9 Best Camera Bags (Stylish + Functional) // 2020 Buyer’s Guide8 min read

Table of Contents

In this post I’m going to personally review the 9 best camera bags based on a category.

I dive into each bag to uncover the pros and cons in terms of quality, build, important features, etc.

So make sure to read the post until the end. That way you can make the best decision for you!

9 Best Camera Bags

#1 Overall Pick - Peak Design Messenger Bag - $$4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)
Best Travel-FriendlyCamera Bags
Kattee Leather Canvas Vintage Camera Bag - $4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)
Pacsafe Camsafe V8 Anti-Theft Camera Shoulder Bag - $4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Peak Design Everyday Messenger Bag 15" - $$4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)
Best CompactCamera Bags
Ape Case Small SLR Holster Camera Bag - $4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)
AmazonBasics Holster Camera Case - $4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Ape Case, Compact backpack, Tablet compartment - $$4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)
Best Camera BagsFunction as Backpacks
Case Logic SLR Camera and Laptop Backpack - $$4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)
AmazonBasics Hiker Camera and Laptop Backpack - $3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)
Deco Gear DSLR Camera Backpack (Turns Into Sling Bag) - $4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Best Camera Bags that are Travel-Friendly

What is the best DSLR camera bag for travel?

A travel-friendly bag typically needs to hold more than a bag you’d take with you on a single day shoot.

Beyond that, it needs to be durable enough to not fall apart on some of your bumpier trips while providing plenty of protection for your precious equipment within.

Kattee Leather Canvas Camera Bag Vintage DSLR SLR Messenger Shoulder Bag (Multiple Color Options) 

best camera bags for gripped dslr

Weight: 2.6 lbs | Dimensions: 12.6 x 9.8 x 5 inches

With its retro look that is evocative of something between Indiana Jones and that cool vintage bag of your Uncle’s that you found in the attic, the Kattee Leather Canvas bag features a durable canvas exterior and durable leather straps and is, quite simply, one of the best camera bags for a DSLR with a battery grip.

Best of all, its interior consists of moveable dividers that can be moved or even removed entirely to give your camera and miscellaneous belongings the space they need.

The bag fits comfortably over your shoulder with padded straps to keep you traveling comfortably.


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4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)


  • Material is nice, strong canvas
  • Very well stitched
  • Bottom corners of bag are reinforced
  • Roomy


  • The main flap closes with magnetized latches. It would have been better if it used snaps to discourage pickpockets.
  • The zippers are exposed and can be a little sharp so be careful with lenses and fancy laptops.

Pacsafe Camsafe V8 Anti-Theft Camera Shoulder Bag (Olive & Black Options)

best camera bags for gripped dslr

Weight: 1.6 lbs | Dimensions: 5.3 x 9.4 x 12.6 inches

The Pacsafe Camsafe V8 is a shoulder bag for photography aficionados looking for a professional yet sophisticated way to travel with their gear.

It’s interior is lined with a wire netting which functions both as a means to secure your equipment and as a way to keep it out of the hands of thieves who have the notion to dip into your bag while you’re on the move.

Furthermore, it features Velcro dividers to customize the interior to fit your equipment snugly.

It’s exterior is made of a durable synthetic fabric that is tear-resistant, water-resistant, and looks stylish.


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4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)


  • Well made and robust
  • Light and comfortable
  • Built-in rain cover and zippered pouches


  • Zipper for camera access can be a little awkward and you may need two hands to operate it

Peak Design Everyday Messenger Bag 15″ (Heritage Tan)

best camera bags for gripped dslr

Weight: 2.43 lbs | Dimensions: 16.93 x 7.09 x 11.81 inches

Peak Design’s messenger bag is a simple, yet elegant solution to your travel.

It features a waxed-canvas exterior to keep your valuable equipment out of the rain as well as a rigid exterior to your bag keeps its shape even when filled to the brim with accessories.

Best of all, the bag comes with a silicone ring designed to carry a full-size tripod, which makes this “everyday” messenger bag an innovative, one-of-a-kind item.

Not only will this bag fit a DSLR camera with battery grip, but it’s roomy enough to accommodate three lenses.


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4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)


  • Excellent fabric
  • Stylish
  • Deep and roomy enough for larger lenses


  • Strap can bite the shoulder a bit if not adjusted
  • Has trouble standing up

Best Camera Bags that are Compact

Sometimes your photography necessitates a bare-bones approach, which means you don’t have a lot of room to bring your whole kit with you.

Luckily, there are some great compact camera bag options that’ll allow you to travel with some of your gear while still feeling untethered.

Ape Case Small SLR Holster Camera Bag (Black)

best camera bags for gripped dslr

Weight: 5.3 ounces | Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.2 x 6.5 inches

Ape Case has built a holster-style (it sits on your hip) camera bag that comes in a small package yet is still big enough to store a gripped DSLR camera with a lens attached.

It features front and interior pockets for your smaller accessories as well as a convenient belt hook to connect to your belt loop.

If hip bags aren’t your thing, it also comes with a shoulder strap. Its water-resistant exterior makes working in the rain a little less harrowing as well.


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4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)


  • Small, light bag
  • Comfortable shoulder strap
  • Weather durable with rain cover


  • Pretty minimal pocket space outside the main compartment.

AmazonBasics Holster Camera Case for DSLR (Black)

best camera bags for gripped dslr

Weight: 14.1 ounces | Dimensions: 6.9 x 9 x 6.3 inches

Amazon, due to its large reach and access to buyer data, is always at the forefront of finding the “middle ground” with its product designs.

Their holster camera case is a great example of having their R&D laid out for them by simply selling other brand’s products.

The holster case is carried via a padded shoulder strap—the bag does not come with a belt loop attachment.

It’s exterior is made of synthetic material but its interior is lined with a water-resistant latex.

It’s most interesting feature is its rubber base, which affords you a stable and waterproof way to sit the bag down on the ground.

The case is designed to carry a DSLR camera and zoom lens (or shorter.)


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4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)


  • Very compact, barely larger than the camera. Doesn’t add much weight.
  • Adjustable divider (velcro) which supports the weight of the camera (so it doesn’t rest on the end of the lens).
  • Hardened end-cap. Stands upright.
  • Large enough for a mid-sized camera with a mid-length lens.


  • The bag *jangles* as you walk. The zipper tabs need to be rubberized, or should be only one per pocket.
  • Could be a half-inch wider to accommodate additional camera models.

Ape Case ACPRO1800 Compact Backpack (Black)

best camera bag for gripped dslr

Weight: 1 lbs | Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 15 inches

Sometimes you can find a camera carrying solutions that is all-encompassing; compact, rugged, and versatile.

The ACPRO1800 Compact Backpack by Ape Case is that exact solution.

It’s a small yet mighty backpack that’ll carry your DSLR camera plus any number of lenses and accessories via a series of elastic interior bands.

It also features Ape Case’s unique tripod carrying ring on its exterior, which is made of rugged synthetic material.

When in wet weather, a convenient rain cover can be pulled from its hidden pocket to make your entire setup waterproof.


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4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)


  • Durable and well-made
  • Interior very customizable
  • Sturdy exterior, zippers are strong


  • Camera only bag, does not hold laptop

Best Camera Bags that Function as Backpacks

A camera backpack for your battery-gripped DSLR is sometimes the best solution, especially when your sessions are long and away from home.

There’s no better way to carry a whole day’s worth of memory cards, batteries, and lenses than having the interior real estate of an entire full-sized backpack.

Just make sure you buy a reliable backpack that makes good use of its inside space.

Case Logic SLRC-206 SLR Camera and 15.4-Inch Laptop Backpack (Black)

best camera bag for gripped dslr

Weight: 2.69 lbs | Dimensions: 12.5 x 8 17 inches

Case Logic makes some of the best camera backpacks found on Amazon.

While they’re not exactly a name brand, they’ve made a name for themselves online as a reliable and organized choice for carrying your gear on your back.

It features a waterproof base so you can set the entire pack down without worry and has enough interior room to fit a more-than-modest photographic arsenal.

Uniquely, its interior is lined with memory foam to protect your sensitive electronics.


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4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)


  • Adjustable, padded compartments
  • Weighted, flat foam bottom
  • Super easy access to a DSLR from the top of the bag. The suspension system is unique, and it works well.
  • The shoulder straps and back padding to the backpack are very good. A lumbar pad was an extra-nice touch! All are covered in mesh to allow for the material to breathe, making it relatively comfortable to wear.


  • The carrying handle at the top of the bag is almost like an after thought in terms of build quality by comparison to the rest of the bag.

AmazonBasics Hiker Camera and Laptop Backpack

best camera bag for gripped dslr

Weight: 3.19 lbs | Dimensions: 11 x 18.1 x 9 inches

This durable yet lightweight backpack is great for landscape photographers looking to take the less-traveled path.

It can hold a camera with lens, plus a multitude of accessories including a 13-inch tablet or laptop.

The backpack makers behind this design even thought to include a hole to thread your headphone cable through so your phone can stay high and dry while you listen to music.

The backpack comes with a gray rain cover to keep out the elements on a wet day.


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3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)


  • Has a good amount of space for both a camera + accessories as well as a top pouch for whatever you want
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Fits under the seat on an airplane
  • Versatile


  • The shoulder straps loosen up after a while. Not a huge deal, just a quick hop and cinch on the straps mid hike, but you will notice it.
  • The waist strap can be high for taller people

Deco Gear DSLR Camera Backpack

best camera bag for gripped dslr

Weight: 3.4 lbs | Dimensions: 17 x 10 x 6 inches

Part backpack, part sling bad, this backpack by Deco Gear is great for the pack mule in us that absolutely needs to bring along every lens they own.

Altogether, this backpack can carry up to 6 lenses (including one attached to the body) with remaining room for miscellaneous accessories.

Yet, with all that room, the backpack is still designed to fit in a plane’s overhead compartment.


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4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)


  • Backpack has two zippered openings on either side to quickly access cameras and lenses. This feature allows a camera and three of the additional compartments to be easily accessible.
  • Backpack straps are comfortable even after hours of walking and can be adjusted to fit most sizes easily.
  • Looks simple and professional.
  • Sturdy and durable


  • There is a loop with a quick-release connection on the back of the bag. This is great for tripods but also blocks the camera compartment flap from opening. You have to push the tripod to the side in order to access inside.
  • This product only includes two external pockets (not counting the laptop sleeve).

Form & Function Should Inform Your Personal Pick for Best Camera Bag

Choosing the best camera bag for a gripped DSLR sometimes means making more than one choice.

After all, you’re not always going on the same, garden variety photo session.

Sometimes you need to travel; sometimes you need to travel far.

Depending on your regular routine as a photographer, you should pick a bag that conforms to those circumstances.

However, if you find yourself branching out from your regular old clients, then invest appropriately.

Having the right bag means peace-of-mind and being ready for anything–both are important for successful photography.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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