Last Updated: 01/01/2021
Our picks for best camera backpacks are all awesome choices. Everyone from amateur nature hike photographers to seasoned pros needs a solid camera backpack. We’re regular users of at least two of the following backpacks. Enjoy our top picks!
Lowepro Pro Tactic 450
The all round best choice thanks to the modular design and strong brand name.
Peak Design Everyday
BEST VALUE CHOICE
When you want fashionable for use in the city and in everyday life.
TOP RATED CHOICE
Our top rated choice is good for photographers of all stripes.
Best All Round Choice | The Lowepro ProTactic 450 Online
Quick Fact: The tie loops on the outside aren’t for show – they’re there for you to add additional accessories that don’t take up bag space.
1. You’ll easily get your drone into this backpack and it’s designed to work with DJI drones
2. It’s a modular system so if you want to change things up you can
3. You can get a 15” laptop onboard without a problem
1. The accessories aren’t very pretty and they can look quite messy
2. There’s no compartment for a tablet which might be a dealbreaker
3. The accessories are fairly expensive
Urban Style | Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20 L
If you’re into fashion then you’re probably aware that Peak Design is one of the big fashion brands of the camera world.
Their products are chic and stylish and built supremely well too.
This design allows for a 13” laptop as well as a tablet and you can probably squeeze a small drone in too.
Quick Fact: Peak Design is active in social justice and they support the Black Lives Matter movement with a donation from sales.
1. Getting your camera out in a hurry when you need it is easy due to the side flaps
2. This is a very compact design and won’t take up too much space
3. The internal dividers make organizing your gear very easy
1. There’s no front or back opening and that makes access more complex than it needs to be
2. There are no hip pads on the belt which makes the backpack a little uncomfortable at times
3. You can’t use a full-sized tripod easily with this bag – travel tripods only
Top Rated | Wandrd Prvke Backpack
This minimalist high-quality backpack really needs the accessory bundle to get the most out of it.
We’d recommend getting the larger 31L version too as the 21L was a bit small for us.
It comes in a nice choice of colors and has huge hipster appeal.
Quick Fact: Wandrd is a family owned business and has no stockholders. This allows them to offer a lifetime warranty on everything that they sell!
1. Super durable and doesn’t look like it was a military surplus issue which is good
2. Highly weather resistant, if it rains a lot where you are this might be the bag for you
3. The choice of a larger bag if you have more gear
1. Lack of standout features, everything works but where’s the “wow! Factor”?
2. Accessory bundle is quite expensive
3. We once lost our passport in the hidden passport pocket – it’s a bit too well hidden
YouTuber’s Dream | McKinnon Camera Pack 35 L
If you intend to use your camera for videography then you’re probably going to be carting around a lot of extra stuff when compared to most photographers.
The top YouTuber Peter McKinnon recognized the issues this brings and designed this backpack to overcome them.
Quick Fact: With over 5 million subscribers, there’s nobody that knows video better than Peter McKinnon.
1. The bag is huge and you can easily get a gimbal, an external monitor, etc. in there
2. All the accessories and dividers you need are included – customize it to your heart’s content
3. Quick access side pockets are very useful too
1. This is a very expensive backpack, worth it but you will need to use it a lot to pay for it
2. It’s super heavy – it weights 6 lbs. Empty
3. We hear that Nomatic’s customer service isn’t always great when things go wrong
Heavy Duty | Vanguard Alta Sky 51D
When you want something that you can haul up a mountain and be certain that your gear is completely safe – the Vanguard Alta Sky 51D is what you’re looking for.
Vanguard is a big name in camera bags and for good reason – this is an excellent bag.
Quick Fact: Vanguard is a truly global brand with over 1,000 employees all over the world – you can be sure they’ll be around to honor their warranty.
1.Built to last, in fact, it will probably outlast us
2. Complete access to your gear from any angle
3. Super comfortable with padding everywhere that you need it
1. It’s bulky, durability comes at the cost of extra weight
2. It’s hard to open from the back because of the position of the straps
3. It may be too big for those with mirrorless systems, it’s designed with DSLR in mind
Digital Nomad | WotanCraft “Nomad” Backpack 25 L
If you want to wander the planet but want something that’s not too heavy or overwhelming to keep your gear in then you can do worse than the WotanCraft “Nomad”.
It’s a really premium product that can contain your laptop and camera gear in style.
Quick Fact: WotanCraft uses their own special material known as “Cordura” which is lighter than but 5 times stronger than cotton.
1. Weather proofed zippers and very easy to open thanks to leather loops
2. Well padded and very comfortable to wear for long periods of time
3. It expands from 25 L to 30 L to give you more storage options
1. It’s lighter than it looks but still 1.7 Kg when empty
2. It has a very much “love it or leave it” aesthetic appeal
3. Odd tripod holder which took some getting used to
Old School Classic | Think Tank Photo Streetwalker Pro V2.0
We’re big fans of Think Tank’s airline roller bags and their backpacks are very nearly as good.
If you want to get a lot of equipment in a bag but don’t want something too bulky then this classic photography backpack might be just what you’re looking for.
Quick Fact: Their sub-brand MindShift Gear encourages photographers to “engage with nature” and that’s something we think everyone should support.
1. Lovely compact form, easy to carry in the city
2. Very comfortable and the padding was placed very well
3. Easy to attach a full tripod to the front of the bag
1. No waist belt, which makes it a poor choice for hiking
2. You can’t get quick access to your camera as there’s no side opening
3. A bit heavy when empty at 1.6 Kg
For more backpack choices don’t miss our round-up of the best solar backpacks here.
Nicholas Barang has lived in Asia for nearly 15 years. He makes his living as a writer, marketer, and blogger. His passions include photography, reading and Heavy Metal. He’s the co-founder of Nomad Talk.