As a photographer, carrying your gear can be quite a challenge especially if you don’t have the right bag for the job. Every photographer needs to have their entire kit protected and safe at all times regardless of whether they are hiking up the mountain to capture the sunrise or are commuting to an event with their gear in hand.
Fortunately, there are different bag options that photographers have for carrying their equipment. And while some may prefer slinger bags or holsters, there is a crop of photographers who love backups as it allows them to balance the weight of their equipment easily on their back. Some of the bags featured in our review are ideal for mirrorless cameras as well as DSLRs which have interchangeable lenses that need some thought when you are mobile.
In addition, there are those that also gives room for a laptop or a tablet for when you need to do your post-processing which is quite important to digital photography.
1. Vanguard Alta Sky 51D Backpack
With the need to carry all your gear including your drone, this bag has room for all your equipment and accessories without necessarily making you break a bank.
While it’s tough to design the ultimate backpack for a photographer, the Vanguard Alta Sky 51D backpack is quite versatile. This is because the bag has been designed to not only carry your camera gear but a drone as well or both. The backpack’s main compartment has enough room for a D850 and can carry up to four lenses and an additional lens of between 70-200mm. There is a separate compartment at the base that allows you to store small lenses.
Knowing how important padding is for a photographer backpack, you can rest be assured that the padding on this bag is top notch. The design has an ergonomic harness, waist belt as well as an air system back. The bag is well organized and has lots of dedicated pockets for organizing and connecting all your essentials. And yes, you can also carry your own bottle of water thanks to the side pockets.
The backpack also has room for a 15-inch laptop or a tablet as well as additional space for your tripod should you need one. It also has a pull-out rain cover for rainy days.
It is quite heavy, and because it has a lot of space, it is possible to overload.
2. Manfrotto Advanced Rear Backpack
The Manfrotto Advanced Rear Backpack is designed in Italy and has a versatile design coupled with compact proportions. That means that it’s not easy for you to overload your backpack.
The Manfrotto backpack has well-organized compartments for all the gear you need to carry. The lower part of the bag is well padded for storing all your photographic equipment. The padding means that your gear will be well-secured while you are on the go. It can easily hold one DSLR camera and three lenses including a 70-200mm lens thanks to the Manfrotto protection system.
The design is well constructed and has a top section that is roomy for storing your accessories or a packed lunch.
The front pocket can easily hold a small notebook, a 13-inch laptop, a 10-inch tablet, and any other important documents and has a zipper for maximum security. The bag has an extendable size pocket that can easily fit your tripod.
While we can never predict the weather, the bag has a pull-out rain cover at the base which keeps your gear safe when it rains. While the bag can also house a drone, it’s important to ensure that you confirm your drone make first.
It has a plain design, and the straps could be better.
3. ONA – The Camps Bay
The ONA – The Camps Bay backpack is a class and luxurious choice and is made for those looking for a little more style in their backpack.
The backpack is handcrafted and is designed from waxed canvas and leather. It has an impressive look that makes it suitable for outdoor activities especially if your photography is mainly done outdoors. It has a great capacity for holding your equipment without making it obvious that you have carried your gear.
The backpack’s main compartment easily holds a DSLR camera and an attached 70-200mm lens. It also has room for an additional six or seven lenses although you need to place them carefully especially if you plan to move around a lot. There is a laptop compartment that can comfortably fit a 17-inch laptop.
The backpack has a leather undercarriage in case you need to set it down when outside. The shoulder straps have a thick air mesh padding to protect your shoulders and has an adjustable height for your personal accessories.
It is quite expensive and being that it is made of canvas, the bag can get heavy really quick.
4. LowePro Tahoe BP 150 Backpack
The LowerPro Tahoe backpack has a versatile layout and is a lot more affordable than some of the bags in our review making it a good investment for those on a tight budget.
The Tahoe backpack is designed for photographers who have an active photography life. The bag’s main compartment is well-padded and customizable and has a front pocket that is roomy offering lots of storage space for the gear you need including a tablet.
The bag is made from weather resistant material with quilted padding. This means that your gear will always be protected from weather elements. There is an UltraFlex panel on the bag’s main compartment that is foldable creating more room for your personal equipment. The wide zipper means that you can easily store and access your gear.
The external zippered pockets provide more room for smaller items while the stretch-mesh pockets allow you to carry other quick-grab items. You can opt to carry the bag as a backpack or alternatively use the grab handle when you need your shoulders to rest.
It does not have space for a laptop like other competitor backpacks.
There are lots of cool backpacks that photographers can buy for carrying their gear. However, you cannot just choose any backpack as a camera backpack needs to protect your gear. That said, consider the design as well as the durability of the bag. Another important factor is whether the backpack has enough compartments for your gear.
Most importantly, consider the value you will get for your money.