Best camera bags 2021: carry your camera in style

Keep your digital camera safe and stylish when you travel with our selection of bags for all kinds of travellers

10 best camera bags 2020: carry your camera in style

If you're going to splash the cash on a dedicated digital camera rather than relying on the snaps that your smartphone takes, then you want to make sure that your device is kept snug and safe while you're on your travels. That’s where these camera bags come in. 

We've picked bags in a range of sizes and styles, from smart and stylish to functional and feature-packed. Some will appeal to city-slickers, others to landscape photographers in the great outdoors. 

How to choose the best camera bag for you

The best camera bag for you is of course dictated by the type of camera you have, as well as the number of accessories you like to carry around with you. 

Before you can check capacity, materials and style, you need to make sure a bag is going to work with whatever camera you've bought. That could be a DSR, pro-grade DSL with a massive zoom lens, a mirrorless camera, and/or a drone. 

There's no one bag that fits every need, but think about the other luggage you'll be taking with you, what you want to carry in terms of lenses, a tripod, spare batteries and so on, and the rather important factor of how much you want to spend. 

It may be that you need more than one bag for different types of shoots, if your budget can stretch.

The 10 best camera bags you can buy today

1. Billingham Hadley Pro Canvas Bag

Simple but versatile

Reasons to buy
+Adjustable shoulder sling+Waterproof back pocket
Reasons to avoid
-More money for strap pad

Respectably priced, stylishly finished, and with fully adjustable shoulder sling, the Billingham Hadley Pro Canvas Bag has a lot going for it. It's versatile too, with a removable insert and dividers so you can change up the interior to suit each shoot. You can get the bag in black and tan.

For those maps, manuals and tickets, you can make use of the waterproof back pocket, which seals with a zip, and it's thin and light too - at least until you start stuffing camera equipment into it. We could only spot one minor downside: you need to pay extra for the strap shoulder pad.

2. Peak Design Everyday Messenger

Not just for photography gear

Reasons to buy
+Stylish+Magnetic closing system
Reasons to avoid
-Not the largest bag

This is a Kickstarter success story, and you can see why so many people were tempted to back the crowdfunding drive: stylish looks, premium materials, a magnetic closing system, and a high level of quality all round. It's easy to get in and out of too, which is important.

You don't have to be a photographer to make use of the Everyday Messenger, though it's certainly suitable for those lugging cameras and lenses around. For something a bit more spacious, upgrade to the Everyday Backpack, although you do get a surprising amount of room inside this bag too, and it comes in several sizes.

3. Vanguard Alta Sky 45D

Pro-grade DSLR pack with room for a laptop

Reasons to buy
+Laptop sleeve+Tough build
Reasons to avoid
-Lacks a decent tripod holster

Here’s one for landscape photographer who like to get out and about with their DSLR camera, and then delve into pos-processing in a hotel room. One of few camera bags with a sleeve for a 13-inch laptop and space for two DSLR bodies and even a zoom lens, the Alta Sky 45D is also highly customisable. 

It’s got two compartments; the first for a DSLR with an attached lens up to 70-200mm, a few other lenses, a flash and accessories, and the second for a few more lenses, or perhaps more importantly a place to stash a raincoat and your lunch. It’s possible to mod both these sections for size, add all kinds of dividers, and even decide whether to extract that laptop from the top or from the rear. You can even rip out all that and use the Alta Sky 45D as a simple backpack. 

Add multiple useful pockets, a tough build quality and a waterproof cover and the Alta Sky 45D is a decent tripod holster away from perfection.

4. Manfrotto Gitzo Adventury

Add a drone to your DSLR

Reasons to buy
+Drone storage+For overnight wildlife photography trips
Reasons to avoid
-Designed for DJI Phantom drone

Are you shooting landscapes and wildlife with a drone? With space for a DSLR, mirrorless cameras and a custom-made area that can take a DJI Phantom drone, the Gitzo Adventury is designed for wildlife, nature and landscape photographers looking for all kinds of new perspectives on long outdoors trips. 

Available in 30-litre and 45-litre – the latter perfect for an overnight stay in the wilderness – the Gitzo Adventury is can carry pro DSLRs with telephoto lenses up to 600 mm, mirrorless cameras, and has interchangeable dividers that can be configured to fit more lenses and even that drone. 

Oh, and it’s even got a holster for a large tripod on the front, and dedicated, padded compartments for a 15-inch laptop and a 12.9-inch tablet. Uniquely, the Gitzo Adventury features a roll-top wet bag on the top for keeping a dry layer or two away from any deluge. 

5. ONA Brooklyn Bag

Old-school looks, modern interior

Reasons to buy
+Classic look+Full-grain leather
Reasons to avoid

For that classic 1940s school bag look, this full-grain leather camera bag can take care of a DSLR camera with an attached lens, together with up to three additional lenses (or similarly sized accessories). It's perfect for a quick city snapping session, but maybe not ideal for a longer trip where multiple cameras are required.

The old-school locking mechanism keeps your camera safe but can be released quickly, while the smaller pouches on the outside can be used for whatever else you happen to be carrying, as long as it's small. There's a slit pocket too, suitable for a tablet or e-reader.

6. Evecase Premium Vintage Canvas Bag

Plenty of space, plenty of style

Reasons to buy
+Cheap+Large capacity
Reasons to avoid

More bulky than some people will be comfortable with, but the Evecase Premium can shift a serious amount of camera gear for you when you're out and about. It's durable too, with an additional rain cover for those times when the weather gets seriously bad.

As well as room for a DSLR camera, two or three lenses, a flash and accessories, there's also space to slide in a tablet or laptop here, (up to 14 inches in size). When you're not carrying your camera kit you can remove the interior compartments and use the bag as a normal messenger satchel instead.

7. Tenba Cooper

Spacious and secure

Reasons to buy
+Very stylish+Roomy
Reasons to avoid
-Quite expensive

Another great messenger-style bag with plenty of flexibility as well as space for your stuff, the Tena Cooper is available in several sizes and has all the padding and protection you could need. There's room for a camera, up to four lenses, and a flash inside the "15" version of this bag.

Velcro and zips make up the majority of the fastenings, which means the bag is both secure against accidental drops and yet easy to open if you need to get at your gear quickly. Extra pouches give you room for cables, and there's a rain cover to keep the elements out.

8. Aquapac 21 Medium Stormproof Pouch

Keeping the water out

Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
-Super small

If waterproofing is your main aim, then the Aquapac 21 Medium Stormproof Pouch - or a differently sized alternative from the same range - should be somewhere on your shortlist. It may not be quite as stylish as some of the others, but this small, padded waterproof camera pouch comes with an adjustable belt, perfect for camping, adventure sports or muddy festivals.

Because it's small, it's portable too, so you can easily sling it into a bigger bag, safe in the knowledge that if your tent floods, your camera's safe. Just make sure you buy the right size for your make and model of camera.

9. Y-Double Portable Waterproof Profession Canvas

Good looks at the right price

Reasons to buy
+Looks great+Surprisingly affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Small-ish capacity

Not only is this one of the best-looking designer camera bags we've come across, it's also very adaptable and very affordable too. As well as the main compartment, you also get a padded laptop sleeve, two slip pockets, one inner zip pocket, two front slip pockets and two pen holders, so there's plenty of room.

The inner compartments can be adjusted to suit your needs, the outer material is hard-wearing, and if you shop around you can find the bag in a variety of colours as well. It's only for smaller bits of kit though, so check the specifications carefully.

10. Peli 1514

The ultimate in protection

Reasons to buy
+Maximum protection+Huge capacity
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy-Not very portable

If you value camera protection more than portability, and you're happy to lug around a large case if it means your camera's kept safe, then consider the Peli 1514: protected against shocks, water, dust and just about everything else, and the right size for carry-on luggage (though check with your airline).

There's tons of room for your camera, your lens, and a bunch of other stuff, and the stainless steel wheels mean you can trundle it around the most unforgiving of urban environments. Of course a case like this is overkill for some, but for those major shoots where protection is paramount, it's ideal.

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