Travel Tips

The Best Travel-Friendly Camera Bags for Every Type of Photographer, and Every Type of Adventure

Photo: Getty Images/Ozgurdonmaz
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Maybe you're a hobbyist photographer who only likes to break out the camera on vacations and other photo-friendly adventures. Or, maybe you're a working photographer who's constantly running from shoot to shoot, desperate for a new travel camera bag for stashing lenses, flashes, film, and what not.

No matter your level or whether your device of choice is a DSLR, mirrorless camera, drone, or vintage Polaroid, a camera is a photographer's number one ally and asset, a vital instrument with many fragile parts and expensive mechanisms that require protection.

The best travel camera bags will not only protect your camera from getting beat up or destroyed by bad weather, but will also offer comfortability, usability, and durability while traveling from point A to point B. The right travel camera bag provides smart packability for all your accessories and equipment to remain close-to-hand when needed for that fleeting shot. They're organized, they're tough, and most importantly, they keep your precious cameras safe and sound.

No matter your next "gig" (paid or personal) are the camera bags and backpacks to keep your focus on for your next destination shoot.

The 15 best travel camera bags for every type of photographer

pelican backpack
Pelican, MPB25 Mobile Protect Backpack — $80.00

Most widely known for their industrial luggage, military-grade travel/work gear, and hardshell transport cases, Pelican Products has leveraged its premium protection expertise into a camera bag for digital creatives’ next global adventure or everyday carry. The 25L Mobile Protect Backpack was built to protect against the harshest elements and the rigors of extreme travel.

Pros:

  • – The perfect personal item and carry-on size for most airlines.
  • – Weighs just under 2 lbs.
  • – Reflective logos provide added safety during nighttime expeditions.
  • – Lifetime guarantee backed by Pelican.
  • – Compression-molded EVA shoulder straps relieve weight and tension on your back/shoulders.
  • – Outer shell boasts a water-resistant DWR coated nylon for unexpected rainfall or an accidental dip in the creek.

Cons:

  • – Price varies significantly depending on which color you go with.
  • – The quality of this bag compared to Pelican’s hard-case camera carriers don’t seem to be on par.
  • – Only one interior pocket to store smaller accessories.
thule enroute backpack
Thule, Enroute Camera 20L Backpack — $140.00

Whether you’re en route to a shoot or just venturing out on your personal vacation, show up with this bag and you’ll be taken seriously. The notable and respected Swedish brand, Thule, remains a trailblazer in adventure-seeking carriers and transportation products. Though you won’t find the Enroute attached to the rooftop of an automobile, it is a perfect EDC bag for photographers out in the field, day after day—outfitted with all of the classic technical daypack features outdoorsy creatives crave.

Pros:

  • -The integrated passthrough strap makes for easy loading atop wheeled luggage.
  • – Customizable DSLR or Mirrorless storage with adjustable dividers that keep everything neat.
  • – You can easily locate your items with a brightly colored highlighter interior lining.
  • – Securely holds a tripod or water bottle in the side zip-away pocket.
  • – Comes with a limited lifetime warranty back by Thule.

Cons:

  • – Small liter size is considered a daypack, so keep in mind if you have a multi-day shoot.
  • – The padded slip is not conducive for larger laptops.
  • – The “camera packing cube” is a tad bulky and can becomes lopsided when packed.
dakine insert pro
Dakine, Photo Insert Pro Backpack — $100.00

Heading into the backcountry with your camera gear? The Photo Insert Pro by outdoor sportswear company, Dakine, has got your back with a foam and fleece liner construction and customizable dividers to keep your camera, lenses, and accessories secure at all times.

Pros:

  • – Adjustable and removable shoulder strap allows it to perform as a sleek standalone camera bag outside your pack, too.
  • – Dakine’s Impact Foam displaces hard impact, avoids injury, and protects your central back area for long days of carry and travel.
  • – Limited lifetime warranty backed by Dakine.
  • – Sized to fit inside multiple snow and bike packs (hello, adventurers.)

Cons:

  • – The thin, flexible profile could be arguably less protective than other packs on the list.
  • – Only one zippered pocket in the interior, which doesn’t leave much storage and organization for smaller items like SD cards, keys, lens caps, wallet, phone, etc.
  • – Smaller in liter size than other bags.
chrome niko
Chrome, Niko F-Stop 23L Camera Pack — $200.00

The Niko is a fantastic camera-specific bag that doesn’t scream “camera bag,” but more so a cool backpacker’s pack. With tons of room for equipment and customizable modular dividers, the Chrome Niko F-Stop pack is ready for a spin around town or even weeks on, and off, the road.

Pros:

  • – Ergonomic shoulder straps are made to fit a wide range of sizes and body types.
  • – Exterior straps let you attach tripods, skateboards, and other large items to the outside.
  • – EVA foam back panel lends comfort and breathability while nylon guarantees durability for your expensive career or hobby.
  • – It exudes professionalism and caters to minimalists and digital nomads.

Cons:

  • – Heavier in weight compared to other bags similar in size (3 lbs.)
  • – More expensive than other bags on the list.
  • – The paddle laptop compartment inside is sized for only 13 in. laptops or tablets.
poler classic
Poler, Elevated Camera Cooler Bag — $25.00

There’s always more than meets the eye with Poler, the quirky-cool lifestyle brand of practical outdoor apparel and gear. The Poler Elevated Camera Cooler is a great little camera bag that’s having an identity crisis as a cooler. By day, it holds your photography equipment. By night (or by lunch) it easily converts into a cooler for food and drinks. Just remove the camera inserts, and you’ve got room for snacks, beverages, and more.

Pros:

  • – Boasts vegan-friendly trims and a heavy-duty water-resistant polyester.
  • – Perfect for a 6-pack of beer or seltzer cans, including a central, customizable compartment for your DSLR camera.
  • – Inexpensive compared to others on the list.
  • – Compact, stylish and multi-carry options (over-the-shoulder or by hand.)

Cons:

  • – Smallest in size and storage by a long shot compared to the other bags.
  • – Not conducive to longer multi-day travel, or even a whole day trip, but more for a morning or afternoon shoot.
wandrd prvke
Wandrd, Prvke 31L Photography Bundle Pack — $325.00

Packing multiple cameras and lenses for off-the-grid adventures? Get this bundle. Wandrd’s Prvke Bundle Pack underwent a redesign to feature new shaping and padding in the back panel as well as shoulder and waist straps, providing a more comfortable carry for all body shapes and sizes. Wandrd also updated stronger magnets in the tote handles, updated zipper u-pullers, easier-to-use key hooks, and cinch strap webbing organization for an overall neater look.

Pros:

  • – Product meets the bluesign® sustainability criteria.
  • – Extremely waterproof
  • – The luggage pass-through strap adds travel convenience to slip over the bar handle of your rolling suitcase.
  • – Quickdraw side access ensures your camera is only seconds away so you never miss a shot.
  • – Ample storage for other items.

Cons:

  • Fairly expensive.
  • Heavier in weight compared to other bags (3+ lbs.).
  • Liter size could maybe be considered too big if you’re dealing with day shoots over extended travel.
matador base
Matador, Camera Base Layer Pack — $75.00

With clients counting on you, or a sunset landscape that can’t be missed, do yourself a favor and not be stuck with a dead battery or a broken lens. The Matador Camera Basel Layer is a step up to stow your camera in. Made of a synthetic down filling, its puffy nature insulates the camera against the cold conditions around you, and provides padding for the cargo in case you bump it or need to set it on a rock.

Pros:

  • – The roll-top closure makes this bag compatible with most camera and lens combinations, and can be removed from the camera in seconds so you’re always ready to get the shot.
  • – Claims to be fully waterproof with DWR water repellent coating, an integrated dry bag and seam sealed liner, as well as an integrated rain cover that deflects light precipitation.
  • – A strategically placed accessory pocket stores lens caps, cleaning cloths, extra batteries, or hand warmers to sustain camera function in frigid temps.
  • – Inexpensive compared to other models.
  • – High protection variable with the thick “puffy jacket” compressibility.

Cons:

  • – The slender body profile makes it harder to get to the items.
  • – The small liter size is more for mirrorless cameras and compact DSLRs, and certainly not enough room for other larger items such as laptop, drone, water bottle, etc.
  • – When using the strap around your neck, or hanging from your waist, the camera is prone to hitting things like trees in close quarter.
  • – During active/engaging activities such as hiking, trail running, mountain biking, and skiing, the camera tends to flop around.
peak design everyday
Peak Design, Everyday 20L Camera Backpack — $279.00

If you’re the kind of photographer that’ll go just about anywhere to capture a stellar shot—whether the summit of a mountain or on the other side of the city, Peak Design’s Everyday Camera Backpack is just what its name entails for all your needs.

Pros:

  • – Comes in multiple colors, including a light gray that stands out from other bags.
  • – Side-access zipper lets you take out your camera in a flash, while inner side pockets are aplenty for a GoPro, memory cards, batteries, flashes, etc.
  • – A unique magnetic closure system is easy to use and can expand by up to 8L.
  • – Can store large-ticket items and even comfortably fit many popular drones.
  • – The pass-through sleeve and gear straps make it always travel-ready.
  • – Manufacturer lifetime warranty.

Cons:

  • – The nylon canvas material not as strong or durable as its competitors (400D compared to 1,000D+).
  • – Heavier than others on this list (4lbs).
  • – The back of the bag is super rigid and flat compared to other bags, so it just doesn’t “hug” the back as comfortably.
boundary supply
Boundary Supply, MK-1 Camera Cube Bag — $99.00

Design-focused lifestyle brand, Boundary Supply, has created a bag to up your game and ease your path. The MK-1 Camera Cube is built for the ultimate photographer and videographer, as its liter size and storage functionality mean you don’t have to pick and choose which camera gear to take along with you. This includes drone equipment, smaller cameras, and all your accessories, in one “bombproof case.”

Pros:

  • – Boasts three easy access points on top and sides to quickly get to all your gear.
  • – Perfect carry-on size for flying while having the ability to store multiple lenses and DSLR bodies, as well as a drone.
  • – Very cool, minimalist design with dividers that can be removed or reorganized to safely store attachments.
  • – A unique scratch-resistant liner secures protective dividers, while an impact-resistant sponge adds extra peace of mind for those on the clumsier side.
  • – Great value for the price.

Cons:

  • – Slightly heavier than other bags on the list.
  • – Its shoulder strap is sold separately.
  • – Only a 3 year warranty against manufacturing defects.
mountainsmith tanuck
Mountainsmith, Tanuck 40L Camera Backpack — $230.00

Designed with legendary photographer Chris Burkard, the Tanuck is an extremely universal, durable camera bag for outdoor/adventure photographers. Nicknamed the T.A.N. (“Tough As Nails”) this certifiably tough and versatile rucksack is a reliable choice for those voyages out in the wild with your most prized lenses in tow.

Pros:

  • – Can be combined with the T.A.N. Series Kit Cubes and Tanack 10 lumbar pack to create a custom carry system that fits your personal shooting and travel style.
  • – Its AnEVA frame sheet with air-mesh back panel built into the bag allows airflow keeps your back cool on sweaty, hot hikes.
  • – Built for the toughest of outdoor elements, including a certifiably durable and water-resistant fabric, the storm collar and cord closure, and removable rain cover.
  • – Large and accessory friendly.
  • Covered by Mountainsmith’s lifetime warranty.

Cons:

  • – Could be considered quite bulky compared to other slimmer, more sleek backpack designs.
  • – Dimensions are too large to be considered a personal item on some airlines.
  • – On the pricier side, comparatively.
hen ranger belt
Hex, Ranger Camera Canvas Belt Bag — $70.00

Hex’s tech-driven fashion and functionality shows in its diverse line of bags, including this belt bag, which comes in two different liter sizes depending on your needs and can be worn as a crossbody sling or a fanny-pack. Perfectly sized to hold a smaller sized camera and other essentials, this compact belt bag is a cool, stylish travel go-to.

Pros:

  • – Easily accessible to the highest degree.
  • – The structured, boxy silhouette and outer camo pattern is super trendy.
  • – Includes many little zippered mesh compartments, fold-away dividers, and configurable partitions to organize and store all your cords and smaller tech gadgets.
  • – Crafted from a surplus-grade durable material to last years to come.
  • – Features a fold-out bottom panel that can be folded out of the way or completely removed to allow the bag to be packed flat for travel.

Cons:

  • – Significantly smaller in liter size compared to other bags that are more conducive for longer travel.
  • – Reviews noted the straps and buckles becoming awkward and cumbersome after a couple of hours of loaded wear and carry.
rvca duffel
RVCA, Zak Noyle 45L Camera Duffel — $155.00

Surf-lifestyle brand, RVCA, teamed up with esteemed surf and ocean photographer Zak Noyle for an epic collab which culminated in this signature camera duffel. Created from the ground up by Noyle himself, this 45L bag attracts outdoor-focused photographers and avid travelers alike for those long bouts overseas chasing waves and the next frameable print.

Pros:

  • – A water-repellent textile and abrasion-resistant base.
  • – Equipped with carry handles on all four points for when you get sick of carrying it around one way and want to switch it up.
  • – Storage functions include an interior laptop sleeve and multiple interior organizers.
  • – More roomy and spacious than its competitors offering—made to fit large DSLRs, 4-5 lenses, drones and any other affiliate gear/belongings.

Cons:

  • – Reviews note that after many days of use, bag looks to have been heavily used, including the fabric color fading and appearing weathered.
  • – No padding on the back of the duffel, which means longer hours of carry can be cumbersome and hard on the back.
  • – Some airlines consider bag size too large for a personal item on flight.
shimoda explore
Shimoda, Explore V2 35L Camera Backpack — $400.00

Built for photographers who want to venture into demanding locations but also need to travel globally, Shimoda’s camera bag is packed with tons of travel-smart features designed to be the perfect co-pilot for your shoot. The Explore V2 Camera Backpack can work both independently or be bought in tandem with Shimoda’s Top Loader bag to become part of a larger travel system.

Pros:

  • – Features a luggage handle pass-through, lockable zippers, and a base handle for easy carry.
  • – Offers three torso height options of vertical adjustment to fit short or tall, male or female.
  • – Core units provide shockproof protection for Mirrorless, SLR and DSLR cameras and lenses, and can also fit a laptop up to 16 in. (making it the most laptop-friendly on the list.)
  • – Backed by a 5-year warranty

Cons:

  • – Reviews say bag is not deep enough to fit a gripped or pro body DSLR camera, no matter how you arrange it, or wide enough to fit longer lenses across.
  • – Considerably more expensive than other products.
  • – Heavier than other products.
  • – Not considered water- or weather-resistant. Shimoda recommends regular maintenance—including cleaning, re-applying water repellents, and airing out your gear.
bellroy venture sling
Bellroy, Venture 10L Camera Edition Sling — $175.00

The design-obsessed Australian carry brand recently launched its newest collection: Venture, a perfect addition for point and shoot days with your rig. Designed to handle a range of adventure definitions—whether that be a work commute or a serious outdoor expedition—this camera sling’s performance and folding nature make it a unique buy than most.

Pros:

  • – Self-compressing gussets adapt to your load, while the sling format hugs your body to remain slim and avoid bumping into objects,
  • – Has a sleeker aesthetic for a more of an everyday traveler look.
  • – Sustainably made from water-resistant, ripstop 100% recycled nylon.
  • – Offers detachable tripod carry straps with integrated anchor loops.

Cons:

  • – Not as padded for stress-free protection compared to other bags and packs on the list.
  • – The bag may be small enough to not get in the way of shooting, but for many with much more to transport and utilize, the size is an obvious downfall—having the smallest liter size on the list.
  • – The price tag is arguably on the higher side, considering the size of the bag.
  • – Only a 3-year warranty.
vanguard veo
Vanguard, VEO Select 55BT Backpack Trolley — $300.00

Designed for jet-setting photographers always in air and on the move. The VEO Select line of luggage-style roller/trolley bags by Vanguard is specifically designed for carry-on travel, and yet unassumingly packs a lot more than one would imagine. Swiftly maneuver through airport terminals while safely toting your camera rig and accessories.

Pros:

  • – The only bag on the list with an optional rolling mechanism—an agile 4-wheel trolley for when you just don’t feel like carrying loads of weight on your back anymore.
  • – Features a super-comfortable ergonomic airflow back and harness, as well as a comfortable padded shoulder strap and carrying handle.
  • – Removable interior divider compartments for use as a regular carry-on suitcase.
  • – Well-padded all around and provides numerous dedicated pockets, organizers and connectors for all essentials, including a tripod carrying system.

Cons:

  • – The heaviest bag on this list (weighing in at almost 10 lbs. due to the trolley wheels and top handlebar).
  • – Its compact size can be a pro for some, unless you’re hoping to also bring a laptop larger than 13 in. a drone or other large equipment.
  • – If green’s not your color, you’re S.O.L.

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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