Best five camera bags for all occasions

Having a decent bag to lug your precious camera kit about in is crucial. Without one, lenses will get scratched and dropped, memory cards lost and plenty of things dented and bashed about. 

There are however a massive number of camera bags to choose from, with a hugely varied price range, making it very difficult to pick out the right one for the right job. Is an over the shoulder best? Should you go for a traditional rucksack, or is there one bag to rule them all? Check out our top five camera bag list to find out which is the one for you?

Domke F-2 - the pro's choice

Domke has a long running history of making camera bags. Its F-2 has been the go to for professionals and photojournalists the world over for years. They are tough, they are lightweight, they are comfortable and your camera gear is very easily accessed. 

The levels of protection and pockets is not quite the same as some of the more high tech rucksacks but the amount carried in such a small bag is unparalleled. The Domke straps are also very, very comfy meaning you can carry around a heavy load of camera gear for the day without too many shoulder problems.

The F-2 can carry two camera bodies, anywhere up to 10 lenses, both big and small, and all the filters, light meters and flashes you would ever need.

The sand canvas material that the Domke bag is made out of is also a lot more unobtrusive than normal overly high tech camera sacks, so it draws a lot less attention to your gear - useful if you're on holiday somewhere dodgy.

Think Tank Streetwalker - street shooter's favourite

Think Tank make highly formidable and extremely comfortable rucksacks; perfect for those who regularly go on lengthy photowalks.

The bag is deliberately slim and has a small profile on your back, meaning you can get on the train, while wearing it, without smashing it into someones face. The entire front of the bag zips open allowing you to get access to the around five-strong lens pockets. Smaller zip open areas also allow you to access things like memory cards and other accessories quickly.

The real benefit of the Streetwalker, however, is the straps, we personally think it's one of the most comfortable rucksacks we have ever worn. The small size and comfort factor make it a great travelling companion as well.

Lowepro Dryzone 200 - the adventurer

Extreme sports enthusiasts and Ray Mears fans alike will most definitely like this one. This is the camera bag for the snapper that likes to throw themselves about and push their gear to its extreme. 

Totally waterproof and floatable, it means you could, in theory, set about snapping while wearing it out in the ocean. The Dryzone 200 features things like an inner drypod for storing whatever gear you have and it's entirely customisable. The straps are also very good and highly adjustable meaning the back should, in theory, remain comfy even when wet.

This is the bag for those who fear water damage to their cameras, who live in countries with a rainy season, or who, in general, think gettings photo gear wet is a bad idea.

Kata UL-BD-255 - The speed demon

Kata make seriously good photography bags. You pay a premium price for a Kata sack but you most definitely get value in return. The Bug 255 is no exception. Priced in at £349, it is one of the more expensive offerings in our top five list.

The idea behind this bag is that everything is modular, meaning you can divide up sections between gear that you need quick access to and that which you would carry for emergencies. It is also massive. You can fit an entire 17-inch laptop into the back as well as a DSLR with a full 70-200mm lens.

The real trick about the Bug 255, however, is the hatch which opens at the front. You can quickly drop out a zoom and pop in the camera you have in your hands. It is perfect for those who carry two bodies but don't want the weight of a pair of cameras around their neck.

Lowepro Inverse 200 AW - the alternative

Those opposed to the common rucksack approach should think about this one. You can keep it strapped to your belt and still lug a single camera and pair of lenses about. This means plenty of movement but added protection for your photo gear.

Dual track zips on the top mean you can access your camera stuff quickly, so it is definitely one for the more street photo orientated to consider. The bag is a sort of belt and, should you fancy it, shoulder bag combination. The shoulder strapped and 3D mesh belt mean weight is distributed nicely and helps keep things comfy while not pulling your trousers down thanks to the mass of a camera and two lenses. 

There is a slideout all-weather cover in the bottom which is particularly useful should you take the bag travelling, which we think it is definitely suited to do.

Which do you fancy or is there a cracker in your collection you should tell us about? Let us know in the comments.



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