Whether you take pictures for business or pleasure, it is essential to pick the right kind of bag to carry your camera gear while travelling. However you choose to travel, it is vital to ensure that your much-loved collection of cameras, drones, lenses, and other pieces of equipment are well-protected during this vacation. Also, buying a new professional camera and a new lens is such a massive investment in itself.
So, you’d definitely want a bag that protects your valuable investment, no? Gone are the days when we could simply use shoulder bags of simple backpacks to carry everything. Even if there is no lack of choices, it gets really confusing to pick the right bag for you which will fulfil the qualities you actually want in your travel camera bag. So here is a simple guide to help you decide the best travel bag for your camera.
Before jumping directly on the different kind of camera bags, there are some important points that you need to keep in mind while picking ‘the one’. To start narrowing down your own personal requirements for a travel camera bag, you should begin by answering the following questions for yourself:
What type of gear are you planning to carry?
While protecting your camera gear goes without saying, buying the right bag would really depend on what all you are planning to take. This will definitely depend on what kind of pictures are you planning to take during the vacations. If your cameras, lenses and other equipment are secure, your experience will be better more comfortable, more productive, and ultimately, more enjoyable.
What kind of weather will you need to endure?
Your destination, of course, plays a major role while packing for a trip. The kind of environment you will encounter when you reach the destination (and while travelling there) needs to be taken into account not just for yourself, but for your gear as well. If you are visiting a place where it rains often, you’ll need a bag that needs to be waterproof; can dry quickly and avoids moisture.
How mobile do you need to be?
Another vital factor to keep in mind while packing involves what all activities will your trip/vacation include. Are you hiking? Diving? Walking through a crowded city where there might be pickpockets? Flying? Accordingly, you can pick the back that won’t wear out doing due to the weather or the activities you’ve picked out for yourselves. You might even need to get yourself across vast, difficult terrains to find the perfect spot to shoot (as we are always looking for that PERFECT SHOT). With this in mind, buying a bag that is hard to carry or uncomfortable to wear is a definite no-no!
What is your preferred style?
Quite simply, the kind of camera bag which will make you the happiest will depend on how you like to travel. And this will depend on what kind of bag you are most comfortable with and what kind of camera bag suits your travel style. Too much bag and you’ll be miserable dragging it around. However, too little bag and you might feel sad you can’t fit all the gear. So, it makes sense to consider what kind of traveller you are to get the right camera bag for your needs.
Now keeping in mind the answers to these questions, you can choose the right bag for you according to it’s:
The bag you choose will need to be spacious enough to fit your camera, lenses, charger, spare batteries, and any other accessories that you need during your vacation. The amount of supporting gear you want to carry will pretty much dictate the size of the bag you need. Keep in mind that even the smallest of camera bags need to have space to carry SD cards, batteries, and chargers. So, instead of getting fooled into buying an expensive, hip-looking camera sling, write down a list of everything you want to take with you, and find something that can comfortably hold everything without damaging delicate and expensive equipment.
But, remember that your camera bag should also contain some extra space for the daily haul such as a light jacket, wallet, passport, keys, map, phone, you get the idea.
If you like to take pictures, chances are that you don’t limit yourself to just shooting indoors. Weather conditions are a constant consideration for photographers, and hence, to ensure that your camera equipment remains safe and dry is of paramount importance.
Pick a bag which is made from strong, hi-tech materials like ballistic nylon that offer water resistance and protection from harsh temperatures and conditions; and is not overly-sensitive. With that, look for a bag that has nice and thick padding inside. The best advantage of a dedicated camera bag is you can put your gear “loose” in each compartment. So you need those sections to be well padded to keep the gear from getting banged up or scratched.
Ease of use/ Access
The best travel bag for your camera will allow quick access to your camera (it is particularly important, how quickly you can grab the camera). Therefore, many camera bags offer side compartments for fast access, and materials like Velcro mean you can reach in and get it as soon as you need to.
There should be a balance between the easiest access and difficulty of theft in a crowd. So, that you can point and shoot whenever you need to but that doesn’t leave your gear unprotected from theft.
The last thing you want is to get a camera bag that screams: “STEAL ME! I HAVE EXPENSIVE GEAR INSIDE!” As a camera is a massive investment, your “chosen one” needs to protect the kit from human threats as well as the natural elements. It needs to have secure, sturdy zippers and fastenings and should be easy to lock up if you need to. Pick something that doesn’t look too much like a traditional camera bag, especially if you are travelling to a country that is known for pickpockets or petty crime.
Hope this helps you to narrow down your options to buy the best Travel Bag for your camera!