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The best Nikon camera bag in 2021: carry your Nikon gear in style and safety

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best Nikon camera bag
(Image credit: Peak Design)

If you need a new Nikon camera bag to carry your kit, we've put together a list of our favorite. We've searched for the best camera bags and cases and the best camera backpacks to help guide you. Whether you're a street photographer, a lover of landscapes or strictly take portraits there's a bag here to suit you.

Nikon cameras come in all shapes and sizes from small Coolpix compact cameras to big professional DSLR and mirrorless systems. You might also have several Nikon lenses, flashguns and other smaller accessories such as ND filters that you need to carry on you. The best bag for your kit completely depends on how much you need to carry, how long you need to carry it for and whether you need space for non-photography related kit such as a raincoat, water bottle or iPad. 

For example, a DSLR camera body with an attached lens, an additional lens or two and a flashgun would be well suited to a photographic shoulder bag. There are plenty on the market, in a wide range of sizes. Some are relatively small and easily manageable, while others are aimed at larger, full-frame cameras and pro-grade lenses, like a hefty 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom. Popular variations on the theme include messenger bags, which are worn across the body rather than just slung over a shoulder.

If you have a weightier DSLR outfit with numerous lenses, and maybe a backup body and multiple flashguns, camera backpacks tend to be a better solution. These enable you to spread the load across both shoulders, as well as your back and your pelvis, making carrying your kit much less of a strain. 

Yet another option is to go for a split camera/daypack. These backpacks have two separate compartments, typically with a lower section for stowing camera gear, and an upper compartment for daily essentials. 

No matter which style you prefer – or what budget you have to spend – we've found all the best Nikon camera bags on the market right now, below...

Best Nikon camera bag in 2021

(Image credit: Peak Design)

1. Peak Design Everyday Messenger

The best Nikon camera bag overall

Specifications
Type: Messenger bag
Cameras: DSLR/CSC
Additional lenses/accessories: 3
Laptop/tablet compartment:: 13-inch or 15-inch
Tripod attachment: Yes
Additional compartments: 3
External dimensions: 300 x 410 x 170mm or 300 x 430 x 180mm
Weight: 1,010g or 1,100g
Reasons to buy
+Good security and easy access+Grows to hold more kit
Reasons to avoid
-Internal dividers unintuitive-A bit pricey

For everything from nipping out for coffee, navigating the daily commute or embarking on a grand day out, the Peak Design Everyday Messenger is a really smart messenger bag for stashing your Nikon camera kit. Available in 13-inch and 15-inch options, it’s ideal for carrying a medium-sized Nikon DSLR kit, plus either a 13-inch or 15-inch laptop, respectively. Innovative design elements include quick-action MagLatch closures, plus a zippered top flap for even faster access to your camera, without opening the whole bag. ‘FlexFold’ dividers are said to be origami-inspired and, while they work very well to cosset your kit, they can seem a bit unintuitive at first. The Version 2 editions have enhanced weatherproofing and their small inner pockets are made from a more durable fabric. This is a brilliant bag for your Nikon camera. 

Read more: The best messenger bags for photographers

2. Billingham Hadley Pro

The handy, handmade Hadley Pro is simply superb

Specifications
Type: Shoulder bag
Cameras: DSLR/CSC
Additional lenses/accessories: 3
Laptop/tablet compartment: Tablet
Tripod attachment: No
Additional compartments: 2
External dimensions: 350 x 120 x 300mm
Weight: 1,100g
Reasons to buy
+Conveniently slim design+Impeccable build quality
Reasons to avoid
-Shoulder pad sold separately-Not suitable for large kit collections

The Billingham Hadley Pro is hard to beat. It’s super-stylish and impeccably made, featuring a fully waterproof canvas-look outer, coupled with full-grain leather and brass fixings. For a photographic shoulder bag, the design is refreshingly slim, and yet there’s enough room inside for a full-frame DSLR body like the D850 with an attached 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, plus a 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom (without tripod collar) and a pro-grade flashgun like the SB-5000. Two additional front pockets enable extra gear to be stashed away, and the rear zippered pocket is big enough for a tablet. For heavier collections of kit, the optional shoulder pad is worth buying, and additional AVEA pockets that can attach to both ends are also available, in two sizes.

(Image credit: Nikon)

3. Nikon CF-EU14

A Nikon branded bag that has lots of room

Specifications
Type: Shoulder bag
Cameras: DSLR/CSC
Additional lenses/accessories: 1
Laptop/tablet compartment: Tablet
Tripod attachment: No
Additional compartments: 2
External dimensions: 310 x 210 x 160mm
Weight: 375g
Reasons to buy
+Stylish look+Nikon branding+Great bag for starters
Reasons to avoid
-No room for a laptop

This is is a smaller Nikon branded bag, with a stylish looking gray finish. It is made for the European market, so is not easy to find in the US. But with enough internal space for a DSLR or mirrorless camera with a second lens. There is a small rear pocket which you could fit a tablet in, or paperwork. And to the front there are two accessory pockets at the front - but these don't offer lots of room. However, this would be a great first bag for someone who has just got a a camera – or wants something modestly-sized for travel.

(Image credit: Lowepro)

4. Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW

The best Nikon camera bag for hiking and landscape photography

Specifications
Type: Backpack
Cameras: 2x DSLR/CSC
Additional lenses/accessories: 8
Laptop/tablet compartment: 15-inch
Tripod attachment: Yes
Additional compartments: 1
External dimensions: 348 x 270 x 488mm
Weight: 2,600g
Reasons to buy
+Cleverly designed, hugely versatile backpack+Various entry points +Removable chunky waistband
Reasons to avoid
-A bit bulky-Fairly heavy

One of Lowepro’s bigger backpacks, the Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW can hold one or two pro-grade Nikon DSLRs and up to eight additional lenses or other accessories, so you don’t need to leave anything behind that you might need on a shoot. It’s equally suitable for hiking into the hills, touring the city, or just about anything else. Access to kit is quick and easy, thanks to four separate access points on the top, rear and both sides of the backpack. For negotiating tricky terrain and climbing over obstacles, there’s a waistband that adds stabilizing support as well as providing extra storage for small items, but you can remove this if you need a more streamlined approach. Lowepro’s ActivZone System design ensures a really comfortable fit.

If you're looking for something slightly smaller, why not try the Lowepro ProTactic 350 AW which we think is the best camera backpack. It comes with a lot of the same features as the 450 AW such as external straps, a tripod pouch, a rigid top and adjustable waist and chest straps only in a more compact design. It's perfect for carrying a Nikon D850 or a Nikon Z7 II plus two or three additional lenses, a flash and smaller accessories. 

5. Lowepro Dashpoint 10 Camera Pouch

Small but smart and tough – perfect for a compact camera

Specifications
Type: Pouch
Cameras: Compact
Additional lenses/accessories: None
Laptop/tablet compartment: None
Tripod attachment: No
Additional compartments: Memory card pocket
External dimensions: 93 x 60 x 134mm
Weight: 100g
Reasons to buy
+Clever design+Tough but lightweight
Reasons to avoid
-Others are cheaper-Less protective than a hard case

The best compact camera bag: Arguably better known for its shoulder bags and backpacks, Lowepro nevertheless makes pouches and bags for small, compact cameras. The Dashpoint range of pouches comes in 10, 20 and 30 options to suit a range of Nikon Coolpix compact camera sizes, and they’re all available in slate grey or galaxy blue. For small point and shoot cameras, the Lowepro Dashpoint 10 Camera Pouch is likely to be the best fit, but it definitely pays to check the dimensions of your Nikon camera before buying. Each edition of the pouch comes with a removable shoulder strap, wide-opening zippers for easy access, and impact-resistant padding.  

(Image credit: Think Tank)

6. Think Tank Retrospective 5 V2

Perfect shoulder bag for photographers who just want the essentials

Specifications
Type: Messenger Bag
Cameras: DSLR/CSC
Additional lenses/accessories: 1
Laptop/tablet compartment: Tablet
Tripod attachment: No
Additional compartments: Water bottle holder
External dimensions: 25.5 x 21.5 x 15cm
Weight: 900g
Reasons to buy
+Durable water-repellant coating +External water bottle holder
Reasons to avoid
-Only fits one lens

This Think Tank messenger may be on the small size but it's perfect for those times when you really want to minimize the kit you've got on you. It's available in two colors, Pinestone as pictured or black if you prefer something more traditional. It's got a thick, padded strap for extra comfort and is easily adjustable. There's enough room for a DSLR OR CSC and one of the best Nikon standard zoom lenses plus small accessories such as filters or an extra battery. The Think Tank Retrospective 5 V2 Shoulder Bag would be perfect for a street photographer who wants easy access to their kit or to a landscape photographer who wants to carry one wide-angle lens and one zoom lens. There is a zip close fastening as well as a flap for additional security and like the original bag, it's made of a soft flexible material. Perhaps not the best bag for traveling with as it could get crushed in overhead lockers on trains or planes but definitely perfect for a city wander. 

7. Manfrotto Reloader 55 Roller Bag

The best roller bag for your Nikon camera

Specifications
Type: Roller bag
Cameras: DSLR/CSC
Additional lenses/accessories: 10
Laptop/tablet compartment: Laptop + Tablet
Tripod attachment: Yes
Additional compartments: 2
External dimensions: 350 x 230 x 550mm
Weight: 4,900g
Reasons to buy
+Built-in wheels and handle+Suitable for carry-on
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy to lift-Expensive 

Giving great protection to your camera kit, this Manfrotto Reloader 55 Roller Bag has a cavernous main compartment with endlessly adjustable dividers. It therefore adapts to snugly cosset just about any collection of Nikon camera bodies, lenses and other accessories. Additional pockets are built into the lid for safeguarding both a tablet and a laptop of up to 17-inches in size. Further pouches are built into the underside of the flap for smaller accessories. Typical of roller bags, it has a sturdy set of wheels and an extending handle, for easy manoeuvring around anything from train and coach stations to airport terminals. However, when you do need to lift the bag, it’s rather weighty at nearly 5kg even when empty.

8. Billingham 445

The best luxury Nikon camera bag

Specifications
Type: Shoulder bag
Cameras: DSLR/CSC
Additional lenses/accessories: 8
Laptop/tablet compartment: 13-inch (optional sleeve)
Tripod attachment: Optional straps
Additional compartments: 4
External dimensions: 430 x 250 x 300mm
Weight: 2,100g
Reasons to buy
+Top-notch craftmanship+Capacious main compartment
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Weighs over 2kg

The Billingham 445 is the middle-sized bag in Billingham’s ‘5 Series’ range. It can swallow up one or two Nikon DSLR bodies and up to eight additional lenses, flashguns and the like. There’s also a full-length front pocket that can accommodate a 13-inch laptop, for which a laptop slip is available as an optional extra. Nine different pockets are included, which can be arranged at will to suit different photographic items, and external Delta pockets are also available separately, for attaching to the bag. The quality is fabulous throughout but it’s a relatively heavy bag and, even though a shoulder pad is included, it can be a strain to carry when fully laden.

9. Vanguard Supreme 53D Hard Case with Divider Bag

Hard on the outside, soft on the inside

Specifications
Type: Hard case
Cameras: DSLR/CSC
Additional lenses/accessories: 11
Laptop/tablet compartment: None
Tripod attachment: No
Additional compartments: 0
External dimensions: 630 x 520 x 240mm
Weight: 7,820g
Reasons to buy
+Removable soft interior+Tough, secure and weather-proof
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy to carry-Bulky, but smaller sizes are available

The best hard Nikon camera case: Keep your Nikon camera kit safe from harm, this Vanguard Supreme 53D Hard Case with Divider Bag offers supreme protection. It’s super-tough, fully dust-proof and waterproof, has steel reinforced padlock rings and an automatic pressure release valve to cope with changes in air pressure and altitude, for example when stowed in the baggage hold of an aircraft. It’s also O-ring sealed to withstand being submerged in water, down to a depth of five metres. The softer side of the case is within, as it comprises a removable soft inner bag with adjustable dividers. There are no less than three carrying handles for lifting the case, plus a set of wheels and a retractable pull-along handle. The wheels are most welcome, given that the case weighs almost 8kg even without anything in it.

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 


His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 


In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.