Are you looking to buy a new camera bag? If yes, you have come to the right place. In this guide, I will share the 15 essential and must-have features to look for in any camera bag. You can use this as your camera bag buying checklist. It will help you pick the right bag.

Let us get started.

1. Waterproofing

camera bag waterproofing

One of the important features that I look for in any camera bag is waterproofing.

When you take your camera gear outdoors in a bag, there is a chance that the bag can come in contact with water due to rain. It can also be accidental splashing of water.

If the bag is not waterproof, the moisture present in the bag can result in fungus in the camera lens and body. It will damage your camera gear. To avoid this, it is always better to have some kind of waterproofing mechanism in the camera bag.

Mostly, it will be in the form of an additional waterproof covering for the camera bag.

2. Adjustable Inner compartments

camera bag with detatchable internal compartment feature

Different camera gears come in different sizes. For example, when you carry different types of camera lenses, they occupy different spaces in the camera bag.

Thus, if the inner compartment size is fixed, you will find it tough to place the lenses inside.

The adjustable inner compartment feature in a camera bag allows you to make a better placement of lenses and other camera accessories.

It will also ensure that the camera gear does not hit against each other when you are on the move.

3. Place to Keep Laptop/ Tablet

Front side of Lowepro Tahoe BP 150 Camera Bag

When you go for an outdoor shoot/ photo travel, you may need a laptop/ tablet to transfer images or edit pictures. Most photographers have this requirement.

So, it is best to have a dedicated place in the camera bag for storing a laptop or tablet. Make sure to have this feature in the camera bag before you buy one.

4. Space to Keep a Set of Dress

When you go for a photography trip for a day or two, it is good to have a storage area in the bag where you can keep a set of dresses.

This feature in the camera bag will allow you to avoid the extra bag for carrying your dress.

5. Durability

stylish camera bag

The camera bag that you buy must be a long-lasting one. It is always a good idea to invest in high-quality branded camera bags. Avoid the cheap quality ones.

You are risking your expensive camera gear by keeping it inside a low-quality camera bag.

6. Capacity

One of the important features to look for in a camera bag is its capacity. You need to ensure to select a camera bag of the right capacity.

In order to find your required capacity, you need to decide on how many camera bodies, lenses, and other accessories you plan to carry.

I recommend not investing in a camera bag that has very little capacity or very large capacity. Always, pick the camera bag with the right capacity.

Otherwise, you will end up buying multiple camera bags

7. Wearing & Carrying Comfort

camera backpack

You must be comfortable carrying the camera bag with all the gear inside.

Make sure the bag comes with sufficient padding and breathing space at the back. It will ensure good comfort to your back.

8. Theft Protection

Camera gear and accessories are quite expensive. When you invest in a camera bag to carry such expensive stuff, the bag must also provide sufficient protection against theft.

It is good to have a back opening type camera bag from my personal experience. It will ensure that no one can open the bag zip and take your camera.

Even an outer covering that hides all the zip and openings in the bag is good enough.

9. Space to Keep Memory Cards

memory card storage compartment

One thing that I always check in camera bags is the space in the memory cards. As a photographer, you will be carrying multiple memory cards for a shoot.

It is risky to keep the bare memory cards in your pocket. It can damage the electronics inside the cards.

So, it is always good to keep the spare memory cards inside the camera bag. But this memory card storage section must be an easily accessible one. Thus, it is good to have dedicated memory card storage sections in the bag.

If you are a person who carries lots of extra memory cards in a memory card carrying case you can look for an easily accessible place in the camera bag to keep this carrying case.

10. Tripod/ Monopod Holder

camera bag with tripod holder

Most photographers will take a tripod/ monopod when they go for a photoshoot. The camera bag that you choose must-have a storage space to keep the tripod.

Mostly, camera bag manufacturers will provide this space outside, either on the front side or as a side pocket.

You need to ensure that this Tripod/ Monopod holder in the camera bag is capable of holding your tripod.

11. Water Bottle Carrying Pocket

The camera bag must have an external pocket that can accommodate a water bottle.

Some camera bags offer two external pockets on either side. It allows you to carry a couple of water bottles.

Also, ensure that there are protection straps along with these pockets. Otherwise, the water bottles may fall off when you carry the camera bag on your back.

12. Option to Open Camera Bag Without Keeping It Down

If you are a person looking for a camera bag for taking pictures during a trek, the bag must have this essential feature.

You must be able to open the bag and take out the camera without keeping the camera bag down. It will help to save lots of time.

There should be an easily accessible pocket in the camera bag from where you can easily take out the camera.

I find this feature very useful when I go for bird photography inside a forest.

13. Waist Strap for Perfect Weight Balance

Waist strap in camera bag

It is good to have a waist strap in your camera backpack. It will help to distribute the total load without causing any discomfort to the back.

Otherwise, you may find some discomfort when you carry a lot of gear in your camera backpack.

14. Weight of Camera Bag

One important parameter that you must look into is the weight of the empty camera bag (without any camera and accessories).

If the weight is very high, it is better to avoid such camera bags. You will end up getting back pain when you carry camera gear in such camera bags for a long time.

Also, make sure it is not very lightweight. If the weight is very low, the bag will not have adequate protection to protect the gear inside.

15. Style and Color

Once you shortlist a few bags with all the above features, you can also have a look at the style and the color factor.

You must like the color and style of the bag. Otherwise, you may not use it.

If you are a person who gives equal priority to style and looks, you can explore stylish camera bags by langly. There are many other good camera bag manufacturers who are known for their stylish camera bags.

Final Thoughts

Next time, when you buy a camera bag, you can use this guide as a camera bag buying checklist. It will help you pick the right bag.