Recommended camera bags

Gear

My hunt for a great camera backpack has been ongoing for many years. I've tended to stick with an Osprey hiking bag for when walking longer distances as the fit is just perfect for me. The down side is that they aren't made for photographers. So, whilst they are amazingly comfy and great at keeping weight off the shoulders, they don't have any padded sections for keeping cameras safe.

I bought my Think Tank Airport International from Snapperstuff many years ago and it has been one of the best investments ever. I take it to all my wedding shoots, check it in on flights and it's a great, strong and durable roller bag. I chatted with Snapperstuff at the SWPP trade show in January and they kindly let me try out a couple of bags that might suit my needs.

So, here are the three bags I tried.

Firstlight 20L. A front opening backpack which holds 1 standard-size DSLR and 4–6 standard zoom lenses. Or 2 mirrorless bodies and 5–7 lenses plus a flash. Maximum lens size: 200–400mm f/4 attached or 300 f/2.8 attached. I liked the compact size of this bag and I might still buy this as a smaller option for trips where I am not taking so much gear, or indeed when I switch to mirrorless!

Next is the Firstlight 30L which has an adjustable torso length and is compatible with most check in dimensions. Holds 1 gripped DSLR and 4–6 standard zoom lenses, and 1 flash. Maximum lens size: 500mm f/4 lens detached or 400 f/2.8 attached. Plus a 15inch Macbook. Plenty of room in this backpack and the same top opening system at the Firtslight 26L, but larger.

I ended up going with the Backlight 26L for a few a few reasons. I like the back opening on this bag which means you can put it down on the ground and not have a wet back when you put it back on! Secondly it is a better size for me, whilst still allowing for a 15inch macbook plus a tablet in the front. At the moment I generally carry two bodies and two lenses so this really is a comfortable fit and I will also be able to fit my filters in nicely. So far, I love this bag all round and think I will for years to come!

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