Last updated on January 6th, 2022
Having your camera gear with you wherever you go is extremely important for photographers because you never know when you will need it.
However, bringing along these heavy pieces of equipment is not a joke. The average weight of a DSLR body is 1.70 lbs. It does not include your lenses, spare batteries, tripod, and other essential accessories.
Although apart from the tripod, camera body, and lenses, the other accessories are small in size. Collectively, it’s still going to amount to a weight you need to carry around with you.
The best camera backpack allows you to carry all your gear for whatever the occasion is, whether you shoot for portrait, landscape, wildlife, urban, street, or even a short hike.
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What to Look For in Buying a Camera Backpack
There is no such thing as one size fits all for a camera backpack because it would depend on what type of photographer you are. If you are a travel photographer, you should consider a camera backpack that fits the overhead storage bin. If you’re into hiking, you should consider getting a camera backpack that is extremely lightweight and weather-resistant.
There are several factors to consider when picking a camera backpack that fits your lifestyle and needs. In this section, we will go through these factors one by one.
Suppose you hike a lot or shoot in many different environments. In that case, the bag’s weather resistance is an essential factor to consider. We are not only talking about resistance from rain, but also from too much heat since your bag will go through different elements often.
Check what material the bag uses. A Cordura fabric is an example of an extremely durable material that is common in weather-resistant bags.
If the backpack does not have weather-resistant material, or if you already have a favorite that is not weather-resistant, you may opt for a rain cover. Opting for a rain cover has both its advantages and disadvantages. Its advantage is that it protects the gear stored outside the bag. On the other hand, it can be quite inconvenient as it would require extra effort to use the cover.
Tripod or Trekking Pole Slot
If you carry a tripod or trekking pole with you most of the time, consider getting a bag that has a slot for a tripod or a trekking pole. Being able to accommodate both would be great, but having one is good.
Can You Use It for Hiking?
A camera backpack comes in a variety of sizes to accommodate different needs. If you hike a lot, you should consider getting a backpack that is not too big to carry and is not too small to accommodate your gear.
Some backpacks are compact but can accommodate a lot, while some backpacks are not. It comes down to the interior design of the backpack and the thickness of the materials. A weather-resistant backpack is essential if you plan to use it for hiking.
Does It Fit Carry-on?
Check if the camera backpack is carry-on friendly. If you are someone who travels a lot, this is an essential factor to consider. In most cases, checking in your camera gear is not advisable as it may break while in transit. So the best option when bringing your camera gear is with carry-on luggage.
If not all, most airlines follow a standard hand-carry size of 56cm x 36cm x 23cm. If your backpack is within these measurements, then you should be good to go.
How Many Cameras and Lenses Can Fit in the Camera Backpack
The number of cameras and lenses that can fit in a backpack is usually relative to the backpack’s size. A small backpack can accommodate fewer cameras and lenses than a large backpack.
Check how many cameras and lenses you currently have. Consider how many cameras and lenses you will be adding to your gear in the next year or two. Choose the backpack size that can accommodate whatever number of cameras and lenses you plan to carry with you.
Is There Space for a Water Bottle, Water Bladder, or Other Miscellaneous Items?
Not everyone needs a pocket for a water bottle or water bladder. But if you do need one, there is a good number of backpacks that have one. We recommend a pocket that has a garter so it can securely hold your water bottle.
As for miscellaneous items, small external pockets are useful for things that need to be accessible. You can put your keys, some cash, and other things in these pockets.
Will you be bringing a laptop with you? Before you say no, you should be sure that it is never going to happen. If you are not sure, it is better to choose a backpack with a laptop compartment to be there if you need it.
A laptop compartment should have excellent cushioning to protect your laptop from bumps. Some backpacks have an entirely separate zipper for the laptop compartment, whereas some have the laptop compartment inside the main zipper. It’s a matter of preference which one works best for you.
14 Best Camera Backpacks Under $100
Here is a list of the 14 best camera backpacks under $100 we curated for you.
1. USA GEAR DSLR Camera Backpack
The USA GEAR DSLR Camera Backpack measures 18 x 12 x 8 inches and weighs in at only 2.47 lbs, which is lightweight considering the bag’s dimensions.
This camera backpack has many compartments and storage space for your lenses, cameras, laptop, cables, chargers, and other accessories. Although the backpack’s dimensions seem bulky, its form factor is just right while offering plenty of space.
The bag’s interior is completely customizable by adding, removing, and arranging the padded dividers based on the number of gear you will bring. A zippered side access door provides easy access to your camera.
If you are bringing your laptop with you, the USA GEAR DSLR Camera Backpack offers a padded laptop compartment that fits up to a 15.6-inch laptop. The zippers are reinforced and have soft rubber pullers that allow quick access to your gear. You can easily tuck-away the shoulders straps, which lets you wear the backpack on one shoulder.
In case you need to attach a tripod or water bottle, the USA GEAR DSLR Camera Backpack has a dedicated foot pocket and strap. For easy transport, the backpack has a top handle and a luggage handle slot, which you can attach on top of luggage bags.
2. TARION Pro 2 Bags in 1 Camera Backpack
The TARION Pro Bags 2 in 1 Camera Backpack is an extra-large backpack with dimensions of 12.2 x 7.48 x 19.69 inches. If you are looking for a compact camera backpack, this is not the backpack for you. However, if you are looking for a backpack that can carry a lot of gear, this is for you.
The top compartment of the backpack can hold up to 5 lenses and one camera, while the lower compartment can hold up to a maximum of 4 lenses and one camera. The accessory shoulder bag that comes with the main backpack can hold two lenses and one camera. If you sum everything up, that is a total of 11 lenses and three cameras.
A backpack this big has a hefty weight of 6.61 lbs. Add up the cameras, lenses, and accessories you will be bringing with you will make it extremely heavy. Luckily, the TARION Pro Backpack has softly padded shoulder and waist straps that help reduce load weight. The length of the straps is adjustable for maximum comfort.
This backpack has a padded laptop compartment that can carry up to a 15.6-inch laptop. The laptop compartment has a side zipper that you can use to access the compartment through the side. The backpack itself uses high-quality, tear-resistance nylon, which makes the TARION Pro sturdy and durable. It also comes with a waterproof rain cover, which you can use to protect your backpack from rain or snow.
3. Lowepro Fastpack BP 250 AW II
The Lowepro Fastpack BP 250 AW II camera backpack features three main storage zones, which help organize your gear. It has external dimensions of 12.20 x 10.24 x 19.69 inches and internal dimensions of 11.42 x 6.10 x 10.83 inches, which makes it an ideal camera backpack for traveling.
Aside from having compartments for your cameras, lenses, and accessories, it has a laptop compartment that can hold up to a 15.6-inch laptop and a tablet compartment with dimensions of 9.4 x 0.59 x 12.00 inches. There is also an external pocket that can carry a tripod or water bottle.
When traveling with a trolley bag, you can secure the backpack to the trolley bag via compression straps. The Lowepro Fastpack BP 250 AW II uses 600D nylon to provide maximum durability.
4. TARION Camera Backpack Waterproof Camera Bag
The TARION Camera Backpack is an IPX5 rated camera backpack that is perfect for those who love adventure. The fabric used in this camera backpack is water-resistant and is long-lasting. The included rain cover provides another layer of water-resistance for your gear.
This backpack has external dimensions of 11.42 x 6.3 x 17.91 inches and can store 17 L of gear in total. In case you need more room for your gear, the inner top drawstring is expandable and can provide an additional 10% space for your gear.
The removable inner compartments of the TARION Camera Backpack makes it extremely customizable. If you don’t want to bring your camera gear with you, remove the interior compartments to make room for other things. The backpack has an anti-theft back entry that provides additional security for your gear.
To give an idea of the backpack’s capacity, it can fit one DSLR camera, one compact camera, three lenses, one tablet, one tripod, one drone, and a bunch of accessories. It’s a great option if you’re flying carry-on only with your travel camera.
5. MOSISO Camera Backpack
If you encounter a few bumps along your journey, then the MOSISO Camera Backpack offers excellent protection for camera equipment. This bag has a hardshell case and a padded interior modular system to organize your gear the way you want.
The camera backpack can fit 2 DSLR camera bodies, lenses, a tablet, and a 16-inch laptop. Depending on how you set up the divider system, you can fit in a few extra mirrorless cameras or a mini drone. There are also 2 accessory mesh pockets to store your SD cards, cables, batteries, external hard drives, and an exterior holder for a tripod.
For travel photographers, this camera backpack has a water bottle pocket and clips on the shoulder straps to hang sunglasses or a small towel. A convenient anti-theft pocket is built-in for your valuables.
The shoulder straps and back are padded to make walks or hikes comfortable. There is also a buckle on the straps for better ergonomic support. However, if you’re going on long treks with difficult terrain, better hiking camera backpacks are available, providing superior support, though at a higher price point.
6. CADeN Camera Backpack Bag with Laptop Compartment
The CADeN Camera Backpack Bag measures 17.32 x 12.6 x 6.3 inches and weighs only 2.5 lbs, making it compact, lightweight, and ideal for travel and short trips. This camera backpack can fit one camera body, four lenses, one laptop with a screen size of up to 15.6 inches, and accessories.
The backpack features durable mesh bags found on both sides of the bag, while the bottom compartment of the backpack can store a tripod or trekking pole. The CADeN Camera Backpack Bag uses 900D nylon to provide maximum durability and water-resistance, protecting your gear from different elements.
7. AmazonBasics Backpack for SLR/DSLR Camera
The AmazonBasics Backpack is a simple backpack for your basic camera needs. Measuring only 11.75 x 8.75 x 14.5 inches and weighing only 1.96 lbs, this backpack is compact.
The compartments in this backpack are padded and adjustable, which provides ultimate customization and protection. Aside from the padded compartments, the shoulder straps are also heavily padded.
At the exterior of the backpack is a holder, which fits a tripod or a trekking pole. The side pockets have flaps that you can use to hold your smartphone, keys, and other small items.
8. Case Logic DSLR Camera and 15.4-Inch Laptop Backpack
If you are looking for a backpack that can support a DSLR with the lens attached, the Case Logic DLSR Camera Backpack is perfect for you. It is compact while accommodating most of your gear with an external dimension of 12.50 x 8.00 x 17.00 inches.
The hammock system of the Case Logic DSLR Camera Backpack suspends the DSLR above the bottom of the case, which protects against drops and impacts.
If you are looking for a backpack that can stand on its own, this backpack can do it. The waterproof EVA base withstands the elements and lets the backpack stay up. This bag also has a padded laptop compartment, which can fit a laptop with a screen size of up to 17 inches. The dividers found on the interior are removable to store personal items.
A loop strap found at the side of the backpack can hold a tripod. An innovative strap management system eliminates hanging straps so it won’t look messy.
9. Neewer Pro Camera Backpack
The Neewer Pro Camera Backpack uses waterproof polyester and durable nylon for maximum durability and reliability. It has exterior dimensions of 13.4 x10.2 x 20.5 inches, holding a DSLR camera, standard zoom lenses, cables, batteries, and other accessories.
If you’re planning to travel, the backpack lid’s interior has memory foam, which protects the delicate LCD screen. The removable padded dividers make it easy to adjust and customize the backpack’s interior. Having this feature lets you reduce the portion of a partition for a snug fit or increase it to accommodate bigger things.
At the backpack’s exterior are two buckles on both sides. These secure a tripod, trekking pole, or an umbrella. This backpack is ideal for a wide variety of situations. You can use it for hiking, trekking, traveling, or even shopping. The removable interior padding makes it a casual bag and a camera bag all at the same time.
10. Abonnyc Camera Backpack
The Abonnyc Camera Backpack has a large capacity with exterior dimensions of 11.8 x 16.5 x 6.3 inches. Despite being large, it only weighs 2.67 lbs, which is perfect for those carrying a lot of heavy gear. This backpack can hold one camera, three lenses, a tripod, a laptop with a screen size up to 13.3 inches, and some clothes at the same time.
At first glance, you won’t be able to tell that it is a camera backpack as it sports a vintage look. This backpack uses high-quality Batik Canvas to provide water-resistance and durability. The interior of this backpack has three removable Velcro taped cushions, which makes it easy to customize according to your needs. The paddings use a seven-layer drop-resistant and shock-resistant material for maximum protection from shocks and drops.
You can easily access your gear through one of the three quick-access zippers. Reach inside your backpack and get your camera in a matter of seconds. The front pocket is ideal for small accessories such as loose change, keys, a ballpen, a small notebook. Since you can easily remove the Velcro cushions, you can easily convert this camera backpack to a lifestyle backpack.
11. Altura Photo Camera Backpack (Large)
The Altura Photo Camera Backpack uses water-resistant, durable nylon for maximum durability. It is reinforced with stitching to provide extra reliability. This backpack has exterior dimensions of 12 x 6.5 x 17 inches, which is suitable for most photographers.
The interior of this backpack comes with removable padded inserts, which you can customize to your needs. You can easily adjust the paddings to fit a standard zoom lens instead of a prime lens.
This backpack features a dedicated side pocket that securely holds a tripod, monopod, or trekking pole. It can store and carry one camera with an attached lens, four to five additional lenses, a tripod or monopod, and accessories. The multiple pockets found in the bag lets you organize accessories such as cables, lens filters, chargers, memory cards, cleaning kit, and batteries.
The padded laptop compartment lets you throw in a laptop with a screen size of up to 14 inches. It also comes with a combination lock, which provides added security to your gear.
12. LowePro Tahoe BP 150
The Lowepro Tahoe BP 150 Camera Backpack is an excellent backpack for those living an active lifestyle. Its padded and customizable main compartment provides plenty of room for your camera gear. The roomy front pocket lets you throw in your small accessories for quick access.
The weather-resistant material and quilted padding protect your gear from external elements. It has a main compartment that features an UltraFlex panel that easily folds down to provide more space for personal things and less for camera gear.
This is quite an ultra-compact camera backpack with external dimensions of 11.02 x 6.10 x 17.48 inches. The downside is that it is a little heavy at 3.96 lbs, considering other larger backpacks that weigh less. The padded laptop compartment supports a laptop with a screen size up to 11 inches.
13. Endurax Waterproof Camera Backpack
The Endurax Waterproof Camera Backpack has an innovative convertible design, which features a drawer-like lower compartment that houses a camera shoulder bag. You can use the camera shoulder bag separately or together with the backpack.
If you want to carry a laptop, you can easily convert the backpack to accommodate a laptop with a screen size up to 15.6 inches. The backpack’s main compartment has a removable divider, which you can easily remove and attach depending on your needs.
With the removable divider on, the main compartment is divided into two parts, making organizing easy. The upper compartment has three mesh pockets that can hold clothes or camera accessories.
This backpack can hold one camera, two lenses, one flash, and some camera accessories all at the same time. It has external dimensions of 12 x 7.5 x 17 inches and weighs only 3 lbs.
14. GOgroove Full-Size DSLR Photography Backpack
The GOgroove Full-Size DSLR Photography Backpack has external dimensions of 17 x 12 x 7 inches and weighs only 2.77 lbs. It has a side opening that lets you access your gear from the side. The rain cover that comes with this backpack helps protect your backpack and the gear inside from harsh elements.
This laptop has a padded laptop compartment that can fit a laptop with a screen size up to 15.6 inches. The top compartment in this backpack can hold a smartphone, charger, and other accessories. The padded straps are adjustable for maximum comfortability.
If you’re a fan of bringing a tripod or monopod with you, this backpack has a dedicated slot at the bag’s exterior that can securely hold a tripod or monopod. When traveling, the luggage handle slot lets you slide the backpack into your trolley bag.
Any of the best camera backpacks under $100 mentioned above will house and protect your camera gear well. It’s up to you, the end-user, to pick which one has this set of extra features that you will benefit from the most.
If you need a camera backpack that can easily convert to a lifestyle bag, choose a backpack with removable paddings and isn’t too big. If you are the type of person who often goes hiking or trekking, then choose one that is water-resistant or comes with a rain cover. A camera back with side access is super convenient for quick gear access on the move.
You must know which features are essential to you, so it would be easier to pick a backpack. There is no one best camera backpack for everyone, but there may be a perfect camera backpack for you.