Best Camera Bag for Filmmakers | 2024

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Trying to pick the best camera bag for filmmakers is sure to spark some debate, so let’s make one thing clear – the answer is going to be different for everybody. The best bag for your filmmaking needs will depend radically on what kind of kit you use and how you need to transport it, which is why we’ve made this a big guide with plenty of options to suit (almost) every contingency.

We’ve split our filmmaking bags list up into sections to help make it easier to navigate – here’s how we’ve divvied things up:

Camera backpacks - You can’t go wrong with the old faithful backpack. Many manufacturers of camera bags make dedicated backpacks that are tailored to the needs of videographers – we’ve picked out three of our favourites here.

Sling camera bags - Sling-style bags are best for lightweight setups, but with more and more filmmakers rocking slim mirrorless machines to get their work done, they are an increasingly viable option for the run-and-gun user.

Shoulder camera bags - Many filmmaker bags favour the one-strap shoulder approach, with a big old box hanging at the wearer’s hip. We’ve picked big and small options for this section, as well as a budget-friendly alternative.

Rolling camera bags - For air or train travel, a rolling bag can be a godsend for the filmmaker. Being able to near-effortlessly glide your gear to the departure gate feels a lot more dignified than huffing your way there with a tortoise-like backpack on – though many filmmakers’ rolling bags do convert to backpacks for moments when the terrain gets rough.

Hard cases - For when nothing but the ultimate in protection will do, hard cases are rugged, impact resistant and able to deal with total submersion in water. Believe us, it can be worth it for the extra peace of mind.

Camera inserts and accessories - Once you’ve got your bag, you may want to further customise its interior with inserts and accessories. These can help you keep your gear precisely organised and allow you to access what you need quickly and efficiently. Here are some of our favourites.

 

Lastly, while there are plenty of great video-focused bags out there, given that the line between a stills camera and a video camera is pretty blurry these days, we’ve also included some standout photographer’s bags that we think could make for a compelling alternative.

Best Camera Backpack

A good, solid backpack can be the roving filmmaker's best friend. Spreading the weight of camera gear evenly over two shoulders, a good video backpack lets you pack in plenty of camera kit and other items, ideally while also allowing space for other accessories such as gimbals, mics, tripods and even drones.

Many camera backpacks have multiple access points, allowing you to quickly grab your gear and start shooting if something filmworthy should unexpectedly start to unfold in front of you. As such, they’re often favoured by travel vloggers and the like – people who don’t always know what they’re going to find when they set out shooting. Camera backpacks are also well suited to travel, with the vast majority meeting airline carry-on regulations, meaning you can keep them safe in the cabin with you when you travel by air – and reducing the chances of showing up to a shoot in New York only to find your gear has somehow made its way to Munich.

Below are the three camera backpacks we reckon offer the best value for filmmakers right now…

Best Travel Camera Backpack

Manfrotto PL Frontloader Backpack M

£149.00 View

Pros:

  • Room for everything a solo filmmaker needs
  • Frontloading access 
  • Protects gear from impacts

Cons:

  • May exceed airline carry-on size when front expanded

Many professional videographers operate as one-man bands, and if that’s the case then it’s important to get hold of a camera bag that’s going to be able to hold everything you may need on a day’s shoot. Manfrotto PL Frontloader Backpack is just such a bag – it may not be specifically designed for filmmaking but it is capable of holding a modular camcorder with a 70-200mm lens attached, while still offering room for other lenses and other accessories. 

Manfrotto has renewed its divider design resulting in the M-Guard dividers. Having been specifically designed and lab-tested, these dividers are made of high-density EVA foam and offer the highest level of protection and shock resistance, whilst allowing flexible customisation for your camera, lenses and accessories.

Best Cheap Camera Backpack

Sachtler Bags Shell Camera Backpack

£199.00 View

Pros:

  • Nice and compact for smaller setups
  • Useful weather hood
  • Comfortable to wear

Cons:

  • Small to medium camcorders only

If you’re rocking a smaller camcorder setup, the Sachtler Bags Shell Camera Backpack represents excellent value for money. Its svelte, ergonomic design means it doesn’t stick out from your back too much, and there’s a useful all-weather cover you can deploy when it’s raining. 

Depending on your setup, the Sachtler Bags Shell Camera Backpack may or may not be suitable. If you’re using a camcorder the size of the Canon EOS C100 Mark II then you should be fine to fit it in with a full suite of lenses. Somewhat larger ones will also be suitable if you don’t mind sacrificing a few lenses or accessories.

However you fill it, the Sachtler Bags Shell Camera Backpack is a comfortable backpack to wear for extended periods, and is a fine choice for those who don’t mind losing a bit of carrying space if it means not having to manoeuvre a huge, bulky backpack to and from the shooting location.

Best Premium Camera Backpack

Tenba Cineluxe Backpack 24 Black

£270.00 View

Pros:

  • Wide, doctor-bag opening
  • Aluminium-reinforced dividers
  • Air-flow back panel and comfortable harness straps

Cons:

  • Somewhat boxy when worn on back

Tenba’s Cineluxe Backpack 24 is capable of holding professional camcorders and cinema cameras from the likes of Sony, Canon, RED, Blackmagic and others, with space for accessories. This is a common feature across the Cineluxe range, and while the back doesn’t exactly look the most chic when its boxy frame is mounted on your back, its ventilated back panel and “Pivot-Fit” harness strap ensure that you’ll be comfortable wearing it even on the longest schlep from car to location.

The internal dividers that keep gear protected are reinforced with aluminium, meaning they are both strong and flexible and provide a solid barrier between different items of your kit. The exterior is constructed from extremely hardy materials, with water-repellent ballistic nylon and seatbelt-grade webbing. On the inside, there are also soft padded wraps and zippered pouches designed to give you a dedicated space to keep your lenses safe.

Best Sling Camera Bags

Even though sling bags tend not to offer the most in terms of raw space, they can be an excellent choice for the roving filmmaker or vlogger who aims to travel light. The key to a good sling bag is – you’re not gonna believe this – that it can be slung. Namely, that it can be rotated around the body via the cross-worn strap for quick access to gear that doesn’t require the bag to be removed.

If you’re the sort who likes to be able to shoot at a moment’s notice, e.g. you’re a documentary videographer or vlogger, this can be hugely advantageous, and make the sling bag much preferable to a backpack, which will likely be more comfortable and capacious, but also more cumbersome. 

Sling bags vary quite a bit in terms of form factor; some resemble waist-belts and bum bags, while others look more like backpacks that are missing a strap. 

Best Travel Sling Camera Bag

Lowepro Slingshot Edge 250 AW Sling Bag

£99.00 View

Pros:

  • Very thin, unobtrusive design
  • Built-in weather cover
  • Well-padded strap

Cons:

  • Won’t take larger cameras
  • Hook only suits mini-tripods (e.g. GorillaPod)

This is a very lightweight sling bag indeed. It works really well as a sling bag for travel provided your kit isn’t too voluminous – we reckon someone using a crop-sensor mirrorless system like the Sony ZV-E10 or Panasonic Lumix G100 will find a lot to like about this bag. You can affix a tripod to the exterior of the bag via the dedicated straps, albeit only a miniature tripod such as one of Joby’s flexible GorillaPods – again a reason why this suits the filmmaker with a lightweight setup. 

Highly secure, the Lowepro Slingshot Edge 250 AW is a great option to take on city breaks. There’s a dedicated padded slot for a small tablet, and a pull-out All Weather (AW) cover to protect the bag’s contents when conditions get rough. And while one strap is always going to be a bit less comfortable than two, the well-padded example on the Lowepro Slingshot Edge 250 AW makes it easy to wear for long periods.

Best Cheap Sling Camera Bag

Tenba Solstice 10L Sling Bag - Blue

£89.00 View

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Water-repellent materials
  • Slot for tripod

Cons:

  • Other bags offer more capacity
  • No laptop sleeve

For smaller filmmaking setups, the Tenba Solstice 10L Sling Bag is a portable and highly affordable carrying solution with plenty going for it. Constructed from hardy, water-resistant materials, which include water-repellent 210D shadow ripstop and 420D plain-woven nylon, it’s a bag that’ll stand up to most punishments that’ll be visited upon it in the course of everyday shooting.

There’s a dedicated slot for a tripod to the side of the bag – the overall effect when a decent-sized support is in there is a little ungainly, but hey, it’s not a beauty contest. There’s a small sleeve for a 10-inch tablet, though if you prefer to take a laptop that’s 15 inches or so, you’ll want to trade up a few sizes. This is a good bag for carrying a mirrorless camera and a couple of lenses, or perhaps a video-centric drone like the DJI Mavic. 

Best Premium Sling Camera Bag

WANDRD ROGUE Sling 9L Uyuni Purple

£159.00 View

Pros:

  • Heavy-duty weather protection
  • 16-inch laptop sleeve
  • Lifetime guarantee from WANDRD

Cons:

  • Quite big for a sling

WANDRD has done something really rather impressive here, and somehow got a 16-inch laptop sleeve into this relatively trim-looking sling bag. Regardless of whether this was somehow achieved through a folding of the space-time continuum, or just a clever bit of design, it makes for a highly useful bag for videographers, allowing you to both shoot and edit on the go. The built-in camera cube provides a dedicated, well-padded space for your main camera and lenses, while the padded dividers can be organised around your other accessories. The design and materials are thoroughly weather-tested, with 1680D ballistic nylon and P200 denier fabric with a PU (polyurethane) coating for thorough impermeability. 

It’s relatively large for a sling bag, but that is going to happen if you want to transport a camera, some lenses and a 16-inch laptop. One thing we like that is common across all WANDRD products is the lifetime manufacturer’s guarantee – no matter how long you’ve had the bag, if any issues arise as a result of manufacturing issues, they’ll deal with it.

Best Shoulder Camera Bags

Bags with a single shoulder strap are popular in the video world – though they tend to be a little bulkier than their photographic counterparts. For a filmmaker, a good shoulder bag provides convenience and ease of use; many have top-down doctor-style openings that allow the user to quickly and efficiently locate the gear they need.

Carrying kit on a single shoulder can be difficult if you’re handling a lot of heavy kit, so it’s worth thinking about how extensive your setup is before committing. As such, we’ve mostly leaned towards shoulder bags that are oriented towards lightweight setups in this guide, however we also have a more capacious option for professional cine cameras should you need it.

Like all high-quality pro video bags, these shoulder bags are built tough from weather-resistant materials, and feature soft interiors to ensure your gear stays padded and secure. Here are our recommendations for the best shoulder camera bags for filmmakers. 

Best Travel Shoulder Camera Bag

Manfrotto Pro Light Cineloader Small

£184.00 View

Pros:

  • Small and light, but rated to 10kg of gear
  • Removable shoulder straps
  • Well-made using durable materials

Cons:

  • Not many!

Perfect for the travelling solo filmmaker, the Manfrotto Pro Light Cineloader Small is an ideal way to store and transport a handheld camera or mirrorless setup that’s fully rigged and ready to shoot. Despite its relatively compact dimensions, the bag can manage a payload of up to 10kg, which is more than enough for most travelling videography setups, giving you a little extra space for small spare lenses and other accessories. The interior space is customisable with M-Guard dividers, and the outer material is water-repellent RipStop nylon/polyester fabric with reinforcement yarn, ensuring your gear is safe from weather and thieves alike.

There are lots of extra little touches that show how much thought Manfrotto has put into this bag – such as the extra coating on the bottom that protects your gear if the bag is put down on wet ground, or the external pockets with webbing loops for extra accessories. 

Best Cheap Shoulder Camera Bag

camRade run & gun Bag Small

£139.00 View

Pros:

  • Well-padded shoulder strap
  • Space for camera and accessories
  • Reinforced fabric and inlays

Cons:

  • You may need to size up, depending on gear
  • Not vegan-friendly (suede handles)

camRade produces a number of “run & gun” bags in different sizes and configurations, so don’t be discouraged if this one isn’t quite large enough for your setup – you can always size up with one of the other options, which run all the way up to a camRade run & gun Bag XL. A bag designed to house everything a filmmaker needs to operate solo, the camRade run & gun Bag Small can be worn on one shoulder via the single, well-padded strap, carried using the padded handle, or secured onto a trolley handle when being transported alongside a bigger bag.

Inside, it has room for a professional camera measuring up to 38cm. Its soft padded interior contains removable dividers that allow the inside space to be remoulded to suit the contours of a camera and lenses – pretty standard fare for a camera bag. It ain’t flashy, but the camRade run & gun Bag Small comes at a very reasonable price for such a durable, well-made video bag.

Best Premium Shoulder Camera Bag

Tenba Cineluxe Shoulder Bag 21 Black

£200.00 View

Pros:

  • Optimised for professional cinema cameras
  • Doctor bag opening for small footprint
  • Superb, weather-resistant construction

Cons:

  • Potentially a lot of weight to carry on one shoulder

As we’ve seen already, Tenba’s Cineluxe range is great for transporting camcorders and cinema cameras from the likes of Blackmagic, Canon, Sony, RED and others. The Tenba Cineluxe Shoulder Bag 21 is no exception, and it provides a generous amount of space for your camera and all the accessories you may need on a shoot.

The “doctor bag” style opening at the top of the bag serves two purposes. One, it provides a wide, top-down view of all your gear, enabling you to locate and remove what you need with speed. Two, it means the bag takes up the same footprint when open as it does when close, unlike bags with flaps or covers. This can be hugely helpful when working in confined spaces. 

Rounding out an impressive feature-set is the bag’s construction – with water-repellent 1680D ballistic nylon on the exterior, and ripstop nylon on the interior, it’s a bag that’ll keep your kit well-protected.

Best Rolling Camera Bags

If your filmmaking involves a lot of air travel, rolling camera bags can be your best friend. Smoothly rolling through an airport, letting gravity and the earth bear the majority of the weight for you, can be a very smart way to travel, and many of the more premium bags will have features like shock-absorbing wheels to help keep your gear travelling smoothly.

Obviously a rolling suitcase isn’t suitable for all situations – however, some offer the neat trick of converting to a backpack with pull-out straps, allowing you to hoik the case off the ground if the terrain gets a bit hairy. They don’t tend to look like the most aesthetic backpacks you’ve ever seen, but they’ll get the job done. Also, as rolling bags are designed for air travel, they will pretty much always keep their size within typical airline carry-on luggage regulations – meaning you can keep your gear in the cabin rather than having to stow it in the hold.

Best Travel Rolling Camera Bag

camRade travelMate Large

£279.00 View

Pros:

  • Converts into backpack
  • Tough, water-resistant exterior
  • Rugged wheels

Cons:

  • Motion sensor LED requires batteries (sold separately)

The camRade travelMate Large is a do-everything rolling bag, perfect for both the filmmaker who’s flying solo and someone who’s part of a team. Spacious enough to store cameras with a maximum length of 52cm, it’s also got plenty of rooms for additional accessories as well as dedicated secure pockets for essentials like your passport, cash and travel documents. The interior is of course well padded with reinforced customisable dividers, and unusually, the bag also has a motion-activated LED that illuminates the interior when it’s opened (you’ll need to remember to pick up batteries).

Don’t want to drag it on the floor any more? No problem – the camRade travelMate Large converts into a comfortable backpack, with padded straps and even a waist belt for extra lumbar support – something a lot of hybrid roller bags / backpacks tend to omit. The exterior is water-resistant, and there’s also a safe compartment for your laptop or tablet.

Best Cheap Rolling Camera Bag

Manfrotto Reloader Air-50 PL Roller Bag

£237.00 View

Pros:

  • Excellent value for money
  • Solidly built with water-resistant exterior
  • Fits plenty of kit

Cons:

  • Weighs more than 3kg when empty
  • Doesn’t convert to backpack

While this is a photographer’s roller bag primarily, it’ll accommodate a mirrorless or small-camcorder filmmaking setup without any problems. Constructed with Manfrotto’s customary attention to detail, the Reloader Air-50 PL Roller Bag really feels like a premium camera bag despite its pleasingly reasonable price tag. With plenty of compartments separated by its internal dividers, it really allows you to pack a lot in there – some users have compared it to a Tardis from Doctor Who for how much gear it seems to hold without complaint – and there are dedicated pouches for a tablet and a laptop.

One thing to be aware of is that the Manfrotto Reloader Air-50 PL Roller Bag is quite heavy even before you start filling it with kit, weighing in at about 3.2kg. So while its dimensions should be fine for airline carry-on regs, you may want to be careful about how much you pack in, in case it exceeds the weight limit.

Best Premium Rolling Camera Bag

Tenba Cineluxe Roller 24

£349.00 View

Pros:

  • Can store camcorders “ready to shoot”
  • Armoured base and shock-absorbing wheels
  • Opening doesn’t increase footprint

Cons:

  • Very heavy

Sometimes, you need to be ready to shoot at a moment’s notice. If you’re likely to be in a situation where you can’t afford to be rooting through your back for cables and accessories as well as your camera, the Tenba Cineluxe Roller 24 is definitely a good bag for you. It’s long and wide enough to store a camcorder with baseplate, matte box, monitor, mic and battery already attached, meaning all you have to do is lift it out and it’s ready to shoot. 

The doctor-style opening is nice and wide, making it easy to access your gear, and as we’ve seen it means the bag’s footprint doesn’t increase when it’s open (in contrast to, say, the Manfrotto Reloader Air-50 PL, which effectively doubles in size when you open it). It’s worth being aware though that this is a hefty bag, clocking in at 5.7kg before you’ve put so much as a Snickers bar in there. Be thankful the Earth will do most of the lifting for you.

Best Hard Cases

Hard cases give your precious gear the most protection possible. Designed to withstand impacts, severe drops, extreme temperatures and in many cases submersion in water, a good hard case can have the world thrown at it and still keep the cameras and lenses inside perfectly safe and in working order.

By packing your gear in securely and firmly with foam inserts, you can ensure that it’ll be protected from any knocks and bumps the case endures. Also, as hard cases are often used for air travel, many come with pressure equalisation valves to cope with the rapid changes in air pressure caused by rising altitude. 

Naturally, hard cases come with trade-offs. Hard cases are certainly not the easiest things to carry – though some come with wheels and trolley handles, which can help matters. Peli is the biggest, most well-known name in the hard case space, but there are other brands out there too – we’ve collated a few options for this section of the guide. 

Best Travel Hard Case

Peli 1510 Carry On Case with Dividers - Orange

£362.00 View

Pros:

  • O-ring seal and pressure equalisation valve
  • Pull-out handle and wheels
  • Fits airline carry-on regs

Cons:

  • Other hard cases offer more room
  • Wheel wells reduce interior space

As the name implies, the Peli 1510 Carry On Case is specifically intended to be suitable as carry-on luggage when flying, meaning you don’t have to worry about checking it into the hold. Built as tough as all Peli cases, it’s equipped with all the features you’d expect, such as an O-ring seal to make it airtight, and an automatic pressure equalisation valve to cope with rapid changes in altitude. Inside, the padded dividers and lid foam allow you to make sure your gear is snugly packed and won’t move in transit, while the case also has a pull-out handle and polyurethane wheels for smooth transit.

Naturally, limiting size to carry-on dimensions means the Peli 1510 won’t hold as much gear as other hard cases, plus the wheel wells further reduce space on the interior. Still, with interior dimensions of 50.1 x 27.9 x 19.3 cm, it’ll store plenty.

Best Cheap Hard Case

Calumet WT1106 Water Tight Hard Case - Black

£129.00 View

Pros:

  • Extremely good value for money
  • Inter-stackable with other Calumet hard cases
  • Watertight with neoprene seal

Cons:

  • Quite heavy to carry one-handed

Resembling a briefcase more than a trolley case or a box like other hard cases, the Calumet WT1106 Water Tight Hard Case is designed for transporting smaller setups. Its construction materials are top of the line, resistant to impacts and corrosion, while the neoprene seal around the opening makes sure that the case is completely watertight, and no dust can get in.

There’s a pressure valve to quickly adjust the internal pressure in the event of sudden altitude or temperature changes. The case is small enough that you should be fine to take it as carry-on luggage if so desired. It’s not necessarily the easiest to carry, which is why it’s probably a good thing it can’t be overloaded too much – there are no wheels to speak of, but ergonomic handles that are at least reasonably comfortable. Fundamentally, it’ll keep your kit safe and dry, and who can ask more of a hard case than that?

Best Premium Hard Case

Peli 1640 Case with Dividers - Black

£589.00 View

Pros:

  • Ultra-tough and durable
  • Comes with 5-piece foam set
  • Strong handles and four wheels

Cons:

  • Big and expensive

One of the hardiest hard cases you can get, the Peli 1640 Case with Dividers is constructed from Ultra High Impact structural copolymer – the long and short of which is, it’s watertight, crushproof, airtight, dustproof, chemical-resistant and corrosion-resistant. Peli uses the word “unbreakable”, not a word to be used lightly, and it’s safe to say you’d have to get into some pretty extreme circumstances for your kit to be damaged in this case.

The 5-piece foam set includes base foam, convoluted lid foam and three Pick 'n' Pluck foam sections, allowing you to customise the padded interior as you see fit. It also had a fold-down main handle and side trunk handles, with four rugged polyurethane wheels to make transportation a little easier. Now, this is only a case you’re realistically going to buy if you really need it. But for the ultimate in peace of mind when transporting your pro video gear, it’s unbeatable. Unbreakable, even.

Best Bag Inserts and Accessories

There are plenty of bag inserts and accessories that can help make transporting your gear that much easier and safer. Whether it’s extra protection for a camera, or a dedicated pocket for those vital accessories you’re always in danger of losing (we’re looking at you, memory cards and batteries), a good bag insert can be just the thing for helping you organise your gear a little better. In this last section, we’re quickly running through some of the best bag inserts and accessories that can make your life just that little bit easier as a filmmaker.

Peak Design Shell - Medium

£47.00 View

Lowepro GearUp Wrap

£25.95 View

Vanguard VEO BIB T25 Bag-In-Bag

£49.99 View

camRade wetSuit 2

£199.00 View

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FAQs

What is the best camera bag for filmmakers?

The best camera bag for filmmakers depends on their specific needs and preferences. Some popular options include backpacks, shoulder bags, and rolling cases. Look for bags that offer ample storage space, weather resistance, and comfortable carrying options.

What should I look for in a camera bag for filmmaking?

When choosing a camera bag for filmmaking, consider the size and weight of your gear, the type of shooting you'll be doing, and your personal preferences for storage and carrying options. Look for bags with padded compartments, weather-resistant materials, and adjustable straps.

Can I use a regular backpack as a camera bag for filmmaking?

While it's possible to use a regular backpack as a camera bag for filmmaking, it's not recommended. Regular backpacks don't offer the same level of protection and organization as camera-specific bags, which can lead to damage to your gear or difficulty finding what you need quickly.

What is the difference between a shoulder bag and a backpack for filmmaking?

Shoulder bags and backpacks both have their advantages and disadvantages for filmmaking. Shoulder bags offer quick access to your gear and are easy to carry around, while backpacks distribute weight evenly and can hold more gear. Consider your shooting style and personal preferences when choosing between the two.

How do I choose the right size camera bag for my gear?

To choose the right size camera bag for your gear, measure your largest camera and lens and look for bags with compartments that can accommodate those dimensions. Consider any additional accessories you'll need to carry, such as batteries or memory cards, and choose a bag with enough storage space to accommodate them.

How do we decide?


Our in-house photography experts, store staff and partners all work collaboratively to pour over these guides. The cameras and equipment recommended in our guides are based on their personal opinion, empirical experience and of course, feedback from our customers. We way up price, features, quality and the all-important 'je ne sais quoi' to make sure we recommend products that will delight and inspire. 

If you would like more advice on any purchase our contact centre staff are here to help. Alternatively, you can reach us via email or social media. And don't forget. If you were to purchase anything based on our recommendations you'll be covered by our full returns policy