The best camera bags do more than carry your camera gear. There are many bags on the market that can do that with varying degrees of success. To be the best, camera bags must check off specific boxes based on a photographer’s unique needs, in addition to covering the basics at a top-of-the-game level. These “boxes” usually deal with the following topics:

  • Features (pockets, access)
  • Performance (comfort, ease-of-use, ruggedness, protection)
  • Design (color, aesthetics/style, diverse applications)
  • Quality (durability)
  • Value (price)

While a number of brands offer camera bags that score high on several of the checkpoints above, this article will focus on one brand in particular whose line of bags set the bar for many of these features: f-stop. In fact, with the various design and bundling options they offer for each pack, it’s hard to find a line of camera packs that compete at this level.

We’re fortunate to get to test out a ton of different gear for reviews, and after having used a number of bags and comparing notes with colleagues, I feel comfortable saying that f-stop camera packs look different (in a good way) and perform better than most.¬†An overview of these camera packs reads like a best in class list regarding features and functionality. They’re durable, versatile, and stylish to boot.

Here’s a quick look at our top five f-stop camera packs, in no particular order (as needs change depending on the shoot & situation).

Top 5 f-stop Camera Packs

  1. Tilopa 50L
  2. Ajna 40L
  3. Sukha 70L
  4. Lotus 32L
  5. Dyota 20L

1. TILOPA 50L

top 5 f stop gear camera packs tilopa combo 01 1
f-stop’s Tilopa 50L Pack shown with the “Essentials” bundle

Versatility maximized! The Tilopa 50L camera pack is perfect for those long trips or any hike in which you plan to load up with heavy gear. I highly recommend checking out the bundles, each of which includes a Pro Large ICU (internal camera unit), which is perfect for packing multiple cameras, with or without attached lenses, and there’s plenty of room for long telephoto lenses (as you can see in the product photo above).

One of my favorite things about this bag (and many of the f-stop gear bags) is its expanding side zipper pockets, which make it easy to expand my carrying capacity and fit in more gear and other packing essentials, depending on the trip I’m taking. Although I don’t use a drone myself, I believe the Tilopa 50L camera pack would make a great option for photographers who often carry drones because of the size and layout options available with the ICUs offered in some of the bundles. I mention this because I have several photographer friends who do carry drones and this is always a point of contention when it comes to choosing a bag (or complaining about having to carry multiple packs).

For those who plan to head out into harsher weather conditions, you can rest easier knowing that your gear will be protected from the elements, thanks to this bag’s weather-resistant design, fabrics, and components. Specifically, f-stop credits the high level of protection to the bag’s “weather-resistant 420D ripstop nylon combined with thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) film, which deflects direct moisture.” These bags also use innovative weather-sealed zippers and Hypalon zipper garages to protect access openings.

One of the most important, make-or-break factors for me when choosing a bag is comfort. This camera pack is actually comfortable to wear! The reason for this is an internal aluminum frame and adjustable support system, but you honestly have to wear this bag to fully appreciate what that means.

Special Features & Price:

  • Ski straps
  • Hypalon patch on back for carrying snowboards, etc.
  • Durable, weatherproof, and tear-resistant fabric
  • Adjustable weight carry system and frame for maximum all-day comfort
  • Color options: Anthracite (Black), Aloe (Green), and Nasturtium (Orange)
  • Price: Starting at $319 for the Pack Only

2. AJNA 40L

top 5 f stop gear camera packs anja combo 01
f-stop’s Anja 40L Pack shown with the “Essentials” bundle

The Ajna travel and adventure camera pack comes in a wee bit smaller in size compared to the Tilopa pack, but it still offers a generous 40 liters of storage in a low profile pack that works as a carry-on bag in most commercial aircraft.

Like all f-stop bags, the Ajna pack is durable and weatherproof, made with tear-resistant fabric. Multiple attachment points adds versatility to the bag with room for adventure sports gear and other outdoor gear. I can confidently recommend this camera pack for an all-day hiking trip as it has plenty of room for packing gear and, just as importantly, it will keep you comfortable because of its internal aluminum frame and adjustable support system.

Special Features & Price:

  • Durable, weatherproof, and tear-resistant fabric
  • Adjustable weight carry system and frame for maximum all-day comfort
  • Color options: Anthracite (Black), Aloe (Green), and Nasturtium (Orange)
  • Price: Starting at $259 for the Pack Only

[Related Reading: f-stop gear Company Feature | Raising the Bar for Camera Bags]

3. SUKHA 70L

top 5 f stop gear camera packs sukha combo 01
f-stop’s Sukha 70L Pack shown with the “Essentials” bundle

The Sukha camera pack represents the ultimate in multi-day excursion, backcountry camera packs. Its¬†cavernous 70 liters of internal storage space can house the Pro XL ICU (see the image above) and comfortably hold large camera kits, including long telephoto lenses, multiple cameras, compact video cameras, and even drones. The Pro XL ICU comes standard with the “Essentials” bundle, which is only one step up from purchasing the pack by itself. The Sukha also offers a plethora of outside expansion options, meaning you can pack even more gear on your trip, especially if you use the Gatekeeper Straps that are also included in the bundle. It’s a ton of extra value for only a slight bump in price.

Granted, not every photographer is going to need a pack this large, but it’ll give you plenty of room to grow into if you’re looking to future proof for greater adventures down the road. In the meantime, you can always use this bag with a smaller ICU and have plenty of room to pack non-camera related clothing, gear, and so on.

Alongside its massive size, it’s worth noting that you’ll also find (and enjoy) enhanced padding in the shoulder straps and hip belts for all-day comfort.

Special Features & Price:

  • Extra-large capacity for those carrying super-telephoto lenses, drones & more
  • Durable, weatherproof, and tear-resistant fabric
  • Adjustable weight carry system and frame for maximum all-day comfort
  • Color options: Anthracite (Black), Aloe (Green), and Nasturtium (Orange)
  • Price: Starting at $349 for the Pack Only

[Related Reading: f-stop Gear Sukha Review | The Gold Standard of Adventure Travel Backpacks]

4. LOTUS 32L

f stop gear top 5 camera packs lotus 32L combo 01
f-stop’s Lotus 32L Pack shown with the “Essentials” bundle

If you’re looking for the perfect bag for day trips, short overnight excursions, or sight seeing, then say hello to the Lotus. With 32L of storage space, this f-stop camera pack offers enough room to comfortably carry multiple cameras and lenses while maintaining a low profile on your back. This bag sort of behaves like Dr. Who’s TARDIS in that it blends in well to the environment (especially cityscapes) and appears much bigger on the inside. Unfortunately, it does not possess any time machine capabilities that I’m aware of.

As you may have noticed by now, all of these f-stop bags also give you additional storage capacity with full length expanding side zipper pockets, a front zipper pocket, and a top lid. Also, like the other bags, the Lotus camera pack is mindfully crafted and built tough to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Special Features & Price:

  • Low profile with plenty of storage space
  • Durable, waterproof, and tear-resistant fabric
  • Adjustable weight carry system and frame for maximum all-day comfort
  • Color options: Anthracite (Black), Aloe (Green), and Nasturtium (Orange)
  • Price: Starting at $239 for the Pack Only

5. DYOTA 20L

f stop gear top 5 camera packs dyota combo 01

While it’s the smallest bag on this list, it’s also one of the most stylish, in my opinion, with its sleek design and clever expandable features for storing and accessing gear (notice the dual side, curved opening, and zippers), making it a very agile camera bag. As you can see in the images above, the Dyota 20L is equally comfortable in the office or out for a quick hike. This 20-liter capacity camera pack is perfect for carrying a couple of cameras and lenses, as well as a tablet or laptop.

If you decide you’d like to use it as a day bag, f-stop’s Intelligent Magnetic Integration System makes it easy to remove the ICU and open up space for whatever you want to pack for the day.

Special Features & Price:

  • Includes a medium f-stop accessory pouch, ICU gate, and a pair of Gatekeeper attachment straps
  • Innovative curved weatherproof side zippers for easy access to gear
  • Price: $299

Conclusion

I know there are a lot of other brands and camera pack options out there, but I hope you found this look at our favorite f-stop camera packs helpful in your overall search for the perfect bag. If you’re still unsure about what camera bag might be best for you, I invite you to check out this “Camera Pack Selector” on f-stop’s website. It breaks down bag and ICU options that will suit you best depending on the amount (and size) of gear you carry, as well as where you intend to carry said gear. They have a range of options to fit a wide spectrum of budgets, and there’s no compromise on quality no matter which option you choose. You’re also welcome to explore our site and read our other (and more in-depth) bag reviews. Good luck, and I hope you find the bag you’re looking for!