Photo Backpack: Complete Guide 2022 (Top Recommendations)

choose one backpack for your camera It is a gesture that has much more importance than you think. Moreover, over the years it is likely that you will change your photographic backpack on several occasions because it is normal that if you fully immerse yourself in the world of photography, your needs will vary. And this is the key. Like everything, there is no ideal backpack, but the one that best suits your needs.

A backpack is a photographic accessory (here you can see them all) that has several functions: transport, security and protection.

And that is what we are going to talk about today, how to choose a good photographic backpack for your camera and the different types that exist.

Because… can you imagine going back in the middle of a photographic outing because you are so uncomfortable that the only thing you want to do is go home? That should NEVER happen and believe me, it does sometimes. But we are going to prevent it from happening to you.

Note: If you are in a hurry and want to see directly our selection of backpacks for photographers, here it is.


Padded backpack with different compartments to store photographic equipment

Why is it so important to have a good backpack for your camera?

Is there anything more precious to a photographer than his camera? In the material world, probably not, right? Therefore, the safer and more protected it is, the better.

A backpack or camera bag It is not only a way to store and transport your equipment in a comfortable way, but it is also the main way to protect your photographic equipment when you go out with it.

Scratches, bumps, dust, and even thieves, are on the lookout for your equipment when you go out to photograph. Therefore, the safer you feel in this aspect, the calmer you can take your photos.

Your equipment always well protected

While you can use just about any bag, backpack, or shoulder bag to carry your camera and other gear, not all of them guarantee adequate protection. Backpacks specially designed for photographers are usually robust, with padded and even waterproof compartments to guarantee both comfort and safety.

How should a good photographic backpack be?

Whatever equipment you have, these are the minimum requirements that a backpack for your camera must meet:

  1. Be comfortable to wear.
  2. Have space to house all the equipment you plan to bring to a session.
  3. Allow to have camera and accessories placed in an orderly manner.
  4. Protect the equipment well.
  5. Adjust to your budget.

Padded pockets to protect gear

Where to buy photographic backpacks?

These are the best known brands in terms of backpacks and photo bags. Each of the brands that I am going to mention has a large number of different models of covers, bags and backpacks of excellent quality, but keep in mind that they are not the only ones:

  1. low pro
  2. Manfrotto
  3. tamrac
  4. K&F Concept
  6. CaseLogic
  7. Zecti
  8. Vanguard
  9. Neewer
  10. duragadget
  11. docooler

So that you can decide on one manufacturer or another, it is important that, at the time of reviewing the bag or backpack, you pay special attention to the quality of the seams, the zippers and the fabric with which it has been manufactured.

In the event that it appears to be of poor quality or offers little resistance, it is best to keep looking. The last thing you want is for a strap or zipper to break in the middle of a hike, spilling all your gear on the ground. TOTAL CATASTROPHE!

Therefore, to avoid the most absolute drama… if you have spent a fortune on your equipment, try not to skimp when it comes to getting a bag or backpack for your camera, since its integrity is at stake (and also that of your mental health 😜).

What camera backpack to buy?

Next, I have prepared a list with the aspects that you should look at if you want to be successful in choosing your next backpack for your camera:

  1. The use you are going to give it: It is important that you keep in mind what photographic disciplines you practice to choose a bag or backpack that suits your needs. A backpack to photograph landscapes is not the same as another to travel the streets of a city dabbling in street photography. Depending on the use you are going to give it, a cover, a shoulder bag or a backpack will be more or less useful.
  2. Equipment and accessories: It is not the same to carry a camera with a lens mounted on it, than to carry with the camera, a couple of lenses, a flash, a laptop, and maybe a long etcetera. The size, weight, and number of items you carry with you determines the type and size of bag or backpack you need to transport them.
  3. Compartments, divisions and pockets: You must pay special attention to this aspect since the quantity and quality of the pockets or compartments is what will guarantee that your equipment does not move and hit inside your bag or backpack. It is very important that each compartment firmly secures each accessory and protects it from possible knocks. Again, the number of divisions and pockets will depend on the use you are going to give it and the number of accessories you have to store. Many backpacks and bags allow, through the use of velcro, to adapt the different divisions to the size and shape of the objectives or accessories that you want to take with you. The thicker and more padded they are, the more protected the equipment will be.
  4. Backpack weight: This is another aspect that you cannot ignore since, to the weight of all the equipment, you must add the weight of the backpack or bag. Contrary to what it seems, photographic backpacks can become very heavy on their own, since the materials with which they are made add a lot of extra weight. Your back and shoulders will thank you for taking them into account at the time of your choice.
  5. Security: almost nowhere in the world will you get rid of friends of the alien can open your bag or backpack and take something that does not belong to them. And in some places the problem is aggravated. The easier it is to open it, the greater the chances of something falling out or being stolen. Keep in mind that some backpacks have security closures or hard-to-reach pockets for more valuable items. Also try not to be too conspicuous if you are going to move through unsafe places. Being cautious never hurts. And, speaking of camera thefts, I recommend you read this article with tips to avoid them.
  6. Comfort: I have to insist on the fact that the more comfortable you are when taking your photographs, the better results you will achieve. I have experienced it once. If you are worried about how much your backpack weighs or about that strap that sticks into you, for example, you will hardly be able to concentrate on what is important, which is nothing more than taking photos. And let’s not say if you need 8 minutes to open the backpack and change the lens, thus losing the photo of the day. Total drama! That is why you must ensure that the backpack is not a hindrance or an impediment. Finding a comfortable, light, resistant and safe bag is very complicated, but finding a balance between all these characteristics is not so difficult if you are clear about your needs.
  7. Resistance and durability: As we’ve talked about, the last thing you want is for a strap or zipper to break while you’re out on a photo walk, and all your gear to end up on the floor. OMG!!!! Or if it rains… your camera gets wet. Nope! We don’t want that! For this reason, the resistance and durability of the materials with which they are made, the quality of the zippers and seams, etc., is essential to prevent your camera, lenses and accessories from going to waste. Keep in mind that there are backpacks designed for adventures that are more resistant and waterproof than those that were designed for more everyday and less extreme use.
  8. Fabrics: In addition to the resistance of the fabrics, check if they are breathable, for example in the handles and in the back area. In very hot places, hanging out all day with a backpack on your back, I assure you, can be an ordeal. Luckily, some backpacks have special fabrics on the back (thank you manufacturers who think of everything).
  9. Style: Although aesthetics have nothing to do with safety or comfort, it may be important to you. If you are one of those people, don’t worry, there are endless designs to choose from, from more functional to designer or vintage bags. Also, with a little imagination you can easily build your own. How? Reading the following article: “DIY Photography: How to Assemble Homemade Photographic Accessories”.
  10. Color: Although it may seem to you that it has to do with style, in this case I am not referring to the aesthetic part, but to cleanliness. Be careful with very light or very dirty colors. Especially if your idea is to go with the backpack on your back through the mountains, on a trip, etc. Another reason is to go more or less unnoticed, and not only because of the robberies that we have already talked about, but because of camouflage in nature, for example, when photographing birds or wildlife. A very bright color would not be the most appropriate if you hope to be successful in your session.
  11. The price: All the aspects that you have just read are conditioned by the latter: the price. The best way to save money when buying a bag or a backpack is to carefully analyze what you are going to use it for, so as not to pay for features that you will never use. If you do not plan to go on an adventure, it does not make sense to spend a fortune on a bag for this purpose. Now, once you have defined this aspect, try not to skimp on expenses. The cost of a quality backpack is rather an investment, in safety for your equipment and in quality for your photographs, since it will allow you to work more comfortably and relaxed.

Now that you know what the different alternatives are available on the market, which are the main manufacturers and how to choose yours, surely you have an idea of ​​the type of bag you need. If not, and you have doubts, I recommend that you answer (in writing) these questions before continuing:

  1. What use will you give?
  2. What equipment do you have?
  3. Do you usually carry a tripod?
  4. Is your equipment, in addition to being bulky, is it very heavy?
  5. Do you travel with your team by plane or in any other transport in which you have to lose sight of it?
  6. Are you going to give it a professional use with outdoor photo shoots, weddings, etc.? Or will it be more for sporadic use for pure hobby?
  7. In addition to camera, lenses, etc., do you have to include lighting equipment?
  8. Do you move through places where security is conspicuous by its absence?
  9. Do you need to camouflage yourself or go unnoticed?
  10. What style of backpack or bag do you like?
  11. What budget do you have?

Types of photographic bags and backpacks and recommendations

Once the above points are more or less clear, you can decide what type of bag or backpack interests you the most. I have prepared a small summary with the main options to choose from and, to put it on…