Camera bag/equipment


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Dec 17, 2022
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Hey all! I’m 15 been doing photography for almost 2 years. I own a Canon EOS 85D aka rebel t8i. I have a 75-300mm lens and a few other lenses plus filters and tripod. I’m looking for a new camera bag. Something lightweight easy to hike in, but big enough to hold everything plus some snacks and stuff. I would prefer it to not be super expensive considering I’m young. Any recommendations? Thanks!
One thing that I've noticed over the years is that camera bags can often be a bit short on back/shoulder/waistband (if present) padding until you hit the really big/high priced bags. That's not much of an issue if you're mostly strolling around town or if you use the bag as mostly a "to and from the car"; but for actual longer distance hiking it can be a problem.
Sometimes the best bag for that kind of thing is an actual hiking backpack. Just use socks or some other padding to hold lenses and such steady and then you've got far more actual storage space for hat, raincoat, food and soforth.
The other tip when bag hunting is to see if there's a local store that sells bags and to take a chunk of your kit down to try it out and see if it works.
If you already have any kind of backpack, I would look at camera bag inserts. Something like this:

Amazon product ASIN B075WSCR1W
There are a lot for less than $20. I've never bought a camera backpack because they are so insanely ovepriced.
First do NOT buy anything without trying it on first and see how it wears against you. I'm serious. You're talking about something for hikes (like a messenger bag, day pack, sling). What feels good to me may be irritating as crap to you (or vice-versa). Go to someplace like a Best Buy or an actual camera store and try it on first.

Second, I highly recommend/second Dunfly' s suggestion of an insert. Here's why this is a good idea. A bag that screams "camera equipment" makes you more of a target for thieves than just a daypack (that every hiker or student has). Inserts avoid that problem. Inserts tend to be adjustable (so if you leave the 300mm at home but bring a speed light, you may want to change dividers). Third, if you already have a messenger bag or daypack that works for you, then adding the insert is the only change you need to make. I use an insert in a Lands End Messenger bag, and an insert in a full pack (more than a day pack). The only pure camera carrying setup I have is a Tamrac holster (when I want something smaller and lighter than my messenger bag. I do have an absolutely superb Thinktank shoulder bag but it almost never gets used--only when I'm bring multiple bodies and my 600mm zoom.

One other consideration--do you want it to hold a laptop or iPad? This is a factor in anything I buy because I sometimes will shoot tethered or will want to look at photos on a bigger screen.
My first recommendations would have been something like a sling bag until I saw that you want to take a tripod as well. The one I carry out into the wilderness (Promaster Impulse Small) could definitely carry what you want minus the tripod. @JoeW makes some good points about whether or not whatever you get actually looks like a camera bag because then it becomes a target if, say, you stop at a gas station and leave it on the seat next to you while you run inside for the aforementioned snacks. Thankfully I live in an area with two major universities, a small uni, and 3-4 colleges surrounding me so leaving my bag on the seat doesn't draw any unwanted attention but that's definitely not going to be the case for many people. Also, the question of whether or not you want to carry a laptop or tablet is valid and definitely changes your options.

Pic related, my bag.


The reason the camera bags are expensive, is the makers try to make them bomb proof. They can carry a very expensive cargo of gear.

That said, I carry my 4x5 view camera in a back pack that was designed for use at schools.

It works well for for me for two reasons, 1. I carry the lenses in small padded cases and 2. at my age, I am not rock hopping or wilderness trekking. My biggest concern is getting things wet in a rain storm.

You have to decide how much abuse you are going to encounter. The more abuse you are likely to encounter, the higher the quality and cost of the bag.

Good Luck

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