Best Camera Backpack for Hiking – Expert Review

Updated: February 12, 2024

If your big into photography and love hiking, then you'll know that your camera backpack is a critical piece of kit.

My favorite camera backpack for hiking is the Lowepro Flipside Trek BP 350 AW. I like it as it can safely store my camera with the lens attached, extra lenses, tripod and a 10" tablet.

Sometimes, your camera setup isn't just a body and a lens, maybe you need to shoot with a drone. The Vanguard Alta Sky Backpack has enough space to carry anything you need for a day out and holds up to a 13" laptop.

For under $100, you can get yourself a Lowepro Hatchback. This is great value and is able to store your camera body with a lens attached and a 10" tablet.

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 BP - Best Lightweight
  5. Thule Aspect DSLR Camera Backpack - Best Value
  6. Vanguard Alta Sky Backpack - Most Versatile
  7. Lowepro Hatchback BP 250 AW II

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

4.5/5 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
  • Expensive

2. Best Premium Camera Backpack for Hiking

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

4.5/5 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

BAGSMART Camera Backpack, DSLR SLR Camera Bag Backpack Fits 15.6 Inch Laptop,Anti-Theft Waterproof Camera Case for Photographers,Men Women,with Rain Cover,Tripod Holder,Black

4.6/5 Overall Rating

The BAGSMART Camera Backpack is one of the most comfortable camera backpacks on the market. This is due to the padded shoulder straps and back panel as well as adjustable chest strap to add comfort with every step you take.

This camera backpack keeps your expensive photography equipment dry and secure with its handy anti-theft zippers and water-resistant fabric. 

The BAGSMART Camera Backpack has 7 removable padded dividers with 1 fixed divider to keep your camera equipment separated and protected, providing customised interior space for camera equipment of varying sizes.

Removing dividers can easily be converted from a lightweight camera bag into a laptop backpack, keeping you comfortable and stable on the go.

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Main Features
  • Removable dividers to accommodate any camera size
  • Padding on shoulder straps, back panel and chest strap
  • Padded, customizable internal compartments
  • Right side stretch pocket with compression straps for tripod base
  • Top handle and back luggage strap for easy transport
What we like
  • Completely waterproof
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Durable
  • Great compartmentalization
  • Tough
  • Well-made
What we dislike
  • Doesn't have a side water bottle pocket
  • On the small side

4. Best Lightweight Camera Backpack

Lowepro PhotoSport BP 15L AW III, Hiking Camera Backpack with Side Access, Removable Camera Insert and Accessory Strap System, Grey, for Mirrorless Camera, Compatible with Sony α6000

4.3/5 Overall Rating

At 2.4lbs, 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 BP is built for adventure photographers looking for the perfect lightweight camera backpack for daily hiking and adventure travel.
This pack fits a smaller mirrorless kit such as the Sony A6500 with attached 16-55mm lens and additional lens; a 2-litre hydration reservoir (not included); compact tripod; accessories and personal items. 

The ultra-lightweight construction made with high performance and recyclable fabrics provides comfort, durability and resiliency. This pack also features an ActivZone harness system with wide, padded waistbelt for comfort and adjustable contoured shoulder straps for even weight distribution. However, this pack may not be ideal for those over 6 ft tall.

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Main Features
  • Made from 75% recycled fabric
  • Ultra-lightweight construction
  • ActivZone harness
  • Side pockets with integrated and removable GearUp camera insert
  • Shock absorbing
  • All Weather AW Cover 
  • 2-litre dedicated hydration pocket
  • Multiples attachment points for tripod/ hiking poles
What we like
  • Attractive
  • Lightweight
  • Spacious
  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Diverse strap system
  • Shock absorbent
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, Black

4.5/5 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

4.5/5 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 BP 250 AW II Camera Case (Black/Gray)

4.5/5 Overall Rating

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

You can also store an 10-inch tablet. 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 small

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. 


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.


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. 


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.


About the author 

Adie Marais

Adie is a nature and wildlife lover living in Cape Town, South Africa. Growing up, she had many opportunities to explore the outdoors by hiking, going on safaris and venturing into the karoo with her family. This led to her love of animals, the environment and discovering new places to explore.

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