- Buyer's Guide
Best Camera Bag Champion | Carry Awards IX
Photography adventure calling? Our Best Camera Bag champion ensures your camera gear is protected, organized, and close at hand when that picture-perfect opportunity presents itself…
With adventure photography, nothing is constant. Maybe it’s sunny one day and snowing the next. Perhaps you need to carry a large load for a multi-day trip or a compact setup for a day outing. You may need to trek up mountains or trek through airports to reach your destination. So adaptability is key. And the Atlas Packs Athlete Pack is all about adaptability.
This pack has been cleverly designed with features that don’t just look good on paper. They actually work, allowing you to adjust to different environments and loads. Take for instance the expandable volume, which starts at 20L; ideal for day trips and smaller setups. But what if you’re overnighting somewhere or have a lot of gear to haul? No problem; the Athlete Pack expands up to 40L to accommodate a variety of loads.
Another key feature that makes the pack so flexible is its ORIGAMI CAMERA CORE. Rather than relying on removable camera cubes, this inbuilt feature allows you to easily adjust the camera storage area on the go. So whether you need more space for camera gear or more storage for personal gear, you can tailor the pack’s organization to your needs. Add in side access, multiple pockets, and a range of attachment points and gear loops and your setup will remain secure yet accessible throughout your adventures.
Now it wouldn’t be a functional adventure camera pack without suitable carrying comfort. But you’re well covered here too. The Athlete Pack holds even heavy loads comfortably for extended periods of time, distributing weight well. The included hip belt is also removable if you don’t need it for a particular outing. Added bonus? The pack comes in a choice of sizes to suit different torso lengths too.
The Athlete Pack is built tough enough for rugged outdoor use, keeping the elements out and your gear safe on the go. And with the included rain cover you have even greater peace of mind that your precious cargo will be protected, whatever the weather has in store.
No two adventures are quite the same, and neither are photography trips. The Athlete Pack offers excellent versatility in volume and organization, great comfort, and adventure-ready toughness. So wherever your next outdoor photography trip may take you, it’s ready to go. Congratulations, Atlas Packs!
These are the pieces that just missed out, and in most cases, by the smallest of margins. To them, we award a High Commendation. The below were of outstanding quality, displaying fine craftsmanship and design flair. With honor, we bow our heads in the utmost respect and kudos. If this were a dais, they’d be biting their teeth into silver medals, while their flags were hoisted into the horizon – a feat not to be overlooked. And we’re sure they’ll be back, to take it one notch higher, next year.
If you love vintage military aesthetics and rugged charm, it’s hard not to fall for the WOTANCRAFT Pilot Travel Camera Backpack. There are some definite Indiana Jones vibes going on here, and just like Indy, this pack is tough and capable. Whether you’re roaming in the wilderness or meandering along the streets of an unexplored town on your travels, this pack smoothly settles into a range of settings. The coated 500D Cordura offers lightweight durability and protection from inclement weather, while the understated looks don’t shout ‘Camera Bag!’, helping to avoid unwanted attention.
The base 20L volume easily adapts between everyday and camera use. But what if you need to carry a little more? The pack is compatible with optional Add-on Pocket Modules, allowing you to increase the volume to 36L for larger loads and travel use. And with exterior MOLLE attachment points and a Velcro-compatible interior, you’re free to use any of your own compatible pouches and organizers too. Dual side access also keeps gear easily accessible, whether you’re on outdoor trails or city pavements. Tough, handsome, and adaptable for photography, everyday, and travel use, the WOTANCRAFT Pilot Travel Camera Backpack is a savvy pack to have in your carry quiver. Excellent work, WOTANCRAFT!
The original Shimoda Explore series made an immediate impact in the adventure photography scene. But not ones to rest on a good thing, Shimoda have taken the series to even greater heights. And the result is an impressive offering of packs in three sizes (25L, 30L, and 35L) that will give photographers the confidence to explore demanding and harsh environments. The V2 series offers enhanced organization and durability while maintaining Shimoda’s excellent harness system for all-day carry comfort. The harness offers an adjustable torso height and specific strap options for both men and women, allowing you to find your ideal fit.
Side and rear camera access creates a mobile workstation that allows gear to be easily visible and accessible, while keeping the harness off dirty or wet terrain. Multiple quick-access and internal pockets give you plenty of options for organizing your gear. And additional features such as a luggage handle passthrough and included rain cover help you stay on top of changing settings and conditions. Thoughtfully designed for landscape photography and travel use, the Shimoda Explore V2 series keeps gear accessible, organized, and protected while you explore near and far adventures alike. Great job, Shimoda!