Best camera backpack 2023 - Our top picks

Looking for the best camera backpack for your next photography expedition? Well, we've got you covered with our list of top picks.

Choosing the right backpack for your photography gear can be tricky at times because there's a lot to look into.

To begin with, the backpack needs to fit in your entire setup, which includes cameras, lenses, flashes, drones, tripods, laptops, tablets, and even one of the best GoPros and camera cleaning kits if needed. Depending on how much gear you plan to carry, there are backpacks with different capacities.

Usually, a 30L backpack is sufficient to accommodate most of the items, but you can go for a bigger bag if you have more equipment. And, of course, expandable storage is always good.

Most camera backpacks are crafted from TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) or at least have a layer of it. TPU is a robust material that is highly resistant to weathering and abrasion. Plus, this material is waterproof, durable, and flexible, making it a fit for your more adventurous shoots.

As you will be hauling the luggage, you also have to think about comfort. Look for padded shoulder straps, waist belts, or any feature that makes heavy lifting easier when searching for a top camera backpack.

Considering all these needs, we have compiled a list of the best camera backpacks - hand-picked for all kinds of photographers.

Best camera backpack

Best all-rounder camera backpack - Tenba DNA 16 DSLR Backpack

Best camera backpack - Tenba DNA 16
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Credit: Tenba
Weight: 1.5 kg | Material: Nylon, TPU | Dimensions: 6 x 10.25 x 6.75 inches | Capacity: N/A | Tripod: Yes | Lenses: 4 to 6 | Other Features: Air Flow harness, expandable rolltop, rain cover

Tenba's DNA 16 camera backpack looks to be a great pick if you have a lot of gear and want to protect it all thanks to this bag's versatile rolltop design.

To begin with, you can pack in a DSLR or a mirrorless camera along with 4 to 6 lenses, depending on their size. You can also put flashes and other accessories into the bundle. A 16-inch laptop can be slid into a compartment on the back if needed.

The sides of the backpack have storage too. On one side, you can insert a tripod into the pocket and strap it to the bag. The other side has mesh storage for a water bottle, for example.

Smaller accessories can also be stowed away in an upper zipper pocket. Meanwhile, the lower zipper compartment is designed to hold removable camera inserts.

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As mentioned earlier, the bag comes with a rolltop, which can be expanded to hold extra items if needed. When not in use, you can roll it tightly and it will protect your items from rain. As such, the bag has a TPU layer, so should keep your equipment dry, even in a downpour.

Tenba's bag looks comfortable, too. It has an airflow harness to maintain ventilation and the pivot shoulder straps are designed to adjust themselves for a comfortable fit. The bag also features a removable waist strap for a little extra support.

If you're looking for a camera backpack that's designed to be comfortable to carry around, then make sure you check out this Tenba bag.

Best budget camera backpack - MOSISO Camera Backpack

Best camera backpack - MOSISO camera backpack
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Credit: MOSISO
Weight: 2.8 kg | Material: PU hardshell, faux leather | Dimensions: 17.32 x 11.8 x 7.5 inches | Capacity: 30L | Tripod: Yes | Lenses: 4 | Other Features: Hard protective outer shell

This MOSISO backpack looks to be a great budget pick, mainly for its relatively straightforward organisation system with the capacity to store an entire shoot setup.

It can accommodate a DSLR, SLR, or other mirrorless cameras, along with all the required gear. The hardshell exterior also comes with a fully open design, allowing for easy access to all your items at once.

The main compartment can fit your cameras, lenses, flashes, and even a drone. You can also take your laptop to a shoot by sliding it into the dedicated compartment at the back. The inner padding can be adjusted as per your preference.

Read More: Best drone for battery life

On one side of the bag, you have a large pocket. Meanwhile, the other side has a strap to hold your tripod securely. For your smaller accessories, like SD cards and power banks, there are two pockets on the back.

The backpack is crafted from waterproof PU leather, so you should find your equipment stays dry, plus the insides are lined with soft foam to protect your gear whilst you're on the move.

To balance the load, the backpack has a waist belt and comfortable padded shoulder straps. With the back luggage strap, you can latch the bag onto a trolley as well.

If you prefer hardshell camera backpacks, then MOSISO's bag looks to be a great budget pick.

Best camera backpack for everyday use - Peak Design Everyday

Best camera backpack - Peak Design Everyday
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Credit: Peak
Weight: 2.1 kg | Material: Nylon, Canvas | Dimensions: 7.8 x 14.2 x 20.5 inches | Capacity: 30L | Tripod: Yes | Lenses: 4 | Other Features: Theft Deterrent Zippers

This Peak Design Everyday bag may look like a regular backpack; however, it has enough storage to carry all the equipment you need for daily shoots.

For instance, it can carry your camera along with 4 lenses and accessories. The dividers can even be adjusted if you wanted to carry a larger camera with a mounted lens.

For bigger items, like a tripod, you can slot them into the side panel storage. Furthermore, you can also carry other items, a drone, for instance, by hooking them onto the external straps.

There's also a compartment to slide in a 13-inch laptop and a tablet into if required. If this all this gear ends up a little heavy, then there's a waist belt to support all the weight too.

Read More: Best phone lens for photography

Peak also boasts its backpack has a wide opening and a zipper that also opens up at the side, allowing for quick and easy access to reduce the chance of you missing a shot.

Also, you shouldn't have to worry about the safety of your gear as the backpack comes with theft-deterrent zippers. All you have to do is tie the zipper loops to the external carry loops to seal shut the access points.

So, if you're looking for a backpack for regular use, then the Peak bag could be your answer.

Best for wildlife photography - Lowepro Whistler Backpack 350 AW II

Best camera backpack - Lowepro Whistler Backpack 350 AW II
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Credit: Lowepro
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Weight: 2.6 kg | Material: Nylon, TPU layer | Dimensions: 1.18 x 3.94 x 7.09 inches | Capacity: N/A | Tripod: Yes | Lenses: | Other Features: Separate compartment for wet gear, attachment for heavy equipment

When it comes to long-distance, wildlife shoots and adventures, this Lowepro Whistler backpack can be a suitable companion.

To begin with, the backpack can accommodate a DSLR, a mirrorless camera, as well as 3 lenses. Your gear should be easily reachable with top and body-side access.

You can also pack in drones, gimbals, and other photo and video equipment in the large front pocket. It can even be expanded to hold extra items or just some overnight gear if you're planning a multi-day shoot.

To add to that, you can also attach other outdoor gear like tripods, and even skis to the bag's exterior. The Nifco side-release buckles and Duraflex hooks should firmly hold your equipment in any condition.

Read More: Best Canon camera for wildlife photography

It doesn't end there - Lowepro's backpack features a dedicated CradleFit compartment to store a 13-inch laptop. Check out our list of the best budget lightweight laptops for some inspiration.

Even if you're gear gets wet, this backpack has you covered. It has a waterproof barrier with a drain hole that separates the wet items from other components. To top it all off, the backpack is laminated with TPU and PU to keep your items dry when packed away.

Ultimately, this bag is crafted for rough weather conditions. So if you're planning an adventurous photography expedition, then this backpack could be for you.

Best high-capacity camera backpack - Gitzo Adventury Camera Backpack

Best camera backpack - Gitzo Adventury Camera Backpack
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Credit: Gitzo
Weight: 2.8 kg | Material: N/A | Dimensions: 13.78 x 8.66 x 21.65 inches | Capacity: 45L | Tripod: | Lenses: 4 | Other Features: Rain cover, G-Cushion System

Some shoots require more equipment than others. For instance, landscape photography tends to require lots of different accessories to get the right shot.

This is where Gitzo's Adventury backpack with its massive 45L capacity comes in. You can fit in your DSLR along with a 600 mm f/4 lens, another camera with a mounted lens, and additional gear on top thanks to its immense amount of storage.

The backpack features a removable G-cushion system that adds a layer of safety for your fragile gear. As the cushion system dividers are adjustable, you can make room for a DJI drone as well with its remote and extra accessories.

On one side, you have the infinity pocket that can be expanded to hold more items. Meanwhile, the lower zipper can hold your tripod or similar equipment. With the multi-link straps and the daisy chain, you can accommodate bigger tripods on the side if needed.

To hold your 15-inch laptop and your tablet, the Adventury backpack has a separate pocket - which is also the lid of the rear opening. Even the comfortable belt has a removable pocket where you can keep a few smaller accessories like SD cards, for example.

Moreover, the backpack is made of water-repellent fabric, but to keep your photography gear extra safe, Gitzo's backpack comes with a rain cover as well for extra protection.

So, if you're an outdoor photographer looking for a reliable backpack with a large capacity, then we feel this Gitzo Adventury backpack is worth considering.

Frequently Asked Questions

During your hunt for the best camera backpack, you might encounter some questions... Don't worry though, we've got you covered right here.

How do I protect my camera in my backpack?

Usually, the camera backpacks come with internal padding or cushions that are meant to keep the camera and other fragile accessories safe. The MOSISO camera backpack, for instance, has foam lining on the inside to prevent any of your gear from getting damaged.

Regardless of the padding or cushions, it’s a good idea to take some extra care while packing. You can wrap your camera in bubble wrap for extra safety, and it’s best to have your lenses capped.

You'll also want to prevent your items from moving around in the bag and bumping into each other - so it’s best to keep the items in separate compartments. Smaller items are best stowed away in the accessory pockets, so they won’t cause damage or get damaged from larger gear.

Can you use any bag as a camera backpack?

This sort of follows on from the above question as a camera backpack is designed to keep your gear safe and protected against damage, so will typically come with multiple compartments to store your items.

So, while you can use a regular bag, we'd advise picking up a dedicated camera backpack to keep all your accessories and gear separate.

Moreover, camera backpacks tend to be waterproof, so come in handy during a downpour as you should find your gear stays dry when packed inside.

Ultimately, a camera backpack is definitely the best option for carrying your photography equipment in our opinion.

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