A Layman’s Guide to photo backpacks

A Layman's Guide to photo backpacks

What are the different types of photo backpacks available, and do you need one? In our latest Layman’s Guide we answer the common questions beginner photographers may have about these essential accessories.

A Layman's Guide to photo backpacks

Full photo backpacks are ideal for large collections of kit, and can often hold two DSLR bodies with attached lenses

What are photo backpacks?
Ideal for large collections of photo gear that you need to carry for a specific shoot, these purpose-built backpacks spread the weight evenly over both shoulders, as well as offering a belt- like support for both your upper and lower back – all of which will make for a comfortable carrying position. Adjustable dividers will also enable a tailored fit for your cameras, lenses and other bulky equipment.

What are the main types of photo backpacks?
Photo backpacks fall into two main categories. In full photo backpacks, the entire main compartment is given over to camera kit. Split photo/ daypacks have a sub-divided main compartment, for carrying all your daily essentials along with a smaller collection of photo gear than the full photo backpacks.

What photo backpack is best for you?

A split photo/daypack is a good option for combining a more moderate collection of camera kit with all your daily travel essentials

Who makes photo backpacks?
The most popular manufacturers are Lowepro and Tamrac. Some of the other leading makes include Crumpler, Hama, Kata, Manfrotto, Think Tank and Vanguard. Most backpacks range in price between around £50 and £150.

What else can they carry?
Most designs include separate pockets for carrying small items, so you can get at them without having to open the main compartment. An extra compartment for carrying a laptop or tablet is also an increasingly popular option.

What other features should I look for?
Almost all photo backpacks are shower- proof, but many also feature a slip-over rain cover for added protection against the elements. Some new designs also feature secondary quick-access flaps, so you can get at a camera with an attached lens without having to take off the backpack and open the main compartment.


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  • jmeyer

    Good question! I’ll see if I can find out – watch this space!