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A while ago camera backpacks were a photography accessory designed by a few brands, the most popular-Lowepro. Times have since changed with numerous brands making camera backpack designs tailored for your trade.
The best backpacks not only carry camera gear like mirrorless camera and lenses but also provide space for essentials like additional camera accessories and extra clothing. Backpacks designed to carry drone-like cameras are also becoming common.
The minimalist photographer does not want to weigh down. He will probably opt for a sizeable but functional backpack that does not allow him to leave essential accessories. A few factors come into play. Minimalist photographers taking landscape shots, for example, need to hike to get the best photos. Thus, they need a backpack with a waterproof cover, comfortable straps, and a water bottle holder.
Thinking of buying the best minimalist camera backpack?
Here are the top 11 best minimalist camera backpacks that you want to consider for your minimalist items.
Best Minimalist Camera Backpacks
InCase DSLR Pro Pack
The backpack comes with space dividers that allow you to store several camera bodies, several lenses, and flashes depending on how you want to configure the backpack. You can easily customize the bag using the removable inserts.
You will love its slim design which makes it easy and comfortable to carry. However, this build also means that you will have store the long telephoto lens vertically. The backpack has adjustable shoulder straps with pretty reasonable padding keeping you comfortable throughout the day.
The back panel is also padded and lined with mesh for adequate flow of air. The backpack has a laptop compartment that fits 15’’-17’’ laptops. It has a camera storage area that can be accessed through the back panel enhanced with a quick access feature.
Get the look: InCase DSLR Pro Pack
Think Tank Photo Airport Essentials Backpack
While it has a rather small construction, the backpack can carry eight additional lenses. It is equipped with a laptop compartment that fits 13’’-15’’ laptops with wide bezels. Its design mimics that of regular carry-on luggage rather than a backpack which is ideal for photographers who are planning to fly.
However, if planning to use it for prolonged periods, it may not be the best option because it does not have much back and shoulder support. Also, it may not be ideal for rugged travel, hiking, and other activities.
Get the look: Think Tank Photo Airport Essentials Backpack
LowePro Freeline BP 350Aw
The backpack features a pretty sturdy construction thanks to the high-grade Nylon 66 material used. The material is enhanced with water and abrasion-resistant carbonate coating which allows it to withstand external elements.
LowePro Freeline BP 350Aw is designed to fit a full-frame DSLR mounted with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, a full-frame DSLR with grip and a mirrorless body, a 15’’ laptop, compact drones fitted with a controller, cords, travel tripod, water bottle, and smaller items.
The straps are pretty comfortable for a minimalist camera backpack as they have been reinforced with adequate padding. What’s more, the backside is ribbed for adequate circulation of air. The backpack also has an optional hip strap and a sternum strap to help you tighten the shoulder straps when hiking.
It also has a divider system that unfolds into a three-tier shelf that snaps flat for easier removal. This feature helps convert Lowepro Freeline backpack into a regular one within seconds.
Get the look: LowePro Freeline BP 350Aw
CADeN Camera Backpack for DSLR
The manufacturer specializes in making lightweight backpacks and the CADeN Camera Backpack for DSLR makes a great option for minimalists. The backpack can carry a DSLR camera body and hold 2-3 extra lenses as well as a Speedlite.
The compartment is padded making it safe to store a 14-inch laptop while the additional pockets allow you to store accessories. Additionally, the front panel of the main compartment has zippered pockets holding all your items in place.
The shoulder straps are enhanced with air pads to keep your bag breathable. You will also love the flexible cords at the bottom that help you hold the tripod. The backpack also has a chest strap that distributes the weight across the torso. This versatile backpack is available in one color-black and functions as a camera backpack and an outdoor bag.
Get the look: CADeN Camera Backpack for DSLR
Endurax Camera Backpack for DSLR
It is a great minimalist camera backpack for travel. It is equipped with padded customizable dividers that keep all your accessories safe and organized. The main compartment is pretty spacious designed to fit one camera body fitted with a lens, one flash, and four additional lenses.
The front lap is equipped with a pocket that fits a 14-inch laptop and has additional pockets for storing a 10-inch tablet and other accessories. You will also love the tripod mount fitted with a zipper that can keep your batteries and SD card safe.
The padded shoulder and chest straps make it a great travel camera backpack for a minimalist. The back is also padded and enhanced with torso-length adjustment for comfortable travel. The bag also comes with a strap that allows the user to attach the bag to the handle of the rolling suitcase which is a pretty handy feature for on-the-go photographers.
Get the look: Endurax Camera Backpack for DSLR
Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW Camera Backpack
The backpack is pretty handy fitting up to eight lenses, 1-2 pro-level DSLRs, a tripod, a 15-inch laptop and a range of accessories. You will love the attachments that allow you to hold additional gear like a water bottle and a tripod.
A prominent feature about the backpack is the four access points included which make the backpack pretty flexible. Also, the two side flaps that keep the zip open allow you to use the bag as a shoulder and cross-body-type of the bag as well.
The backpack is also equipped with a semi-hardshell zipper-flap for easy access to the main compartment. Its MaxiFit system pads provide adequate protection and comfort while the internal dividers keep your items steady.
ProTactic backpack is made for long-term use thanks to the strong zipper system with loop attachments. The loops are pretty thin so you are confident that they will not add unnecessary bulk to the bag.
Get the look: Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW Camera Backpack
Lowepro Urban Photo Sling Camera Bag
It is a perfect minimalist camera bag thanks to its small, compact design. It is ideal for photographers looking for a rather interesting look for their camera bags. The sling bag is pretty versatile as it has three wearing options: the front, side, and back. Its construction also makes it easy to carry and use. Its front accessory pocket allows you to store small accessories.
Get the look: Lowepro Urban Photo Sling Camera Bag
CADEN DSLR Camera Backpack
CADEN DSLR Camera backpack does not look like a camera backpack at first look. It straddles the line between extensive carry on backpack and overnight travel photography companion.
It includes a camera bag insert which allows you to quickly access the camera from the side without having to remove the backpack, this is a valuable feature for travel. Even better, the bag insert can be taken out to arrange other items such as hiking accessories. This feature makes the backpack a great choice for outdoor photography/ hiking/travel/ street snap and so on.
If you are just beginning with photography and aren’t yet sure what features you want in a camera backpack, this CADEN Camera backpack will cover you as you figure things out. By zipping or unzipping the padded zipper divider inside the backpack, you will have 2 parts or one main compartment correspondingly. Padding in the main compartment can meet most configuration needs. Outside pockets to store other small items such as books, power banks. The backpack also allows you to bring your tripod with a dedicated strap on the bottom. The backpack is made of waterproof material, so setting it on the ground to take a break should not be an issue.
Get the look: CADEN DSLR Camera Backpack
HEX® Loader DSLR Backpack
The Hex camera backpack is made by two musicians. It’s a camera backpack aimed at all kinds of digital creators.
The most prominent feature of the backpack is the high-density water-repellent material used in its construction. The bottom is padded with half an inch of foam which ensures your gear stays safe and unharmed.
The front pocket has many different compartments. It has a mesh zippered compartment, a solid zippered compartment, and a few small areas for miscellaneous items.
Inside the main compartment of this bag are eleven foam and velcro adjustable inserts. These customizable pieces can be moved around to fit every shape of the camera, lens, drone, and other camera gear. The main area of the backpack can’t be fully accessed when it’s on your back so your camera safe. The back and the straps are covered in foam for a comfortable load carry throughout the entire day.
The outside of the backpack is minimal, so there isn’t much room for customization on the outside, and the most adjustable part is the interior dividers which allow you to customize your gear. The side tripod straps come in handy for the minimalist photographer who loves hiking, street photography, and taking scenic photos.
Get the look: HEX® DSLR Backpack
HEX® Ranger ClamShell DSLR Backpack
This is the last minimalist camera backpack that we really love.
The backpack is ideal for city shooting thanks to its modern, minimal design. It is constructed in premium, water-resistant Cordura®. The exterior of the backpack is minimal, it features a large, slim-line front pocket with an organizer and detachable key clip. It also has a hidden compartment under the front pocket that stores rain cover and bottom tripod straps when not in use.
What I really like about this backpack is that features two pockets on the side with different designs on purpose. One side is a zippered faux fur-lined pocket for phone or other camera accessories. Another side is a flush pocket that can expand to hold a water bottle. Especially, the flush pocket features a hidden anti-theft zipper clasp inside for extra safety.
They’re also a quick access memory card pocket on the strap, hideable tripod straps on the bottom of the bag, and a padded faux fur lined laptop compartment that can hold up to 15″ laptops.
The backpack also comes with many convenient features. Airmesh under straps for comfort and breathability. Reinforced top grab handle for easy carry. Ergonomic, one-piece shoulder strap designed for additional comfort and fit for a wider range of body types.
As one of the best minimalist camera backpack, this bag has fully adjustable interior dividers, customize to your preferred camera access lay. It can hold 1-2 Pro DSLR cameras with attached lenses, 2-3 extra lenses, and a flash unit. Inside, it also has mesh zip pockets with elastic zipper garage to prevent scratches and quilted soft tricot liner prevent lifting when adjusting dividers.
This backpack not only has a great minimal design but also comes with all functionalities that you need in a minimalist camera backpack. If you have a budget go for HEX® Ranger ClamShell DSLR Backpack it will never disappoint you.
Get the look: HEX® Ranger ClamShell DSLR Backpack
PRVKE Travel and DSLR Camera Backpack
Designed by photographers for photographers, the PRVKE Travel and DSLR Camera Backpack has a minimal, elegant, and urban-inspired design which has stirred up a lot of attention. It comes in black, blue, and green.
The backpack is made of durable tarpaulin and nylon dobby. It is not waterproof but water-resistant. The backpack features a roll-top design and three main access points: side quick camera access, clamshell back, and the roll-top. The three access points allow you to quickly access your items without too much digging. It also expands to create an extra 5 liters of space when you need it.
You can separate the top of the backpack and the bottom with the camera cube. You can use the top to store your various daily goods such as clothes. The camera cube sits in the bottom compartment and can be accessible through the side of the backpack or through the clamshell back. The side entrance allows you to grab your camera from the side without having to put your backpack down.
There’s a laptop sleeve built into the clamshell that can house a healthy-sized laptop and iPad Pro. Security is great on this camera backpack as it has a secure passport pocket that sits against your back – ideal for storing passports, wallets.
Keeping it simple and nice, there are only four outside pockets. On the outside of the roll-top, there is a small pocket with a clip for your keys. There’s a zip pocket in the side entrance with three stretchy little battery pockets and the passport pocket we’ve already mentioned. The last pocket is the front slim pocket which can keep books, maps or paperwork nice and flat.
Get the look: PRVKE Travel and DSLR Camera Backpack
What to Consider When Buying a Minimalist Camera Backpack
If taking urban landscapes, go for a backpack that does not have dangly straps and hip belts as they make it difficult to carry on public transport. The guide highlights the selection criteria for a minimalist camera backpack.
Size and Capacity
The backpacks come in different sizes and shapes hence the need to choose one that suits your needs. Are you going to shoot a video but won’t need to change out the lens or you are more of a point and shoot photographer?
Keep in mind, the larger the bag, the more the storage capacity but also the more the weight you are likely to carry around. Consider the size and number of accessories you want to carry. If you want to carry battery packs, lenses, cables and other accessories, buy a backpack with multiple compartments.
Also, check the weight rating of the bag especially if you are flying because some airlines have bag size limits.
The minimalist photographer often wants to take a load off his shoulders. Carrying heavy equipment, wearing a camera and lens of a strap around the neck throughout the day can strain the body. As such, this kind of photographer will be keen to examine the design and the construction of the backpack.
A belt pack may be a welcome solution as it takes a load off the shoulders and the neck, and still, keep the camera and equipment closeby. The strap should padded for even distribution of weight and the dividers adjustable to enable the user to choose a configuration that suits your gear.
The premise for buying a backpack is to protect your valued investment- the camera and its accessories. As such, you want a backpack made from materials that can hold the weight of the camera and equipment while protecting it from external elements.
Look for a water-resistant backpack fitted with zippers, seam points and joined areas to prevent dust and moisture from getting in. Be sure to examine the interiors and exterior of the backpack because of frequent removal and insertion of the camera cause the material to wear out fast.
If you are an avid outdoor photographer, you want a backpack that can stand up to the different landscapes: blazing trails, climbing rocks, hiking, mud, streams among other elements. As such, you don’t only look for a waterproof backpack but one equipped with crush proof properties.
The presence of pads and removable dividers allow you to configure the backpack to the needs of your shoot while keeping the accessories safe. Also, photographers taking videos and shots at the same time should look for backpacks designed to meet both needs.
Consider how you want to use the camera bag. Do you want to pull out the camera while traveling? If so, look for a backpack with quick-access panels. Also, the internal compartment should be adjustable to ensure the interior holds the gear firmly.
You also need to consider how the bag opens. For a minimalist photographer, a backpack with an access panel he can push against his back makes an excellent option. Some bags require the user to take it off to access the gear while others need the entire compartment to be unzipped.
Such bags are great for makeshift travel studio shooting but not the best for spontaneous street shots.
A minimalist will look for a comfortable and functional backpack. Examine the padding and how it rests on the body. Comfortable backpacks shift the weight to the bottom of the bag to reduce the load at the top. Also, look for additional padding in the lumbar section and in the straps.
The list should help you choose the best minimalist camera backpack for your camera. Be sure to examine essential features like waterproofing, additional compartments, dividers, construction among others. You also need to decide if you want the bag for carrying your camera only or you want to swap it for clothing from time to time.
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