Ultimate Guide: Best Camera Bags for Travel

written by local expert Jane Elmets

Jane always knew she wasn't destined for a desk job... She has travelled all over the world and is passionate about noodles, sloths and her hiking boots! When she isn't busy adventuring around the world, you can find her reviewing travel gear and dishing out travel tips to all the places she's visited.

So you’re just bought a new travel camera to capture memories on your next adventure. But how can you keep your camera safe and tote around all the camera gear you need?

You need a camera bag.

Whether you’re a pro or just love taking photos as a hobby, having a suitable camera bag is a convenient way to take your camera gear with you on your travels. From messenger bags to backpacks to bag inserts, we’ll combed through all the options and picked out some of the best camera bags in the market today.

Our Picks for Best Camera Bag 2024

Best Camera Bag: Comparison Table

Here’s a comparison of all the camera bags on our recommended list. Be sure to click “next” to view all of them, and scroll down the article for a deep dive on each bag!

Why You Need a Camera Bag

So you’ve just spent a great chunk of change on an unbeatable camera and now you’re ready to set out and start snapping some gorgeous shots. But wait a second… how are you going to carry your camera?

Around your neck is just fine if you plan on simply strolling around with the body and a single lens. But what if you want to change lenses? How about if your SD card fills up? Want a still shot with a tripod?

This is why having a camera bag is imperative. By conveniently fitting all of your gear into one compact, accessible place, you’re ready for anything while shooting on the go.

Giving you a hands-free experience, camera bags allow you to have a shooting experience filled with everything you need while being free from sagging pockets. You’re able to travel anywhere to shoot without worrying about your camera bumping around.

So traverse into those mountain sides or go for some street photography in a busy city. Your camera bag allows you to carry everything you need for any situation.

Besides convenience, camera bags are designed to keep your expensive equipment safe.

Almost all camera bags come with padded pockets and compartments for storing lenses, flash, miscellaneous gear, and the camera’s body itself. You don’t have to worry about anything getting damaged because each component is packed into its own compartment for safekeeping until it’s ready to be used.

Finally, some camera bags even come with security features. This gives you some peace of mind while transporting your gear. With anti-theft components and hidden compartments, you’re able to travel around without fear of prying hands.

Still not convinced that you need a camera bag?

What if I told you they come in tons of different shapes, styles and sizes? Picking the right bag for you is just as important as having one in the first place, so keep reading to find out all you need to know about camera bags.

camera equipment in bag

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Types of Camera Bags

There are more than a handful of camera bag styles, so it’s good to know what your options are before purchasing one. Here are the main types of camera bags you’ll run into.

Shoulder Bags

Shoulder bags are the typical camera bag style.

With a single shoulder strap and flap top, shoulder bags allow you to access your equipment quickly and without hassle. There tends to be a few extra pockets, in addition to the main section of the bag to keep yourself organized. However, this type of bag is mainly just for the essentials.

Messenger Bags

If you like the idea of a shoulder bag but want to carry a little bit more, a messenger bag is a good solution.

Designed similarly, messenger bags also have a single strap (although typically longer), with a flap-style closure, but they’re designed to be a bit taller and slimmer. This allows you to fit not only your camera gear, but additional equipment like a laptop, notebook and anything else you need for a day of shooting.

You can also wear a messenger bag across your body whereas a shoulder bag typically stays on one shoulder.

Sling Bags

Sling bags are small bags in a backpack style, but with a single strap.

They don’t hang off your body the way shoulder or messenger bags do. Instead, they either sit on your back or come around to the front of your body when you need to access what’s inside. Sling bags are a much smaller option and aren’t for all of your gear. However, they’re a good fit for what you need on a standard shoot with a lens or two.


The age-old backpack is designed for allowing for hands-

free travel over any landscape. Camera backpacks are the most practical for large amounts of gear or heavy loads, as well as going farther distances. They’re comfortable to carry, and tend to be rather durable with lots of organization options.

That said, backpacks can be a pain when it comes to finding what you need with haste as you have to take the entire thing off to access what’s inside.

Roller Bags

Not designed for daily use, but rather specifically for travel, roller bags are designed like your typical piece of luggage on wheels, albeit with a hard shell and internal padding to keep your things padded and in place.

Most camera roller bags are small enough to be taken into the cabin with you on a plane. However, it’s smart idea to check the exact dimensions and airline requirements beforehand.

Hard Cases

Hard cases are the best for protecting your camera against impact and tough environments. With the extremely durable shell, hard cases can handle pretty much anything life throws at them while still keeping your gear safe and sound.

This option is rather heavy due to the added protection, so they aren’t practical for going far with. However, it’s worth it if there’s any concern about keeping your gear in top condition.


Pouches & Holsters

Camera pouches or holsters are an easy way to transport just the basics if you don’t want to wear your camera around your neck. They fit a body and a lens comfortably, but anything else is a bit of a stretch.

If you have a smaller camera and don’t want a huge bag for it, a pouch or small-sized holster is a good way to go.

Bag Inserts

While not a bag themselves, inserts are useful for converting a bag you already own into a camera bag. Inserts are the padded walls that create sections in a bag to comfortably fit your gear.

If you already have a travel bag that you can’t bear to part with, inserts will help fit everything safely without having to get something completely new.

How to Pick the Best Camera Bag for You

With so many camera bags available, here are some main considerations to keep in mind when choosing the right camera bag for you.


First, you should determine what size camera bag you want. This will largely be influenced by the type of camera and amount of gear you have to carry with you. Still, some bags are just designed to be larger than others.

If you’re traveling a lot, it’s probably best to opt for a smaller bag that will fit the essentials and can be used day to day. But if you’re a serious photographer who needs some extra equipment or supplies, you’re probably better off with a larger bag.


Like with most things, the larger the bag, the heavier it will be.

It may not seem like much when considering camera bags that are a few ounces apart in weight, but it will make all the difference when the bag is chock full of camera equipment.

If you’re a frequent air traveler, you know that there are weight restrictions when it comes to carry-on bags. But even beyond that, you don’t want to be lugging around a heavy bag all the time — it’s just not practical or comfortable.

Weight is a serious consideration and with heavy camera equipment, it’s important to keep this factor in mind when choosing the right bag.


What kind of camera are you toting around? How much gear do you really have? Do you plan on acquiring more? These are questions to ask yourself when looking at different camera bags.

How much a bag can hold is important. If you get one that’s too small, you’ll end up having to leave things behind; too big and your equipment will be bumping around in your bag all day long.

Besides camera gear, it’s also nice to have a bag that fits a little bit more, namely things like a laptop and/or tablet, a notebook and maybe even a sweatshirt. Having everything in one place is convenient and especially practical for editing on the go.


While a camera bag might be stylish and tick all the boxes above, you should consider how much protection it offers. Protection is a key element when it comes to camera bags because this is their main use anyway.

Each bag offers protection in a different way. The most common form you’ll find is bags with padded compartments and foam inserts to keep your gear comfortably in place.

It’s nice to pick a bag that allows you to rearrange the inserts in a way that’s most useful for your gear. If the inserts are fixed, it’s best to pick a bag with lots of them so that you have your fair pick when it comes time to pack your camera equipment away.

camera gear and backpack


The design of a camera bag is just as important as any other consideration. Being able to get in and out of your bag with ease is a must so you don’t have to spend precious time digging around for what you need and risk missing the perfect shot.

A flat design is also convenient because it allows you to completely unzip the bag and quickly grab what you need without digging around in a typical top-loaded bag style. It also allows you to see all of your equipment for those spur of the moment choices.

It’s also nice to choose a bag that has multiple access points instead of just a single one at the top.

Finally, in terms of design, pockets are king. I mean, come on, who wants a bag with just one main compartment and that’s it.

Check for bags with exterior pockets, inside pockets, pen pockets, laptop pockets, hidden pockets… you know, the works. Having separate compartments for all of your gear is a game changer in terms of organization. Luckily, most camera bags come fully equipped with all the pockets you could dream of.


When choosing a bag, take a look at the material that it’s made of. Material will greatly influence the weight, flexibility, and protection a bag offers. It will also contribute to its durability and lifespan.

The main use of your camera bag will help you determine what material is best for you.

If you’ll be out photographing adventures and remote places, you’ll be better suited for a more rugged bag that’s made of tough and weather-resistant material. If you get caught in a light rain shower or snag on a branch while wandering around, you’ll want something that will still protect your gear at a moment’s notice.

Many camera bags use canvas as a main material, but you’ll also come across companies that use leather, synthetic materials or nylon for the bag’s construction.


The bottom line is that you want a bag that’s durable and can withstand whatever your journeys throw at it.

Since your camera bag will probably have quite a good deal of equipment in it, you’ll want something that’s made with high quality craftsmanship. Look for reinforced seams, strong zippers, and straps that will withstand a large amount of weight.

If you keep all of this in mind when choosing a camera bag, you’ll definitely find one that’s right for you.

Best Camera Bags 2024

To help you find the best camera bag for you, we’ve rounded up the best ones in each category.

Whether you’re looking for something that’s small or large, rugged or classic, you’re sure to find something on this list that’s suited to you!

Messenger & Shoulder Bags for Cameras

We kick off our reviews with classic shoulder or messenger bags for cameras. Whichever style you pick, you’ll be able to swing it over your shoulder and access your camera and equipment with ease.

Kattee Leather Canvas Camera Bag

Pros: Roomy for a messenger bag | 6 color options | Good for both casual and professional use
Cons: Sharp metal zipper | Color of bag can rub off | Side pockets tricky to access

A beautiful mix of canvas and leather, this messenger bag is perfect for loading up all your camera gear for a day of shooting.

The large pocket is outfitted with an inner tank bag that’s padded and designed for keeping your camera equipment in place. This Kattee bag holds a DSLR and two lenses, with the option to customize the dividers to create sections of your preferred size.

Besides the large inside pocket, there are also two snap pockets on the outside bag under the flat sealing that are useful for holding things like chargers, extra batteries and SD cards. There are also two side pockets that are perfect for slipping your phone, power bank or small notebook into while on the go.

Finally, you’ve got a zippered pocket on the interior for keeping personal items safe and sound.

When traveling with smaller cameras and less equipment, you’re able to fit a laptop, tablet and other supplies in as well. With a larger camera, you could probably fit your laptop but it would certainly be a bit of a squeeze.

Tenba Messenger DNA 15

Pros: Lots of pockets | Sleek design | Top handle and luggage attachment | Very spacious interior
Cons: Bag isn’t rigid which can affect the fit of gear | Magnetic clips come loose easily

If you’re looking for practicality combined with style in a messenger bag, give the Tenba DNA 15 a whirl.

This bag incredibly well-thought out and beautifully-designed. Completely sleek-looking on the outside, this bag offers users multiple access points to get what you need no matter the situation. Without opening the entire front flap, you’re still able to get your largest camera out with ease and precision.

What’s so special about this bag are the fastenings that keep it secured. The flap closes with a unique kind of velcro that’s designed to be almost silent when used instead of emitting that sickening “chrrrrrrr” as you pull it apart. This is ideal when shooting in noise-sensitive locations like at an event or trying to capture wildlife.

Besides the velcro, the bag is further held together with magnetic clips that release extra quickly without catching. All in all, you’ll never fumble with the openings of this bag.

Did I mention that there also are D-locks to secure it while you ride a bike or scooter?

The DNA 15 fits a professional-sized DSLR with 2-3 lenses. There are also two separate sleeves — one for a 15″ laptop and one for a tablet or Kindle. The entire front is covered in pockets which are hidden when the flap is on. There’s even a mesh side compartment for a water bottle.

Finally, the bag comes with a weather cover to protect it from the elements and has straps for when you want to attach it to rolling luggage. We seriously can’t get enough of this amazing camera bag.

Billingham Hadley Pro Shoulder Bag

Pros: High quality materials | Sturdy top carry handle | Fits good amount of gear | Extra pockets | 6 color options
Cons: Expensive | No shoulder pad on strap | Shoulder strap not detachable

While certainly a pricey option, you’re paying for quality with this shoulder bag. Made of canvas and leather, this shoulder bag by Billingham is certainly made for pros — as the name suggests.

The brass buckles that keep this bag closed are easily opened with the quick release system that’s built in. This way, you can always get what you need fast, without fear that the bag is going to open on its own. The two front pockets have this same mechanism as well.

The insert on this bag is highly padded and easily removable, allowing you enough space to fit everything you need, from your camera’s body to lenses and external flashes. There’s also a top of the insert, that when closed, will protect your gear from the elements, whether you get caught in a quick shower or experience heavy dust or dirt.

Behind the insert, you can also fit a 13″ laptop snugly, or other flat items you may want to take along.

Coming in 6 different colors and complete with a handle option for carrying, this bag is certainly beautiful. Plus, it doesn’t necessarily signal it’s a camera bag, making it great for daily use as well as purely for function.

Sling Bags for Cameras

If you’re looking for something a little smaller than a shoulder bag, try out a sling that’s perfect for toting around less gear for a lighter shooting experience.

Slings are wonderful for both carrying on your back and easy access to your equipment. Instead of taking the bag off, you just have to “sling” it around to your front and open it up to get what you need. Talk about convenience!

MOSISO Camera Sling Bag

Pros: Removable modular inserts | Anti-theft back pocket | Easy to access camera and gear
Cons: Gets bulky with tripod attached to side | Weak stitching in some places

Seeking a small bag that offers a little bit of everything? Well, here ya go. This MOSISO sling bag is shockproof, water-repellent, breathable, and highly padded to protect anything you need to take along for a day of photography.

The main compartment of this bag wraps around and fits a DSLR with an attached lens, as well as two additional lenses for changing on the fly. Besides the padded insert, you’ll also find a mesh sleeve for stashing small items. This pocket is secured not only with a zipper but a buckle as well for the ultimate security.

The top compartment is rounded at the top and designed for fitting a camera flash and other accessories that you may need at a moment’s notice. But wait, that’s not all! There’s also a zippered mesh pocket here.

The last pocket is hidden on the back, and is perfect for storing personal items like a phone or wallet because they’ll be absolutely safe from theft.

This sling bag has a main adjustable strap that makes it perfect for swirling around to the front of your body as needed and a strap on the side that becomes a tripod holder. This bag really makes sure you’ll have what you need in a pinch without shuffling around to find what you’re looking for.

Baoluo Camera Sling Backpack

Pros: Converts to backpack | Tablet pocket | Included rain cover | Lots of pockets with side compartments
Cons: Thinner padding

This bag is slightly large and only has a single main pocket, but there are some absolutely unbeatable features that Baoluo offers with this sling.

But first, the basics. This bag has a main compartment that opens to lay flat, with ultra thick inner padded dividers. Here you can fit a large DSLR, a camera lens, battery and several other accessories. There are also slip pockets in the main compartment and special slots dedicated to memory cards and chords. Off to a pretty good start, huh?

On the front of the bag, you have a smaller flap pocket. One side has a stretchy mesh holder for a water bottle, umbrella or anything else you can think of to occupy this space. The other side has a zippered pocket for anything spare you may need to grab quickly. Or you could stick your wallet in here for easy access.

Now for the fun stuff!

There’s a hidden pocket along the back that fits a tablet or iPad Mini in its breathable, padded interior. At the base of the back of the bag, there’s also another small pocket that contains a rain cover for those moments of unprecedented downpours. While the bag itself is made of splash-proof nylon, the rain cover gives you some extra peace of mind for when it’s especially treacherous.

The bottom of the bag also has a strap for securing a tripod. Seriously, they thought of everything with this bad boy.

The best part about this bag, however, is the strap.

At first glance, it’s a typical sling bag shoulder strap that you can throw over your back as needed. But if you look a little closer, you’ll notice that there’s a zipper, that when utilized, will create two straps out of the one, allowing you to wear this like a backpack!

If you’re looking for versatility and high functionality, this is the best sling out there.

Read More: Best Camera for Wildlife Photography: What to Look For + Our Picks

Zecti Sling Camera Bag

Pros: Fits a ton | Lots of extra pockets and compartments | Breathable, water-resistant material | Rain cover included
Cons: Weak stitching at stress points | Strap extends to full length on its own sometimes

Now, if you’re looking for the convenience of a sling but a little more space for larger equipment, try this one out for size.

This Zecti sling bag has a main padded compartment that unzips completely to give you a clear look at what’s inside. When only unzipped part of the way, you’ll have access to your gear from the side panel so you can grab and go.

The interior dividers are flexible and adjustable, allowing you to customize the bag to your personal needs. It fits quite a lot, so whether you’re carrying a bigger camera or some huge lenses, you should be covered.

The top compartment is ideal for storing accessories, but it also fits another body of a DSLR or a mirrorless, if you’re interested in bringing more than one shooting companion along.

Conveniently seal and secure this bag with the added buckles on the side, which just as easily convert to a tripod holder as needed. There’s also a buckle on the strap of this bag so you can clip it on and off when you don’t feel like lifting it over your head.

A final added bonus you get with this number is rubber feet on the bottom of the bag. Not only will this help the bag stand upright, further protecting your gear, it will also prevent wear and tear at the bottom of the bag.

This sling is water-resistant, comes with a rain cover and has breathable material on the bag. So whatever life has to throw at you, you’ll be ready to catch it on camera.

Camera Backpacks

One of the most convenient ways to transport a large amount of camera equipment is with a backpack.

With tons of room for compartments and pockets, most camera backpacks come fully lined with padded partitions for easily fitting everything you need. Backpacks are a super practical way to transport camera gear. Besides being able to fit in a lot, they leave you hands-free for shooting and exploring.

Estarer Camera Backpack

Pros: Very inexpensive | Fits drone with DSLR and lenses | Sleek-looking | Lots of compartments and mesh side pockets
Cons: Hard to fit tripod in straps | Not much impact protection

On the budget end of camera backpacks, Estarer has made a true bang for your buck.

Made of water-resistant nylon, this backpack will store everything you need when transporting and using camera equipment. The spacious interior is fully padded but instead of having a removable insert, there are padded velcro walls that can be arranged to create a custom fit based on your needs.

This is especially useful if you’re traveling with a drone because you can build its own individual compartment instead of smushing it into a rigid spot or having it wiggle around in your bag. You can even remove the walls completely to use the backpack for daily life!

This backpack has not only one, but two laptop sleeves — one on the flatlay front wall of the backpack and one in the padded back compartment. Both can fit a 15-inch computer. Don’t have two computers you need to carry? Use one for a Kindle or iPad (or both)!

Furthermore, on one side of the backpack, there’s a mesh water bottle sleeve. On the other side, there’s a place to attach a tripod. There’s even a hidden compartment on the back of the bag for your valuables, not to mention an included rain cover.

This backpack seriously does it all, and with an ultra affordable price tag.

Thule Aspect DSLR Backpack

Pros: Hip belt & chest strap | Removable divider for separating camera gear and personal items | Lots of pockets
Cons: Main compartment divider doesn’t remove all the way | Not as much storage as other backpacks

Backpack powerhouse Thule doesn’t disappoint with their Aspect bag that is ideal for active and travel photographers alike.

One of the major downsides of some camera bags is they don’t have enough room for personal items. This backpack is a great mix of being able to fit all of your camera gear as well as anything else you might need for the day.

The bottom half of the backpack is the camera compartment that opens from a zippered panel on the left side. Inside are padded sections that you’re able to rearrange and customize to fit your personal preferences.

This bag can comfortably fit a DSLR with an attached lens, a separate lens and other camera gear. It also fits a drone if you’re traveling with your flying camera. It’s quite a spacious pocket, but that’s not all.

On top of the backpack is a compartment separated from the camera gear with a flap. You can either fold up or down this flap when you want to lump the two sections together. The top of the backpack can also fit camera and gear, or you can use it to store anything else you’d include in a daypack while on the trail or traveling.

There’s a padded laptop sleeve on the back of the bag that fits a 15-inch laptop. This laptop sleeve is separated from the rest of the contents to keep it safe and easily accessible. There is also a tripod storage panel on the side.

Carrying this backpack is a total breeze, which is part of what makes it so ideal for those on the go. The Aspect comes with both a sternum strap and a removable hip belt so you’re always able to balance weight, because let’s face it, camera gear ain’t light.

Quality and convenience is this backpack’s specialty. So if you’re looking for a durable bag that can accompany you on all of your adventures, this is the camera bag for you.

Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW

Pros: High quality, durable material | Fits camera gear with drone | Four access points | Modular accessories for customization on outside of bag
Cons: Small exterior pockets | Very large | Laptop compartment is tight

True to its name, you’re certainly getting tactical with this backpack. Made by renowned Lowepro, this camera backpack lives up to the brand name in both quality, durability and practicality.

In this bad boy, you can fit a large professional DSLR (or two) with an attached lens, four to five additional lenses, a drone, batteries, chargers and other accessories. If you’re a serious photographer and looking for a backpack to fit it all, this is the one.

Besides the main storage space with endless compartments made of padded panels, the entire front unzips to lay flat and the wall is covered in three mesh zippered compartments and a laptop sleeve. If you don’t feel like unzipping it all the way, there are access points on each side of the backpack that allow you to get what you need quickly and nearly effortlessly.

There are tons of pockets throughout the backpack but what makes the Lowepro ProTactic so special is it comes with 5 modular accessories that you’re able to attach to the SlipLock front of the bag. The accessories include a water bottle pouch, accessory case, tripod cup and two cinch straps.

You’ll be able to secure whatever you need for the day to the outside of your backpack!

To seal everything up, this backpack comes with a rain cover that will keep your gear safe from any unexpected storms. It’s no wonder that this backpack has hundreds of 5-star reviews!

Roller Bags for Camera Gear

Let’s face it, camera gear is not light and carrying a bag packed with it can be extremely tiring and even painful.

An alternative to carrying your gear on your shoulder or back, especially when traveling a lot, is to pack it into a roller bag. Here a few for you to consider.

AmazonBasics Convertible Rolling Camera Backpack

Pros: Inexpensive | Extra pockets for gear or personal items | Fits 17″ laptop | Included rain cover | Backpack straps
Cons: No handle on side of bag | Collapsible handle sticks sometimes

If you’re looking for a budget alternative to carrying all of your camera gear on your backpack, this rolling camera bag from Amazon may solve all of your problems.

Okay, I know what you’re probably thinking: “Amazon brand? Really?” Sure, it may be inexpensive and not come from a well-established brand name, but let me tell you, this thing is quality.

This roller camera bag is small enough to carry on to an airplane, but large enough to fit absolutely everything. With a camera space and 11 additional compartments for storage, you can fit tons of lenses, flashes, and other accessories with peace of mind, knowing they’ll be safe in there.

Besides all the compartments for camera gear, there’s a padded laptop sleeve that will fit a 17-inch laptop (a huge step up from most bags that fit no more than a 15-inch one), as well as two side pockets which can be used to store memory cards.

For the times when rolling a bag isn’t convenient, this roller bag even comes with padded shoulder strap! All you have to do is deploy them from the zippered hiding place that keeps them stowed when not in use. This is especially helpful when climbing stairs or traveling over uneven terrain.

With an included rain cover, it doesn’t matter where your travels will take you. Your photography gear will always be safe in this rolling number!

Neewer Convertible Rolling Camera Backpack

Pros: Hidden backpack straps | 4 color options | Very large capacity with many pockets | Included rain cover
Cons: Extremely bulky when carried on back | Doesn’t fit 17 inch laptop

Another rolling camera bag that converts to a backpack as needed is this one from Neewer.

With a strong external shell and unbeatable internal padding, this roller bag allows you to tote along everything you need for a trip full of shooting.

With 11 compartments and a space to fit your camera, you’ll always be able to find a spot for your camera gear, no matter how big or small it is. The padding lining comes in 4 different distinct colors so you’ll never lose a small piece, while the outside remains a sleek black for versatile use.

On the inside of the front flap, there are four zippered mesh compartments which are particularly handy for smaller items or personal effects like keys, pens, small notebooks — you know, the works. There are also four designated memory card slots so you won’t have to fumble around in the bottom of the bag looking for them.

Besides being able to fit camera gear, you can also fit a 17-inch laptop, smaller personal items, and a tripod on this roller.

Similar to the Amazon roller bag, this bag also converts to be a backpack. While you may resemble a Ninja Turtle while wearing it on your back due to the hard shell, this is a super practical option for carrying your gear when the situation arises.

Think Tank Airport Roller Derby

Pros: Easy to maneuver | Large capacity | Laptop and tablet sleeves
Cons: Expensive | Inserts not completely customizable

One more rolling option that’s also a carry-on size is this Roller Derby bag made by Think Tank.

A super agile roller bag, this one has not four but eight wheels to give you maximum maneuvering capability through any station, airport or city street. Small enough to be used as a carry-on bag, this camera roller will be your new go-to when it comes to travel or transporting large amounts of equipment.

The inside of this bag fits an immense amount of camera gear including two DSLRs with lenses attached, additional lenses, flash, batteries, memory cards and any other accessories you may need. The side of the bag comes complete with a tripod holder so you can go ahead and bring that along too.

While the padded insert doesn’t offer much customization, it fits a good amount of gear and you should be able to find a place for everything you’re packing.

Besides camera gear, this bag has two dedicated pockets for a 15-inch laptop and 10-inch tablet so you’ll have inflight entertainment (or editing) while on the go.

Made of incredibly durable materials and from a reputable brand in the camera-carrying world, you’ll be reaching for this roller any time you have a trip to take.

Read More: Ultimate Guide to the Best Travel Cameras (2024)

Protective Hard Cases

For the times when your gear needs that extra bit of protection, hard cases are the way to go. The hard exterior will not only stand up to the elements, but to impact, dust and extreme circumstances as well.

Most hard cases are lined with foam that you can customize to fit your gear perfectly, so everything is snug and in place when you set out on your adventures. Here are a couple solid picks in the category.

Pelican 1150 Camera Case

Pros: Completely indestructible
Cons: Pretty much nothing – this is one of the most dependable hard cases around

An extremely well-regarded brand when it comes to protective cases for camera (and other sorts of) gear is Pelican, and this hard case lives up to their reputation.

This case is virtually indestructible and will protect your camera gear from anything the world has to throw at it. Watertight, dirt and dust-resistant, and crush-proof (literally, run this case over with a car and nothing inside will be damaged), it’s no wonder why people love this case so much.

Besides all that, there’s an automatic pressure equalization valve which will release any built-up air pressure. You get double-throw latches which keep your belongings secure while also allowing you to open it with ease when needed.

There’s even a space for a padlock to be attached so you never have to worry about the case being broken into. Plus, this case is extremely lightweight, coming in at only 1.75 lbs.

The inside of this case is Pick N’ Pluck foam which allows you to create customizable spaces for whatever you want to safely store. The case is big enough for a DSLR with a lens or two and other camera accessories you want to keep out of harm’s way.

This is seriously the best hard case money can buy, and should be in any rugged photographer’s camera bag repertoire.

Nanuk 915 Waterproof Hard Case with Foam Insert

Pros: Impact-resistant | Waterproof | 7 color options | Lifetime warranty
Cons: Expensive | Foam can be difficult to break apart

Pelican cases are hard to follow, but a good alternative is a Nanuk 915 which offers a good amount of protection for tougher journeys with your camera.

This case offers impact-resistant, waterproof protection that’s suitable for precious gear and valuable items. It’s also dust-proof and shock-proof so you never have to worry about loading it up for an adventure off the beaten path. Open the case with special Powerclaw triple action latches that keep the case secure at all times but are easy to open when it comes time to access your gear.

While this case is a little heavier, it comes with a cubed foam insert that is designed to fit whatever you’re ready to pack comfortably and snugly in it.

Coming in seven showstopping colors and with a lifetime warranty, this is a serious contender in the world of hard cases.

Compact Camera Pouches & Holsters

Back in the realm of smaller camera bags, pouches and holsters are useful if you’re out for a simple excursion and want something to carry your camera and accessories without bringing along all your lenses, flash, etc.

They’re also great bags for those who are just starting to build their photography gear collection and don’t want or need a giant bag to tote around their things. Finally, camera pouches or holsters are ideal for those shooting with a smaller camera like a mirrorless or point and shoot as you don’t need all that extra space for a large camera body!

Evecase Compact SLR/DSLR Canvas Shoulder Pouch Case

Pros: Stylish | Multiple carry options | Front storage pocket | Adjustable inner divider
Cons: Barely enough for a DSLR with attached lens | Closure is a bit loose

A nice and compact carrying case for smaller cameras, this shoulder pouch has two padded compartments to keep your camera and spare lens safe.

Crafted from canvas, this camera bag is super durable while remaining stylish with faux leather accents throughout. The shoulder strap is adjustable and long enough to wear as a crossbody bag but if that’s not your style, you can attach a strap of your liking.

Still not sitting quite right? Good thing there’s a belt loop attachment so you can wear this pouch right on your waist for easy access to your camera.

Though it appears that the bag closes with a buckle, there’s actually a snap underneath the fastening to allow you to open and close the bag super quickly. There’s also a small pocket for added accessories right under the flap!

The padded divider on the inside of the bag is removable so you can adjust and fit your gear as you please. Use this with a mirrorless camera or point and shoot and fit a lens, a spare battery or two and SD cards with it.

Lowepro Toploader Zoom 55 AW II Camera Case

Pros: Front pocket for smaller items | Rain cover included | Big enough to fit attached zoom lens
Cons: Not a lot of padding | Weak impact protection

If you’re looking for a more rugged case that’s small enough for adventures, this camera bag is a solid choice.

Crafted in classic Lowepro style which guarantees durability as well as functionality, this camera case will fit a DSLR with an attached lens. All you have to do is pull it out and start shooting!

The exterior of the bag is weather-resistant which is further protected by the included rain cover that will keep rain, snow, dust and other elements out of your bag. The inside is padded to keep everything inside in place and free from harm.

This small bag offers more organization than most, with a front pocket for accessories or personal items. The mesh pocket holds everything in place and there’s even a key attachment so you never have to go digging around for them when you return to your car or back home.

There’s also another pocket when you open the top of the bag that’s useful for storing SD cards or a pen or two.

Finally, wear this bag in a variety of ways, from crossbody, to attached to your belt or even on a separate chest harness!

Case Logic SLR Camera Holster

Pros: Lots of extra pockets | High quality padding | Carry handle
Cons: Hard to fit long lenses | Zipper sticks sometimes

Finally, there’s the Case Logic SLR holster. This is perfect for those shooting with a smaller camera who want to bring along basic gear without the bulk of a larger bag.

This camera bag is designed to fit a standard SLR or mirrorless camera with an attached lens, as well as basic equipment needed for a day of shooting.

Like almost all camera bags, the inside of the top-loaded compartment is fully padded and easily accessed with a quick zip. The nice thing about this holster is that it has a wide opening so you’re able to grab exactly what you need when you need it.

Besides the main compartment, there are internal zippered pockets for stashing extra accessories, as well as zippered pockets on the side for other small items.

Similar to other holsters, you can carry this case by wearing the adjustable strap over your shoulders or attaching it to a belt loop. This case also has a handle on top so you can carry it this way as well!

If you’re looking for something that’s well thought-out while still being a little bit rugged, this is a solid option for you.

Bag Inserts for Storing Camera Equipment

If you already have a beloved bag that you aren’t willing to trade in for one made especially for camera gear, you’re in luck! Here are top-of-the-line padded inserts that you can slip into your favorite bag to turn it into one that will keep your camera and equipment safe and in place.

Ciesta Flexible Camera Insert Partition

Pros: 4 size options | Waterproof outside | 5 movable partitions
Cons: No pockets | No padded on top of insert

Coming complete with five partitions, this camera insert is everything you need to store camera gear safely inside any bag.

This handy number from Ciesta comes in four different sizes, spanning from small to extra large. You’ll be able to choose one that’s appropriate for the amount of equipment and size of your bag.

The exterior of the insert is made of waterproof nylon-nylex so if you get caught in a rain storm or a water bottle leaks inside your bag, your precious gear will stay out of harm’s way. The interior is made of cotton which is soft on your camera and lenses and will prevent scratching.

The partitions inside of this insert are completely customizable and removable. This ensures you can get the exact fit you want without too much effort.

Finally, the insert closes with a tough drawstring so you won’t have to fumble around with zippers or tricky closures. Instead, you’ll be able to grab what you need quickly to capture those unreal shots.

Whether you’re shooting with a professional DSLR and need spare lenses or have a mirrorless camera with some extra equipment, this insert will hold it all.

Ape Case Cubeze

Pros: Inexpensive | Many size options | Completely customizable interior
Cons: Only comes in yellow | Drawstring may not cinch all the way | No pockets

In terms of durability, Ape Case’s Cubeze is a foolproof camera insert that will withstand whatever life throws at it, while keeping the contents inside safe.

The insert itself is made of ripstop nylon, which is king in terms of gear material as it is not only water-resistant but will keep small tears from turning into gaping holes.

The interior is heavily padded with adjustable partitions so you can create a custom fit based on what you need. The nicest part of this set-up is that the walls are covered with soft velcro so you can truly put the separators in any space you please instead of just the designated slots.

Closed with a drawstring, you’re able to easily open up the bag as needed or fold down the top when you’re shuffling through it. The bright yellow color keeps small pieces of equipment from becoming hidden in the padding, and the insert itself comes in several different sizes!

At a most reasonable price, this is a super solid choice when it comes to inserts and is a fan favorite among hobby and professional photographers alike.

Selens High-Capacity Shockproof Padded Bag Case Partition

Pros: Shockproof | Large capacity | Adjustable partitions for customization
Cons: Not waterproof | Little padding at top of the insert | Only one color option

Last but not least is the Selens insert which offers your camera gear the ultimate protection.

Fitting in almost any bag, this padded case is ideal for bringing along with you, no matter what you have to fit inside. Holding a DSLR, two lenses and an external flash (along with smaller accessories), this bag really has it all. From adjustable partitions to the drawstring top, there’s not much to complain about here.

The insert itself is made from nylon which is good for durability and water resistance, while the inside is crafted from padded foam to create a cushion for your gear. The partitions are able to be moved around and rearranged to create the ultimate pockets for what you need to pack and will keep everything protected with a tight fit.

Besides holding a ton, this insert is also shockproof so you won’t have to worry if your bag gets jostled or dropped form time to time.

From handbags to backpacks to suitcases, this is a great companion for storing your camera gear.

woman holding camera

So there you have it, some of the best camera bags available in the market today.

No matter your personal style and camera needs, it’s extremely important that your gear is well protected. With one of the bags on this list, you should be set for any kind of photography adventure that awaits you.

Happy shooting!

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