Need a good camera backpacks that you can take on hikes?
In this detailed comparison, I will show you lots of the best camera backpacks for hiking. You'll see some small backpacks which are great for people who don't carry too much and generally go on shorter hikes.
You will also see some larger backpacks - perfect for those of you who don't home without at least two camera bodies and extra lenses.
At A Glance: Our Top 3 Picks for Best Camera Backpacks for Hiking
Scroll down to find the perfect camera backpack for you!
Lowepro Photo Sport
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Endurax Extra Large Camera DSLR/SLR Backpack
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Thule Aspect DSLR Camera Backpack
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Vanguard Havana 48
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Gitzo Adventury 30L
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AmazonBasics Hiker Camera Backpack
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YuHan Camera Bag
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Evecase DSLR Camera Backpack
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G-raphy Professional DSLR Camera Backpack
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The Lowepro backpack is a good affordable alternative. It’s actually one of the cheaper backpacks, so it’s great if you don’t want to spend too much money on a camera pack.
This backpack features the ActivZone harness by Lowepro, which includes a padded backpanel and hipbelt, as well as adjustable shoulder straps. Now, the backpanel is not really ventilated – there’s no breathable mesh over it. But, there is space between the foam ridges, so that the air can circulate. So, even though it’s not a pack with the best ventilation out there, it should still keep you dry when you’re out and about.
You can fit most mirrorless and DSLR cameras with attached lens in this pack. In addition to that, there’s enough space for a flash, extra lens or an adapter, as well as any hiking gear you might actually need.
What’s great about this pack is that it is actually very versatile. In addition to being able to fit all of your camera equipment, the Lowepro also has attachment points for your tripod or trekking poles, as well an internal hydration sleeve.
The pack also features an external “stash-it” compartment, which allows you to quickly put away a spare layer of clothing. And that is in addition to the multiple compartments and pockets.
This backpack is not compatible with the following camera models: Canon EOS 1D/1Ds/1Dx Mark II, Nikon D4/D4s/D5 and Sony Alpha A850/A900.
The Endurax backpack is excellent value for money. In addition to the pack itself, you will also get a rain cover and a small shoulder bag. The shoulder bag can be stored in the lower compartment of the pack, or you can carry it around your waist, which allows you to bring even more camera gear.
The backpanel is thickly padded and covered with breathable mesh for great ventilation. Both shoulder straps are padded and fully adjustable, which ensures that you get a great fit. And there’s also an adjustable waist belt, which helps keep you even more comfortable.
There are lots of different compartments and pockets on this backpack. And that includes a PVA armored front panel, which is perfect for any sensitive or fragile gear. There’s also a pocket with an organizer panel, great for all your smaller items – phone, wallet, pens etc.
One great thing about this pack is its versatility. You can utilize the compartments however you want to, since the divider pads are removable. This allows you to use one of the compartments for your hiking gear, and the other one for your camera and equipment.
In addition to that, there is also a separate laptop and tablet compartment. And, keep in mind that this backpack is pretty big – definitely big enough to fit two DSLR bodies, and it is compatible with any camera.
The only downside to this pack is weight. At 6.5 lbs, it is one of the heavier backpacks in the review. But the weight makes sense, considering that it comes with a hardshell case and a lot of padding.
The Burton F-stop backpack is definitely one of the best options out there. But, it’s a pretty pricey backpack, so people often overlook it.
If you can afford to spend a bit more on a camera backpack, I highly recommend this option. It’s incredibly comfortable to wear, due to all the padding on the backpanel and harness. The backpack is made from durable nylon, so it is water resistant even without a rain cover.
The front compartment of the pack features multiple padded dividers, which allow you to carefully organize all of your camera equipment. In addition to that, there are also several other compartments and pockets on the backpack, so that you can fit in some hiking gear as well.
And there are tripod attachment points on the exterior of the pack, which is awesome because tripods are pretty bulky. Additionally, there are plenty of zippered pockets inside the backpack as well, so there’s definitely enough space for all your smaller necessities.
However, the Burton F-stop doesn’t have a laptop compartment, and that’s one downside. And it is a pretty heavy backpack; at 5 lbs, this thing weighs more than some larger backpacking packs. But you won’t actually feel that weight when you’re wearing the backpack, because the hipbelt does an amazing job at transferring the load away from your shoulders.
The Aspect is an top quality camera backpack for hiking. It is made from 100% nylon, so it is very durable and water resistant. The harness and the backpanel of the Aspect are both padded and ventilate, for ultimate carrying comfort.
What’s great about this pack is that it is very lightweight. At only 3.17 lbs, this is one of the lightest backpacks in the entire review. But it’s still not too small; in fact, you can comfortably fit a 15.6” laptop in this pack.
And you can fit all of your camera equipment in the dedicated compartment. It is padded and features several dividers, as well a small zippered pocket on the cover of the compartment. However, you can’t fit too much equipment in this compartment.
Because of that, this backpack is not a great choice for people who need to carry multiple camera bodies and several lenses. Of course, that’s only if you plan to use some of the compartments for actual hiking gear.
The back compartment of this pack features a laptop sleeve, as well as an iPad pocket. In addition to that, this pack has pockets on the hipbelt, which allow you to have some items handy at all times.
Another thing worth mentioning is the tripod strap on the side of the backpack. Half of the tripod (or trekking poles) goes in the side pocket, and the strap keeps it in place while you’re moving around.
And tucked away on the side, is a small, but easy to reach spot for your water bottle.
One great thing about this backpack is that there are plenty sizes to choose from. The specs I listed below are of the largest (48-liter) Havana backpack. The 41-liter version is also a pack, while the smaller bags are shoulder/messenger bags.
Another thing I really like about this backpack is how lightweight it is. It weighs less than 3 lbs, which is amazing for its size and capacity. Especially considering that it comes with multiple padded dividers for organization.
The Vanguard Havana pack is pretty affordable, considering everything you are getting for your money. However, it’s one of the less comfortable backpacks to wear. The backpanel features very little padding and no ventilation, which will be an issue in the warmer months.
In addition to that, the waist belt is just a webbing strap – there’s no padding or mesh on it. Because of that, it doesn’t feel very comfortable around your waist, and it’s a bit less efficient at transferring the load away from your shoulders.
You get a raincover with this pack, and you’ll find it in the front little pocket. There’s also a key clip in this pocket, which is pretty useful for organization.
There are several compartments on this backpack; a large one for your hiking gear and a few smaller ones for your camera equipment. Additionally, there’s also a laptop sleeve in the back, which will hold a 13” laptop.
This pack has the advantage of not looking like a camera bag. It won’t give away what you’re carrying in it, which helps keep the thieves away.
The pack is compatible with DSLRs, pro DSLRs, drones and other mirrorless cameras. For a full list of all the cameras that will fit into the Gitzo, head over to Amazon.
This backpack is made from heavy duty materials, which have good water resistance on their own. In addition to that, a rain cover is also included in the purchase, so your gear will be protected in wet weather at all times.
The backpanel of the Gitzo is amazing. It’s heavily padded, and so is the entire harness. Additionally, both the backpanel and harness feature breathable mesh, for excellent ventilation. The waist belt is not removable, but it is adjustable.
There are several pockets and compartments on this backpack, as well as external gear attachment points. Because of that, you can fit quite a lot of gear in this pack. And any bulkier items can be attached to the front panel, so that they don’t take up too much space inside the main compartments.
The opening of the backpack is way in the back, which is both good and bad. It’s good because it ensures that all your gear stays protected, and it’s a bit easier to pack this way. But, it also means that, in order to have easy access to the main compartment, you need to take off your backpack every time.
The Gitzo also features roll top opening, which allows you to extend its capacity. You can get additional 10-15 liters with this, which can come in handy sometimes.
The AmazonBasics backpack is an okay affordable option. It’s made from lightweight materials and it comes with a rain cover that will protect your gear.
The backpanel and the harness are both padded and ventilated, and the backpack is pretty comfortable. It’s not too big or too heavy, but it can fit quite a lot of gear, thanks to the multiple compartments and pockets. The top loading compartment is ideal for your hiking gear, and the side pocket is perfect for your lenses, camera and other equipment.
In addition to that, there are external attachment points of this backpack, which are designed to hold your tripod or trekking poles. Oh, and there are pockets on the hipbelt, so that you can have your most important items handy at all times.
There’s also a dedicated laptop compartment, which can fit average 13-14” laptops.
The downside of this backpack is that the shoulder straps get loose while you’re moving around. You have to adjust them constantly, and that can really ruin your day. However, there are a couple ways to deal with this issue. You can secure the shoulder straps with a couple safety pins, or you can sew them together once you’ve adjusted them.
Anyway, I think it’s worth trying to make the AmazonBasics pack work, because it performs pretty well in all other aspects. Plus, this is actually the cheapest backpack out of the bunch – the orange version will set you back some $50, which is pretty great.
The YuHan backpack is made from heavy duty nylon, and it is very durable and water resistant. The harness is comfortable, and somewhat padded. The backpanel features padding and breathable mesh on the lower part, which is also the opening of the camera equipment compartment.
This backpack comes with removable padded dividers, which allows you to decide how you want to use each compartment. The dividers are intended for the hidden compartment in the back, as this one was designed to hold the camera gear. That’s pretty great, since this is the safest compartment in the entire backpack.
The hipbelt is removable, which allows you to easily convert this camera bag into a simple everyday backpack.
There’s also the top loading main compartment, for all your other gear. It features a sleeve large enough to fit 15.6” laptops, and several smaller pockets for great organization.
In addition to all that, the backpack features a large external pocket on the front panel (perfect for your tablet), stretch pockets on the sides, and zippered pockets on the waist belt. The only downside to this backpack is that there is not a dedicated spot for your tripod – it lacks external attachment points and compression straps for the bulky gear.Other than that, the YuHan pack is actually a really good choice. It’s not too large or heavy, so it’s great for some shorter hikes. Additionally, this is a very affordable backpack – under $70; which is really good value for money
The Evecase is definitely one of the best backpacks you can buy. It’s got the whole package – several compartments for excellent organization, waterproof exterior and an incredibly attractive price tag. At less than $50, this is the perfect backpack for all of you that aren’t looking to spend too much money.
The backpack has two fully separated compartments. The top compartment is designed for your hiking gear and any personal items you want to pack, including a tablet sleeve. It can fit a 10” tablet, and nothing larger – so no spot for your laptop in this pack.
The bottom compartment is designed for the camera equipment. I really like how they separated the two, because this way you have easy access to both compartments.
In addition to the two main compartments, this backpack also features several smaller pockets for your other gear. And there are external attachment points for your tripod or trekking poles, as well as compression straps that will hold all your gear in place.
The backpanel and the harness of the Evecase are padded throughout and covered with breathable mesh. One downside to this backpack is that the waist belt is a plain webbing strap, and it’s not too comfortable to wear. But at least it is adjustable, so you can make it fit you just right very easily.
And last but not least, you can also throw a water bottle on the outside so you can keep hydrated on the go.
The G-raphy backpack is a great choice for all of you that tend to carry quite a lot of gear. It’s a very big backpack, and it can fit multiple camera bodies, lenses, flashes and all of your other hiking gear. But it’s also a pretty heavy backpack – at 6.17 lbs, this thing is not going to feel lightweight or too comfortable.
The exterior of the bag is made from waterproof nylon, and you also get a rain cover along with the pack. There’s laptop compartment in this hiking backpack, which is large enough to comfortably fit a 17” laptop. And that is in addition to several main compartments, and an abundance of (internal and external) zippered pockets.
The backpack also comes with a removable gadget bag, which is large enough to hold a camera body and two lenses. In addition to that, all the dividers are removable, so you can customize the compartments of the backpack (and the gadget bag) however you want. Points for versatility!
Both the backpanel and the harness and ventilated and heavily padded, for great carrying comfort. The same goes for the hipbelt, which by the way also features two zippered pockets.
The G-raphy is equipped with external attachment points for tripod/trekking poles. Overall, this is definitely one of the better big backpacks, as long as you can deal with how heavy it is.
When it comes to narrowing down your choice for the best camera backpack for hiking, there are some key things you need to look at. Below are the main areas I would focus on, with some advice on how to choose the right backpack for you.
Camera backpacks are made specifically for carrying camera equipment. This means that they usually include a compartment with several dividers and lots of padding, where all your camera stuff is supposed to go.
But your camera is not the only thing you need to bring when you’re going hiking. Because of that, it’s important to find a backpack that has enough space for all the other things you find necessary in your adventures.
For some people, one additional compartment will be enough, while others require multiple compartments, pockets and attachment points on the backpack. I will show you a variety of different backpacks, so that all of you can find something suitable for your needs.
Additionally, you should make sure that the backpack you’re buying is actually compatible with your camera model. I will make sure to list the cameras that each pack is NOT compatible with, so be sure to check the mini reviews for that.
All the camera gear that you want to pack in the backpack is pretty heavy on its own. Therefore, it’s very important that the backpack alone doesn’t weigh too much, because it’s going to be much more uncomfortable to carry around all day.
However, camera backpacks usually have several dividers and lots of padding, to ensure that none of your equipment gets damaged while you’re walking around. And because of that, they usually weigh more than regular hiking backpacks.
So, you won’t be able to find an extremely lightweight pack, but I will do my best to show you backpacks that don’t weigh more than 6 lbs. If a particular backpack is very heavy, I will list that in the cons section.
Being comfortable while wearing your camera backpack is very important. Otherwise, you won’t enjoy your hikes and you won’t be as motivated to take lots of amazing photos. And, even though camera backpacks are heavier than regular hiking backpacks, they can still feel comfortable if they are built just right.
A comfy backpack will have a padded and ventilated backpanel, so that you don’t feel anything poking you in the back. And so that you don’t sweat too much, even after walking for several hours.
In addition to that, a good backpack should also have a padded hipbelt and a sternum strap. The hipbelt is especially important, because it transfers the weight of the pack away from your shoulders and onto your hips. And since hips are the largest muscles in your body, they can handle the weight much easier than your back and shoulders.
This allows you to stay comfortable even if you’re carrying 30+ lbs on your back. Plus, it pretty much eliminates any pain and soreness.
The sternum strap is another important feature, as it keeps the shoulder straps in place. It also helps keep the backpack stable, which further improves the load transfer to your hips.
You should carefully look at the materials each of these camera packs is made from. Nylon backpacks are water resistant to a degree, even without any additional waterproof coating.
Polyester and canvas backpacks need additional coating to be waterproof, so be sure to check the product info sections to see if a particular backpack is indeed water resistant.
However, it’s not really necessary that you pick up a waterproof backpack. You can always buy a rain cover, which will protect your pack and the equipment inside in case of rain. And keep everything dry and safe. Plus, with most backpacks that aren't waterproof by design, a rain cover will be included in the purchase.
Still not sure which backpack to buy? Go for one of our three top choices and you won’t regret it!
If you would like a smaller backpack, then the Thule Aspect is the best option. It is made from premium materials and it has a water-resistant exterior. The pack features several compartments, which allows for easy organization of all your gear. And that includes a dedicated compartment for your camera and all its accessories. There’s also a padded laptop compartment on this backpack, which can fit a 15.6” laptop.
Out of the larger backpacks, I think that the G-raphy is the best option. It is one of the heavier packs here, but that’s reasonable considering its size. Plus, the weight mostly comes from all the padding and that extra tote bag you get with the backpack – all of which are removable. The backpack has several compartments for all your camera gear, which includes a 17” laptop compartment. And with thick padding and breathable mesh on the waist belt, backpanel and harness, it will feel pretty comfortable despite its weight.
The Evecase is a no-brainer for me. It’s only around $50, which definitely one of the best deals you can find. The pack is made from sturdy water-resistant materials, and it features comfortable padding on the harness and backpanel. But what I love the most about this pack are the two main compartments.
The top one is designed to hold your hiking gear and personal items and it has a tablet sleeve. The bottom compartment is completely separate from the top one, and it’s designed for all your camera equipment. Overall, a really good pack for very little money.
Hopefully you've found the perfect camera backpack for you. Any one of the 10 I showed you in this review is a good choice, because all of them are rated very highly.
If you haven't found what you're looking for, check out our related posts for more ideas!
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!