Best cameras bags for a weekend photo trip
There I no such thing as the perfect bag, much the same way there’s no such thing as the perfect camera. What makes a gear perfect is how the wielder uses it. Much the same way that a photographer who knows how to make good images can produce good images using the cheapest piece of junk one can get on eBay, one who knows how to pack can do with even the simplest piece of bag. Thus, it’s the user who makes the camera, or for that matter, any other gear perfect and not the other way round.
Having said all that, however, we tend to look at statistics and things like sales figures, reviews and ratings when buying gear. That’s something that is undeniable. As if we are unsure whether our judgment is correct. We tend to reassure ourselves.
Knowing what to pack is probably the first step in deciding the best camera bag, not just for weekend photo trips but for any photo trip. If you are the kind of photographer who loves to “carry your world with you” any bag will appear insufficient. For photographer / traveler like yourself, you need a pick-up truck as airlines and baggage restrictions definitely don’t apply to you.
First rule of packing for a weekend trip or for that matter any photo adventure you are about to embark in is don’t pack everything. Definitely know what you would be shooting in and pack only the bare essentials. If you are lost between choices whether to pack your 14-24mm and the 28-300mm ditch the former and pack only the latter. With a 28-300mm you get the essential wide angle perspective as well as the convenient tele-zoom all in one lens body.
Here are the top five suggestions based on how light or heavy you want to travel.
Lowepro Flipside 300 Backpack
Lowepro makes excellent quality camera accessories and one of the areas they specialize in are camera bags. The Lowepro Flipside 300 Backpack is an excellent choice especially if you are heading towards inclement weather. Though not 100% water-proof, the bag does have some water-resistant properties making it one of the top choices for a weekend shooting trip. The inside compartment comfortably holds pro DSLR body with a medium tele-lens, couple of additional wide angle lenses such as your 50mm and a standard zoom lens. There are several compartments to squeeze in spare batteries, memory cards, travel documents, one speedlight and cables. If you are carrying a travel tripod it also comes with a tripod holder allowing you carry it on your shoulders rather than lug it by your hands. The backpack costs just a shade under $55 and is a great value for money.
Lowepro Flipside 400AW Backpack
This should be your go to backpack if you are a professional heading out to shoot photos on a trip or joining a photo tour. This bag packs everything that an enthusiast or pro photographer needs. Open the main compartment and you will find plenty of space to pack in up to two pro DSLR bodies. A tele-lens (Lowepro says you can pack a 300mm f/2.8 lens, which is nice), several wide angle lenses, battery chargers, pare batteries and speedlight. Additional slots and zipped compartments allow you to conveniently store memory cards, filters, cables and other accessories. The dividers that compartmentalize the inside storage are customizable allowing you free-hand to design the interior the way it fits your requirement. If you are heading for a nature trek or not sure if the weather is going to turn for bad the built-in all weather cover allows you to peace of mind. If the weather does turn adverse simply pull the cover down and your gear is protected. Nature and wildlife photographers love to carry a tripod with them because it gives them added advantage of being able to shoot for longer hours without risking injury. A compact travel tripod or a monopod can be easily secured to the backpack using the hideaway tripod holder. Retailing a shade over $110 this is not the cheapest backpack you will find but it is certainly a travel companion that’s reliable.
Jo Totes Betsy Camera Bag
Speaking of camera bags, why should boys always have fun? Just because it houses a bulky DSLR and lenses does not mean a camera bag has to look like it’s a standard G.I. issue. This bag e.g., looks more like a stylish women’s messenger bag than one that contains a camera gear. But then they say, “Looks can be deceiving.” Designed to carry one DSLR, up to 3 lenses, and your 13” MacBook Air or MacBook Pro plus several other accessories, this is one bag you should not leave home without. The material used to design the bag is faux leather, which by the way is water resistant. Attach a shoulder strap and the bag is a convenient companion for your weekend photo trips. Prices at just under $110 this is bag does the obvious while also doubling up as a style statement.
Ruggard Commando Pro 65 DSLR
The Ruggard Commando Pro 65 is a tough DSLR shoulder bag designed for a pro DSLR with battery grip, several wide angle lenses, speedlight, memory cards batteries and other small items. It could also fit a 13” MacBook Air without any hiccup. The inside can be configured as per your requirements with the compartments easily removable and arranged for larger lenses. Zippered pockets are a plenty which means your travel documents, CDs, memory cards and even an odd reading material can also be squeezed in comfortably. The material used to manufacture the bag is 600D high-density oxford nylon. Protecting against inclement weather is provided in the form of a rain cover that pops out from a zippered pocket located at the bottom of the bag. The bag additionally, has rubber feet that allow you to set it down without risk of damaging the equipment inside or smearing the bottom with dirt etc. shoulder straps provided with the bag makes it easily transportable. If you want additional options there is a top handle. Priced at just under $90, this is a great bag to have if you are packing light for a weekend trip.
Case Logic SLR Camera Sling Bag
Sling bags are pretty convenient. They are ideal when you are packing light and works very conveniently when you need to access your gear in a flash. The Case Logic SLR camera sling bag has enough room inside to pack a pro DSLR body, one standard lens (tele-zooms will not fit into this), one speedlight, cables, memory cards, cables and documents. A compact tripod or a monopod can slip in to one of the side zipped pockets. The inside compartment dividers are adjustable allowing you to customize the storage area according to your need. A reasonably good sling bag that packs everything you need for a weekend photo trip costing just under $35.
Lowepro Passport Sling Camera Bag
Another sling bag but this one made by Lowepro. The Lowepro Passport sling camera bag works like a charm packing only the bare minimum and allowing you to tread for longer hours without having to huff and puff. Made out of 600D polyester polymesh fabric this bag has a dimension of 10.5 x 19 x 19 cm and weighs about 500 grams. The bag does not, however, allow you to clip a tripod / monopod and there is barely enough room for any additional lenses or camera bags. If you are not going to need a tripod or just want a single camera body and lens this is the ideal bag for you. The best thing is it costs just under #30.
Some photographers prefer to lug everything they need on a waist pouch or waist pack. If the idea does not find an eager ear in you there are plenty of other bags that are discussed in this guide. For those who love the convenience of having everything in front of their eyes this definitely warrants a look.
Think Tank Photo Skin Body Bag
The Think Tank photo body bag is ideal for those who want to leave behind their heavy unnecessary gear back at the hotel room and only carry what they need for a hike or for a few hours of shooting outdoors. This waist pack is also suitable for someone on a weekend trip and want to carry the bare minimum. Some studio / wedding photographers also prefer to use waist packs like this where they can carry an extra set of lenses, memory cards and fully charged spare batteries.
The bag comes with the innovative sound silencer technology from Think Tank. Say you are in hot pursuit of a winged subject and want to change lenses to get a tighter shot. You reach out for the slightly longer tele in your waist pack and the tearing round scares everything within 25meters. Wouldn’t you love to have a bag that yields what you need but makes no fuss about it? Traditional waist packs are unsuitable for this reason and this is where the Think Tank Photo skin body bag scores heavily.
Shooting outdoors? Expecting inclement weather? Don’t worry, the Thin Tank photo bag comes with a rain cover to protect your expensive camera gear. For carrying convenience the bag comes with a handle. You could also attach a shoulder strap (optional) and lug it on your shoulders when not using the cameras. All these comes to you at a price of only $45.
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Wanderlust at heart and a shutterbug who loves to document his travels via his lenses; his two passions compliment each other perfectly.
He has been writing for over 6 years now, which unsurprisingly, revolve mostly around his two favorite pursuits.