A Complete List of Camera Bag Types

Every photographer needs a camera bag to transport his workhorse around, and there are tons of different bags out there to suit anyone's needs. Here is a complete list of camera bag types.

The Waist Pack

This pack attaches to your waist like a belt and allows you to have quick access to your gear. Most are designed to hold an SLR camera with a zoom lens attached to it that is up to five inches in length, along with other accessories. Waist packs are designed to be small so they don't slow down the photographer. Most are padded, offering some protection to your equipment. When wearing a waist pack, try to keep it evenly packed and in the center of your body to avoid back problems.

Holster Packs

Designed in the shape of gun holsters, these bags allow you to get quick access to your camera with a lens attached to it. These can either be attached to a belt or carried with a non slip shoulder strap. Holster packs are small and don't allow a lot to be packed into them. But, they're great for situations where all you need is the camera and zoom lens. These packs are usually padded so you can feel comfortable knowing that your expensive gear is protected.

Sling Packs

These bags are bigger than the waist and holster packs, allowing you to carry more gear. A shoulder strap allows you to carry it while having quick access to your gear. A good sling pack is padded so the equipment is protected. While it may look bulkier than a non padded bag, it's better than having a lens crack. 


These are similar to their sling pack counterparts on the inside. On the outside, they're designed to look like a briefcase that a businessman would use. Satchels are usually not padded because they're more concerned with style. Equipment in a satchel that falls can easily become a victim to gravity. 


These camera bags are not like the ones you used to wear in school. While they look like the average backpack, they're quite different on the inside. Individual padded compartments allow you to pack your camera and lenses securely. The padded inside offers some protection against impact. Backpacks allow you to pack a heavier load and carry it comfortably. Some backpacks even have wheels built into them so you can roll a heavy load instead of carrying it. Some also have straps on the side that allow you to attach a tripod.

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