Whether you’re getting up before dawn to hike up mountains for that one special sunrise shot, or commuting with your camera in tow, every photographer needs to keep their kit safe and protected, and from backpacks and daysacks to holsters and rollers, photographers can now carry their kit, accessories (and even some lunch) in all kinds of luggage.

Most of bags featured here are for DSLR or mirrorless cameras, whose interchangeable lenses, demand some thought when you’re mobile. Most also now find room for a laptop – as big as 17-inches in some cases – or at least a tablet; with post-processing so integral to digital photography, who wants to wait until they get home to see how a photoshoot turned out? 

Best camera bags in 2019

1. Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13 V2

Top quality and stylish shoulder bag

Capacity: DSLR or mirrorless camera with lens attached, 1-2 additional lenses, 13-inch laptop, tablet and accessories | Exterior dimensions: 38 x 27 x 12cm | Weight: 1.1kg

Wide and supple shoulder strap

Beautiful build quality

Pricey option

A little bulky

Though it might seem pretty pricey, the Everyday Messenger is bristling with clever touches and is well worth the outlay. A spring-loaded flap-catch with four fastening points is both secure yet easy to use, letting the bag expand or contract to suit varying loads. The flap also has a zippered top passthrough for even easier access. There are slots for a 13-inch laptop and tablet, plus you can attach a tripod on top. Rather than using typical foam partitions, the main section contains innovative dividers that snap around and over individual items. Everything’s supported by a wide and supple shoulder strap, and we also like the stabilizing waist strap that prevents the bag bouncing as you stride. Beautiful build quality and attention to detail seals the deal.

Read our in-depth Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13 V2

2. Gitzo Adventury 30L

Bursting with features, this is a quality backpack

Capacity: 1-2 Pro DSLRs with 70-200mm lens attached, 3-4 additional lenses, mirrorless camera with 2-3 lenses, 15-inch laptop, tablet and accessories | Exterior dimensions: 48 x 31 x 19cm | Weight: 2kg

Good capacity

Excellent quality

No black option

Pricey

It’s tough to create a truly special camera backpack, as competition in this area is particularly fierce, but Gitzo has come up with a real winner in the Adventury 30L. Designed to accommodate a pro DSLR (including a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II or Nikon D5) with a 70-200mm f/4 lens attached, plus a second body and up to four more lenses. Alternatively, you can pack a 400mm f/4, a camera body and a couple of lenses or small accessories. There’s also space for a 15-inch laptop as well. As you’d expect for a Gitzo product, the quality is excellent, with great internal padding, while the bag itself is made from weather-resistant materials, with coated zippers and bottom section. Should conditions get really bad there’s also a rain cover, while the color of the materials used is designed to help the bag blend in when you’re outdoors.

3. Manfrotto Advanced Camera and Laptop backpack

Versatile backpack that can be used three different ways

Capacity: DSLR or mirrorless camera, 2-3 additional lenses, 13-inch laptop, tablet and accessories | Exterior dimensions: 45 x 32 x 19cm | Weight: 1.4kg

Versatile design

Compact proportions

Straps could be better

Plain design

This backpack zips up a 13-inch laptop and a tablet in a front pocket, while the main compartment for camera gear is accessed under a padded, zipped lid on the back-facing side. It fits one DSLR body and three lenses, including a 70-200mm, and there are some useful design flourishes – as well as a roomy top section for accessories (and perhaps even a packed lunch), there’s a pull-out rain cover in the base, and an expandable tripod pocket. It’s also sized to house a DJI Mavic Pro drone.

4. LowePro Streetline SL 140

Perfect for round the city

Capacity: Small DSLR or mirrorless camera, 1-2 additional lenses, 11-inch laptop, tablet and accessories | Exterior dimensions: 36 x 25 x 10.5cm | Weight: 0.65kg

Nice finish

Comfortable

Limited capacity

No rubber feet on base

This pocket-packed shoulder bag somehow manages to squeeze in both an 11-inch laptop and a tablet, as well as camera gear, while the padded kit compartment flat-packs when empty. Inside, three snap-shut pouches spring open to grip a compact mirrorless camera or DSLR (though it’s best for smaller entry-level models). It’s probably not rugged enough for landscape photographers, but it does well around the city – and it makes for a great carry-on bag for flights. It’s even got a pass-through for a telescopic handle, so it can piggy-back on rolling luggage at airports. 

5. Cecilia Tharp 8L

Capacity: DSLR or mirrorless camera with lens attached, 1 additional lens and small accessories | Exterior dimensions: 22.2 x 31.1 x 13.3 cm | Weight: 0.82kg

Excellent capacity

Quality finish

Expensive

Not the biggest capacity

It’s luxury choice for sure, but this stylish leather messenger bag is something a bit special. Available in either black or chestnut finishes (as well as a more affordable charcoal cotton twill), this is a great choice if you want to travel light, with the bag itself only weighing in at a mere 0.82kg. The main compartment has space for a DSLR or mirrorless camera with a lens attached, along with a divider so you can pop an additional lens in as well. The finish is first class, with a very comfy padded strap, while there’s also a nicely integrated, magnetic, double flap closure system. If you prefer, you can use an optional zipper closure for added security as well as quick access. A premium choice, but a lovely bag if you’re looking to treat yourself.

6. Wandrd Hexad Access Duffel (45L)

Perfect as a travel bag as well as having loads of space for your camera kit

Capacity: 2 full-frame DSLR or mirrorless cameras with large lens attached, plus 2-3 extra lenses | Exterior dimensions: 23 x 36 x 56cm | Weight: 1.8kg

Very versatile design

Stylish with excellent finish

Expensive

Not enough organisation for some

If you’re going to be travelling a lot with you’re camera, then the Hexad Access Duffel is the answer. Featuring a clamshell, one half of the bag can be set aside for clothes and other travel essentials, while the other half for photo gear, with dual side-access pockets. These can accommodate Wandrd’s medium camera cubes (sold separately) which offer protection for your kit. If you just want to use one, you’ve get even more space for day to day stuff. There’s also a padded laptop sleeve, stowable backpack straps and a handy expandable laundry pocket. Then there’s the weather-sealed materials used, while the overall finish is excellent. Perfect if you’re going to be on a city break and want to travel light.

7. Peli 1510 Protector Case

Perfect for those travelling regularly with a lot of kit

Capacity: 1-2 Pro DSLRs with up to 8 lenses, 17-inch laptop, tablet and accessories | Exterior dimensions: 56 x 35.1 x 23cm | Weight: 6.2kg

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