15 Gear Bags for the Long Haul

September 16, 2016

By Greg Scoblete

Able Archer Rucksack


Channeling the classic Army Surplus esthetic, the Able Archer Rucksack has modifications for the modern photographer to give them quick access to their gear. The bag is divided into two sections, each with elastics and mesh pockets with access points on both sides of the bag. You can fit two DSLR bodies and up to five lenses, depending on their size. There’s a neoprene-lined compartment with a waterproof zipper that can house laptops up to 17-inches in size. The exterior is water-resistant canvas and the interior is made of nylon. The bag has a passport pocket with a magnetic closure and several mounting points for adding lens pouches.

PRICE: $350

Lowepro Protactic 450aw


This backpack is roomy enough for up to two DSLRs, one of which can have up to a 70-200mm f/2 lens attached. There’s also space for up to eight lenses, a 15-inch laptop and accessories. The outside of the ProTactic 450AW has a tripod attachment point and a padded back. There are a pair of quick access pockets on the side and a turret-loading top hatch plus a removable waistbelt and a built-in rain cover.

PRICE: $250

Wandrd PRVKE


The PRVKE may look like it’s lost some vowels along the way, but you won’t have many worries transporting your camera in this water-resistant tarpaulin and ripstop nylon dobby case. The bag affords several access points, including a side pocket and a rolltop clamshell cover. The PRVKE sports a modular, removable camera cube that fits a DSLR and up to six lenses. It includes an FAA-approved laptop sleeve and a shoulder strap that doubles as a camera sling. There’s also a pair of dual-hook cinch straps that offer four connection points for adding more gear. The bag’s back panel has a molded compartment for passports and there’s a rainfly in case the skies open up. The PRVKE’s frame is solid enough to stand upright, even when it’s empty.

PRICE: $270

Ona Clifton


The Leather Clifton backpack works just as well as a traditional backpack as it does a camera bag. It has two organizational inserts that can hold a DSLR with lens attached plus up to 4-6 extra lenses. These inserts can be removed completely, freeing room in the bag for storing clothes, books, and up to a 13-inch laptop (the laptop can also fit when the inserts are in place). There’s also a front zippered pocket for pens and small accessories. The Clifton is handcrafted from full-grain Italian leather with air mesh along the back and shoulder straps for comfort.

PRICE: $499

Stock And Barrel Vintage Brown Leather Camera Bag


Hewn from American tanned leather, Stock and Barrel’s leather camera bag (which also goes by the more succinct moniker “No. 48”) can house compact DSLRs and mirrorless camera bodies and a lens. It includes a removable padded insert with a divider and uses heavy duty muted nickel hardware. The shoulder strap is adjustable and removable.

PRICE: $445



The Case Logic Reflexion ships with an adjustable storage pod that can safely house a camera body plus two lenses. You can remove the pod completely from the bag if you don’t need to carry your camera. The top of the bag has an extra-wide mouth so it’s easy to reach in and grab what you need. There’s a front storage compartment plus a small zippered exterior pocket for keys and other small items, and a pair of water bottle pockets to stave off dehydration. The small version of the bag holds the storage pod snugly. The medium version leaves extra room around the pod for personal items.

PRICE: $50 (small); $70 (medium)



Not many doctors make house calls these days, but for filmmakers on the road, Tenba’s Cineluxe Collection pops open like a doctor’s bag to give them ready access to their gear wherever they happen to be. These bags have anodized aluminum bars across the top that pop open. The collection is available in rolling cases or carry-on-friendly backpacks of varying sizes. They use new Flex-Core dividers that are rigid yet bendable to accommodate a range of camera and lens combos. Cineluxe bags include a selection of protective padded wraps and pouches that allow other sensitive tech to be stowed alongside the bag’s larger contents. They feature a water-repellent exterior of 840-denier junior ballistic nylon with YKK zippers, a waterproof and sturdy bottom panel, and an interior made of ripstop nylon and soft, brushed tricot. Each bag includes a WeatherWrap rain cover and trolley straps to piggyback onto larger rolling cases. The backpacks have a waist belt, while the rolling case has shock-absorbing wheels.

PRICE: $199-$359



Manfrotto is helping road warriors pack more efficiently with its new three-in-one camera backpack. It can serve as a camera backpack, a laptop backpack and/or a daypack. It has a backside opening to keep gear protected and is roomy enough to hold a DSLR body and 70-200mm f/2.8 lens (detached). The bag’s interchangeable dividers can be customized to fit your gear precisely to your needs–they can be folded out of the way or pulled out of the bag entirely if you don’t need to tote your gear. There’s a dedicated compartment for a tablet and a fold-out protector that you can install to keep bag contents dry in the rain. Depending on your tripod, you can also fit it inside the bag in its own pouch. The bag is designed to fit into the overhead bin in an airplane.

PRICE: $160



This tiny case is ideal for when you need to transport a body, lens or accessory in a bag that’s not necessarily geared for gear—or if you just want an extra bit of cushioning when you hit the road. The Goblin series includes lens pouches for optics up to a 24-70mm and camera body bags for DSLRs and mirrorless models. The exterior is made from ripstop nylon and a quilted interior provides a small bit of padding. They’re held closed by a cinch cord. They’re available in red, green or blue and, unlike their namesake, don’t appear to be the least bit mischievous.

PRICE: Starting at $13



The Everyday Messenger 13 is a smaller version of the original Kickstarter sensation (which has since been rechristened the Everyday Messenger 15). The 13 has room for a 13-inch laptop in a dedicated pocket, a full-frame DSLR and up to three lenses in the main compartment. The bag can expand as you stuff more gear in, growing from 6L to 14L in capacity. It has two FlexFold removable interior dividers that can be bent and folded around your gear. The front flap is secured with a MagLatch to quickly and silently open the front flap. The top of the bag has a zippered opening, allowing you access to the bag’s contents without flipping the front flap. The interior pockets are color-coded to help you organize your accessories. There are two Capture Clip attachment points for placing cameras and the bag has a 2-inch padded seatbelt-style strap. The exterior is weather-resistant and the bag comes with a lifetime warranty.

PRICE: $220



If you’re expecting stormy weather, Miggo’s aptly named Aqua Backpack meets IPX3 standards for weatherproofing (so it’s splash-proof, but don’t go swimming with it). Large enough for a Canon 5D Mark II, two lenses (70-200 f/2.8 attached and a 24-70mm f/2.8), a flash and a 15-inch laptop, the backpack has two quick access side pockets so you won’t be without your camera when opportunity (or lightning) strikes. The upper reaches of the bag has space for personal items and the lower compartment stores your gear. The two compartments can be joined by opening an internal divider. The Aqua offers a height-adjustable sternum strap and a detachable waist strap for added comfort along with a front tripod holder.

PRICE: $150



As the name suggests, the Multi-Mount Holster can be worn in several different ways—over the shoulder, as a backpack, on the front of your chest, as the (ever-stylish) fanny pack, or cinched to either the front or back of another backpack. The stabilizer strap system keeps your bag secured, no matter how you mount it. The shoulder strap loops can also double as attachment points for water bottles or other pouches. The bag is weatherproof and includes a seam-sealed rain cover. There’s an expandable front pocket that’s large enough for a flash or tabletop tripod. The YKK zippers are coated with an anti-corrosion substrate, are easy to open with gloved hands and are less prone to freezing than traditional zippers, according to Mindshift Gear. The bag’s exterior is made from 420D nylon with a water resistance finish. The Multi-Mount Holster 30 is large enough for a full frame DSLR and one standard zoom lens or a gripped body and lens plus a flash in the front pocket.

PRICE: $110



This special-edition version of Domke’s classic satchel features the same RuggedWear weatherproof cotton canvas exterior as the original in a green finish. The canvas is treated with non-solvent waxes that let the fabric breath while keeping inclement weather at bay. The bag ships with a finishing wax so you can restore the original finish at anytime. The bag offers YKK zippers, steel snap hooks and an adjustable leather strap. It’s large enough for a full-frame DSLR plus a lens and has five pockets for storing accessories.

PRICE: $170



Bad news, chiropractors. Pelican has refashioned its ultra-durable hard cases in a new Air line of cases that are 40 percent lighter than the original models but haven’t sacrificed their toughness. The Air cases are built from HPX2 resin and are available in six long-form sizes with new sizes rolling out over the next year and a half. Pelican Air cases are available in several configurations including without foam, with custom cubed foam, with padded dividers or with the TrekPak dividing system that uses rigid customizable panels and locking pins to keep gear secure. The 1605, pictured here, is the second largest of the lot.

PRICE: Starting at $135


© Brandon Burk of


We first caught sight of the distinctive new Sightseer at the WPPI Show. The bag allows you to fit up to two DSLR bodies plus up to four lenses and accessories in the removable and customizable internal dividers—all housed behind waterproof zippers. There’s an extra cushion for each divider, so you can stack gear more efficiently if space is at a premium. If you need to tote still more gear, there’s a slider on the strap so you can attach a camera externally along with D-rings that will support extra pouches and small cases. The bag sports a 15-inch laptop sleeve along with a separate zippered compartment on the top of the bag for small accessories or clothing. The bag’s bottom has straps for tripods and/or umbrellas.

PRICE: $775

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