The 10 Best Camera Sling Bags

Updated February 06, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Perfect for overseas travel, heading out to capture some wildlife, or just for roaming around the city, these camera sling bags offer good protection for all your gear along with quick access to your DSLR or digital shooter when you need it. We've included models in an array of designs and at price points to suit amateur and professional photographers alike. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best camera sling bag on Amazon.

10. Andoer Caden K1

The Andoer Caden K1 may look funny, but it's actually a highly functional and original solution for storing your gear. You don't have to worry about getting caught in nasty weather during outdoor trips, either, since it comes with a fully waterproof rain cover.
  • convenient triangular shape
  • multiple entry points
  • some users find it too small
Brand Andoer
Model FJJK426
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Case Logic DSS-101

The Case Logic DSS-101 is full of dedicated compartments for housing all kinds of stuff aside from your camera, including a tablet, an internal memory card, and personal items, like keys and sunglasses. Plus, they're all easy to access with the bag worn across your chest.
  • exterior pockets are well padded
  • front isn't bulky like most models
  • not fully weather-resistant
Brand Case Logic
Model DSS-101
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. AmazonBasics RFQ359

This budget-friendly AmazonBasics RFQ359 has large rubber feet to protect the bottom from damage, plus a bright interior that makes finding dark gear easy. The clips on the side act as a theft deterrent, but the top compartment is a little too shallow for most purposes.
  • zippers work smoothly
  • exterior pouch for a tripod
  • only appropriate for smaller slrs
Brand AmazonBasics
Model RFQ359
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Zecti DSLR

With a customizable insert layout for optimal organization and a quick-release buckle on the strap of the Zecti DSLR, you'll never end up missing that perfect shot again because you couldn't get to your camera in time. It also features rubber feet for protection.
  • self-standing design
  • water-resistant exterior material
  • well-padded back
Brand zecti
Model 4331902013
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Tamrac Velocity 9x

The Tamrac Velocity 9x is an attractive option with its two-tone color scheme. It can be quickly swung around to your front, at which point the flip-top opens away from you, allowing you to access your camera conveniently without having to remove the pack.
  • good weight distribution
  • organizer for small essentials
  • feels a bit bulky on the back
Brand Tamrac
Model 5769
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

5. USA Gear Professional

The USA Gear Professional has a sturdy bottom that lets it stand on its own, and straps with a lot of adjustment room. The Velcro inner dividers can be arranged in various ways, allowing you to accommodate a whole host of equipment.
  • dual side-loading pockets
  • removable rain cover
  • comfortable for all-day carrying
Brand USA Gear
Model GRSLS15100BKEW
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Thule TLGS-101 Legend

If you're an action photographer who relies more on your GoPro than a bulky DSLR, the Thule TLGS-101 Legend is for you. It's made specifically for those specialist cameras and accompanying accessories, with an interior organizer made from die-cut foam that's easy to clean.
  • nylex-lined pocket for your phone
  • compression belts for selfie sticks
  • interior is not very spacious
Brand Thule
Model TLGS-101
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Lowepro Passport Sling III

The unique-looking Lowepro Passport Sling III features a form-fitting design that is sure to grab the attention of passersby and fellow photographers. It will accommodate most standard DSLR models and can also be used as a regular day pack by taking out the insert.
  • expands when needed
  • dedicated tablet pocket
  • shoulder pad is removable
Brand Lowepro
Model LP36658
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Altura Photo KM0596

Lightweight, yet durable, the Altura Photo KM0596 is comfortable to wear on either shoulder and is the product of excellent workmanship, with strong stitching all over. It comes with a cleaning kit and a microfiber cloth that won't streak your lenses.
  • mesh pockets for smaller items
  • bright purple accents inside
  • quick-access side door
Brand Altura Photo
Model KM0596
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Lowepro Slingshot 302

There aren't many bags out there with a greater storage capacity than the Lowepro Slingshot 302, which can accommodate a large DSLR, up to six lenses, and sundry personal items. Outer attachment loops let you add other compatible pouches and cases, too.
  • hideaway tripod mount
  • keeps its shape after lots of use
  • distributes weight well
Brand Lowepro
Model LP36174
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

The Perfect Shot May Be A Slingshot

Good photography often involves being in the right place at the right time. The resulting images communicate moments that will occur perhaps once in the entirety of human existence, rare combinations of light and presence that reinforce both the enormity and the brevity of life.

The first step toward capturing such an image is to find yourself in front of one. A lot of that is luck, though most of the best shooters have a nose for amazing moments. Some will go so far as to put themselves in harm's way in the pursuit of such pictures, while others can find these instants lurking in our everyday lives. The best thing you can do to ensure you find yourself in the presence of great photographic opportunity is to have your camera on you as often as possible.

The next step toward creating indelible photographs grows out of the first — it’s all about preparedness. Having your camera on you often is all well and good, but it won’t help you out much if it’s sitting disassembled in some messenger bag, its body cap firmly in place and its lenses cordoned off by protective barriers. Nor does it make much sense to keep your camera around your neck at all times. Not only will this cause the people around you to behave differently then they would without the presence of a camera, it also puts you at risk for a mugging by advertising to any miscreants in the area that you've got expensive camera gear.

The next best option would be to have a bag that could conveniently transport your camera in its assembled configuration, allowing you to pull it out and get to shooting more quickly. There are certainly some camera backpacks that load on the top for this specific reason. The only problem with these is that you have to take them off completely to access the compartment that houses your camera.

A camera sling bag solves all of these problems. For one thing, it’s designed to carry your camera fully assembled. What’s most important, however, is the fact that it utilizes a single strap that runs across your chest in place of the dual straps you’ll find on most backpack designs. As a result, sling bags can rotate around your torso, placing the primary opening to the camera compartment just below your chest. You don’t have to take the bag off, and you’ll have access to your camera within seconds. That could mean the difference between taking an enduring photo of a sailor kissing a nurse in the aftermath of a World War, and a less iconic, though perhaps equally marketable, picture of her slapping him afterwards.

Shooting One Day At A Time

In order to determine the best camera sling bag for your day-to-day shooting, you have to come to terms with the kind of shooter you want to be on a given day. That’s the best way to utilize a sling bag: as the perfect vehicle for a day of shooting.

There are sling bags on this list that allow you to carry the majority of your best gear, but unless you plan to travel with your all of equipment and you have specific limitations on the mobility and storage of hard cases, opting for a slightly smaller bag is the best option. That way, you can keep on your person only what you absolutely need for a day’s shooting. There’s always the outside chance that you’ll feel the need for that 85mm when all you brought is your 24-70, but that’s why you were born with legs.

Once you’ve gotten a good look at what gear you need on a daily basis, you can use that setup to narrow your list of options to just those bags that will accommodate it. After that, you can move on to less pressing features.

Among the tertiary features to consider when evaluating camera sling bags is additional accessory storage. If you’re the type to shoot on multiple, smaller memory cards to protect yourself against card failure, make sure the bag you select has enough card storage slots to suit your needs. The landscape photographers among you will appreciate a bag that includes a tripod strap that can cut down on your overall baggage footprint.

The last thing you’ll want to investigate — though certainly not the least important — is the shoulder strap system. If you’re left handed, or you plan to trek across vast distances with your new camera bag, you’ll want it to have a reversible strap. It’s not the most common feature among sling bags, but it will allow you to switch the shoulder on which your bag hangs, alleviating the pressure on one side. Also, look for extra support straps that run across the chest or at hip level. These can take a little bit more of the strain off of your shoulder while helping to keep in place a bag that’s otherwise designed to move.

Bags Come Home From War

For the greater part of photographic history, shooters were left to their own devices in the bag department. Many early photographers transported their gear in trunks and other large, hard-sided luggage because the gear itself was so much bigger than it is today, and the durable luggage provided much-needed protection.

After the standardization of the 35mm film format, shooters in the war zones of Spain, France, and England found that the bags toted by grenadiers and other infantry made convenient, if not terribly protective cases for their cameras and lenses. Many of these shooters added extra padding in the form of shirts, pants, and other clothing.

Shooters returning from these conflicts recognized the need for bags, and many took their ideas to manufacturers. That resulted in a huge influx of camera-specific bags made by manufacturers for specific camera bodies and lenses. These were portable and protective, but severely limiting to shooters with ever-evolving gear sets. Eventually, the market responded by creating a class of more customizable camera bags that could fit any number of setups, and that evolved into the selections you see on our list.

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Last updated on February 06, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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