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The best camera bags and cases in 2021

best camera bags
(Image credit: Tenba)

The best camera bags keep your snapper, and all your accessories, safe and secure while you're on the move. They come in all shapes, sizes and formats, from heavy duty hard cases to small clip-on pouches, via backpacks, shoulder bags and more. With so many types and brands available, it's can be hard to know where to start looking, so we've put together a guide to our favourite camera bags in different categories.

Whether you've spent a chunk of cash on one of the best cameras on the market or you've opted for a cheaper point-and-shoot model, we've aimed to cover every major type of camera bag. Whatever your needs or budget, you should find the best option for you. You can jump straight to the type of bag you're looking for by clicking on the section links above or scroll down for the whole list. If you need advice on what to consider when choosing the best camera bag for your, jump down to the section on how to choose the best camera bag or case.

The best camera bags

Camera backpacks

best camera bags: Tenba Axis tactical Backpack

01. Tenba Axis Tactical Backpack

A robust yet comfortable camera backpack for all terrains

Specifications
Type: Backpack
Tripod attachment: Yes
Additional compartments: Laptop/tablet compartment, webbed exterior for accessories
Internal dimensions: 280x470x150mm
Weight: 2kg
Versions: 20L (specs here), 24L or 32L
Reasons to buy
+Military inspired robustness+Several size options
Reasons to avoid
-Not crush proofed or buoyant -Not much room for extras 

Aimed at pro photographers and videographers who need to carry and protect a couple of camera bodies and long lenses on expeditions, the military-inspired Tenba Axis backpack boasts a water repellent exterior, YKK zippers and reinforced stitching. 

There are three capacity options – 20L (as detailed above), 24L and 32L. They all offer space for a laptop plus two camera bodies and lenses. Three useful access points at the top, back and sides allow you to get to your camera while wearing the pack. There's an ‘airflow’ harness, which is height adjustable for comfort, while webbing on the exterior allows for battery pouches and memory card wallets to be added. A rain cover and space for a tripod ensures this option ticks pretty much every box, making it one of the best camera bags available.

best camera bags: Peak Design Everyday Backpack

02. Peak Design Everyday Backpack

A well-engineered camera bag that can take a kicking

Specifications
Type: Backpack
Tripod attachment: Yes
Additional compartments: Laptop/ tablet compartment, inner and outer additional pockets
Internal dimensions: 40.6x28x14cm
Weight: 1.81kg
Versions: 20L (specs here) or 30L
Reasons to buy
+Durable and weatherproof+Innovative interior dividing system
Reasons to avoid
-Straps could be better padded

Ideally, you want a camera bag that's easy to sling on and get going. The Peak Design Everyday Backpack range is designed for this ease of use. Available in 20L (specs listed above) and 30L, it's a hardy, well-engineered camera backpack with impressive capacity and lots of useful extras, such as the 16ins laptop compartment (30L model). Internal FlexFold dividers make organising your gear a cinch and mean could use the bag for both camera gear and groceries (for example). It's weatherproofed too, down to the zips, and will protect your gear even in torrential rainstorms.

What's not to like? Well, the straps could arguably use a little more padding, as they can get uncomfortable when worn for long periods, but that's pretty much it. The 20L model is best for mirrorless setups, while those using DSLRs will probably appreciate the greater depth of the 30L version.

best camera bags: LowePro Tahoe BP 150

03. LowePro Tahoe BP 150

We love this budget camera bag

Specifications
Type: Backpack
Tripod attachment: No
Additional compartments: Tablet pocket, outer pocket, mesh side pockets
Internal dimensions: 25.5x13x36cm
Weight: 0.8kg
Reasons to buy
+Brilliant value for money+Versatile layout
Reasons to avoid
-Limited capacity -Can't fit a laptop

This brilliant bug-shaped LowePro Tahoe BP 150 camera backpack consists of a hard but padded front lid that zips all around and drops down for easy access. Moveable dividers inside make it easy to secure your camera gear, and it can be configured for a DSLR and two to three lenses, with a small zipped area for other items.

Alternatively, you can use an UltraFlex divider to split the bag in half, with half dedicated to your camera gear and half to other things. The Tahoe BP 150 is fantastically flexible, so you can use it for anything from street photography to hiking. There's also an organiser area in the lid with a tablet pouch, and a few handy mesh side pockets.

best camera bags: Tenba Solstice backpacks

04. Tenba Solstice backpacks

The best camera backpack for protecting your gear in the great outdoors

Specifications
Type: Backpack
Tripod attachment: Yes
Additional compartments: Laptop/tablet pocket, pockets in main compartment
Internal dimensions: 50x27x19cm
Weight: 1.5kg
Versions: 20L (specs here), 12L or 24L
Reasons to buy
+Several sizes available+Large main compartment
Reasons to avoid
-Bigger laptops/drones don't fit

When it comes to the best cheap camera bags, there are several size options available for the geared-up outdoor snapper in the great Tenba Solstice Backpacks series. These packs can transport a DSLR or mirror-less camera with three to four lenses, or a DJI Mavic type drone, while also finding room for an iPad Mini type tablet.

Depending on your requirements, choose from the 12L, 20L or 24L models, which increase in size and capacity in line with their product numbers. The specs above are for the middle-sized 20L version. Practical and durable, the interior is fully adjustable, with even the smallest pack being able to accommodate an equipment like that above, while the largest option can fit one or two DSLRs and a whopping five to seven lenses. With padded dividers, this is a pack not just for the solstice, but a cheap camera bag for all seasons.

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best camera bags: Manfrotto Befree Advanced²

(Image credit: Manfrotto)
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best camera bags: Manfrotto Befree Advanced²

(Image credit: Manfrotto)

05. Manfrotto Befree Advanced² Backpack

The best camera bag for professionals with versatile storage

Specifications
Type: Backpack
Tripod attachment: Yes
Additional compartments: Laptop/tablet and personal items compartments
Internal dimensions: 27x17x44cm
Weight: 1.3kg
Reasons to buy
+Durable materials+Great price+Multiple tripod options
Reasons to avoid
-Not everyone will like the back access

The Manfrotto Advanced2 Befree Backpack offers double protection for professional photographs on the move. The durable, weather-resistant nylon material keeps out the rain, and its main compartment is accessed from the rear to provide protection from thieves. Some photographers may find that the back access makes it more difficult to get at their gear quickly, but it's welcome from a security perspective. 

The backpack has plenty of space for a DSLR and six lenses, and it offers multiple options for tripod storage – you can secure it externally with straps or use the expandable pocket provided. There's also a 15in laptop compartment and pockets for personal items, making it one of the best camera bags to cover all needs for travelling photographers. The external dimensions are 33x21.1x49cm.

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06. Lowepro m-Trekker BP 150

A well-designed camera backpack with useful side body access

Specifications
Type: Backpack
Tripod attachment: Yes
Additional compartments: Sleeve for laptop, flexible interior dividers
Internal dimensions: 27x12x42cm
Weight: 0.9kg
Reasons to buy
+Compact yet expandable+Side pocket for tripod
Reasons to avoid
-Short on space

The smart yet unobtrusive Lowepro m-Trekker BP 150 features convenient side body access and a robust fabric construction in a choice of either grey Canvex or black Cordura with a fully customisable interior with flexible dividers, as is typical for a bag of this type. It can easily accommodate a mirrorless camera, DJI Osmo or Mavic type drone.

An all-weather cover is also provided for photographers who enjoy the great outdoors, while there’s a dedicated sleeve for a 13ins laptop alongside that inevitable Thermos. A back panel provides a cushion and a low profile design for added comfort, too.

Shoulder camera bags

best camera bags: Billingham Hadley One

(Image credit: BIllingham)

07. Billingham Hadley One

A stylish, premium shoulder bag from a renowned British manufacturer

Specifications
Type: Shoulder bag
Tripod attachment: No
Additional compartments: Sleeve for laptop, removable padded insert section, twin dump pockets at front
Internal dimensions: 35cmx12cmx25cm
Weight: 0.9kg
Reasons to buy
+Beautiful design and finish+Extra-padded compartment
Reasons to avoid
-Pricier than other models

Designed especially to take a laptop as well as a DSLR or CSC, the Billingham Hadley One is the perfect choice for the creative with many heads. It's a little bigger than the similar Hadley Pro, and features a removable padded insert specifically designed for camera gear, giving your camera and lenses an extra layer of protection and also prevent them from damaging other items in the bag by knocking into them. The padded laptop sleeve can take a laptop up to 13 inches in length, while a padded top handle expands the ways you can carry the bag.

If space is still an issue, the bag can also take additional accessory pouches (sold separately), and the rear document pocket also has a rainproof zip closure, keeping extra safe any vital documents you may be carrying. It comes at a premium price, as to be expected from Billingham, but it's a great choice for camera gear and more, arguably one of the most complete bags around.

best camera bags: Think Tank Signature

08. Think Tank Signature

The best shoulder bag/sling offers modern durability and protection

Specifications
Type: Sling style
Tripod attachment: No
Additional compartments: Tablet/laptop compartment, phone pocket, front pocket
Internal dimensions: 30x20x13cm
Weight: 1.3kg
Versions: 10 (specs here) or 13
Reasons to buy
+Conveniently collapsible +Functional shoulder style
Reasons to avoid
-No tripod attachment-Bigger laptops don't fit

Most cameras these days mix the classic with the contemporary, so why shouldn’t the bag you choose to carry it in function in the same way? The Think Tank Signature is a modern take on the shoulder bag that still features a tactile wool-feel fabric and hand-sewn construction, yet the weather protection and durability with it that today’s photographer would demand. 

There are a couple of options available in the ‘10’ (specs here) or ‘13’ bags – the numbers referring to the size of tablet or laptop in inches that can also be housed alongside a DSLR sized camera and lenses. You also get a dedicated mobile phone pocket, while the dividers and foam in the base can be removed to create a completely collapsible bag for convenient storage when not in use. This is one of the best camera shoulder bags you can get right now.

best camera bags: Lowepro Streetline SH120

09. Lowepro Streetline SH120

Useful, ergonomic shoulder bags that are perfect for day trips and city breaks

Specifications
Type: Shoulder bag
Tripod attachment: No
Additional compartments: Laptop/tablet pocket, internal pockets
Internal dimensions: 18x9.5x26.8cm
Weight: 0.49kg
Versions: 120 (specs here), 140 or 180
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight and compact+Practical and inexpensive
Reasons to avoid
-No room for tablets or laptops

Slim but durable, the Lowepro Streetline range of shoulder bags are perfect for exploring a city on a mini-break, with space for your camera gear as well as any extra small items you may need throughout the day, including a small laptop. The outer fabric is moisture resistant, meaning you'll be able to roam freely without worrying about rain, and the slim profile of the bag means that passing through crowds is an easy, painless process. 

Lowepro have also added plenty of extra pockets around the interior of the bag, allowing you to keep different items in different places for easy, fast access. The Streetline shoulder bags are available in 120 (specs listed above), 140 and 180 versions, with 180 being the largest and most expensive.

best camera bags: Billingham 72

10. Billingham 72

The best camera pouch, from an esteemed British manufacturer

Specifications
Type: Camera pouch/shoulder bag
Tripod attachment: No
Additional compartments: Front pocket
Internal dimensions: 11x9x14cm
Weight: 0.46Kg
Reasons to buy
+Stylish +A no-fuss snug fit
Reasons to avoid
-Not much room for extras-Pricey

If you’ve spent around £1,000 – possibly more – on a premium compact camera or CSC, you might want something equally classic and swish to transport it in at an a lot more affordable £100. Enter Billingham’s unobtrusive yet stylish vertical option. The British made, pouch-like Billingham 72 comes complete with a handy shoulder strap and brass and leather fixtures.

With construction that includes hardwearing materials that manage to be both moisture and heat resistant, this camera bag also comes in a choice of five different colour combinations. There’s a useful front pocket for your camera batteries and cards, a padded interior divider, plus the peace of mind of a five-year manufacturer’s guarantee.

Rolling camera bags

best camera bags: Manfrotto Manhattan Roller Runner 50

(Image credit: Manfrotto)

11. Manfrotto Manhattan Roller Runner 50

A streamlined roller, ideal for airline carry-on

Specifications
Type: Rolling case
Tripod attachment: No
Additional compartments: Laptop compartment
Internal dimensions: 33x16x48cm
Weight: 3kg
Reasons to buy
+Flexible shell+Transforms into a backpack
Reasons to avoid
-Two wheels only-Sacrifices durability for flexibility

The Manfrotto Manhattan Roller Runner 50 is designed for pros but priced to tempt any user. With external measurements of 25x39x53cm, it's ideal for carry-on, while the flexy camera shell can adapt to suit your gear. It can carry a professional DSLR with around four lenses including one attached and the extra space could even accommodate a small drone.

It also offers a lot of versatility, since it rolls smoothly, has three handles for different carrying options and can also convert into a backpack. You can access your gear quickly from the top of the top of the bag.

best camera bags: Manfrotto Pro Light Reloader Switch-55

12. Manfrotto Pro Light Reloader Switch-55

A 2-in-1 roller bag and backpack with generous capacity

Specifications
Type: Rolling case/backpack
Tripod attachment: No
Additional compartments: Three, plus laptop/tablet compartment
Internal dimensions: 32x18x47cm
Weight: 3.3 kg
Reasons to buy
+Switches to backpack+Loads of extra pockets
Reasons to avoid
-No tripod holder

Another versatile roller bag that fits as standard carry-on luggage, the Manfrotto Pro Light Reloader Switch-55 has a generous capacity for multiple pro-spec DSLRs with lenses to spare, this bag is also a good choice for large amounts of video kit, and its 14 protective dividers allow the user to tailor its space precisely to their requirements. 

Manfrotto has kitted this bag out with its Pro-Light Rip-Stop fabric, which further expands its utility as an all-in-one travel bag. If you’re always on the go and need a bag that’ll keep up, this is a fantastic choice, with space for all your kit and more.

Hard cases

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13. Peli 1510 Protector Case

The best hard camera case, this Peli provides the ultimate protection

Specifications
Type: Suitcase-style
Tripod attachment: No
Additional compartments: Laptop/tablet compartment
Internal dimensions: 51x29x19cm
Weight: 6.2Kg
Reasons to buy
+Waterproof and crush-proof
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy and costly-No pockets for accessories

If you’re looking for professional-grade robustness when it comes to keeping your kit safe, then the Peli brand comes highly rated. Not only does the Peli 1510 Protector Case claim to be crush-proof, waterproof and dustproof thanks to a rubber O-ring seal (meaning that your precious kit will be better protected than most options on the market), this trunk-like hard case features the added benefit of a retractable handle and wheels, with foam padding for the interior. 

It can accommodate one or two pro DSLRs and up to eight lenses, while also featuring the swish addition of a pressure equalising valve, plus a degree of buoyancy. As well as the standard black, it also comes in a range of bright colours and can manage all of the above while remaining a size that means it can be taken aboard a plane as carry-on luggage.

best camera bags: Vanguard 40F

(Image credit: Vanguard)

13. Vanguard Supreme 40F

A great value hard camera case if you're travelling light

Specifications
Type: Suitcase-style
Tripod attachment: No
Additional compartments: Removable divider bag
Internal dimensions: 43x29.5x17.5cm
Weight: 4.4Kg
Reasons to buy
+Very tough+Practical size for smaller kits+Good value
Reasons to avoid
-Not designed for large lenses-No roller wheels

For a more economical hard case for your camera, the Vanguard Supreme 40F is super robust but offers a competitive price tag. It's crush-proof to 120kg of force, can withstand temperatures from -40℃ to an intense 95℃ and can keep your kit dry at up to 5 metres underwater. It boasts some nice little extras too, including a comfortable handle and non-slip rubber feet. 

The cubed foam interior has enough space for a full-frame DSLR and three or four lenses, but as long as they're larger than a 70-200mm f/2.8. With external dimensions of 46.5 x 36.5 x 19.5cm and weighing just 4.4kg, it's a convenient size for travel, and there's also a self-contained removable divider bag for extra versatility.

How to choose the best camera bag or case

The right camera bag for you will naturally depend on your personal requirements. While most offer space to stash a tablet or laptop alongside photographic equipment, some are better for compact system cameras than bulkier DSLRs, while others offer space for a camera drone too. So study the following list closely in order to find your own best fit.

Of course, it’s not just your gear that you need to consider. You should also think about what you typically take shots off, and what environments you work in. For street photography, an unobtrusive shoulder-worn messenger type bag that doesn’t obviously scream ‘photographer’ might be the best option, while landscape and wildlife photographers who cover lots of terrain and face all elements, may want a waterproof backpack with room for provisions as well as a camera and tripod. 

They'll also probably want padded straps and breathable fabrics for extra comfort. Those who regularly hop on and off aircraft for short shoots abroad are likely to favour a rolling trolley bag that fits carry-on luggage rules. Whatever your needs, you can see today's best deals below.

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Gavin is a freelance journalist and writer, and editor at BPI News.