How to Find the Right Camera Bag Insert

Susan Fernandez August 08 2021

Camera bag inserts for backpacks

Depending on the camera model, you should get the right bag. But in some cases, you don’t need a whole bag to keep your camera and accessories secure and in the right order. You can use a camera bag insert to secure your camera, lenses, and batteries in any bag or backpack. No need to spend a fortune on a new camera bag. How do you choose the right camera bag insert? Let’s find out.

In addition to a reserve battery and an additional memory card, a suitable case is another indispensable accessory for a digital camera. If you have a compact camera, there are plenty of suppliers such as Case Logic, Cullmann, or Lowepro who offer bags and inserts in different sizes depending on the camera model.

Basically, a camera should sit as stably as possible in the camera bag insert - so don't choose the case that is too big. Accessory compartment, belt or wrist loops, and a rain cover are useful extras that can be stored together.

When you can use a camera bag insert

With interchangeable lens cameras, it pays to go two ways: Buy a large camera bag that only fits the camera with all the lenses and a spare battery, or get a camera bag insert that is perfect for everyday use.

If you want to take pictures on vacation or on an excursion, you don't always want to hold the camera in your hand or let it dangle around your neck. Apart from the fact that this can be annoying, the camera is not optimally protected. It could fall or hit something and be damaged.

Photo camera bag inserts offer your camera protection and are also easier to fit into a backpack that you already have. Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out how to correctly wear a backpack that contains a camera. That is why bag liners are an irreplaceable thing. In this case, you don’t flaunt your expensive camera and equipment with famous logos. In tourist places, there are lots of thieves who are on the lookout for fancy photo cameras. When you show off your equipment, you are basically inviting them to steal from you.

With camera bag inserts, you keep using your existing backpacks or bags while also securing your photo gear. Inserts have numerous dividers, are usually made of moisture-resistant, and have thick padding to ensure your equipment is kept safe from damage. You can also use inserts for securing your gaming consoles and mobile phones.

How to Find the Right Camera Bag Insert

Here are a few more considerations:

  • A large camera bag looks professional and offers plenty of storage space. However, it is also unwieldy and heavy. 
  • With inserts, you have plenty of space for a large camera and accessories. 
  • Inserts ensure that the individual parts do not rub against each other. 
  • Camera bag inserts can be used to store small items such as batteries or memory cards.
  • The camera bag often weighs a lot on its own.
  • Not every DSLR bag can be carried on the plane as hand luggage.

When not to use camera bag inserts

For an extended photo tour, however, you should bring all your equipment with you. If you're new to photography, you might be wondering what other photographers have with them besides the camera. 

In addition to replacement batteries and memory cards, these primarily include various lenses, for example, a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens. Sun shades, filters, an attachable flash, a small tripod, and sometimes even a second camera. It doesn't hurt if the bag has a rain cover and numerous compartments to keep its contents quickly accessible.

What makes a good camera bag insert

Camera bag inserts are specially designed for the transport of photo cameras for short assignments or when you don’t need to carry a lot of accessories. With their padding, they offer enough protection for sensitive devices and, depending on the type, space for basic accessories, such as a spare battery.

To decide which type of camera bag insert you want to buy, you need to take a look at what type of camera you have and how extensive your accessories are.

The hard walls of the camera insert protect the camera even on an uneven road or on a plane, while thick and waterproof padding keeps things in control. Most inserts are made of water-repellent materials that can withstand normal rain without letting moisture inside. The openings also play a major role. A camera bag insert should not allow moisture to pass through the Velcro fasteners or zippers when closed.

You can get branded inserts specially designed for SLR cameras and their extensive range of accessories. You can then arrange the insides of your backpack or luggage into different compartments so you can store lenses, filters, sun visors, and flash units safely and tidily in them. With a camera bag insert, you always have enough space for a second camera.

Anyone who is often out and about with the camera equipment knows that the equipment can be quite heavy and you can get tired easily in the long run. It is important that the inserts do not add a lot of weight.

camera bag insert for backpack


Can I use a camera backpack instead of an insert?

A backpack by itself is soft. It’s true that it is big enough for a whole lot of photo equipment and the weight is distributed on both shoulders, which relieves the back. However, you won't get to your camera so quickly with a backpack. For this reason, press photographers, for example, are rarely seen with a photo backpack. The camera is simply not within reach. In a crowd, there is a risk that someone will steal something from your backpack without you noticing.

Do I need an insert for my compact camera?

As a camera bag for a compact camera, inserts are particularly handy. A camera insert only fits the small digital camera, a spare battery, and a second memory card. This way, you keep the small parts together.  

Where can I buy camera bag inserts?

You can find suitable models on the Internet, especially on Amazon. This way is even better for bargain hunters because online shops often offer cheap camera bag inserts.