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The 4 best camera sling bags

By Tiana Crump

Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional photographer, to carry all of your gear safely and easily, you’ll want one of the best camera sling bags. With just a single shoulder strap, these camera packs can be quickly swung around to the front when you need a lens, tripod, and other accessory quickly. They free you up to stay in the moment and help make sure you don’t leave a lens or other accessory at home.

Camera sling bags come in a variety of sizes and styles. So, your equipment setup and where you’re headed are important to consider when choosing the best for your needs. If you're traveling with luggage, a compact camera bag that's small enough to either fit in your carry-on or clip onto your roller suitcase is nice way to streamline your gear. And no matter what kind of bag you're buying, make sure to check that there are straps included to keep your tripod secure if you'll be using one.

A good quality camera sling bag should also be able to protect your equipment from the weather, either with a rain cover or with water-resistant materials. What's more, if you're planning on shooting outside or in crowded areas, it's a good idea to look for a pack with added padding and protection to keep your valuable gear safe.

To make your search for the perfect camera bag easy, here’s my list of the best camera sling bags to haul your gear in style. All of these top-rated bags are weather-resistant with plenty of storage.

1. The overall best camera sling bag for most people

The Zecti Sling Camera Bag is a great all-around camera bag that fits most DSLR cameras that has earned a 4.5-rating after more than 200 reviews. With adjustable dividers to make custom-sized compartments for your gear and a side strap on the bag for carrying your tripod or monopod, it's flexible enough to suit most setups (and when those setups change).

Plus, it helps keep your gear safe with a front anti-theft buckle strap. Located on the bottom of this bag are rubber feet, so it’s easy to set it down upright. The entire bag is made with water-resistant material, and it includes a rain cover for additional protection during wet conditions. Plus, the waist belt is padded, making it comfortable to carry.

What fans say: “Every corner of this bag is [designed] to fit something. [In] the front, their are plenty of zippers to store your chargers, papers, and some cables. [Under] the front compartment, there is an extra pocket for your backup camera, a small gap for your slim laptop (my surface pro 4 fits comfortably), and still have little more room for extra stuff.”

2. The best compact camera sling bag for travel

For traveling or smaller setups with up to two extra lenses, the BAGSMART Compact Camera Shoulder Bag is an excellent choice. Designed to be small enough to tuck in easily to your carry-on baggage, it even has a trolley strap to attach to your suitcase.

Although quite compact, it features plenty of storage including two adjustable dividers in the main compartment for storing up to two lenses and one DSLR camera. There are four mesh pouches on the inside for stashing small items like batteries and memory cards — and one zipper pocket for storing your cell phone and travel documents. Plus, the two mesh pockets on the sides big enough to hold your water bottle or sunglasses. This camera sling bag is also made of water-resistant nylon with a waterproof bottom and rain cover.

What fans say: “LOVE THIS BAG!! Perfect bag for my single lens zoom camera. I sent several bags back due to insufficient storage. This bag holds everything, charger, extra battery, cleaning kit, & a few other items. 2 outside mesh pockets, an outside zip open pouch, roomy interior with more storage on the lid.... Very easy to take on trips without having to carry it over shoulder. Would absolutely recommend this bag for travel if you are looking to downsize you larger bag.”

3. A camera sling bag that doubles as a day pack

With separate slots for your phone, wallet, and even a tablet, the sleek Lowepro Slingshot Edge 250 is a great choice when you're out and about. This camera sling bag with padded compartments can hold your tripod, headphones, compact DSLR camera, and even a DJI Mavic Pro Drone while remaining close to the body. This bag can be quickly swung to the front to access your gear without taking off the pack. Plus, it comes with an All Weather Cover to protect your equipment in rain or snow.

What fans say: “This is a very well-designed, pro-level bag that's worth every penny. Just got back from a two-plus-week European excursion and used this bag as my flight carry-on and day-pack throughout the trip. Perfect fit for my DSLR with its 18-55mm zoom, 75-300mm zoom lens, 55mm std. lens, dual battery charger, and extra batteries. There's a nice elastic and mesh side-pocket big enough for a 16 oz. water bottle.”

4. The best camera sling bag for hiking

If you plan on taking your gear with you hiking or are just moving around a lot at an event, then you might want the CADeN Camera Bag Sling. Designed to be durable and withstand rugged conditions, the back of this bag is made with breathable shockproof material and the front has bumper strips to reduce the impact if dropped in case of slips and bumps. It has a sleek crossbody style that’s compact and lightweight, too. You can fit in most compact DSLR cameras, up to three lenses, and extra batteries in this sling bag. There's also a strap for tripods, and theft buckles to help keep your equipment safe. For protection from the elements, the bag is made of water-resistant nylon but it also comes with a rain cover.

What fans say: “[I've] had this pack almost a year now and I LOVE IT! It's convenient, easy to customize the inside for your needs, and is very comfortable to carry while put hiking and shooting. The sling is very comfortable and I've been out for hours with it on and have never felt any shoulder or neck fatigue. It's easy to slide around the front of you to access your gear too."

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