Best Camera Sling Bags of 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Andy
| Last Updated: January 4, 2021

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Being able to access your photography gear with just a quick ‘pull and swing’ of the bag hanging from your shoulder is a truly efficient way to roam around and capture the perfect shot.

Camera sling bags are becoming increasingly popular among professionals and amateurs alike. The reason behind this is these amazing products combine the convenience and portability of a shoulder bag and capacity and comfort of a camera backpack.  

But with a multitude of models, brands, and variations available on the market, finding the right one can be quite difficult. Here, we have taken a closer look at the bag market to bring you some of the best options so that you can find your perfect match.

Comparison of the Best Camera Sling Bags

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Brightly colored interior makes it easy to organize and view
  • Optimized pocket designs with quick access zippers make easy to use
  • Complete rain coverage keeps it dry and safe even in wet conditions
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  • Patented hammock system suspends the camera above the lower bottom for superior impact protection
  • Neatly arranged pockets allows quick and organized control
  • Allows to be worn as a back-pack with swing action for quick action camera reach
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  • Best for the Money
  • Soft padded interior protects your camera and accessories from impact damage
  • Features an adjustable strap and ergonomic padding for comfortable carrying
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  • Best DSLR Camera Sling Bag
  • Optimized multi-compartment design allows effortless control and organizing
  • The dense nylon material makes the bag resistant against dust, water and other environmental factors
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  • Best Small Camera Sling Bag
  • Made with soft padding and a cross-body strap for comfort, easy access and protection against accidental bumps
  • Removable inserts allows personalized modification for greater versatility
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  • Best Camera Sling Bag with Tripod Holder
  • Flexible strap can be adjusted to suit a variety of carrying options and allows quick swing access
  • Padded interior with adjustable spacers for superior protection and versatile organizing options
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  • Best Camera Sling Bag for Travel
  • Designed for smooth and quick deployment as well as superior security
  • Includes additional pocket to keep tablet devices secure and close at hand
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  • Best Waterproof Camera Sling Bag
  • Internal adjustable cushions keeps sensitive equipment safe and allows versatile organizing
  • Comes with a polyester water resistant cover for protection from unexpected rain or snow
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  • Best Leather Camera Sling Bag
  • Made from comfortable PU leather materials with internal padding that offers superior shock, water and environmental protection
  • Versatile strapping options allows it to be used as a handbag or shoulder bag
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Are All Camera Sling Bags The Same?

Camera sling bags not only differ in size and colors, but they also come with many different features.

Although most camera bags can easily carry your essential gear, many of them have ample room for a tablet or even a small laptop. Some bags are even designed with mounting points for a tripod or a compact drone.   

There are camera sling bags that are small in size and are particularly designed for a mirrorless kit, while some can easily carry a full-frame DSLR body and two small lenses quite easily.  

Some sling bags are weatherproof and can protect your gear from rain, while some are designed with an additional stabilizing or waist strap. This provides an extra layer of security against thieves and bag-snatchers.   

Moreover, some bags are designed with sling straps that rest on your left shoulder and some on the right. This provides users with the freedom to choose one that feels more natural than the other.

Characteristics of Our Favorite Bags

It can be quite a challenge to carry your interchangeable lens camera together with all the appropriate gear without a good quality camera bag. Therefore, it is vital to invest in a good quality camera bag so that you can tote your gear securely, comfortably, and safely.

Following are some characteristics that should be present in a camera bag to make it a solid option:

Lightweight

You need a camera bag that is lightweight and comfortable to carry around. As you will be carrying your camera and your photography gear for hours, carrying comfort is also vital. Traveling with a heavy bag can get tiring very quickly; therefore, it should have the right kind of support that will help prevent sore shoulders.

Divided Compartments and Padded Interiors

A crucial element that should be present in a camera sling bag is padded interiors as they help to protect the lenses from damage. Moreover, it should have a divided interior so that you can easily store multiple lenses or other accessories. Having an organization system inside the bag is the key to protecting your camera gear.  

Vanguard Alta Rise 43

Weatherproof

These bags are well-suited to life off the beaten track, but you are going to be out in all weathers; therefore, it is best to have a bag that is weatherproof and comes with a separate rain cover. You do not want your camera gear damaged due to inadequate protection.

Quick Take - Best Camera Sling Bags

Before we dive into our review, here are the best camera sling bags:

  1. Vanguard Alta Rise 43
  2. Case Logic SLRC-205
  3. USA Gear SLR Camera Case Bag

Review of the Best Camera Sling Bags

It can be quite a dilemma to decide what camera equipment you can safely carry versus what you want to bring. However, with the right bag, you do not need to make such a sacrifice.

Following are some of the best bags available complied in one list to make it easy for you to choose the one best suited to your requirements:

Vanguard Alta Rise 43 Sling Bag for DSLR, Compact Camera, Compact System Camera (CSC), Travel

PROS

  • Weatherproof to keep all your gear dry
  • Padded sling strap ensures user comfort
  • Bright colored interiors increase efficiency
  • Concealed pocket on back panel keeps all your valuables safe
  • Ample storage space and padded interior to keep your gear protected

CONS

  • Placement of top handle is not convenient

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are 110% satisfied with the Vanguard Alta Rise 43 as it can carry all their equipment easily. It is weatherproof, versatile, and has a low profile. It has quite a few pockets that can easily carry all their extra batteries and memory cards along with camera cleaning components.

The easy access zipper provides quick access to their camera and lenses. They also claim that it is an amazing feeling knowing that they have made the right choice by selecting this bag.   

Why it Stands Out to Us

This sling bag provides incredible storage space while keeping all your gear protected. It can easily fit a Pro DSLR, a flash, four to five lenses, and other accessories. The thick interior dividers are brightly colored, thus ensuring that the contents of the bag stand out.

The included weather cover and durable construction of this product ensure that it will be with you for a long time. Moreover, a simple zipper motion allows users to expand the front panel, thus allowing them an additional storage width of 6cm making it a perfect fit for photographers with a lot of gear.  

Bottom Line

The Vanguard Alta Rise 43 ensures padded protection, thus allowing users to carry all their gear while keeping it protected. Its side flap opening makes it convenient to grab-and-shoot in just seconds.

Designed with strategically placed external and internal pockets, this bag makes it easy to arrange all essentials like batteries, cables, smartphones, chargers, water bottles, and memory cards exactly where you need them.

Case Logic SLRC-205 SLR Camera Sling (Black)

PROS

  • Wide strap keeps the weight well-distributed
  • Multiple pockets to easily store all accessories
  • Hammock system keeps the camera body and lenses safe
  • Padded exterior keeps the hard parts away from the body
  • Well-designed and comfortable hip pad and shoulder strap

CONS

  • Not convenient for left-handed users

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers claim that it is very easy to carry to their camera equipment in this bag. It does not feel bulky like a camera backpack and can be easily swung to the front to pull their camera out quickly.

They were also able to secure their tripod easily on this bag, whether they are strolling in largely populated areas or hiking around picturesque trails.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This bag has an awesome design that looks pretty neat. It is able to hold most DSLRs with their attached lens. It also provides ultimate impact protection while the various compartments allow a convenient storage of accessories.

The innovative hammock system protects the camera from the base of the case. Moreover, the camera compartment lid is lined with memory foam, thus protecting the LCD screen from any damage.  

It can easily store all accessories, including keys, cords, memory cards, and an extra battery, while the industrial-strength hook-and-loop is designed to secure a tripod and other bulky gear.  

Bottom Line

The Case Logic SLRC-250 is suitable not only for amateur photographers but for hobbyists photographers and advanced photographers as well. It is an easy-to-use, compact sling bag with an adjustable waist and shoulder strap to ensure a comfortable fit.

Best for the Money:
USA Gear SLR Camera Case Bag

USA Gear SLR Camera Case Bag (Black) with Top Loading Accessibility, Adjustable Shoulder Sling, Padded Handle, Weather Resistant Bottom - Comfortable, Durable and Light Weight for Travel

PROS

  • Easy and convenient top-loading design
  • Comfortable and adjustable shoulder strap
  • Three-year manufacturer’s warranty for customer peace of mind
  • Included rain cover to protect your gear against weather elements
  • External netted pockets and internal accessory pouch to accommodate all your accessories

CONS

  • Black interior makes it difficult to see the contents

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers find this product to be a solid choice for a bridge camera case. They like everything about this product, including its buckles, strap, and zipper. The zipper moves freely, and the buckles are thick and do not have any sharp ridges. It is not easy to topple it over; neither can it be easily crushed.   

Why it Stands Out to Us

The high-quality fabric exterior and durable stitching of this product ensure complete protection of your gear. Designed with metal hardware, weather-resistant neoprene exterior, a rugged bottom, and cover zippers help to protect your camera from any damage.

We particularly like its top-loading design, as it ensures that you will not miss the shot that you want. Moreover, the included weather cover protects from dirt, snow, dust, and rain.   

Equipped with an adjustable and removable padded internal divider, the USA Gear SLR camera case bag keeps the camera lens safe while providing a snug fit for a number of devices. Moreover, the soft scratch-resistant lining keeps the lens and camera finish looking like new.    

Bottom Line

If you want a durable sling bag that is adjustable and comfortable, then the USA Gear SLR sling bag is a good option. The interior’s dividers allow you to customize this bag to fit your needs while the various pockets make it convenient to store small objects.

The adjustable shoulder strap ensures comfortable and easy portability while the padded belt loop and hand strap provide multiple carrying options.     

Best DSLR Camera Sling Bag:
BPAULL DSLR Camera Bag

DSLR Camera Bag Waterproof Camera Sling Backpack with Rain Cover Outdoor Travel Backpack Camera Bag Case for Laptop Canon Nikon Sony Pentax DSLR Cameras,Lens,Tripod and Accessories

PROS

  • Padded dividers protect the lens from scratches
  • Curved padded sling strap makes it easy to rotate the bag without removing
  • Designed with durable nylon material with reinforced stitching at stress points
  • Equipped with a top compartment for flashes and other essential shooting accessories
  • Suitable for DSLR cameras and lenses, mirrorless cameras, and DJI Mavic Pro Drone and accessories

CONS

  • Pockets have Velcro flaps which might not be very safe

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are extremely happy with this sling bag as they believe that the designers of this bag have thought of everything. It is sturdy enough to keep all its contents safe while not being so rigid so as to make it difficult to store it in an airplane’s overhead compartment.

Buyers claim that this bag perfectly fits their camera, flash, extra lenses, and more while having special storage for SD cards, mobile phone, tripod, filters, and more.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a lightweight and convenient sling bag that offers convenient organization together with spacious room for handy storage. It is designed with inner pockets that can easily store chargers, batteries, memory cards, and other small items.

It also has a side mesh pocket where users can store their water bottles conveniently while the detachable strap at the bottom can be used to hold the tripod. It is designed from a highly dense nylon material which we find is not only durable but waterproof as well.

We also like its thick padding that helps to keep your lens, camera, and laptop safe from any accidental shocks and scratches. Moreover, the inside padded dividers can be adjusted to suit your personal requirements.

The cushioned dividers can also be removed to change this sling bag into a leisure outdoor travel backpack where you can store your daily necessities such as mobile phone, umbrella, wallet, iPad, etc.  

Bottom Line

This product is designed for photographers who want spacious space for personal items, faster access to camera equipment, easy-glide zippers for smooth operation, improved organization, ability to hold a tripod, and waterproof rain cowl to keep their cameras safe.

This bag is not only versatile and durable but is also perfect for outdoor travel, day trips, hiking, mountaineering, etc.   

Best Small Camera Sling Bag:
Qipi Camera Bag

Qipi Camera Bag - Sling Bag Style Camera Case Backpack with Modular Inserts & Waterproof Rain Cover - for DSLR & Mirrorless Cameras (Nikon, Canon, Sony) - Black

PROS

  • Built-in phone pocket on the shoulder strap
  • Secret anti-theft pocket helps protect your valuables
  • Comes with a waterproof rain cover and tripod holder
  • Padded crossbody shoulder strap ensures maximum comfort
  • Removable modular organizer inserts make it easy to customize

CONS

  • Purple interior may not be suitable for everyone’s taste

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers find this to be a good minimalist bag available at an amazing price. It sits close to their body and does not cause any lower back fatigue. Users can just unclip the strap under their arm when they want to rotate it to the front, which they find very convenient.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The main compartment of this sling bag is quite spacious, which we find highly convenient. It opens up all the way to the other side, making it easier for users to pack their gear. You can easily fit your camera with a small lens attached, in this main compartment.

The customizable compartments of this bag can easily store your alternate lens, flash, and other essential equipment. It is designed with various pockets, making it convenient to store memory cards, spare batteries, and cables, etc.

The Qipi camera bag has a small stabilizing strap that helps to keep it secure, thus preventing it from swinging around when you are walking. There is also a travel tripod holder pocket with buckles and straps that can be adjusted accordingly.

Bottom Line

This bag is designed to provide photographers with a reliable sling bag that will keep their camera and other equipment safe. It has a secret anti-theft pocket where they can keep their valuables such as a wallet or travel documents.

Another convenient feature is a small pocket on the front strap where they can keep their phone and enjoy quick access. 

Best Camera Sling Bag With Tripod Holder:
CADeN Camera Bag

CADeN Camera Bag Sling Backpack for DSLR/SLR Mirrorless Camera Waterproof, Camera Case Compatible for Sony Canon Nikon Camera and Lens Tripod Accessories Black

PROS

  • One side strap makes it easy to carry the tripod
  • Top zippered pocket to store all your daily essentials
  • Adjustable spacer keeps your camera and accessories safe
  • Side zippered design provides quick access to your camera
  • Comfortable sling design makes it easy to turn the bag from the back to the front

CONS

  • Absence of zippered pocket might be troublesome for some

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love the clean, sleek look of this bag. They find the size to be neither big nor small, but just right. They particularly like its handy zippered side access panel, which allows them to take out their camera within seconds. Moreover, they find it very comfortable to wear for extended periods.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The CADeN camera bag is a well-made product that can hold a lot of gear easily. It is designed with modular dividers that can fit any size of the camera. We particularly like the zippered side opening, as it means that you need only seconds to take out your camera.

The designers of this bag have ensured that your gear is protected by providing a 20mm thick, padded, sturdy, and adjustable protective spacer. This divider protects your camera and accessories from any accidental scratches and shocks.

Its shoulder strap is made from a premium top grade mesh material that is breathable and very comfortable. This shoulder strap also has a belt that can be secured with the help of Velcro, thus preventing the strap from slipping.

Bottom Line

This is a lightweight and comfortable camera bag designed with premium top-grade nylon cloth that is durable, strong, and scratchproof. It can easily fit one camera, three lenses, a tripod, and other accessories. It also has a convenient handle that can turn your sling bag into a tote.

Best Camera Sling Bag for Travel:
Lowepro Slingshot Edge 250 AW

Lowepro LP36899PWW Slingshot Edge 250 AW - A Secure, Slim, Smart and Protective Sling for a Compact DSLR or DJI Mavic Pro/Mavic Pro Platinum,Black,9.06 x 4.72 x 8.27 in

PROS

  • Can easily fit the DJI Mavic Pro drone
  • Ensures extra security and smooth operation
  • Fast access to your camera because of the side pocket
  • Designed with two removable straps that provide added capacity
  • Keeps your cables, phones, and other items well-organized and within easy reach

CONS

  • Dividers limit the space in the bag

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are amazed that such a tiny package could hold all the gear and still feel light and portable. They also find that the layout is well thought out, and the build is very good. The closures and zippers are sturdy, and buyers find it to be very comfortable to wear.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Excellent build quality, ample space, and easy-to-use sling system all make the Lowepro Slingshot Edge 250 AW a good option for DSLR kit owners. It is designed to not only keep your camera within easy reach but also to keep your headphones, smartphone, wallet, tablet, and other essentials well-organized.   

This bag helps to save time as you do not need to take it off to access your camera. This ensures that you will never the shot whether you are out photo walking, touring, or commuting. Its narrow profile makes it suitable for even crowded places. We also find the dedicated space for the phone quite handy.  

Bottom Line

This smart and sleek bag is designed for urban environments. It can easily fit under seats making it an ideal option for traveling. It is equipped with a CradleFit pocket that keeps your tablet free from impact. Moreover, it comes with a roomy open zone that makes it easy to carry phones, wallets, and other non-photo essentials quite conveniently.

Best Waterproof Camera Sling Bag:
Neewer Professional Sling Camera Storage Bag

Neewer Professional Sling Camera Storage Bag Durable Waterproof and Tear Proof Black Carrying Backpack Case for DSLR Camera, Lens & Accessories (Purple Interior)

PROS

  • Can be worn on the front or the back of the body
  • Taped cushion inserts offer versatile organization
  • Tear-proof and shockproof partition protection case
  • Waterproof coating and comes with a rain cover as well
  • Spacious product that can easily carry your camera and other photography essentials

CONS

  • Does not retain its shape if the camera is removed causing the lenses to slip out of their dividers

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love this bag as it can fit their camera as well as three to four lenses very easily. They claim that it provides good value for money and love its smaller compartments and easy-grip zipper tabs. It is very comfortable to wear even for long periods, and its easy accessibility makes it very popular among recent buyers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Neewar Professional Sling Camera Storage bag can be called a traveling wardrobe for your camera kit. The internal space is cleverly designed to provide room for a DSLR with an attached zoom lens, speed lights, two other lenses, a telephoto lens, and other smaller accessories. Moreover, you can easily secure your tripod to the attachments outside.

The cushioned inserts can be moved so that you can configure the inside compartment according to your needs. It is designed with a padded and sturdy strap, which is adjustable with the help of an easy-to-reach, quick-release buckle. Its roll-down lid ensures that there is no fumbling for the camera when a photo opportunity arrives. 

Bottom Line

No two photographer’s needs are the same; neither are two camera set-ups the same, which is why a camera bag with an adjustable inner space is preferred by most users. The Neewar Professional Camera bag offers modular compartments, thus providing photographers with the ultimate freedom of storage and set-up.

Best Leather Camera Sling Bag:
MCHENG Waterproof PU Leather Camera Bag

MCHENG Waterproof PU Leather Camera Bag for Canon Nikon Sony Panasonic Olympus Fujifilm Digital Cameras, Black

PROS

  • Various pockets ensure a well-organized bag
  • Constructed from strong and sturdy PU leather
  • Stylish and spacious product to carry your camera confidently
  • Main pocket is lined with padded foam for ultimate protection
  • Versatile product designed with a handle and a shoulder strap

CONS

  • Side pockets do not have zippers which can make them unsafe

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers found this product cute and compact and claim that this is exactly what they have been looking for. It can carry their camera, two lenses, external hard drive, flash, cords and camera charger, extra battery, and camera grip without creating a bulge. The strap does not slide off the shoulder, and it is constructed with a durable material that they find highly appealing.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We are particularly impressed with its construction as it is made from protective PU leather and padded foam, making it highly pragmatic and sturdy. This material not only protects your gear from water but is also very smooth to touch. The padded insides protect your camera and other accessories from bumps and impacts.

Its zippers have been thoroughly tested for security and resilience, thus ensuring their long life. We also love its versatility as it can be worn as a shoulder bag, waist bag, or handbag. The strong and thick handle will serve you for a long time.  

Bottom Line

The MCHENG Waterproof PU Leather Camera bag is a convenient option for those who want to combine practicality with style. It can easily store point and shoot cameras, mirrorless cameras, and other digital cameras, while the padded interiors can be arranged to store your camera and accessories according to your preference.

What Purpose Does a Camera Sling Bag Serve

The key advantage of a sling bag is its small weight and accessibility. These versatile products allow users to carry all the equipment easily on their backs and also take a shot without taking it off. In addition, a camera sling bag is perfect for the following purposes:

Perfect For DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras Owners

These bags are an excellent choice for DSLR and mirrorless camera owners. They are designed to conveniently store the various lenses and their accessories in separate compartments, thus making it easy to retrieve anything you require without any hassle.

Travel-Friendly

If you travel a lot, then a sling bag should be your top option. You can carry all your photography gear inside it easily. Or you can take out the dividers inside and use it as a backpack to pack all the necessary stuff. These bags are lightweight and designed from a flexible material, thus making it easier to store them under your seat or in the overhead compartment.

Suitable For All Weathers

Most camera bags are equipped with weather protection, thus making them perfect for outdoor travel and activities such as hiking and trekking. They come with a rain cover, thus allowing photographers to get that perfect shot even it is raining.

Keeps Your Valuables Safe

Some sling bags are designed with a secret anti-theft pocket, thus allowing users to store their valuables safely. They also have spacious compartments that can easily store tablets or iPads, along with other accessories. 

Camera Bag Sling vs Backpack - Comparison Overview 

The design and style of your bag not only helps you carry your photography gear safely but also determines how comfortably you will be able to carry your gear. Finding the right mix of style, comfort, and safety ensures an enjoyable photography experience.  

The backpack style bag is for people who need both of their hands free for their outdoor excursions. They are large and have a lot of padding. Their adjustable straps make them comfortable to use while distributing the weight across your back. They are best suited for carrying multiple cameras and lenses.  

A sling-style camera bag, also known as a holster bag is a smaller option than a backpack. They are designed as a perfect alternative to side-heavy messenger bags and bulky camera backpacks. They fit across the chest and shoulders, thus providing quick access to your DSLR.  

A sling-style camera bag encourages users to pack their gear efficiently as they are smaller in size. With just one swing, you can bring this bag around and easily access your camera. They are also incredibly useful as they allow for easier and safer lens changes.

Conclusion

Having both of your hands free but also having super-fast access to your gear, makes the camera sling bag an excellent best-of-both-worlds carrying option. As they are a budget-friendly option, you can own one or maybe a few of these bags without burdening your pocket.

But before investing in one, make sure that you read the above article carefully so that you can find the perfect one for you.

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Andy

Hi, I’m Andy. I’ve been taking pictures for just about as long as I’ve been old enough to hold a camera. I studied photography in community college after high school but was encouraged to follow a career path that was more stable. I do gigs here and there on the side but never took the leap to focus my efforts full-time. When Pam reached out to me through a mutual friend, I jumped on the opportunity to be a writer. Favorite type of photography: macro and street.