle when you want to make use of the wheels.

Many find the size of the Pelican 1510 perfect for small shoots, and the appearance is certainly very professional.

As with all Pelican cases, the 1510 is virtually indestructible – watertight, dustproof and guaranteed for life. It’s one of the best camera bags for travel if you absolutely need everything to remain safe and intact.

What’s the Best Bag For My (Specific) Camera?

One of the biggest concerns photographers have when shopping for a new camera bag is making sure they get a bag that fits their gear.

While most camera bags are designed to be somewhat universal, I put together some picks of popular camera models if you’ve been wondering where to get started.

  • Best Camera Bag For Sony A7 & A7iii – Peak Design Everyday
  • Best Camera Bag for Sony a6400 or other small APS-C Sony bodies – Peak Design Everyday Sling
  • Best Camera Bag for Fuji X-T5, X-T4, X-T3 etc – Peak Design Everyday Sling or WANDRD Prvke
  • Best Camera Bag for Nikon P950 – Peak Design Everyday Sling
  • Best Camera Bag For Nikon Z6ii or D5600 – WANDRD Prvke
  • Best Camera Bag For Canon R6 or 5d Mark IV – LowePro ProTactic 450 AW II
  • Best Leica Camera Bag—Peak Design Everyday Sling or Lowepro Dashpoint Camera Pouch
  • Best Nikon D750 Camera Bag – Peak Design Everyday
  • Best Camera Bag for 70-200mm & Super-telephoto Lenses—Think Tank Airport International or Pelican 1510 Rolling Case for more protection

No matter what brand of camera you use, there’s an option for you… And who said you could only own one?!

Pro Tips for Organising Your Bag with Camera Gear

How do I organise my camera bag?

There are many ways to organize a camera bag, depending on what you plan on doing once you arrive on location. For example, if you have time and room to set up, you might not care where you place your camera and most-loved lenses, but if you don’t, you might want your gear on top and ready to go.

Generally speaking, it’s best to place your heaviest items at the bottom of the camera bag. The bottom will vary in some cases as some camera bags can be worn several ways, but orient your bag the way you’ll be carrying it to find the bottom.

You should also use any included dividers to make the most of the interior space. Keep any camera lenses upright so that any bumps or scrapes from the side hit the outer frame rather than the fragile lens itself.

Finally, you should place small camera gear items within a pocket that seals. This will help prevent these small components from getting lost in your camera bag, no matter which style you choose.

If you’re a stickler for neat organisation, consider investing in one of the rolling camera bags recommended above – when open, a ‘roller’ allows your gear to be completely visible and much easier to access than messenger bags.

All the best camera bags have some kind of customisable interior, so stick to the products on this list and you’ll be fine.

How do you store lenses in a camera bag?

If possible, you should try and store lenses in an upright position so the weight of any other objects in your bag doesn’t compromise them.

Do not store your camera with the lens attached, as the connection point can be extremely susceptible to breaking under pressure.

If you own a telephoto lens that has a barrel that slips (‘telescopes’), you should keep it stored in such a way that the lens won’t telescope during transport. You can either use the weight of the lens against itself or invest in a lens cover.

If you own a nifty-fifty or other cheap, lightweight camera lens, you should keep it in the most easily accessible location – be it in the top of your camera, or even in a jacket pocket.

How do I protect my camera in my bag?

There are many ways you can protect your camera in your bag. The best camera bag will have protective layering that cushions your camera and lenses, but this is not always necessary.

For instance, you can also carry your camera with the protective cap on (to protect the sensor or mirror), and as long as you take care, you may not need a dedicated camera bag since camera bodies are usually quite solid.

At the same time, you should also ensure that you keep any small accessories (especially those with sharp edges) in their own compartments.

One other way to protect your camera is to pad everything around it with material, so there’s little movement. The more movement there is, the higher your chances of damage.

You can also use something like a Domke wrap to wrap around your camera gear to protect it in any bag.

How do you waterproof a camera bag? / How do you make a waterproof camera case?

As long as you don’t need it to be completely waterproof (i.e. won’t let in any water when submersed), there are a few ways to do this.

The easiest way to make a camera bag waterproof (water-resistant) is to invest in a cover or ‘rain-fly’ that fits over the entire thing. This cover should repel any moisture until conditions have improved.

At the same time, investing in a camera bag that is already waterproofed can save you both time and grief. Waterproofing your camera bag is a process that requires some patience, especially if you’re using a spray of some sort.

You can coat camera bags made of nylon with water-resistant products. However, the possibility of coating your particular camera bag to waterproof it depends on what materials it’s made from.

If you need a completely waterproof camera bag, look to a Pelican or similar case which even has a built-in pressure release valve.

The best camera bags usually have some kind of water-resistant or water-repellant coating, so stick to the ones on this list that meet that criteria.

Can I bring my camera bag on a plane?

Cameras with lithium batteries (including ion and metal) must remain with you in the pressurized cabin. These batteries can explode if they are left in the unpressurized cargo area of the plane, so they are not allowed in checked bags.

As long as your camera gear fits in the overhead bins or under your seat with your personal items, you can take it on a plane. Keeping it in your personal item bag might be your best bet for ensuring it remains safe and protected.

At the same time, you can also invest in a durable and sturdy camera bag to carry onboard with you. This allows you to keep only the essentials in your personal items.

What are the best camera bags for travel?

Personally, I like to travel with any camera bag small enough to keep with me at all times, either by my feet on the plane or in the overhead locker.

That means that anything large or heavy (even if it’s marketed as a ‘camera travel bag’), is left at home.

Some travelling photographers are happy to check a camera case in (to the plane’s baggage hold) when flying, but unless it’s unavoidable, I wouldn’t recommend it.

The best travel camera bag is whatever is small and light enough to travel as a carry-on when you’re flying.

If you’re not travelling by plane, it’s still advantageous to use something as light as possible, just for your own comfort and enjoyment.

Do You Really Need a Camera Bag? (Is It Necessary?)

Only you can truly answer this question, though there are some things you’ll want to think about. For example, how often would you use your camera bag, and how does it differ from other bags you may already own?

Dedicated camera bags can make life easier because they are used specifically for your photography gear. When you rush out the door, it’s also easier to find your photography bag and grab it than wonder which bag you put it in this time.

At the same time, if you’re not married to the idea of a camera bag, you can easily use any shoulder bag you prefer. For example, you can use inserts in a Domke wrap, a Peak Design Cameracube, and any other camera bag you own.

As you use your bag (whether you choose a dedicated camera bag or simply a regular bag), you’ll figure out which features you like/need and which are more hype than they are useful.

How do you make a camera bag insert?


There are many ways to make a camera bag insert, from the materials you use to the sizes your bag requires. Cardboard is often the cheapest way to make a camera bag insert.

If you have an insert of the size and shape you like, you can simply trace it on the cardboard or even transfer that template to a piece of foam.

You can also measure the dimensions of the area where you want to place your insert and create your own that way, too.

How do I Choose a Good Camera Bag?

Shotkit reviews camera backpacks

Reviewing camera bags takes a toll on the space in our garage!

With all the choices available on the market for photographers, it’s sometimes hard to know where to start when selecting a camera bag.

Here are a few of the factors that I always consider when evaluating whether a camera bag is right to add to my collection:

1. Size

This isn’t so much a question of how much gear you own, but rather, what gear you need to carry with you on a certain outing or assignment. The reason I own several camera-carrying products is that I like to select the bag depending on what I’m shooting and how much gear I require. The best EDC camera bag and the right long weekend photo bag are just going to be built for two different jobs.

2. Type

There’s a time and a place for each of the different types of bags. If I’m popping out with the kids to the park, I grab a sling bag that fits my camera and one extra lens. If I need a travel camera bag, I might opt for a backpack to leave my hands free to carry other luggage. If I’m shooting a wedding, I’d use a rolling option to squeeze more gear in and save my aching back… you get the idea.

3. Design (Usability)

This one’s key. If a bag doesn’t let you get your gear in and out easily, it’s not worth your time. I omitted some of the most stylish camera bags from this list simply because I found them a pain in the a** to use! Function over form… in most cases!

4. Design (Style)

This is obviously very subjective, but I recommend you buy a bag that makes you happy to look at and touch each day. Invest a little more on something above the ‘budget’ recommendations, and you’ll get something that a design team has given some thought to, with regards to the looks as well as the usability.

5. Durability/Warranty

You usually get what you pay for – spend more on a well-known brand name, and you should get more years out of it. Some even offer warranties, which guarantee breakages for several years. American or Australian-made camera bags tend to have a higher durability, but they also cost more.

6. Cost

Another subjective one, but I’d say that you should experiment a little here. If you’ve invested in a pricey brand-name bag, for example, try opting for a more affordable sling bag – when you’re still not sure what type of bag is right for you, spend your money wisely until you’re ready to drop the big bucks.

FAQs About Camera Bags for Men & Women

What is the best camera bag to buy?

Every photographer has their own unique requirements, so the perfect bag for you will depend on things like the amount of gear you need to carry, the conditions you’ll be shooting in, and even just personal preference on style and design. That said, if we had to pick one favourite all-rounder, we’d recommend checking out the Peak Design Everyday – it’s sleek, water-resistant, well-organized and unisex.

What should I keep in my camera bag?

That depends a lot on you and what/where you’re shooting. Some things to consider are your camera, lenses, spare batteries, flash, memory cards, tripod or monopod, microfiber cleaning cloth, rain cover, external hard drive and laptop/tablet.

What are camera bags made of?

The most useful are those that are weather-resistant, as these will keep your gear well-protected even in difficult weather conditions. Weatherproofed cotton canvas, nylon canvas and leather camera bags are all popular options.

Can a camera bag be a carry on?

Many are designed to fit within airline carry-on luggage size standards (just be sure to double-check the dimensions). As for whether you can take your camera in addition to other hand luggage, that will depend on the airline and class you’re flying, so you’ll need to check each airline’s individual requirements.

Final Words

The best camera bags are those that make your life as a photographer easier.

No matter what style they are or which one you invest in, a camera bag can help you advance your photography career and keep you organized at the same time.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the best camera bags and learned something new about how to travel with a camera. Which camera bags do you prefer?



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