Carry Your Camera in Style with these Fashionable Bags

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If you were to total the number of shoulder bags, photo backpacks, holsters, and other sorts of camera bags we carry at B&H, you’d end up with about 2,000 choices. Some are designed for day tripping, others for work. Some bags subtly scream “Hey looka’ me!” while others are decidedly utilitarian. For this roundup, we’re going to concentrate on the more luxurious bags we carry at B&H, but don’t flinch at the word “luxurious,” because many of the bags we’re going to talk about are—believe it or not—quite affordable, so read on.

Out of the 80 or so brands of camera bags we sell at B&H, about two dozen of these companies produce bags that fit into the so-called luxury category, which we present here in alphabetical order.

AM Camera Bags

When photographer and Leica Ambassador Adam Marelli couldn’t find a mid-size shoulder bag that suited his specific needs, he went and designed one of his own. AM Camera Bags, which are available in a choice of Olive or Black, are made in Cumbria, England. They are ruggedly constructed from 24-oz British dyed cotton canvas and feature a padded insert with touch-fastener dividers, jacquard lining, leather trim, gusset panels to keep nasty weather at bay, a slot for a 13-inch laptop, a heavy-duty wraparound strap, leather carrying handle, and enough pouches and pockets to satisfy the pickiest shooter’s needs.

AM Medium Camera Shoulder Bag

Artisan & Artist

Artisan & Artist camera bags are available in a choice of styles. Depending on the model, Artisan & Artist camera bags are made of weatherproof canvas, ballistic nylon, and/or leather. Other features include weather flaps, inserts with dividers, quick-release buckles, and tough-as-nails construction.

Artisan & Artist City Camera Bag (left) and Artisan & Artist Oskar’s One Day Bag (right)

Billingham

Billingham, the grandpappy of premium canvas camera bags, started out as a manufacturer of bags for fishermen. Today, Billingham produces what many consider to be the gold standard of high-end camera messenger bags, pouches, and photo backpacks for shooters who are fishing for photos. Billingham bags are made of weather-resistant canvas, hand-finished leather, and solid brass hardware. Depending on the model, Billingham bags have removable inserts with adjustable dividers, quick-release fasteners, and lots of pockets.

In addition to the more traditional black, tan, and khaki colors, this year Billingham began producing several of its more classic designs in a choice of colors for the more adventurous among us.

Billingham 445 shoulder bag, in khaki FibreNyte with tan leather trim (left), Hadley Small Pro Special Edition Shoulder Bag, in burgundy canvas and chocolate leather (center), Billingham Rucksack 35, in Sage FibreNyte & chocolate leather (right)

Jill-E Designs

We promised to include fancier camera bags that won’t bleed your wallet, and here’s the first of them. Jill-E Designs bags are designed for women and men who prefer camera bags created with women in mind. Jill-E Designs are fun, well designed, and include features such as Columbian leather, interior zip mesh lid pockets, flip lids with slip-lock closures, and detachable shoulder straps.

Jill-E Designs JACK Hudson Leather Camera Bag (left) and Jill-E Designs Juliette Leather Camera Bag (right)

Compagnon

compagnon camera bags are among the sleekest-looking leather bags on the market. Distinctive in appearance, compagnon bags feature water-resistant coatings that protect the leather from the elements, weather-resistant YKK zippers, soft velour interior linings, belt-leather handles, laptop compartments, and lots of pockets for stowing smaller accessories. Depending on the model, compagnon bags can carry 1-2 camera bodies and up to 4 lenses.

compagnon “the medium messenger” Leather Camera Bag (left) and compagnon “The Little Weekender” Leather Bag (Black/Brown) (right)

GILLIS LONDON

If vintage is your thing, you should take a closer look at the leather bag offerings from GILLIS LONDON. Reminiscent of the type of bags doctors carried around when they once made house calls, these distinctive leather bags are built for the long term. Features include metal hardware, padded quilted removeable inserts with touch-tab dividers (depending on the model), adjustable leather straps, and an eye-catching element of panache.

GILLIS LONDON Trafalgar Hands-Free Leather Camera Bag (left) and GILLIS LONDON Trafalgar Leather Camera Bag (right)

Heavy Leather NYC

If you’re into the goth look (or live below 14th Street in New York) you’ll love the Heavy Leather NYC Lookout Camera Bag. Available in black or brown, the Lookout bags are made of top-grain leather cowhide and feature a removable padded interior divider, side pockets, an interior flap pocket, and a healthy measure of attitude. The Heavy Leather NYC Lookout can hold a camera and 1-2 lenses.

Heavy Leather NYC Lookout Camera Bag

HoldFast Gear

HoldFast Gear manufactures a nice line of classic canvas and leather camera bags. Features include water-resistant waxed leather exteriors with sheepskin interiors, leather trim, an easy access buckle/ball closure and, depending on the model, removable camera inserts, slots for iPads or tablets, and false bottoms for an extra measure of impact protection.

HoldFast Gear Explorer Streetwise Bag in Navy and Chestnut (left) & HoldFast Gear Roamographer Camera Bag in brown leather (right)

Kelly Moore

Kelly Moore is another camera bag manufacturer with a feminine bent. Available in a variety of leather, canvas, or “vegan-friendly water-resistant Cambrio materials,” Kelly Moore camera bags are stylish and functional. Styles include traditional shoulder bags, tote-style bags, and pocketbook-style camera bags that hold 1-2 cameras, up to 4 lenses or 3 lenses and a flash and, again, depending on the model, a laptop or tablet.

Kelly Moore Luna Vegan Day Bag (Bone) (left) and Kelly Moore Collins Canvas & leather Shoulder Bag with Removable Insert (Gray with Brown Trim) (right)

Leica

With few exceptions, the name Leica only appears on the finest of photographic products. Leica camera bags are among these fine items. Designed for use with Leica M, T, X, and Q-series cameras, depending on the model, Leica camera bags are made of the finest calfskin leather and weather-resistant canvas, and feature lint-free micro-velour interior compartments, and metal clasps, buckles, and feet.

The most interesting bag in the mix has to be the Leica Day Bag for Leica Q Digital Cameras, which among other features, has a built-in camera case with a removable leather lens port that encloses the lens when it’s still in your bag.

For those who truly want to make a statement, Leica also offers the Leica Oberwerth Leica System Case. Limited to 800 pieces worldwide, the Leica Oberwerth Leica System Case is handmade from the finest leather and designed for use with whichever Leica camera system you own… or any camera system, for that matter.

Leica Day Bag for Leica Q (left & center) and Leica Oberwerth Leica System Case (right)

Oberwerth

If you like Italian leather and German hand craftmanship, you’re going love Oberwerth camera bags. Available in a number of styles and colors for men and women, Oberwerth camera bags feature padded straps, inserts, and divided pockets and, depending on the model, snap front closures, cut-resistant security tape in the strap, and gutter flaps to divert rain.

Oberwerth Kate Multi-Functional Plum Leather Ladies Bag (Bordeaux Red with Silver Fasteners & Buttons (left & center) & Oberwerth Freiburg Photo Bag (Black/Dark Brown) (right)

Olympus

Just because a bag looks expensive doesn’t mean it is. A case in point is the Olympus Vintage Camera Bag, which looks way ritzier than its sub-$35 price tag. Made of a vinyl material that mimics the look of stressed cowhide, the Olympus Vintage camera bag is perfect for day tripping with a camera and lens. If you prefer a tote-style camera bag with a hint of bling, take a look at the Olympus CBG-8 Casual Camera Bag, which is popular among women photographers on a budget.

Olympus Vintage Camera Bag (left) and Olympus CBG-8 Casual Camera Bag (right)

ONA

The folk at ONA are heavy into handcrafted full-grain leather, water-resistant waxed canvas, and shiny brass hardware. They’re also into finely designed and manufactured camera bags. Available in a variety of styles, colors, and sizes, ONA bags are available for toting about a single camera or an entire camera system in style. Depending on the model, ONA camera bags feature inserts with padded interior dividers, brass closures, rain-diverting side flaps, closed-cell foam impact protection, and fully adjustable straps with padded shoulder guards.

ONA Prince Street Camera Messenger Bag (left) and ONA Savannah II Leather Camera & Everyday Crossbody Bag (right)

Peak Design

Though not the priciest bags in our roundup, Peak Design camera bags certainly fit the criteria for the luxury label. Neatly designed and visually appealing, Peak Design camera bags were created to be used regardless of the local weather conditions. The exteriors of Peak Design bags are made of a weatherproof, waxed 500D Kodra synthetic canvas padded shell with a DWR undercoat and a poly-cotton interior lining. All exterior zippers are also weatherproof and the bag’s stress points are reinforced and bar-tacked. Last bit of criteria? Peak Design camera bags are so darn handsome.

Peak Design Everyday Messenger 15" Version 2 (Charcoal, left) and Peak Design Everyday Messenger 15" Version 1 (Heritage Tan, right)

Studio 26

If tote bags are your thing, the Studio 26 SOLETOTE/26 Tote Bag (Khaki/Saddle) is worth a closer look. The exterior of the SOLETOTE/26 is manufactured from the finest grades of canvas and leather. The bag’s foam-lined interior liner is made of nylon, and there’s a waterproof rubber bottom panel that allows you to stand the bag in an easy-to-access upright position as you go about taking pictures.

The SOLETOTE/26 features 3 interior pockets (2 slip-in, 1 zippered) and 4 interior pockets for stowing batteries, memory cards, lens cleaners, etc.

The Studio 26 SOLETOTE/26 Tote Bag (Khaki/Saddle)

Tenba Cooper Series

I’ve owned at least a half dozen Tenba bags over the years and, while I really like Tenba products, I never viewed them as luxury items until the folk at the sales counter at the B&H Photo Camera Bag Department pointed out the new Tenba Cooper lineup.

Consisting of 5 messenger-style shoulder bags and a pair of backpacks, Tenba’s Cooper-series bags are readily identifiable by their hand-riveted, gray, peach-waxed canvas exteriors with full-grain leather trim. The interiors are made of silicone-treated, water-resistant ripstop nylon. For added protection and to prevent you from accidentally scuffing floors and furniture, Cooper bags feature leather trim at strategic points along the bottom of the bag. A reversable silver/black rain cover is included with every bag.

Two sizes of Cooper-series backpacks are also available, both of which are manufactured with the same level of detail as Cooper-series shoulder bags.

Tenba Cooper 13 Slim Messenger Bag with Leather Accents (Gray, left) & Tenba Cooper DSLR Backpack (Gray, right)

Vinta Backpacks

Vinta Type II camera backpacks have three things going for them.

A: They have slim profiles.

B: They’re intelligently designed.

C: They look darn good, which is something you can’t say about most backpacks.

Vinta Type II camera backpacks can carry up to 2 camera bodies, 5 lenses, and related accessories along with a 15" laptop. The interior is divvied up by touch-tab dividers and there are 2 side pockets and a front pocket for the things you can’t fit inside the bag. Vinta backpacks are constructed from waterproof material, coated twill, and just enough leather trim to make them look snappy.

Vinta Type II Camera Backpack Kit

Please note: The following luxury camera bags are available by special order only and as such are not refundable.

Aide de Camp

Aide de Camp camera bags are attractive, tote-style bags made of a combination of premium, water-resistant nylon, leather handles and trim, and 14-karat gold-plated hardware. Two models are available: the Valencia Travel Tote and the Camp Leyden camera bag, both of which are available in a choice of Sable Brown or Black. Both styles can carry a DSLR or mirrorless camera along with 2-3 lenses and accessories.

Aide de Camp Leyden Camera Bag in Sable Brown

Barber Shop

Barber Shop Small Messenger Pageboy Camera Bags and Medium Messenger Bob Cut Borsa Camera Bags are rugged, stylish, and available in a choice of colors and materials including canvas, Cordura, and leather. Produced by Italian craftsmen, Barber Shop Messenger Bags are designed to carry a camera body, a pair of lenses, and related accessories. Features include a removable insert with touch-fastening dividers, and a slot for an iPad Mini or comparably-sized tablet.

Capturing Couture

Tired of ho-hum black, brown, and earth-tone camera bags? I get that way too, sometimes, and that’s why we offer shoulder bags from Capturing Couture.Capturing Couture camera bags look like they were cut from Navajo-patterned saddle pads. Along with their unique chromogenic exteriors, Capturing Couture camera bags feature nickel-alloy hardware, fully-lined interiors, lots of pockets, and an insert with touch-tab dividers.

Capturing Couture Navajo Red Camera Bag (left) and Capturing Couture Navajo Cream Camera Bag

Cecilia Gallery

For those who prefer clean, understated design, we offer photo backpacks and shoulder bags from Cecilia Gallery. Cecilia Gallery backpacks and camera bags are available in a choice of full-grain leather or premium cotton canvas, and feature padded interior insets with dividers, zippered pockets and, depending on the model, a slot for a laptop or tablet and a rain cover.

Cecilia Gallery Mercator 16L Camera & 15" Laptop Backpack (Charcoal/Cotton Canvas, left) and Cecilia Gallery Lambert 12L Camera Bag (Charcoal/Cotton Canvas, right)

FEDERICO SERRANI

Nobody ever said camera bags have to look like camera bags. FEDERICO SERRANI bags exemplify this description. Decidedly feminine in style, FEDERICO SERRANI camera bags are ideal for toting about a camera and a lens or two at your next garden party. Made of subtle leather with zippered pockets for your valuables, FEDERICO SERRANI camera bags are available in a pleasing selection of colors.

FEDERICO SERRANI Springbook Leather Camera Bag (Submarine, left), Kimberley Agatha Collection Camera Bag (Desert), and Kimberley Leather Camera Bag (Champagne, right)

Figbags

Figbags produces two models of ladylike leather satchels in a choice of subtle and not-so-subtle colors. The smaller of the two is called The Lincoln and the larger model is called The Hanborough. Figbags feature premium handcrafted leather construction, padded interior insert and dividers, weather flaps to keep out the rain, buckled clasps, and removable padded straps.

Figbags The Lincoln Leather Bag (Green, left), The Hanborough Leather Satchel (Tan), and The Hanborough Leather Satchel (Burgundy, right)

Grafea England

If you’re into vintage, old-school design, Grafea England leather camera photo bags will no doubt make you sit up and take note. Made of sturdy full-grain 2.5mm leather with a removable nylon insert, 2 side pockets, and an extra pocket up front, Grafea England camera bags feature a padded leather strap and a top-mounted carry handle. Panache included at no additional charge.

Grafea England Leather Camera Photo Bag (Large, Caramel)

POMPIDOO

POMPIDOO camera bags are available for men and women according to one’s tastes. Crafted from Italian leather, POMPIDOO camera bags are available in a choice of colors and styles.

POMPIDOO Geneva Camera Bag (left), POMPIDOO Lima Female Camera Bag, POMPIDOO Cologne Camera Bag (right)

T. Forevers

T. Forevers produces a full line of briefcase-style leather camera bags that definitely do not resemble your average camera bag, which, in my mind is a good thing. T.Forevers also manufactures a second line of briefcase bags that can double as slim-profile backpacks, which I also consider a good thing. Regardless of style, all of T.Forevers’ offerings are made of top-quality leather (and depending on the model, canvas) and along with your camera gear feature a slot for your laptop.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to find something, or somethings, that fit your style. Any here your favorites? Leave a comment with your picks below!

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