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The Best Camera Bags of 2024

From hikes to crowded events and everything in between — you need a camera bag to protect your precious, and pricey equipment. We’ve put our favorites through their paces to bring you the best camera bags of the year.
Tenba Messenger Camera Bag(photo/ Katelyn Clement and Ethan Wiese)
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Whether you’re an amateur who loves shooting on nature walks or a professional with back-to-back events, having a functional, high-quality camera bag in your tool kit is critical. 

With so many types of bags available, choosing the best one for your needs can be hard. The best camera bag provides padding and protection for your expensive gear, is comfortable for long days of shooting, and offers easy access during those can’t-miss moments. 

With years of professional photography experience, tester Katelyn Clement tested seven satchel camera bags varying in size, protection level, and features. Her goal: to find the best camera bags for all photographers, from the point-and-shooter to the event-going professional.

In her 8-year career, Clement has photographed several large concert events, video shoots, and outdoor excursions. She has shimmied through tight crowds and trekked up muddy trails enough to know that a reliable camera bag is necessary to keep camera gear safe, and her worries about that expensive gear in check. 

We tested on hiking trails, at crowded events in music venues, and many scenarios in between. Whether you need a simple option for everyday use or a multicompartment hauler for your camera quiver, we’ve got you covered. Scroll through to see all of our recommended models. Check out our buyer’s guide, comparison chart, and FAQ to learn more.

The Best Camera Bags of 2024

Best Overall Camera Bag

Tenba DNA 16 PRO Messenger Bag


  • Price $200
  • Weight 2.9 lbs., /1.32 kg
  • Outside dimensions 15.75" x 12" x 7.5"
  • Inside dimensions 14.75"x 11.5" x 6"
  • Materials TPU-coated material (waterproof) with YKK zippers.
Product Badge The Best Camera Bags of 2024


  • Exclusive Whisper Hook closure, flap
  • Quick-access top zipper
  • Waterproof
  • Big padded computer slot
  • Lots of inside room
  • Inserts foldover top
  • Whole insert comes out
  • Plentiful pockets


  • Fits so much that it can get heavy for a shoulder bag
  • May be a little too bulky for short and smaller framed photographers
Best Budget Camera Bag

Ruggard Hunter 35 DSLR Holster Bag


  • Price $16
  • Weight 0.64 lbs. / 0.29 kg
  • Outside dimensions 7.3” x 5.3” x 8.25”
  • Inside dimensions 6.5” x 4.5” x 7.0”
  • Materials Water-repellent exterior and smooth polyester lining, mesh pocket
The Best Camera Bags of 2024


  • Quick-release buckle
  • Adjustable, removable shoulder strap
  • Weather resistant
  • Card slots so you never run out of memory
  • Front zipper pocket keeps accessories organized
  • Very padded


  • Plastic clips may break
  • Only fits crop sensors and smaller cameras
  • The mesh side pocket isn’t very thick
Best Camera Bag for Event Shoots

Wandrd Rogue Sling 9L


  • Price $159
  • Weight 1.74 lbs. / 0.79 kg
  • Outside dimensions 8.5"X 13.5" X 7"
  • Inside dimensions 7.75” X 13" X 5"
  • Materials 840D Jr. Ballistic nylon with 5PM coating, (weather resistant) 1680D ballistic nylon, weather-resistant YKK zippers
The Best Camera Bags of 2024


  • Does not fall forward when you reach into it
  • Three ways to carry
  • Weather-resistant
  • Three grab handles and key clip
  • Tripod straps work well
  • Fits 16" laptop
  • Comes in a variety of sizes for different needs (3L, 6L, and 9L)


  • When using the laptop pocket, the laptop hangs out, unprotected
  • Sides aren’t very well padded
Best Camera Bag for Protection

Peak Design Everyday Sling V2 6L


  • Price $120
  • Weight 1.72 lbs. / 0.78 kg
  • Outside dimensions 13.39-10.63” x 5.12-4.33” x 9.45”
  • Inside dimensions 11-9”x 4.33-3.5” x 8.27”
  • Materials 400D double poly-coated DWR-impregnated nylon canvas shell. 100% recycled post-consumer material, nylon interior. Hardware is anodized aluminum and glass-reinforced nylon (weatherproof)
The Best Camera Bags of 2024


  • Dedicated tablet sleeve with magnetic closure
  • Divider shelves aid in organization & increase versatility
  • Shell is 100% recycled
  • Inside stretchy pockets increase storage and organization
  • Top of the dividers fold over for added protection
  • Tripod and external carry clips allow for extra gear
  • Weatherproof
  • Comes in 3L, 6L, and 10L for varying needs


  • Rigid dividers
  • The inside side pouches are too small for anything
  • Inner zipper pocket fits only small things
  • Front zipper pocket is very flat
Best of the Rest

Amazon Basics Large DSLR Gadget Bag


  • Price $43
  • Weight 1.56 lbs. / 0.71 kg
  • Outer dimensions 15” x 7.9” x 11.8”
  • Inner dimensions 11” x 6.5” x 7.5”
  • Materials Polyester, nylon, Velcro
The Best Camera Bags of 2024


  • Slot for a small tablet
  • Room for a full frame camera and extra lens
  • Lots of side pockets
  • Rubber feet on bottom


  • Access to gear is a bit cumbersome
  • Plastic clasps seem flimsy

Fosoto Waterproof Anti-Shock Camera Bag


  • Price $21
  • Weight 0.58 lbs. / 0.26 kg
  • Outer dimensions 7.8” x 5.9” x 4.3”
  • Inner dimensions 7” x 5.1” x 3.9”
  • Materials Nylon, mesh pocket
The Best Camera Bags of 2024


  • Adjustable and comfortable strap
  • Water-resistant bag is equipped with extra rain cover
  • Padded anti-shock interior
  • Quick-release buckle


  • Cannot go into water or heavy downpour
  • Not a lot of extra space
  • Plastic clips could break

CADeN Canvas Camera Bag


  • Price $55
  • Weight 1.87 lbs. / 0.85 kg
  • Outside dimensions 16” x 8”x 9.5”
  • Inside dimensions 11.81” x 5.12”x 7.87”
  • Materials Canvas fabric, polyester, waterproof faux leather straps
The Best Camera Bags of 2024


  • A tripod can be attached at the bottom
  • Waterproof canvas
  • Removable inserts can be used to make a small duffle bag
  • Stylish design


  • No padding on the outside
  • Formless
  • Not a lot of organization in the pockets
  • Snaps aren’t the best
  • Not super comfortable to carry

Camera Bags Comparison Chart

Camera BagPriceWeightInner DimensionsMaterials
Tenba DNA 16 PRO Messenger Bag$2002.9 lbs. / 1.32kg14.75″x 11.5″ x 6″TPU-coated material (waterproof) with YKK zippers.
Ruggard Hunter 35 DSLR Holster
$160.64 lbs. /0.29 kg7.3” x 5.3” x 8.25”Water-repellent exterior and smooth polyester lining, mesh pocket
WANDRD Rogue Sling 9L
$1591.74 lbs. / 0.79 kg7.75” X 13″ X 5″840D Jr. ballistic nylon with 5PM coating, (weather resistant) 1680D ballistic nylonw Weather-resistant YKK zipper
Peak Design Everyday Sling V2 6L
$1201.72 lbs. / 0.78 kg11-9”x 4.33-3.5” x 8.27”400D double poly-coated DWR-impregnated nylon canvas shell. 100% recycled post-consumer material, nylon interior. Hardware is anodized aluminum and glass-reinforced nylon (weatherproof)
Amazon Basics Large DSLR Gadget Bag
$431.56 lbs. /0.71 kg11” x 6.5” x 7.5”Polyester, nylon, Velcro
Fosoto Anti-shock Waterproof Camera Bag$210.58 lbs. / 0.26 kg7” x 5.1” x 3.9”Nylon, mesh pocket
CADeN Canvas Camera Bag$551.87 lbs. /0.85 kg11.81” x 5.12”x 7.87”Canvas fabric, polyester, waterproof faux leather straps
We put a variety of bags to the test so you don’t have to; (photo/Katelyn Clement and Ethan Wiese)

How We Tested Camera Bags

The best way to test a camera bag is to fill it with the gear you need and put it to use “in the wild.” So, that’s exactly what our tester, Katelyn Clement, and her partner, Ethan Weise (also a professional photographer), did. With 20 years of photography experience, this dynamic duo made the ideal team to determine each bag’s performance.  

Clement’s first goal was to test whether manufacturer claims for materials between “water resistant” and completely “weatherproof” held up. Cameras, lenses, and associated equipment are never cheap. And, you don’t want something as simple as a fabric to damage an expensive lens.  

In addition to photography experience, Clement and her partner have almost 30 years of outdoor experience. They hike, camp, and raft in every free moment. They hiked these bags through forests and along muddy creeks for a couple of months. They set them down in wet gravel and used them in snow, rain, and sunshine.

Their discovery? Practically all manufacturers were honest when they claimed materials were water-resistant or weatherproof. A few of the less durable bags may show signs of wear sooner (we’ll report on this in our next update), but they survived our initial outdoor test.

The next test came when our testers were hired for photo events. Some of these bags are geared toward professional photographers, so she knew they needed to be compared against one another. At crowded events, bumps and spilled or sloshed drinks are inevitable. Thus, they offered a great opportunity to test durability and protection.

And, of course, comfort is key for any type of camera bag. They also made sure to wear each bag for at least a few hours at a time without a break.

Testing the Peak Design Everyday V2 6L Sling; it provides enough padding and safety for your camera and two to three lenses; (photo/Katelyn Clement and Ethan Wiese)

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Camera Backpack

The best way to choose a camera bag is to first look at how and where you will be using your bag. Are you a hobbyist who loves going on nature hikes with your DSLR and taking bird photos? Do you just do one-on-one shoots like engagements or family portraits? Or do you work large-scale events that require multiple full-frame camera bodies and several lenses? These answers will guide you in choosing the best bag that fits your needs.  

You’ll want to consider various factors including bag size, amount of protection, comfortability, aesthetics, durability, accessibility, and storage. Knowing how and where you will use your camera bag will guide you to the right bag for your needs. 

All the bags above that our team has tested will first and foremost protect your camera. These are over-the-shoulder and messenger-style bags that will serve you whether you are on a nature hike or working a wedding. If you prefer a backpack-style camera bag to protect your precious cargo, check out our guide to the Best Camera Backpacks


It’s important to find a bag that will protect your gear and last a long time. Bags with water-resistant or waterproof outer shells will keep your equipment dry and moisture-free. Materials like polyurethane laminate (PUL), vinyl, polyester, nylon, or Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), like those in the Tenba DNA16 PRO Messenger Bag, are commonly used in water-resistant or weatherproof bags.

The waterproof Tenba DNA 16 PRO Messenger Bag allows for a ton of gear to be packed and carried comfortably. (photo/Katelyn Clement and Ethan Wiese)

Seams, bases, and zippers are weak spots where moisture can get in even if the materials are waterproof. YKK zippers are high quality and are often found on the best camera bags. So, choose a bag with a seam-sealed base and solid zippers. The Tenba DNA 16 PRO Messenger Bag and the WANDRD Rogue Sling 9L have these important features.


Finding a camera bag that’s the right size for every situation is challenging. But, choosing a bag that meets your needs most of the time is essential. You don’t want a bag that is too small to hold the number of lenses you need, but you also don’t want a giant bag that requires digging to find what you need. The wrong size bag will be inconvenient and could potentially damage your gear.  

The FOSOTO Waterproof Anti-Shock Bag allows for easy access to your DSLR or film camera while on nature walks; (photo/Katelyn Clement and Ethan Wiese)

Photographers with single point-and-shoot cameras will want a compact bag like the FOSOTO Waterproof Anti-Shock Bag with padding and protection. An event photographer will need space for two camera bodies and several lenses, SD cards, and a tripod. 

Camera bags often come in a range of sizes measured in liters. For example, the WANDRD Rogue Sling 9L comes in 3, 6, and 9L sizes. Some bags, like the Peak Design Everyday V2 6L Sling, have a 10L option. A 3L bag works best for a small camera with one lens while a 6-liter bag fits a few more lenses. A 9L to 10L bag is perfect for multiple full-frame cameras, lenses, and accessories. 


The modern WANDRD Rogue Sling 9L can be carried over the shoulder, as a messenger bag, or “fanny pack” style; (photo/Katelyn Clement and Ethan Wiese)

A comfortable bag is important, especially considering how much gear will be crammed into it and how long you will be on your feet. An adjustable, padded strap allows you to move the bag according to your height. Padding keeps the strap from digging into your neck. We found that the WANDRD Rogue Sling 9L offered the most comfort because it had adjustable straps, a strap pad, and extra padding in strategic places.

Bags that provide two or three different ways to wear them are a plus. Over-the-shoulder will give you quick access to your gear. Making your bag into a cross-body will keep your shoulder and neck from knotting up. A bag with the hip holster-style carry will keep your arms free while giving fast access. If your body is sore after a long shoot, cruise over to our guide to the Best Foam Rollers. Hopefully, you’ll find some relief.

The Ruggard Hunter 35 DSLR Holster Bag offers easy access and also protects your camera and lens; (photo/Katelyn Clement and Ethan Wiese)


Another important thing to consider when choosing a camera bag is accessibility to your camera and equipment. If you are out for a stroll and you see a bird you want to capture, or you are at a wedding and the groom does something spontaneous, you need to be able to reach into your bag and quickly grab your camera. 

Enter the easy-access zipper. These zippers allow you to reach into the bag instead of opening the main flap. The Tenba DNA 16 PRO Messenger Bag has this zipper at the very top of the bag. It has a smooth glide and is large enough to fit your whole arm in.  

Another easy-access feature is when the flap or top of the bag is designed to open away from your body. The Ruggard Hunter 35 DSLR Holster Bag has such a feature. A top that opens toward your body creates one more obstacle for getting to your camera, while a flap that opens away makes for a quick grab.

The Amazon Basics DSLR Camera Bag offers a solid amount of protection at a reasonable price; (photo/Katelyn Clement and Ethan Wiese)


Your budget plays a role in which bag you choose. But, considering the cost of the equipment you’re trying to protect, it’s crucial to choose a high-quality bag. The Ruggard Hunter 35 DSLR Holster Bag can fit your budget while offering a solid amount of protection and padding.  

Camera bags can be more expensive than general messengers or slings because of the added padding and protective materials.

A more expensive bag, like the Tenba DNA 16 PRO Messenger Bag, is probably worth the $200 if it means that your lens and several other pieces of expensive camera equipment stay as safe and protected as possible.

However, some very good, more affordable options, like the Amazon Basics Bag ($43) and the CADeN Canvas Camera Bag ($45), offer a solid amount of protection at a reasonable price. They both have the protection and room for a couple of cameras and lenses. 

The CADeN Canvas Camera Bag has vintage, traveled aesthetics geared toward photographers who love to look stylish; (photo/Katelyn Clement and Ethan Wiese)

Special Features

Bags’ special features will vary, but small details make the best camera bags. The Tenba DNA 16 PRO Messenger Bag includes their exclusive Whisper Hook, a clasp that easily slides undone and snaps back together magnetically. 

Good quality bags have the YKK zippers, as mentioned in the materials section above. The easy-access zipper on the Tenba makes a quick grab more efficient and manageable.

Sometimes, we find special features in the oddest of places. The WANDRD Rogue Sling 9L has a “secret” pouch at the bottom of the bag that could hold a light rain jacket, poncho, water bottle, or small tripod. The small pocket at the bottom of this sling hides an excess strap, which can be used to secure items tethered to the outside of the bag.  

Additional features of the WANDRD Rogue Sling 9L that make this a great option: excess straps to hold a compact tripod; (photo/Katelyn Clement and Ethan Wiese)


How do I choose the best camera bag?

Choose the bag based on how you will use it.

Will you be hiking? Pick a camera backpack.

Will you be using it for travel? Pick something lightweight that fits carry-on regulations.

Will you be shooting big events with lots of people? Pick a well-padded bag with shock resistance so that if someone runs into you, you won’t feel panicked about checking your bag for broken gear.

Will you be out all day or constantly need to change cameras and lenses? Choose a larger bag that easily holds a camera body or two, the appropriate accompanying lenses, and pockets with spare batteries and backup cards. 

What kind of camera bag is best for my camera?

The number of cameras and lenses you want to carry will determine the type of camera bag you choose. If all you have is a simple point-and-shoot, the Ruggard Hunter 35 DSLR Holster Bag would be best. If you have a DSLR, a bag at least an inch or two larger than the body will give it room. If you need to bring multiple camera bodies and lenses to an event, a larger bag with many pockets, like the Tenba DNA 16 PRO Messenger Bag, is ideal. 

The weather-resistant Ruggard Hunter 35 DSLR Holster Bag keeps your camera dry in light rain; (photo/Katelyn Clement and Ethan Wiese)
Do I really need a camera bag?

Short answer: No. If you feel like risking it, you can keep your camera in a regular bag. But the likelihood that your camera will be damaged is increased. And if you’re attached to your bag, you can always buy a padded camera cube and then place it in the bag.

However, a camera bag be safer for your camera and will also keep your peripherals organized. This ensures you have access to everything you need when you need it.

Is a weatherproof camera bag important?

Whether you are working an event outside or indoors, your camera bag should at least be water resistant. If it rains, the bag will keep your gear dry while you seek shelter or slip on a rain sleeve. If you’re shooting an indoor event, chances are you will sweat from running around and being in a crowded room.

You’ll want your bag to keep your equipment dry if it’s at your hip or on your back all night. Your sweat will soak through as easily as water. A weatherproof bag is ideal. But, anything that is water or weather-resistant will also work by offering some protection. 

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