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Cameras

Best Camera Bag

It’s important to give your camera and lenses the best care possible and one way to do that is to have a safe a secure way to store and transport them. Camera bags and cases are great in that role. They’re specially made to provide a high level of protection from water and shock damage. Plus they’re designed to create an easy organizational system inside them so that you always know where a specific piece of equipment is. Camera bags come in many forms like sling bags, backpacks, and hard cases. Here are the very best ones.

Think Tank Photo Airport Security V 2.0 Rolling Camera Bag

For the Canon photographer with a lot of gear, the Think Tank Airport Security bag is an excellent choice. This bag is basically a suitcase designed just for camera gear — it can hold up to three DSLR bodies, seven lenses and two flashes. Designed to comfortably take on an airplane, the Think Tank bag has wheels and a pull handle for easier transportation. The bag also has a tripod/monopod holder and rain cover. Think Tank makes high quality bags, and the Airport Security model is an excellent choice for toting around a lot of gear.

Tenba Roadie II HDSLR/Video Shoulder Bag

The Tenba Roadie is one of the largest, high quality shoulder bags available. Stash up to two DSLR bodies, six to eight lenses, a monopod and a laptop with this camera bag. The Roadie is made with water-repellant, ballistic nylon to keep gear protected. The interior is organized by soft dividers that can be adjusted to suit your gear. The bag can be carried comfortably with the shoulder strap, or has a special strap to attach to the top of a suitcase with a pull handle for travel.

Canon Deluxe Photo Backpack 200EG for Canon EOS SLR Cameras

Designed specifically for Canon cameras, the Canon Deluxe Backpack 200 can hold up to two DSLR bodies, four lenses and extra accessories. Made of durable, water resistant nylon, the backpack is designed to keep gear safe. But along with keeping your camera protected, the bag is also comfortable with a mesh backing for breathability, thick shoulder straps and an extra waist strap. There's an extra strap for carrying a tripod or monopod, as well as a key ring on the inside pocket so your keys are easy to find. Extra front and side pockets stash extra accessories.

Canon Professional Gadget Bag 1EG

Canon's Professional Gadget Bag is an excellent option for the Canon photographer looking for a shoulder bag for their gear. The exterior is constructed from padded and water-repellant nylon, while interior dividers keep gear organized and safe. With two front pockets, two side pockets and an interior top pocket, there is plenty of space for small accessories and personal items as well. Tripod straps located at the bottom allow for easy transportation of a tripod or monopod as well. The bag can be carried with the shoulder strap or the leather top handle. The Gadget Bag uses quick release buckles so the camera can be ready quickly.

Canon 100-DG Digital Gadget Bag

Canon's 100-DG Digital Gadget Bag can store a DSLR kit, laptop and accessories. Built from water-repellent nylon on the outside, padded dividers keep the camera and lenses separate on the inside. Several storage pockets help keep SD cards filters, cleaning gear and other small supplies. The included media case organizes cards and CDs. The bag is lightweight, yet durable enough for keeping your camera safe.

Domke F-2 Original Shoulder Bag

Large enough to house two DSLR bodies as well as extra lens, the Domke F-2 Ruggedwear Shooters Bag is an excellent option for Nikon photographers. The exterior is constructed with durable canvas coated with wax and oil, while six interior compartments keep gear organized and protected. Six other pockets are perfect for stashing smaller accessories. As a shoulder bag, the Domke F-2 offers quick access to your gear. The bag can be carried with using the shoulder strap or removable hand straps. The Domke F-2 is made in the USA.

Think Tank Retrospective 7 Shoulder Bag for Standard DSLR

Think Tank's Retrospective Shoulder Bag is perfect for the Nikon photographer looking to blend into the crowd — the casual exterior look of this bag is excellent for disguising expensive gear while the interior protects a DSLR with attached lens for quick shots. Two to four additional lenses or flash units will also fit nicely into the bag. The bag also has a front pocket that's roomy enough for a large, full frame Nikon body. The front pocket can also accommodate an 11-inch laptop or tablet. Think Tanks bags are made of durable, high quality material that will make this bag last a long time.

Lowepro Nova 200 AW Camera Bag

Lowepro's Nova 200 Shoulder bag is large enough for the photographer that owns not one, but two Nikon DSLR bodies. The roomy bag can also accommodate three to five lenses. Smaller pockets allow for storing memory cards and smaller accessories. The shoulder strap is comfortable and adjustable. With a waterproof exterior, the Nova 200 will also keep your gear protected from the elements. And for a Lowepro quality bag, the price is quite excellent as well.

Tamrac 5587 Expedition 7x Camera Backpack

Gear can get heavy, so camera backpacks are nice for distributing the weight between both shoulders. The Tamrac Expedition backpack is an excellent choice for Nikon DSLR owners. The pack is large enough to house a DSLR with an attached lens, as well as extra lenses, flash units, a 17-inch laptop and accessories. Exterior straps for a monopod or tripod are also included. The hidden waist strap offers further comfort for long term wearing. The exterior is made of durable, weatherproof PolyTek fabric while the interior is made with foam lining.

Nikon CF-DC5 Semi Soft Case

The downside of using a DSLR is that they aren't very portable. Nikon's Semi-Soft Camera Cases, however, are excellent for packing just the bare minimum. The bags, designed for specific Nikon models, are a soft, small padding to slip over the DSLR and a small lens. The soft cases don't include any straps or extra pockets—they are designed instead for using inside another bag. The semi-soft cases aren't designed for all your gear, but are an excellent extra case to use when traveling.

Pelican 1510SC Studio Camera Case

It's hard to go wrong with a Pelican case—the quality is top notch, they come with a guarantee and there are dozens of different options. The Pelican 1510SC Studio Case stands out, however, because the case includes an organized lid, and organizing small accessories isn't usually something hard camera cases do well. Along with the extra lid storage, this case meets airline carry-on standards, yet is large enough for most gear. The gear is organized with adjustable padded dividers. The tough exterior lives up to Pelican standards and includes a pressurization valve that means the case can be submerged for 30 minutes without water getting inside the case. Wheels and a long pull handle make for more comfortable transportation of a lot of gear.

Pelican 1560 Hard Camera Case

The interior dividers in the Pelican 1560 can be rearranged to accommodate different equipment, unlike the foam interiors that are difficult to change once set to your gear. The sizes of the different compartments are adjusted with velcro, so it is perfect for a lifetime container even as your gear changes. Like other Pelican cases, it's waterproof, crushproof, dustproof and comes with a lifetime guarantee. The case uses wheels and a pull handle for easier transportation. A double latch system helps keep the case sealed and prevents accidental openings.

Pelican 1650 Hard Camera Case

Pelican's 1650 Case uses pre-cut foam, allowing the user to remove small sections of foam to make the interior custom fitted to their gear. Like most of Pelican's cases, the tough exterior prevents gear being damaged from drops, water, chemicals, dust and more. The case includes wheels and a pull handle for carrying heavy gear. The interior measures about 28-by-17-by-10 inches to accommodate a wide variety of gear—even with up to 181 pounds of equipment inside the 1650 is still designed to float. The case can withstand temperatures between -40 degrees and 210 degrees and comes with a lifetime guarantee.

SKB iSeries 1914 Pro DSLR Case

SKB cases are made in the USA and come with a lifetime warranty, making them a great option for protecting your camera gear. The iSeries 1914 Pro DSLR case has a pre-cut foam interior with slots for up to two camera bodies and four lenses. The slots can be adjusted by inserting and removing foam pieces to make your gear fit comfortably. The case can also accommodate lens hoods as well as smaller accessories like memory cards and filters. Wheels and a pull handle are also included.

HPRC 2550WF Hard Case with Cubed Foam Interior

The HPRC 2550WF Wheeled Hard Case is one of the lightest options for tough camera cases. The foam interior can be adjusted to fit snugly around a wide variety of gear, even beyond just photography equipment. The case can be wheeled, or carried with the top handle. The 2550 is watertight and can withstand crushing as well as corrosion from chemicals. The corners and hinges are reinforced with the padded handle offers a comfortable carrying option. HPRC includes a lifetime replacement warranty.

Think Tank StreetWalker Hard Drive Camera Backpack

The Think Tank StreetWalker Hard drive dSLR backpack is large enough to fit a camera body with a 70-200 mm lens attached, plus four other lenses, a 15-inch laptop and a tripod or monopod. An upper organized pocket and two side pockets stash smaller accessories, plus there's a dedicated business card holder and small pockets on the straps. Comfort is key for the StreetWalker; the harness straps are adjustable, a waist strap is included and the mesh backing helps you stay cool. Think Tank includes a rain cover and a lifetime warranty.

Lowepro Pro Runner 200 AW Backpack

Lowepro is a highly respected brand when it comes to camera bags. The Lowepro Pro Runner 200 AW backpack is compact enough to be used as a carry on for most airlines, yet can fit a dSLR with an attached lens plus 2-3 additional lenses or flash units and a tripod. The exterior is tough and weather-resistant while the interior is padded and well organized, despite the smaller size. An extra front pocket stashes smaller items. The Pro Runner also includes adjustable straps and a weather cover.

Kata KT UL-MB 111 MiniBee Camera Backpack

Camera bags that don't look like camera bags can help deter theft — and the Kata KT UL-MB 111 backpack definitely fits the bill. The bag has a stylish, sturdy exterior with a surprisingly organized interior. The lower compartment stores a dSLR with attached lens plus up to five other lenses, an upper compartment stores smaller accessories or personal items and the back pocket can hold most 13-inch laptops or tablets. The two compartments can also be combined, making the MiniBee a very versatile backpack. A tripod hook is also included.

Tamrac 5587 Expedition 7x Camera Backpack

Gear can get heavy, so camera backpacks are nice for distributing the weight between both shoulders. The Tamrac Expedition backpack is an excellent choice for Nikon DSLR owners. The pack is large enough to house a DSLR with an attached lens, as well as extra lenses, flash units, a 17-inch laptop and accessories. Exterior straps for a monopod or tripod are also included. The hidden waist strap offers further comfort for long term wearing. The exterior is made of durable, weatherproof PolyTek fabric while the interior is made with foam lining.

Ona Camps Bay Camera Backpack

Ona Camps Bay backpack is the ultimate option in camera canvas backpacks. The bag is handcrafted with canvas and leather and is large enough to hold a camera, seven lenses and a laptop up to 17-inch. A separate compartment that stores personal items can be adjusted as needed with the divider. The straps are thick and comfortable. The back panel includes air mesh to further enhance the comfort of wearing the Ona Camps Bay.

BlackRapid Snap R20 Compact Camera Bag

The BlackRapid SnapR20 isn't just a camera bag. The SnapR20 includes a strap, fastened via the tripod socket, that keeps the camera securely strapped to either the bag or a wrist—meaning a dropped camera isn't a broken one. But along with the unique strap features, the camera bag is roomy enough for most point and shoots. The bag is made of sturdy nylon and uses additional hardware and padding on the inside to keep the camera protected. The camera can be quickly slid in or out and the strap doesn't have to be removed for storage. An extra side pocket stashes the extra strap or can be used to sore other accessories. The bag can be used with a wrist or shoulder strap.

Tamrac 5690 Compact Digital Camera Bag

The Tamrac 5690 compact digital camera bag is roomy enough to store most compact cameras as well as extra batteries and memory cards, but small enough not to get in the way. The 5690 uses foam on the inside to keep the camera protected from bumps and scratches. This bag includes a shoulder strap. The back of the bag, however, includes a belt attachment for more carrying options. The clip closure is both secure, yet easy to access.

Lowepro Apex 30 AW Compact Camera Bag

For the all-weather pocket camera, the Lowepro Apex 30 AW bag is the perfect companion. With a rugged exterior construction and soft tricot and microfiber lining on the inside, the bag itself is perfect for keeping a camera protected in most conditions. But in extreme weather conditions, a built in cover provides extra protection from moisture and sand. The single fold out pocket makes everything easily accessible, but is also divided into compartments for easy organizing. The bag includes an adjustable shoulder strap.

Mountainsmith Cyber II Recycled Camera Bag

Made from recycled plastic bottles, the Mountainsmith Cyber II is both sturdy and eco-freindly. The bag can be closed with both a velcro and zipper for the most secure carrying option, or can be used with just the velcro for fast access. Both a detachable shoulder strap and belt clip are included. An extra interior pocket stashes memory cards. Another perk, it's available in five different colors.

Case Logic DCB-302 Carrying Case for Camera - Black

Point and shoot cameras are often purchased for their value and portability—the Case Logic DCB-302 compact case is a camera bag that also meets both those standards. Retailing at around $10, the small bag is a good companion for many point and shoot models. The shoulder strap can be detached to use inside another bag or purse. A belt clip offers another carrying option. This Case Logic also includes both an accessory pocket and a separate SD card pocket. The compact case is available in five different colors.

Tenba Shootout Sling Bag

The Tenba Shootout is a quality sling bag that can also be used as a long lens bag. Movable, padded dividers allow the camera to fit securely in the quick draw compartment, or they can be removed to accommodate a long lens, up to 300mm attached to the camera body. The Shootout can hold one to two camera bodies with one to two lenses, accessories and even a tripod or monopod. The bag can be worn on the back for comfort, or swung around the front for quick access. The Shootout is made from durable, waterproof nylon.

Think Tank Sling-O-Matic 10 Sling Camera Bag

Think Tank's Sling-O-Matic can be worn on either shoulder, or carried by one of three sets of side handles. A unique rail set means that the gear doesn't have to be swapped around when the bag is switched to the opposite shoulder or worn in front. A waist strap can be used for additional comfort. The Sling-O-Matic can store a DSLR with a 70-200mm lens and attached hood, ready for shooting right out of the bag. Adjustable tripod straps and a removable rain cover are also included.

Ruggard Triumph 35 Camera Sling Bag

The Ruggard Triumph 35 Sling Bag has the best features of both a backpack and a sling. Designed with the spaciousness of a backpack, the Triumph 35 has a quick access side flap and can be swung around to retrieve the camera without removing the bag. The bag can hold a DSLR, three lenses, two flashes and other accessories—in a variety of different ways, thanks to the removable, padded dividers. The main compartment is expandable to customize the bag to your gear. A hidden waist strap adds comfort during long term wear. A detachable rain cover and a tripod holder are also included.

Tamrac Jazz Photo Sling Pack Camera Bag

Designed for quick access to a DSLR or mirrorless camera, the Tamrac Jazz Photo Sling Pack holds a camera with lens attached as well as an extra lens, charger, accessories and personal items. The bag is made with foam padding in the strap, interior and dividers. The side door allows you to easily pull the camera out while still wearing the bag. The exterior is stylish and constructed with a sturdy polyester material. Priced around $50, the Jazz sling pack is a great value.

Lowepro Passport Sling Camera Bag

Lowepro's Passport Sling is a perfect on-the-go camera bag to downsize to the essentials when bringing all your gear would slow you down. The Passport accommodates a DSLR with an attached lens and one extra lens as well as accessories. The bag is expandable to stash extra items, and collapsable for easy storage when empty. While the inside is a nice, padded home for your camera, the outside is stylish and doesn't look like a camera bag.

Hillary K. Grigonis
As a former photojournalist, I love taking pictures and staying up-to-date on camera trends. I'm now both a freelance writer and photographer, and when I'm not taking pictures for clients or writing about photography, I'm probably taking snapshots of my family. My first camera was a Canon but my DSLR is a Nikon. I'm a fan of the Sony point-and-shoots, but I also like the quirkiness of smaller brands like Pentax.
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