Finding the Right DSLR Camera Bag

I’m currently on the hunt for a DSLR camera bag. But I’m not looking for just any old bag. I’m looking for one that suits a DSLR filmmaker. And it turns out that I’m not the only person who has started this hunt and been overwhelmed by the multitudes of products out there.

Less than a month ago, Dave Dugdale uploaded  his “DSLR Camera Bag Review” on YouTube. He reviews 3 bags: Tenba Shootout Backpack (small), Case Logic SLRC-206, and Lowepro Pro Runner 300 AW.

What he found and I am finding out is that the perfect bag is completely subjective to the individual. Do you want nice padded shoulder straps? Do you want to fit a tripod? Do you want a soft bag or a structured bag? Do you need to fit a laptop? And the all important, how much money do you want to spend? So many questions that you need to figure out answers to.

After doing some minor soul searching and major web searching, I have come up with my final three. Admittedly, I haven’t personally seen all these options, but they are the ones that best suit my answers to the questions above.

1. Tenba Roadie II Backpack

The Tenba Roadie II Backpack would be my ideal DSLR filmmaker bag. That would be, of course, if money wasn’t an issue and they were actually sold in Australia.

It has compartments for everything, include a side pocket designed to fit a small RØDE mic. There’s room for 2 DSLRs, 6-8 lenses (up to 300mm f2.8), monopod and shotgun mic, audio (headphones, recorder), and a laptop!

Need I say more? It seems pretty brilliant. Though the downside would be that it is heavy, weighing in at 2.5kg when empty (and Dave Dugdale mentioned the same downside for a smaller Tenba bag). That’s a lot of extra weight to carry around when equipment is already heavy enough.

At US$299.95, you can’t help thinking that if you bought a less expensive bag you would still have money left over to buy more equipment to fit into the bag. View here.

2. Tamrac Evolution 9 Backpack

This looks like it will be the backpack that I will purchase.

The Tamrac Evolution 9, although not designed for DSLR filmmakers, has so many features that more than make up for it. Including a Triple Access System where you can access gear through either side or the front, the ability to convert from backpack to sling pack, a foam-padded computer pocket and top compartment for those miscellaneous items, side pockets, a QuickClip tripod attachment, and a handy dandy rain cover.

Really, what more do I need? Not much.

It doesn’t seem to be able to fit as much as the Tenba, but realistically I don’t think I would need much more. And although there is no pocket specifically designed for a microphone, the top compartment allows enough room to add any extras… and maybe some snacks too.

The price for this backpack seems to vary quite a bit, so research your stores first. Digital Camera Warehouse currently has the Tamrac Evolution 9 for $175.50. Not bad at all. View here.

3. Vanguard VGP-33 Photo-Video Case

I see the Vanguard Case more as an option for at home/office storage. It wouldn’t be something that I lug around with me on a daily basis.

It has a nice solid case with an aluminium frame and adjustable internal dividers. There are two locks with different keys and a carry strap if you need to move it or if you use it for airport checked luggage.

Plus it’s the cheapest option at just $69 from Officeworks. View here.

Hopefully, with the 3 bags Dave Dugdale reviewed and with my final 3 you are a step closer to choosing the camera bag for you. Of course this is a very personal choice and will vary greatly between each individual. If the camera store near you stocks what you’re looking for or can order it in, go in and try it out for size first.

Unfortunately this is not an option for me. So fingers crossed that I’ve made the right decision and don’t have to waste time and money returning it.



Q: Have you bought a DSLR camera bag? Which one did you get? And what features do you consider most important?