Hiking Backpack With Camera Compartment In 2021
Having the right photography gear doesn’t always equal award-winning pics—but it’s a step in the right direction. If you’re going to take your craft seriously, you need one of the best camera backpacks to accompany you on your photography missions.
Are you a street photographer seeking to capture poignant moments in public places and instants of candid beauty? Or a wildlife photographer, trekking through wilderness to shoot rare birds or endangered mammals? Need a good camera backpack that you can take on hikes?
Or maybe you’re just playing around with a new camera, finding your groove, and honing your skills?
- Hiking Backpack With Camera Compartment In 2021
- Our Top Picks
- What to Look for in the Best Camera Backpacks: A Buyer’s Guide
- Best Camera Backpacks For Hiking
- 1. Lowepro Photo Sport
- 2. Endurax Extra Large Camera DSLR/SLR
- 3. Thule Aspect DSLR Camera
- 4. Burton F-stop Camera
- 5. G-raphy Professional DSLR Camera
- 6. Evecase DSLR Camera
- 7. Vanguard Havana 48
- 8. Gitzo Adventury 30L DSLR Camera
- 9. AmazonBasics Hiker Camera And Laptop
- 10. YuHan Waterproof SLR/DSLR Camera Bag
- Some FAQs
In this detailed comparison, I will show you lots of the best Camera Backpacks For Hiking. You’ll see some small backpacks which are great for people who don’t carry too much and generally go on shorter hikes.
Whether you’re an amateur or a professional, whether you like to photograph people, places, or exotic wildlife, you need a high-quality, functional, and durable camera backpack.
The best photography backpacks keep all your valuable equipment safe and secure, protected from knocks, bumps, and bad weather.
Our Top Picks
You will also see some larger backpacks – perfect for those of you who don’t home without at least two camera bodies and extra lenses. Scroll down to find the perfect Camera Backpacks For Hiking for you!
What to Look for in the Best Camera Backpacks: A Buyer’s Guide
Finding the right camera backpack depends a lot on how you plan to use it and what type of equipment you’re carrying. In this brief guide, we’ll go through a few of the main considerations to keep in mind when shopping for Camera Backpacks For Hiking.
Size Of Camera Backpacks For Hiking
In the best Camera Backpacks For Hiking, you can count on having a separate pocket to keep a laptop and some extra space to store other camera accessories like lenses, SD cards, cables, external hard drives, and so on. And of course, some personal essentials like documents, passport, your phone, and so on.
You can usually count on having at least one point to mount a tripod, plus secure and padded storage areas for more delicate equipment, like lens filters and pretty much the camera body and lenses.
If you’re planning on traveling on an airplane with your camera backpack, check the dimensions to see if it counts as a personal item or carry-on bag. Normally, the personal item is stored under the seat in front of you, while the carry-on is stored in the overhead compartment.
Backpack sizes are usually measured in liters. They can range from smaller bags with 15L capacity that can only fit one camera to large packs of 40 liters or more, 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. Trust me! It’s so much easier to carry just one camera backpack where you can also fit your clothing, vs. carrying two backpacks. I’ll share below the best camera backpack that does this!
Photography equipment and electronics are heavy by themselves, so it’s crucial that if you’re going to be lugging your equipment on your back from place to place, your backpack should be as light as possible.
Photography backpacks tend to be a bit heavier than typical hiking and travel backpacks due to the padding and sturdier build, but you can still find light options ranging from 1.5 to 5 pounds (1kg to 2.5kg)
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 (7kgs), which is roughly the most restrictive weight limit on Emirates, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Jet Airways, and a few other airlines.
Outdoor vs. Urban Camera Backpacks For Hiking
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 outdoor photography, you’ll probably want a slightly bigger backpack with extra-padded shoulder straps for comfort.
If you’re out in the city, smaller and lightweight Camera Backpacks For Hiking are usually a better option, especially if you’re planning on using public transportation. Try to avoid any extra dangling straps, buckles, or loops that can get easily caught and snagged when maneuvering in crowded areas.
Just because it’s a camera backpack doesn’t mean it can only 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.
It’s also a drag to carry around more bags than you need while traveling, so if your camera backpack can function to carry your gear and be a general use day-bag, all the better!
Price of Camera Backpacks For Hiking
Ever important to keep in mind, the price can be the final say in which bag you choose to carry your camera gear. Many camera backpacks are reasonably affordable, but some can get a little pricey, depending on the 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.
Material and Construction of Camera Backpacks For Hiking
If you’re like me and travel a lot, your camera bag will be exposed not only to the elements quite often, but also subjected to all kinds of situations on planes, buses, hostels, and such where it might get banged, brushed, scratches, etc.
That’s why you must get a sturdy bag with durable materials and high-quality craftsmanship and seams. Ideally, it should 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. Newer synthetic materials achieve the same, but they tend to be a bit more expensive.
What distinguishes a camera bag from a typical bag are the foam inserts that protect your gear inside it. Ideally, your bag has not only these foam paddings all around, but also several foam dividers to keep your equipment from banging within each other while on the road.
Comfort and Ergonomics
The comfort of your bag is essential! As a travel photographer, you’ll most likely carry your gear on your back all day as you travel around the city. Having a comfortable bag will make a significant 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 are not essential, but the bigger and heavier the bag, the more useful the hip pads become.
Regarding ergonomics, how easily accessible is everything? How many access points do you have, and are they designed to work the way you need them to?
Also Read : Top Affordable Men’s Accessories Under ₹1000
Discreteness of Camera Backpacks For Hiking
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 a camera!” But, even if it does, does it provide measures to deter pickpocketing? Does it come with latches, locking zippers, and other material and features that would make it harder for anyone to steal your gear?
Customizability of Camera Backpacks For Hiking
One of the best features of a good camera bag is the flexibility to customize its interior configuration to accommodate your equipment exactly how you need it. This can be done with padded dividers that can be easily accommodated to snuggle your equipment safely within your bag.
Type of Camera Backpacks For Hiking
Depending on how you use your camera equipment, how accessible you want it to be, how well protected, how much gear you have, and how you want to carry it will dictate the type of bag you should get.
While there are dozens of different bags out there, they are generally classified within 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, but 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 – A bag 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.
- Also, Carry Sunglasses for you, Top 10 Best Sunglasses For Men In India
Best Camera Backpacks For Hiking
Here are the best camera backpacks available today—whether you need something small and inconspicuous to carry in crowded streets or something hardcore and hard-wearing for trekking up mountains.
1. Lowepro Photo Sport
- Dimensions: 9.65” x 7.68” x 20.47”
- Weight: 2.64 lbs
- Water-resistant: No; rain cover included
The Lowepro backpack is a good affordable alternative. It’s actually one of the cheaper backpacks, so it’s great if you don’t want to spend too much money on a camera pack.
This backpack features the ActivZone harness by Lowepro, which includes a padded backpanel and hipbelt, as well as adjustable shoulder straps. Now, the backpanel is not really ventilated – there’s no breathable mesh over it. But, there is space between the foam ridges, so that the air can circulate. So, even though it’s not a pack with the best ventilation out there, it should still keep you dry when you’re out and about.
You can fit most mirrorless and DSLR travel cameras with an attached lens in this pack. In addition to that, there’s enough space for a flash, extra lens, or an adapter, as well as any hiking gear you might actually need.
What’s great about this pack is that it is actually very versatile. In addition to being able to fit all of your camera equipment, the Lowepro also has attachment points for your tripod or trekking poles, as well an internal hydration sleeve.
The pack also features an external “stash-it” compartment, which allows you to quickly put away a spare layer of clothing. And that is in addition to the multiple compartments and pockets.
This backpack is not compatible with the following camera models: Canon EOS 1D/1Ds/1Dx Mark II, Nikon D4/D4s/D5, and Sony Alpha A850/A900.
2. Endurax Extra Large Camera DSLR/SLR
- Dimensions: 23” x 13” x 9”
- Weight: 6.5 lbs
- Water-resistant: No; rain cover included
The Endurax backpack is excellent value for money. In addition to the pack itself, you will also get a rain cover and a small shoulder bag. The shoulder bag can be stored in the lower compartment of the pack, or you can carry it around your waist, which allows you to bring even more camera gear.
The backpanel is thickly padded and covered with breathable mesh for great ventilation. Both shoulder straps are padded and fully adjustable, which ensures that you get a great fit. And there’s also an adjustable waist belt, which helps keep you even more comfortable.
There are lots of different compartments and pockets on this backpack. And that includes a PVA armored front panel, which is perfect for any sensitive or fragile gear. There’s also a pocket with an organizer panel, great for all your smaller items – phone, wallet, pens etc.
One great thing about this pack is its versatility. You can utilize the compartments however you want to, since the divider pads are removable. This allows you to use one of the compartments for your hiking gear, and the other one for your camera and equipment.
In addition to that, there is also a separate laptop and tablet compartment. And, keep in mind that this backpack is pretty big – definitely big enough to fit two DSLR bodies, and it is compatible with any camera.
The only downside to this pack is weight. At 6.5 lbs, it is one of the heavier backpacks in the review. But the weight makes sense, considering that it comes with a hardshell case and a lot of padding.
3. Thule Aspect DSLR Camera
- Dimensions: 11.8” x 8.7” x 20.5”
- Weight: 3.17 lbs
- Water-resistant: Yes
The Aspect is an top quality camera backpack for hiking. It is made from 100% nylon, so it is very durable and water resistant. The harness and the backpanel of the Aspect are both padded and ventilate, for ultimate carrying comfort.
What’s great about this pack is that it is very lightweight. At only 3.17 lbs, this is one of the lightest backpacks in the entire review. But it’s still not too small; in fact, you can comfortably fit a 15.6” laptop in this pack.
And you can fit all of your camera equipment in the dedicated compartment. It is padded and features several dividers, as well a small zippered pocket on the cover of the compartment. However, you can’t fit too much equipment in this compartment.
Because of that, this backpack is not a great choice for people who need to carry multiple camera bodies and several lenses. Of course, that’s only if you plan to use some of the compartments for actual hiking gear.
The back compartment of this pack features a laptop sleeve, as well as an iPad pocket. In addition to that, this pack has pockets on the hipbelt, which allow you to have some items handy at all times.
Another thing worth mentioning is the tripod strap on the side of the backpack. Half of the tripod (or trekking poles) goes in the side pocket, and the strap keeps it in place while you’re moving around.
And tucked away on the side, is a small, but easy to reach spot for your water bottle.
4. Burton F-stop Camera
- Dimensions: 25.5″ x 12″ x 7.5″
- Weight: 5.1 lbs
- Water-resistant: Yes
The Burton F-stop backpack is definitely one of the best options out there. But, it’s a pretty pricey backpack, so people often overlook it.
If you can afford to spend a bit more on a camera backpack, I highly recommend this option. It’s incredibly comfortable to wear, due to all the padding on the backpanel and harness. The backpack is made from durable nylon, so it is water resistant even without a rain cover.
The front compartment of the pack features multiple padded dividers, which allow you to carefully organize all of your camera equipment. In addition to that, there are also several other compartments and pockets on the backpack, so that you can fit in some hiking gear as well.
And there are tripod attachment points on the exterior of the pack, which is awesome because even travel tripods are pretty bulky. Additionally, there are plenty of zippered pockets inside the backpack as well, so there’s definitely enough space for all your smaller necessities.
However, the Burton F-stop doesn’t have a laptop compartment, and that’s one downside. And it is a pretty heavy backpack; at 5 lbs, this thing weighs more than some larger backpacking packs. But you won’t actually feel that weight when you’re wearing the backpack, because the hipbelt does an amazing job at transferring the load away from your shoulders.
5. G-raphy Professional DSLR Camera
- Dimensions: 23” x 13” x 10”
- Weight: 6.16 lbs
- Water-resistant: Yes; rain cover included
The G-raphy backpack is a great choice for all of you that tend to carry quite a lot of gear. It’s a very big backpack, and it can fit multiple camera bodies, lenses, flashes and all of your other hiking gear. But it’s also a pretty heavy backpack – at 6.17 lbs, this thing is not going to feel lightweight or too comfortable.
The exterior of the bag is made from waterproof nylon, and you also get a rain cover along with the pack. There’s laptop compartment in this hiking backpack, which is large enough to comfortably fit a 17” laptop. And that is in addition to several main compartments, and an abundance of (internal and external) zippered pockets.
The backpack also comes with a removable gadget bag, which is large enough to hold a camera body and two lenses. In addition to that, all the dividers are removable, so you can customize the compartments of the backpack (and the gadget bag) however you want. Points for versatility!
Both the backpanel and the harness and ventilated and heavily padded, for great carrying comfort. The same goes for the hipbelt, which by the way also features two zippered pockets.
The G-raphy is equipped with external attachment points for tripod/trekking poles. Overall, this is definitely one of the better big backpacks, as long as you can deal with how heavy it is.
6. Evecase DSLR Camera
- Dimensions: 18” x 11.5” x 7.5”
- Weight: 2.01 lbs
- Water-resistant: Yes
The Evecase is definitely one of the best backpacks you can buy. It’s got the whole package – several compartments for excellent organization, waterproof exterior and an incredibly attractive price tag. At less than $50, this is the perfect backpack for all of you that aren’t looking to spend too much money.
The backpack has two fully separated compartments. The top compartment is designed for your hiking gear and any personal items you want to pack, including a tablet sleeve. It can fit a 10” tablet, and nothing larger – so no spot for your laptop in this pack.
The bottom compartment is designed for the camera equipment. I really like how they separated the two, because this way you have easy access to both compartments.
In addition to the two main compartments, this backpack also features several smaller pockets for your other gear. And there are external attachment points for your tripod or trekking poles, as well as compression straps that will hold all your gear in place.
The backpanel and the harness of the Evecase are padded throughout and covered with breathable mesh. One downside to this backpack is that the waist belt is a plain webbing strap, and it’s not too comfortable to wear. But at least it is adjustable, so you can make it fit you just right very easily.
And last but not least, you can also throw a water bottle on the outside so you can keep hydrated on the go.
7. Vanguard Havana 48
- Dimensions: 18.9” x 9.5” x 12”
- Weight: 2.73 lbs
- Water-resistant: No; rain cover included
One great thing about this backpack is that there are plenty sizes to choose from. The specs I listed below are of the largest (48-liter) Havana backpack. The 41-liter version is also a pack, while the smaller bags are shoulder/messenger bags.
Another thing I really like about this backpack is how lightweight it is. It weighs less than 3 lbs, which is amazing for its size and capacity. Especially considering that it comes with multiple padded dividers for organization.
The Vanguard Havana pack is pretty affordable, considering everything you are getting for your money. However, it’s one of the less comfortable backpacks to wear. The backpanel features very little padding and no ventilation, which will be an issue in the warmer months.
In addition to that, the waist belt is just a webbing strap – there’s no padding or mesh on it. Because of that, it doesn’t feel very comfortable around your waist, and it’s a bit less efficient at transferring the load away from your shoulders.
You get a raincover with this pack, and you’ll find it in the front little pocket. There’s also a key clip in this pocket, which is pretty useful for organization.
There are several compartments on this backpack; a large one for your hiking gear and a few smaller ones for your camera equipment. Additionally, there’s also a laptop sleeve in the back, which will hold a 13” laptop.
This pack has the advantage of not looking like a camera bag. It won’t give away what you’re carrying in it, which helps keep the thieves away.
8. Gitzo Adventury 30L DSLR Camera
- Dimensions: 12.2” x 7.5” x 18.9”
- Weight: 4.19 lbs
- Water-resistant: Yes; rain cover included
The pack is compatible with DSLRs, pro DSLRs, drones and other mirrorless cameras. For a full list of all the cameras that will fit into the Gitzo, head over to Amazon.
This backpack is made from heavy duty materials, which have good water resistance on their own. In addition to that, a rain cover is also included in the purchase, so your gear will be protected in wet weather at all times.
The backpanel of the Gitzo is amazing. It’s heavily padded, and so is the entire harness. Additionally, both the backpanel and harness feature breathable mesh, for excellent ventilation. The waist belt is not removable, but it is adjustable.
There are several pockets and compartments on this backpack, as well as external gear attachment points. Because of that, you can fit quite a lot of gear in this pack. And any bulkier items can be attached to the front panel, so that they don’t take up too much space inside the main compartments.
The opening of the backpack is way in the back, which is both good and bad. It’s good because it ensures that all your gear stays protected, and it’s a bit easier to pack this way. But, it also means that, in order to have easy access to the main compartment, you need to take off your backpack every time.
The Gitzo also features roll top opening, which allows you to extend its capacity. You can get additional 10-15 liters with this, which can come in handy sometimes.
9. AmazonBasics Hiker Camera And Laptop
- Dimensions: 11” x 18.1” x 9”
- Weight: 3.19 lbs
- Water-resistant: No; rain cover included
The AmazonBasics backpack is an okay affordable option. It’s made from lightweight materials and it comes with a rain cover that will protect your gear.
The backpanel and the harness are both padded and ventilated, and the backpack is pretty comfortable. It’s not too big or too heavy, but it can fit quite a lot of gear, thanks to the multiple compartments and pockets. The top loading compartment is ideal for your hiking gear, and the side pocket is perfect for your lenses, camera and other equipment.
In addition to that, there are external attachment points of this backpack, which are designed to hold your tripod or trekking poles. Oh, and there are pockets on the hipbelt, so that you can have your most important items handy at all times.
There’s also a dedicated laptop compartment, which can fit average 13-14” laptops.
The downside of this backpack is that the shoulder straps get loose while you’re moving around. You have to adjust them constantly, and that can really ruin your day. However, there are a couple ways to deal with this issue. You can secure the shoulder straps with a couple safety pins, or you can sew them together once you’ve adjusted them.
Anyway, I think it’s worth trying to make the AmazonBasics pack work, because it performs pretty well in all other aspects. Plus, this is actually the cheapest backpack out of the bunch – the orange version will set you back some $50, which is pretty great.
10. YuHan Waterproof SLR/DSLR Camera Bag
- Dimensions: 11.8” x 18.9” x 7.9”
- Weight: 3.09 lbs
- Water-resistant: Yes; rain cover included
The YuHan backpack is made from heavy duty nylon, and it is very durable and water resistant. The harness is comfortable, and somewhat padded. The backpanel features padding and breathable mesh on the lower part, which is also the opening of the camera equipment compartment.
This backpack comes with removable padded dividers, which allows you to decide how you want to use each compartment. The dividers are intended for the hidden compartment in the back, as this one was designed to hold the camera gear. That’s pretty great, since this is the safest compartment in the entire backpack.
The hipbelt is removable, which allows you to easily convert this camera bag into a simple everyday backpack.
There’s also the top loading main compartment, for all your other gear. It features a sleeve large enough to fit 15.6” laptops, and several smaller pockets for great organization.
In addition to all that, the backpack features a large external pocket on the front panel (perfect for your tablet), stretch pockets on the sides, and zippered pockets on the waist belt. The only downside to this backpack is that there is not a dedicated spot for your tripod – it lacks external attachment points and compression straps for the bulky gear.
Other than that, the YuHan pack is actually a really good choice. It’s not too large or heavy, so it’s great for some shorter hikes. Additionally, this is a very affordable backpack – under $70; which is really good value for money
What is the best camera backpack?
The best camera backpack is the Lowepro ProTactic backpack. This camera rucksack ticks all the boxes when it comes to comfort, features, and durability. It will protect all your important gear and has been designed to avoid stress on your shoulders and back.
How do you pack a camera for air travel?
When flying with your camera, you’ll want to put it in your cabin baggage where it will be safe and secure. Take everything apart before flying, including unscrewing all caps and lenses. Keep everything separated and securely packed so it doesn’t rattle around and to avoid scratches. Silica gel packs can prevent moisture.
How do I choose a camera bag?
Choosing a camera bag will depend on your style of photography. A wildlife photographer will require a different camera backpack to a street photographer. It will also depend on how much equipment you usually carry and what your budget is. We have selected the best camera backpacks to suit a range of photography needs from the best budget offering to the best waterproof camera rucksack.
What should I keep in my camera bag?
What you keep in your camera bag will depend on what you plan to shoot, but there are a few basics that every professional and amateur photographer needs. These include spare batteries and memory cards, a microfibre cloth to clean your lenses, a tripod, flash, and perhaps a flash bouncer. A rain cover, or at least a plastic bag, is another good idea.
The top one is designed to hold your hiking gear and personal items and it has a tablet sleeve. The bottom compartment is completely separate from the top one, and it’s designed for all your camera equipment. Overall, a really good pack for very little money.
Hopefully, you’ve found the perfect camera backpack for you. Any one of the 10 I showed you in this review is a good choice because all of them are rated very highly.
If you haven’t found what you’re looking for, check out our related posts for more ideas!