Best Camera Bag for Photographers | 2024


In this guide, we’re tackling a pretty big question – the best camera bags for photographers. And if that doesn’t sound like a big question to you, well, this must be your first time. Welcome!

Camera bags come in a lot of different varieties. While pretty much all camera bags will share certain things in common, such as customisable internal dividers to securely pack away your kit, each different type of camera bag is best suited for a certain type of user. Each one has things it’s good for, and things it’s not so good for. 

We’ve split this guide up into sections accordingly, so before we get started, here’s a quick précis of the types of bags we’ll be looking at.

Camera backpacks - Probably the most popular and versatile type of camera bags, camera backpacks spread the weight over two shoulders for comfortable long-term carrying. Camera backpacks come in radically different sizes, but commonly are capable of taking multiple camera bodies and lenses.

Sling camera bags - Sling bags look similar to backpacks, and are also generally worn on the bag, the main difference being that they have one strap instead of two. This allows them to be slung around the body without being removed, meaning the user can quickly whip out their camera to grab a shot. They’re often favoured by street photographers for this reason, and tend to be smaller and lighter than camera bags.

Shoulder camera bags - Also called messenger bags, shoulder camera bags are worn slung over one shoulder, hanging down to the side. While they aren’t suited to carrying as much kit as a backpack, they are very slim in profile, making them good for negotiating crowded places without knocking into people. They’re also well suited to carrying laptops.

Rolling camera bags - Just as it sounds, rolling bags come on wheels to let the ground do a bit of the lifting for you. Popular among air travellers, rolling camera bags are often specifically sized to conform to airline carry-on size limits.

Hard cases - With durable outer shells, hard cases can take a pounding and a soaking without the interior contents being damaged. Great for when you really, really need to make sure your gear stays in tip-top working order – travelling pros favour them for this reason.

Bag inserts and accessories - Not a type of bag per se, but bag inserts can make your life a lot easier by allowing you to better organise the interior of your camera bag, and bag accessories can help attach more items to the outside. We’ve rounded up a selection of our favourites.

There’s also quite a bit of variance within individual categories – two camera backpacks, for instance, can be pretty different in size, shape and capacity. So, in each of our sections we’ve provided three individual bag suggestions – one that’s best for travel, one that’s best for a tight budget, and one premium option that’s built to last.

You’ve got no shortage of options, so let’s dive in and count off the best camera bags for photographers…

Best Camera Backpack

As far as many photographers are concerned, you can’t beat a good-old camera backpack. Capacious and durable, designed to be worn for long periods without discomfort, a camera backpack is one of the most versatile types of camera bag out there. While there are plenty of other types out there – all of which we’re covering in this guide, a solid camera backpack is going to be an excellent choice for basically any photographer. 

There are lots of different sizes and types of camera backpack available – but most will store two camera bodies and a reasonable number of lenses (likely between five and eight, depending on the size of the lenses in question). The interiors almost always feature customisable velcro dividers, allowing you to mould the space around the contours of your particular setup – e.g. craft a long padded space for your telephoto lens. Camera backpacks come in a variety of different sizes, so here’s a diverse selection of our favourites.

Best Travel Camera Backpack

Lowepro Pro Trekker RLX 450 AW II Backpack

£319.00 View


  • Capacious but comfortable
  • Can convert to a roller bag
  • 69% recycled material


  • On the bulky side

The Lowepro Pro Trekker RLX 450 AW II Backpack is a dream of an all-in-one travel bag for camera kits. It’s a backpack first and foremost, and it’s comfortable to carry for long periods even when loaded with kit, thanks to its well-padded shoulder straps and optional waist belt. However, it also has another trick at its disposal; with wheels on the bottom and a pull-out extendable handle at the top, it has the capacity to quickly convert to a roller bag for easy airport navigation.

The Lowepro Pro Trekker RLX 450 AW II is designed for professional DSLR and mirrorless kits – so depending on your setup, it may offer more space than you strictly need. Lowepro says it’ll fit a professional camera with a 70-200mm lens attached, plus a long 600mm telephoto and up to three additional lenses, as well as sundry items. If that’s the kind of kit you need to travel with, this could be the last bag you ever buy.

Best Cheap Camera Backpack

Manfrotto Advanced Active Backpack III

£79.00 View


  • Shock-absorbing material
  • Slender and stylish
  • Fantastic capacity for the price


  • No waist strap
  • May be too small for some

Inexperienced photographers sometimes assume that Manfrotto gear is going to be too expensive for them. However, in reality the firm offers an impressively broad range of products, many of which come at enticingly budget-friendly prices. Case in point – the Manfrotto Advanced Active Backpack III, a slim and inexpensive backpack that’s fantastic for carrying a lightweight setup.

For its size, the Manfrotto Advanced Active Backpack III sports an impressive number of pockets and compartments, including a partially hidden laptop sleeve behind the main compartment. It’s good for carrying a mirrorless or DSLR body, and maybe a secondary compact camera body, as well as a few lenses. You could hollow it out and fit in a 150-600mm lens if you wanted to, though most people using such lenses are probably just going to buy a bigger bag. This one is best optimised for street shooters and day trippers who keep their kit on the lighter side, and want bag-space for the other parts of their life too. 

Best Premium Camera Backpack

Billingham Rucksack 25 - Khaki / Tan

£463.00 View


  • Premium, stylish construction
  • Well-padded interior
  • Comfortable to wear


  • Not vegan (leather)
  • Not enough space for big telephotos

Billlingham is known throughout the photo industry for its premium bags – you pay a little more up front than you do for a lot of other brands, but its products are designed to last a lifetime. Accordingly, if you’re happy toting a one-camera setup, the Billingham Rucksack 25 could well be the last camera backpack you ever buy. It’s one of the larger in the Billingham range and is designed to house a DSLR or mirrorless camera, and some small-to-medium lenses to go with it. If you’re a sports or wildlife shooter who needs to house multiple pro bodies and big telephoto lenses, this isn’t the bag for you, but those rocking a more standard setup will definitely appreciate the amount of space on offer here. 

With 2.5cm of padding on the inside, the Billingham Rucksack 25 keeps camera gear well protected from bumps and knocks. It’s constructed from Billingham’s proprietary “FibreNyte” canvas, as well as real leather (so this isn’t one for vegans).

Best Sling Camera Bags

Sling camera bags are fantastic for fast-paced urban photography. They can vary quite significantly on an individual level – some closely resemble backpacks save for the missing strap, while others look more like small shoulder bags or waist belt. However, they all have one thing in common – when worn with the strap cross-body, they can be slung around quickly for near-instant access to camera gear.

This is the most popular feature of sling bags, and is a big part of why they are so popular among street and documentary photographers. The whole premise of a ling bag favours a light setup – while many can fit multiple bodies, you’ll practically be more likely to want to use just one, and have your preferred lens attached and ready to shoot. A good sling bag should also be nice and customisable, with lots of outer pockets to give you quick access to other items you may need throughout the day. A robust, weatherproof construction doesn’t hurt either.

Best Travel Sling Camera Bag

Peak Design Everyday Sling 6L v2 - Midnight

£114.00 View


  • Svelte, minimalist design
  • Cord hook system for external attachments
  • Folds flat when empty


  • Requires lightweight camera/lens setup

As the name implies, the Peak Design Everyday bags are designed for daily use. As such, the Peak Design Everyday Sling 6L v2 has a pretty fuss-free design and is also pleasingly light. You won’t get much more than a mirrorless camera and a couple of lenses in here, but it’s designed with the assumption that you won’t want to. Interestingly, it’s also the right size to take a DJI Mavic Pro drone. 

The bag features a waterproof 900D bottom liner, and also has thief-deterring zipper pulls, giving you peace of mind if you’re moving around a busy city. On that subject, it’s a good bag to pack away inside your main travel bag, nesting-doll-style, as the Peak Design Everyday Sling 6L v2 folds down completely flat when it’s empty. It also has a dedicated sleeve for an 11-inch tablet, and external straps allow you to attach items to the exterior if you’ve got anything that’s just a little too bulky. 

Best Cheap Sling Camera Bag

WANDRD ROGUE Sling 3L - Black

£98.00 View


  • Multiple carry-ways
  • Highly adjustable and customisable
  • External straps add extra storage


  • Not the most aesthetically stylish

This clever, affordable sling bag from WANDRD is pitched towards city explorers and day trippers – those who aren’t likely to want to put more than one camera in a bag. It can actually be worn not just as a sling bag, but also messenger-style or tied around the waist, and it’ll store a mirrorless camera with a fairly slim lens attached, as well as an additional lens. There are also some extra external straps that allow you to attach water bottles or a tripod – it doesn’t make for the most elegant-looking setup in practice, but WANDRD has overall prioritised function over style here, and the result is a bag that gives you a lot of functionality for an eminently reasonable price. 

The construction material is weather-resistant ballistic nylon, and the YKK zippers are water-resistant, so you don’t need to worry too much about a sudden downpour.

Best Premium Sling Camera Bag

Think Tank Urban Access Sling 10

£136.00 View


  • Durably constructed to last
  • Well padded, adjustable strap
  • Detachable waist belt


  • Suited to one camera body only

If you’ve never been convinced by sling bags, let the Think Tank Urban Access Sling 10 do the convincing. This is a gorgeous bag, one of our favourites – it’s constructed from premium materials, and thanks to the clever way its strap can be swapped at the bottom, it can be easily switched from right-shoulder orientation to left-shoulder. If you find yourself needing to carry it for long periods, there’s also an option waist belt that can be attached to help spread the load. 

The Think Tank Urban Access Sling 10 is rated to carry a single DSLR or mirrorless camera body as well as two to five lenses. This isn’t one for those who like to have two cameras on them at all times, but as long as this doesn’t bother you, it’s a superbly well-featured bag. If you’re using it in a professional capacity, there’s even a business card holder. Hopefully you'll have more people asking you about your photography than people asking you where you got your fabulous sling bag. But if not, do send them our way. 

Best Shoulder Camera Bags

For a low-slung, unobtrusive camera bag option, a shoulder camera bag may well be your best port of call. Like sling bags, they’re based around a single strap, which does limit the amount of gear that can be safely carried in them. However, realistically only a few photographers are going to need to carry significantly more gear than can be comfortably stowed in a shoulder bag – for a couple of mirrorless or DSLR cameras and a few lenses, most people will be just fine. Camera shoulder bags tend to have better-padded straps than the average generic laptop bag, making them more comfortable to carry for long periods. 

For many photographers, the easy access of a shoulder bag is preferable to the superior carrying comfort of a backpack. As you’ll see in this section, shoulder camera bags vary pretty significantly in size and shape. Like most camera bags, they allow you to customise the interior with velcro dividers to more safely cushion your cameras and lenses.

Best Travel Shoulder Camera Bag

Lowepro Nova 200 AW II - Black

£99.00 View


  • Lots of space for DSLR/mirrorless setup
  • All-weather cover
  • Easy-access front pocket for personal items


  • On the bulkier side

For the travelling photographer who wants to field a decently sized setup, the Lowepro Nova 200 AW II is an excellent choice. This is a larger upgraded version of the original popular Nova bag, providing more space for kit. Accordingly, this bag can hold up to two cameras the size of pro DSLRs, with a 24-105mm lens attached and additional room for 3-5 lenses of decent size (a 70-300mm will get in there no problem). There’s also room for flashguns, as well as dedicated easy-access pockets for personal items like your phone, cards, chargers etc.

For a shoulder bag, this does err on the bulky side – though that is quite simply the price you pay for having the space to store a couple of DSLRs. If you want peace of mind though, this is an excellent choice – we appreciate how the weatherproofing on the top flap has been improved, and that there’s also an AW (all weather) cover you can pull over in case of really torrential downpours. 

Best Cheap Shoulder Camera Bag

Sony LCS-U21 Shoulder Bag

£39.99 View


  • Very light and affordable
  • Large protective top lid
  • Durable neoprene materials


  • Fits essentials only
  • No rain cover

If you want to pare things back to basics and carry only what you absolutely need for a day’s shoot, the Sony LCS-U21 Shoulder Bag will fit the bill perfectly. This compact shoulder bag is constructed from durable neoprene, and its impressively large top lid ensures your gear will be protected from rain (though the bag itself isn’t as waterproof as others, and there’s no rain cover).

Even with its relatively small size, the Sony LCS-U21 still finds room for customisable interior dividers, so you can securely pack in a couple of small lenses as well as a camera body. Alternatively, you could throw in a battery pack, or a flashgun, some chocolate – it’s up to you. The no-frills design isn’t the most exciting, and there are no exterior loops for a tripod or anything like that, but with a price tag as reasonable as this, it seems fair enough to us.

Best Premium Shoulder Camera Bag

Think Tank Retrospective 30 V2 Shoulder Bag - Pinestone

£239.00 View


  • Space for two gripped DSLRs
  • Excellent padded shoulder strap
  • Secure zipper under main flap


  • Maybe too much space for mirrorless setups

A premium, beautifully constructed shoulder bag that’s a favourite among professional photographers, the Think Tank Retrospective 30 V2 Shoulder Bag gives you a lot of room to play with. There’s enough space in its cavernous, padded interior to hold two pro-level DSLRs with battery grips, as well as up to three additional lenses and a 15-inch laptop. If your day’s shooting setup is generally a single mirrorless camera and an extra lens or two, this bag probably packs more space than you need – hence its aforementioned popularity with pros.

You might think this is a lot to carry on one shoulder, and you’re right, but Think Tank has crafted a premium cotton strap with an impressive level of padding. It also benefits from more security than the average shoulder bag, thanks to an additional zippered opening beneath the main flap. This means opportunistic thieves can’t quickly whip the flap open when you’re not looking and grab whatever’s inside.

Best Rolling Camera Bags

If you’re the kind of travel photographer who spends a lot of time in departure loungers, jetting off to new destinations, then a rolling camera bag is just the thing. Being able to move quickly through airports and train stations without a big boxy lump on your back makes travel much less of a stress – for your body and your mind. The best rolling camera bags have been specifically designed with photographers in mind, so they generally feature the same customisable padded interiors as other types of bag. With precision-engineered wheels and high-end security features like steel locks, they’ll make travel feel not only smooth, but safe, too.

Some rolling camera bags also convert to other types of bag, with straps that allow them to be worn as backpacks. Others have external holders for accessories such as tripods – and many are also designed to conform to airline carry-on size regulations, meaning you won’t have to pay extra to stow them in the hold.

Best Travel Rolling Camera Bag

Tenba Roadie Roller 21 Hybrid

£329.00 View


  • Wheels engineered for smooth rolling
  • Drop-in tripod holder
  • Steel security cable and lock


  • Not vegan (leather handles)
  • Not the most comfortable in backpack mode

Another bag that’s really two in one, the Tenba Roadie Roller 21 is a rolling bag with optional straps that allow it to be worn as a backpack. It works best in the former configuration if we’re honest – the wheels roll on high carbon steel bearings with beautiful smoothness, while the angular form factor of the bag itself means it’s not too comfortable to wear for long periods in backpack mode. 

Still, this is a deep, capacious travel bag that looks and feels premium. It’s rated to carry up to two DSLR-sized cameras with eight to ten lenses – and if you like, you can use the removable insert to carry just one camera and two to three lenses. It’s discreet in black trim, so won’t attract too much attention in busy cities, and also has a handy steel security cable and lock for securing to external objects. The exterior is weather-resistant, and the handle is constructed from high-grade aluminium. An all-around excellent roller bag.

Best Budget Rolling Camera Bag

Vanguard Alta Fly 49T Roller Bag

£219.99 View


  • Fits carry-on regs
  • Light for a bag of this size
  • Lots of camera capacity


  • No backpack conversion option
  • Not big enough for large telephoto lenses

Impressively low-cost for a roller bag, the Vanguard Alta Fly 49T Roller Bag is a smooth mover to have in an airport. It conforms to airline carry-on regulations, and fits in space for up to two pro DSLRs, as well as five to seven lenses. It can handle telephotos up to a 300mm f/4 – nothing larger than that – and the distinctive yellow interior is well padded to keep everything safe and secure.

Able to hold a professional 14-inch laptop, and with dedicated pockets for essential items, the Vanguard Alta Fly 49T Roller Bag has enough space to be your primary bag for a short photo-taking trip. It also has double security buckles for extra safety, protecting your gear from prying fingers. 

Somewhat surprisingly given the company it keeps, the Vanguard Alta Fly 49T doesn’t have pull-out straps to convert to a backpack; this is a roller bag through and through. 

Best Premium Rolling Camera Bag

Manfrotto Reloader Switch-55 PL Roller Backpack

£254.00 View


  • Strong but lightweight construction
  • Fits carry-on regulations
  • Converts to comfortable backpack


  • Two wheels not four

Called “switch” because it’s (again) both a roller bag and backpack, the Manfrotto Reloader Switch-55 PL Roller Backpack is a popular choice among professional photographers, who love its durable construction and versatile utility. The Pro-Light Rip-Stop fabric on the exterior of the bag allows it to stay relatively light while also being strong enough to withstand attempts to cut it open – useful if you’re travelling in busy cities where crime is a problem.

The bag rolls smoothly, and is capable of holding up to two pro-level DSLRs with around four or five additional lenses. Like many a good roller bag, it has been specifically designed to comply with carry-on luggage size regulations, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting it on and off a plane. There’s also an external connection to fit a tripod, should you need one, and a separate internal compartment for a laptop.  

Best Hard Cases

Sometimes, a bit of foam padding just doesn’t cut it. If you’ve got a lot of camera gear that’s highly valuable – both monetarily and emotionally – then a hard case is the best way to keep it absolutely safe and secure. Camera hard cases have extremely tough outer shells that are built to withstand heavy impacts, crushing pressure, extreme temperatures (high and low) and full immersion in water. Many premium hard cases are designed to float, and some feature pressure equalisation systems for use when they’re taken on air travel.

Hard cases naturally tend to be much bulkier than other types of camera bag, and while some are equipped with wheels, they’re still not the easiest to carry. You’ll certainly want a separate day bag to have for your travels rather than lugging the case everywhere – indeed, as we’ll see, some come with a removable bag already inside for exactly this purpose.

Best Travel Hard Case

Peli 1510 Carry On Case with Dividers - Black

£362.00 View


  • Fits most airline carry-on requirements
  • Extremely strong and tough


  • Quite heavy to carry

If you want the peace of mind that a hard case brings but don’t want to have to store your photo gear in the hold of an aircraft, the Peli 1510 Carry On Case with Dividers is just the thing. Comparatively small for a hard case, it actually meets the size requirements for most airlines carry-on luggage, meaning you can keep it in the cabin overhead lockers. You may get a few weird looks from other passengers as you manoeuvre this bulky 6.8kg case up into a compartment, but hey, who said travel photography was about looking cool?

As with all Peli cases, this is built to withstand a pounding and then some. It has a buoyancy maximum of 29.2kg as well, meaning it’ll float unless you absolutely stuff it full of bricks or something. Wheels and an extendable handle make it easier to transport, and the interior features padded dividers.

Best Budget Hard Case

Vanguard Supreme 27D Hard Case with Divider Bag

£89.00 View


  • Internal divider bag
  • Pressure-equalised for airline travel
  • Waterproof and airtight


  • No rolling wheels

Peli is sometimes thought of as the only name in hard cases, but we love this tough nut from Vanguard. The Supreme 27D Hard Case features an internal divider bag, so you can keep your gear organised and cushioned, and this insert is also removable, meaning it can double as a standalone bag once you reach your destination and decide you don’t want to lug a hard case everywhere with you.

The Supreme 27D is waterproof to 5m, able to withstand up to 120kg of external pressure, and it’s built to withstand extreme temperatures down to -40°C or up to 95°C. It’s also equipped with an automatic pressure equalisation valve, which means it’s prepared for the sudden air pressure changes that come with airline travel. Unlike the Peli 1510, it doesn’t have rolling wheels, so you’ll need to be okay with lifting and carrying it. 

Best Premium Hard Case

Peli 1620 Case plus Dividers

£659.00 View


  • “Unbreakable”
  • Strong wheels on smooth bearings
  • Watertight, chemical-resistant, corrosion-proof, etc


  • Very expensive

All right, you want to make sure your photo gear is safe, do you? Well how about this: a hard case that has been tested to NATO and military standards for its ability to protect its contents from, well, everything. Constructed from ultra-high impact structural copolymer, the Peli 1620 Case is shockproof, crushproof, watertight, airtight, chemical-resistant, corrosion-proof – basically everything-proof. It also includes a 28-piece divider set, since all that protection wouldn’t do much good if your gear ended up rolling around inside, and its polyurethane wheels run on stainless steel bearings, making it relatively easy to transport. It’s also possible to wear it on your back using the RucPac Hardcase Backpack Conversion.

The price and size of this case mean it’s realistically going to be much more than the vast majority of photographers need. But if you want the ultimate in camera protection, here it is, in all its glory. 

Best Bag Inserts and Accessories

You may think your work is done once you’ve got hold of your ideal photographer’s bag, but there are many ways you can make it work for you even more effectively. Many of the same manufacturers who produce fantastic camera bags also offer a number of accessories and inserts that can make it easier to organise and protect your gear.

You don’t necessarily have to stick with one manufacturer – plenty of inserts from one brand will fit perfectly fine in a bag from another. If you’re someone who’s forever digging through your bag or your cupboards to find things like batteries, memory cards, keys or whatever else, having well-organised inserts can be just the thing to make your life a bit easier. 

Here’s a quickfire list of the best bag inserts and accessories we recommend to any photographer who needs a bit more organisation in their life…

Peak Design Tech Pouch - Charcoal

£57.00 View

Peak’s Tech Pouch helps you keep all the little essentials in one place, rather than having them spread throughout multiple small pockets across the back. Soft and malleable thanks to its recycled canvas construction, it also has handy cable pass through functionality, meaning you can keep a battery pack inside and easily charge your devices.

WANDRD Camera Cube Essential

£57.00 View

The Camera Cube is essentially a standalone, portable version of the removable divided inserts that feature in a lot of camera bags. It lets you keep the most important parts of your kit – the camera and lenses – in a single, isolated place that gives them extra protection and makes them easy to access. It’s designed for WANDRD’s PRVKE 21L backpack, though it’ll fit in any bag with roughly similar dimensions. 

Keeping track of camera batteries can be a major headache for any photographer – so take the work out of it with an inexpensive Think Tank DSLR Battery Holder 2. It’s designed to store two standard DSLR batteries (so pretty much any standard rechargeable camera battery will fit).

ThinkTank Red Whips V2.0 Pack of 12

£9.00 View

There’s nothing worse than opening up your camera bag and finding a tangle of cables – especially when there’s one somewhere in the mess that you urgently need. A quick, cost-effective solution is a pack of ThinkTank Red Whips V2.0 – elastic bungee ties that help you keep your cables bundled together without tangling them. The bright red colour also makes them easy to locate in the depths of your bag.

WANDRD Shoe Pouch

£24.00 View

Transporting shoes in the same bag as your other belongings and equipment can be a recipe for getting mud, dirt and scuffs all over your belongings. The WANDRD Shoe pouch is a clever solution – essentially it’s an insert for shoes, able to house up to a pair of size 14s and prevent them from marking or damaging everything else in the bag.



What is a camera bag?

A camera bag is a specially designed bag or case that is used to store and transport camera equipment, such as cameras, lenses, batteries, memory cards, and other accessories.

What are the different types of camera bags?

There are several types of camera bags, including backpacks, shoulder bags, messenger bags, sling bags, and rolling cases. Each type of bag has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on your specific needs.

What should I consider when choosing a camera bag?

When choosing a camera bag, you should consider the size of your camera and accessories, the type of photography you will be doing, the level of protection you need, and your personal style and preferences.

What are the benefits of using a camera bag?

Using a camera bag provides several benefits, including protecting your equipment from damage, keeping your gear organised and easily accessible, and allowing you to carry your equipment comfortably and conveniently.

What features should I look for in a camera bag?

Some features to look for in a camera bag include padded compartments, adjustable dividers, waterproof or water-resistant materials, comfortable straps, and additional pockets or compartments for accessories.

Can I use any bag to carry my camera equipment?

While you can technically use any bag to carry your camera equipment, it is not recommended. Camera bags are specifically designed to provide the necessary protection and organisation for your gear, and using a non-camera bag could result in damage or loss of equipment.

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