1. Grafea England
Grafea England is just not your typical, run-of-the-mill camera bag. With its fine, flexible, full-grain 2.5mm leather this bag more resembles an old messenger-style bag as opposed to a daily photographic shooting bag. It has a rich vintage appearance with an elegant feel and construction. It’s sized to hold your DSLR system with a lens and flash. This is a bag that is designed for both functionality and appearance. If you like an old world charm to your shoulder bag, this one fills the bill with room to spare.
2. Kelly Moore
The Kelly Moore Kate Messenger Bag with Removable Basket features a removable shoulder strap with pad and a 63″ cross-body strap. This messenger is designed to hold a DSLR camera with one to two lenses, flash, additional accessories, up to a 13″ laptop or tablet. Three touch-fastening dividers within the “basket” allow you to organize the gear in your bag, and can be removed altogether to accommodate other everyday essentials for the times you’re not taking pictures. An organizational panel holds memory cards, pens, and additional accessories while front and rear zippered pockets provide even more storage options.
3. Peak Designs
Peak Designs products have never been cheap and the Travel Backpack is no exception. They’re able to make such awesome, well designed, products with lifetime warranties because they aren’t trying to undercut anyone. This bag does have two things missing that you’d love to see in future iterations. First, a quick releasing option for the lid. Most Peak Design bags offer a Mag Latch for easy and fast access to your gear, a nice alternative to constant unzipping and re-zipping. Secondly, I’d love to see some kind of metal carabiner attachment options on the sides of the bag. The main reason for this is that there isn’t really a good place on this bag to carry any sort of water bottle and something as simple as a carabiner-ready loop would make solving that problem very easy.
4. Think Tank
The Think Tank Retrospective 7 V2 looks like a bag from the front. But as you look at it, there is obviously something a tad off about it. A part of it looks like it took inspiration from a cheap bag that may be offered as standard issue to college students during freshman orientation. Of course, part of the charm might indeed be the lack of refinement. There is waxed (sort of) canvas comprising the Think Tank Retrospective 7 V2. These bags are really well thought out, designed by the people that use them, very well made and reasonably priced to boot. I have no doubt that if you want a camera backpack and you buy the thinkTANK Streetwalker HardDrive, you will not be disappointed.
ONA has developed a reputation of making high quality bags, and it’s clearly evident even with one of their lower priced bags, the Bowery. The stitching is neat, all the metal on the bag like the buckle for instance, is made from brass, and the leather trim around the bag looks great. As I said earlier, it comes in several different colors, and you can choose between a waxed canvas version (which is water resistant) or a leather version. the shoulder strap is detachable; if you remove the strap, the Bowery can function as a protective camera insert or as an organizer inside a larger bag adding to the Bowery’s versatility. It’s also a great looking bag overall, and it will only get better looking as it ages with use.