Last Updated on 11/16/2020 by Chris Gampat
With the BAGSMART Camera Backpack, photographers are getting lots of high value at a super affordable price.
Quite honestly, the BAGSMART Camera Backpack should be at least double the price it goes for. But at under $65, the BAGSMART Camera Backpack is a significant value that gives photographers features and build quality that makes our jaws drop. In my opinion, this bag is a no-brainer. It’s so affordable yet so good that every photographer should pick one up even as a backup camera bag. We tested it out while trekking on hikes, commuting around the city, and with a variety of gear inside. Over the past few months, I’ve personally seen it outdo the quality of more expensive camera bags. Most importantly, this one bag is making me reconsider the entire thought process behind the pricing of camera bags.
Pros and Cons
- You can pack a whole lot of gear
- Leather and canvas
- Two locking systems on either the side pocket or the front zippered pocket
- It can hold a tripod and a thermos with no issues
- Very comfortable
- Incredibly well weather sealed
- Pretty stylish
- The drawstring top isn’t as great as a roll top
- I wish it had a waist strap system
We tested the BAGSMART Camera Backpack with the:
- Panasonic S1
- Leica SL 50mm f1.4
- Fujifilm X Pro 3
- Panasonic 24-70mm f2.8 Pro
- Panasonic 16-35mm f2.8 Pro
- Canon EOS R
- Canon RF 50mm f1.2 L USM
Taken from the original Amazon listing
- MAIN COMPARTMENTS- upper space for organizing clothing; lower camera zone for 1 DSLR camera with 70-200mm lens attached, 3-4 standard lenses
- DEDICATED POCKETS- 1 separate 15-inch laptop compartment with shock absorbing padding bottom; Tall, large side pockets (left for water bottle, right for tripod base)
- 3 ACCESS POINTS- cinch-top closure, quick side access and front full-zip accesses
- USER FRIENDLY- anti-theft Design (metal hook attach to side and front zippers) + adjustable chest strap + back luggage handle strap
- MATERIAL- durable and water-resistant canvas; A rain cover included
Here’s a photo of the BAGSMART Camera Backpack. The top section is not filled up, and you should know that when it’s not packed to the brim that it will probably look like this. Otherwise, the more shapely version of itself is delivered when you feed the top section. But otherwise, expect it to look like this. Oh, and that leather strap on the front: it closes via a magnetic latch.
Here’s the more critical side pocket of the BAGSMART Camera Backpack. This one not only doubles to hold stuff, but it can also be opened to have side access to your gear. Typically, we put a thermos in here. Notice that there is a special strap across the Thermos. This strap serves to ensure that this pocket or the front zippered pocket doesn’t open up. It’s a novel design.
And of course, on the other side is another pocket for a tripod. There is a belt system, albeit it’s not that fantastic. It’s a literal belt strap that goes through another loop. That’s it.
Look at the back of the BAGSMART Camera Backpack. Here you can find not only the strap on top but also the backpack straps themselves. These straps are incredibly comfortable and also are designed to conform to your body. This makes them extra comfortable. While you can also see a strap that goes across your chest, I’d really have also liked a belt to go across my waist. Alas, that’s not the case.
The back section of the BAGSMART Camera Backpack has space for a laptop. Luckily, there is a whole lot of padding here, and it keeps the experience pretty comfortable.
Open up the top flap of the bag, and you’ll get the top section by the drawstring. You can pack this section pretty liberally.
Here’s the inside of the main compartment. You’ll find the dividers and such here. The inside flap has a zippered pocket for stuff. You know, just for stuff. But otherwise, you put your camera and lenses in here.
Here’s the side pocket undone. Of course, one of the most helpful things about this bag is the side pocket access.
The BAGSMART Camera Backpack is surprisingly well built. I’ve bought and used several really affordable camera bags, and they’ve all fallen apart after maybe a few months of abuse. But this one isn’t even near that point yet despite a lot of use. Over the past half a year or so, the BAGSMART Camera Backpack has been my most used bag. It survived snow, rain, all the rain, all the snow, dirt, the NYC subway, the backs of cars, etc. And it always kept my gear perfectly safe. The build quality of the BAGSMART Camera Backpack is top-notch, and I can’t really complain about the durability.
There are more comfortable bags out there, though, and perhaps that’s the worst part of the BAGSMART Camera Bag. Even so, it’s not at all awful. The padding around your back and the straps are super comfortable. But another set of straps going around the waist would have made this one of the most perfect backpacks I’ve ever used. This is a feature that I demand these days.
Something about this bag that I thought would be a problem is the drawstring design. Sometimes precipitation can get under the top flap of similarly built camera bags. But in this case, I didn’t have a single problem. Still, I think that a rolltop style design would have made this bag even better. But the drawstring lets you also really pack a lot of gear into it. I’ve stuffed filters, scarves, sweaters, hats, gloves, flashes, chargers, and more in there. They’ve all been dry as the desert when inside as the bag didn’t let any moisture inside. Overall, this bag performs like one that’s far more expensive.
Ease of Use
The BAGSMART Camera Backpack is a pretty straightforward bag to use. The only thing that’s a bit difficult to wrap your head around is the locking system for the side pocket and the front zippered pocket. You have to put a carabiner through these two holes to keep the pocket from zipping open. That’s a fantastic feature and lets you adapt whether or not you want to use one pocket primarily or the other. But once you get the hang of it, you start to really enjoy this feature.
Otherwise, this is a pretty standard bag. There are dividers in the main section for separating camera gear. Then there is a side pocket. The top pocket is accessed after undoing the top flap and the drawstring. Plus, you have to consider the back sleeve for the laptop. This is nowhere as complicated as something from WANDRD or even Tenba. But at the same time, you can take confidence in knowing that the bag will just always work.
- Did we mention that it’s a cheap camera bag but not cheap on quality?
- Fairly stylish
- It holds lots of stuff
- Side access
- Leather and canvas
- It can comfortably hold your laptop
- I wish it had a waist strap
- A rolltop would have been ideal
The BAGSMART Camera Backpack is a bag that I honestly can’t complain about for the price point at all. I’ve admittedly have had glasses of whiskey more expensive than this thing, and it’s lasted me far longer than those glasses of whiskey have. This is a fantastic camera bag all around. It can hold a lot of stuff, protect your gear, give you ample yet safe access, and is comfortable enough in most instances. It can also hold a heck of a lot of stuff. Whether you’re hiking or going about your business in the city, the BAGSMART Camera Backpack is a solid choice. And even though it has a few flaws, you can’t really complain at this price point.
The BAGSMART Camera Backpack gets five out of five stars. Want one? They’re less than $65.