/Top 8 Best Camera Backpacks For Hiking 

Top 8 Best Camera Backpacks For Hiking 

 

If you are a professional photographer, you know the value of a quality camera bag. Hiking can be an exhausting experience if your backpack feels too heavy. As a photographer, we have to carry a lot of gear including our camera, a tripod, and of course additional lenses not mentioning food and water for the trip. And all this has to fit into a single backpack.

Choosing the wrong backpack for your trip can make things feel heavier than it should and may result in some back pain the following day. Do you really want to experience such discomfort? If not, then you need to look for a backpack that can offer maximum comfort and made specifically for hiking. This way we can ensure that the weight can be equally distributed to our body while keeping our camera equipment safe.

A suitable camera backpack needs to tick a lot of boxes; it has to offer comfort, enough space, quick access to your gear, and suitable enough to protect the valuable equipment. With a variety of camera backpacks available today, choosing the ideal one for you can be such a daunting task.

One thing’s for sure; there are thousands of camera bags available in 2017. From classic and stylish leather camera backpacks to rugged outdoor ones. Check out our list of top 8 best camera backpacks for hiking in 2017:

BackpackLaptopMaterialWeight 
Lowepro Photo HatchbackYesCloth 1.9 poundsCheck Price
Lowepro 200AW Photo Sport
(Editor's Choice)
YesNylon2.6 pounds Check Price
Case Logic SLRC-206 SLR
(Editor's Choice)
YesNylon4.1 pounds Check Price
Vinta S-Series DSLR BackpackYes-2.2 poundsCheck Price
Earth PakNo500D PVCDepends on sizeCheck Price
G4Free Large Foldable Hiking DaypackNoNylon0.79 pounds Check Price
Langly Alpha ProYesNylon-Check Price
AmazonBasics Hiker BackpackYesNylon3.4 poundsCheck Price

1. Lowepro Photo Hatchback – Simple and lightweight

 

Lowerpro made this bag ideally for hiking. It boasts a 22 Liter storage capacity with a removable and padded camera slot that can hold up to 3 lenses, a flash and much more. This bag offers a built-in memory card pocket for dedicated storage of smart cards. Better yet, there are tall mesh pockets located on the side where the user can store a drink bottle or even extra gear.

An unusual feature of this backpack is that it can turn into a fully functional daypack when the camera box is removed. To ensure that you do not miss a timely shot, it has a body side hatchback that can open easily to allow quick access to your equipment.

What’s more is that this backpack has multiple compartments to ensure there’s well-organized storage. Better yet, there are SlipLock attachment loops located on both shoulder straps which offer more storage and easy accessibility for smaller items.

Additionally, the impressive camera backpack has a padded front stash pocket that can hold 11” MacBook Air laptop or any tablet. For extra protection, this bag also features a built-in All Weather AW Cover to protect your gear in case of any bad weather. It also includes a mesh-covered backpad with padding which will provide more comfort and better ventilation for longer hikes.

Pros
  • Backpack converts into Daypack
  • Enough capacity- 22L capacity with a mini laptop compartment
  • Mesh covered back panel
  • Completely removable padded camera box
Cons
  • Camera compartment space might be insufficient

2. Lowepro Photo Sport – Great functionality & look

Lowerpro made this awesome bag that can comfortably hold any sized DSLR camera with attached flash, kit lens, etc. It features a super-lightweight design containing high-quality Nylon Fabric that is not only durable but also comfortable even for high energetic activities. On top of that, the camera compartment also comes with ample padding to protect and absorb shock for any delicate gear that you may be carrying on your hike.

In addition, this compartment has a zipper on the side which ensures quick and easy access to your gear when the backpack is flipped to the front. Also, the bag has elastic pockets with straps on the side to securely hold your water bottle.

The main storage area can carry up to 14 Liters worth of items and features a drawstring lock to allow you to keep all other valuables secure. The Lowepro Photo Sport can also stock a 2-Liter hydration pack, however, this is not included with the backpack.

At the back of the bag, it features an airflow design which ensures comfort and better ventilation. Underneath the backpack, there are compression straps as well as multiple attachments points to carry tripods and other luggage.

The great thing with this backpack is the All-Weather AW Cover Shield that offers topmost protection from all weather conditions including rain, snow, dust, and sand. The padded waist belt helps in distributing weight which makes the backpack great for long hikes as well.

Pros
  • Ventilated and thickly padded back panel
  •  Made with high-quality 70D ripstop nylon fabric
  • The AW rain cover offers waterproof protection
  •  Includes several attachment points which allow extra space for accessories
Cons
  • High belt padding may be too thin

3. Case Logic SLRC-206 SLR – Best value for money

This is a lightweight backpack that is protected by a stiff and waterproof EVA base; this protects your bag from possible external damages.

The most favorite feature with this backpack is the easy camera access section that allows you to grab the camera and capture moments very quickly. The entire camera compartment is highly padded with strong pads and safely secured to ensure that delicate gadgets are safe from shock.

For your small items like the ear plugs, cables, and cell phones, you can keep the inside of a tall fully unzippable side pocket. To make it even better, the opening flap has other small pockets that come handy.

The Case Logic SLRC-206 SLR also has a pocket big enough to carry a 16” laptop so that you do not have to wait to go home and work on your snaps.

It also features removable shelves and flexible walls which make it possible to customize the interior. It also comes with a zip closure for security.

The bag also features a tripod attachment system to the exterior of the camera bag, and this is secured with an adjustable buckle.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Has the laptop section
  • Has a stiff waterproof Eva base to protect the luggage and support the bag
  • The side accessory pockets make access easier
Cons
  • Accessing the lower most grooves can be a challenge as the chain doesn’t open fully

4. Vinta S-Series DSLR Backpack – Minimal design

The Vinta S-Series backpack will appeal to any outdoor lover featuring 3 colorways that blend beautifully into your hiking adventure. Most people fall for the forest color, but you’d equally be happy to have the gray or black one on your back too.

This backpack will perfectly fit any DSLR body, roughly 3-5 lenses as well as small accessories in the exterior pocket which contain separate slots to grip memory cards, film, smartphone, and notebooks.

It also boasts a dedicated laptop pocket which can hold any 13″ to 15″ sized laptop. As with most modern camera backpacks today, the Vinta S-Series DSLR Backpack has Velcro dividers that are removable which allow you to use the backpack as an everyday bag if needed.

What’s more is that the backpack comes with a waterproof poly canvas outer with a rugged look and offers functionality in the great outdoors. The leather made handle and fasteners will age beautifully over use.

It weighs 2.2 lbs which is impressive for a bag of this size and with a minimal design, you can be sure to possess a lightweight and less bulky backpack. Most importantly, the shoulder straps feel comfortable and with a suitable length to cater for all the needs.

Pros
  • Low Profile
  • Beautiful design
  • Unmatched Comfort
  •  Includes dividers which ensure lots of cushioning
Cons
  • May not be quick to access
  • Dividers are a bit tough to work with.

5. Earth Pak – Most durable

Earth Pak is a waterproof backpack that is remarkably designed to protect any valuable item during any outdoor activity, including your camera. It features various sizes depending on your needs. With the 10 Liter and 20 Liter sizes, you are able to modify the shoulder straps between 24 inches to 42 inches.

The 30 Liter and 40 Liter sizes, however, comes with two padded straps and a sternum strap to reduce the weight applied to the shoulders offering more comfort to your back.

The backpack also includes a waterproof case for your phone which implies that even if you submerged it in water, it would come out undamaged. This case features a snap & lock system to enhance the protection of any phone placed inside and also features clear windows on both sides of the case.

No matter the size you choose each one will come with a buckle mechanism as the method of closure which ensures full coverage from water damage. You may also secure the bag on a boat or raft if needed using the hardened d-rings attached.

Pros
  • The bag is made from a thick material which makes it super durable.
  • Roll top closure mechanism offers maximum tight protection
  • Very affordable
Cons
  •  Straps may wear away if used repeatedly.

6. G4Free Large Foldable Daypack – Lowest priced

G4Free brings you this 40L backpack that is foldable enough to become a small carry bag. It has been made from Tear-Resistant Nylon Fabric with high water resistance.

The adjustable shoulder straps have been padded to improve the support and comfort regardless of gender. The impressive top double sided pouches can be adjusted with straps and can be easily accessible which is great for smaller items. This backpack also has sport bottle pockets on both sides to securely hold your water.

This G4Free Backpack has one main compartment which contains fabric dividers secured by a drawstring lock. With this design, it creates more storage area for your essentials including all your camera gear as well as providing more or less slack when needed

What’s more is that it has a chest clip that you can fasten to your body to distribute the weight down from shoulders to offer comfort.

Pros
  • Lightweight, water-resistant, and durable
  • Ample capacity consisting of 40L
  • Foldable design to convert the backpack to a carry bag
  • Adjustable shoulder straps for comfort
Cons
  • Not 100% water resistant
  • Lacks the hip belt

7. Langly Alpha Pro – Aesthetic design

This is yet another remarkable outdoor camera backpack and one of the most attractive outdoor camera bags currently. With a great combination of capacity and functionality, the backpack features reinforced camera attachments that will securely hold your camera and 4 more lenses. There’s also a tripod mount near the bottom of the bag.

The upper storage area has been intended to carry all other day pack luggage such as compact camera, a jacket, and sleeve. Also, it will accommodate any 13″ to 15″ sized laptop.

What’s more is that the bag features a tough leather, military-grade twill, and rust proof brass hardware that’s able to protect any outside elements. The upper of the compartment also has a zipper which enhances the protection of your valuables.

The sides have expanded exterior pockets to hold more luggage which makes this camera backpack a suitable choice for your next hiking trip. You will also have a difficult choice to make between which colorway to choose between olive, black, black/brown or coyote as they all look fantastic.

Pros
  • Large capacity
  • Lots of pockets
  • Extremely durable and comfortable
  • Nice Buckles
Cons
  • Highly priced at $249 but worth it

8. AmazonBasics Hiker Backpack – Great overall bag

With this AmazonBasics Hiker Camera Backpack, hiking has never been easier and more entertaining. When a backpack is termed “cheap” most people get a negative view of it, but this high-quality bag cannot be described by any other term. This bag is much more affordable costing less than $40 and will fit most budgets.

Just like many other expensive bags, this one feels sturdy, the only difference being that this backpack has no frills branding and posh packaging like the rest. This makes it simple yet effective.

The fantastic camera backpack makes it to the list of best camera backpacks for hiking as it’s capable of carrying a large amount of camera gear and several additional lenses. The AmazonBasics Hiker Backpack comes with handy clips on the side to hold the tripod.

The backpack is also durable yet ultra-lightweight for hikers as well as other sports enthusiasts. It has side pockets that offer easy camera access to ensure that no moment goes without being captured. Better yet, the camera compartment is well padded as well as the back compartment to store up to 13” laptop or tablet.

The top compartment has a drawstring closure. Drawstrings are great as they can be used to hang hiking poles.

Pros
  • Ample capacity
  • Has a rain cover that you can pull over the bag in case of a storm
Cons
  • The padding on the straps may not be thick enough

 

Conclusion

Each camera backpack mentioned in this article is unique with extraordinary features. Some bags are “low-duty” which is suitable for a casual hiker while others are more heavy-duty and specifically made for an everyday hiker.

They will all come with different prices, colors, materials, and strengths. But always remember to factor in the size and amount of camera equipment you plan to carry on your hike. Taking an amazing photo or video will not be perfect if for some reason you did not have enough room for all your gear.

Gary Nguyen is a 24-year-old photographer and writer from Romania. Some of his works have been published in The Guardian, New York Times, Telegraph, and many others. Learn more