Aug 22, 2017988 views

Best Camera Bag(s)?

Right now I am keeping everything in one bag of a rather small size. Which bag or bags do you guys use? I also do videography, so that just means I have to keep more stuff on me.
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I have been through a plethora of camera backpacks and bags over the years. You name it and I've probably tried it. For a day to day pack/camera bag I have found the Boundary Prima to be the one that takes the cake. Roll top, expandable storage, modular, amazing construction, not big but not to small, magnetic clasps, stylish, the list goes on. Every part of this pack has been thought about and designed with purpose.

For bigger multi day packs F Stop is pretty hard to heat.

For more traditional camera bags, Ape Case has always done me right.
My favorite bag is simply a padded insert with dividers that I can put into my messenger bag to convert it into a camera bag. I'll carry my d750 with a fairly heftly lens on it, a flash, and an additional lens. That's what I walk around with usually. I mostly do street shooting and events so lugging around a big backpack full of gear isn't very practical. Besides being hard to access quickly, a backpack just gets in the way too much.

If I need some additional room to carry other things when I'm walking about, I'll usually opt for a ThinkTank pouch strapped to my belt so I have a place to stash an extra lens or another flash. I'll do anything to avoid looking like I'm trying to ascend a summit when I'm walking about, but I do have one of those big Lowepro backpacks that'll fit almost my entire gear collection in it plus electronics. I usually only use that to transport my gear when traveling. Once I get to where I'm going, I pare down to just the essentials and downsize to my messenger bag and an insert.
I've really liked my Manfrotto Street backpack and haven't had the need to use any other ones.

It's compact and doesn't look... 'weird' - I've found that a lot of camera backpacks look too utilitarian. I like the slim form factor of it. I can get in trains and busses without disturbing people around me, and I can fit plenty of gear into it.
I like the peak design backpack. Appreciate the customization and ability to open while it remains on my back. I think it was on a drop recently
I've been using a Lowepro Flipside 400 since 2012 and have been pleased with it.
I typically bring a D750, 24-120, 70-200 f/2.8, flash, a few filters, charger, and 15" macbook pro when flying, then leave the laptop at hotel since it blocks access to the rest of the gear.
The rain fly has been useful for a few trips, especially in Singapore where thunderstorms are frequent and come in quickly.
My only complaints:
* it sticks out a bit more than I'd like
* the waist strips stick out unless you tuck them behind your lower back
* no laptop pouch, so it rests on other things and blocks access

Considering an update, possibly to Peak Designs 30L Everyday Backpack after playing with a friend's pack.
Agreed with ChimeraReunion - the Lower ProTactics are really good backpacks. Versatile internals, hardy outer with plenty of attachment points and all at a very competitive price.

350AW is the perfect size for me - DSLR + 24-70/2.8 (Attached) + 85mm/14 + 16-35/2.8 + 50mm/1.8 and some cleaning gear.

Rookie error made by me though as I have a 15" laptop - 350AW only has room for a 13" laptop. I guess that's something to keep in mind if you're carrying it around with you.
I use the Everyday Sling 10L by Peak Designs most of the time. It can carry my Canon 80D, extra prime lens, Rode VideoPro mic, batteries, zoom adapter, filters, a Dell XPS13 or Macbook Air 11.5" and a tripod in the outer straps. When you need to move around (trains, planes, crowds) the sling is real compact on your back and then you can swing it around and use it like a shoulder bag. This is my go-to unless I need to pack all my clothes and stuff in one backpack and then it is the Lowepro Stealth which I've used for about 10 years+
I use a Timbuk2 Tuck Pack Carbon. It wasn't designed for camera gear, it's just a backpack, but it works wonderfully for equipment. Since it's a backpack there are only a few pouches so you'll have to find a way to make separators if you need them. It's fully waterproof which is a huge plus when it comes to carrying gear around and it's built like a tank. It's comfortable as hell and has a sleek look to it. It's not for everyone, but I think it's worth checking out.
I have a couple of waist packs from Lowepro. One, an Inverse 100 is small, good for running or climbing, is supposed to hold a camera in the center with lens (lens facing down) and 2 lenses, one on either side. I have a FF Nikon which doesn't fit in that center position, but the partitions are movable, so FF camera w lens plus one addl lens. Excellent for going light. Might be perfect for a video camera
Heavier waistpack: Lowepro AW200 (camera w lens attached plus 4 lenses plus accessories). the 200 is heavy enough loaded that I figured out how to attach for-waistpack suspenders.
I've since moved to a sports camera backpack (Clik Elite countrajour). Camera w lens available through side port. all gear behind zipper panel. Carries 2 camera bodies, 1 with lens attached and four-plus add'l lenses.
All of these come with weather covers.
Then there's all the bags I use that actually look like camera bags or briefcases. I guess the biggest is a Lowepro 'Magnum' that I have from my film days. Pretty huge. One danger: buying a bag with spots for lots of extra lenses means those spots will be shouting 'hey! buy another lens!' to you.

You know there are padded inserts that let you turn any bag into a camera bag? IMO the best non-camera bag to do this with is a diaper bag. Capacious, lots of non-padded pockets for accessories - and just being a diaper bag means it's a bit less likely to get nicked.
I'm a ThinkTank/Lowepro guy. Well-built, been around for years, plenty of form factors to chose from. My words of wisdom: consider bags/systems that will grow as your gear grows ('cuz it most likely will).
The ThinkTank below holds a trinity of lenses, (one with a body attached) lots of accessories, AND a 15" MacBook Pro. Took the whole mess to Alaska; shot all day and did my post work each night. This bag carries with handles or a shoulder strap. ThinkTank sells optional straps to convert these to a sudo-back pack (handy when you need both arms/hands free).
I also have a Photo Recon sling bag from from Hazard 4. It packs nearly anything the other bag can, but also has space for your 300-600mm long lenses (no room for your MBP, though).


Not a well known brand, but definitely worth a look:
https://www.hazard4.com/packs/sling-packs/photo-recon.html

Finally, my favorite one or two lens, walk'n around town bag, is a ThinkTank Digital Holster. It's available in a few sizes and does this neat trick where the bottom extends or collapses to accommodate whatever lens you brought with you (from a 50mm to a 70/200mm). It will also carry two smaller lenses--say a 50 and a 24/70 (with one attached to the body). These carry by the handle or shoulder strap, but also on an optional, padded belt system.

Final word of advice: stay away from trendy/hip/fashion bags (Peak Design, and their ilk)--your gear should last longer than whatever's hip, next season ;- )

RayF
Hi RaF, would like to ask ID on thinktank, thanks
LoiM
Not sure what you mean by ID? Lots of information on ThinkTank’s web site—have a look You’ll see the bags I have and a lot more...
The Lowepro ProTactic series are pretty good. I've got the 450 AW, which is a little oversized for what I normally carry, however it has room for other travel gear I take with me (lighting, clothing, food etc.). It comfortably fits my D7100 with 80-200 f2.8 plus multiple other lenses and a DJI Spark in the foam case with room to spare. If you aren't carrying stupid amounts of kit and want a slimmer approach, the 350 AW is a good choice
would help if you had a bit more details on what you carry, with that info more specific suggestions can be given. but for me, i carry a fuji xt2 plus a few lenses. including a 16-55 zoom which is decent sized for the mirrorless world. i use a billingham hadley pro. looks good and classy. most importantly it looks unlike a camera bag, so it wont be a target for theft. its cotton canvas, but billingham is fancy with a integrated rubber layer or something like that so its waterproof.
i love thinktank. i have a roller for huge jobs and a shoulder bag for core kit. my lighting bag is a tenba made for profoto
Lowpro tactic 450 is a affordable durable and reasonably sized. At the least I’ve managed to fit my 15inch mac, a full frame and apsc size bodies, about 4 lenses with some accessories here and there and has attachable pockets and hooks for tripods water bottles and more.
I have a dakine mission backpack with the photo insert, it is hands down the best bag I have ever used. Fits a ton of gear and the camer section is only accessible when you have the bag off, so it is perfect for travel! I never have to worry about gear going missing in a crowded area while I am wearing it!

worth searching one out.
I've had a LowePro for 19 years. That thing is awesome. It's built like a tank. Their customer service is great too.
I've been using Domke's for over a decade now and I think they're great. They are simple, durable, understated canvas bags which come in a variety of sizes and muted colors. Apply some of their Refinishing Wax and you've got some weatherproofing. I also like that their F series shoulder bags have nice and thick padding at the bottom. Pair one up with the optional shoulder pad and you won't even notice it's there. The Gripper camera straps are pretty good too.
Ona makes some really incredible bags if you're into the messenger style. My personal is the gray canvas Brixton which is perfect for my Micro 4/3rds or 35mm cameras plus extra space for whatever when I'm traveling. If you need something a little bigger for video equipment or multiple bodies and lenses, the Union Street has the same amazing looks with more capacity.

I still want the all leather version of the Brixton. Excellent bag.
Xymnslot
I had the leather Berlin I (Leica limited edition) and found both the design and hardware underwhelming