Four Canvas Camera Bags For the Serious Photographer


Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Peak Design Messenger bag review product images lifestyle (8 of 8)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 2.8

Camera bags are even more numerous than cameras and lenses–and each one has its own specific target. Everyone has the camera bag that is just right for them. They can be tough to find, and some of them can be expensive because of heavy use of leather. The more affordable but stylish alternative is canvas. Canvas is also incredibly reliable and will last for many, many years.

If you’re looking for a low profile camera bag made in canvas, here are four that you’ll really enjoy.

Tenba Cooper 13″ Slim

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tenba Cooper bag review images (2 of 13)ISO 4001-160 sec at f - 3.5

Who should get this: The photographer who uses mirrorless or film camera gear, needs to tote their laptop around, and uses public transportation.

In our review, we state:

“During the past two months, I’ve been testing the Cooper 13″ Slim–wearing it amongst other journalists and photographer who are always checking out my gear, bringing it with me to shoots, and even toting it around at Photo Plus Expo–a Mecca for us photo nerds. And when it comes to a small messenger bag, I genuinely think that Tenba has nailed it here.”

Buy Now $353: Amazon

Peak Design Everyday Messenger Bag

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Peak Design Messenger bag review product images at home (1 of 1)ISO 2001-50 sec at f - 1.4

Who should get this: The photographer who needs a bag that does a lot more than carries their DSLR and their laptop.

In our review, we state:

“As I’m writing this post tonight, it’s raining really hard here in NYC and I’ve even turned down meeting a friend for drinks just six blocks away because it’s pouring so hard. This gave me an idea to test the waterproofing of this camera bag. So not too long ago I walked into my kitchen and poured a glass of water on it. No, I really did…

It resisted the pour like a fricken’ champ. Almost all the water slid right off of it and only a bit was absorbed. The absorbed water didn’t even go through to the interior. For this, Peak Design should really be praised because the material doesn’t even feel super weather resistant.”

Buy Now $249: Amazon

Think Tank Retrospective 30

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Who should get this: The photographer who needs their laptop, flashes, lenses, cameras, and loads of accessories.

In our review, we state:

“The camera, flash, and pocket wizards all came out easy and went in easy. As I moved from location to location with my daughter I put all the gear away and took it out again in order to test the ease of use. I’d give it an A- with the minus coming due to the fact that while I love the pockets designed for the flash on either side of the bag they are both slightly tight and you have to wiggle to get the bigger flashes in. With anything smaller than a 580 or SB900  you would have tons of room but with the flagship flashes you are forced to due a tiny bit of work.”

Buy Now $194.75: Amazon

Domke F2


Who should get this: The photographer who needs loads of gear but doesn’t need their laptop with them and therefore needs something a bit slimmer.

In our review, we state:

“This bag is rugged, weatherproof, has great padding on the bottom to protect my lenses and gear, has lots of large pockets, has room for more straps to be slung onto it, and really ensures that it stays closed. Besides the buckles on it, there is also velcro that keeps the top shut. Besides this, Domke bags (most of them at least) are discrete and stylish. Additionally, this bag is much easier to lug around than a giant carry-on style bag.”

Buy Now $214: Amazon

  • Ashley Carr
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    No Billingham mention? Shame on you!

  • DrakeWhite
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    Is there a reason my comment is still pending? Is it because I provided a link with many more (less expensive) canvas alternatives?

  • Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

    no ona mention?!?!?!?!

    • ChrisGampat
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      More expensive than these. And I was trying to avoid leather at all

      • LambZA
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        Not more expensive than what you listed, and available in canvas. Direct competition…

    • LambZA
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      Hahaha, my thoughts exactly! So many choices, Bowery, Berlin, Brixton, Prince… drewl!

  • William Yu
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    My issues with most, if not all camera bag is that whoever is designing them is only thinking about camera.

    Sure, as a photographer our primary concern is our gear. However, most people don’t live like that MasterCard commercial years ago which you only need to carry a credit card to buy everything you need.

    When I go out the door for the entire day, in this bag, where am I going to put my humble sandwich (yes, all my lunch money went to that new lens already) and my water (no beer money, that’s going to that new Olympus Pen). 80% of the time, some kind of lens compartment is going to sub for misc carries. But that’s a afterthought. I think a well-thought out design to include those would have worked better.

  • John Dillworth
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    Yikes! a little too rich for my blood. never did understand why camera bags are so expensive. they must see us coming

    • ChrisGampat
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      The links have used prices too. I need to ethically post the MAP though

  • johnnykangaroo
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    How is this not an advertisement?

    • ChrisGampat
      Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

      Be careful what you actually say. If this post were some sort of advertorial and I didn’t clearly state that, then I’d be liable to a major lawsuit as would any publication. But no one paid for this and instead, it’s a post genuinely built around folks who want canvas camera bags.

      Further, how is this possibly an advertisement? Especially when it’s a round up of the reviews that the site has done. If it were an ad, it would probably include stuff that the site hasn’t even looked at in person. Do you have any idea how many emails and messages this site gets about straps and bags?

      This post is a quick round up. They’ve been done in the magazine world and the blog world for years and years.

      • johnnykangaroo
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        Um you link to Amazon, where you get a kickback?

        • ChrisGampat
          Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

          People ask for it all the time and it’s a round up. You seriously have to be the most ridiculous troll I’ve dealt with on this site in recent history

        • Zos Xavius
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          So he should do this for free? Nothing wrong with making a couple of dollars.