The best camera bags

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6 of the best camera bags to buy

If you’ve spent a lot of money on your camera, lenses and assorted accessories, you need the right kind of bag to store them all in. With the right padding, pockets and protection, you’ll find your kit’s kept safe and is easier to access. David Ludlow, editor of Expert Reviews, rounds up six of the best.
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LowePro DSLR Video Fastpack 350 AW

LowePro DSLR Video Fastpack 350 AW

eBay loves: Plenty of room, waterproof, tripod holder
Watch out for: A little tricky to get lenses out of the pouches
RRP: £90

If you’ve got a lot of camera kit to lug around, the LowePro DSLR Video Fastpack 350 AW could be the bag for you. The lower half of the bag has a padded DSLR compartment with room for a body and attached lens, plus reconfigurable pouches for an additional two lenses and a flash. The lenses can be a little tricky to slide in and out, but that’s a minor complaint.
Above is a sizeable compartment for everything else you want to travel with, while a separate pouch holds up to a 17in laptop. With a tripod mount built-in, a waterproof weather cover that you can fold out and a bottle holder, it’s pretty much everything you could need.
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Manfrotto Advanced Tri Backback Large

Manfrotto Advanced Tri Backback Large

eBay loves: Tons of room for camera kit, looks great
Watch out for: Waterproof cover isn’t integrated
RRP: £109

The Manfrotto Advanced Tri Backback Large is designed to be a flexible travel backpack. Its straps can be attached in different ways, so you can wear it as a sling, as a regular backpack and with the straps crossed over in an ‘X’.
The top has a compartment for all of your travel gear, with a net pocket for smaller items, but there’s nothing else to keep your kit tidy. There’s also a large laptop pouch with room for a 15.4in laptop. At the bottom of the bag is a cavernous camera pouch that can take a DSLR with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, four-to-five additional lenses and additional accessories. All of the dividers can be flexibly arranged.
The bag ships with a waterproof cover, but it’s not integrated into the bag. Likewise, there are mounting hooks for a tripod, but you need to remember to carry the necessary straps with you. If you want a big bag to carry everything, this is the one for you.
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Domke F-2 Original Shoulder Bag

Domke F-2 Original Shoulder Bag

eBay loves: Great design, loads of room, easy to access camera gear
Watch out for: No space for a laptop
RRP: £150

Back in 1975, Jim Domke, then photographer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, decided he needed a camera bag to suit his profession and had one custom made. Almost 40 years later, the Domke F-2 Original Shoulder Bag is as popular now as it was then.
A camera bag, through-and-through, this is designed for lugging all of your gear around, while giving you easy access to it. It can carry up to two pro-sized DSLRs, four-to-six lenses, a flash and accessories. There’s no laptop pouch and if you want to carry other things, there’s no dedicated compartment. Still, for pure shooting and out-and-out ease-of-access to camera gear, this is a hard bag to beat.
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Crumpler Jackpack-3000

Crumpler Jackpack-3000

eBay loves: Small size, neatly organised, looks great
Watch out for: No laptop pouch
RRP: £42

If you haven’t got much kit to carry around, but still want it protected stylishly, the Crumpler Jackpack-3000 could be the bag for you. Accessed through the top, it’s easy to remove your DSLR to start shooting quickly.
The padded interior gives you plenty of space for a DSLR fitted with a mid-size zoom lens, plus an additional mid-size zoom lens and a regular lens. With pouches and pockets for accessories, you can carry around your other photography regulars.
There’s no laptop pouch on this bag, but that’s to be expected given its compact size. For day-to-day use for most people, this small and well-priced bag is a great choice.
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Vanguard The Heralder 33

Vanguard The Heralder 33

eBay loves: Plenty of room, flexible design
Watch out for: A little bulky
RRP: £90

Vanguard’s The Heralder 33 is a messenger bag that will hold pretty much all of your kit comfortably. At the back is a padded laptop pouch that will take a 13in laptop and a second pouch holds all of your camera gear, with room for one or two DSLRs, plus five or six lenses and additional accessories. As this is a messenger bag, the kit is easy to access. What’s neat about this bag is that the camera compartment is self-contained, so you can remove it in its entirety and use the bag normally. The Heralder 33 is a little on the bulky side, but if you need a flexible messenger bag that will hold all of your kit, this is the one to go for.
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Think Tank Retrospective 50

Think Tank Retrospective 50

eBay loves: Great looks, fits a large laptop, loads of room
Watch out for: Can be fiddly getting kit out when the bag’s full
RRP: £195

The Think Tank Retrospective looks pleasantly old-school, but inside is a different matter, with padded pockets for the latest camera gear and a laptop pouch that can accommodate up to a 15in laptop.
There’s plenty of room inside for a single camera with lens fitted and an additional one to three lenses. There’s more room in the organisers and pockets for flashguns and other accessories, but there’s no tripod holder. If you need more room at a later date, the webbing on the side of the bag can accommodate additional pouches.
A tough feel and a supplied waterproof cover ensures that all of your kit can be transported safely. Our one minor complaint is that when the bag is fully loaded, it can be a bit of a pain extracting kit from it.

Comparison table

Manufacturer Lowepro
Manfrotto
Domke
Crumpler
Vanguard
ThinkTank
Model
DSLR Video Fastpack 350 AW
Advanced Tri Backpack large
F2 Original Shoulder Bag
Jackpack-3000
The Heralder 33
Retro-spective 50
Price
£90 £109
£150
£42
£90
£250
Size
490 x 350 x 250mm
460 x 330 x 260
432 x 171 x 229mm
280 x 200 x 115mm
420 x 270 x 350mm
380 x 280 x 36mm
Laptop size
17in
17in
None None 13in 15in
Waterproof cover
Yes (integrated)
Yes (separate)
No No Yes (integrated)
Yes (separate)
Bag style
Rucksack
Rucksack, sling and X
Messenger
Messenger
Messenger
Messenger
Tripod holder
Yes
Yes (external)
No No Yes No
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