Merging two passions, hiking and photography, can be a dream come true. If you’re preparing to capture nature’s finest moments while trekking through varied terrains, you’re likely searching for the best camera backpack for hiking.
Balancing the need for a sturdy, weather-resistant backpack that can accommodate your camera gear safely, all while ensuring comfort during your hiking expedition, can be challenging.
As an avid traveler with a deep love for photography and the great outdoors, I’ve tested an array of camera backpacks during my hiking trips, and I’m ready to share my experiences with you.
If you’re a photographer with a wanderlust, a nature enthusiast who loves to document your adventures, or someone planning a photographic hiking trip, this guide will help you find the ideal backpack for your needs.
Let’s embark on this picturesque journey together, exploring the best camera backpacks for hiking that will ensure your equipment is safe while you focus on capturing nature’s beauty. Ready for the adventure? Let’s roll!
Quick Overview Of The Best Camera Backpacks For Hiking (Updated List)
|4.7||Shimoda Explore V2 35 Water Resistant|
(Best Overall, versatile)
Best Camera Backpack For Hiking
|4.7||f-stop – Kashmir UL 30L Bundle|
(Best Lightweight For Women)
Hiking Camera Backpack
|4.8||Lowepro ProTactic 350 AW II Modular |
(Best For Professionals)
Hiking Photography Backpack
|4.6||VANGUARD Alta Sky 51D|
(Best For Day Hiking)
Photography Hiking Backpack
|5.0||Think Tank Rotation 50L+ |
(For The Adventurous Photographer)
Best Hiking Camera Backpack
Benefits Of The Best Camera Backpack For Hiking
Investing in the best camera backpack for hiking does more than just securely transporting your camera gear. It provides numerous advantages that enhance your overall hiking and photography experience. Let’s explore some of these benefits:
Enhanced Equipment Safety
A top-tier camera backpack for hiking offers superior protection for your equipment. The padded compartments and robust construction shield your gear from potential harm, be it from impacts, dust, or moisture. With the best camera backpack for hiking, your expensive equipment remains safe and sound, regardless of the environment.
A cluttered backpack can lead to missed shots and possible damage to your gear. However, the best camera backpack for hiking has multiple compartments tailored to fit different equipment pieces, helping keep your gear organized and easily accessible.
Need to change your lens quickly or grab a water bottle without removing your backpack? The best camera backpack for hiking boasts easy-access compartments and additional storage options for such needs, offering unmatched convenience in the field.
The Best Camera Backpack For Hiking Product Reviews
While there are plenty of options on the market, we’ve handpicked some of the best camera backpacks for hiking based on user reviews, durability, and convenience.
Shimoda Explore V2 35 Water Resistant
The Shimoda Explore V2 35 Water Resistant backpack is designed with the outdoor photographer in mind. This backpack might be the best camera backpack for hiking you’re looking for if you value comfort, versatility, and durability.
- Water-Resistant Material: The backpack is crafted with water-resistant Nylon Carbonate PU and high-quality YKK zippers that keep your gear safe from the elements.
- Adjustable Torso Height: With 9 height adjustments, it caters to photographers of various body types, enhancing comfort and fit.
- Modular Inserts: The Core Unit modular inserts can be customized to fit your specific gear, offering flexible storage solutions.
- Ample Storage: Besides camera gear, the backpack accommodates a hydration reservoir, a 13-inch laptop, and personal items, making it a versatile choice for long hiking trips.
- Superior Protection: The water-resistant material and well-padded compartments provide excellent protection for your gear against impacts, dust, and moisture.
- Customizable Storage: The Core Unit modular inserts allow you to tailor the storage according to your gear, making organization a breeze.
- Comfortable to Wear: The adjustable torso height and comfortable straps make this backpack suitable for long hikes.
- Price: The Shimoda Explore V2 35 is priced on the higher end of the spectrum, which might be a deterrent for budget-conscious photographers.
- Size: Despite being a 35L backpack, some users have found it a bit too bulky for their liking, especially for shorter hikes.
In conclusion, the Shimoda Explore V2 35 Water Resistant backpack is a sturdy and flexible option for outdoor photographers. Its emphasis on comfort and adjustability, coupled with its water-resistant capabilities and customizable storage, make it a strong contender for the best camera backpack for hiking.
However, its size and price may be considerations for some users. As always, the choice should align with your specific needs and budget.
f-stop – Kashmir UL 30L Bundle
The f-stop – Kashmir UL 30L Bundle is a versatile and lightweight camera backpack that doesn’t compromise on protection or comfort. It might be your best camera backpack for hiking if you’re seeking a durable and compact solution for your gear.
- Lightweight Construction: The backpack weighs a mere 1.3kg, making it one of the lightest in its category.
- Sized for Women and Smaller Frames: The backpack is designed to fit women and individuals with smaller frames comfortably.
- ICU (Internal Camera Unit): It includes a medium slope ICU for dedicated and protective camera gear storage.
- Multiple Access Points: The rear and top access points allow quick retrieval of your gear.
- Lightweight and Comfortable: The light construction, coupled with ergonomic design ensures reduced strain, making it comfortable for long hikes.
- Optimized for Smaller Frames: The design caters specifically to women and individuals with smaller frames, a relatively rare feature in camera backpacks.
- Secure Storage: The included ICU provides a secure and separate space for camera gear.
- Limited Capacity: Some photographers may find the 30L storage space limiting, especially for longer trips or larger gear.
- Price: The price is on the higher side, considering its size and capacity.
In summary, the f-stop – Kashmir UL 30L Bundle is an excellent choice for photographers seeking a lightweight and comfortable hiking backpack, especially those with smaller body frames. Its specific design and handy ICU provide secure and organized storage for your gear.
However, its capacity might be a constraint for some, and the price point may be a consideration. As the best camera backpack for hiking is subjective to individual needs, consider all aspects before making a purchase.
Lowepro ProTactic 350 AW II Modular
The Lowepro ProTactic 350 AW II Modular backpack is built for professional photographers who require quick access, versatile storage, and reliable protection. If you need a sturdy and tactical backpack for your hiking photography sessions, this could be your best camera backpack for hiking.
- Four Access Points: This backpack offers four access points, including the top, back, and sides, for quick access to your gear.
- Modular Design: The backpack features a modular system with exterior attachment points for carrying additional gear.
- Built-In All Weather AW Cover™: This provides protection against rain, snow, dust, and sand.
- MaxFit System: The adjustable padded dividers allow for maximum capacity and snug protective fit for all gear.
- Multiple Access Points: The four access points offer easy and fast retrieval of gear, a boon for photographers needing quick camera access.
- Versatile and Expandable Storage: The modular design and exterior attachment points allow for customization of storage, ideal for photographers with various gear.
- Excellent Protection: The built-in AW Cover™ and MaxFit System offer excellent protection against various weather conditions and impacts.
- Not Ideal for Larger Frames: Some users with larger body frames may find the backpack uncomfortable due to its compact design.
- Price: The Lowepro ProTactic 350 AW II is a premium backpack, which may be a consideration for photographers with a tighter budget.
To conclude, the Lowepro ProTactic 350 AW II Modular backpack impresses with its tactical design, multiple access points, and excellent protective features. These make it a strong candidate for the best camera backpack for hiking, especially for photographers who need quick gear access and customizable storage.
However, its compact design and price point may be considerations for some users. As always, ensure the backpack you choose aligns with your specific needs and preferences.
VANGUARD Alta Sky 51D
The VANGUARD Alta Sky 51D is a dynamic, adaptable camera backpack that offers spacious storage and ultimate gear protection. If you’re seeking a backpack that seamlessly transitions from a hiking trip to a professional assignment, this might be the best camera backpack for hiking for you.
- Versatile Design: This backpack can adapt to hold a DSLR with lens attached, 3-4 lenses, a flash, and a 15″ laptop. Alternatively, it can fit a DJI Phantom drone with all related accessories.
- Quick Side Access: Quick access to your gear without taking off the backpack via the convenient side access.
- Multi-access Gear Loading: With both top and back access, you can load gear in your preferred way.
- Durable Construction: It boasts durable, water-resistant materials and includes a total coverage rain cover.
- Versatile Storage: The adaptable compartments accommodate a wide array of gear, making it suitable for various photographic needs.
- Easy Access: The quick side access allows you to grab your gear on the go without removing the backpack, a vital feature for time-critical shots.
- Robust Protection: The durable construction and included rain cover provides excellent protection against weather and impacts.
- Size: Due to its large storage capacity, some users might find the backpack too bulky for shorter trips or smaller gear sets.
- Weight: The robust construction and spacious storage make it heavier than some alternatives, potentially causing discomfort on long hikes.
In conclusion, the VANGUARD Alta Sky 51D stands out with its versatile storage, easy access points, and robust construction. These features make it a compelling option for photographers seeking the best camera backpack for hiking that can adapt to varying gear setups.
However, its size and weight may be considerations for those who prioritize compactness and lightness. Always ensure that your backpack choice matches your personal needs, preferences, and hiking photography style.
Think Tank Rotation 50L+
The Think Tank Rotation 50L+ offers a unique solution for photographers needing quick access to their gear without the need to take off the backpack. If quick gear retrieval and substantial storage capacity top your list, this might be the best camera backpack for hiking for you.
- Rotation Technology: The rotating belt pack allows for easy access to your gear without removing the backpack.
- Large Capacity: This backpack accommodates a pro DSLR with an attached 70-200mm lens, 2-4 extra lenses, a 17″ laptop, a 10″ tablet, plus personal gear.
- Dedicated Compartments: The separate compartments for photo gear, personal items, and electronics help in organized storage.
- Robust Construction: The backpack is made with high-quality materials and includes a seam-sealed rain cover for full weather protection.
- Easy Access: The Rotation Technology enables photographers to retrieve their gear quickly and conveniently, a crucial feature for time-sensitive shots.
- Generous Storage: The large storage capacity accommodates an extensive gear setup, perfect for professional photographers.
- Organized Compartments: The dedicated compartments help in easy organization and quick access to various gear types.
- Size and Weight: Given its generous storage, the backpack is larger and heavier than some alternatives, which might make it less comfortable for longer hikes.
- Price: The Think Tank Rotation 50L+ is a premium product and comes with a high price tag, which might be a consideration for budget-conscious photographers.
In conclusion, the Think Tank Rotation 50L+ impresses with its innovative Rotation Technology and generous storage capacity, making it a strong contender for the best camera backpack for hiking, especially for professional photographers.
However, its size, weight, and price point might be considerations for some. As always, ensure the backpack you choose matches your specific needs and budget.
What Features To Consider When Buying the Best Camera Backpack for Hiking
Selecting the best camera backpack for hiking can seem like a daunting task with so many options on the market. However, certain features make some backpacks stand out from the rest. Here’s what to look for:
The best camera backpack for hiking will be your travel companion across various landscapes and weather conditions. Therefore, durability is paramount. Look for backpacks made from robust, weather-resistant materials that can withstand the elements, whether it’s a sudden downpour or a dusty trail.
Size and Capacity
The size and capacity of the backpack should match your equipment needs. If you have a larger camera and multiple lenses, you’ll need a larger backpack with several compartments. On the other hand, if you’re a minimalist photographer, a compact backpack with space for your camera and a couple of lenses may suffice.
As hiking can be a physically demanding activity, comfort should be a top priority. Look for backpacks that feature adjustable, padded shoulder straps, a hip belt, and a padded back. These will distribute the weight evenly across your body, reducing strain and maximizing comfort.
A good camera backpack for hiking should offer quick and easy access to your gear. This could be a side access point or a front-opening panel. The quicker you can get to your gear, the less likely you are to miss that perfect shot.
Ensure your chosen backpack offers sufficient protection for your gear. Look for features like padded compartments, secure fastenings, and weatherproof coverings. These will shield your expensive equipment from damage due to impact, dust, or water.
Beyond your camera gear, you’ll likely need to carry other hiking essentials. Consider backpacks that offer extra storage for items such as water bottles, snacks, a change of clothes, or even a laptop.
Keeping these features in mind will guide you in your quest for the best camera backpack for hiking. Remember, the right backpack can make your outdoor photography experience more enjoyable and productive.
FAQs About The Best Camera Backpack For Hiking
In your quest for the best camera backpack for hiking, you might come across several questions related to selection, usage, and maintenance. To assist you, we’ve addressed some of the most frequently asked questions on this topic below:
What is the ideal size for a hiking camera backpack?
The ideal size for a hiking camera backpack depends on your specific requirements. If you’re carrying a DSLR with a few lenses, a 30-35L backpack, like the Shimoda Explore V2 35 or the f-stop Kashmir UL 30L Bundle, might suffice. However, if you’re carrying larger gear or going on extended trips, a bigger backpack like the VANGUARD Alta Sky 51D or Think Tank Rotation 50L+ might be more suitable.
How can I keep my camera gear safe in the backpack during a hike?
Choosing a backpack with well-padded compartments, like the Lowepro ProTactic 350 AW II Modular, is crucial to protect your gear from impacts. Backpacks with water-resistant features or rain covers, such as the Shimoda Explore V2 35 or VANGUARD Alta Sky 51D, offer protection against the elements. Always ensure your gear is securely packed, and use the dedicated compartments appropriately.
Is it necessary to have a specific camera backpack for hiking, or can a regular backpack work?
While a regular backpack can hold camera gear, a specialized camera backpack like those reviewed here offers additional benefits. These include padded compartments for delicate equipment, easy access points for quick gear retrieval, and, often, weather-resistant features. A good camera backpack for hiking is designed keeping in mind the convenience and requirements of photographers, which a regular backpack might not provide.
How do I know if my camera backpack is a good one?
A good camera backpack has a dedicated compartment that is well-padded and adjustable dividers. It should also have a comfortable harness system, weather-resistant materials, and plenty of pockets for accessories.
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Best Camera Backpack For Hiking – Conclusion
Selecting the best camera backpack for hiking largely depends on your specific needs and preferences. Consider the amount of gear you’ll be carrying, the level of protection needed, and comfort to make an informed decision.
As you venture out to capture the beauty of the wild, make sure your camera gear is well-protected and organized with the best camera backpack for hiking. Happy hiking and happy shooting!