Camera backpacks are very overlooked items when you are starting with your hobby, as you don’t have a lot of accessories starting. Maybe the body of the camera and a lens, and not much more.
However, progressing further in this hobby or if you want to go pro, you will see that you will need to pack a lot more in your backpack, including multiple lenses, batteries, tripods, chargers, maybe a secondary camera, and even a laptop in some cases. It can become quite difficult to pack them all up on your good old gym bag. It just won’t be feasible and smart since all of that equipment is pretty expensive and worth a lot so you want to keep them protected at all times. Also, you want to carry them all around comfortably.
Like I said not every backpack will do, and you will have to choose one that will fit your needs. For that reason today I will present you the guide to getting the best camera backpack for your needs. We will check out the best options in the market, and see what makes a camera backpack good or bad, along with everything else. Now without further ado let’s take a closer look.
The Top 5 Best Camera Backpacks
5. AmazonBasics Backpack for Cameras
Let’s kick off this list with one of the cheapest choices in the market that still delivers excellent functionality the AmazonBasics Backpack for Cameras. AmazonBasics range has delivered some great tools for budget buyers, and this is no exception.
This camera backpack will fit in all your camera gear, including camera, lenses, cables, chargers and many more, so you will be able to carry all your gear without any problem. I should state that this camera backpack weighs about 1.96 pounds in total.
It has a main internal compartment that is made out of foam that is covered with fabric to deliver protection and it has dividers to fit different configurations. It is also extremely comfortable for its nice as it has thick padding and adjustable waist and chest straps, while it is not as breathable it will get the job done.
4. I-Graphy Waterproof
Moving on we have another affordable backpack, but this one looks extremely stylish and retro, not anything like your regular camera backpack, the i-graphy Waterproof. While it states that it is waterproof I have to say that this one is water-resistant and not fully waterproof. So, if you have a budget waterproof camera that can go underwater, i wouldn’t suggest this backpack.
One of the biggest selling points of this backpack is that it has nice compartments that will keep your gear protected at all times, however, what is most interesting you can convert it to a regular bucket backpack in an instant if you need functionality when you are going to school for example.
It isn’t the most specific camera backpack in the market, but it will get the job done without a single problem. I should also mention that this camera is pretty comfortable and the style factor is off the charts.
3. TARION RB-2 Camera Backpack
Next up on our list, we have a reasonably priced camera backpack, the TARION RB-2 Camera Backpack. This camera backpack has a pretty interesting design and look, it mostly looks like a super stylish backpack than a functional one, but it doesn’t disappoint in the functionality aspect.
This camera backpack has tons of space for your gear and it is one of the few that has a dedicated laptop sleeve that can accommodate a laptop. It doesn’t have a lot of side zipper or external pockets but overall it gets the job done without any hassle.
I have to say that this camera isn’t the best for super large gear and multiple tripods, but if you are going on for a photographing trip in the city, this backpack might be very handy for you.
2. Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW
For those that require big and heavy-duty backpacks, there is none better than the Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW. I have to say though, that it is quite expensive and will set you back a little, however, if you want to carry a lot of gear, need tons of protection and features this is the best you can get.
One thing that impressed me the most was that it had plenty of padding and comfort that comes in extremely handy when you are carrying heavy gear. It is extremely breathable as well and you won’t have to worry about it on hot days.
It has a nice tripod attachment which is great, and it has a 15-inch laptop sleeve that is padded to keep your laptop protected. It has a lot of different compartments that will come in handy and if you can afford it is best.
1. Peak Design Everyday
Coming up to the top of the list I have the Peak Design Everyday. This backpack is definitely the best at delivering a balance between features and price, as it delivers excellent value for its asking price.
It has a pretty understated style that doesn’t look like much, pretty much flying under the radar, but I know a lot of photographers that are fans of its minimalist style. It is not as big as the previous entry, but it can take a lot including a DSLR and five lenses.
It gives a lot of access to you and it is pretty clever overall in terms of design. Comfort levels are also off the charts as it is breathable and thickly padded allowing you to go on with your trip without any problem.
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Things You Should Consider Before Buying A Camera Backpack
If you are shopping for your second or third camera backpack you already know where you have made mistakes and what you should get. But first-timers should be a little more careful, so they don’t spend money on unneeded features while leaving things that they need behind. For that reason, I will try to inform you as much as possible on camera backpacks, which one to choose and why to choose one. I will also try to discuss the needs of different photographers so you can get the right one for your needs and preferences. Let’s get on with it.
Price and Value
Always learn to determine a set budget on things you need to buy so you don’t spend more than you can afford. Is it going to be a starter backpack under $50, or will you splash out and get the best one in the market at well over $250. These are the questions you want to ask yourself before going shopping. The price sometimes is determined just by the brand name, which can be quite deceptive, but then again most of the backpacks that come from big-name brands are very quality models that will be worth their price. However, you should still be cautious about the materials used in the construction, durability, comfort and other factors that we will be talking about in a few. My last tip about this factor is trying to strike a balance between the qualities and price, to get great value for your money.
Capacity and Size
This is one of the most important things you need to check out when buying a camera backpack or any backpack for that matter. How much can it carry, is the question you need to ask here. This will be proportionate with what you plan on packing regularly and maybe a bit more just in case. If you won’t be carrying a bunch of lenses and dual cameras you probably won’t need the backpack with a heavy-duty weight capacity. On the other hand, if you plan on carrying multiple lenses, two cameras, two tripods, audio equipment, a laptop and batteries, the weight will add up pretty quickly so you will need to have a backpack with tons of weight capacity. I have to say that most of the backpacks in the market can carry most of the weight you can put on it. The most important thing here is the size of it, so in either case, list the gear that you will need to pack and act accordingly.
Materials and Durability
You always need to check out the materials that partake in the construction of the backpack, as it is one of the factors that will mostly affect the quality of your backpack, and also the price. If you plan on shooting mostly indoors and the places you will go are dry and not very “risky” than you probably don’t need to mind this a lot. On the other hand, if you are planning to mostly shoot outdoors and in extreme circumstances, you will mostly need a backpack that can handle that.
Weather conditions can take a toll on your camera gear, and your backpack as well, heat, cold, rain, wind and snow can damage your equipment pretty quick. Most of the dedicated camera backpacks in the market are made from sturdy materials, some hi-tech like ballistic nylon or waterproof linings that offer water resistance and protection in extreme conditions be it temperature, winds, shock or rain. Again the features you will choose here will mostly correspond to your needs and preferences. However, I always recommend the most durable backpacks and those that deliver the most protection for your gear.
Compartments and Access
If you haven’t seen dedicated camera backpacks, you will now see that they have a lot of extra compartments most of the time. Most of them are dedicated to different pieces of gear and will make your job easier. This will make the backpack more functional overall. There are some pretty simple looking camera backpacks out there that are pretty understated, but mostly they lack the compartments that I was talking about earlier. Like I said this will mostly depend on your needs, preferences and the gear you are planning to pack in your backpack. It is also worth stating that more compartments mean that your gear will be more secure and won’t clash with each other inside your backpack.
You should also check the accessibility of the backpack you are planning to buy. If it will take you two minutes until you find the piece of gear you need than the backpack is probably not worth it. Some users are not concerned with this at all however, I think that extra convenience is always better. At least check if the backpack has a quick access pocket for things you need most frequently so you don’t fumble for a long time until you find the thing you need. Here backpacks with extra compartments are the handiest as you already know where each thing is located so you won’t spend a long time locating each thing.
Comfort and Security
For me at least, comfort is one of the most important things that a camera backpack should offer. Most of the time I am on the move and I carry the backpack for at least 3 hours on my back every day, sometimes more if I am on a trip or a project. This is especially true if you will be hiking for hours through the day on your landscape photography trip. So with that in mind having a camera that is not easy to carry or outright uncomfortable is a no-no. The backpack you are planning to buy should have comforts, this includes padded shoulder pads, adjustable shoulder pads, padded and breathable back liner, great weight distribution and more. Don’t skip on this and regret later on your trips.
Security is also an important factor. While around town you might not think that anybody will try to mug you, but if you are taking a trip to a new place a camera backpack that looks expensive will catch the eye of many people. Let’s be honest no one wants to get their super expensive gear stolen, most of us carry well over $10,000 on our camera backpacks. So you want to have a backpack that is discreet and blends in with the regular student backpack, to deter thieves. On top of that you should check out if the backpack in question has secure zippers with fasteners optimally, and some kind of locking mechanism to use it when you need it.
If these backpacks are too expensive for you, you should get a camera backpack under $100 instead.
I recommend a camera backpack for every photographer. Be it an amateur hobbyist or a seasoned veteran, you need one to keep things in check and carry them comfortably. They will also keep your gear protected from elements and thieves, so you can have peace of mind. Now don’t forget to follow the tips to get the best one. Also, the top picks are fail-safe options that will deliver you excellent value for your money in different categories. Take care.