12 Best DSLR Backpacks in 2018

Unless you’re still rocking a pocket-friendly portable, a modern camera is going to take up some space when you travel. They are also not what we would consider cheap, so you’ll want to ensure you keep it protected. This is something that can be difficult if you have a DSLR camera with a kit bag crammed full of goodies.

Plenty of photographers still use the classic camera bag although that’s not something you’ll want to do if you’re toting around a sack full of $600 lenses. While hard cases are an option, so are backpacks built for cameras. The best DSLR backpack does not need to cost as much as a high-end lens, but it does need to keep your gear safe and scratch-free.

Read on, and our experts will help you understand how to shop for a backpack that will keep your DSLR camera and gear safe no matter where you’re headed.

Top 12 DSLR Backpacks Comparison Table

DesignNameStyleDimensionsRating (1-5)
  1. GOgroove Full-size DSLR Camera Backpack Case Backpack 17 x 12 x 7” 4.7
  2. Lowepro Slingshot Edge 250 AW Slingpack 10.5 x 6 x 18” 4.5
  3. AmazonBasics Backpack for SLR/DSLR Cameras and Accessories Backpack 11.5 x 7 x 15.6” 4.5
  4. Evecase Large DSLR Camera Backpack 18 x 12 x 8” 4.5
  5. Case Logic DSS-101 Luminosity CSC/DSLR Sling Slingpack 9 x 8 x 15” 4.4
6. DSLR Camera and Mirrorless Backpack Bag Backpack 11.4 x 5.5 x 17.9” 4.4
7. Abonnyc DRLBP-CZ Waterproof Anti-shock Backpack Backpack 18.1 x 11.8 x 6.9” 4.4
8. Altura Photo Camera Sling Backpack Slingbag 9 x 6 x 16” 4.4
  9. Dslr SLR Waterproof Camera Backpack by BESTEK Backpack 6.7 x 13 x 18” 4.3
  10. Acuvar DSLR Camera Backpack with Rain Cover Backpack 11.5 x 7.2 x 15.6” 4.3
  11. Qipi Camera Bag – Sling Style Camera Backpack Slingbag 15.4 x 7 x 4.3” 4.1
  12. AmazonBasics Camera Sling Bag Slingbag 8.2 x 8.6 x 15.9” 4.1

How Much Room Do You Need?

Depending on the sensor size and type, you may have a large DSLR camera. Fixed lens snappers can cause issues as well, something to consider if you plan on buying a pack with a smaller footprint. The section that protects the camera itself needs to be roomy, but snug and expect an ample amount of padding as well. That said, cameras are just part of the equation.

How many lenses do you tend to use on a shoot? Most photographers carry a few spares, and you’ll need specialized compartments in your backpack for those. Flashes and cables are other common pieces of equipment as are tripods which take up a ton of space. The best DSLR backpack for professionals or beginners is going to have a special spot for those legs although one style of bag can be an exception.

Bag Style

A standard backpack can hold plenty of weight as witnessed by millions of students that lug around books on their back every day. Cameras are lightweight compared to periodicals, so there are several types of bags available on the market today. We are just going to concentrate on two.

  • Backpack – Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know what a backpack is. Ones built for DLSR cameras will have two straps and unique compartments on the inside to keep your equipment safe. They can also hold other goods due to their size more often than not.
  • Slingbag – Consumers that want to go lightweight will want a sling bag. These only have one strap so that they can be slung across your body and are smaller than a typical backpack. Top models will still be able to handle a tripod or other large accessories although they’ll be on the outside instead of the inside.

Compartments & Protection

This area depends on the style of the bag and its overall size. The larger the bag, the more space you’ll have for compartments. With backpacks, the main compartment can have separators to keep your camera from clanging against your lenses or small pockets to keep batteries, SD cards or cables. Those are all standard features, but dedicated laptop and tablet pockets are not. That is something you’ll want to consider if you frequently use your laptop alongside your camera.

A bag built to hold expensive equipment usually has extra protection built in. Again, how much you get varies across the board, so keep a lookout for features like reinforced corners, plush compartments, and zippers that allow for the use of bag locks. Sling bags and backpacks of this nature that are fully waterproof are a rarity although we did manage to find a few and several models come with rain hoods or can quickly deal with light showers.

Top 5 Best DSLR Backpack Reviews

1. GOgroove DSLR Camera Backpack Case

If you’re looking for a bag that can handle a large load, GOgroove’s solution is one worth considering. It’s a full-size backpack made for DSLR cameras and resembles a messenger bag to a degree. While not completely resistant to the elements, it does have a slick rain hood.

GoGroove’s DSLR Camera Backpack allows you to bring your whole studio with you on the go. Seriously, this bag has a spacious padded interior you can customize to suit your needs and your gear. The main camera compartment is set however although you can access it through a side zip without every opening the bag. Tripods and water bottles fit on the sides while a laptop pocket is hidden on the back panel. At 16.5” x 10.5,” it’s large enough to handle a 15.6” laptop with ease. Due to the size, you’ll appreciate the sturdy shoulder and chest straps as well.

We like the fact that this bag is big enough to hold anything you could want when shooting on location although it will be overkill if you need something smaller and easy to deal with. It’s only available in a variety of colors and two different sizes with Full Size and Mid Volume which is 2” smaller.

2. Lowepro Slingshot Edge 250 AW

Lowepro makes some fabulous camera bags, and they were one of the first company’s we checked out as we looked for the best DSLR backpack. Our first model from Lowepro is the Slingshot Edge 250 AW, a dual-use model that can hold your camera on an expensive drone.

Sling bags have quickly become popular with travel photographers and action enthusiasts that want to take sharp shots with a minimal amount of gear. The Slingshot Edge 250 AW allows you to do just that as you’ll be surprised by what it can carry despite a footprint of only 10.51 x 6.14 x 18.9”. The top half of the bag is an oversized accessory pouch where you can store standard gear or camera lenses and other goodies. The bottom half is where your camera will reside and is divided up with cushy dividers while providing speedy access to your camera.

Sling bags can take some getting used to if you’ve never carried one before. We feel that the Lowepro Slingshot Edge is a great bag for beginners looking to give one a shot, and while it’s small, it can still hold everything you need including a tripod.

3. Amazon Basics Backpack for DSLR Cameras

From sling pack to backpack we go with this simple, but useful number from Amazon’s Basics line. There’s not a lot to say about this one when it comes to the design considering it’s a black bag with the company’s logo on the zippers. The surprises lie inside this bag as you can load it down with all types of goodies.

The inner compartment of Amazon Basics bag is foam separators like 99% of softshell models. There is a primary slot for your camera with several stretchy straps and a series of dividers to separate your lenses and gear from your snapper. There are a couple of clear zippered pockets inside as well while a series of straps will keep your tripod safe on the side. Needless to say, there’s plenty of room on the inside and three pockets on the outside along with a cord that allows you to attach additional gear.

This DSLR backpack may not win any beauty contests, but it’s a nice looking bag that performs as you’d expect. We appreciate the size as you can actually stow two cameras inside although it lacks the quick-access pocket and is far from waterproof.

4. Evecase Large DSLR Camera Bag

We love a tough backpack, especially ones that can handle the elements while keeping your equipment free from harm. Evecase’s DSLR Camera bag can do both and has several features that make it perfect for road trips or photographers that travel abroad.

While we can’t attest to you getting through security scanners quickly with this bag, it can hold a mountain of gear. The main compartment handles up to two full-size DSLR cameras, and there are two large spots for zoom lenses to go along with several prime lens compartments. You can adjust the insides to a degree and pop any cables or paperwork into a zippered pocket inside. It can also handle a 15.6” laptop in a special padded chamber or various accessories on the outside through pockets, straps, and buckles. Throw in a built-in rain cover, and you’ve got yourself a bag that can roam almost anywhere.

The company has a lengthy list of DLSR models this bag will work with, but as you can adjust the compartments, take those models with a dose of salt. As long as you aren’t trying to cram too much into the bag, you’ll be ready. At 18 x 12 x 8”, it’s one of the larger alternatives on our list although it will stay comfortable on your back.

5. Case Logic DSS-101 Luminosity Camera Bag

As their name implies, Case Logic is known for making cases. They make cases for everything from CDs to headphones or DSLR cameras, which brings us to our next pick. It’s the Case Logic DSS-101 Luminosity, and it’s one of our favorite sling bags.

The one drawback to sling bags is their size as you won’t be able to carry quite as much or store many extras. Apparently, nobody told Case Logic that. The DSS-101 Luminosity measures 9.1 x 7.8 x 15” but can somehow hold a large DSLR camera, a couple of lenses and a tablet. There are several pockets to keep track of things like your wallet and keys while the wide shoulder straps and weather hood are the icing on the cake. Just in case you overload, there is a cross-body stabilizing system to keep things in place when you’re active.

This little wonder can’t hold as much as a traditional camera bag but still allows you to cram a surprising amount of gear into a small space efficiently. You can scoop it up in two different sizes as well with a large and a CSC/DSLR size bag.