Tried and tested camera bags for every type of traveller

Posted by Matt Sterne on 14 March 2018

Whether you dabble in photography over weekends or are a seasoned pro, there is a camera bag for your needs.

 

Best for style

Jinger Jack Discovery Camera Bag

R3090, jingerjack.co.za
This unisex camera bag is so stylish that I first thought of using it as a handbag. It can carry a 10-inch lens, camera body, a flash, phone, batteries and other accessories. Made from 100% leather (you can smell it’s genuine), the exterior walls and bottom are padded to cushion and safeguard your equipment. There are five padded Velcro dividers that can be adjusted according to what you want to carry. The large zip for the main compartment and magnetic buttons holding down the flap secure your possessions from pickpockets. There’s also added storage in the exterior front pocket. The bag comes in chestnut, tan and black with an adjustable strap.

 

Best for pros

Manfrotto Pro Light 3N1-36 PL Camera Bag

R3499, takealot.com
The sturdy camera backpack is built for versatility and designed to meet current landscape and travel photographers’ requirements. Think tripod, drone, a range of lenses, camera body, and 15-inch laptop, all easily accessed from various areas in the bag. It has numerous zipped pouches and velcroed customisable compartments. The lightweight fabric is durable and water- repellent, with a cover included for heavier downpours. The padded straps are comfortable and can be rearranged to give you more support or turn the bag into a sling. What I find most appealing is its strong air-travel focus. The bag is compliant with carry-on luggage restrictions and can be attached to the telescopic handles of your luggage which means you don’t have to lug the bag on your back between terminals. I’m sold.

 

Best for amateurs

Lowepro Flipside 400 AW II Backpack

R2995, ormsdirect.co.za
This bag is a good fit for the capable amateur photographer who needs a pared-down bag for urban use. It’s 500g lighter than the 2kg Manfrotto 3N1-36 PL, and fewer zippered pouches mean an uncomplicated overall impression. Gear can be accessed while you are wearing the backpack by slipping the shoulder straps off but keeping the hip strap attached and swinging the pack to your front where the back zip can be opened. The straps fit comfortably on your shoulders and are kept secure by the chest strap (missing in the 3N1-36 PL). The bag’s Velcro compartments can be moved around to accommodate up to six lenses, a compact drone or flash, 15-inch laptop and tripod, although I’d personally hesitate to max this bag out to capacity due to the thinner padding on the straps.

 

These reviews first appeared in the December 2017 issue of Getaway magazine.

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