There’s a delicate science to packing the essentials when you’re planning an extended trip. It’s important to have the gear you’ll need for any opportunities that may come your way, and to capture masterful photos but it’s also important to stay light on your feet. Thankfully, camera bags come in all shapes and sizes, so whether it’s only a day’s sojourn or a long vacation, choosing the best option for your trip is just a matter of exploring the options.
THE BIG BAG TO GET YOU THERE
Larger packs are ideal for bringing everything you’ll need, which should include one or two camera bodies and a variety of lenses, as well as extra accessories like flashes, filters, batteries and memory cards. Many larger-pack models also will include ways to attach tripods on the outside. Padding often can be configured to fit your equipment so it keeps gear from bouncing around, and bags these size are designed for long hikes, so most offer protection from inclement weather with weather-resistant zippers and removable covers.
Clik Elite bags are built for adventures, and their Hiker bag allows you to fit a camera with multiple lenses as well as food, clothes or extra accoutrements in a separate compartment. A tripod and sleeping bag can be attached, and the LadderFit harness system is designed for optimized comfort. There’s a hydration sleeve and tube port for fitting up to a 70-ounce reservoir of water. List Price: $310.
The Crumpler C-List Celebrity is a fully padded laptop/camera backpack with a rearward-facing camera compartment so no one has access to your expensive gear except you. Zipper-gusseted pockets open for fast access to lenses, and the wide, hugging waist straps keep weight centered on the hips rather than the back. The configurable padded organizer can be taken out if you want to use the C-List as a normal backpack, and there’s a removable tripod holder, rain cover and retro-designed reflective strips that make the bag visible for safety at night. There are three sizes available to accommodate up to a 17-inch laptop. List Price: Begins at $395.
Kata’s over-the-shoulder GDC Camera Satchels feature a padded insert for protecting a camera, flash and lenses, as well as additional pockets for documents and a laptop. If more space is needed, the bag is expandable by opening the zipper that runs along the sides and bottom of the bag. The exterior has an inconspicuous design to avoid attracting attention from unsavory types, and the top zipper opening allows user access without exposing the bag’s entire contents. Available in two models, the CS-15 fits up to a 15.4-inch computer and the CS-17 holds a 17-inch computer. Estimated Street Price: $125 (CS-15); $140 (CS-17).