I’m currently on the hunt for the perfect camera bag. Even though I've tried a few camera bags, I haven't been 100% happy with any of them. And I could use your help in finding the right bag. First, this is a walkthrough of all the camera bags I've owned and tried.
My first camera bag was the Lowepro Toploader, I think it’s discontinued now as I was only able to find a near replica of the one I had. I bought this really as an afterthought when I’d already decided to pick up my first DSLR. I realized, standing at the cashier, that I needed a camera bag to put it in. At the time, I didn’t realize that (1) I would be investing in more lenses and camera gear in the future (2) just how much I would end up doing with my camera. So without the wisdom of any of this hindsight, this small pack seemed as good as any for what I needed it to do. I used this bag to death and moved on to a proper camera bag the next year.
Next came several Lower backpacks which I still use occasionally to this date. I have both the Flipside Sport 15L AW in bright orange and Transit Backpack 350AW. I know some photographers like Lowepro bags and some just don't. Here’s the thing about these backpacks, they are designed to have all these pockets for various camera accessories and convenient access points. I’m not actually really drawn to those - I travel pretty compact, usually 2-3 lenses only and usually just a back up of everything and a handful of memory cards depending on how long I’m shooting for. So I don’t need all the bells and whistles of these bags, but I like how much protection and padding it offers my camera gear - even if it makes me look like I’m carrying a big turtle shell when I’m wearing a fully-packed backpack. My only complaint with the bag is how much I sweat into it when I’m on a heavy travel day (think lots of hiking or walking).
Then I found ONA Bags and for a while, was very happy with Brixton in smoke. The bag is very high quality and so stylish, it also fit everything I needed for most of my travel needs and I liked that the bag didn’t make me look like a foolish tourist when I was traveling with it but helped me blend in like a local. However, I soon realized that a camera, 2-3 lenses, and a laptop was too heavy for me to carry on one shoulder. I would get so sore after wearing it for a few hours and I definitely could’t last a day of walking around the city with it. During this time, I was traveling around Asia and Europe extensively (I’d spent 3 weeks in China followed by 5 weeks across Scandinavia) I was already experiencing a lot of neck and shoulder pain from all the traveling and backpacking, and having all my gear in a messenger bag was not helping.
So that’s it - that’s everything I’ve tried and I’m still actively looking for a camera backpack. Currently I’m eying the Langley backpacks as I’ve heard great things about it. Do you have the perfect camera bag? Let me know what I should be using!