If you love taking photographs in the great outdoors, then you will need one of the best camera hiking backpack options, to not only hold your camera and various accessories but also to keep your equipment safe.
You don’t need to be a professional photographer to use the best camera backpack for hiking. Even amateur photography equipment is expensive and worth protecting in a camera hiking bag. In fact you don’t even need to be hiking, an outdoor camera backpack is ideal for a variety of people in various situations from professional photographers to amateur photographers, hiking enthusiasts to backpackers, all kinds of people who simply want the best bag to protect their camera and other photography equipment.
To help you choose one of the best camera backpacks for hiking, I have created this guide to show you exactly what a camera hiking bag is and when you should consider using one. In the below best camera backpack reviews I will go through the various features you should consider when purchasing the best hiking camera backpack, as well as compare some of the top-rated camera bag backpack options from the best camera backpack brands currently on the market
- 1 What is a camera hiking bag and when would you use one?
- 2 Comparison Chart of the Best Camera Hiking Backpack Options
- 3 Features to Consider When Purchasing the Best Camera Backpack for Hiking
- 4 Best Camera Backpack Reviews
- 5 Burton F Stop Camera Backpack
- 5.1 Tamrac 5578 Expedition 8 SLR Photo Backpack
- 5.2 Think Tank Photo StreetWalker HardDrive V2.0 Backpack
- 5.3 Mindshift Rotation 180 16L Trail Camera Backpack: Best for those with not many lenses or kit
- 5.4 Endurax Extra Large Camera DSLR / SLR Backpack: best budget
- 5.5 Lowepro Flipside 400 AW Pro DSLR Camera Backpack
- 5.6 Mindshift Backlight 26L Camera Backpack
- 5.7 Lowepro Photo Sport 200 AW II
What is a camera hiking bag and when would you use one?
A camera hiking bag is a bag specially designed to offer the ultimate protection for your camera gear whilst you are hiking in the outdoors. Unlike any other bag, a hiking camera DSLR backpack is built for the rugged outdoor environment and designed to offer protection for your gear against any bumps or scrapes your bag may endure during your adventures.
As mentioned above, a camera bag for hiking is ideal for a variety of situations, basically any situation where you want to carry your precious and expensive camera gear. Consider purchasing a professional camera backpack for hiking, overnight treks, days out in the snow, desert or even a day of city sightseeing.
The beauty of a specially designed camera bag for hiking is that not only is it designed to have special compartments for your various camera equipment, but they also have an advanced suspension system and multiple attachment points to carry the various extra things that you may need for hiking.
Comparison Chart of the Best Camera Hiking Backpack Options
Don’t have time to read the entire best camera backpack review? See the table below for a quick comparison of some of the best camera hiking backpack options.
Features to Consider When Purchasing the Best Camera Backpack for Hiking
When purchasing the best camera backpack for hiking, there are a variety of features that you should consider including what equipment you will be carrying in the bag, what the camera backpack bag is made of and the level of protection you require. Maybe you are looking for the best camera and laptop backpack, often a laptop and a camera go together for processing on the go.
Consider the following features when deciding which is the best camera bag for hiking for you.
A camera and its various lenses are super expensive and so your camera gear backpack needs to offer adequate protection to avoid damaging your equipment. The best camera backpacks for hiking include padding and various dividers to keep your lenses and equipment separate as well as keeping everything safely secured.
Being out in the great outdoors you will need to be prepared for various types of weather. The best outdoor camera backpack will have water resistant materials and zippers and perhaps even a rain cover to protect your precious photography equipment from dust, rain, snow and sleet.
Before purchasing a top-rated camera travel backpack, be sure that it will fit all your camera gear. The ultimate camera backpack will have space for your lenses, spare batteries, SD cards, filters and any other items you will need for hiking such as food and spare clothing.
Will you be carrying a tripod, ice axe or walking poles? If so look for bags with attachments specially designed to carry such items. The best compact camera backpack is considered and well designed, this goes along way to creating space.
ORGANISE YOUR GEAR
The best camera bag backpack will not only keep your camera, lenses, memory cards and other accessories well protected but also well organised. Look for a good camera backpack with different compartments for lenses and cameras as well as adjustable compartments to hold gear of varying sizes. Some of the best buy camera backpack options have side attachments to carry tripods or hiking poles.
You will also want to be able to keep your other personal items, such as food and clothing away from your camera gear.
COMFORTABLE TO CARRY LONG DISTANCES
Camera gear can be very heavy and to carry it around all day or for a few hours your bag will need to offer good support. The best backpack camera bag will contain features to ensure it is comfortable to carry your bag. Look for features such as ventilated back padding, torso length adjustment, contoured shoulder straps supportive, a padded hip strap/padded straps and an advanced suspension system.
It’s worth while considering the weight of the bag as well. Whether you are after a big camera backpack or a small camera backpack, it is recommended that you look for the best lightweight camera backpack that meets all of your needs.
ADDITIONAL STORAGE FOR NON-CAMERA RELATED EQUIPMENT
Look for a camera equipment backpack that not only adequately stores your camera and accessories but will also carry your other personal items.
If you are in fact using your camera bag for hiking you may need a bag big enough to carry things such as an extra layer of warm clothing, compass, map, gloves, hat, food, water bottler and first aid kit. Even if you are looking for the best travel camera backpack for sightseeing, still keep in mind that you will need enough space for your personal items as you don’t want to have to carry two backpacks with you.
For your camera bag to offer the ultimate protection for your camera in the outdoors, the best camera travel backpack needs to be made from top quality, tough and robust material. Look for camera bags that are abrasive resistant and made from weatherproof fabric.
Best Camera Backpack Reviews
Lowepro Whistler BP 450 AW XL Pro Grade Outdoor Adventure Camera Backpack
The Lowepro Whistler BP 450 AW is relatively new on the market, designed to be taken into extreme environments like the snow and perform, waterproof and abrasion resistant, this is a great choice for the best lowepro camera backpack if you don’t want to limit your photography options.
This camera backpack has been made to hold a Pro DSLR, up to 3 lenses, flash, GoPro or similar, outdoor equipment and some personal gear. When you see that great shot, you need to get to your gear quickly, this can be the difference between the best pro camera backpack and the worst. To access your camera gear, simply take off the backpack and unzip the back panel, taking only seconds, making sure you don’t miss a thing. Flexible MaxiFit customisable pocket dividers allow you to change the padded dividers to ensure a snug and safe fit for your gear.
The zippered camera storage box can be removed entirely, this makes this backpack even more flexible, use it for hiking only or clean and dry the backpack in between shoots.
Big enough to take on short trips and tough enough to take into unknown territory, you can even carry your own ski’s or snowboard. A go anywhere backpack, this is a great choice if you are after the best large camera backpack.
Burton F Stop Camera Backpack
This Burton camera backpack has been designed to use in the snow, it is waterproof with a snowboard attachment, making it a good choice for a skiing camera backpack.
A padded customisable camera compartment is accessible via a zipper from the front of the pack, a perfect choice if you are looking for the best adventure camera backpack. Side pockets and a top pocket will accommodate a small amount of gear, but this backpack is primarily for carrying your camera gear safely.
Designed for the professional photographer, the Burton F Stop can hold a camera, lenses and GoPro. This lightweight compact camera backpack is big on features, able to carry a tripod and external shove-it blade in the shove-it pocket.
At home in the snow or in the city, this is a good choice for the best backpack for camera use everyday. Burton was established in 1977 and offers a lifetime warranty.
Tamrac 5578 Expedition 8 SLR Photo Backpack
Sometimes known as a camera tripod backpack, the front centre of the backpack has a specific tripod strap carrying system. Either side of this are wing pockets with water resistant zippers they can hold batteries, SD cards, leads, phone or other small items and technology to identify which cards have available memory and batteries have available power.
The main compartment of the tarmac camera backpack, entirely made of foam padding houses the camera gear, adjustable dividers can be fitted to accommodate multiple pro size digital and film SLR’s with lenses attached, plus a full range of lenses and flashes, putting this on the list of best camera backpack for DSLRs.
Filters are easily organised inside the front flap, 3 window pane mesh pockets allow for quick identification. A large front pocket can hold some extra gear, a good choice if you are looking for the best backpack for camera and hiking. A big backpack for someone that needs to use different types of cameras, and take some extra gear.
Think Tank Photo StreetWalker HardDrive V2.0 Backpack
The Think Tank Photo StreetWalker HardDrive V2.0 is lightweight, designed for carrying your camera gear, laptop and a few small items. Due to its size, this is a good choice for the best laptop and camera backpack for travelling, as it is generally classed as carry on.
This Think Tank camera backpack has 2 side water bottle pockets, 2 side zippered pockets, a dedicated large smart phone pocket, front organisation pocket, clear zippered interior accessory pockets, lockable zipper sliders, external tripod carrying straps at the front of the pack and a dedicated laptop pocket behind the shoulder straps able to hold a 15” laptop and 13” tablet making this a good choice for the best camera backpack with laptop.
With Padded shoulder straps, a breathable airmesh back panel, water resistant fabric and included seam sealed rain cover this is among the best DSLR camera backpack for hiking.
Fully customisable internal dividers separate your camera gear within the main zippered compartment. Able to accommodate 1 gripped DSLR, 5–7 standard zoom lenses and a flash.
A good daypack or dedicated camera backpack when travelling as you can keep it with you on the plane. People love this backpack, it is well made with good features and a good warranty, covering the original owner against any workmanship or product faults for as long as you use the product. Knowing you can take it as carry on makes this a good choice for the best camera backpack for travel.
Mindshift Rotation 180 16L Trail Camera Backpack: Best for those with not many lenses or kit
The Mindshift Rotation 180 16L Trail Camera Backpack is a small budget friendly backpack. Designed for active photographers, the weight is kept close to your back due the slim design. This is a good choice as the best camera gear backpack for mountain bikers or day trekkers that may need to do some climbing.
The main zippered compartment is an open space, here you could keep some food, a change of clothes for the day or binoculars. The front panel of the main compartment has a small zippered pocket which is accessed from the inside of the compartment to hold keys or memory cards.
A small travel tripod fits snuggly in the side tripod carrying system, placing the feet in the lower pocket, and strap around the legs. Other features include a small top zippered pocket, front stretchy shove it pocket for a jacket or included rain cover, a dedicated hydration 1.5L-2L reservoir and water resistant fabric.
Mindshift Rotation 180 technology is pretty amazing, you can reach your camera without taking your pack off. While wearing the pack, you reach one hand behind you to the bottom of the pack, pull up the fabric slightly unhooking the magnetic latch, and pull the belt pack around to the front. Unzip the belt pack to access your camera, then reverse the process to put back, all while keeping your pack on.
A perfect choice for the best cheap camera backpack, budget friendly with a considered design, if you have a small camera kit have a look at this option, sleek and slimline this is a stylish camera backpack.
Endurax Extra Large Camera DSLR / SLR Backpack: best budget
The Endurax Extra Large Camera DSLR / SLR Backpack is an affordable camera backpack. With plenty of space for camera gear and a full size tripod, this is a good choice for the best budget camera backpack to get your photography game going.
The Endurax backpack has an upper and lower camera compartment, able to accommodate two pro-sized mirrorless cameras, 6-8 lenses and 2-3 flashes, putting this in the best mirrorless camera backpack category. The lower compartment is removable, and doubles as a stand alone shoulder or waist harness camera bag.
Other main features of the Endurax backpack include 15” laptop and tablet sleeve, PVA armoured front panel for additional gear protection, front organiser pocket, a removable internal divider and camera component dividers creating a large open space, camera buckles from front straps for hanging your camera and padded shoulder straps and ventilated harness system.
This backpack is a good choice for the best backpack for mirrorless camera due to it features. The added flexibility of the standalone shoulder or waist harness camera bag is great to access your camera while keeping your backpack on.
Lowepro Flipside 400 AW Pro DSLR Camera Backpack
The Lowepro Flipside 400 AW DSLR Camera Backpack is a slim camera backpack designed to hold your camera gear and some other small items.
This Lowepro camera bag backpack fits a Pro DSLR with the lens attached (up to 300mm f/2.8), extra camera body 4-6 extra lenses and a flash making this a good choice for the best DSLR camera backpack.
The main camera compartment is accessed by a zippered back panel for body side access. This allows you to get to your camera without taking the backpack off completely. By removing the shoulder straps and keeping the waist strap on, swing the bag around to the side of your body, then unzip and grab your camera.
Other features of this digital camera backpack include stretchy side pockets for water bottles, front small tripod carrying system, built in memory card storage pockets and an incorporated all weather rain and snow cover. The contoured shoulder straps make this a good choice as a women’s camera backpack, slimline and sleek, this is among the best stylish camera backpacks.
Mindshift Backlight 26L Camera Backpack
The Mindshift Backlight 26L Camera Backpack is a small to medium sized camera backpack, with solid outdoor and day hiking features.
The back panel opening design allows for easy access to your camera gear without putting down your pack. While keeping the waist strap buckled, remove the shoulder straps and swing the pack around, unzip the back panel and grab your camera, or even change lenses. The rear panel access also means you can keep the harness clean if you need to put your pack down in a dirty environment.
The Mindshift Backlight 26L fits a standard-size DSLR, 4-6 standard zoom lenses and a flash, this is a good choice for the best backpack for DSLR camera. Not too big, this backpack has been designed as a camera pack with daypack incorporated.
Some of the other features include a front and side mounted tripod carrying system and a large stretchy side pocket for a water bottle. Inside the front compartment or daypack area has space for snacks, an independent GoPro pouch, independent memory card pouch and a 15” laptop and tablet sleeve making this a good choice for the best camera laptop backpack, or even the best DSLR camera laptop backpack.
Lowepro Photo Sport 200 AW II
The Lowepro Photo Sport 200 AW II is in Lowepro’s words built to go fast, among the lightest camera backpacks, it has been designed for hiking, trail running, mountain biking and other go fast activities.
The size of this backpack makes it a great choice for the best camera backpacks for travel. It has a built in suspension system with padded shoulder straps and waist strap with pockets. This backpack is water resistant and has a dedicated pocket for the included all weather cover, protecting your gear from rain, snow and sand.
Designed for a mirrorless camera, this light camera backpack has a side opening to access your gear. While keeping the waist belt buckled, remove one shoulder strap and swing around to reach the zippered opening, an external cinch strap keeps your camera firmly in place while you are on the move.
Other features include an Internal hydration pocket, side stretchy mesh for water bottles, small pocket with key leash at the top of the pack, top stuff sack compartment accessed by releasing the top lid, front slash pocket, side trekking pole attachments. If you are interested in active all weather photoshoots this may be the best small camera backpack for you.
David Angel is a British writer and photographer who has been travelling and photographing the world for over 25 years. His work is regularly featured in worldwide media including the BBC, the Guardian, the Times and the Sunday Times. His images are frequently used throughout the world by tourism bodies such as Visit Britain and Visit Wales.