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Good Camera Bag

edited November 2016 Posted in » General Discussion
Anyone have suggestions for a really good camera bag? One that's durable and can hold at least three lenses along with the camera body, and maybe a few other accessories (hood, cards, Giotto rocket blaster, etc.)?


  • edited November 2016
    That's a matter of taste, and answers will vary greatly depending on budget and how you want to carry things.

    I think you'll find just about any of the good brands are durable enough. Tamrac and Lowepro and others hold up very well. B&H's house brand, Ruggard, is cheaper but seems to be pretty good too. I'd be a bit cautious of no-name Asian stuff if you can't look at it, as there is a difference in how seams are sewn and so forth.

    I've tended mostly to use a small backpack, but find myself constantly trying new things. There are square over-shoulder bags as well, that are very capacious and make it relatively easy to stow stuff in a hurry.

    Because lenses and bodies vary in size, this may be one of those purchases that's better done in person, rather than by mail. You need to make sure your camera will fit well into the space. One problem some packs have is that the shape of the camera space is not optimal for the off-center shape most digital SLR's have, with the hand grip sticking out much further than the left hand of the body.

    It also helps if the camera can take your lenses in various combinations. In other words, make sure that you can stow your camera with the longest lens on it, and that whatever lens you have on the camera, the one you take off can fit into a vacant space. You can, of course, always re-mount lenses to stow, but it can be a nuisance.

    I use a plain small backpack for general carrying, since I figure I can switch lenses around at home as needed, and still carry the basic kit in the pack. For traveling, I've been using a Lowepro BP 150, which has a side loading camera compartment, and a little space above for miscellaneous items, making it handy for flying, because I can carry lunch, water bottle, and such as well. However, it's a tight fit for the camera, really better designed for a mirrorless, and I recently got a used bargain on a slightly larger Lowepro BP 350, which I hope will be more comfortable.

    However, though great for traveling and hiking, the side loading bags are not ideal for changing gear on the fly. You pretty much have to take it off and set it down. If you're walking around, and not hiking, a plain shoulder bag might be preferable. Various makers have these, and you can pretty much decide on the basis of size.

    All these things come with velcro-fastened dividers, and you can take rather a long time getting the layout right, but it usually is possible. However, as mentioned, make sure the camera, with lens, can be set in comfortably. Some DSLR's sit better in a bag on their sides, with the left side down, owing to the off center shape.

    If the link works, this should be a picture of my current daily rig, a Lowepro Micro Trekker 100. This, as you can see, will take a D3200, with a lens and L bracket on, plus three other lenses - actually four if need be, but I usually carry a pocket camera instead. The inner pockets hold various bits, and there is a generous outer zip pocket as well, into which accessories can go. As you can see, though, the D3200 is not a terribly comfortable fit on its base, and rides better on its end. This case would be a little small for a larger camera, but could serve, depending on how the lens space is arranged. it's a nice small backpack, easy to open on a car seat, and easy to carry by its top handle.
  • edited November 2016
    This was very helpful thank you! I have a D3300 with three lenses. I like your set up with the D3200. I appreciate your input!
  • edited May 2017
    I also suggest the Pelican Case with Padded Dividers; great camera bag. I've used this and it's really durable.
  • edited May 2017
    I see Pelican has backpacks now too. If you can afford one and the size works for your needs, I note that even the backpacks are waterproof for immersion!

    The S-130 Sport Elite looks like a good traveling size for airplanes, and mighty rugged.

    edit to add: I note from reviews that some people found it a bit unyielding in tight places, while others had no problem getting under plane seats. It looks as if the Lowepros may have a space and flexibility advantage. Both of mine have gone under plane seats with no problem. I'm about to take the smaller one on a trip to Africa where space is expected to be very tight. The Pelican S-130 is just a little bit bigger than the Lowepro B-350, which goes under seats all right, but can be a little tight if it's packed full.

    But if you need weather protection, Pelican is likely to give it. The hard cases are nearly indestructible.
  • edited June 2017
    I have got a Lowepro backpack from Calumet, they have a decent enough selection of camera bags
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