Best camera bags 2022: top satchels, backpacks and slings for photography kit
The best bags for your camera, glass and gear
If you’re packing for a photography tour, the best camera bags will make it easier to get your kit from A to B. In need of a satchel for your shooting setup? The list below features our pick of the top packs for your snapper and glass.
From sling bags to backpacks, we’ve rounded up a range of camera bags to suit every skill level and budget. So whether you’re a pro on the road or an enthusiast with a growing lens collection, you’ll find something here to harbour your gear.
And if you’re not sure how to pick a pack, we’ve also included some useful buying advice to help you zoom in on the best bag for your camera.
Belt and load
Backpacks share the load over both shoulders, while satchels sacrifice even weight distribution in favour of positioning flexibility. Packing heavy? Opt for a sack with secondary chest or hip straps for a more balanced carry.
Some bags are built exclusively for photographic pursuits. Others can adapt to different needs. Most inserts offer a degree of modularity, and many can be removed entirely for luggage that also works on weekends away.
A bag’s no good if you can’t get at your bits when you need them. Where the best backpacks have additional doors for rapid reaching, the quickest slings swing to the front for single-handed unclasping.
Lenses aren’t the only add-on. Dedicated camera bags often offer slots for memory cards, cables and smaller accessories. Like the steadiness of legs? Several feature loops for attaching one or more tripods to the outside.
The sustainable suspender: Groundtruth Rikr Camera Bag
Some superzooms weigh the same as an infant, but cradling your telephoto will still earn you sideways glances. This shoulder sleeve babysits your barrel and body bundle by holding it in a hammock: slotted in lens-first, a perforated sling inside suspends your pride and joy for extra protection. The pouch is crafted entirely from recycled materials too, helping to protect the planet for future shutterbugs.
The papping papoose: Bellroy Venture Camera Sling
Photography kit is bulky enough without a boxy bag adding to the battle. Want something that’s easier to wield while you focus? This sling is built to sit slim. Integrated gussets help it hug your gear, while pop-out panels let you reformat the main compartment to suit your setup. A wide opening and quick-release buckle also mean you can fish for equipment while working one-handed.
The sturdy stash: Moment Rugged Camera Sling
A sporran is perfect for carrying a compact at a cèilidh. But if your snapper’s not so wee, you’ll need a more capacious pouch. Halfway between a bum bag and a satchel, this rugged number ships in two sizes: the smaller for minimalist mirrorless photographers, the larger for serious gearheads. Both sizes come padded and clad in waterproof material, ideal for stravaiging about the Highlands.
The pelvic pack: Peak Design Everyday Messenger V2
You can’t shoot from the hip if it’s home to a camera holder. Luckily, this second-gen messenger makes the most of your waist space. Refined with roaming photogs in mind, its wide strap wears comfortably, while a MagLatch clasp lets you in easy. Camera compartments can be customised, with flexible pockets for everyday detritus. Editing on the fly? Its laptop slot can fit a 13-incher.
The Poppins pouch: Tenba DNA 13
You don’t need heaps of kit to capture a compelling candid, but leaving lenses behind can mean you miss a winning angle. Pack magic amounts with this roomy messenger. Protected by a waterproof bottom, its cushioned insert can store a mirrorless body and multiple barrels, with sleeve space leftover for your laptop and tablet. Umbrella too big? A reflective cover keeps it seen and dry.
The traditional tote: Billingham Hadley Pro
Experience matters when you’re pitching for commissions. Look the part even if your portfolio doesn’t with this classic camera carry-around. Despite the old-school styling, Billingham’s timeless pack isn’t stuck in the analogue era: its insulated lining can accommodate drones, DSLRs or mirrorless models. Constructed from waterproof canvas and durable leather, it also has the longevity to prove your shutter count is just a number.
The hinterland hauler: LowePro Photosport III 24L
Inclement weather can lead to dramatic scenes. Want striking exposures without exposing your gear? This lightweight load-bearer is built for shooting in the great outdoors. A harness system spreads the burden, while loops take care of your trekking poles. Spotted the moody money shot? A side door allows swift entry to the camera pouch, while a pull-out cover shields your hardware when the skies open.
The long-haul lugger: Manfrotto Pro Light Backloader M
A wide aperture means a shallow depth of field, but there’s nothing shallow about the space behind this rucksack’s large rear opening. Tail-loading to protect from snapper snatchers, a top zipper gives quick access to priority tools. Modular dividers can secure up to three DSLRs in two compartments, or split the space to accommodate belongings – with cabin-friendly measurements making it perfect for flyaway location shoots.
The hardcore holdall: Chrome Industries Niko 3.0
Function trumps form in pursuit of the perfect picture. Though it’s not much to look at, this flat-panel pack’s got utility in spades. Weighty at 2kg, the third-gen Niko wears a nylon shell that’s tougher than a Fifties Nikon. Four doors maximise access, with internal partitions permitting full-manual management. And if the behemoth goes for a bath, its tarp bottom won’t be perturbed by puddles.