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Best Overall: Peak Design Everyday Messenger Bag at Amazon
"Constructed of nylon canvas that's attractive and hyper-protective."
Best Budget: AmazonBasics Large DSLR Camera Gadget Bag at Amazon
"Rated to carry one DSLR body and up to three camera lenses."
Best Sling Bag: Timbuk2 Camera Sling Bag at Amazon
"Perfect if your kit consists of a single point-and-shoot and a few filters."
Best Insert: Peak Design Camera Cube at Amazon
"Will keep your essentials fully protected and organized."
Best for Organizing: Nixon Logic Camera Bag II at Amazon
"A hybrid photo-centric pack."
Best Features: Chrome Industries Niko Camera Backpack at Amazon
"Affords legions of customization ideal for the urban traveling photographer."
Best for Storage: Mission Workshop The Integer at Mission Workshop
"Can handle serious loads, including camera bodies, lenses, drones, tripods, and more."
Best Anti-Theft: Pacsafe Camsafe X25 Camera Backpack at Amazon
"Employs a stainless-steel wire mesh that prevents slash-and-grab attacks."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Peak Design Everyday Messenger Bag
Peak Designs, one of the industry’s best camera accessory company, worked with photographer Trey Ratcliff to design the Everyday Messenger, a messenger-style camera bag. The unassuming pack is constructed of weatherproof 400D nylon canvas that’s attractive and hyper-protective. Inside, you can configure the main storage space to fit your kit thanks to two, origami-inspired padded FlexFold dividers that can be removed when needed. The 15-inch model will accommodate a full DSLR set-up (a camera body and three lenses), easily accessible with the flip-top lid that’s secured by a patent-pending MagLatch, a magnetic clasp with four anchor points easily triggered with one hand — no dangling straps to snag, only a stabilizer strap to help secure the load. It's supported by a two-inch padded webbing strap to carry heavy loads and also comes with a pass-through sleeve that lets the pack ride on your roller bag. That would be enough, but Peak Designs bakes in other thoughtful features like color-coded stitching in the internal compartments to organize dead batteries and full cards, two side pockets for quick access to lens caps, a hidden ID tether, a front-access panel, and a dedicated padded sleeve for your laptop or tablet.
Best Budget: AmazonBasics Large DSLR Camera Gadget Bag
Compared to most other options in the market, the budget-friendly, AmazonBasics Large DSLR Camera Gadget Bag looks the part of a camera bag. It’s rated to carry one DSLR body and up to three camera lenses with adjustable internal padding, along with a dedicated slot for a tablet. It also includes a zippered side pocket, a deep zippered front pocket with slots for pens, and a removable shoulder pad. Twin buckles secure the load, with adjustable straps underneath to haul a tripod or other less-fragile accessories. Keep wires, chargers, batteries, and additional memory cards in the mesh zippered pocket under the main lid. And though it comes in both grey and orange interiors, opt for the brighter option, which makes it easy to find things in low light.
Best Sling Bag: Timbuk2 Camera Sling Bag
If your kit consists of a single point-and-shoot and a few filters, or just a modestly-sized mirrorless camera and one lens, big packs are overkill. Instead, go for the simplicity of the Camera Sling Bag from Timbuk2. The removable padded insert includes two removable dividers, along with a mesh pocket for cords, cards, and batteries. In addition to a back zipper pocket, there are two main-pocket zippers for easy access to the insides, a grab handle, and one adjustable, padded cross-body strap that’ll let you swing the bag around to grab your kit. Better still, it weighs less than one pound. The weather-resistant canvas shrugs off most weather, and — true to Timbuk2’s focus on cycling — it includes a vista loop to attach a blinking bike light.
Best Insert: Peak Design Camera Cube
If shelling out for a dedicated camera bag feels like a big expense, a padded insert affords you the ability to stash your camera, incognito, in one of the packs already in your travel rotation. Available in small, medium, and large sizes, the Camera Cube from Peak Design will keep your essentials fully protected and organized. Inside, a network of FlexFold dividers helps dial the padding to fit your kit, with a “tear-away” zippered opening with a tuck-away flap that makes it easy to quickly access the insides, including movable pockets for filters, lens caps, and other small essentials. And though the protection provided by your main pack will likely keep out the elements, know that the cube's recycled 400D nylon canvas materials add another layer of much-needed weatherproofing. The small version offers enough space for a small DSLR kit, while the others amp up the storage considerably — up to 12 and 16 liters respectively — and also include dual side access hatches. Even more, all models include four C-Clips that help attach the cube to the sides or internal panels of your main pack.
Best for Organizing: Nixon Logic Camera Bag II
Consider Nixon's Logic Camera Bag II as a hybrid photo-centric pack. Its lower section is dedicated to camera and accessory storage, with adjustable padded dividers along with a padded bottom and sidewalls, accessible by two zippers that line the C-shaped compartment. A zippered pocket at the top works for batteries, cards, and lens covers — and, the entire lower padded section can be removed from the main pack. The upper section, accessible by a generous zippered flap, reveals copious additional storage for all other things, including a variety of slide panels for magazines and tablets, zippered pockets for keys, cords, and other accessories, as well as ample additional storage for clothes, water bottles, and other travel essentials. Your laptop can even be carried in a zippered sleeve running the length of the back panel, making it easy to free your computer for airline security. It’s rated to carry just less than 50 pounds — and is fairly hefty even when empty — but twin adjustable shoulder straps and a sternum strap help distribute the load. The cotton/nylon canvas has a distressed PU coating to fend off the weather and provides a worn-in, urban aesthetic, with a chunky vertical zipper pocket lining the upper flap of the pack for things like your airline ticket or passport.
Best Features: Chrome Industries Niko Camera Backpack
Low-profile in appearance and loaded with camera-centric features, the Chrome Industries Niko Camera Bag affords legions of customization ideal for the urban traveling photographer. It's all in black, with a deep side water bottle pocket and two wide external straps to lash on your tripod or other large items, like a skateboard. Access the main pack by unzipping the back panel to reveal loads of adjustable padded dividers as well as a network of mesh zippered pockets on the back flap for cords, cables, cards, batteries, and chargers. You can also access the inside via a top zippered panel, or use the exterior horizontal zippered pocket. A dedicated laptop sleeve for up to 13-inch computers sits on the front of the pack in a separate padded compartment. The whole rig is supported by two adjustable ergonomic shoulder straps and a sternum strap all decked out with loops and daisy chains, with a thin waist strap to help distribute the weight without interfering with high-octane movement by bike. And everything is wrapped in bomber 1050D ballistic nylon, partnered with a 400D tarp interior that’ll last a lifetime.
Best for Storage: Mission Workshop The Integer
With a total volume of 24 liters, a fold-out secure tripod stand/pocket, a dedicated laptop padded slot, and the ability to add additional custom storage compartments, The Integer from Mission Workshop can handle serious loads, including camera bodies, lenses, drones, tripods, and all other essentials traveling photographers need. Its fabric — HT500, made from high-density yarn that’s lightweight, durable, and treated with a water-resistant coating — can take a beating and its aesthetic works at home as much as it does in the backcountry. Access the voluminous main compartment in one of two ways: from a large front zippered panel or a C-shaped, quick-access zippered side panel. The padded main compartment can be customized to fit your gear or removed entirely so you can use it as a standard pack. The upper compartment is accessible through the roll-top, which can expand to carry even more things, like clothes, food, or headphones. You also get two external accessory pockets, a water bottle pocket, and two internal mesh organizer pockets. If that’s still too little space, the back panel and shoulder straps come with Mission Workshop’s Arkiv rails, which let you slide on additional pockets for things like tablets, phones, and day packs.
Best Anti-Theft: Pacsafe Camsafe X25 Camera Backpack
To thwart thieves, the Pacsafe Camsafe X25 employs the brand's Exomes splashguard, a stainless-steel wire mesh integrated into the fabric that prevents slash-and-grab attacks. Even more, there's a central lockdown point for all the zippers, including a hole for a small lock, a pop-and-lock security clip with wire-reinforced straps, and RFID safe blocking to prevent scammers from lifting electronic data from your passport or credit cards. But even without all those features, the Camsafe still makes for a killer camera bag. It boasts 25 liters of storage and includes a protective rain cover, padded space for a 15-inch laptop, a side-access camera insert with padded and adjustable dividers, a memory card pocket, and space for a hydration system. An adjustable (and removable) hip belt and sternum strap help distribute the weight, while external compression straps do double duty by both tightening the load and allowing you to attach things like tripods or additional layers. It even has a pen loop, a place for a water bottle, and attachment points on the shoulder straps for smaller stuff, like additional pouches or a bandana.
Our writers spent 12 hours researching the most popular camera bags on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 12 different camera bags overall, screened options from 9 different brands and manufacturers, read over 36 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 4 of the camera bags themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.