The Photojournalist Bag: Our Selection of the Best for Photographers

The photojournalist is one that constantly needs to be on the move. Sometimes you’re bringing an entire mobile studio with you. At other times, you may be at a location for a long time. So we dove into our Reviews Index to find the perfect photojournalist bag. Let it be known, we’ve probably reviewed the most camera bags of any brand out there. So take a look at some of our favorites.

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How We Selected the Best Photojournalist Bag Offerings For This List

Here are some tips on how to use this guide and choosing the right photojournalist back for you:

  • We’ve reviewed all of these products in-house. Furthermore, all these images were shot by our staff. So we encourage you to check them out and dive further into our full reviews.
  • We know that there are lots of different body shapes. So we’re including both backpacks and a messenger bag.
  • A photojournalist bag should give you sufficient access and a lot of protection where and when you need it.
  • All of these bags have ample weather resistance.
  • All of these bags are also incredibly comfortable.

Tenba DNA 16 Backpack

Pros

  • Very comfortable, though the first one felt more so.
  • Pretty rigid shape gives your gear more protection
  • Even when you put a tripod in the side slot, it’s not throwing your back off much, but you may still feel it. It will be even more pronounced if you’re wearing a thick winter jacket.
  • I love that Tenba continues to make rolltops.
  • Waist strap and sternum straps work great
  • Laptop compartment blends seamlessly and is comfortable
  • Fairly priced

Cons

  • I know TENBA isn’t a fan of canvas but, more so than any other bag, this would’ve been better in Canvas.
  • I wish I could carry a tripod on the bottom. The bag could then be even more balanced.
  • The camera section’s zipper can snag a bit around the corners. But it’s not all that bad.

In our review, we state:

“The Tenba DNA 16 backpack is built super solidly. The first quarter of 2022 has given us a lot of snowfall. So I’ve walked around with it in heavy snow on a few occasions. I packed the Tenba DNA 16 backpack with camera gear, clothing, tea, and an extra water bottle. Then I walked a mile in the snow to my yoga class. The entire way there, the Tenba DNA 16 backpack felt incredibly comfortable. The gear inside was safe and sound. Further, the rolltop design helped me carry way more than I needed. The comfort and durability combined convince me that this is a bag worthy of lots of praise.”

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WANDRD PRVKE II Backpack

Pros

  • Versatile expanding roll-top
  • Comfortable straps and back panel
  • Two access points
  • The design keeps straps out of the way when accessing gear
  • Made from durable, sturdy materials

Cons

  • Small objects can fall from the top compartment into the main compartment
  • The laptop sleeve is poorly placed
  • Lenses with tripod collars are too big to easily get through the side access door
  • Without a waist strap, you have to put the bag on the ground for full access to gear.

In our review, we state:

“While you need to put the bag on the ground for full access, it’s easy to grab the camera and attached lens from the side. However, I did have a little trouble pulling the camera out with the 70-200mm lens. The tripod collar tended to grab onto the bottom of the camera cube and not pull free easily. But most small to mid-sized lenses should pull easily from this compartment.”

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Billingham Hadley One

Pros

  • I packed a small mirrorless camera and six lenses into this bag.
  • It can hold a laptop
  • Surprisingly comfortable even when walking around on hot NYC days

Cons

  • That’s quite the price, but it’s ethically made in the UK. That’s the price you pay for being ethical.
  • I really wish they made this into a backpack

In our review, we state:

“Luckily, the Billingham Hadley One is a simple enough bag to use. There are pockets, and you can use these pockets to section off the bag’s contents into whatever’s needed. In the two front pockets, I usually put accessories like a rocket blower, an arctic butterfly, etc. This bag bas no complicated features or hidden compartments. Lots of photographers will appreciate both that and the build quality. Make no mistake, there’s no real quick access to this bag. If you’re going to change a lens, it’s very much like a backpack. You’ll have to put it down to switch back and forth. The Billingham Hadley One will let you pack a whole lot of gear comfortably. It’s excellent for photo walking because of that. However, it’s not so great for street photography. In fact, it’s too big for that. “

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The Phoblographer’s various product round-up features are done in-house. Our philosophy is simple: you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a lifelong vegetarian. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from someone who doesn’t touch the product. We only recommend gear that we’ve fully reviewed. If you’re wondering why your favorite product didn’t make the cut, there’s a chance it’s on another list. If we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend it. This method keeps our lists packed with industry-leading knowledge. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.