What Is A Good Camera Messenger Bag?

A Good Camera Messenger Bag:

Based on what things you want to carry with photographic equipment’s, you can decide which bag you need to have. For long walks, for example, use a camera messenger bag for your camera that allows you to quickly get equipment with it.

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Taking safety equipment with you is priority number 1:

Studio photographers leave it aside but for most photographers to be safe in taking their equipment is their priority number 1. In the studio you put the camera and lenses back in the closet after use, but on the way you want a good protection for your stuff.  Then what do you choose? A messenger bag? Or a backpack? That depends on many factors.

Camera bags in all shapes and sizes:

In the market you will find all kinds of camera bags: compact bags , camera backpacks , sling bags , messenger bags, photo vests and complete modular systems . The right bag is available for every photographer and for every photo assignment. But what is the right camera bag? That is a question that regularly pops up on many photo galleries. Because, many photographers have so many opinions about what the ideal bag is. One swears by a compact bag with photo compartment, the other cannot do without a backpack and others are unhappy without an elegant, inconspicuous messenger bag. There is actually no unanimous conclusion about which camera bag you should use, but there are a few basic principles. In general, a camera messenger bag is more comfortable to wear when you travel longer distances or when your moving in a somewhat rougher environment.

A camera backpack provides comfort:

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A camera backpack and a camera bag are quite different. A shoulder bag or a messenger bag you carry essentially different than a sling bag and a backpack. Whether that is a full size expedition backpack or a daytripper, the fact that your equipment is stored in a camera backpack which should make the wearing comfort especially in a different way. Actually a backpack is ideal if you want to prevent a so-called photographic shoulder pain in your neck without wearing a heavy camera bag on your  shoulder.

Fast accessibility gives an action advantage:

Fast accessibility is also an important issue. And you can explain that in two ways. Fast accessibility is great if you regularly take photographs. Fast action is made easy because you can grab your shoulder bag or messenger bag just as quickly as you can able to grab the right lens with your camera and then use the lens that you have used before. That is less practical with a camera backpack. On the other hand, fast accessibility is less pleasant in a busy city or an unclear crowd. Then you want your valuable items not to be easily accessible for grasping fingers. A well-closeable shoulder bag from Lowepro or Billingham with a solid zipper and flap prevents fast action from hustlers …

What are you going to do with your camera bag:

The purpose of your photo trip also affects. Are you going on a trek in a wild area? Then a camera backpack is ideal for those days to make your wearing more comfortable. But if you go on safari with an all-terrain vehicle, a regular camera bag is more practical because it takes up less space in the car. A large “grab bag” is practical for a wedding photography. You put it next to you when you are busy and quickly grab yourself again to walk to the next location. In the city, an inconspicuous bag is ofcourse ideal. Then you will not be as eye-catching as a photographer. Billingham and Lowepro have such bags in the assortment. But when it comes to load capacity, there is little that speaks to a camera backpack.

Messenger Bag, the best of both bags:

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The best of both bags could be a messenger bag. A backpack-like camera bag that you hang over your shoulder and slide on your back when you do not need. The advantages of flexibility and ease of use are undeniable. Yet the most important criterion for the right choice is your own feelings. Whatever decision you take on your choice of bags, it’s about choosing the camera bag that you feel very comfortable with. There are wide range of bags, you can choose the one you love the most.

Properties Per Bag Category At A Glance:


  • Extra comfort with sturdy carrying harness and (usually) a hip belt.
  • (Usually) a larger capacity than a shoulder bag.
  • Extra space for personal items.

Shoulder/Messenger bag:

  • Quick access. You carry the bag within reach on your hip.
  • Agility: for example, you can easily slide the bag off your shoulder.
  • Multiple wearing styles possible, for example on a shoulder or transverse ‘messenger-style’.

Sling bag:

  • Quick access. You can easily swing the bag in front of you, while still carrying the equipment comfortably on your back.
  • Capacity: most sling bags are suitable for a camera with 1 to 2 lenses. A backpack is more suitable for larger sets.
  • Light weight: this type of bag is a good choice for a city trip or day trip.

Passing is knowing:

For different purposes a different camera bag is therefore perhaps the best solution. Go to a store where many different types of bags are in stock and customize bags as if you are going to buy clothes. Feel whether a Billingham falls smoothly against your body or if you prefer a stiff and solid Lowepro Magnum. Female photographers will probably prefer a somewhat narrower backpack like a Flip-side to a hefty Pro Trekker . But perhaps your preference after the fitting goes out to a Lowepro Urban Reporter instead of a Billingham Hadley. And do not forget to take your most used equipment with you. It must also fit in the camera bag, check once and then buy, that is.