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5 Best Hiking Camera Backpacks (2019)

While your normal camera bag may do the trick for everyday shooting to prevent wear and tear on your gear, hiking with expensive equipment is a different animal entirely.

A good hiking camera backpack for a photographer needs to not only be durable, but it must also be lightweight and impervious to the onslaught of rain, dust, and rocks which plague remote destinations.

That’s why we’ll be taking a look at some of the best hiking camera backpacks for photographers. We’ll cover the features of these packs and help you find exactly what you need to protect your gear in the great outdoors! And if you’re hiking with your furry friend check out our reviews on some of the best dog hiking gear.

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Lowepro Photo Hatchback

There’s a lot to love about the Lowepro Photo Hatchback camera backpack. It manages to not be too large, reducing the strain on your back, while still offering ample storage for all of your stuff.

It also has some pretty nifty features, including a slim laptop sleeve, modular storage additions, the ability to convert it into a daypack, and a pull-down rainfly to keep your camera gear safe and sound when the weather turns ugly.

Ideal for: Photographers that need a weatherproof bag with versatile storage options.

  • Good storage capacity
  • Includes rainfly
  • Converts to a daypack
  • Modular storage expansions
  • Laptop sleeve
  • Comfort backpad
  • Can’t access camera from the front
  • Side pockets wear out easily
  • A little big if you have a small frame
  • No room for a tripod
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Lowepro Flipside Trek

The Lowepro Flipside Trek is likely one of the best hiking camera backpacks around, though some may be put off by the price. However, if you want some of the best features that you can get in this style of backpack, then the Lowepro delivers.

It’s a serious backpack for those that need all the gear that photographing remote areas requires, including the ability to attach tripods, trekking poles, solar panels, and personal items.

Ideal for: Photographers that need a serious amount of gear for remote photoshoots.

  • Can access camera from the front
  • Large storage capacity
  • Plenty room for extra gear
  • Premium comfort features
  • Includes rain jacket
  • Modular storage options
  • Might be too big for smaller frames
  • Slanted bottom doesn’t sit flat
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MindShift BackLight

The MindShift BackLight is all about options, and it allows you to add a good deal of customization to your pack. This is particularly useful if you need to fit odd-sized gear into your bag, such as a telephoto lens, a must-have for nature photographers.

While this bag doesn’t have a front access panel, it does allow you to easily spin the bag around to grab your camera thanks to the hip strap. This also has the added benefit of protecting your gear from theft since it will be secured against your back when not in use.

Ideal for: Photographers that need camera gear that doesn’t fit in other bags.

  • Fits telephoto lens
  • Room for tripod
  • Water repellent fabric
  • Durable construction
  • Rain fly doubles as ground cover
  • Fits overhead bins
  • Limited space for other gear
  • No shoulder strap load lifters
  • Won’t fit laptops over 15 inches
  • Pricey
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Endurax Camera Backpack

The Endurax camera backpack is a great choice if you’re looking for an affordable hiking camera bag that doesn’t skimp on features. Not only does it feature water resistant material, but also a rain fly, and other great additions like a flip out tripod holder.

It’s also a lightweight and more compact option that’s great for travelers. This bag will stow neatly on flights, and its small footprint makes it just as useful for city travel as it is for your hiking adventures.

Ideal for: Travelers that are looking for a smaller, less expensive hiking camera backpack without compromising on key features.

  • Great value
  • Good for smaller bodies
  • Small and lightweight
  • Water resistant fabric
  • Travel-friendly
  • Customizable dividers
  • Might not fit all equipment
  • Limited extra storage
  • No quick access for camera
  • Issues with fabric/zipper wear
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Lowepro Photo Sport

The Lowepro Photo Sport is an excellent hiking pack that comes with killer gear capacity. While you may find it difficult to fit all of your other hiking essentials into some of the other bags on the list, that won’t be a problem here.

This backpack offers you enough room to house pretty much anything, and it also provides amazing comfort. That’s because it provides the options you need to securely fit the load to your body, preventing needless jostling of your gear and easing your burdens during a hike.

Ideal for: Photographers that need comfort and top-notch storage capacity for long hikes.

  • Space for Camelbak
  • Supremely comfortable
  • Built-in weather protection
  • Multiple attachment points
  • Ample space for necessities
  • Durable construction
  • Only fits 13-inch laptop
  • Tight fit for telephoto lens
  • Limited room for extra lenses
  • Slightly uncomfortable if you’re tall

Hiking Camera Backpacks FAQs

Why do I need a separate backpack for my camera?

While you could stow your camera in your normal pack, you’ll likely quickly regret it. Camera specific backpacks are better organized, allowing you to whip out your trusty DSLR for a quick snap before the opportunity gets away. Plus, they offer better protection than standard packs.

Can I use the hiking camera backpack to carry other things?

In most cases, your hiking camera bag will have enough storage to stow other items safely as well. While storage space will vary between bags, most will at least allow for a laptop or tablet, and small necessities like sunglasses, sunblock, etc.

What makes a camera backpack appropriate for hiking?

A pack which is made specifically for hiking will have more robust features. It will most likely be more durable, more resistant to the elements, and have added comfort features, like padded straps, that make it easier to carry your gear across long distances.

Features to Look For in Hiking Camera Backpacks

  • Durability – is the pack built to last, and will it provide adequate protection?
  • Weight – How heavy is the backpack? Can you comfortably carry it?
  • Fit – Does the backpack fit comfortably? Particularly the straps?
  • Capacity – Is the backpack big enough for all your gear?
  • Ease of access – How easily can you remove your camera?
  • Weatherproofing – Will it protect your camera from the elements?

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