Eight of the best camera backpacks from £90

Looking for a new camera backpack for hiking? We've rounded up our favourite camera rucksacks and we think you'll like what we found...

best camera backpacks from £90

by Kirk Schwarz |
Updated on

With the major camera companies releasing a slew of new cameras and lenses, our first thoughts always turn to carrying solutions, the humble camera backpack, which is anything but these days, comes packed full of chunky dividers and spacious compartments, making finding the right one incredibly tricky.

So this month we’ve decided to dedicate an entire group test to finding the best camera backpack. Whether you want a multi-purpose day bag or something that will double as a fashion statement, we’ve got you covered. These are our top eight picks for the best backpacks for hiking and general travelling on the market.

Best camera backpack at a glance:

1. Manfrotto Manhattan Mover 30

2. Think Tank Streetwalker Backpack

3. WANDRD All-New PRVKE

4. Lowepro Flipside Trek BP 450 AW

5. MindShift Gear Ultralight Dual 25L

6. Tenba Solstice 20L

7. Vanguard Alta Rise 45

8. Manfrotto Noreg 30

What should I look for in a camera backpack?

Purpose: What will this camera backpack be used for? Hiking, travelling or general daily use? This will determine what features you will require and prioritize in your bag selection.

Size: How much gear do you plan on carrying? Whether it's just a couple of lenses or the full professional photography kit, make sure you allow enough space. Sometimes too, the best camera backpacks have an expandable roll top which is very handy for last-minute items.

Weight: If you need a camera backpack for hiking, choosing something compact, lightweight and comfortable is essential. Most brands give you a selection of sizes to choose from.

Durability: Ensure your backpack is made from high-quality materials, preferably water-resistant or waterproof (including the zips) for full gear protection.

Accessibility: When you're on the move, you want a backpack with quick and easy access. This could include top, side, base, inner and outer compartment areas.

Price: The price will depend on how many additional features you add to your camera backpack (e.g. removeable camera cubes, clip-on accessories etc) and all factors discussed above

Manfrotto Manhattan mover 30
Price: $230.18

This ultra-modern bag from Manfrotto uses its fashionably clean lines to great effect.

Just like the Noreg (below), there is a modular aspect with the internal camera insert which uses Manfrotto’s new Flexy Camera Shell technology, making it fully removable. This means you can also use it like a regular backpack. It also features a zipped mesh, which can be a touch fiddly when you’re in a rush.

If you want to stay connected on your travels, a padded area will hold a 14in laptop, as well as a 9.7in tablet. The main compartment can house a premium CSC and lens, alongside three additional lenses. There’s space up top for your personal items, and this compartment will also fit a DJI Mavic Pro with two additional batteries.

The front of the bag features the company’s new NeverLose tripod technology, which will keep your tripod secure. It consists of a pouch on the front of the bag, and two clipped straps that will keep it firmly in place.

Pros

  • Spacious
  • Modular
  • Looks great
  • Device space

Cons

  • Can be fiddly
  • Quite boxy design

Think Tank Streetwalker
Price: $199.00
Alternative retailers
B&H Photo Video$189.25View offer

The StreetWalker houses a pro DSLR or CSC with 70-200mm lens, as well as up to five additional lenses.

Think Tank is responsible for well-thought-out ergonomics, which users will tell you are in a world of their own. The StreetWalker makes brilliant use of space, managing to fit a pro DSLR or CSC with 70-200mm lens, as well as up to five additional lenses, or four lenses and a second body. The main compartment, which takes up the whole bag, can be accessed quickly and easily via the front panel.

For those who like to edit on the go, you’re able to stow a 10-in tablet, and like many others in the test, you can hitch a tripod to the outside of the bag – much easier than lugging it around in your hands. The shoulder straps feature extra padding, and the four external pockets, two on the side and two on the front, providing plenty of room for your smaller accessories. It’s crafted from ballistic nylon, closed-cell PU foam and high-density velex, which makes it an incredibly durable option for your average photographer on the go.

Pros

  • Spacious
  • Durable
  • Tripod system
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • No secondary compartment

WANDRD All-New PRVKE
Price: £186.97 ($258.67)

eu.wandrd.com

If you want a quality camera backpack that lives up to its hype (and is genuinely impressive), WANDRD have recently brought out an updated version to its award-winning PRVKE line. With improvements to features and comfort, this backpack is one of the best I've owned yet.

In terms of convenience, it has got quickdraw side access, a clamshell opening, removable camera cubes for full flexibility of your gear, and built-in interior sleeve and pocket organisation for your laptop (16” MacBook Pro) and important parts. The backpack itself is super comfortable. It’s weather-resistant (with weather-resistant zippers).

It also comes with a fleece-lined tech pocket for quick-access items and a handy expandable roll top (giving you an extra 5 litres of space). Not to mention the game-changing bonuses such as a water bottle or tripod pocket, a hidden spot for passports or cash, and plenty of extra straps for all purposes. There’s even a luggage pass-through!

Tried and tested, Emily, Commercial Content Writer: “Over the last couple of months, I have had to pleasure of putting WANDRD’s All-New PRVKE to the test whilst travelling around Spain and the UK. Straight up, this well-thought-out backpack is exactly what the market was missing. Versatile and easily adjustable, this backpack has become the perfect travelling companion. Not only can I bring it on photography day trips (trekking and exploring new towns), but it also is great for hand luggage. Choose your layout and transform the backpack into your ideal photography travel accessory.”

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Easy accessibility
  • Customizable
  • Great quality
  • Stylish

Cons

  • Not fully waterproof (but there’s an accessory for that)

Lowepro Flipside Trek BP 450 AW

Rrp: $274.45

Price: $218.00
Alternative retailers
B&H Photo Video$219.02View offer

As the name suggests, this backpack has long treks in mind.

Lowepro has been in the game for a long time, which means it has a lot of experience creating bags such as the Flipside Trek series. With a 21L capacity in its rear-entry compartment, it’s capable of holding a pro DSLR and 70-200mm f/2.8, as well as up to three additional lenses. You have the option of mounting a compact tripod to the side, like many others in the test, and the large top compartment with a mesh pocket is ideal for flashguns, batteries, SD cards or a waterproof jacket.

As the name suggests, this backpack has long treks in mind, and the design features the company’s ActivZone suspension system, which ensures the weight is well distributed across the straps. This allows for comfortable use over extended periods – a real bonus. You can pack a 10in tablet into the secure CradleFit pocket, and the attached AW (All Weather) cover slips over the bag in severe conditions to add an extra level of protection. For this price, it’s a tough act to beat.

Pros

  • Quick entry
  • SD card pouch
  • Comfortable
  • Weatherproof

Cons

  • Bulky
  • Laptop space
  • Not modular

If you're looking for a light hiking bag with a photographic twist, this will suit you.

This bag has side access so you can quickly get to your gear, while the padded insert can be removed and used as a shoulder bag. There’s space enough for a pro DSLR and three to four additional lenses, which should please all gear enthusiasts. You can even stow a 15-in laptop, which is perfect if you like to edit as you shoot.

As with others in the test, there’s a handy tripod carrying system on the front of the bag. The top compartment is spacious enough for personal items or larger camera accessories, such as flashguns. While the main body doesn’t feature as many pockets as some in test, there are zip pockets on the harness, which is ideal for your batteries, phone or OS maps.

As you’d expect from a rugged backpack, the MindShift features a water-resistant design and a breathable mesh backing on the rear.

Pros

  • Spacious
  • Tripod system
  • Insert
  • 15in laptop

Cons

  • Large size
  • Can be fiddly to access

Tenba Solstice 20L
Price: $155.95
Alternative retailers
Walmart$155.95View offer
B&H Photo Video$155.95View offer
Adorama$155.95View offer

Features a single compartment with rear access and space for a DSLR with 70-200mm lens, plus three more lenses.

As compact as it is blue, the Tenba Solstice 20L, also available in black, features a single large compartment with rear access. It can comfortably hold a DSLR with 70-200mm lens plus three to four additional lenses. There is access through the top of the bag, which can be sectioned off to provide a secondary compartment, or opened up to provide quick access to your gear if you require.

As per many others in the test, this bag can carry a tripod via the strap system and stretch pockets found on the side – a must for landscape shooters. The main compartment holds two small zip pockets, which are useful for storing batteries or SD cards. There is also a large front pocket, which will hold a 10-inch tablet, as well as larger camera accessories, such as flashguns. All of this makes it a very appealing choice for those who have a lot of kit to carry around. Ramblers will also be thankful for the reflective qualities and the mesh back, which keeps the bag breathable.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Roomy
  • Lots of pockets
  • Tripod system

Cons

  • Single defined compartment
  • Not modular

Vanguard Alta Rise 45
Price: $146.73

The Alta Rise boasts a spacious main compartment with enough room for a pro DSLR and four to five lenses.

Although the Alta Rise isn’t the newest model in the test, it’s available for a very attractive price. Boasting a spacious main compartment, there’s enough room for a pro DSLR with four to five lenses. You’ll also find a separate top area with two mesh pockets, which is large enough to hold a flashgun or mixed accessories. You can access your gear via the quick side entry or through rear access, though this can be fiddly.

There’s a system that allows you to mount your tripod, as with others in the test, and a zip at the front lets you expand the bag by 6cm, great for adding in those essential extra bits and pieces. Vanguard has also included a handy space to carry a 9.7-inch tablet.

The design itself is contemporary, with the internal areas featuring a striking Vanguard orange colour scheme and the rear boasting an Air System harness to keep you cool on long walks or summer days – very welcome.

Pros

  • Great price
  • Solid build
  • Tripod system
  • Lots of space

Cons

  • Fiddly access
  • Awkward strap
  • Laptop space

Manfrotto Noreg 30
Price: $190.00

The Noreg not only exemplifies cool with its smart camo pattern, it's also a brilliantly designed backpack aimed at CSC users.

Manfrotto’s Noreg not only exemplifies cool with its smart digital camo pattern, but it’s also a brilliantly designed backpack aimed at CSC users. The Noreg takes a modular approach, allowing you to remove the internal compartment and use it as a carry case or even use the bag as a traditional backpack. Then there’s the laptop sleeve at the rear, which fits a 15-inch laptop and can be removed entirely to accommodate extra protection for your computer – hugely innovative.

The bag itself will fit a CSC with a medium lens attached, as well as a secondary lens, which isn’t quite as roomy as others in the test, but keeps the weight down for those who like to pack light. You can also store a 10-inch tablet alongside the laptop, which is ideal for anybody who likes to edit on the go. The front carries a mount for a tripod, and the top compartment is perfect for personal items. The exterior has been treated to make it water-repellent.

Pros

  • Clever design
  • Modular
  • Aesthetics
  • Tripod system

Cons

  • Not as roomy
  • Can be fiddly
  • No side access

Kirk Schwarz is one of our resident tech experts. A tech-addicted photographer with more than a decade's experience, Kirk's used to putting new gear through extreme field-testing.

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