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10 Best Camera Sling Bags in 2022 (Better Than Backpacks?)

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With many photographers switching to lighter, mirrorless camera bodies, sling bags have become more popular. If you have switched gear recently or are just looking for a lighter kit, you may be in the market for a new camera bag. I am getting ready for a trip, and I often carry a big backpack with all my camera gear. But I am wondering if a sling bag with less gear is the smarter option.

There are many slings on the market. Come with me as I look for the best camera sling bag. Let’s look at the features of sling camera bags, and then I will show you my top 10. Regardless of your budget or gear, you will find a sling bag that’s perfect for you.

Man with a brown camera bag and a camera in hand walking around an old town

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What is a Camera Sling Bag?

A camera sling bag is usually smaller than a backpack and is worn over one shoulder. Slings have a single strap that is worn diagonally across your body.

Camera sling bags combine the best features of a backpack and a shoulder bag. The bag nestles into your back like a backpack. But it slides forward around your body when you need it. This lets you access lenses and accessories without taking the bag off. It is accessible like a shoulder, tote, or messenger bag. But it is less likely to fall off your shoulder when you’re carrying your gear.

Some bags are designed to be used over either shoulder. Other bags are more comfortable for the right-handed photographer. Some include multiple access points and pockets to store accessories. They usually have a large compartment for storing a camera and a couple of lenses. They also have smaller pockets around the bag to store accessories like batteries, SD cards, and your phone or tablet.

Most camera sling bags are not as large as backpacks. They are not meant for the same amount of gear. With slings, the weight is not evenly distributed across your shoulders. The heavier the sling bag, the more weight there is on one shoulder. A backpack is probably a better choice if you have a lot of heavy gear to carry. Backpacks are not necessarily better than slings, but they have different strengths.

Top view of a fabric bag with a camera on top of it

Who Uses a Camera Sling Bag?

Camera sling bags are most attractive to photographers on the go. Travel and street photographers can pack a camera, a couple of lenses, and bits of smaller gear for the day. Slings are the perfect balance of versatility and storage.

Sling bags are marketed to both DSLR and mirrorless users. But the DSLR bags are often too big and bulky to be comfortable. If you have a DSLR and many lenses, you probably want a backpack instead. Some photographers have sling bags for smaller equipment, like drones.

Sling bags are the right choice for any photographer who wants to pack light and change lenses quickly.

Closeup shot of a photographer pulling out a camera from the bag
10 Best Camera Sling Bags

10. Mosiso Camera Sling Bag

Exterior Dimensions 42.9 x 25.2 x 16.5 cm (16.89 x 9.96 x 6.5 inches)

Interior Dimensions 25.7 x 20 x 11 cm (10.1 x 7.87 x 4.33 inches)

Weight 712 g (1.57 lb)

Mosiso’s inexpensive sling bag is a surprise find with some of the top Amazon customer ratings. The bag has two parts. The main compartment is for your camera and lenses. And the top compartment stores accessories.

The bag has an exterior mesh pocket with straps to hold a tripod or water bottle. A hidden anti-theft zippered pocket on the back is a safe place to store travel papers and your wallet.

The bag is padded and has removable inserts to customize the interior space. You can fit a camera body and two lenses with some accessories. The back of the bag is soft, breathable mesh. It is water repellant, but not waterproof. And doesn’t come with a rain cover like other sling bags on this list.

One nice plus is that it’s colorful! If you are bored with black camera bags, Mosiso has you covered. The bag comes in nine different colors, including black, khaki, and a selection of blues, reds, and greens. The interiors are either orange or purple. If you want a light, inexpensive sling bag, the Mosiso Camera Sling Bag is a great place to start.

Red Mosiso Camera Sling Bag

9. Domke F-5XB

Exterior Dimensions 11.4 x 25.4 x 18.4 cm (4.5 x 10 x 7.25 inches)

Interior Dimensions 24.1 x 10.2 x 15.2 cm (9.5 x 4 x 6 inches)

Weight 500 g (1.1 lb)

This popular retro satchel can be worn as a shoulder bag or as a crossbody bag. It is made from distressed cotton canvas treated with non-solvent wax for durability. The bag even comes with a tin of wax. It looks and feels like your favorite pair of jeans!

The bag has a large flap and zipper that makes for quick access. It fits a camera body and two lenses along with some accessories. It is probably best for a mirrorless camera system.

The bag is in the mid-price range. It is padded on the front, back, and top. But it would benefit from some side padding. Inside are two removable padded dividers. On the front is a small pocket for memory cards and batteries. There is no tripod, tablet, or water bottle storage. The shoulder strap is not padded for comfort but is non-slip. The bag is very durable and will stand up to a surprising amount of weather.

The Domke logo is very prominent, and many owners carefully remove it. The bag comes in black, brown, olive, and sand color. If you are looking for a lightweight sling with an old-school vibe, this is your bag!

Domke F-5XB sling camera bag

8. Vanguard Alta Rise 43 Sling

Exterior Dimensions 26.4 x 45 x 20 cm (10.38 x 17.75 x 7.88 inches)

Interior Dimensions 20.025 x (13.018 + 6.033) x 24.1 cm (7.875 x (5.125 + 2.375) x 9.5 inches)

Weight 1197 g (2.64 lb)

The Vanguard Alta Rise 43 Sling is one of the most expensive and heaviest bags on this list. But is also one of the largest. There are other bags in the Vanguard Alta Rise series. But most of these are full backpacks, and others are shoulder bags. The 43 is designed as a sling.

The bag can fit a camera with two or three lenses and accessories. The bag expands to fit additional gear or a small laptop or tablet. (Note the extra space in the interior dimensions above.) Various inner pockets let you store extra batteries, memory cards, and other accessories. This bag has a “magic” padded inner pocket that you can access from the outside. The concealed pocket on the back panel is perfect for carrying travel documents or your wallet.

The bag is thoughtfully designed. But the strap is not the most comfortable, especially when it’s full of camera gear. And it doesn’t have a tripod or water bottle holder. The bag is black with a bright yellow interior and includes a rain cover.

Vanguard Alta Rise 43 Sling camera bag

7. Amazon Basics Camera Sling Bag

Exterior Dimensions 20 x 16.5 x 39.4 cm (7.87 x 6.25 x 15.5 inches)

Interior Dimensions 16.5 x 10.8 x 26.2 cm (6.50 x 4.25 x 10.30 inches)

Weight 621 g (1.37 lb)

The Amazon Basics Camera Sling Bag is surprisingly functional for its inexpensive price.

The bag has two compartments. The bottom is for your camera gear and has adjustable dividers. It will fit your camera with one to two lenses and a few accessories. The top compartment is padded, so you can use it to hold another lens or a flash. The front pocket is a great place for extra batteries and memory cards. And you can secure a tripod onto the bag.

The bag is ergonomically constructed and comfortable to wear over a long period. It has a padded strap reinforced for durability and a quick-release mechanism. The bag has two straps. One goes over your shoulder and the other goes around your waist for extra security.

This lightweight and durable bag is black with a grey interior. And as one user put it, “It’s like Amazon took notes from all the camera bag sellers & churned out the perfect bag.” This is a lot of bag for the price!

Amazon Basics Camera Sling Bag

6. Think Tank Photo Urban Access™ 8 Sling Camera Bag

Exterior Dimensions 13 x 20 x 37 cm (5.12 x 7.87 x 14.57 inches)

Interior Dimensions 19 x 33.5 x 11 cm (7.5 x 13.2 x 4.3 inches)

Weight 953 g (2.1 lb)

The Think Tank Photo Urban Access 8 Sling Camera Bag is one of the more expensive choices here. But you get the quality that you expect from this brand and a sleek, urban style.

The bag fits a camera and two lenses with various accessories. It is designed to allow access from either side, and you can wear the bag over your left or right shoulder. This flexibility requires extra caution, though. Your gear can go flying if you open the wrong zipper. There is a detachable strap to secure a tripod and another you can put around your waistband for extra security.

You can configure the inner compartment to your needs. There is a deep front pocket for quick access to accessories, or it can hold a small tripod. There is also a pocket for a small tablet.

The bag has a wide, comfortable strap. The bag is water-resistant, and there is a rain cover tucked into the back. The bag is black with a grey interior. And if you need more space, Think Take makes a larger 10L model.

Think Tank Photo Urban Access Sling Camera Bag

5. Tenba Solstice Sling 10L

Exterior Dimensions 17.8 x 24.1 x 44.5 cm (7 x 9.5 x 17.5 inches)

Interior Dimensions 20 x 42 x 12 cm (8 x 16.5 x 4.75 inches)

Weight 635 g (1.4 lb)

The Tenba Solstice Sling 10L is a solid, mid-priced choice. It is lightweight and compact. The bag is marketed as having the all-day comfort of a backpack with the quick access of a shoulder bag. The back has 3D air mesh to help keep you cool. An additional safety strap for your waist helps to secure a heavy load.

The bag has a side opening for quick access, and it opens fully at the front. The bag can fit a camera with two to three lenses and accessories. There are four dividers to customize the interior space with various pockets for SD cards and extra batteries. There is an expandable pocket on the side for a small tripod or water bottle. There is also a tablet sleeve with slots for smaller gear.

The bag is made from water-repellant nylon. And there is a separate rain cover included. You have the choice of a black or a blue bag. Tenba also makes a smaller 7L version.

Tenba Solstice Sling 10L camera bag

4. Pacsafe Camsafe X9 Anti-theft Camera Sling Pack

Exterior Dimensions 15 x 25 x 40 cm (5.91 x 9.84 x 15.75 inches)

Weight 734.8 g (1.62 lb)

The Pacsafe Camsafe X9 Anti-theft Camera Sling Pack is designed for the security-conscious photographer. It is useful in urban and travel situations where the theft of your expensive camera equipment is a real possibility.

It has a hidden stainless steel wire mesh in the construction that keeps the straps and material from being cut open. A Robar Sport locking system for the zippers deters pickpockets. The bag also includes RFID blocking material that helps prevent electronic theft.

There is a surprising amount of storage inside. The bag has room for a camera and two lenses plus various accessories. There are Velcro dividers to organize your gear, and the bag will fit an 11″ tablet or laptop in a padded and zippered compartment. The front zippered pocket can hold spare batteries and SD cards. And there is a side holder for a water bottle.

The wire-reinforced strap has a security buckle to protect against bag snatchers. The strap is wide and swings easily around your body. You can move it to the front of your body to access gear or for better security in crowded places. It comes in black with a grey interior.

This is one of the pricier bags on the list. But keeping your expensive gear safe is worth the price.

Pacsafe Camsafe X9 Anti-theft Camera Sling bag

3. LowePro Slingshot Edge 250 AW III

Exterior Dimensions 26.7 x 15.6 x 48 cm (10.51 x 6.14 x 18.9 inches)

Interior Dimensions 23 x 12 x 21 cm (9.06 x 4.72 x 8.27 inches)

Weight 816 g (1.8 lb)

LowePro has a reputation for quality bags, and the Slingshot Edge is no exception. This slim, mid-priced bag fits compact DSLR cameras with one or two lenses and various accessories. You can use the smaller section at the top for accessories or another lens. And you can access the main compartment from the back.

The bag rotates easily around your body for quick and easy access. It has a quick-access side pocket that zips around to the back for full access to your camera gear. There are customizable interior dividers and interior pockets for SD cards and spare batteries. There is a pocket for a small tablet or iPad and a small, quick-access pocket for your phone and wallet. And you have a mesh pocket perfect for a water bottle on the side.

The bag has two padded straps with a waist strap for additional support. And you can mount a tripod to the front of the bag using two additional straps. It’s also weather-resistant and has a built-in rain cover.

The bag is black with orange highlights. The Slingshot Edge also comes in a smaller version, the 150 AW.

LowePro Slingshot Edge 250 camera bag

2. BAGSMART Crossbody DSLR Camera Bag

Exterior Dimensions 29.2 x 14 x 19 cm (11.5 x 5.5 x 7.5 inches)

Weight 340 g (12 oz)

The BAGSMART Crossbody DSLR Camera Bag is one of the top-rated slings on Amazon. It is one of the least expensive on the list. But it packs in a lot of high-end features. It is minimalist in design but surprisingly functional and roomy.

The main opening is wide, making it easy to access your gear. The bag fits a camera and one to two lenses with accessories. The bag is padded with a soft suede interior. And two padded dividers let you customize the interior space. The bag doesn’t necessarily scream “camera bag.” And if you remove the dividers, and you have the perfect traveling bag.

The bag has double, anti-theft metal zippers to allow access from either side. An inner pocket fits SD cards and smaller accessories. The design is sleek with no exterior pockets. So, you will not be able to strap on a tripod or water bottle. But it has a padded shoulder strap and a top handle.

This water-repellant polyester bag comes in black or pink.

For the price, this bag cannot be beaten. It looks small and sleek, but you can fit a small camera kit inside. The super lightweight, inexpensive crossbody camera bag by BAGSMART is our top budget pick.

pink BAGSMART Crossbody DSLR Camera Bag

1. Peak Design Everyday Sling 10L v2

Exterior Dimensions 25 x 14 x 41.9 cm (9.8 x 5.5 x 16.5 inches)

Weight 816 g (1.8 lb)

The Peak Design Everyday Sling is our top sling bag pick. It’s on the expensive side, but you can’t beat Peak Design’s quality and construction.

The bag is made from recycled 400D double poly-coated DWR-impregnated nylon canvas. There are two origami-inspired folding dividers. They divide the space but also fold to create a shelf. If you remove the dividers completely, you can access the entire interior space. This makes the bag flexible for an extra-large lens like my 200-600mm.

A slim front pocket with a hidden zip runs the length of the bag and gives you quick access to phones, wallets, and other small items. The design makes it tricky to get into, but the gear stored there is protected and hidden from view. There’s also an interior pocket for spare batteries and SD cards. The stretchy material expands to fit easily around accessories like battery chargers and sunglasses.

Version 1 of the bag has a built-in tripod strap. Version 2 includes detachable straps. I prefer the style of the older version, but the weight distribution is better on the newer model. The interior compartment of the 10L will hold a 13″ laptop. The laptop compartment has a quick but secure magnetic closer.

The bag comes with the signature Peak Design quick-adjust strap. It is reversible and adjustable with one hand. The material is similar to seatbelts that slide easily around your body. The bag is designed with hidden pockets to hide extra straps. This keeps the bag sleek and helps to avoid getting snagged on anything. The bag has a built-in handle for easy carrying.

The weatherproofing is in the fabric, so it won’t wear off. The smooth zippers should give you a lifetime of use. Peak Design is not kidding when it offers a lifetime warranty. If you have a problem, they’ll send you a replacement bag.

I am a bit of a Peak Design fangirl. I have an embarrassing number of their bags, including both versions of the Everyday Sling. One thing you should know about these bags, they are durable. I have banged these bags around the world, and they still look fresh and ready for the next trip.

Slings by Peak Design come in three sizes—3L, 6L, and 10L. You can choose between black or ash color. The 6L also comes in navy blue.

Peak Design everyday sling camera bag

Conclusion

Camera sling bags slide around your body. You swing them onto your back when moving and photographing. Then, slide them to the front of your body to access lenses, batteries, or SD cards. The best camera sling bags for travel and hiking combine security with accessibility. They are comfortable to wear and protect your gear.

The best camera sling bag is the Peak Design 10L Everyday Sling. It has one of the best designs on the market. But if you do not want to spend that much money, the BAGSMART Crossbody DSLR Camera Bag is the solution. You will get many of the same features at a fraction of the cost.

Our Colorful Cityscapes ebook is great for getting amazing shots of your city with one of these sling bags on your back!

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