Let’s face it, when you started out as a photographer you probably carried your gear in any manner of vessel, from your old school backpack to a piece of carry-on luggage, each stuffed with airbags and styrofoam pieces to keep your gear as solidly in place as possible.
But as time goes on, you gather more experience (and more money), and it quickly becomes evident that your gear and your back, neck, and shoulders deserve a bag specifically designed to carry your photography equipment. Quite simply, you need a bag that is of the highest quality - a bite the gold bar type of bag that isn’t just a safe and functional way to transport your gear, but also a fashionable accessory that makes you look good. Really good.
Ok...so maybe looking really good isn’t your top priority when shopping for a camera bag, but fortunately, there are some top-shelf bags out there that check all the functional boxes and look great at the same time.
Here are our picks for the best camera bags that will last you a lifetime and make you the envy of other photographers.
HoldFast Gear Roamographer
If you want the best, HoldFast is it. Their Roamographer series has a large model that will hold two DSLR bodies, four lenses, a laptop, and two external flashes. The smaller Roamographer model will accommodate a rangefinder or mirrorless body, two lenses, and an iPad mini or tablet with room to spare. The Roamographer features an extra strap to secure a mirrorless camera and lens for easy access, as well as adjustable carrier straps to secure your tripod. Keep your credit cards and phone safe and secure in the attached luggage tag wallet, or slide your phone, keys, and cards into one of two interior slip pockets for safekeeping.
The Roamographer is made of American Bison Leather, which gives it a certain aesthetic appeal while maintaining a rough and rugged functionality. A shearling-lined shoulder pad gives your shoulder a break while you carry your gear, and the shoulder strap is fully adjustable and removable at that, making the bag customizable to your particular needs. Even better, the bag’s interior camera insert is removable, so when you don’t need to carry your gear you can turn the Roamographer into a stately overnight bag.
Highly functional. Incredibly well designed. A fashion statement to boot. The Roamographer is a top choice for any photographer.
If you’re into a more subdued look, the Billingham Eventer is a tasteful option that holds a great deal of gear but does so without being flashy. The canvas and leather exterior looks good and is extremely functional - protecting your photography equipment from water, dirt, dust, and the like. Accessory pockets on the exterior of the bag make it easy to access your most-used items. Carry the bag via the integrated shoulder strap or with the reinforced handle - whatever works best for you!
Inside, your gear will find a cozy home that will keep it safe and secure. The Eventer accommodates your DSLR, a grip, a couple of lenses, and a flash. Carry your laptop in the bag as well for conducting business and editing your photos on the go. The interior compartment is customizable, so you can carry a variety of necessities to meet the needs of each outing.
With brass hardware that accentuates the canvas and leather exterior, this bag is no slouch in the looks department. Carry all your gear and look good doing it!
With the rise in popularity of mirrorless camera systems, some photographers require a smaller bag to carry their mirrorless gear. The Oberwerth Freiburg is an optimal choice for such photographers. Carry your mirrorless camera and up to three lenses knowing that the Freiburg’s fleece-lined interior will keep your gear safe and prevent scratches, scrapes, and bumps in transport. Keep your driver’s license, debit card, or money safe and secure in the interior zip pocket. A rear zippered pocket is ideal for larger smartphones or even a tablet, so you can bring along all the essentials and have a place to keep them.
The exterior of the bag is breathtaking, with handmade leather and stainless steel snap locks that are both functional and attractive. The Freiburg’s adjustable, padded shoulder strap gives you a comfortable way to carry the bag, while it’s rain-diverting gutter flaps are an ideal feature for photographers that live in wet environments.
German construction. Timeless styling. Loads of functionality. The Oberwerth Freiburg has it all.
Leica Large Cotton System Case
Not all high-end camera bags require leather. Leica proves that point with their ultra-modern Large Cotton System Case. Made of cotton and linen fabric, the bag has clean lines and a minimalist aesthetic. It oozes quality but doesn’t scream “look at me” either. The dual buckle front flap closures offer a classic look while providing extreme functionality as well. The chunky hand strap is comfortable and feels stout in your hand.
Inside, the Large Cotton System Case will accommodate a mirrorless camera, rangefinder, or a compact camera system, 2-3 lenses, and accessories like batteries, filters, and memory cards. There is even a dedicated space to carry up to a 13” laptop, so you have your entire photography system right there at your side. The interior compartment is modular, so you can move the interior dividers around to suit your needs.
You already know the quality of Leica camera gear. Now they have brought the same refined construction to their line of high-quality camera bags. It’s another top choice for photographers that want a gorgeous bag that is functional and will last until the end of days!