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Best Camera Backpack for Hiking – Expert Review (2021) 

It's important to find the right backpack for your camera that will keep your valuable item safe and that is comfortable to carry.

There are so many options that it can be difficult to find the right one for you. That's why we've put together a list of the best camera backpacks for hiking as well as a complete buyers guide which will help you make that choice.

Whether you’re trekking, backpacking or camping, this guide to the best camera backpack for hiking should help you choose the right one for your adventure.

Best Camera Backpack for Hiking (Top Picks)

Lowepro LP37015-PWW, Flipside Trek BP 350 AW Backpack for Camera, Stores DSLR with Lens Attached, Extra Lenses, Tripod, 10 Inch Tablet Grey/Dark Green

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Vanguard Alta Sky 45D Camera Backpack for Sony, Nikon, Canon, DSLR, Drones, Grey

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Top Hiking Camera Backpacks

We reviewed over 22 camera backpacks for this article. Below are the best camera backpacks that made our short list.

  1. Lowepro Flipside Trek BP 350 AW - Best Overall
  2. Peak Design Everyday Backpack
  3. Burton F-stop Pack - Most Comfortable
  4. Lowepro Photo Sport 200 AW - Best Lightweight
  5. Thule Aspect DSLR Camera Backpack - Best Value
  6. Vanguard Alta Sky Backpack - Most Versatile
  7. Lowepro Photo Hatchback

Read our complete buyers guide for camera backpacks.

1. Best Overall Camera Backpack for Hiking

Lowepro LP37015-PWW, Flipside Trek BP 350 AW Backpack for Camera, Stores DSLR with Lens Attached, Extra Lenses, Tripod, 10 Inch Tablet Grey/Dark Green

5/5 Overall Rating

The Lowepro Flipside Trek BP 350 AW is an awesome, well thought out camera case. The backpack has plenty of space to carry just about everything you’ll need while you’re out hiking.

It is incredibly well-made, comfortable and well-padded. There are a lot of compartments with ample storage space on the inside. The pack allows you to carry a standard DSLR with attached lens, plus 1-2 extra lenses.

It also fits a 10in tablet/laptop. The Lowepro Flipside Trek 350 AW comes with a dark green built-in All Weather AW cover to keep your gear protected in the case of rain. Lowepro’s ActivZone suspension system and straps allows for effortless carrying.

You can access your gear through the back panel without having to put the pack down. Although a little expensive, the amount of features and space you get with this pack makes the price worth it.

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Main Features
  • ActivZone suspension system and straps
  • Cradlefit padded pocket suspends and protects your tablet/laptop
  • Fits a standard DSLR with attached lens, plus 1-2 extra lenses
  • Storage pocket on waist belt
  • Built-in All Weather AW cover
  • Dimensions: 11.02x7.87x20.08
  • Back panel and top access
  • Lots of eternal attachment points
What we like
  • Great compartmentalization
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof cover
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Well-made 
What we dislike
  • X
  • Expensive

2. Best Premium Camera Backpack for Hiking

Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L (Charcoal, Expandable 12-20L)

5/5 Overall Rating

The Peak Design Everyday Backpack is a professional camera backpack, hence the price. This 20L pack is only 2.98 lbs and can fit a full frame DSLR camera with an additional 3-4 lenses.

It also features a protective laptop sleeve that can accommodate a 16-inch laptop. Flexfold Dividers help to protect your camera, drones and lenses.

The pack is made from 400D waterproof nylon canvas, with premium waterproof zippers to ensure the protection of your gear. The easy access flaps and tripod connection make this pack a real winner.

It is important to keep in mind that this pack is targeting professional photographers and is quite expensive if you are only an amateur photographer.

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Main Features
  • Stores a full frame DSLR camera body as well as 3-4 additional lenses
  • Protective laptop sleeves
  • Flexfold Dividers
  • Waterproof 400D Nylon canvas shell
  • Premium waterproof zippers
  • Easy access flaps
  • Side body access
  • 20L
  • Dimensions: 18.1x11.8x21.3 inches
  • 2.98lbs
  • Tripod connection
What we like
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Spacious
  • Great internal divider design
  • Can store a laptop
What we dislike
  • Waist belt lacks hip pads
  • No front or rear opening
  • Expensive

3. Most Comfortable Camera Backpack

Burton F-Stop Pack, True Black, One Size

4.5/5 Overall Rating

The Burton F-stop Pack is one of the most comfortable camera backpacks on the market. This is due to the padding on the back panel and harness. The waist harness helps to balance the load, increasing the comfort even further.

The vertically adjustable ergonomic shoulder harness ensures comfortable carrying. Not only is the pack comfortable, it is also incredibly durable and well-made.

This backpack is made from 500D nylon with a PU coated backing - meaning the pack is not only strong, but also waterproof without needing a rain cover.

The pack features substantial internal dividers. Unfortunately, it does not have a laptop compartment and at 5.11 lbs, it is a little bit on the heavier side.

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Main Features
  • 500D nylon with a PU coated backing
  • Waist harness to balance load
  • Front strap to carry tripod
  • Substantial internal dividers
  • Padding on back panel and harness
  • Vertically adjustable ergonomic shoulder harness for comfortable carrying
  • Padded, customizable internal compartments
  • Side pockets for water bottle
  • 28L
  • Dimensions: 25.5x12x7.5 inches
What we like
  • Completely waterproof
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Durable
  • Great compartmentalization
  • Tough
  • Well-made
What we dislike
  • Pricey
  • No laptop compartment
  • On the heavier side

4. Best Lightweight Camera Backpack

Lowepro LP36888 Photo Sport 200 AW II - An Outdoor Sport Backpack for Mirrorless or DSLR Camera,Black

4/5 Overall Rating

At 2.9lbs, this camera backpack is incredibly lightweight. But don’t worry, a light backpack doesn’t mean a backpack that is short on space and features. Despite its weight, the Lowepro Photo Sport 200 AW is still jam-packed with everything you’ll need in a camera backpack.

The pack features an Ultra-Cinch camera chamber, which helps to protect your camera in a padded and secure compartment. It fits a pro-sized DSLR or mirrorless camera with kit lens attached, flash, hydration reservoir and personal items.

The ultra-lightweight construction with high performance fabrics provides comfort, durability and resiliency. This pack also features an ActivZone harness, which includes a padded back panel and hip belt as well as adjustable shoulder straps. However, this pack may not be ideal for those over 6 ft tall.

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Main Features
  • Fits a DSLR or mirrorless camera along with a bunch of other items
  • Ultra-lightweight construction
  • Ultra-Cinch camera chamber
  • ActivZone harness
  • Zippered side pockets
  • Top-loading upper compartment
  • Shock absorbing
  • 14L + camera storage
  • 2.64 lbs
  • Dimensions: 9.65 x 7.68 x 20.47 inches
What we like
  • Attractive
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Shock absorbent
  • Reasonably priced
What we dislike
  • Not ideal for people over 6 ft 
  • Back panel not well ventilated
  • Not water resistant

5. Best Value Camera Backpack for Hiking

Thule Aspect DSLR Camera Bag Backpack

4/5 Overall Rating

This camera backpack is jam-packed with great features and storage space, it is also cheaper than the two camera backpacks mentioned previously.

The Thule Aspect DSLR Camera Backpack is made from 100% nylon, it is durable and water resistant. The customizable padded storage protects your DSLR camera and multiple lenses as well as other equipment, you can even store a small drone in this pack.

You can also store your 15.6 inch laptop or iPad in the back compartment. This spacious backpack has a removeable padded hip belt, shoulder straps and an air mesh back panel.

You can even carry a tripod with convenient storage on the side panel. This fantastic camera backpack lets you carry all your gear comfortably at a price that isn’t too outlandish.

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Main Features
  • Customizable padded storage to protect your camera
  • Removeable padded hip belt, shoulder straps and an air mesh back panel
  • Can carry a tripod
  • Can store a DSLR camera with multiple lenses
  • Can store a small drone
  • 15.6 inch laptop compartment
  • Dimensions: 8.7x20.5x11.8 inches
  • 3.6lbs
What we like
  • Spacious
  • Water-resistant
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable 
What we dislike
  • Only stores one DSLR camera
  • Poor Velcro dividers

6. Most Versatile Camera Backpack for Hiking

Vanguard Alta Sky 45D Camera Backpack for Sony, Nikon, Canon, DSLR, Drones, Grey

4/5 Overall Rating

The Vanguard Alta Sky Backpack offers the ultimate versatility. The pack is multi-action and offers quick access to your gear with full rear opening and side and top access. There is also separate opening to the individual spacious lower compartment.

This pack is well-organized and features numerous dedicated pockets, organizers and connectors. You can also store a 13-inch laptop/tablet. It comes with a total coverage rain cover so you don’t have to worry about the hiking in the rain.

You can attach your tripod externally and the pack features two separate compartments to store both your camera equipment and your personal items. The well-padded harness and waist belt ensure long term comfort.

This camera backpack is built with the serious hiker in mind. You can carry a camera or a drone, or even a combination of both. You can fit a pro DSLR camera with a lens attached and up to 4 extra lenses.

Unfortunately, with a lot of features comes a bit of extra weight and this backpack is slightly hefty at 6.44 lbs.

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Main Features
  • Full rear opening
  • Side and top access
  • Two separate compartments for both camera equipment and personal items
  • Can store a 13-inch laptop/tablet
  • Total coverage rain cover
  • Well-padded harness and waist belt
  • Can store a pro DSLR camera with attached lens and 4 additional lenses
  • Tripod storage
  • Dimensions: 4.63 x 10.25 x 22.25 inches
What we like
  • Versatile
  • Rugged and sturdy design
  • Waterproof
  • Well-organized
  • Comfortable
  • Quick access
What we dislike
  • Heavy

7. Best Budget Camera Backpack for Hiking

Lowepro Photo Hatchback 22L AW. Outdoor Day Camera Backpack for DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras

4/5 Overall Rating

This camera backpack provides you with all the carrying capabilities you’ll need at a very attractive price point. The Lowepro Photo Hatchback is a 22L pack that can fit a DSLR camera with an attached lens as well as 2-3 extra lenses.

You can also store an 11-inch tablet or a Macbook Air. This sleek, safe and modern camera backpack contains multi-functional compartments with great organisation.

Another huge plus is the built-in All Weather AW cover, which will ensure all your gear stays dry. The pack is a bit on the smaller side and is best suited for people with a small to medium build.

A low cost often means a lack of features and this is something to consider with this pack as you’ll have to make a few sacrifices for the sake of a low cost. 

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Main Features
  • Multifunctional compartments with great organisation
  • All Weather protection
  • Can fit a DSLR camera with attached lens and 2-3 extra lenses
  • Can fit an 11 inch laptop/tablet
  • 2.20lbs
  • Dimensions: 11.42x9.25x19.88 inches
  • 22L
What we like
  • Affordable
  • Water resistant
  • Great storage
  • Great quality
  • Flexible interior 
What we dislike
  • A bit on the smaller side

The Bottom Line

Every camera backpack that has been mentioned has both pros and cons, its whether the pros outweigh the cons that makes the difference. The Lowepro Flipside Trek BP 350 AW is the best overall for a reason. With great compartmentalization as well as being lightweight and durable, this is an ideal camera backpack for hiking. Unfortunately, it is a bit on the expensive side.

The Burton F-stop Pack is incredibly comfortable, but there is no laptop compartment, and some may find the pack quite heavy.

If you're someone looking to get the best deal for the price, the Thule Aspect DSLR Camera Backpack offers great value and is a very comfortable backpack. However, the storage of this pack is not the best.

The Lowepro Photo Sport 200 AW is an incredibly lightweight backpack, but you’ll have to sacrifice water-resistance. If you're a beginner photographer, the Lowepro Photo Hatchback is a great option as it is quite affordable, but it is on the smaller side so storage will be affected.

The Peak Design Everyday Backpack is a great option for professionals. Its premium design and great quality comes at a price and it is the most expensive pack on the list.

Finally, the Vanguard Alta Sky Backpack is incredibly versatile and is jam-packed with incredibly useful features, but with all these features the pack is a bit on the heavier side. 

Best Camera Backpack for Hiking - Buyer's Guide

What is a camera backpack?


Camera backpacks are designed specifically to carry cameras, lenses and other photographic equipment. They will generally have multiple compartments separated by padding in order to protect all of your gear from water, dust and scratches.

Camera backpacks should be designed with your comfort in mind so that you can carry all of your photography gear over long periods of time.

They should also allow fast access to your gear so that you can whip your camera and correct lens out when you see the perfect shot.

What should you carry in a camera backpack?

Some of the most important and useful things to carry in your camera bag include your camera and lenses (obviously), as well as spare batteries, memory cards, lens cleaning wipes, a headlamp, map or GPS, tripod, notebook, binoculars and a rainfly for your camera bag if its not waterproof. 

Weight

The weight of your pack needs to be comfortable. You’ll want a pack that’s relatively lightweight. But keep in mind that a camera backpack will have a lot more padding than a regular hiking pack, which will contribute towards its weight.

Shock resistant protection

Due to your camera, lenses, laptops and tablets being stored in the pack, it is important that this precious gear is well-protected. Extra padding is important to reduce the force of impact through compression while you hike and navigate through uneven terrain. You definitely don’t want your expensive gear to be knocking around while you hike.

Comfort

You want to be comfortable while you hike, so you want to look out for padded shoulder straps, padded hip belts and padded backs.

Weatherproof material

Once again, you will be carrying around precious gear out in the wilderness. You will want some sort of weather protection to avoid damaging your gear. You can either look for a pack with a water-resistant shell or one that includes a rain cover. 

Construction

Your camera backpack needs to be durable. Nylon provides great durability and a natural resistance to mold and insects. It can be damaged by exposure to UV. Polyester dries fast, is lightweight and strong.

Extra storage

Since you’ll be hiking, you’ll want a camera bag that carries more than just your camera. You’ll also want to include your personal belongings. As a photographer, you might also want your laptop with you so that you can upload photos as you go. 

Organization and easy access

While you’re on the go, you want to be able to effortlessly access your gear and take a photo as the need arises. You’ll want a pack with multiple access points and easy access to your camera and lenses.

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