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Whether you’re a pro or a hobbyist, carrying all your camera gear around is not a task to be taken lightly. Between frayed materials and effective storage, how and where your gear is situated can have a direct impact on productivity. For that reason, you want something that is both rugged and well designed, lightweight, and compact enough to sling over your shoulder — but not so small that you can’t fit a bunch of cameras. Oh, and it should be affordable.
You might be thinking, those are some serious prerequisites. But the ProTactic 350 AW Camera Backpack is the best option for meeting them. It fits two pro DSLR cameras, up to six lenses and speed lights, a 13-inch laptop, a tripod and plenty of accessories. It’s a backpack design, meaning you can quickly sling it around for quick access. The ProTactic 350 AW Camera Backpack includes a number of modular accessory pouches, dividers, a ventilated nylon exterior, and an all-weather cover to protect your gear from rain.
If you’re a mirrorless shooter looking for something that’s a bit smaller, a bit cheaper and a bit more suited for urban environments, check out the Think Tank Photo Urban Approach 15.
It can easily fit two large mirrorless camera bodies with lenses attached as well as up to eight additional lenses, a 10-inch laptop, and another 15-inch laptop. It can also fit a tripod on the exterior side. It’s also very well designed with strong construction materials; it features a matte black exterior with full-grain BBG leather accents, as well as a flat support base to protect your gear from tumbling over.
By removing the interior dividers you convert the thing into a daypack, making it an ideal option for hobbyist photographers who may have the need for a general-purpose backpack as well.
If price is your number one concern then you don’t need to spend a lot of money on a compact, shoulder-strap camera bag. The Case Logic DCB-304 Compact System/Hybrid Camera Case is as cheap as it gets. It’s not a backpack or messenger bag — it’s just a case for a single camera with a lens. But if that’s all you need, why spend an arm and a leg on something that costs more than $200?
The DCB-304 features a flex wall on the inside that separates the camera from your accessories, as well as pockets for memory cards, cables, lens caps, batteries, and other goods. It’s made from polyester and will fit any devices sized up to 5.1 x 3.3 x 5.8 inches. It’s cheap and simple, and you’re not likely to regret buying it — unless, of course, you need something significantly larger.
If you want an actual on-the-go bag that can hold a bit more while still costing as little as possible, there’s the Altura Photo Camera Sling Backpack. The sling design means you can quickly store and remove your camera, and fit a bit more gear.
It’s designed to fit a single DSLR (or mirrorless) camera with two or three lenses, depending on their size. It also includes customizable dividers, a tripod foot holder and mesh pockets for other accessories. The whole thing weighs a little over a pound and is downright cheap.
Messenger bags are stylish and convenient, and you can use them for a variety of purposes — everything from day travel to camera storage.
At just over $50, this bag is made from high-quality canvas and genuine cow leather and is specifically designed to handle DSLRs and classic SLR cameras. It features self-adhering padded dividers on the inside for optimal customization, as well as a soft liner that protects your gear from external damage.
It also includes a padded inner tank bag and two durable external pockets for storing additional accessories. In terms of size, it’s designed to fit any DSLR (or mirrorless) camera as well as a few different sized lenses. Depending on your lens situation, you may be able to fit two cameras. For the money, this is one of the best-designed camera bags you can find.
If you’re not necessarily a dedicated mirrorless shooter working in urban environments, and you’re willing to spend a bit more on a solid all-purpose camera bag, check out the MindShift BackLight 26L. This thing is equipped to handle pretty much any situation for however long you need it, without going overboard in terms of storage space.
You can easily fit a DSLR, a mirrorless, as well as several lenses, flashes, accessories, and laptops. It features a back-panel opening that allows you to access all your gear without completely opening the backpack, keeping the harness from getting dirty or wet. It also includes dedicated compartments for a 15-inch laptop and a full-size tablet, as well as front pockets totaling nine liters of storage space.
With the daisy chain, ice axe loops, and additional lash points, the MindShift BackLight 26L doesn't even have to be used as a camera case — it can double as a compact hiking or rock-climbing backpack.
Looking for something with a little more style than your standard, luggage-style camera case? The GOgroove DSLR camera backpack looks like a trendy bag but is specially designed to protect and carry DSLR cameras, laptops, and accessories.
The padded compartment inside can hold almost any DSLR on the market and can even fit laptops up to 15.6 inches. Plus, it zips closed so you won’t lose any of your valuable equipment or accessories due to a broken buckle or snap. With adjustable inner compartments and features, including a rain cover, tripod foot holder and luggage handle slot, this backpack is designed with the photographer in mind. Choose from red, blue-green, black, tan or gray.