In this article, we take a look at the 10 best trekking camera backpacks available. Carrying a hefty load on your back while you are off-roading or trekking is a daunting task. But as a visual artist, you are bound to bring the necessary gear on your trek. Such equipment is usually heavy and expensive, and its storage and protection can be challenging even for a hardcore trekker or a seasoned hiker.
It is essential to invest in a durable backpack that offers high degrees of comfort and safety. Various manufacturers produce an array of backpacks for different needs. You will require a handy pack that is weather-sealed, providing easy and organised access with enough room to hold all your equipment needs.
In this article, we have sourced the best photography backpack models available for varied purposes and capacity.
Lowepro – Camera Backpacks For Everyone
Whistler Backpack 450 AW II
When considering the 10 best trekking camera backpacks you cannot go past Lowepro for quality and durability. Lowepro bags are designed to protect your gear under rigorous weather conditions and in rough environments. They ensure protection against wear and tear of the equipment, thus adding life to your valuable investment. Lowepro bags offer high-quality performance, a robust build, and comfort in carrying heavy gear on a strenuous hike. The designs feature harness strap systems, waist belts, back pads and adjustability for a long and tiresome journey.
Lowepro launched one of its best models with the development of the Whistler Backpack including the 450 AW II and 550 AW II. Both are spacious enough to fit in your portable photo equipment. It is heavy-duty and weather-sealed to protect your expensive gear against extreme conditions.
The backpack has a rear zippered panel with 180 degrees of a downward opening which has access to the main compartment. The bag also comes with separate pockets for memory cards, hard drives, batteries, lens filters and other accessories.
The main compartment is separated by a waterproof wall, adjacent to which is an expandable pocket with a drain hole. The draining system enables you to carry wet equipment such as a helmet, ice pick, etc. The backpack also has a sleeve to safely carry a laptop (15 inches), books, and other belongings with a convenient reach from the top.
The Whistler Backpack 450 AW II is designed to be weatherproof and durable. It is a perfect companion for a rough journey. It gives you easy access to all its compartments and has a built-in Internal Camera Unit (ICU).
Pro Trekker BP 550 AW II Backpack
The ProTekker BP 550 AW II is a powerfully built backpack that features a floating lid. It comes with a spacious main compartment for safe storage of portable gear and accessories. It has an adjustable segmenting system of 11 dividers that can easily accommodate a DSLR with a couple of heavy lenses, a few handy ones, and other equipment.
The backpack is a perfect instrument for organising your apparatus, books, gadgets, and other travel accessories. It has an extended pocket with easy access to store cables and cords. Its large capacity Gearbox is vast enough to carry a foldable drone kit.
The Pro Trekker BP 550 is an ideal companion for rugged terrains and hikes. The weight of the backpack is evenly distributed for your comfort with an attached waist belt. The material used is durable polyester and nylon to prevent damages in a harsh environment.
The Pro Trekker BP 350 AW II is another sturdy and purpose-built backpack. It facilitates multiple compartments for secured and organised storage. The capacity of the BP 350 is slightly less compared to the BP 550. However, with uncompromising quality and features, it is perfect for travelling and hiking. Like the BP 550, this also comes with expandable pockets and a floating lid with easy access to all the compartments.
Flipside Trek BP 350 AW Backpack
Flipside Trek BP 350 AW is another waterproof backpack that is perfect for rough journeys. It provides a secured space for all your portable gear. The Flipside Trek is available in a BP 250 AW, BP 350 AW and BP 450 AW depending on your capacity requirements.
It can hold a heavy DSLR with 3-4 high-end lenses and other accessories required for your travel. It has separate compartments that have easy front access. The zippered pockets on the sides help access the accessories that are frequently required while trekking unhindered.
The Flipside Trek BP 350 AW comes with a CradleFit pad to protect a 10″ tablet and an Internal Camera Unit for assured safety. It features an ActivZone suspension system with a waist strap to evenly distribute the weight, along with a versatile shoulder strap and front strap. The top of the backpack has a weather cover attached to protect the bag and its contents from the harsh environment during a trek.
ProTactic 350 AW II Camera and Laptop Backpack
ProTactic is a super robust range of camera bags from Lowepro and is available in the 350 AW II and the larger 450 AW II. The ProTactic 350 AW II features four access points – two at either side, a top compartment, and one at the rear panel. The easy reach allows you to grab your necessities while off-roading. It accommodates 1 to 2 DSLRs with an attached lens, eight extra lenses, and other accessories like a flash, tripod, etc. It offers customisable compartments for an organised and protected trip.
With a Slip-Lock strap system, you can easily mount outdoor tools, like a bottle, tripod, or a helmet. There is a CradleFit pad pocket for a 13″ laptop and Internal Camera Unit to provide a safe environment for all your expensive gear. Further, the ActivZone System enables even weight-distribution for a comfortable journey. The ProTactic 350 AW II features an all-weather cover for overall protection.
This bag is ideal for hiking in wet weather or shooting near waterfalls. From a strong build and its ergonomic form to spacious compartments for organising, Lowepro bags cover it all.
Shimoda – Pro Level Camera Backpacks
Action X30 – X70
Shimoda is the developers of pro-grade bags and camera backpacks fit the most extreme adventures. The Action X30 backpack is a multipurpose design with a rugged build from Shimoda. It is ideal for trekkers, hikers, adventure lovers, and photography enthusiasts. The backpack has plenty of space to secure equipment and other accessories and also enables an adjustable divider for easy organisation. The bag is built for storing media equipment for photography or videography purposes. It can accommodate 1-2 mirrorless cameras (with the lens mounted), extra lenses, a drone kit, and more.
The Action X30 gives easy access from all sides through zippered pouches and expandable pockets. It is weather-resistant, and built with a nylon shell and waterproof base. It comes with a roll-top design to easily compress the size according to the requirement of the user. The roll-top feature also keeps out moisture and dust. The bag fulfils the purpose of a casual trip as well as an intense hike. Among the wide range of Action backpacks, the 50L or 70L is perfect for multi-day hikes with lots of gear and equipment.
Explore 40 – 60
The Explore 40 from Shimoda is a versatile backpack. It brings you multiple access points and comfortably fits all your portable gear and personal belongings. The bag comes with a separate padded pocket for a 13″ laptop, and customisable compartments. Advanced features include material constructed of nylon for high water-resistance. Plus the top and side handles provide a firm grip, and the adjustable shoulder straps ensure comfort.
The Explore 60 also comes with easy access points and multiple compartments for an organised performance. With a 13″ laptop sleeve and pockets for different sized accessories, it caters to all your storage needs. It is customisable with many ICU (Internal Camera Unit) sizes and add-on accessories. Seperate from the ICU unit is material that prevents the gear from damage. It comes with height-adjustable harnesses and internal support frames. The Nylon shell acts as a weather protector for the backpack as well as its many components.
F-Stop – Camera Backpacks Fit For Purpose
Tilopa Expedition 50L
F-Stop create high-quality and versatile camera bags fit for everyday use. They also offer a superb range of camera backpacks tailored for life on the go. The Tilopa Expedition 50L comes with a Hypalon base and metal d-rings. Constructed from Ripstop nylon with TPU laminate, the backpack is ideal for a variety of equipment and personal belongings. There is easy access from all sides for an organised trip. It has spacious interiors and zippered pouches and pockets for extended storage. The bag has a dedicated sleeve that can fit up to a 17″ laptop with rear access ICU.
On the backpack you will find accessory loops, MOLLE webbing, shock cords, and front straps for outdoor equipment like a tripod. For easy-handling, the pack comes with a side handle as well as EVA padded shoulder straps and a waist belt for even distribution of weight. It also features a drainage hole for drying purposes. The Tilopa 50L is weather-resistant and a perfect backpack for cumbersome day hikes or overnight trips. It is slightly more within budget when comparing to the Shimoda Action X50.
Ajna 40L Day Pack
F-stop’s Mountain Series Anja is another reliable option for trekking. It is water-resistant and made up of 420D ripstop nylon and TPU laminate. It features angled MOLLE Webbing, accessory loops, shock cords, and straps on the front to carry external gear. The pack has customisable dividers for secured storage.
In addition to the large space in the main compartment, the Ajna Day Pack has expandable pockets and pouches. It comes with zippered pockets on either side and rain cover pockets for extra safety. It has a firm, lightweight aluminium back frame with a support system. The pack is installed with a drainage hole for drying outdoor gear. For comfortable handling, it comes with a sternum strap and a Jersey laminated, EVA-padded back panel.
Shinn Expedition 80L
The Shinn Expedition 80L from F-stop is designed for carrying photography and video equipment while hitting the trail. The pack is constructed of an internal aluminium frame and EVA padded rear panel with breathable shoulder straps. It has a sternum strap and waist belt for even distribution of weight.
The material used in the construction of the Shinn Expedition is ripstop nylon and thermoplastic polyurethane film for weather resistance and protection against the rough environment. There are multiple handles for lifting, including a threefold handle and a side handle. The backpack provides easy access from the front, side and rear. It features numerous pockets and an internal sleeve that can hold a 17″ laptop.
MindShift Gear – The Enthusiasts Choice
The Backlight series from MindShift, ranging from 18L, 26L, 36L and the 45L is highly durable for trekking and remote hiking. The backpack has enough room for both a DSLR and a mirrorless system, extra lenses, and other mobile photography equipment. It comes with padded interiors and adjustable compartments with easy access from the top as well as the rear.
The pack has a padded slot for a 15″ laptop or tablet. The cushioned back panel, breathable channels and strong internal frame system ensure comfortable carrying of heavy loads. The backpack also allows you to attach external gears such as a tripod or a snowboard. The bag also features a removable floating top for extra storage.
It is durable, weatherproof and a perfect choice for your investment. The backlight series offers high-efficiency and top-notch performance. Among the entire range, the MindShift Gear Backlight 45 L is an award-winning bag.
The Rotation180° is another backpack series from MingShift with a range that includes the Panorama 22L, Horizon 34L and the Professional Deluxe 38L. The bag features an innovative design with a rotating pouch on a belt. If you pull the belt around your waist you gain easy access to camera gear, without taking off the bag.
The Professional Deluxe 38L capacity of 29.6 litres has a 7.9 litres rotating belt pack. The construction of the bag includes durable ripstop nylon fabric, an aluminium frame for internal support, and an adjustable shoulder harness for comfortable lifting. The rear panel has foam cushioning and a mesh channel for good airflow. The pack comes with multiple pockets on the sides as well as on the front for extra storage. It has a rain cover that enables the belt pack to rotate freely.
All of the above brands and their specific backpacks are uncompromising and significantly efficient. Their adjustable compartments, Internal Camera Units, laptop sleeves, padded strap harnesses and weight distribution systems will aid you in having a comfortable journey. The construction and capacity of the backpacks are useful in extreme weather conditions. With a sophisticated design, sound quality, and advanced features, they are a perfect investment. These bags easily make the best camera backpacks and as a result, are worthy of your consideration.