The Best Camera Bags for Hiking Your Back Will Love

For a lot of us, it’s about to be summer. That means you’re getting ready to go out and head on vacation or a special trek. So just for you, we’re rounding up the best camera bags for hiking. Spending a few nights in the woods? Walking across Scotland in some crazy winds? We’ve got camera bags to deal with all that and a lot more. You’re bound to find the best camera bag in this roundup.

How We Chose the Best Camera Bags for Hiking

Here’s a look into how we chose the best camera bags for hiking:

  • Our journalistic policies don’t allow us to talk about products we haven’t yet reviewed. With that said, all the product images were shot by our staff. And in each section, you’ll find further references to our full reviews. We’ve tested all these bags in the field.
  • The best camera bags for hiking are great at accommodating a lot of gear. And for the most part, our review features backpacks with rolltops. These will keep you balanced and safe when climbing.
  • Some of these bags are better for light hikes. If you’re going camping for a daytrip, there’s at least one bag here that you’ll like.
  • We’ve tested these bags across America and Asia. In some cases, we’ve even traveled with them. The best camera bags for hiking can stand up to abuse from the snow, sands, rocks, and dirt. You’ll find these bags more than excel at their job.

WANDRD PRVKE II (This Does Everything)

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.

What We Think

In our review, we state:

“For such a large, over-packed bag that hasn’t been broken in yet, the Wandrd PRVKE 41L was surprisingly comfortable. The straps and back panel are well designed. The bag isn’t as comfortable when carrying a laptop because it makes the back panel stiff, but those three padded panels on the back help quite a bit. I prefer a waist strap when carrying all my gear, and thankfully Wandrd offers an add-on strap for $39.”

Buy Now

TENBA DNA 16 Backpack (the Rolltop Back for Carry Ons)

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 may 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 that bad.

What We Think

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.”

Buy Now

THULE Covert DSLR Rolltop (Bring Two Fuji Camera and All Your Lenses)

Pros

  • I set it up to hold Fujifilm gear.
  • The area inside of the roll-top can hold a lot of gear.
  • Laptop storage area is well padded
  • This is best for a DSLR with a small lens.
  • Pretty comfortable
  • Very high-quality materials

Cons

  • The dividers have odd shapes.
  • The dividers aren’t all that great.
  • The interior roll-top pocket access area doesn’t have a lot of separation potential. It’s best for lights, cables, and clothing.
  • A Fujifilm XH1 with a grip and a small lens has trouble getting in and out.
  • Needs waist straps
  • The pockets located under the main flap are odd.
  • Why no external pockets for quick access to little things?
  • This would be a dope bag in canvas and leather, or just leather.
  • The interior zippered pocket goes all the way down to the bottom. Why?

What We Think

In our review, we state:

“The Thule Covert is incredibly comfortable. When it’s worn, it’s going to feel like a relief on your back. It’s not the Tenba and WANDRD options that offer lumbar support, but it’s still nice for the upper and midsection. Where the Thule Covert could have improved is with a waist strap. This would have honestly made the Thule Covert the most comfortable backpack on the market, but that nod is still being given to the WANDRD PRVKE pack 31.”

Buy Now

WANDRD FERNWEH (Bring All the Gear)

Pros

  • Pack and carry a lot of gear with ease
  • Plenty of room for accessories, a change of clothes, a drone and more
  • Most comfortable shoulder straps of any bag we’ve used
  • Waist straps and lumbar support are excellent.
  • Sealed-off hydration bladder compartment is a game-changer
  • Incredibly configurable. You can make this bag work for you.
  • Little details like a key holder in the upper compartment, the hidden passport pocket, and small storage compartments everywhere
  • TSA compliant despite its size
  • Stowable sleeping bag holder is a nice touch.
  • Side access provides quick access to your camera
  • Huge size, like really huge

Cons

  • Huge size, like really huge
  • A complicated bag that you will need to spend time with to get the most out of
  • The outer material gets dirty very quickly, but it’s easy to wipe clean.
  • Not the most stylish bag, but it’s more about function than fashion

What We Think

In our review, we state:

“I’m a big guy (6ft1, 280lbs), and I was able to make the bag fit me. My wife is much smaller, and we were able to configure the bag so that it worked for her too. In both cases, the FERNWEH was incredibly comfortable to hike with for long periods. You’re also going to find multiple handles placed around the top and sides of the bag, which makes this monster easier to pick up and carry. You can even thread the bag over the handle of rolling luggage so that you don’t have to carry it all the time when traveling.”

Buy Now

LowePro RunAbout BP 18L (the Light Hike)

Pros

  • I like the bright orange colour.
  • Extremely compact when rolled up
  • Weighs only 400 grams
  • Made of 84% recycled fabric
  • Comes with attachment points for hiking poles
  • Pockets on both sides for tripods, water bottles, or other similarly sized accessories
  • Top drawstring as well as back zippered access to gear
  • Good for quick, short distance hikes without much gear inside

Cons

  • I thought the shoulder straps would eventually feel comfortable, but no such luck after three hours of hiking.
  • Even a minimal lining of padding inside might have tempted me to pack a camera without any other protection.
  • I don’t think I’d put expensive cameras in here without a proper camera insert due to the lack of any inner padding.

What We Think

In our review, we state:

“The terrain on our hike was anything but flat. We encountered a lot of jagged rocks that the Lowepro RunAbout BP 18L brushed against. At the end, the backpack had nothing more than a bit of dust on it: no scratches or tears at all. A quick wipe-down with a wet wipe cleaned the dust in no time.”

Buy Now

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 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.