Backpacks - To hold a Camera plus a Laptop - Traveling Life's Essentials

Experienced or hobby photographers appreciate the value of a quality camera bag, but at what cost does this come to keep that pseudo clicking baby of yours safe from bumps, thieves and the sometimes harsh outdoor elements.  Backpacks have become favorites due to their insulation capabilities and portable design, especially for globetrotters of the incessant ilk.  It is pretty hard to take a photo as you are running after your target, if you have to carry a hand held camera bag. 

Camera bags are as individual as you are and it is necessary to make up your own list of definitive criteria to suit how, when and where you predominantly take photographs.

Camera Backpack boxes to tick:

  • Style - no one wants a "daggy" monster hanging off their back, but then again it is not advisable to have so much style that it screams out "expensive camera equipment" snuggled within to would-be thieves.
  • How much does it hold - think cameras, lenses, memory cards, flash, battery pack, cleaning equipment, tripod and laptop size.
  • Easy access - from the top, from the side, on the run, in the rain.
  • Weight - if you are no weightlifter, every kilogram matters.
  • Water resistant -v- water repellent - do you want to fuss over covering the backpack when caught in a tropical storm unexpectedly?
  • Size - are you short or tall?  Do you want a backpack bouncing on your rear as you walk?
  • Straps - do you want a strap around your chest (squishing boobs on females - guys you won't have this drama, unless you are hiding man boobs) or one around your waist or both?
  • Wheels - do you want the option of being able to wheel it around given the opportunity rather than lugging it on your back all the time?
  • Price - considering the total cost of the equipment the backpack will be holding, do you scrimp and get a cheap and nasty backpack or be cautious and go middle of the road?  Extra caution is for those with cash to splash and who have plenty of muscle power, as they seem to be the heaviest.

Below are a few backpacks that appealed either because of the look of them or the fact that they have been given high marks for performance:

1Camera Travel Backpacks - The Wise Traveller.  Langly Alpha Pro (~US $199)

The design and the color is the big attraction - the fact that it is at the top of the Langly range is beside the point. It maximizes function and organization with a stiff low compartment that is capable of holding a tripod and reinforced camera inserts to cradle your camera. You can stash up to 4 additional lenses plus there is a sleeve that will hold a laptop up to 15". Its construction with rustproof brass hardware, military grade twill to seal out the weather and tough leather makes it durable.  This backpack doesn't scream out that you are a camera geek.

Camera Travel Backpacks - The Wise Traveller2.  Vinta S-Series Travel Camera Backpack (~US $249)

Water resistant and lightweight, the Vinta S-Series Travel Camera Backpack is another one on the stylish side with its magnetic snaps and leather wrapped top-handle.  The bag will fit up to a 15" laptop and has removable padded inserts to fit your camera and lenses.  You can grab whatever you want from the top or the back access points and side pockets allow storage for small water bottles. The added perk is that it can be converted from a camera bag to a travel bag in moments.

Camera Travel Backpacks - The Wise Traveller3.  Peak Design Everyday Backpack (~US $260)

Available in 20 litre and 30 litre sizes, the Peak Design Everyday Backpack is for photography nerds or people who just wish to strap on a backpack.  For what it lacks in funkiness it makes up in design with easy accessibility via the top or dual side-loading zippers, organization with a unique divider system and expandability for those who over pack. A tuck-away strap system will not have you looking like a hang glider and it has a weatherproof 400D nylon canvas shell with a dedicated sleeve for up to a 15" laptop.

Camera Travel Backpacks - The Wise Traveller4.  Filson Photographer's Backpack (~US $300)

A backpack for those who like to fly under the radar, as it definitely does not look like it is hiding expensive camera equipment. The Filson Photographer's Backpack oozes understated style. The laptop sleeve is concealed to confuse any would be thieves and the bag's padded construction with internal dividers will keep all of your precious gear safe.  The wool-lined shoulder strap adds a bit of luxury and comfort.

Camera Travel Backpacks - The Wise Traveller5.  ILE Ultimate Photographers Bag - MKIII (~US$380)

A backpack for the Rambo of the photography scene, the Inside Line Equipment’s Ultimate Photographers Bag-MKIII is not for the feint hearted. This is the ultimate backpack that will hold your life in it - think camera equipment, laptop plus clothes if need be. With its external webbing you can attach tripods or light stands. At 30 litres, it is not for the small wimpy soul that wishes to take a cute photo occasionally.  It comes in a stunning red for those who like to stand out with their rugged good looks. 

Lowepro have too many rolling camera bags on offer to satisfy the most finicky lens man or woman, so check out their website to get the info on which bag would suit you, if you want this option.