The Best Camera Bags for All of Your Photography-Fueled Travels
Vacation photos are cherished mementos that are revisited time and time again—downtime with extended family during the holidays, the most-liked photo on your Instagram account, digital photo albums tucked away in desktop folders to view on especially trying days. When you're spending so much money on a camera—you know, the single tool responsible for all of those memories—it only makes sense that you pay some attention to the bag you use to tote it around.
But finding a bag worthy of that job is much easier said than done. In time, you can expect your bag to become an extension of your photo-taking—a travel partner, of sorts—another engrained memory derived from the experience of re-exploring the world in photos. The research that goes into buying a camera bag rivals the analysis that comes with picking the perfect camera—or it should. Investing in a tote that's too big risks damage, and a bag that's too small? You can send that right back to the store. While finding something secure, stylish, and within your price range shouldn't be a full-time job by any means, don't skimp on reading those user reviews. If you can, make the trek to a retailer and try the bag in question on for size.
And as any traveler knows, versatility is key. Finding anything that can survive the day-to-night transition is key and camera bags are no exception. No matter what the occasion—climbing up to Machu Picchu, perusing shops in Paris, animal spotting on safari in Kenya—we found a bag that will fit what you're looking for, and look really good doing it. After all, who said adventure travelers couldn't be stylish? So go on, check out our picks and do some impromptu (or much-needed) shopping. Your camera—and all of those photos you'll be taking on future trips will surely thank you.
Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure.Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.
Best For: Looking Like You're Not Carrying a Camera
ONA has long been known for their high-quality carry-alls, from briefcases and backpacks to cross-body purses and rolling bags. Their newest release, a black leather take on the classic Palma satchel, is downright dreamy. It comes with removable felt walls that seperate the main storage into three smaller compartments—perfect for housing a camera body, an extra lens, and whatever else you may need.
The best part: Take the removable walls out and you've got yourself enough room to tote everything you need to get through the day, meaning you don't have to bring an extra purse for switching from day to night activities.
Best for: Organization
When opened, the Torpedo Bag from Artisan & Artist is any organization buff's dream with its sleek compartment layout. The design was made to combat humidity—a camera's No. 1 enemy.
Best for: Weekend Excursions
There's no denying that the Roamographer from Holdfast Gear looks really, really good, but it packs a punch when it comes to functionality, too. The bag comes in two sizes—regular and small—to best fit your photographer situation. A removable camera insert keeps your gear safe from harm and a pair of carrier straps make easy work of toting a tripod. The bag itself is made from Great American Bison leather, meaning it will age with grace.
Best for: Light Adventuring
If you're heading off into a national park, ready to take some scenic shots of mountains safely from their base, the Filson 70199 Harvey Backpack is a natural pick. With plentiful pockets (perfect for midday snacks and extra lenses), this pack is treated with abrasion-resistant fabric. So go forth into those weedy fields—sometimes the best photos require a bit of dirty work.
Best for: Biking on Vacationing
If you plan on getting around by bike, Timebuk2 has you covered. The brand has long been known for their cyclist-focused designs, and the Snoop Messenger Bag is no exception. Complete with adjustable straps for securing down a tripod and a padded area to store any extra films (or developed film, if you're into that kind of thing!), this messenger tote is easy on the body and the eyes.
Best for: Serious Photographers on a Mission
You may not be able to fit much else into the Tamrac Corona bag (other than your camera, of course), but that's not a problem, if that's what you're looking for. This bag is dense and compact, perfect for navigating crowds and jogging over hilly terrain.
Best for: Hiking, Skiing, and Mountain Biking
The Lowepro Photo Spot BP 300 AW II bag was designed with the hiker in mind, mainly successfully addressing the question: How can a athletic bag house a camera while still being light and easy on the back? While you won't be able to find a spot for all of your accessories, all of the important stuff will be covered.
Best for: Carrying More Than One Camera
Best for: Standing Out in the Crowd
Going against the browns, blacks and greys of traditional camera bags, this bright MindShift Gear Rotation Daypack is perfect for bringing along your camera (and all its accessories) on your next adventure. The main compartment has enough room for daytrip essentials and contains a pocket for a 2-liter reservoir so you stay hydrated on your trek. The best part? The padded camera compartment rotates easily to the front giving you immediate access to your gear without having to take off the pack.
Best for: Fanny Bag Fans
If fanny packs are more your speed, you'll want to look into this bag from Incase. One reviewer even called it the "George Clooney of camera bags: versatile, handsome, a sturdy medium built, and grey."
Best for: Carrying a Laptop and a Camera
The Chelsea Bag from ONA is equal parts functional and fashionable. The sleek shape and soft leather exterior make this camera bag look like a super-stylish purse. But, on the inside, the tote boasts a padded interior with adjustable compartments with room for your camera, three lenses and a small laptop or tablet. Perfect for a day on the road or the person who plays both photographer and editor.
Best for: Traveling Light
You won't be able to fit much in this pack, which is entirely the point. There's plenty of room for the important stuff: your camera and a couple of lenses.
Best for: The Budget Conscience
Reviewers love the rubber bottom on this bag from Case Logic, giving it extra protection from water and tough surfaces like concrete.
Best for: Photographers Who Love the Purse Look
The Ali Edwards bag from Epiphanie is the exact opposite of what you imagine when you think of a typical camera tote: pink, ultra feminine, and more like a purse than anything. In other words, like the Palma Bag from ONA, it's the perfect camera bag for someone who doesn't want to look like they're toting a camera around.
Best for: Photographers Looking for Something Unique
Forget bags—this holster style camera "bag" guarantees you'll be catching some compliments on your out-of-the-ordinary gear. This is a great option for a one-camera photographer.
Best for: Turning Any Bag Into a Camera Tote
Have a bag that you're already in love with? No sweat. This insert from ONA adds the protection your camera needs to any purse or tote. It's also great for any photographer that doesn't want to commit to just one bag.