Best Camera Bags Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Criteria Used for Evaluation
This aspect usually directly relates to the price that you’ll pay for the luggage you buy. Some of the items on our list subvert expectations in price versus quality of build materials, but the general statement of “you get what you pay for” is true in this case as well.
The thickness and strength of all your straps and the quality of metal materials like zippers and locks will greatly affect the judgment of build quality.
These products aren't niched things that you put on your shelf and have sit still for an undetermined amount of time. Your camera bag needs to stay together and withstand the rugged use and environments that photographers often find themselves in.
A lot of important aspects go into the judgment of a camera bag product, and considering the quality of the build is essential in keeping your gear safe, this is a high one.
Rarely do photographers arrive on location or set with the intention of only using a single camera or lens to get the job done, which is why there needs to be a size consideration when shopping for the perfect bag to fit your needs.
The variety of storage options is also crucial, as some bags do not have adaptive pockets or storage systems that could handcuff your ability to fit your gear within it.
In the same vein as storage options, the comfort and wear of a bag are extremely important to your choices. Can you adapt your bag from a backpack to a sling? Does it have a rolling luggage handle sleeve? The variable handling of the bag itself can play a big part in whether or not the bag works for you.
But the biggest question of size is whether or not the bag will hold your gear. We listed bags in this article that can only hold a single camera setup. That’s important. Because sometimes photographers have just one. But more often, they need an additional bag for a solitary set-up to carry around in addition to their normal stash of gear. If you photograph for a living, chances are you’re going to stick with looking at our options that will hold two or more camera bodies and a handful of lenses. Or have enough side storage that you’ll never run out of batteries of memory cards.
Another quality to keep in mind when seeking the perfect carrying case for you and your camera is the case’s storage. If you are a camera aficionado or a photographer, then you know in order to take great images you need more then just a great camera. You will need lenses that create the clear images you need and additional accessories that make the camera function to its maximum potential.
Therefore, you want to have a carrying case that comes with numerous different compartments. The compartments will help not only store everything you need, but they will help protect those expensive accessories while you walk, hike or even run to catch the perfect lighting at your desired setting. Essentially, you want a case that creates a shield between your body, the camera, and the outdoor elements.
You take a risk when introducing expensive pieces of technology and manufacturing to the outside world that you might run into the horrific event of breaking or damaging your gear. Plenty of photographers will tell you that “you will break your gear” as it is just part of the game when trying to get the perfect shot and freeze time in a still. But that doesn’t mean that traveling or getting to the said photo should also pose the same risk.
It’s hard to protect your camera from a slip or a drop when you’re holding it for shooting. But you can do a lot to protect it while you’re NOT using it.
Padding is an important part of the protection scale of these bags. Some of the better bags have over half a dozen layers of EVA protective foam within the walls of the bag. Often, manufacturers will put some extra budget and time into ensuring that all of your stitching and straps are reliable and strong.
Waterproofing is also ideal. Or completely necessary if you live on earth, at all. Chances are your camera will be exposed to water or moisture at some point in your shooting life, but that shouldn’t also be the case for your carrying solution. At the very least, you should stick to bags that are water resistant. But if you can go for a bag that is completely waterproof, or at the very least comes with a fitted rain cover or jacket.
Keep the hard grounds, and wetness of the world away from your expensive purchases.
Part of the struggle with putting this list together is that we didn’t want to offer budget bags. It’s imperative that the products we suggest come with some justification as to why you might put your money making or money spent on these luggage options. However, in crept a few options that are surprisingly great for the price that they are listed at.
The more money you’ve sunk into your gear, the more you should be willing to pay to protect it all and take it with you. The value of the bag itself boils down to comfort, space, access, and size. If you find yourself on a shoestring budget, willing to prop up your expensive gear with a few strongly worded product descriptions, we’ve plucked some gems from the ocean of budget bags.
On the opposite side of things, we’ve found a few bags that are premium, and all of the aspects that make a great camera bag will be amplified in quality. Spend as much as you can, and keep from finding the randomly branded camera bags that don’t have a decent pedigree behind them.
Top 10 Picks
Introducing that “best of both worlds” scenario that many will tell you doesn’t truly exist in the world of camera carrying luggage. The Evecase puts nearly everything else on the market to shame and does so at every turn. It’s formidable as a normal piece of luggage or carry-on and is one of the most versatile camera bags in terms of holding all sorts of pieces of gear.
A Pocket For Everything
You’ve got a half-dozen lenses, and a few extra camera bodies, but you also have a point-and-shoot digital, a fancy Fujifilm polaroid shooter, a water bottle, tripod, and so many more things. Even the smallest of accessories (like SD cards) have dedicated pockets. There’s even a 16-inch laptop sleep behind the back, for your mobile editing studio. This, plus the ability to remove all of the camera-shaped specific gear compartments, makes the Evecase XL a very astounding backpack on its own merits.
What’s the worst thing that can happen if you’re carrying around thousands of dollars worth of camera gear, strapped to your back? Well, slightly misjudging the curb location and doing a full tumble in front of strangers would be the worst. The second worst, however, would be for all of that expensive gear to become wet. The Evecase Extra Large comes with a form-fitting waterproof rain cover that keeps the liquids and moisture out. It won’t help you with those pesky curbs though, sorry about that.
Cost and Value
Under a hundred dollars for a backpack that would fit in on any form of public transportation, and has the capabilities to house all of your gear is a formidable value. Evecase is made with extremely high-quality materials and comfortable shoulder straps. This bag is versatile, and luxurious, for a fraction of some of the other bags.
2. USA Gear
One of the most “camera bag” looking of the bunch, the USA Gera Digital SLR Backpack does more than most with as little as possible. It’s sleek and fairly small for the amount of gear you can fit inside of it. USA Gear has made an extraordinary bag with this, and it is rightfully near the top of our list. The slick black, and “normal backpack” sized gear bag also comes in a handful of unique interior colors.
Velcro dividers are the real name of the game when it comes to keeping your camera electronics and components safe. Some bags will have fixed built-in camera gear slots, while the best of them will have velcro adhesion to the sides or to each other. This means that no matter the gear, no matter the shape, you’ll be able to house them in here with good certainty that they will be protected.
We’re going to bring this up a bunch in this list, I can smell it. Smell? I can sense it. That sounds better. One of the marks of a true quality camera bag -- whether it be in backpack form, sling, or others -- is the ability to access your camera from an easy-to-reach pocket or pouch that has a single zippered cover. The USA Gear Camera Bag has an awesome access pocket on the side of the bag that is easily reached by slipping a single shoulder strap off.
Cost and Value
The USA Gear Camera Backpack boasts fortified straps and stitching, and the “perfect amount of space” for all of your gear. For the well-constructed backpack to come in around the fifty dollar mark is pretty great. This bag is on the extremely cheap end of the extreme quality scale. You’d be hard pressed to find a bag as feature packed as the USA Gear Camera Backpack at anywhere near the price of this one.
3. AmazonBasics Large
Amazon themselves have burnt things down to the basics. And as basic is as basic does, the AmazingBasics Large DSLR Gadget Bag is the first actual camera bag on this list. Pairing it’s a critical form of carrying all sorts of camera equipment, with a price tag south of thirty bucks and you’ve got yourself here a bag that you’ll love to use, but feel like you stole.
That word. Basic. It might put a sour taste on your tongue, and through the malevolence of manufacturers in the past, we can’t really blame you for that. However, with AmazonBasic products truly attempt to give you the best version of the most basic of products. In this particular case, that foul word means true basic needs met, no matter what.
No, this bag isn’t going to show up at your hotel room door and offer you a continental breakfast with strawberry roses. But it will hold one DSLR camera body, and up to three different lenses. Along with plenty of accessories like memory cards, slots for cables, a tablet, and pockets for general things. There is room to spare in this “basic” bag. If you’re a single set-up kind of photographer, look no further than the AmazonBasics Large DSLR Camera Bag.
Cost and Value
This is the section of the review that the Basic fear plays in, but it’s for your benefit. This bag won’t run you more than thirty dollars and does the absolute best it can at the one thing it’s trying to do. This is the best bag at this price nearly anywhere. And it’s Amazon themselves that are swooping in from nowhere to bring you the best cost versus the value that you can find.
4. CADeN DSLR Sling
The first sling bag on our list, the CADeN DSLR Camera Sling Bag persists through trials of toughness with an elegant design, a more than worthy single camera set-up carrying capacity, and easily accessible camera doors that make it very quick and simple to get at your gear while you’re on location or moving about. This, in particular, is why so many photographers prefer to have sling bags for their main camera.
The CADeN DSLR Camera Sling Bag has some of the best crash and drop protection on the market. With 28mm thick crashproof EVA foam that lines the camera pouches of this sling bag that consists of seven layers of protective padding, not even full drops at reasonable heights will do much damage to the contents of your bag.
Waterproof & Rain Jacket
The outer lining of this sling bag is has a waterproof coating on it that will act as a barrier between your expensive electronics and the precipitation of the outside world. Should that moisture get to be too much, the CADeN bag comes with a rain cover that will keep even torrential downpours from becoming new friends with your thousand dollar camera body.
Cost and Value
With adaptable inside organizers, an ease-of-access hatch on both sides, a waterproof outer shell and equipable rain proofing, the CADeN DSLR Camera Sling Bag is a hyper beast. The only clear downfall is its size, being that it can only fit a single body and one to three lenses (depending on the size of said lenses).
5. SHANGRI-LA Tactical Sling Pack
This camera bag is going to do great double duty not only as a camera bag but as a whatever else you might need in the field kind of a bag. It’s well padded and full of pockets but won’t be so heavy you won’t be able to handle it and carry it whenever you’re planning on going.
High-Density Nylon Fabric
This bag is going to be virtually impossible to tear. And it will stand up against water and weather of all kinds and remain lightweight all at the same time.
This bag is designed to work as a backpack as well as a sling pack a waist pack or even a handbag. All of the various handles can be easily configured to carry this bag in a way that makes the most sense for you and your gear.
Cost And Value
We love the price at which this bag comes in. It's easily on the low end of the pricing, and that's a bit surprising considering all of the stuff that comes along with it. The central compartment is going to have lots of room for everything you need and there are plenty of side compartments that have room as well.
6. Neewer Camera Backpack Case
Cameras are expensive, and their respective accessories are too. Therefore, it only makes sense to purchase a well-equipped camera case that will hold all your accessorize and cameras in one simple space, while being compact and easy to carry. Neewer took this into consideration and created the ultimate camera carrying backpack case. Not only does it hold all your accessories for your camera, but its compact look and feel are excellent for easy transportation. Additionally, the bag is waterproof and shockproof.
This camera was constructed with convenience in mind, so much so that it will hold everything your camera needs to take exceptional images every time. The Neewer camera backpack case can hold a DSLR camera with a standard zoom lens attached, multiple GoPro cameras, professional quality shoe-mount flash units, one or more radio triggers, mirrorless cameras, and their lens. Additionally, it can hold multiple batteries and chargers for every device you carry with you.
Padded Customizable Dividers
In order to make life easier this camera case comes with a padded customizable divider. The 6 provided dividers come with added cushioning for additional protection. They can also be rearranged depending on your liking, and your personal needs.
Cost and Value
This bag not only provides multiuse but it's perfect for carrying everything you need in one single place. Keeping that in mind; this bag is very affordable so much so that it might be a good idea to purchase more than one. Maybe have one for everyday use and another as a permanent place to store your camera.
7. Kattee Military Style DSLR Backpack
This is a great backpack for the field shooter who needs a way to carry all their equipment out in the field. With two big central pockets and plenty of extra room, this pack will give you exactly what you need.
This is a nice feature, which allows you to keep your stuff separated into two separate large compartments. Camera body in top lenses in the bottom or however you want to make it work, it’s nice to know that you have so much room in such an easily carryable pack that looks so cool.
This is a really cool feature that allows you to separate the two pockets of the backpack. So if you’re going out on a quick day hike and know exactly what you need you can pop everything into one pocket and then carry it as a simple back over the shoulder pack that looks cool and casual. Basically, it turns from a full backpack into a really hip shoulder bag with a simple zip.
Cost and Value
This pack comes in at a really affordable price and it’s a bit of a surprise considering all the accessories that come along with this pack. The metal buckles, the detachable pockets, and the included rain gear make this an incredible get for you and your camera gear.
8. Canon 9320A023 100ES
If you are looking for a more compact option, this would be the perfect one for you. Cannon is known for making excellent cameras, and they did not disappoint with this carrying case. This Canon 9320A023 100ES camera carrying bag measures at 10 x 7 x 4 1/2 inches offering sufficient space for you to carry one SLR camera, 1 to 3 lens, and all of your camera’s necessities without having to carry a bulky backpack or sling.
Made to Last
When purchasing a camera carrying case you want something that is not only durable but was made to last. Constructed out of water-resistant, rugged nylon this case offers exterior and interior security for your camera and the accessories you need. Even if you are caught in a rainstorm your camera will remain dry the entire time this will extend the longevity of your camera as well.
Whether you carry only your SLR camera, or you carry all the accessories with it, this case will remain lightweight. This is mainly due to its ability to distribute the weight throughout the case. Allowing even distribution is great for those that have back problems or don’t want to carry a heavy case for an extended period of time.
Cost and Value
This bag is valued at an affordable price tag. It comes with just the right amount of space for you to carry what you need without the bulk, becoming a top favorite for us. Additionally, there is the idea that this bag was constructed with the consumer in mind.
Here we’ve got your budget bag that beats out the size of most budget bags on the market. Altura isn’t renowned for its quality of make materials. This is the retro plucked camera luggage bag that feels inspired by that kid that was saved by the bell, or something. But Altura has stepped up the game in regards to how much of a bag they can provide for as little dough as feasibly possible.
Budget items have to look for the most applicable corners to cut. That’s just how manufacturing cheaper product works. But Altura ensured to avoid cutting the Quality Material corner and even took it a step further by reinforcing the stitching on all of the handles, and a removable shoulder strap.
So Much Room!
You would never expect to find enough room in a sub-twenty dollar bag for one entire set-up and possibly even an extra lens (depending on the size of a said lens) and enough accessories to keep you shooting all day long. It’s surprisingly compact for a bag with adjustable storage room that has a shoulder strap, and plenty of side pockets.
Cost and Value
What more than a budget tag do you need? Well, how about the fact that this is a budget bag without the grossest corners being cut. This is a surprisingly quality bag for the size and price. It’s a bit more expensive than the AmazonBasics Compact Bag but it’s also four times the size.
10. AmazonBasics Hard Camera Case
This is the stuff for a real camera buff. You put your gear in here and we promise nothing is going to happen to it. No matter how much banging around you inflict on this it’s going to stay safe and sound.
Watertight and Pressurized
You close this case up and not only will no water get into your case but we promise you it will stay safe on an airplane and live through nearly anything you or the world could put it through.
Pre Cut Foam Squares
It’s not just a case it comes loaded with protective foam with precut shapes for all of your gear. Simply open it up an put all your stuff in there and head out and see the world.
Cost And Value
Sure it’s pricey but this is the case for the professional or for someone who is taking their first steps into the professional world and wants to make sure their gear stays safe and that it travels easily.