Types of Camera Bags and How to Choose the Right One

Camera bag with equipment

Whether you are a beginner, hobbyist, or a full-time photographer, one of the most important accessories to have is a high-quality camera bag. As cameras vary in sizes and dimensions, you need to know the type of bag to use for your particular camera. In this guide, you will learn the most common types of bags for your camera and the tips on how to choose the best camera bags.

Main Types of Best Camera Bags


Small pouch camera bag

Pouches are suitable for small cameras that you can hang on your neck. They are lightweight and discreet with the main compartment and one or two other small pockets to keep your small accessories like memory cards and batteries. Most come with a belt loop, so it’s easy to clip one to your belt. They differ in sizes, meaning you need to know the size of your camera first before investing in one. For those looking for the best budget camera bag, this is the type to go for.


These are a similar size to pouches but offer a bit more space for smaller DSLRs. With a holster, you get a convenient reach should you need to shoot in seconds. They are compact with limited room and are padded to keep the camera gear protected. Most holsters come with a non-slip shoulder strap or attachment to a belt. These are ideal for situations where you just need the camera and the lens.

Waist Pack

This one attaches to your waist like a belt for easy access. Waist belts offer impressive functionality and provide extra storage space to carry around your camera and other accessories like lenses and batteries. The good thing with these is that they are padded for safety of your equipment. Just keep them evenly packed and in a central position to avoid fatigue and back issues.

Shoulder Bags

This is one of the most popular options among photographers. Shoulder bags come with an adjustable strap with zippers. Apart from the main pocket, most have a separate compartment for tablets or laptops. Still, you’ll probably have more space for a couple of lenses, batteries, chargers, flashgun and more.


If you need a larger DSLR camera bag to keep a variety of lenses and other accessories like a laptop, you need to get a quality backpack. Apart from the extra room, you can carry gear for long distances without fatigue on the back and shoulders. With the popularity of backpacks, some models offer convenient features such as hooks where you can attach a tripod or other gear. Backpacks are some of the best camera bags for travel since they are easy to carry and provide lots of space.

Sling Bags

A photo of sling camera bag

A sling bag combines the large capacity of a backpack with a shoulder bag that is easy to access. You should find your SLR, lenses, thin laptop or other accessories within a swing-round-and-grab reach. Sling bags feature one strap for easy access and have padding that makes them appear bulkier. This is not a drawback for people hiking outdoor, as it keeps the lenses protected.

Trolley Cases

For consumers with a whole lot of gear to carry, a rolling case is a worthy acquisition. This type of camera bags is durable and can fit anything, including cameras, lenses, tripods and much more. For those looking for best camera bag for videographer, this is the type to focus on. Always look for a lighter case for easy transport.

How to Choose a Camera Bag

Choosing the right camera bag might be confusing, with the many choices available. If you don’t know where to begin, consider the type of photography you do because there is no one-size-fits well when it comes to photography. Do you do landscape photography, sports, or do you take rugged locations?

Here are the factors to consider before buying a camera bag.


Since the primary purpose of a camera bag is to ensure your camera gear is safe, choosing a backpack that is constructed with high-quality materials is essential. The material should withstand the weight of your camera and photography equipment and safeguard all your investments.

Moreover, the best camera bag should be water-resistant to ensure that moisture does not leak inside. Also, the bag pack should have airtight zippers and seam points to prevent small particles and insects from getting in and damaging your camera.


Backpacks come in different sizes to allow you to choose the one that suits your need. When selecting the size of the bag to buy, you should keep in mind the number of accessories and equipment you will need to carry.

Choosing a large backpack means you will have to lag around more weight. For instance, if you want to fly with your camera, tablet, laptops, chargers, batteries and lenses, you might need a shoulder bag or a backpack could fit all your equipment. On the other hand, if you just need to carry your small camera and a few lenses, a pouch will suffice.


What kind of protection do you need? Some types of bags above like the holsters have simple padding, while others like the backpacks may have dense padding or closed-cell foams in the interior. The kind of padding of a bag will determine the safety you get for your gear.

Also, get a bag that has unique features for water resistance and ensure that the flaps are tightly sealed to protect the camera from moisture. Some bags come with waterproof covers to offer protection from the rain.


Comfort is an important factor since photography should be a fun activity. Choose bags with a padded strap to soothe your shoulders and ensures that straps are adjustable. It’s also advisable to try out the bag with stuff in it to ensure that the bag does not go too low when you place gear. You may ask the seller to help you with things you can fill with to try it before buying. If it feels good with the stuff you placed inside, then you should love it when you buy it.

Wrap up!

When considering which bag to carry, consider its quality, size, protection, how you carry it and function. After reading our guide, we do hope that you are now in a better position to choose the best camera bags for your needs. Take your time; you want to ensure it’s an investment you’ll be pleased with for years to come.

Posted in: Camera basics