How to Choose a Camera Backpack

How to Choose a Camera BackpackWhen choosing a camera backpack look for something suited to the type of photography you pursue. Look for a backpack with dividers and padding that will secure gear while being carried. The backpack should also be durable and fit comfortable while fully loaded. Thin straps are not as good as well-padded shoulder straps are for hiking and wearing the backpack for long periods of time. The backpack should also have ample pockets for storing supplies and accessories.

Common Pitfalls

Many camera backpacks are designed to protect the camera but are not comfortable for the user. While the pack safely stores your equipment it should have padded shoulder straps and the ability to distribute weight evenly on your torso. Numerous models of camera backpacks also lack any water resistance. Photographers who plan on spending time outside should consider a water resistant bag.

Where To Buy

Camera backpacks can be found at specialty camera stores and some sporting goods stores in most major cities. Avoid buying camera backpacks from large chain stores where quality is sacrificed to lower the price. Quality camera backpacks can also be found online but should be thoroughly researched before purchasing.


The cost of camera backpacks ranges widely, with the best backpacks being among the most expensive. It is important not to sacrifice quality for price if you want to protect your camera. The Tamrac Adventure Series backpack is a good model, with the smaller Expedition 3 model priced at under $60 and the large Expedition 9 model at under $120.

Comparison Shopping

Camera backpacks can be found as simple, single compartment packs with gear dividers or multiple-compartment packs with extra pockets and room for multiple lenses and accessories. The small backpacks are great for city use and predetermined lighting situations where you'll know which equipment to bring. The larger backpacks are better suited to outdoor photographers who carry multiple lenses, a tripod and and an array of accessories. Shooting at locations near your vehicle does not require a large pack but for those heading down the trail, consider a larger version.


Camera backpacks that include a built-in rain cover are ideal for outdoor use. Also look for packs with a molded bottom that sheds water and adds padding. The molded bottom also prevents damage to equipment when you set the backpack down and keeps the pack upright and prevents your gear from shifting.

Insider Tips

Camera backpacks with an extra compartment for personal gear are the best for trail use. Many packs have ample room for camera equipment but do have space for rain gear, food, water and extra clothing. Also look for a backpack with small outside pockets for quick access to accessories and personal items.


Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

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