Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Welcome to our big camera bag test 2021. Here we present all the camera bags we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best camera bag for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a camera bag.




Summary

  • No matter what kind of bag you want to get, it is important that you pay attention to the dimensions of your equipment. It's important because you want the perfect protection for your camera and if your bag doesn't fit 100%, there's a risk that your devices will get scratches due to unnecessary friction.
  • Just as important as the dimensions is the padding. The right padding should protect your body and your equipment from damage. For equipment, padding provides protection from unnecessary damage. For the body, the right padding ensures optimal distribution and support of the carrying weight.
  • You should be clear about how much you actually want to spend on your bag. There are so many different bags, in different sizes, shapes, types, designs, etc. You have to set a limit. You have to set yourself a limit.

The Best Camera Bag: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a camera bag

Why do I need a camera bag?

The reason is quite simple. Cameras are not cheap and you want to protect your sensitive equipment as much as possible from all kinds of influences. For this reason, you want to offer the perfect protectionfor your big or small investments.

Depending on the type and size of your camera and tripod, you also have to choose the size and function of your tripod bag. (Photo: Steve Buissinne / pixabay.com)

Because there are so many different situations where you want to have your camera with you, there really is a specific bag for each situation that will protect your camera and other equipment.

From the amateur photographer to the professional photographer, from amateur holiday pictures to the big commercial photo shoots. Everyone needs their bag or case to carry everything well, safely and quickly.

There are many different bags and each one is carried differently. There are camera shoulder bags, photo backpacks, waist bags and of course the well-known suitcase. These bags come in many different variations and sizes. For this reason, the prices vary. Therefore, it is important to think about it beforehand and ask yourself the questions:

  • What kind of bag do I want?
  • What do I need the bag for?
  • How much do I actually want to spend?

If you cannot answer these questions 100%, here is some food for thought to help you.

What is there to say about the classic shoulder bag?

This bag is the standard bag that you usually get with an SLR camera. In this bag you can carry the camera with a lens, as well as small equipment such as battery, SD card and power supply. This shoulder bag is the perfect starter bag to get started with photography.

A clear advantage of this bag is the cost. Since this bag is often used as a basic carrying bag for the SLR camera, the purchase price is not as high as for other types of bags that are used less frequently or are suitable for special tours.

Another big advantage of this bag is its handiness. You can reach the camera quickly and there is no special sliding mechanism that delays opening. This bag is only used with a small snap hook.

Of course, there are also bags that you don't immediately recognise as camera bags. These are usually larger. Most of the time, you can even safely carry a laptop or tablet in the bag. However, these bags are also in a higher price range, but are still very popular.

This is also one of the biggest disadvantages. Because you have quick access, the security of this bag is also considerably lower. Despite the extra clip, which is supposed to make access more difficult, an experienced thief can get to the camera very easily. Another disadvantage is that the camera bag keeps swinging forward and often gets in the way when taking photos.

Another important point is that the entire weight of the bag is placed on one shoulder only. This can be detrimental to your health if you pack the bag too heavily and always carry it on the same side for a long period of time.

What is a compact bag?

This bag gives your camera bag extra protection should it accidentally fall off. You can also attach this bag wherever you need it. Be it around your wrist, on another bag or on your hip.

The disadvantage is that the camera is not immediately ready for use and you first have to pull the camera out of the tight bag. Nevertheless, you should not underestimate the usefulness of this bag.

Of course, there are also compact bags for SLR cameras. These are designed like shoulder bags and are identical in practical use. With enough padding and space, it is possible to carry everything you might need.

Camera bags and photo cases are containers for carrying cameras and accessories.
Camera bags for compact cameras are usually hardly bigger than the camera itself, they are made of plastic (hard case) or textile (soft case).(Didgeman/pixabay.com)

What is a Colt bag?

This case is very good for the SLR camera. It is a bit bigger than the normal shoulder bag. Because of its different cut, you can carry the camera already ready for use. It is possible to carry the camera with the lens attached in the bag.

A big advantage of this bag is its shape. You can transport the camera already ready for use in this bag, without damage, and then you can immediately start taking pictures. Another great advantage of this bag is that you can decide how you want to carry it, whether on your hip or around your shoulder, it's entirely up to you.

Due to the special design, your device has enough storage space to be transported in the bag together with the required lens. This saves you the unnecessary use of extra quivers that might be needed.

The disadvantage of this bag is that it has no special protection against theft. The standard bags are only protected by a zip. For this reason, you should be careful where and especially how you carry this bag. Of course, it is also possible to have bags with a special closure, such as a hook, a combination lock, etc. The price will vary accordingly. The price will change accordingly.

What is a sling bag?

This bag is also worn on the back. It is simpler, smaller and sits across the back. Apart from that, it has exactly the same functions as the normal backpack.

This bag is smaller than the backpack, but it has advantages over the normal backpack. Since this bag is only worn on one side of the shoulder, you can easily carry it in front of your stomach. This makes it easy to get to the camera quickly.

This bag is often very popular because of its youthful design. Also, outsiders cannot see what is in the bag. This in turn gives you the feeling of security around the camera itself.

The disadvantage here, as with the shoulder bag, is that the entire weight has to be carried on one shoulder. As with the shoulder bag, this can cause health problems if the bag is carried on one side for too long. But the risk is very small.

For this reason, we recommend alternating the sides of the shoulder and the carrying method for this bag, so that the load remains balanced.

What is a lens quiver?

Quivers are important ways of carrying lenses. With a lens case you can easily make sure that you can transport everything in one piece. You can easily attach these bags to other bags and thus a safe lens change is guaranteed.

These small containers are perfect for further transport with a suitcase or a backpack. You can put them in a suitcase without any problems and everything is stored safely. If you don't have a case, you can also attach this quiver to other bags or even hang it around your shoulder so that you can get going faster.

Like any bag, it has its disadvantages. In this case, a quiver often gets in the way when you're in the middle of a "photo shoot". Everyone has had this problem. "You're busy, you're in a shooting frenzy and you've got a bag around your shoulder and then it can get in the way very quickly because it keeps sliding forward unintentionally."

Because these lens cases are compact, you can't very well put it aside or just slide it on your back. It would keep sliding forward. Another disadvantage is, you can't pull the lens out that quickly.

The lens is fixed in the quiver, so it can't slide. For this reason, it is a bit more difficult to get the lens out again.

Therefore, it is not possible to change the lens so quickly. Nevertheless, every photographer should have as many cases as there are lenses in order to guarantee optimal storage of the various lenses.

What is a Shoot Sac?

With this bag you can transport several lenses at the same time. The special feature of this bag is that it adapts directly to the body, which allows you to change lenses perfectly.

The biggest advantage of this bag is really the material used. The neoprene allows it to adapt perfectly to your body. There is almost no extra weight, this bag is light as a feather. Because it is made of neoprene, it is also water-repellent, which adds another point of protection to this bag.

Due to the smooth material, the lenses are protected from rubbing against each other during movements. This is a big advantage. This way you are able to carry several lenses around during the shoot without any problems.

The disadvantage of this bag is the cost. Because it is so specially produced, this already small bag is quite expensive. When buying one, you should really think about whether you really need it or whether you can do without it.

If you have come to the conclusion to buy this bag, you still have the choice between plain black or with design. This way you can decide whether you want to be stylish or discreet.

How much does a camera bag cost?

Camera bags come in different price ranges. Depending on whether you are looking for an inexpensive entry-level model or a high-quality bag for professional use.

Inexpensive bags start at around €15. High-quality models start at around 30 €.

Decision: What types of camera bags are there and which is the right one for you?

What distinguishes the shoulder bag and what should I look out for?

This shoulder bag is one of the most common camera bags for amateur photographers, as this bag is easy to handle. With quick and small movements, you can safely transport and store the camera as well as the utensils.

Thanks to the good padding and the division into different compartments, you have enough space for all your equipment. Most of the compartments are adjustable, depending on your needs. So everyone can adjust their shoulder bag to suit their needs. The shoulder strap is also adjustable, so you can achieve different length settings. This bag is perfect for amateur photographers.

The dimensions of the camera are important. You should be sure of the dimensions of your equipment so that the camera can lie safely in the bag without scratches caused by unnecessary friction.

As already mentioned, all shoulder bags have enough padding and compartments to store all the utensils. Often, there are also smaller side pockets to store small items such as SD cards, batteries, etc. The dividers of the shoulder bags are also often designed in such a way that they do not get scratched unnecessarily. The separations between the various compartments inside the bag are often adjustable.

Another important point that you should not underestimate is the carrying comfort. Good padding on the shoulder strap and on the handle is very important. Who doesn't know it? You're on holiday and you're out and about with your camera all day. After a while, your shoulders start to hurt. That's when you want to change your grip on the bag.

For this reason, good padding is not only important for the inside pocket, but also for the shoulder and hand. That way, your holiday is saved and taking photos is all the more fun.

What exactly is a compact bag and what should I look out for?

It is small, compact and you can wear it around your shoulder, hip or wrist. This bag is very easy to handle. It is ideal for the first protection of a new small camera.

If you want to get a new small camera or already have one, the compact bag is perfect. The compact bag is one of the simplest bags you can buy for your camera. When you buy a basic digital camera, it usually comes with a compact bag, but not always, and every camera needs good protection.

The most important thing about the compact bag is that it has enough padding. Because it is so small, it tends to get lost in the big bags. For this reason, the bag should be completely padded and not just cover part of the camera.

Also, if you want to tie it around your wrist or waist, the bag should offer enough protection. The momentum you have in the aisle could cause minor collisions. This bag prevents serious damage to the camera itself.

What does a Colt bag offer me and what should I look out for?

You have a new SLR camera but want a camera bag that you can't just hang around your shoulder? The Colt bag is a very good choice. Due to the special cut of this bag, from the bottom slim to the lid wider, this bag has a little more space for carrying the camera than with the normal shoulder bag.

Because of this cut, this bag is also called a Colt bag or toploader.

In this bag you can put the camera with the lens inside, where with other bags you have to unscrew the lens. With extra belt loops and a strap, you can choose how you want to wear the bag, whether around the belt or waist or around the shoulder.

As with any camera bag, the dimensions of the camera are important. You should be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of this bag. For long camera trips, this standby bag is pretty good. You have a variety of ways to carry this bag. No matter what you decide, you can always modify the bag according to your wishes.

What are the advantages of a sling camera bag?

Do you plan to go on a larger photo tour, but don't want to carry your camera in a simple shoulder bag? Then how about a sling bag? This backpack is very similar to the normal photo backpack. The difference with this bag is that you only wear the bag over one shoulder.

You have quick access to the camera because you can get the bag to the front of your stomach more quickly, so you can access your camera more quickly.

The construction inside the bag is similar to a photo backpack. With more padding not only on the shoulder but also on the hip, the weight of the bag is optimally distributed.

What is a lens case for?

If you want to go on a tour, you usually need more than just one lens. In order to transport them safely, there are lens cases. This type of bag is always needed when you have more than one lens with you.

This bag is designed to fit precisely, so that the risk of slipping during transport can be prevented. With extra straps and fasteners, these bags can also be attached to backpacks.

Why do I need a Shoot Sac?

The Shoot Sac is a lens bag with multiple slots to carry multiple lenses around easily and quickly. This bag is perfect to allow a quick change of lenses. The bag is designed to fit your body perfectly. Due to the neoprene used, it also has almost no extra weight.

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate camera bags based on these factors

Size

Not only are the dimensions of your equipment important, but also the total number of devices. Depending on how many pieces of equipment you have, you should set a certain volume height for the case. Nevertheless, the most important equipment should be sized so that the foam perfectly protects it.

To really guarantee perfect protection, the equipment should lie in the case in a non-slip manner to avoid unintentional damage. Padding on the walls and various compartments ensures non-slip protection. Alternatively, you can cut out the show fabric insert to perfectly enclose the equipment.

Size Outside Inside Volume
S approx. 210 x 167 x 90 mm approx. 186 x 123 x 75 mm approx. 1.7 L
M approx. 330 x 280 x 120 mm approx. 300 x 220 x 90 mm approx. 5.9 L
L approx. 430 x 380 x 154 mm approx. 395 x 320 x 117 mm approx. 14.8 L
XL approx. 520 x 415 x 195 mm approx. 470 x 375 x 188 mm approx. 30 L

Carrying comfort

This point is very important because it tells you whether you can carry the bag around for a long time without getting pain. If the bag is uncomfortable to carry or if the padding is in the wrong place, it can even have health consequences in the worst case.

To avoid this, you should be aware of what activities you want to do with your new bag. Depending on the answer, you should have special padding on the shoulder, back or hip pockets.

With the right padding, you can avoid damage to your health and thus increase the wearing comfort. Increased comfort will make the bag look lighter and the trip will be more successful.

Padding

Not only the padding on the carrying straps is important, but also on the bag itself to provide the best protection for the equipment. There should be padding in all areas where padding is needed. This means that padding is not only necessary on the carrying straps, but also in the inner pocket where the equipment is to be transported.

Depending on the type of bag, there is special padding in the interior as well as on the carrying components. Good padding is important, not only for the equipment but also for the various handles and carrying straps. Depending on the type of bag and the way it is used, the inner bag is padded.

The better the padding is distributed, the safer the equipment is stored. For suitcases, there are special fabric inserts that can be cut to size so that your own equipment is perfectly protected.

Inner pocket

Some bags have extra compartments. These are often very important to separate the individual parts and to prevent the movement of the individual devices so that the sensitive devices do not damage each other.

There are many different bags, which in turn have different large compartments. Depending on your needs, you can rearrange the compartments. Most photographers have a lot of utensils and need the separation in the inner pocket. This way you can counteract the mutual destruction.

Also, you often carry not only lenses and the camera in the bag, but you also have private items with you, such as SD card, extra battery or a power supply or HDMI cable. All this needs to be well protected from each other, as well as from the outside world.

Facts worth knowing about camera bags

Is it possible to attach tripods to the bags or to get a holder for them?

Many bags do not have an extra holder for tripods. Most of the bags that have such a holder are photo backpacks or suitcases. Most of them are bags designed for photo tours.

With this holder, transporting the tripod becomes easier. If the bag does not have a bracket, it is possible to buy a bracket to go with it. However, these devices are not as reliable as the integrated ones.

Are camera bags waterproof?

Most bags have a little water protection. The stitching material used protects the bags from splashing water, but not from rain. With some bags, it is possible to buy a rain cover separately, so that you can protect your bag perfectly from the weather in the great outdoors.

Did you know that there are also waterproof camera bags?

The company Over Board, for example, offers two different sizes of waterproof camera bags. These are also perfect for carrying additional lenses or chargers.

Are camera bags suitable for hand luggage?

In principle, every bag is suitable for hand luggage. Depending on the volume of your bag, it is possible to take it on a plane. Most buyers carry valuable items in their luggage and therefore the desire to keep the bag close to them is very great and therefore very practical.

However, each airline has its own guidelines and to make sure the bag fits the airline's standard, these should always be checked.

Can I sew a camera bag myself?

Do-it-yourself is the order of the day. Of course it is possible to sew a bag yourself. With experience, it should be possible to secure the seams so that your expensive equipment is safe. It is a difficult task, but if you do it well you will have an individual bag and it will be unique.

Is it possible to get extra straps for a camera bag?

It is not possible to buy extra straps for support. The straps must be effectively sewn onto the bag to ensure that they are really supportive. If supportive straps are desired, you should pay attention to where the straps are attached when buying.

Straps for tripods or quivers usually have a crepe fastener so that they can safely carry the desired items.

Do camera bags have extra compartments to carry a laptop or tablet?

The large bags usually have an extra compartment to carry a laptop or tablet. Nowadays, this compartment is indispensable. For longer trips or a photo tour, these devices are important so that the newly taken pictures can be processed immediately.

These pockets are not offered in the compact bags, as they are rather small and only suitable for small photo tours.

Picture credits: Pixabay.com / markusspiske

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