Best camera bag for a travel photographer
By Matt Preston
Whether you’re a professional photographer, semi pro or enthusiastic amateur your camera gear is no doubt very important to you! When you’re planning on taking your gear with you on your travels it’s worth making sure you get the best bag for the job. After all if your equipment is damaged you’ll not be a happy bunny!
We asked travel photographer and blogger Matt Preston how he chose his bag.
“With travel in mind (and lots of it) my choice of camera bag was very important to me. This isn’t just a bag to keep my camera safe, it needed to be something I could happily carry for hours every day in 30C heat. Something that could accommodate everything I’d want to take with me on my travels whilst being comfortable.”
After a fair bit of review reading and scouting around I chose the Tamrac Adventure 9 camera bag.
Ruck-sack style camera bag
I chose a ruck sack rather than a shoulder bag because I want to evenly distribute the weight across my shoulders. Having the weight of a camera plus lenses, etc on one shoulder for hours a day is not a good idea. It can seriously effect your general posture, cause back and shoulder pains. It would also mean a smaller bag so I would be limited to what I could fit in it.
One very important thing for me was being able to fit all my gear in. There’s a wide range of ruck sack style camera bags out there and the size of each compartment varies massively. The Tamrac Adventure 9 has ample space for my Canon 5D Mark II, my 70-200mm F4 and my 24-105 F4. It also has a slot against the back for a 15″ laptop and another compartment for cables, snacks, whatever else you need for the day.
It also has a large number of pouches, zip up areas, and slots to put all manner of accessories in. Memory cards, filters, spare batteries, etc. All of which can fit in the main camera compartment which flips open easily to allow access to everything quickly.
Weather Proofing is important
Having tested it in Monsoon like conditions, I’m confident it’ll keep all my gear dry even in big downpours. All the zips are waterproofed including the more exposed laptop slot zip. Other zips have fold over flaps and the camera compartment has 3 extra straps for tightly fastening down the flap to stop wind lifting it or rain getting in. To be on the safe side I purchased some waterproof plastic bags to put my gear in.
Attaching Extra Gear
The Tamrac Adventure 9 has a whole bunch of straps and fasteners on the outside so if you want to quickly attach something to it for easy access, you can. It also has two net style pouches on either side, perfect for a drinks bottle or a flash if you need easy access. I’ve even put a monopod in there and it’s held it in place no problem.
The bag also has 2 slots underneath it. I purchased some attachment straps and now strap my lightweight tripod to the bottom of my bag easily. Having it horizontally underneath helps spread the weight evenly which is best when carrying.
All in all I’m very happy with my bag. It wasn’t cheap but it’s very comprehensive in it’s features and abilities. It’s always comfortable to wear. It Does a great job of evenly distributing weight. Has easy access compartments and the extra straps give it more flexibility. When i took the bag on my travels across South East Asia it was even better than I expected! Trekking up and down mountains, through dense rain-forest and on many a train, bus and dodgy taxi. It was comfortable, protected my gear perfectly and gave me confidence to bring my gear to places I wouldn’t trust any other bag! Well worth it.
Check out this great blog on how to pack your camera bag! Very important!