Every outdoor enthusiast knows the coolest photographs often present themselves off the beaten path: a brief glimpse of wildlife or rays of sunlight filtering through the canopy—or something totally unexpected. This is what motivates many active folks to forego the lightweight convenience of a smartphone camera and bring DSLRs and other equipment into the wild.
Indeed, your iPhone won’t always cut it when trying to capture stunning sunsets and dramatic landscapes. But carrying all that gear presents its own dilemma: where to store it.
When you’re schlepping around camping equipment, a kayak, bike, skis or other outdoor essentials, there isn’t often a convenient place to keep an expensive camera both protected and accessible.
Enter the latest crop of adventure camera bags.
No longer are your choices limited to simple, boxy over-the-shoulder bags that aren’t tough enough for the trails. Today’s camera packs are built to withstand wind, water, rain and the gnarliest trail conditions and roughest rides. Not only will these bags endure the elements, they will protect their precious contents with custom-made padding and enclosure systems.
See a route that begs to be free climbed? Toss your bag aside and go for it. Expect some major ruts and rocks on the singletrack trails or looking to ski bumps? Secure your pack and get moving. Some of these bags can even be submerged underwater if you’re going river kayaking or paddle boarding.
What’s more, these packs will keep you organized with special compartments that separate gear and accessories. This means that when that perfectly fleeting Kodak moment presents itself, you won’t have to go rifling through a top-loader to find your lens stashed at the very bottom. It’s all about ease of use and accessibility with these packs.
So whether you’re a serious outdoor shooter or simply a nature lover who likes to bring your camera out on the trails, there’s something for everyone on this list.