Best Camera Bags - As Rated by Digital Photography School Members - Digital Photography School

Best Camera Bags – As Rated by Digital Photography School Members

Last week we asked Digital Photography School members to tell us about their camera bags and to give recommendations for which ones they liked best. The response was overwhelming with close to 200 responses as I write this. 70 or so bags were mentioned by name but there were some interesting recurring brands and model numbers that I thought it would be useful to summarize here for those looking to buy a new camera bag.

What you’ll find below is a summary of the 9 most mentioned camera bags in our survey – categorized by brand.

Lowepro Camera Bags

Loweprow bags were the most popular in our community with a range of their bags being among the most mentioned including:

Lowepro Slingshot 200 All Weather Backpack – (pictured left and the most mentioned bag in the whole survey)

Lowepro SlingShot 100 All-Weather Digital Camera Backpac

Lowepro SlingShot 300 All-Weather Camera Bag

Compuday Pack

Quite a few other Lowepro bags were mentioned also – the other popular Lowepro range mentioned was the Stealth Reporter range including the D100, D200, D300, D400, D550 and the D650.

Crumpler Camera Bags

Crumpler bags were the 2nd most mentioned brand (they just beat Tamrak) with the ‘Million Dollar’ Range most mentioned including:

Crumpler 5 Million Dollar Home Photo Bag – (pictured left and the 2nd most mentioned bag in the survey)

Crumpler 7 Million Dollar Home Photo Bag

Crumpler 6 Million Dollar Home Photo Bag

Once again other Crumpler bags were mentioned but the million dollar range being an older one seems to have more users to this point.

Tamrac Camera Bags

Tamrak bags were the 3rd most popular brand with the ‘Adventure Series most mentioned including:

Tamrac Adventure 7 Photo Backpack – (pictured left)

Tamrac Adventure 9 Photo/Computer Backpack

By no means were these the only camera bags mentioned in our informal survey – there were literally hundreds of responses with great discussion on the pros and cons of each camera bag.

I hope this is a helpful resource for those looking to buy your next camera bag! Feel free to continue to add your recommendations in comments below.

Read more from our Cameras & Equipment category.

Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • rhmyers

    If your concerned about security with your Lowepro bag, then just cut the stiching off the Logo and remove it.

  • http://canonteleobjektiv.info canonOjektiv

    This is my first time i visit here. This is a smart blog. I mean it.

  • guest

    I guess you haven’t seen case logic yet .. All of these are useless and low quality

  • Levon Mkrtchyan

    I just bought a ThinkTank Retrospective, and it is way better than my old lowepro slingshot.

  • marcoap

    Hi!
    Lowepro without any doubt. I have 3 models but my favourite one is Lowepro Flipside Sport 15L AW. Just fantastic!
    I had doubts as to whether I could fit all the gear I wanted in it plus my iPad. I can! I put some shots in my blog (http://mpimpao.com/windows_FOR_the_soul_blog_files/lowepro_flipside_sport.html) of the backpack with my gear in it so that others could see how the ipad fits in great. Too bad the external pocket (for the water bladder) is so tight. I do not need the water but I could use a bit more space for wallet, mobile, etc.

Some older comments

  • canonOjektiv

    January 27, 2012 02:23 pm

    This is my first time i visit here. This is a smart blog. I mean it.

  • rhmyers

    December 22, 2011 06:30 am

    If your concerned about security with your Lowepro bag, then just cut the stiching off the Logo and remove it.

  • John reder

    November 18, 2011 06:29 am

    Hi there, I wanted to write a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation All the best.
    Appreciate the recommendation!
    Keep working ,great job!

  • Keone

    October 29, 2011 07:01 pm

    Hey. I have a Nikon D90 with lenses 18-105mm and 55-300mm. I am going travelling next year round UK and Europe and am looking for a backpack that will carry my camera with 18-105mm lense attached and my other lense, as well as personal gear as well. I will be taking it as carry on, on the plane with maybe my laptop, so would be great if that can fit in there too. I've seen a few on the net but i can't really decide just on a picture.
    If anyone has any suggestions that would be great.

  • Sarasota Photography

    October 25, 2011 06:03 am

    Hey Very informative post. Thanks a lot for sharing such a nice post. Keep Sharing:)

  • MARCELLUS

    September 25, 2011 05:37 am

    I agree with you on this, really. Haven't met too many peopel who think the same way!

  • Trent Smallwood

    September 15, 2011 02:02 am

    Darren, thanks for posting the results of your survey. The list will be very helpful, not only for photography students, but anyone who owns a camera, too. As a matter of fact, I just bought a brand new camera and the details on your post are very helpful to me. Thanks for sharing!

  • serge

    September 12, 2011 02:04 pm

    What can you recommend for a bag that can fit my gear?

    Nikor D90 with Nikkor 18-200 or tokina 12-24
    Nikkor 18-200 or tokina 12-24 (the one not attached to the camera)
    Nikkor 50mm
    SB 600

    And planning to buy a MB D80
    Thanks

    Looking at Tamrac Velocity 7x or 8x
    or Lowepro slinghsot 200 or 202

    Can the above bags fit my items? Thanks!

  • Gerardo Cook

    August 23, 2011 11:33 pm

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  • home loan modification palm springs

    March 26, 2011 01:31 pm

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  • Michael Augspurger

    March 19, 2011 05:09 am

    the kata 123-go series is a great backpack. It has lots of space and versatility in its use. Plus, it comes in 3 sizes based on how much gear you have.

  • Frank@Photography Tips

    March 4, 2011 08:50 am

    I think the choice of bag is really important as well.

  • photogsa

    January 8, 2011 12:51 pm

    Bag choice is a major problem - too many to choose from and too little money :)

    Funnily enough, I actually like and have the Tamrac Adventurer

  • kavit

    December 14, 2010 08:24 am

    This is very useful info.Thanks for writing it and keep it up to date

  • canon rebel t2i review

    November 26, 2010 08:21 pm

    Your right ash it does really hurt your neck nice post.

  • Mohammed Hughes

    October 1, 2010 06:28 pm

    my diaper bags are made of cotton fabric and paper, they are quite tough*-"

  • KrisIsInVenice

    August 14, 2010 03:56 am

    I am looking for a sling back bag that holds lenses only. I found it on a website and then failed to save the link. It was a quick change lens bag in a sling back configuration that held 3 lenses. Since I use the Nikon D3 I almost always carry it due to the weight and am looking for a bag that carries only the lenses.
    Thanks if anyone has any info!

  • canon dslr

    June 28, 2010 11:47 am

    I will come back again because this blog is very good for me

  • Sara Foster

    May 12, 2010 04:32 am

    i usually choose diaper bags which are made of recyclabe materials to help the environment not just your babies.-'.

  • Gjackson

    April 29, 2010 01:45 pm

    Definitely check out Think Tank Photo. Amazing bags - excellent quality.

    I am also a fan of the Boda V3 I think it is goboda.com - nice bag for lenses...

  • Mali K

    April 19, 2010 04:51 pm

    For camera digital, I prefer D90 DX from nicon. Great sensor, amazing colors out of the camera and very comfortable to hold

  • Rese

    April 13, 2010 07:59 pm

    I am taking a trip shortly to Alaska/Canada and I am looking to purchase a backpack without spending a ton of money. I will be carrying my Nikon D300, plus a 18-200 lens, 70-300 lens and the SB-900 flash, along with an iPad, chargers and extra batteries and cards. I also might throw in there a Nikon D5000 with an 18 - 55 lens. Does anyone have any suggestions? I DO NOT want a sling bag. I want a well padded backpack that I can use as a carry on on the plane and then use to hike around town, etc.

  • Aaron Seet

    March 4, 2010 12:12 pm

    when you state "best" camera bags, best for what?

    All bags are designed for certain scenarios and conditions. Match the bag to the environment.

  • AL

    February 26, 2010 04:28 am

    Hey, I would highly recommend M-ROCK camera bags. They are highly versatile and last forever. The customer service is great, which for me, is a huge plus.

  • Chris Parker

    June 16, 2009 07:55 pm

    My current favourite is the Kata R series, particularly the R-104. Very tough, loads of space, and a legal airline carry-on.
    http://www.kata-bags.com/product.asp?p_Id=488&Version=Photo

  • DB

    February 13, 2009 08:12 am

    I'm looking for the largest and most comfortable pack out there. I would like it waterproof or have a built in cover. I also would like to be able to strap a tripod and clothing on the outside.

    Anyone out there have a good idea what that bag might be?

  • KeithT

    January 11, 2009 04:10 am

    Camera bags are the bane of my life. I've tried them all from Billingham to Tamrac and have the Tamrac System 6 at the moment with Billingham inserts, as the Tamrac inserts are too cheap and nasty. None are easy to work out of though, especially if you're short, dumpy, and round shouldered as I am. I like the quality of the Billingham which comes at a price, but worth every penny if you are serious, but I wish these ex fishing tackle bag makers would consult photograhers who, like me, need to wear a bag across their chest.

  • TJ

    August 5, 2008 01:57 pm

    >Chewbies

    Usually they say OK to go when I tell them it's a camera bag. They don't want no
    hassle of facing customer with damaged or lost photo gear after insisting check-in the bag.

  • Chewbies

    April 19, 2008 02:14 pm

    justmy$.02 - I agree with you! A few of my friend's computer's been stolen and they were in their Crumplers.

    But I'm liking the Lowepro CompuDaypack. I suppose sticking something over the logo tag would do the trick?
    I travel quite a bit (long haul) and I'm wondering if I could get through the airport with that bag and a weekender suitcase. Anyone knows?

  • DavidKai

    April 4, 2008 12:19 am

    I like the Mountainsmith Aurora because it has a rubber foot - brilliant! I like to take my camera skiing, sailing, canoeing, and around seattle where the groung is usually wet. And it's big enough to carry my small video camera as well.

  • Jerry Feist

    March 29, 2008 01:20 am

    A black diaper bag works really well for my equipment. It cost less than $20 and has enough built-in pockets to separate fragile equipment. It may not be “sexy,” but it doesn’t advertise “expensive equipment” either.

  • PhotoGrizz

    March 28, 2008 02:03 am

    I recently bought a Joe Farve backpack that is made for Adorama camera. It is as well made as a smaller Tamrac bag I have. Has lots of room and lots of adjustable dividers. It even comes with a rain fly. Cost is much lower than an equivalant Lowpro or Tamrac bag. Has a compartment for a laptop.

  • Jake

    March 26, 2008 03:56 am

    I love it how people think that their way is the only way.

    First of all, as mentioned, the LowePro bags are really not more of target than other bags. They don't say "Canon" in big letters. And the LowePro logo, which is much less well known, is very small.

    Secondly, I mostly use my Slingshot for day hikes in the mountains, where thieves are just about my last concern. The Slingshot is a good bad if it feels comfortable to you and meets your needs.

  • Daniel

    March 25, 2008 03:28 pm

    Replying to a comment by justmy$.02 I don't believe that a lowpro bag is more "susceptible" to thievery than any other bag.

    Don’t think for a second that your unnamed backpack will deter a thief even if your sitting next to someone wearing an obvious camera bag. No matter what size shape, brand or condition it is in if you constantly put down your bag a thief is likely to grab or go through it; particularly if your in a tourist hotspot.

    The slingshot bag being designed the way it is, means you do not have to take it off to sit down or take your camera out. This alone makes it more difficult for thieves than a regular backpack as your not letting go of your bag as much.

  • DaveS

    March 22, 2008 12:13 pm

    I'm in the Slingshot 200 camp. I got it for a DSLR with a mid-size lens mounted, a small spare, and a speedlight, plus cards and a spare battery. I'm still using it, with all of the above plus two more mid-size lenses, another small lens, another speedlight and a third battery, plus some assorted lens care stuff (hoods, filters) and a slew of memory cards. Still have room in the outside pocket for a couple of powerbars and a note pad. I think I'm full up though.

    I guess I understand why a walk-and-shoot bag doesn't have a place to hang a camera support, but I wish the choice was mine. I've added an extra loop to the rubbery one on the far side, but it really needs two (big flaps with velcro, please) to keep things from swinging around.

  • sandra

    March 22, 2008 10:13 am

    I was shopping around for a good solid camera bag, and low and behold I purchased a Lowepor 200 I am very pleased. It holds all I need now and has more room for upgrading ( when I get there).Good article just came a bit late for me.

  • Jack Larson

    March 22, 2008 02:06 am

    I love the Slingshot 300 because you can carry more stuff. It's terrific for using while walking. The ease of bringing the bag in front of you without taking the pack off makes it better than a regular backpack for me.

  • Winter

    March 22, 2008 01:43 am

    If your looking for a good day pack/camera pack I would recommend the Naneu Pro Alpha. (http://www.naneupro.com/products/mo-a/)

    Its well made and hold a good amount of equipment and has room for a lunch or other stuff.

  • Dennis

    March 22, 2008 01:31 am

    I have a Lowepro Cirrus TLZ 25 for walking around needing only one lens and no battery grip. If I need to bring along my entire gear, I have the Tamrac 5606 System 6. It has enough room for my Rebel XTi with battery grip & 24-105mm lens attached and it still has space for my 70-200mm and 3 more lenses, my Speedlite 580ex II, chargers, memory cards, spare batteries and other accessories. It may not be the best bag available but for the price and quality, it's definitely worth it.

  • Nick

    March 22, 2008 12:49 am

    PopPhoto has a list of 5 camera bags this month also...I am in the market for a bag for my trip to the Grand Canyon and both are a valuable resource. Thank you!

  • justmy$.02

    March 22, 2008 12:19 am

    I wouldn't purchase any of those bags as a thief will be on the look out for those particular bags. Bags like Lowepro, Crumpler, etc just scream out..."Hey, I've got a bunch of expensive gear in my bag."

    No thanks, I use a generic backpack w/my gear fitted in smaller bags and a couple of key locks for the zippers.

    Cheap and comfy. Just my $.02

  • Puplet

    March 21, 2008 11:44 pm

    I would have thought this survey is precisely why you shouldn't buy a Lowepro: get the bag a majority of enthusiasts use and get targeted by thieves? Not for me thanks.

  • sil

    March 21, 2008 11:32 pm

    I own a Lowepro SlingShot 100 and I'm very satisfied with it. Excellent built and it holds just what I need: My Nikon d70 with standard 18-70mm zoom, a Sigma 50mm Macro, battery charger, filters, flash cards, spare battery, lens hoods, and I believe there's still room for a flash - I will know when I buy one :)

  • tyago_sylva

    March 21, 2008 06:37 pm

    I own a lowepro compuday pack and the only thing that makes cry is what I paid for it here in Europe: 120€ (makes around $180!!!)

    But it is worth. It's got nice room for the camera gear, lots of room for a laptop (even for those big-honkin' transportable personal PCs) and extra room for any other stuff.

  • Ash

    March 21, 2008 08:51 am

    To follow up on my previous post, and also that of Malk: the slingshot is an excellent concept and it does hold a lot of gear. I'm 6 foot, have a 52 inch chest, and it still fits me comfortably (more so than my Berghaus walking rucksack!!!). It's just that there has to be a compromise between space and convenience. This sack has convenience like you wouldn't believe (you don't have to get a wet back to get your gear out!!), but it's just too tight for a large body like a 40D with a battery pack fitted, along with a lens like a 24-105 L IS. Otherwise, I wouldn't have even considered changing.

    If you are going to be walking miles with your gear, and also taking a tripod, I'd look at a full backpack system. If you want an easy access system that you will be comfy with all day, dotting about, then you probably can't beat the slingshots (my opinion only).

    Incidentally, I used a LowePro strap for a year. I'm a big guy, and always stuggled to be able to wear the camera down my side (it was too high, and bounced around). I recently got a Op/Tech strap and it's really long, spreads the load very well, and has excellent non-slip silicon pips on it. The perfect complement to a LowePro slingshot.

  • Malk

    March 21, 2008 06:10 am

    IMO the only downside the slingshot 200AW has is that it is too small if you have much gear, it holds a 400D with the 55-250IS mounted and 4 other lenses, it has a compartment for CF cards and 2 other small compartments which can hold flash and such.

    I think its very comfortable, but ive only trekked 25-30 Km with it on.

  • adent1066

    March 21, 2008 05:59 am

    Spamouflage,

    What exactly did you not like about the slingbag. I'm in the market for a new bag soon and I'd like to know the downsides of the slingbag

    Thanks

  • Ash

    March 21, 2008 03:46 am

    I swore by a LowePro Slingshot 200. Just swapped to a LowePro mini Trekker because I needed more space, but just as awesome bag. The concept of the Slingshot is brilliant - just don't carry heavy gear for miles, or it can make your neck ache a little.

    Loads of space, and it poured down once, didn't have time to get the all weather cover out, but the water just ran straight off the bad - gear all snug and dry.

  • thekevinmonster

    March 21, 2008 02:40 am

    Man, where was this when I walked into a Ritz and bought one of their Quantaray bags. Quantaray sounds like gin. "Quantaray gin has lingering notes of honeysuckle and grass, with a hint of a displeasing chemical finish."

    On one hand, it's a bag, a lot of my stuff fits into it, and it hasn't fallen apart yet.

    On the other hand, it's not worth the money I paid for it. :(

  • Mikee

    March 21, 2008 02:34 am

    I use a canon bag for all my gear but just recently purchased a Tamrac (the one you posted) for quick trips and it's great. Highly recommended for those that need a smaller bag for less equipment.

  • Spamouflage

    March 21, 2008 01:45 am

    A good bag is hard to find. I regret my purchase of a slingbag, should have tried it on at the shop.

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