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Great Review of Eight Camera Backpacks for the Outdoors

By fotosiamo on February 20th 2013

For a photographer, choosing the right camera backpack is just about as personal as choosing the right wallet or purse. What may work for one person may not work for another photographer. But with the sheer amount of choices available in the market, it can be difficult to sort out which backpack is the right one for your. One way to narrow down the choices is to decide where will you be taking your camera gear to.

For example, if you are looking for a backpack backpack for adventure photography, you may need a rugged and weather-resistant backpack that can carry additional supplies and clothing. Not only is capacity important, but comfort and weight must be accounted for, especially if you are hiking long distance for a long period of time.

Zeke of Nice Industries, the makers of the Aviator Travel Jib that we recently reviewed, takes us through a very good review of his eight favorite camera backpacks for the outdoors. Many of these backpacks are not your run-of-the-mill camera backpack that you can find in a brick and mortar store, so it’s good to see how they look on a person and in detail.

If you are looking for a camera backpack for hiking, adventure sports, travelling in general, or even an off-trail photoshoot, then this review is for you.

The Video Review of 8 Camera Backpacks in 8 Minutes

The Camera Backpacks Reviewed in Video

FStopGear’s Tilopa BC
Cool feature: Removable internal camera compartment unit (ICU) that is accessible from the back of the backpack and can be purchased in different sizes according to your needs


Gura Gear Kiboko 22L+ Backpack
Cool feature: Split butterfly camera compartment to limit environmental exposure to only one half of the compartment at a time


Naneu Bag Adventure K5
Cool feature: Suspended removable camera compartment that becomes a backpack. Also, the adjustable back padding. There is a new version 2 in the making on Kickstarter.


Tom Bihn Brain Bag with Camera IO
Cool feature: Removable Camera IO compartment becomes a slingbag


Timbuk2 Sleuth
Cool feature: The camera compartment’s two zippers snap into each other to deter unwanted access


Mountainsmith Borealis AT
Cool feature: Can hold a ski or a snowboard and a tripod at the same time


Clik Elite Contrejour 35
Cool feature: side access to camera, as well as rear access


Sierra Designs Herald 30
Cool feature: Although not designed as a camera backpack, you can put a camera compartment in it. Also, has one of the best camera backpadding and a reinforced central spine for supporting heavy loads



Joe is a rising fashion and commercial photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. He blends creativity and edge with a strong style of lighting and emotion in his photographs. Be sure to check out his work at and connect with him on Google Plus and on Facebook


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  1. Joseph Prusa

    nice review

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  2. Josh Dansie

    The Clik Elite Probody Sport (CS version) seems like the perfect hybrid between daypack hike use and overnight city backpack.

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  3. Jace

    u said in the video for the “Sierra Designs Herald 30” that a small camera bag insert can be fit inside it… could u recommend which camera insert i should get??? i want to get the small/medium size for the bag and i want to know how much gear i can fit in it using a camera insert…

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  4. Bre

    I love the Clik Elite Contrejour, but I can’t find it in stock anywhere! Any suggestions?

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  5. Rowan

    Nice video, im looking for something a little smaller than these but i havent heard of half of these brands so i will checkout what else they do, thanks.


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  6. Video review of eight camera backpacks for the outdoors – TOM BIHN Blog: We make travel bags in Seattle, Washington

    […] Watch the video below or see the full review at SLR Lounge. See also: the Brain Bag, Camera I-O […]

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  7. TheSnowPhotog

    I must say, the Clik Elite Contrejour seems to be the best choice for me. I spend a lot of time out in the snow, and it seems to be fairly agile for its size.

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  8. Shane Stenhjem

    Great video I am in the market for this type of bag. Perfect timing. Not to mention the location of the video also. My home town Bend, Oregon @ Sawyer Park. Woohoo. 

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    • franksbrain

      Ditto to what Shane said.  Woohoo Bend as well!

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    • Joe Gunawan

      Great to hear we can help. I do think that it’s not too often we see a good review of these types of bags. Usually, we tend to see (and review ourselves) bags for the urban environment/travel, but not the outdoors or adventure sports.

      – Joe

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