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.
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.
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.