Best rolling camera bag for photographers: 6 models tested and rated

Best rolling camera bag for photographers: 6 top models tested and rated

In our quest to find the best rolling camera bag for photographers we chose 6 roller bags that can pack in plenty of gear. But which is best? Find out in our group test.

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Taking their design cues from aircraft carry-on luggage, the bags in this test group are specially made to cosset your camera kit with padded protection, while featuring wheels and extending handles for relaxed, rolling comfort.

Indeed, think rolling bags, and you’re probably thinking of keeping your treasured camera kit close to you when flying, rather than consigning it to the cargo hold.

The size and weight limits for carry-on bags vary between airlines. In some cases, the maximum external dimensions are just 38x20x55cm, which puts some of these bags out of the running.

With most airlines, however, it’s only the Lowepro Pro Runner x350 that’s likely to exceed the limit. Weight can be more of a problem.

Some airlines have a limit of between 5kg and 7kg, and most of these bags weigh 4kg to 5kg even when empty. Others have no official limit, the only stipulation being that you lift the bag into an overhead compartment unaided.

Best Rolling Camera Bag for Photographers: 01 CoOrdinate Ranger

Best Rolling Camera Bag for Photographers: 01 CoOrdinate Ranger

Price:  £109, $165
Buy it:  www.coordinategear.com
Unique in the group, the CoOrdinate Ranger doesn’t actually have any wheels or an extending handle. Instead, the 30x12x48cm rectangular bag is designed to fit into a standard carry-on roller bag.

A bonus of this arrangement is that you can remove the bag when you reach your destination, and use it as a regular camera bag.

As such, it has an adjustable-length shoulder strap, made out of seat belt webbing, which attaches via a pair of carabiners (also supplied). There are additional grab handles on the top and both sides of the bag.

CoOrdinate also manufactures a Pioneer backpack, into which the Ranger is designed to fit, so you could use it as a camera backpack as well as a roller case. The backpack costs an additional £139.

Verdict
Pros… Works well as an insert for a regular roller bag.
Cons… Lacking in strength and rigidity when used on its own.
WE say… It’s a neat idea, but isn’t a roller bag in its own right.

Score: 3/5

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Best Rolling Camera Bag for Photographers: 02 Lowepro Pro Roller Lite 150 AW

Best Rolling Camera Bag for Photographers: 02 Lowepro Pro Roller Lite 150 AW

Price:  £190, $280
Buy it:  www.lowepro.com
One of the slimmest and most lightweight bags in the group, this one measures 36x18x48cm and weighs in at 3.5kg.

The overall size is compliant with carry-on regulations for pretty much any commercial airline, yet there’s still enough space inside the bag for a chunky DSLR with attached lens, plus up to eight other lenses, flashguns and accessories.

As well as the spacious main compartment, this bag has a padded internal pocket for an 11-inch laptop or tablet, plus additional internal and external pockets.

The handle extends from a neat compartment in the rear, which also plays host to an all-weather cover.

Build quality is excellent and, overall, this Lowepro bag makes the perfect travelling companion.

Verdict
Pros… Small and light enough to suit any airline, but spacious.
Cons… The laptop compartment could be a little bigger.
WE say… A perfect blend of compact size and rugged build.

Score: 5/5

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Best Rolling Camera Bag for Photographers: 03 Lowepro Pro Runner x350 AW

Best Rolling Camera Bag for Photographers: 03 Lowepro Pro Runner x350 AW

Price:  £185, $290
Buy it:  www.lowepro.com
On the surface, you get much more for your money with this roller bag, compared with the marginally cheaper Lowepro Pro Roller Lite on test.

An additional front compartment has neat organiser sections, plus there’s a more generous laptop section with room for 15.4-inch models, complete with removable padded case.

The main compartment has more dividers and can easily accommodate two SLRs, both with attached lenses. It also has a tripod attachment system.

What you don’t get is ease of travel: the bag’s only real flaw is that, with external dimensions of 33x29x47cm, it’s simply too deep to comply with the carry-on limits of the vast majority of airlines.

If you don’t need to fly, however, it’s an excellent roller bag.

Verdict
Pros… Very well made, extra organiser and laptop sections.
Cons… Too deep to comply with most airline carry-on limits.
WE say… It’s one for the road rather than for flying.

Score: 4/5

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