At the beach in Koh Nang Yuan, Thailand

By Norbert Figueroa, an experienced architect, travel writer, long-term budget traveler, and photographer with over 13 years of travel experience in over 139 countries and counting. @globotreks


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On our travels, we often see amazingly breathtaking things and places we don’t want to forget anytime soon. So, the best way to keep the memory alive is to capture them with a photograph.

But keeping your expensive equipment can be challenging if you’re in the snow one week and in the dusty Sahara the next. It becomes even more tricky when you’re traveling with camera lenses, wires, and more accessories – all delicate in their own way.

From my personal experience traveling the world for over ten years, I know how heartbreaking it is to place your camera in a random bag because you’re in a hurry, to then open such bag and find a scratched camera body or lens.

Camera backpacks for travel are an excellent way to protect your camera gear and keep your hands free while traveling and shooting those amazing landscapes.

Still, sometimes they don’t offer the same level of protection as a sturdier or dedicated camera travel case.

That is why this handy list helps you find the best travel case for any size camera. Read below to find out more.

Top Picks for Camera Cases while Traveling: Overview

If you’re pressed for time, here are quick picks for the best camera cases for travelers.

Best Waterproof Travel Case for Cameras

The Smatree Waterproof Hard Case is exceptionally durable and waterproof with secure latches and a pressure valve.

Best Travel Hard Case for Cameras

The Pelican 1200 is the most heavy-duty camera carry case as it’s made from polypropylene. It also has a pressure valve and stainless steel reinforced locks to ensure that there is no water damage. It’s just as waterproof as the Smatree.

Travel Case Camera Gear in Case

Best Roller Travel Case for Cameras

The Nanuk 935 Waterproof Carry-on has an adjustable handle to avoid joint or back aches. The wheels allow for smooth movement on almost any surface.

Best Holster Travel Case for Cameras

The Case Logic DCB-304 is a good quality holster case at an affordable price. It has an adjustable strap and outside pockets for easy access between snapshots.

The Top Camera Travel Case

Whether you’re a slow traveler or an adrenaline junkie, you will find a travel case for cameras of all kinds.

Pelican 1200 Hard Camera Case

Pelican Travel Case for Camera

Pros:

  • Watertight design
  • Has a pressure valve to better acclimate to different air pressures

Cons:

  • At 10.62 x 4.87 inches, it is quite small
  • The locks can be a bit difficult to open

The Pelican 1200 is the best camera bag for travelers constantly on the go in harsh outdoor conditions. It is made from polypropylene material, giving it a heavy-duty exterior.

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Inside, it has a pick-n-pluck foam that easily allows you to adjust its shape to hug your equipment, so it has no chance of moving around.

The bag is small, but it can hold your camera and several additional accessories. The padlock is reinforced with stainless steel to keep things airtight, while the automated pressure valve removes any pressure from the inside.

BAGSMART DSLR Crossbody Camera Bag

Bagsmart - Travel Camera Case

Pros:

  • Anti-theft
  • Customizable inside

Cons:

  • It can be a tight fit for some cameras
  • There are no extra exterior pockets

The convenient BAGSMART DSLR Crossbody Camera Bag is terrific for busy tourists who want hands-free exploring. The padded strap allows the bag to sit comfortably across the body, while the top strap allows easy handling when not worn.

The zipper has an additional strap you can tuck into for that additional anti-theft protection while you may not be looking.

The padded dividers are removable, which makes customizing it to fit your gear even more effortless. The bag opens from the top, allowing you to pick up your camera more efficiently when the perfect shot arrives.

Smatree Waterproof Hard Case

Smatree - Camera Travel Case

Pros:

  • Light yet very heavy-duty
  • Watertight and anti-scratch

Cons:

  • The protective foam isn’t customizable
  • It only fits small cameras like GoPros and Dji Osmo Actions

If you like to be ahead of the action, you probably have a GoPro at hand to help you record the fast-paced adventures. For that, you don’t need large camera bags to carry all of your equipment.

If so, this 10-inch Smatree Waterproof Hard Case is exactly what you need to carry your GoPro accessories and attachments without worrying about damaging things.

Its heavy-duty plastic and latching system ensures that no water can enter the case. Plus, the protective foam with cutout sections helps protect your items from any shocks or bumps on the inside.

Nanuk 935 Waterproof Carry-On

Nanuk - Camera Travel Case

Pros:

  • It comes in varying colors, so it’s easy to spot among airline luggage
  • The retractable handle comes at adjustable heights

Cons:

  • It weighs 11lbs. When equipment is added, it may be too heavy as a carry-on for some airlines

The Nanuk 935 Waterproof Carry-on is an excellent partner for any traveling photographer with a lot of photography equipment.

The 22×44 inch carry-on is shock and dustproof, making it a wonderful accessory no matter the climate. It is also waterproof and IP67-rated.

While it is a little heavier than most camera cases, its retractable handle and two wheels help you carry your gear with ease. Inside, you can find a lid organizer with additional pockets and storage for smaller tools.

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For more extensive devices, the customizable pick-and-pull foam makes it easy to fit your items snuggly without the threat of them moving around.

Case Logic DCB-304

Case Logic - Camera Case

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • It has a lot of internal and external pockets for additional storage

Cons:

  • Too small to fit cameras with lenses bigger than 500mm
  • The bottom and sling of the bag lack extra padding

If you’re looking for a soft camera protector at an affordable price, the Case Logic DCB-304 camera case is a good choice.

The bag is lightweight and small, making it easy to pack into any bag or suitcase while on the go. The adjustable sling also makes it easy to carry on you while you’re exploring.

The travel case has a zip that opens up your bag from the top for easy access. The side zips are great for storing any lenses, wires, or extra batteries. Inside, a few more zips and flex walls help keep you organized.

eCost Connection Soft Padded Camera Equipment Bag

eCost Camera - Travel Case

Pros:

  • Adjustable and removable strap
  • Very small and takes up almost no extra space

Cons:

  • No padding on the strap
  • No zipped pockets to keep items safe

The eCost Connection Camera Equipment Bag is the perfect space saver in any suitcase or roll-top backpack.

At 9×7 inches, the small travel camera case is just the right size for a small camera and a few accessories. However, you can upsize to a medium or large if you need more room.

This camera case bag is great if you just need another protective layer for your camera when traveling. It comes with an adjustable strap you can remove for easier carrying.

On the inside, a foam divider helps to keep items apart. The outside has two net side pockets for easy access to any accessories.

What to Look for in Camera Bags for Travel: A Buyer’s Guide

Not all camera travel cases will fit each traveler’s needs or wants. These are the key things to look at when you plan on purchasing a case.

Style

As every traveler differs from the other, there are also varying types of camera cases. The style of the case for cameras you choose depends on your activities. These different styles are:

  • Sling Bags – These are great for the active traveler or street photographers who don’t want to carry much around.
  • Hard Case – These are ideal for adventure travelers whose gear might often be exposed to water, dust, and hard knocks.
  • Roller Case – If you travel by air and have a lot of gear, you’ll enjoy these rolling easy-to-move cases through airports.
  • Holster case – If you prefer to pack light, these protect your lenses and won’t take up too much space in your travel camera bag.
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Travel Camera Case Bagsmart Case
Image by Bagsmart on Facebook

Access

There’s nothing worse than digging in your bag and looking for extra wires or batteries.

A top-opening case with side pockets is best for grabbing your gear quickly. If you fly a lot, think about if you’d like to have your case as a carry-on or checked luggage too.

Waterproofing

Not all camera cases are waterproof, so depending on the type of photography and travel you do, you could opt for one that is either water-resistant or fully waterproof.

Of course, the more adventurous and rugged your trip, the more waterproof your camera case should be.

Travel Case Camera Nanuk Case
Image by Nanuk on Facebook

Padding

One of the main reasons we need a camera case is to protect our cameras from any impact harm while traveling. The case padding is crucial for this.

You can have a case with light padding if your travel style is light and you don’t intend to throw your camera case around.

But, when you’re checking your bag, throwing it among other bags, or when you need all of your camera equipment neatly organized and tightly in place (properly separated from other accessories and equipment), then beefier padding is needed.

Features

While extra pockets are helpful, consider your photography style too. Nature photographers may appreciate rain covers and tripod straps more.

If you’re a student or working while traveling, you may need additional laptop space in your bags and well-padded straps.

Travel Case Camera Equipment

Final Thoughts on Finding a Travel Case for Cameras

Backpacks are convenient. But sometimes, you need something more sturdy to keep all of your things in place.

These camera travel cases are great equipment if you’re constantly on the go and want mementos of your trips.

Suppose you’re only planning on using your camera for the occasional photo while in the city or on tours, then a soft cover case you can carry is the best option. This allows you to carry it with you without the extra weight.

But if you’re more of a tropical adventurer, a watertight hardcover case is the best route to go. This ensures that your equipment stays dry and in place in case of accidents or bumps.

So, now that you know which travel case cameras to get for your adventure, there’s no excuse for not snapping those perfect moments.

Adventure Awaits

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