When it comes to camera bags, style and functionality are not mutually exclusive. In fact, many companies have set out to make the best stylish camera bags designed to protect your gear and look good doing it.
Some of us might shrug and say a camera bag is a camera bag. Yet there are many reasons photographers would want a stylish camera bag. For professional photographers, a camera bag is part of the uniform. It doesn’t hurt to look put together while shooting weddings or events. Whether you’re a travel photographer or hobbyist photographer, there’s no harm in choosing a stylish bag to protect your camera and lenses.
Today, there are endless options for photographers seeking stylish camera bags. Whether you’re searching for a cross-body bag, tote, or backpack, there’s no need to sacrifice aesthetics for functionality. Without further ado, here’s a collection of our favorite stylish camera bags.
1. ONA Bowery Leather Camera Bag
ONA produces vintage-looking camera bags with equal parts function and style. ONA ranks highly on our list of the best leather camera bags and the Bowery is no exception. Advertised as the ‘perfect everyday camera bag’, The Bowery is a classic silhouette designed with versatility in mind.
The Bowery features one main compartment that fits a DSLR or mirrorless camera with lens attached, plus one to two small lenses and a small notepad or iPad mini. You can either use the Bowery with its adjustable leather strap or remove the strap to create a camera insert for use within larger bags. Other unique features include secure tuck-clasps and side weather flaps for additional protection.
The Bowery comes in a variety of styles to compliment any outfit. Choose between full-grain leather, available in black and brown, or five different colors of premium waxed canvas. It tops this list by being the stylish camera bag that looks like nothing more than a stylish bag.
2. Billingham Hadley Pro 2020
Billingham produces a popular line of camera bags including the Hadley Pro 2020 shoulder bag. This upgraded model of the best-selling Hadley Pro comprises one main compartment with two padded dividers. Adjust these dividers around your gear or remove them to transform the Hadley Pro 2020 into a casual bag.
An exterior pocket offers storage for spare batteries, a phone, or other accessories. The discrete rear exterior pocket with a weatherproof zipper is ideal for storing wallets, passports, and other valuables.
The Hadley Pro 2020 is made with three-layer waterproof canvas or FibreNyte to keep contents safe and dry in the elements. A removable fabric-covered foam base provides added protection from bumps during transit. The bag also features a removable and adjustable shoulder sling, a luggage trolley strap, and a top handle with a leather underside for maximum grip and comfort.
The Billingham Hadley Pro comes in six styles. Three are made with canvas (khaki and tan, black and tan, burgundy and chocolate) and three are made with FibreNyte (all black, sage and chocolate, khaki and chocolate). Each features full-grain leather trim and brass details that create a classic and timeless look.
3. Kelly Moore Explorer
Kelly Moore designs bags of all kinds for both men and women including the popular Explorer. This sizable duffle can easily carry a camera body and grip or a camera body with a lens attached. Laptops measuring up to 15″ will also fit inside.
This Kelly Moore duffle bag features a versatile and intuitive interior. The bag interior features a slit zip pocket plus six mesh internal pockets, a bottom zippered shoe compartment, and four padded and adjustable dividers. Side and bottom padding provide extra security while a series of four exterior slit and zipper pockets make it easy to store and organize smaller accessories.
The Explorer offers a variety of carrying options including a removable cross-body messenger strap, dual handles for shoulder wear or hand carry, and a removable canvas shoulder pad. The Explorer is made with durable canvas, genuine leather, and brass hardware. Though the soft leather is prone to scuffs, this only adds to the bag’s overall vintage aesthetic. All in all, it’s a great companion for weekend trips and adventures.
4. Think Tank Retrospective 7 V2
The Think Tank Retrospective 7 V2.0 is a minimalist bag with modern features. The bag features a soft, form-fitting design the follows the contours of its contents to create a subtle silhouette.
The Retrospective features a main compartment with a zippered opening for security. The bag fits a standard DSLR with an attached lens with room for an additional lens and some small accessories. It comes with dividers to create small compartments within the main compartment. The interior is also outfitted with dedicated pockets that fit a 10″ tablets and 13″ laptop. External zippered pockets offer secure places to store valuables and small items.
This Think Tank bag has a removable carrying handle, an adjustable cushioned shoulder strap, and luggage handle pass-through for security in transit. Unique features include a collapsible water bottle pocket and a webbing rail for attaching modular pouches or carabiners. The bag is made of 100 percent sand-washed cotton canvas that is coated with a durable water repellent. It also comes with a seam-sealed rain cover for protection against the elements.
5. WANDRD PRVKE Travel
For a sleek and modern camera bag designed for traveling photographers, look no further than the WANDRD PRVKE travel backpack. The PRVKE comes in two sizes, 21L and 31L. Three points of access allow you to grab your camera easily whenever you need it. Access gear from the quick-access side pocket, lay-flat clamshell opening, or adjustable roll top. The rolltop also expands to create up to 5L of additional storage space as needed.
Enjoy fully-customizable storage. The PRVKE includes a removable camera cube with modular inserts for storing a complete camera kit. You can store a DSLR plus up to eight lenses or remove the insert to convert the bag into a rugged day pack. A secure passport pocket that sits against your back protects your valuables while a designated laptop and tablet sleeve that can fit a 15″ laptop makes airport security checkpoints a breeze.
This sturdy travel-oriented backpack is outfitted with weather-resistant zippers, a detachable rainfly, and accessory straps for attaching external gear. Best of all, its sleek urban design will turn heads while keeping up with all your adventures.
6. Peak Design Everyday V2
Built with access, organization, expansion, and protection in mind, the award-winning Peak Design Everyday V2 backpack offers unbeatable function and a minimalist style. It comes in four classic colors and two sizes, 20L and 30L. The bag is made with 100 percent recycled 400D weatherproof shell that protects its contents from the elements. Both sizes can fit a DSLR camera with grip, 4 lenses, laptop, tripod, and additional accessories.
Two weather-proof UltraZips provide convenient dual side access to your gear. Meanwhile, Peak Design’s unique MagLatch hardware provides lightning-quick top access and expands the bag by up to 3L. The main compartment includes three adjustable FlexFold dividers to keep gear safely in place no matter how you choose to arrange it. Organize contents further with a variety of slip pockets and dedicated sleeves for storing an up to 15″ laptop, tablet, or documents. Expandable side pockets will also fit both tripods and water bottles.
The Everyday V2’s versatile tuck-away strap system with integrated luggage carry lets you carry the Everyday bag in a variety of ways and cinch extra gear to the pack’s exterior. A key tether also provides secure and easy access to keys, ID’s, and other valuables.
While this upgraded version features improvements based on user feedback, the original Peak Design Everyday Backpack might be a good fit for you. It’s also worth mentioning that the sleek and simple Peak Design Everyday V2 comes with a lifetime warranty. It’s not only a perfect fit for photographers but for commuters, travelers, and anyone in between.
7. Domke F-5XB RuggedWear Shoulder Bag (Budget Winner)
The Domke F-5XB RuggedWear shoulder bag offers reliable protection and simple design at a great price tag. The F-5XB can carry a DSLR or mirrorless camera with one to two lenses. The bag is made from water-resistant RuggedWear canvas to protect your gear from water and scratches. Five compartments and pockets allow you to organize and store your gear with ease.
This Domke model comes with two removable padded divider walls. For secure carrying as a shoulder bag, the F-5XB comes with an adjustable gripper shoulder strap that’s less likely to slip off. It also has a built-in belt loop for those who wish to use it as a hip bag.
As the official camera bag of the White House News Photographers Association and trusted by photojournalists around the world, a Domke is a reliable choice. This particular Domke camera bag comes in brown and military green, offering a neutral and classic canvas camera bag option for shoppers on a budget.
Is a Stylish Camera Bag Essential?
You might be wondering whether a stylish camera bag is necessary at all. On the one hand, the camera bag you’re toting won’t have a direct effect on the way your photographs turn out. On the other hand, it might affect your overall experience.
Keep in mind that style can prove to be a useful indicator of general design sense. While fashion may not rank high on your list, it’s more likely that a nice looking bag will also be functional, effective, and well-designed overall. Indeed, each of these stylish camera bags on the list proves that functionality can be achieved with some flair. As you shop around for a camera bag, why not get the best of both worlds?