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Taking your camera camping or on a mountain requires the right backpack for the job. What can seem chic, practical, or even sensibly sturdy in normal usage suddenly becomes burdensome and guache in nature. Hiking is the most demanding use since generally, one will want their bag to not only bring along photography gear, but also some various extras. Hiking is also a situation where for most, having a lightweight bag makes all of the difference. Some other factors to consider when looking at a hiking camera bag are weather-resistance, flexibility of the dividers, and if there is any kind of shock-proofing in the straps. All of these things can contribute to improving your photography and videography in an outdoor experience.
Here are the top 10 best camera backpacks for hiking.
1. Lowepro Photo Sport Backpack
Lowepro is known for their attractive, versatile, and durable camera gear. This backpack may be among their stranger looking products, but it’s a great way to carry around a ton of gear. It’s built to absorb shocks and with movement in mind, so your stuff won’t jostle about. Users love its capacity, comfort, and praise its durability. Two notable drawbacks are that it’s not ideal for people over six feet and may be overkill for the more “weekender” kind of hiker.
Buy the Lowepro Photo Sport Backpack here.
- Massive backpack fits a ton of stuff: DSLR w/ attached lens, flash, extra lens, 2-liter water sack (Camelbak or similar), and small accessories
- Built to provide comfort while moving
- Protects gear using included weatherproof cover
- Fits 13 inch Macbook Pro
- Praised for its extreme durability
- Hip belt was annoying to one user
- Design is a bit strange
- No external tripod mount
- Pack may not be good for people over six feet tall
- One user found accomodating multiple lenses to be uncomfortably tight
Find more Lowepro Photo Sport Backpack information and reviews here.
2. Lowepro Photo Hatchback
It’s no surprise that Lowepro tops this list since its known for high quality (but pricey) camera backpacks. This model is slightly smaller than the first. It’s ideal for small to medium people, but has many of the same great traits. It’s very durable, includes a weather-proof cover, and looks great to boot. Users love its look, build quality, flexible interior, and size. It may not be the biggest bag, but it’s a good size, and will be great for users looking to move a fair amount of gear.
Buy the Lowepro Photo Hatchback here.
- Hip modern look is undeniably attractive yet not ostentatious
- Fits DSLR with attached lens, two to three lenses, flash, and small laptop (11 inches)
- Comfortable yet built with activity and movement in mind
- includes cover for handling precipitation and weather
- Camera compartment is removable meaning it doubles as a normal backpack
- Good size for small or medium people
- One user said the side pockets wore out
- Some people found it larger than expected
- Camera compartment only accessible through back of bag
- No way to attach a tripod
Find more Lowepro Photo Hatchback information and reviews here.
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3. AmazonBasics Hiker Camera Backpack
Boasting solid storage at a great price, the AmazonBasics hiker camera backpack is a great and attractive way to wield your gear. Sure, it may not have the brand recognition of Lowepro, but this is a good looking bag praised for its versatility, durability, and large size. There is one big drawback, however. Unlike most camera backpacks, this bag ONLY loads from the top, much like a conventional backpack. For those who don’t need easy access to all of their gear, this camera offers a lot for the price.
Price: $67.96 (15 percent off MSRP)
Buy the AmazonBasics Hiker Camera Backpack here.
- Can hold SLR body, flash, and batteries
- Includes weather cover for variety of weather
- Side pocket allows tripod or monopod to be brought along
- Top-loading upper compartment lets on mount hiking poles using drawstrings
- Praised as durable and well made
- Can also hold laptop up to 13 inches
- Accessibility can be awkward, only access is through the top
- One user found backpack to be too complicated
- Might be too large to bring on an airplane
- Fairly large, may be overkill for some
Find more AmazonBasics Hiker Camera Backpack information and reviews here.
4. G-raphy Camera Hiking Backpack
The G-raphy camera backpack is a great, lightweight bag to carry around your gear. It boasts many internal dividers allowing for easy dividing of your stuff. Another benefit of this bag is that it’s built to accomodate small laptops (up to 13 inches) and tablets. Praised for its solid storage capacity, outer cover for bad weather, and ruggedness, it’s a good value for the budget-minded hiker/photographer.
Buy the G-raphy Camera Hiking Backpack here.
- Lightweight and sturdy bag boasting many adjustable padded dividers
- Dedicated pockets for 13 inch laptop and 10 inch tablet
- Good quality bag allows for large storage
- Includes outer cover for bad weather
- One user said it was smaller than it appeared (bag is 17 inches long, 11 inches wide and 5.5 inches tall)
- Internal padding may not be sufficient for some
- One user’s shoulder strap ripped on first day of having the bag
Find more G-raphy Camera Hiking Backpack information and reviews here.
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5. Canvas Mountaineering Backpack
The Canvas Mountaineering backpack is an affordable and attractive hiking bag. With genuine leather straps and a medium-sized interior, it offers one a convenient means of transporting their things. While some users had issues with its size (it’s not as big as it may seem) at 16.5 inches long, 11 inches wide, and 6.3 inches deep, many were pleased with its low price, and simple functionality.
Price: $37.99 (52 percent off MSRP)
Buy the Canvas Mountaineering Backpack here.
- Fashionable yet rugged backpack
- Large capacity bag holds variety of goods
- 45-day money back guarantee
- Adjustable straps to fit a variety of users
- Fits a 15.6 inch laptop (but barely)
- One user found stitching cheap and quality poor
- External zippers are sharp and can scratch skin or lenses
- Front and side pockets are smaller than some expected
Find more Canvas Mountaineering Backpack information and reviews here.
6. G4Free Hiking Daypack
The G4free lightweight backpack is a great bag for those looking for a good-sized hiking backpack on the cheap. Made from parachute-like material, the bag is extremely lightweight and fairly water-resistant. It’s great for those looking to carry a small to medium load, but it lacks padding on its straps meaning heavier loads can become painful. It also lacks any dedicated compartment or padding for cameras or lenses; one will need to put a small camera bag inside it (or use some other kind of padding like socks or a pillow). All in all, it’s a great deal for anyone who needs a lot of potential space, but doesn’t need to carry that much weight.
Price: $19.99 (60 percent off MSRP)
Buy the G4Free Hiking Daypack here.
- Praised as a great deal with decent durability
- Some users were surprised by thickness of outer material
- Bag is extremely light with ample room
- Waterproof in light rain
- Folds up into very small size
- Straps lack cushioning so excess weight can be painful to carry
- About the size of a normal backpack without anything in it
- No hip belt to ease large loads
- Cannot handle heavy loads
Find more G4Free Hiking Daypack information and reviews here.
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7. Mengar Hiking Dayback
The Mengar daypack is similar to the G4Free bag in that is essentialy just a lightweight, nylon bag. The straps lack padding and the design is very simple. That said, this may be an ideal bag if you’re looking for a simple solution and want a bag that’s as lightweight as possible.
Price: $19.9 (72 percent off MSRP)
Buy the Mengar Hiking Dayback here.
- Backpack is made from water-resistant nylon fabric
- Large enough to carry large loads
- Lifetime warranty from manufacturer
- Material is thin and lightweight
- Includes whistle on chest strap
- Folds into itself for convenient storage
- Not advised to carry a laptop as it lacks protection
- No strap padding
- Just a vacant sack; bag does not lend itself to organization
Find more Mengar Hiking Dayback information and reviews here.
8. Coreal Hiking Daypack
This Coreal hiking daypack will make your mountaineering life easier. It boasts a large capacity and a low weight. It is very similar to the previous two bags, but some may prefer its color and appearance. All in all, this is a solid choice, if you’re budget conscious and don’t mind providing your own padding to keep your gear snug and safe.
Price: $19.89 (23 percent off MSRP)
Buy the Coreal Hiking Daypack here.
- Made from highly rip-resitant nylon
- Bag is lightweight, weighs less than a pound
- Bag folds into small pouch for easy storage
- Outside is water-resistant
- Praised for its durability and simplicity
- No waist strap
- Shoulder straps lack padding
- No internal padding means you’ll have to add your own to keep camera safe
- Some users said it was awkward to carry unless full
Find more Coreal Hiking Daypack information and reviews here.
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9. LC Prime Outdoor Backpack
For those with many tiny goods, a small camera, and a need for a lightweight but rugged bag, the LC outdoor backpack may be the right move. Many liken it to a more ergonomic fanny pack. It straps makes carrying it around easy (though it runs a bit small). This is a perfect bag to bring along a small camera with some minimal accessories. Its bright color means you won’t miss it if you set it down either.
Buy the LC Prime Outdoor Backpack here.
- Boast two large zippered compartments with small inner pouches
- Praised as sturdy and attractive
- Capacity is double of a fanny pack
- Straps and buckle are adjustable
- Water-resistant exterior
- Bright and vibrant color means bag is easily visible
- Strap is too short for people over 5’8″
- One user had an issue with durability
- Some users had issues with the pull strap
- One user said that bag’s phone holder didn’t fit their phone
Find more LC Prime Outdoor Backpack information and reviews here.
10. Gonex Ultralight Travel Backpack
The Gonex Ultralight Travel backpack is an ideal bag if you’re looking to carry a light load in a light bag. Its attractive neon green color may be unappealing to some, but this look has its benefits: namely visibility. The bag is nylon so it’s lightweight. The side pockets are elastic making it ideal for carrying water bottles and similar goods. It’s praised for its relative durability, comfort, and affordability.
Price: $11.98 (54 percent off MSRP)
Buy the Gonex Ultralight Travel Backpack here.
- Made from high-quality and extremely lightweight nylon
- Variety of pockets good for various uses
- Praised for being surprsingly roomy
- Inexpensive and durable
- Straps are comfortable
- Has reflective pieces of material, useful at night near traffic
- One user had an issue with the inner coating, bag was replaced by manufacturer
- Water-resistance is not significant compared to other nylon bags
- One user had issue with fabric bleeding
- Zipper broke for one user
Find more Gonex Ultralight Travel Backpack information and reviews here.
Still looking for the right hiking camera backpack? Browse more top-rated hiking camera backpacks on Amazon.
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Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.
is a Heavy Shopping contributor specializing in digital camera and camera accessories. He spends his time looking at the world through screens and viewfinders, muttering things like “43 megapixels is the new bare minimum.”
April 15, 2017 10:50 am