Last Updated on November 7, 2023 by Christine Kaaloa
This post may contain affiliate links. Never leave home without travel insurance. Click for the best travel insurance for gear protection and best insurance for COVID. Want camera gear advice for your film trip? Book a vlogging gear advice session with me.
You’re a travel videographer, photographer or hobbyist, who is picky about your travel camera backpack. You want a bag with easy access to your camera gear, you don’t want to look like an expensive camera backpack, you want it to operate like a day pack and more! I got you.
Table of Contents: Best Camera Backpacks for Travel under $100 | for Travel Vloggers
Best camera backpacks for travel (under $100)
My history with searching for the perfect camera backpack for travel spans years. I’ve gone through everything from hiking day packs and stuffing my jacket at the bottom for padding to well, I did that a lot. Because as a solo female traveler who doesn’t want to attract attention as carrying expensive camera equipment, I had a laundry wish list of things I needed my ideal travel camera bag to be.
I had gone through a lot of off-brand and branded camera bags, so I was surprised when the two bags I finally found were Manfrotto camera backpacks. i’m sharing my top camera bag picks for travel.
My travel camera bag requirements:
As a female solo travel content creator, I take into account—
- Safety: It doesn’t look like an expensive camera bag.
- Hidden pockets to stash things in like money or a passport. (Read Ways to Avoid Pickpockets)
- Easy to access camera compartment.
- Lightweight: A travel camera bag with bad ergonomics can surmount to a lot of stress in my neck and back.
- Travel day pack functionality.
- Accommodates a tripod or selfie stick, water bottle and a 13″ Laptop
- Not bulky bulky and padding does not take up essential space.
Download my Free Camera Equipment Buying eBook
Watch my Travel Camera Bag Review:
Comparing the Manfrotto NX CSC vs Manfrotto Metropolitan
Manfrotto Metropolitan Backpack Review
The Manfrotto Metropolitan backpack has many features which make it a near perfect camera backpack for travel for under $100. The top loading compartment is has ample room to pack daypack accessories like a light jacket, scarf, travel chargers and external batteries, etc.. The dedicated camera compartment has sturdy and tightly padded organizational slots which you can mold to your gear and use. It is a front loading compartment which means you can access your gear while wearing your pack on you. The camera soft box can be removed and internal compartments can be unzipped to produce one main day pack. There is a front facing pocket to put maps or a small travel notebook.
Cons: The front loading compartment is accessible to public and is not necessarily safe from pickpockets entering your bag without your being aware. Also albeit waterproof, the fabric is a little thin, which makes it feel a little cheap. I got this bag at Costco, so I know the Manfrotto camera backpack quality is solid but perhaps it is made for consumer sales. It’s still a great runner up travel camera backpack for those who want their daypack to merge with a camera bag. to match my wish list for a functional and travel friendly camera bag.
- It holds a DSLR and up to 3 Lenses
- Fits DJI Mavic Pro/Mavic Air
- Dedicated 15″ Laptop Pocket
- Top Handle, Shoulder and Sternum Straps
- Padded Back Panel
- Water-Resistant Fabric
- Front loading compartment
- Zipper side pockets to hold waterbottle with a dedicated selfie or tripod side strap.
- 11.02 x 5.91 x 18.11″
Manfrotto NX CSC Backpack Review
The Manfrotto NX CSC Backpack is compact to be manageable as a woman, but large enough to fit my main camera gear/accessories and daypack extras. This fabric of the bag feels thick, sturdy and more like a prosumer/professional bag for compact gear setups. This is a little smaller than the Manfrotto Metropolitan, with a little less space for daypack accessories.
The dedicated camera compartment -again- has a sturdy and tightly padded Manfrotto design for organizational slots and you can mold it to your use. The main camera gear compartment is back loading, which keeps your valuable cameras and lenses protected from public access. However, it also means you have to rest your bag to unzip and remove your gear. I thought long and hard about this, because I like accessing my gear when I’m on the move. I don’t like removing and resting my bag anywhere. So as a workaround, I’ll treat the top compartment as my “hot compartment“, where I keep warm, my main lenses and cameras I know I’ll use. There is a long front facing pocket to put maps or a small travel notebooks.
Cons: This travel camera backpack is designed for tablet users so there is a dedicated tablet pocket which looks like a secret pocket tucked behidn your back and above your gear compartment. There is no dedicated laptop section and this is perhaps my only large gripe about it. Instead, I put my 13″ laptop in the front pocket (see video for a better explanation), which makes me worried about how I place it.
Disappointingly, it does not have a sternum strap to alleviate your back and neck of weight, but it hugs close to your body’s center of gravity. It keeps the heaviest items in your pack against your back, which is important because your pack feel lighter. This reduces stress on your back and shoulders.
The Manfrotto NX CSC Backpack specs:
- Backpack for DSLR (or DJI Mavic) + two additional lenses, external batteries and chargers and shotgun microphone.
- Best camera bag for solo travelers and best camera backpacks for travel vlogging
- Rear access of your main gear. This makes it hard for pickpockets to access that compartment.
- Selfie pole and tripod connection provided with mesh side pockets
- Top compartment for personal belongings
- A secret side pocket for tablets.
- Removable camera insert
- Water-Resistant Fabric
- Buy it here.
What would you recommend as Best Camera Backpacks for Travel under $100 ?
Watch What’s in my Camera Bag to see what I put inside my backpack?