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Whether you’re spending the day photographing Barcelona’s historic center or hiking the Grand Canyon, your camera equipment always feels a lot heavier after a few hours of carrying it on your back.

Once you have all your gear packed, you’ll be lucky if you find any extra space for snacks or sunscreen! And if you need to carry around a heavy tripod set, well then you might be better off just catching a taxi.

Any photographer will know that just any old backpack won’t provide the protection your camera needs when on the move. On top of that, a regular camera bag may not be the most comfortable to lug about while traveling.

What you need is a camera backpack that has been specifically designed for globetrotters, adventurers, and hiking enthusiasts.

To help you out, I’ve researched and tested the best camera backpacks for travel and have put together this list so that you can find the one best suited for your traveling needs. 

12 Best Camera Backpacks for Travel

Let’s take a look at the best backpacks for traveling photographers. I’ve considered all the factors that go into traveling with a camera to ensure that these backpacks can fit your essential photography gear in the most efficient, comfortable, and organized way.

1. Best overall – WANDRD PRVKE 21L Travel and DSLR Camera Backpack

Best Camera Backpacks for Travel - WANDRD PRVKE Backpack

Say hello to my number one pick for the best camera backpack overall: PRVKE Travel Camera Backpack.

I’ve had this backpack for about four years now, and I love it! And for those who need a bit more space, it also comes in a 31 L version.

It’s light, easy to carry, offers excellent protectiveness, provides flexible gear organization, and quick-access compartments. As a bonus, it also has a minimalist and sleek design.

The durable, water-resistant tarpaulin and ballistic nylon keep the bag weatherproof. It also comes with a rain cover in case the weather takes a turn for the worse.

Best Camera Backpacks for Travel - PRVKE Backpack

If needed, the roll top cover can be expanded for an additional five liters of storage space. On top of that, it also has dedicated compartments for a laptop up to 15 inches and a tablet.

While this is the best camera backpack, in my opinion, it is only big enough for your camera gear. So if you’re traveling, your clothing must be carried separately.


  • Light and easy to carry
  • Excellent protectiveness
  • Flexible gear organization
  • Easy access compartments


  • Only big enough for your camera gear

2. Best for carrying everything – Nomatic McKinnon 35L Camera Bag

Best Camera Backpacks for Travel - Nomatic Mckinnon Backpack

Nomatic (or Gomatic if you’re in Europe) is a top-notch backpack company that also makes some of the best camera backpacks out there. Thanks to their partnership with Peter McKinnon, one of YouTube’s best and most famous photographers, you’re guaranteed an epic photography backpack!

I have to give honor to the Nomatic McKinnon 35L Camera Bag. This fully-featured travel backpack has been crafted to fit all the gear a photographer may need on their travels. And, it does this in a flexible and extremely organized way.

McKinnon is known for his organization and attention to detail, which has translated into the bag’s design. It has been designed by a professional photographer for professional photographers, so you know you’re getting one of the best camera bags out there.

Peter Mckinnon and Nomatic Logo

The main compartment gives easy and quick access to your camera, lenses, batteries, filters, memory cards, etc. And, just like with the PRVKE, there’s side access to easily reach your camera on the go without having to open the main compartment.

With a size of 35 L, you can easily carry one or two camera bodies with a few lenses, hard drives, a 15-inch laptop and tablet, and even a small drone. And, if you’re still feeling a little short on space, this Nomatic bag can be expanded up to 42 L – perfect if you need to fit enough clothes for a longer trip.

The downside about the Nomatic McKinnon backpack is that it’s quite large – especially for someone as small and short as I am. It’s also on the heavier side due to its generous padding and size. So, when full, your bag could weigh anything from 15 to 25+ pounds.

Now, my absolute favorite unique feature about this bag is an accessory that comes with its bundle – the Cube Pack. 

Best Camera Backpacks for Travel - Nomatic McKinnon Camera Cube Pack

Seriously, if you don’t get the McKinnon backpack, at least get the McKinnon Cube Pack separately. This is a small 21L daypack designed to fit within the bigger backpack, but it allows you to carry your camera and lens (or a drone) protected within a padded day pack.

That way, you don’t have to haul all your gear when you don’t need to. Also, because of its lightweight design, it is much easier and lighter to carry throughout the day.

For me, if it’s a city trip or a trip where I know I won’t have to hike long distances, then the Nomatic is my top choice. But, if I know I’m going to be hiking, I’d probably pick just the McKinnon Cube and insert it into my Gregory Z40 travel backpack

Also worth mentioning is that Nomatic recently released the New Daily Camera Line, which, at 25L in capacity, is perfect for those looking for something in between the 35L and the Cube.

The 35L bag might be among the most expensive options on this list, but seriously, the Nomatic McKinnon is on top of its game and an excellent choice for any photographer.

(Note: due to trademark laws, Nomatic is sold as Gomatic in Europe. If you’re in a European country, you can use this link instead to purchase your McKinnon Bag.)


  • Easily fits all your camera gear
  • Comes with a cube pack – a small 21 L daypack designed to fit within the bigger backpack
  • Flexible design
  • Easy organization


  • On the pricier side
  • Large size
  • Heavy (5.75 pounds)
  • Might be an overkill if you don’t carry around much delicate camera equipment

3. Best to keep your packing light – Brevite The Runner 18 L Backpack

Brevite Camera Backpack

The Runner has been a surprising addition to my backpack collection, given its deceivingly small size. But, I can tell you that you can still pack a good amount of camera gear into it, and much more.

This compact, sophisticated, and everyday backpack may just look like a normal backpack but it’s far from that. In fact, it’s compact, lightweight, and incredibly functional if you’re carrying around a light camera kit.

That camera compartment occupies the bottom half of the bag, while the upper half could be used to store other electronics or clothes – if you’re a light packer, this one is for you!

The bottom half, with its easy-to-access front and side zippers, can hold a full-frame DSLR, and three lenses or a small drone (think DJI Mavic or smaller). It also has space for an extra lens and camera body. Told you – this small bag is deceiving!

The front pouch is well organized to hold your SD cards plus other small documents. And, the laptop pouch can comfortably hold a 16-inch laptop (I managed to carry a 13″ MacBook Pro and an iPad Pro in that same pouch).

Oh, lastly, in addition to The Runner, Brevite also has The Jumper Backpack, which is their bestseller.


  • Available in various colors
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Quick-access pockets
  • Discreet design


  • Not a suitable camera backpack for hiking
  • Basic padding protection
  • Limited camera storage for larger equipment set-ups

4. Best for size flexibility Tropicfeel Shell 22L to 40L Backpack

Tropicfeel Shell

I’ve been using Tropicfeel sneakers for a few years now, and I’m a fan. They are extremely light, durable, made out of recycled materials, and built to be used while hiking, crossing rivers, or even on a casual night in the city. Yes, they are very versatile.

It’s no surprise then that Tropicfeel added that same versatility and sustainable approach to some of the best camera bags out there. I’ve used their Shell backpack on a few trips, and I love it!

The Shell comes as a 22 L backpack, which is great for a day trip. But it doesn’t stop there; it can be expanded up to 40 L by using its attachable add-ons and hidden expandable pouch at the bottom.

One of the coolest things about the Shell is that it comes with a “wardrobe” that helps you organize and pack up to 20% more clothes. And then once you reach your destination, you can simply just remove the “wardrobe” and hang it anywhere in your room.

Tropicfeel Wardrobe

And of course, there’s the camera cube and tech pouch, to keep your camera gear organized. The backpack is also waterproof and the laptop compartment can hold a 16 inch laptop comfortably.


  • Comes with a removable toiletry bag and wardrobe holder
  • Easily organizable camera cube and tech pouch
  • Waterproof
  • Can expand from 22 L to 40 L


  • Limited shoulder strap padding
  • Can feel bulky

5. Best hiking camera backpack – Thule Aspect DSLR Camera Backpack

Best Camera Backpacks for Travel - Thule Aspect

If you’re planning on doing some hiking then I have no doubt that you’ll want to take your camera with you. But, you’ll definitely need a hiking camera backpack that’s comfortable, which is where a sturdy option like the Thule Aspect steps in.

Thule is well known for making excellent outdoor bags, so it’s no surprise that their hiking camera backpacks are perfect for any outdoor adventure.

The large, padded camera storage pocket can easily fit one of your DSLR cameras, as well as multiple lenses and other equipment. There’s also a separate padded laptop storage pocket and even room to carry a drone the size of a DJI Mavic 3!

A padded hip belt can be used for extra support on long hikes but it can also be removed if you feel like it will get in the way in more crowded environments.

Like any well-designed camera bag, it has a water bottle pocket, side pockets, and straps to hold your tripod. The quick-access front-zippered pockets are also great for storing snacks and go-to items.


  • Durable
  • Thick padding and excellent protection
  • Has a tripod holder
  • Padded shoulder straps and hip belt


  • Bulky when fully packed
  • Only available in black
  • Pricier than other options

6. Best for daily use – Peak Design Everyday Backpack V2 20L

Best Camera Backpacks for Travel - Peak Design Everyday Backpack

Not too big, not too small, and not too expensive – the Peak Design Everyday Backpack lives up to its name. It’s the best camera bag for everyday use, with ample storage room that doesn’t become bulky.

I love the design of this great camera backpack – urban, compact, and stylish.

It can hold a full-frame DSLR camera body and three to four lenses. But, with its expandable design, you can take up just the space you need so that it’s not too bulky.

The interior-protected laptop sleeve can fit laptops up to 16 inches in length.

Inside, there are three Flexfold Dividers to keep your camera and other gear safe and organized while traveling. A neat feature is that these Flefold Dividers can actually be adjusted to fit your lenses, drone, or camera bodies perfectly.

There’s also a side access panel that gives you direct access to your camera, as well as other pockets to store and organize your batteries and accessories. 

Remember I spoke about the hassles of lugging about your tripod earlier? Well, with the external carry straps, you can easily attach your tripod to this backpack whilst on the move.


  • Waterproof 400D nylon canvas shell and premium weatherproof zippers
  • Customizable dividers and size
  • Stylish and minimalistic
  • Lifetime guarantee


  • Insufficient padding to use as a hiking backpack
  • Not ideal for heavy camera setups
  • No waist strap

7. Best low-profile camera backpack – Think Tank Photo Streetwalker Pro V2.0

Best Camera Backpacks for Travel - Think Tank Photo StreetWalker Pro

The great thing about the Streetwalker Pro V2.0 is that it doesn’t necessarily look like a camera backpack.

If you don’t like to advertise the fact that you’re walking around with a bunch of expensive photography equipment, you’ll love its simple yet highly functional design.

If you’re an urban photographer, then this is the best camera backpack for you. Not only is it discrete, but there also aren’t any dangling loops or straps that might get snagged when you’re snapping that perfect shot while on the go.

The bag gives you the flexibility of using the velcro-attached dividers to your preference or removing them altogether to fit bigger items.

The camera cube can fit two full-frame cameras (one facing up and the other facing down) inside the two-column internal pouch. There’s also a spot to strap a tripod and a tablet pouch for devices up to 10 inches.


  • Well-padded shoulder straps for comfort
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Zips can be padlocked


  • No waist strap
  • Can hold a 10-inch tablet but not a laptop
  • Undurable interior plastic pocket

8. Best messenger camera bag – Think Tank Photo Retrospective 10

ThinkTank Retrospective 10 Messenger Bag

If you’re looking for something more casual-looking, that’s small but with enough space for your camera equipment, then the Think Tank Photo Retrospective 10 is your best bet. It’s the perfect choice for someone who isn’t too keen on carrying a backpack but still needs a dedicated camera bag.

Even though it looks smaller, this travel camera bag is actually larger than some of the previous options on this list. The main compartment, which measures 12” x 9.5” x 6.7”, can comfortably and safely hold a mirrorless camera plus two to three additional lenses.

Weighing 2.7 pounds, the Retrospective is still light enough to carry over your shoulder. 

There are also several other pockets that give you enough room for all your extra accessories, as well as an included cover for when it rains.

Appearance-wise, the Retrospective bag might look unassuming and straightforward, but it’s well constructed with a sturdy canvas to protect your gear. What more could you ask for?


  • Wide, padded shoulder strap for a comfortable carry
  • Classic messenger bag design
  • Secured zippered opening to the main camera compartment


  • Not waterproof without the rain cover
  • Might be too big for a small mirrorless camera
  • No middle-sized divider

9. Best multi-use camera backpack – MindShift Gear Backlight 26L Outdoor Adventure Camera Daypack

Best Camera Backpacks for Travel - MindShift Gear Backlight

For those day trips when you need to pack both your camera equipment and personal belongings, the MindShift Gear Backlight is what you need. It has several front pockets and 9 L of space for personal items, besides camera gear!

One standard-sized DSLR camera can fit in the main compartment, along with 4-6 standard zoom lenses. There’s also a padded compartment for a laptop up to 15 inches and a full-sized tablet.

This camera backpack has excellent padded shoulder straps and back ventilation, making a long hot day more tolerable. For extra support, there is a padded waist belt and a sternum strap.

If you like the backpack’s design but need even more storage space, MindShift also makes a 36 L Backlight camera backpack. However, if you need something that will fit under an airplane seat, the 26 L is a better option.


  • Pack dividers can be repositioned
  • Spacious, multi-use pockets
  • Included rain cover


  • Full-sized tripod doesn’t attach well
  • Pockets aren’t easily accessible when the pack is on
  • Might be a bit too big if you have a smaller torso

10. Best for aesthetics – Manfrotto Bumblebee-130PL Camera Backpack

Best Camera Backpacks for Travel - Manfrotto Bumblebee 230

There’s no denying that the Manfrotto Bumblebee gets top marks on appearance. But it’s not only super-sleek and stylish; this camera backpack is also durable and comfortable, made out of a breathable, lightweight fabric that also keeps all your gear safe.

In addition to the main camera pouch, there are additional storage pockets for personal items and a pocket to attach a tripod.

And if you happen to find yourself in one of those unpredictable downpours, there’s an included rain cover to keep your gear protected.

Because of the size and the large laptop compartment, this is a good option if you’re looking for a stylish, larger camera backpack for traveling.

I’ve also had other Manfrotto bags, like the Manfrotto MB BP-D1 DJI Professional Video Equipment Cases Drone Backpack, which I loved carrying while I had my DJI Phantom 4.


  • External tripod pocket
  • Interchangeable dividers
  • Thick padding


  • Shoulder straps can be uncomfortable when carrying for a long time
  • Can be bulky when fully packed

11. Best compact camera backpack Lowepro Flipside 400 AW III

Best Camera Backpacks for Travel - Lowepro Flipside 400

Lowepro is well known for its high-quality photography backpacks, so no best camera backpack list would be complete without them. 

The Lowepro Flipside 400 AW III is an excellent option if you don’t want something too big or cumbersome. This bag may appear smaller on the outside, but it can fit a decent amount of gear inside!

The main pocket can fit a DSLR camera, four to seven lenses, and other accessories. Like with most camera backpacks, you can also easily attach a tripod to it.

What’s also handy about this bag is that it can be attached to your waist so that you can easily open it while the bag is in front of you. No more needing to put your bag down on a grimy floor just to access your gear. This is what also makes it quite a nice hiking backpack.

If you need to carry more gear, there are exterior SlipLock attachments for you to hook on extra items. Although this might not be ideal on a crowded public bus, it’s great for those more intimate shoots.

For photographers who want a smaller, sturdy camera backpack, the Lowepro Flipside is a perfect choice at a reasonable price.


  • Rain cover included
  • Lots of space for additional lenses
  • Not bulky


  • Not waterproof without the rain cover
  • Straps are thinner than the original version
  • Laptop sleeve is awkwardly placed

12. Best eco-friendly camera backpack – Monarc Settra Duffel 40L

Settra Bag, Monarc

When it comes to sustainability and environmental concerns, the Settra stands apart from the rest. After all, it is the original certified plastic-negative bag.

What does this mean? Well, the Settra is made out of 50 recycled plastic bottles. In other words, Monarc has been helping to remove hundreds of thousands of plastic bottles from our oceans and landfills ever since 2020.

But, beyond its sustainability, the Settra is also an excellent camera backpack. It not only serves as a backpack, but it also transforms into a duffel bag by switching the straps.

I’m definitely a fan of this brand, seeing that I have the entire Settra Series bundle. I can say that it’s been a worthwhile investment, seeing that it includes a camera cube, a tech pack, a large and small compression pack, and a laundry bag. All of this gear equates to a whopping 100 recycled bottles!

Monarc Settra Series Bundle

I love the design, it’s modern, sleek, and very clean. They haven’t skimped on the space either.

With 40 L of space, this water-resistant bag is spacious enough to carry everything included in the bundle, plus your camera gear, a 17-inch laptop, and enough clothes for a week – talk about a bag that just keeps on giving!

This is an excellent bag to use if I need to carry a lot, while still keeping things small enough to be a carry-on.


  • Versatile – can be used as a backpack or duffel bag
  • Made from recycled plastic bottles
  • Sleek design


  • Might be too big for everyday use
  • Not an ideal hiking backpack
  • Slightly heavier due to the size (4.5 pounds)

How to Choose the Best Camera Backpacks for Travel

Finding the right camera backpack for you largely depends on how you plan to use it and what type of equipment you carry. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go through a few of the main considerations to keep in mind when shopping for camera backpacks.

Photographer in the outdoors


The best camera backpacks have a separate pocket to keep a laptop in, some extra space for additional belongings, and small pockets.

It’s also important that there is enough room to store and organize other camera accessories like extra lenses, SD cards, cables, and external hard drives. Just keep in mind that while there should be enough space for these items, the space should also be padded for more delicate equipment, like lens filters, the camera body, and lenses.

Usually, there should also be some sort of strap to mount your tripod.

If you’re planning on traveling on an airplane, check the dimensions to see if it counts as a personal item or carry-on bag. Normally, items that are classified as personal can be stored under the seat in front of you, while carry-on luggage is stored in the overhead compartment.

Backpack sizes are usually measured in liters. They can range from smaller bags with 15 L capacity that can only fit one camera to large packs of 40+ L where you can carry multiple cameras and other travel gear – even your clothing! 

Larger packs are more expensive, but they are worth the investment in the long run if you’re planning long trips or multi-day photoshoots.

In saying that, bigger isn’t always better. Opting for a camera bag that is larger than you might need can impact your overall comfort when lugging it around. Consider the type of equipment you might need and choose a bag that has just enough space to fit it in.

Camera backpack


Let’s face it, photography equipment and electronics are heavy enough as is. So, it’s crucial that you keep in mind how long you plan on carrying your backpack around. Will it be for multi-day shoots or during long hiking treks? Or are you simply looking for something to get you to and from a location?

If it’s the former and you plan on having your equipment on your back for long periods of time, then you’re going to want to look for a backpack that is as light as possible.

Photography backpacks tend to be a bit heavier than typical hiking and travel backpacks due to their padding and sturdier build, but you can still find light options ranging from 1.5 to 5 pounds (1 kg to 2.5 kg).

It’s also a good idea to weigh the backpack with all your gear inside it to ensure you don’t get any unpleasant surprises at the airport.

While the weight limit varies per airline, I try to keep my camera backpack under 15 pounds (7 kg) when fully packed. This is roughly the most restrictive weight limit on airlines like Qantas, Emirates, Jet Airways, and Singapore Airlines, among a few others.

This article shares more information about the carry-on size limit for most major US airlines.

Outdoor vs urban

The type of photography you’ll be doing will significantly impact what type of camera backpack you should get.

Outdoor photography often requires a lot more hiking and possibly overnight stays on the trail, depending on just how adventurous you’re planning on being!

For this type of photography, you’ll probably want a slightly bigger backpack with extra-padded shoulder straps for comfort. Also, consider factors like whether the camera bag is waterproof or if it comes with a rain cover. Mother Nature is unpredictable, and you don’t want your expensive gear to become waterlogged.

However, if you’re out in the city, smaller and lightweight camera backpacks are usually a better option, especially if you’re planning on using public transportation. These are also a bit more trendier-looking, like the Peak Design Everyday Backpack.

Peak Design Camera Backpack


Just because you’re looking for a camera backpack doesn’t mean it only has to be used to carry camera equipment. Some days, you might want to leave your camera and gear at home or in the hotel room while you go off and do something else.

If you plan on doing more than just snapping a couple of shots, you’ll need to look for a bag that can both carry your camera and double up as a normal bag when you leave the gear behind.

While you can just carry around two bags while traveling, keeping the versatility of the bag in mind can (literally) take a load off your shoulders.

A lot of camera backpacks nowadays can also be adjusted to different sizes, much like the Tropicfeel Shell Backpack. This is super handy when you need to switch between carrying a larger and smaller backpack on your trip.


We all know that the price of a camera backpack can be the ultimate determining factor when it comes to your choice.

While most camera bags are reasonably affordable, some can get a little pricey when they have additional features.

If you’re a hard-core photographer who never goes anywhere without your camera, it’s probably worth spending a bit more money for something high-quality that will last a long time.

On the other hand, if you’re going on a week-long vacation and just want a backpack to carry your camera during that time, you can find a good-quality budget bag that will do the job just fine.

It’s important to set a budget and choose a backpack that’s still high-quality, with all the features and added extras you might need.

Photography bag and equipment

Material and construction

If you’re like me and travel a lot, your camera bag will be exposed to the elements quite often. Add to this planes and bus trips, and hostel stayovers, and you can see that there’s a good chance your bag might get banged, brushed, and scratched.

That’s where the durability of a bag comes in. Look for a bag that has high-quality craftsmanship, strong material, and secure seams. Ideally, it should also be weather/water resistant to protect your gear from rain or the occasional water mishap.

Canvas, and its varieties, is one of the most used materials in travel camera bags thanks to its durability, water resistance, and low cost. While newer synthetic materials achieve the same, they tend to be a bit more expensive.

Camera protection

Obviously, what distinguishes a camera backpack from a typical bag are the foam inserts that protect your gear inside it.

Ideally, your bag should have these foam paddings inside as well as several foam dividers to keep your equipment from banging against each other while on the road.

It’s also handy to look out for camera backpacks that have removable dividers. These allow you to customize the inside of your bag to suit your needs and space requirements.

Lens in camera backpack

Comfort and ergonomics

When traveling, the comfort of your camera backpack is essential! After all, you may likely have to carry your gear on your back all day as you travel around the city. Having a comfortable bag will make a huge difference in how light or heavy your equipment feels.

Pay attention to the shoulder straps. How well-padded are they? Does it also come with hip straps to help distribute the weight? 

If it’s a small camera bag, hip pads or waist straps may not be essential, but the bigger and heavier the bag, the more useful the hip pads become. The same applies to chest straps.

Regarding ergonomics, you need to think about how easily accessible everything is in the bag. This includes how many access points it has and whether you’re able to access what you need when you need it (like if it’s on your back). Ultimately, the best camera backpack for you needs to be designed and work the way you need it to.


Whether you’re in a safe destination or one with many petty crimes, one thing is certain – cameras are always a target for thieves.

Ideally, your bag shouldn’t scream, “I’m carrying an expensive camera!”.

And even if it isn’t the most discrete, it should at least provide measures to deter the likes of pickpocketing. Assess whether the bag comes with latches, locking zippers, and other features that would make it harder for anyone to steal your gear.

Nomatic and Peter McKinnon Bag interior

Type of bag

Depending on how you use your camera equipment, how accessible you want it to be, how well-protected it is, how much gear you have, and how you want to carry it will all dictate the type of bag you should get.

While there are dozens of different bags out there, they are generally classified into these six types:

  • Backpacks – These are the most common and tend to have plenty of interior space for cameras and lenses, making them the best travel camera bags for DSLRs. They often have a laptop and tablet compartment as well. If appropriately designed, backpacks can distribute your gear’s weight between your hips and shoulders, so you don’t feel all the weight on your shoulders.
  • Roller Bags – Similar to backpacks in terms of capacity, these are rolled on the ground instead of being carried on your back. These bags are fine within urban environments, but not as great to carry in remote and rugged terrain. 
  • Shoulder Bags – Usually, shoulder bags are smaller bags carried over one shoulder or across your chest. Shoulder bags tend to be very light and easy to access, but they are limited in space.
  • Messenger Bags – These are similar to shoulder bags but are slightly larger and with a longer strap. They usually fall around the hip and can be strung across your body or over both shoulders.
  • Holster Bags – This bag is meant to be attached to some garment, like a chest harness or sturdy belt. These are usually much smaller than shoulder bags and are meant to hold just a camera and a lens.
  • Backpack Inserts – These are mostly accessory bags meant to fit inside another larger backpack. These are convenient if you already have a comfortable large travel backpack that can fit an insert to protect your camera gear.
Photographer in the Snow


How much do camera backpacks cost?

Camera backpacks can range in price from around $50 to $500 or more. The price will depend on the brand, features, size, and materials used.

B&H and Amazon are great places to compare the camera backpack models shown above and more, including additional specs and their prices.

What should I look for when choosing a camera backpack for hiking?

Choose a camera backpack for hiking that’s comfortable for long treks, with padded straps and good weight distribution.

Prioritize its weather-proof qualities to protect your gear from rain and dust, and ensure it has secure compartments with dividers to keep your camera safe from bumps. Consider the size and weight of your gear to pick a backpack that’s big enough but not overly heavy.

Do cameras go in hold or hand luggage when flying?

Generally, you should take your camera and lenses in your hold luggage. It keeps your camera near to you and protects it from rough baggage handling. Just check airline weight and size limits as well as battery regulations to avoid issues.

Full Guide to the 12 Best Camera Backpacks for Travel
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  1. First Question: l have seen some “regular” carry on bags that are made for both rolling and carrying, with both wheels and straps. Is there anything like that for cameras and cameras gear?
    Secondly, which do you use/recommend: a DSLR (with a mirror) or a mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses?

    1. Actually, the CADeN Camera Backpack Trolley Case has this option. You can either carry it as a backpack or as a rolling carry-on. I personally find it odd to carry it as a backpack because of its typical rolling carry-on shape, but it’s possible!

      I use a mirrorless Sony A7Rii with interchangeable lenses. That is my preference, and I highly recommend that Sony (or its newer models). You can see what I’m carrying with me on this page.

      But if you’d like to carry a slightly smaller mirrorless camera, I believe the Sony a6400 is a really good option as well as the Fujifilm X-T30 and the Lumix GX85 (or any of the newer models of these previously mentioned cameras).

  2. Great article!

    I am using a messenger bag as my camera bag and honestly, they’re not the most convenient and spacious. Thanks for the recommendation. I am planning to buy Nomatic McKinnon 35.

    Stay safe and healthy!


  3. Thank you for writing this out! You removed all the uncertainty I had regarding how to evaluate a camera bag. I was on the fence between a few, and went with the PRVKE due in part to their incorporating silliness on their product marketing pages, if I’m being completely honest.

    For what it’s worth, anyone looking to purchase from that company (WANDRD) should use their Store Finder feature to locate authorized retailers. You just might save some serious cash in shipping that way.

  4. NOMATIC McKinnon Camera Pack 35L is a full travel system that features Removable Folding Dividers, a 7L Expansion System and External Carry Straps.

  5. Really great guide – totally agree on the sentiment of investing in a proper pack even if you’re backpacking on a dime – NOT something you want to skimp on especially when it will be affecting your comfort and long term health re stress on your back. The most important things for me are the padded straps, proper frame for support, and the back ventilation is something people usually forget about but super important too. Thanks for the great points, totally agree with everything!

  6. Hydration is an important part of long hiking. Which packs on this list offer a pouch for a water bladder? Ideally 2L or 3L

    1. As far as I know, none of these backpacks are designed to hold water bladders, but many of them do have dedicated water bottle pouches. The Thule Aspect is probably the best option for hiking.