Awesome Camera Bag Inserts & Padded Camera Inserts

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The Best Camera Bag Inserts:

What are the best camera bag inserts for backpacks, messenger bags or carry-on luggage? Here are some awesome Camera Bag Inserts to Protect Your Camera and Gear.

Kataa BumblebeeWhen I first got my Canon 50d… god I loved that camera! My bag was the Kata Bumblebee. It was a great bag for travel, mostly, but it didn’t hold everything I needed for a work trip to China very well.

It didn’t hold files I needed to for the job, and its only compartment for extras was small compartment on top to carry things like my passport, wallet, batteries, cords, and mouse.

I didn’t know then that I could easily turn my favorite bag into a dslr pack with a padded backpack insert such as the Timbuk2 camera insert.

Now that I know more about protecting my camera while traveling, I’ve learned about padded camera bag inserts to turn my current favorite bags into gear packs.

I’ve found a lot of ways to protect camera and lenses without having to purchase a padded camera messenger or camera backpack by utilizing my existing bag or backpack.

If you already have a favorite bag and just need to get your stuff from point A to point B purchase one, or a few, padded camera cases, padded dslr wraps or padded lens protectors.

Instantly protect your gear without having to buy a new bag – protect your gear from any hazards you’ll experience getting around.

Here’s a list of the best camera bag inserts for backpacks and messenger bags to get you going in the right direction for padded camera inserts:

Padded Neoprene Camera Lens Cases

DIY neoprene inserts work well to protect your lenses from dents, dings, jostles and vibrations…  Neoprene wraps are best for keeping your Padded Neoprene Lens Case with Cinch Top and lensgear lightly protected.

You can pick up lens cases in 3 or 4 packs from brands such as Altura. They are the best DIY neoprene inserts on Amazon and super affordable. Click here to Learn More

Neoprene Camera Lens Cases for Backpacks & Messenger Bags

For your camera body, brands that make cool DIY neoprene camera bag inserts for backpacks and messenger bags include USA Gear who make sweet cases in a variety of colors to choose from.

Or if you want a little different look, check out Fotodiox neoprene wraps that work with larger dslr’s that may have a battery grip.

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camera bag insert for backpacks



Padded Camera Inserts and Camera Lens Wraps

Tenba padded dslr insert wraps, padded camera bag inserts

Tenba Padded Camera Wraps – a DIY Padded Camera Insert Solution

Wrap up your camera and lenses quickly by getting a few padded, fold-over camera wraps are the perfect solution for a DIY camera bag insert.

Padded wraps – padded camera inserts are generally sewn squares that have velcro on all four corners. The beauty of the padded dslr wraps is that they can custom fit whatever you need to pack. I like to use mine when I’m heading to NYC for the weekend.

Dslr padded camera inserts won’t protect your camera or lenses from being crushed. I don’t recommend using these in soft side luggage or duffle bags that are checked onto airplanes or placed in overhead bins. We’ve all seen how flight attendants and other passengers can cram stuff into the overhead without paying attention to other peoples stuff. If you do use these for airplane travel be sure to put your bag on the floor in front of your feet where you can keep your gear from being crushed. Click here to Learn More about padded camera inserts or Buy Now

Padded Lens Pouches, Camera Cases & Lens Holsters Camera Bag Inserts

hazard 4 lens pouch camo

Hazard 4 Jelly Roll Camera Pouch

Lens and camera cases come in a variety of shapes and materials. They can be as simple as a fabric padded dslr pouch with a cinch top or as complicated as a .5″ to 1″ padded polyester pouch that zips shut.

Lens or camera cases generally fit your photo gear snugly and offer 360 degree padding. Padded camera lens pouches are structured and have a harder shell than the neoprene camera wraps.

They offer more protection and you can use them in bags that have a lot of gear without worrying that your lens will be crushed (unless you put a lot of weight on your lens pouch). Use padded camera lens pouches on trips where you know you won’t have total control of your bags.

If you know you will need to put your bag in the overhead bin while traveling, harder padded camera lens pouches are the perfect protection.

Another useful feature for some lens cases is that they are belt friendly. You can easily carry your lenses on your waist instead of in a backpack or messenger to take some of the stress off your back and move the gear load to your hips and legs.


Think Tank Pro Photo Speed Belt and Holster

Think Tank Pro Photo Speed Belt and Holster

DSLR Holster Cases

Some padded dslr holster cases come with a shoulder strap which is detachable thus making holsters excellent padded camera inserts. Once you get to your destination, use the holster case with the shoulder strap to carry your camera around during the day or night.

Awesome Camera Bag Inserts to Protect Your Camera and Gear

Case Logic Zoom Holster

Or, remove the shoulder strap and just pack your camera away in your favorite messenger or backpack. The padded holster will protect your camera from heavy items, major bumps, and bruises that a neoprene camera sleeve can’t.

Padded Camera Inserts & Open Top Camera Bag Inserts

Made from waxed canvas, the ONA Roma Padded camera insert is super handsome and stylish for a camera bag insert with hits of leather. It fits into a handbag, duffel, messenger or backpack easily and will turn your messenger bag into a dslr camera bag in snap.  Open the flap of your tote, messenger or backpack and and grab your camera when you need it. Its a nice size for an average messenger and holds your camera with a few personal items. Click here to Learn More or Buy Now

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ONA Roma Insert


Crumpler Haven Camera Bag Insert

backpack camera bag insert

The Crumpler Haven is a nifty padded insert. If you’re a fan of Crumpler products, you’ll love this option to pack away your camera gear in your bag. It has a couple of dividers and will fit a camera and extra lens easily. You might even want to change it’s name to HeavenLearn More or Buy Now

Other DIY Camera Bag Inserts

Affordable options for your camera and lenses that work well in a messenger bag are the Bestek, Ciesta, and BBP brand padded camera inserts. They hold a camera and lens or lenses comfortably and provide enough protection so you won’t worry about your camera gear.

camera bag insert for backpack

Similar to the Ciesta insert, but more affordable, is the Selens Padded Insert with the drawstring closure.

camera bag inserts for backpacks and messenger bags


Koolertron has some pretty cool looking padded camera insert also. These come in 4 colors – Black, Orange, Blue and Red. These padded camera inserts fit easily into a backpack, messenger bag or tote bag. And, if you are traveling, you can get one for your carry on to hold extra lenses or a second DSLR body. Read Reviews or Buy  a Koolerton Insert Now

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Koolertron Padded Camera Bag Insert with Drawstring Closure

If you have a lot of gear to carry and need more space, G-Raphy makes a rectangular, zip around padded camera insert with a convenient carry handle. You can store a lot more gear, including filters, flash and battery charger in this padded insert. Learn More or Buy Now

padded camera bag inserts

G-Raphy Modular Insert with Handle


Rolling Camera Bag Insert

camera bag insert for rolling luggage, camera bag insert for backpacks

Maybe you already have an awesome carry-on bag that you want to use for travel. This large, 20″, size rolling camera bag insert will fit into most carry-on size luggage. The dimensions are: externally: 30x14x43cm & internally: 29x12x40cm (LxWxH). It is padded all the way around, has orange hi-vis interior padding, zips around to keep your gear packed in tight, and has a convenient top carry-handle. If you have a lot ‘o lot of stuff to take on a trip, this is a good solution and will get the job done. Check the Price and Read Reviews


Modular DSLR Padded Camera Inserts to Protect All Your Camera Gear

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Think Tank Modular Component Set v2.1

The Think Tank Modular Component padded camera inserts combines a large selection of lens pouches and a carrying case.

The lens pouches fit onto a belt system so you can carry them on your waist when shooting.

It’s a full gear kit of padded camera inserts for long lenses, wide-angles, flash & camera accessories.


Padded Camera Bag Inserts for Backpacks & Messenger Bags


timbuk2 zipped camera bag insert for backpack

Timbuk2 Insert

When you’re carrying a dslr on a trip and need to the bag overhead on the airplane pick up a fully padded case. Brands that make the best fully padded camera bag inserts with a zip closure for messenger bags include Timbuk2 whose insert fits inside their Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag, but it can also be a stand alone camera insert for a bag you already own.

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Mountainsmith Kit Cubes

Mountainsmith Kit Cube DIY Camera Bag Inserts

And, check out a variety of MountainSmith Kit Cubes (padded camera insert) for your backpack, luggage or messenger bag. The Mountainsmith camera insert will fit any pack or messenger effortlessly. Fully padded and enclosed cubes are the best choice when you are checking your luggage. Mountainsmith camera inserts get awesome reviews & there is even a micro cube for smaller cameras. Learn More Here!

Padded Camera Inserts for Backpacks:

Tenba Cooler CAmera Bag insert 2

Tenba BYOB Cooler / Camera Insert

Tenba makes a padded dslr insert for your backpack that can also be an insulated cooler. The BYOB Cooler Case holds 6 cans or bottles with ice comfortably… tallercamera inserts for backpacks will hold your gear differently than the messenger bag inserts. Backpacks need vertical height to be useful.

Mindshift Gear DSLR camera insert for backpacks is awesome for your current backpack and a great choice if you are hiking or need a camera bag for travel.

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Mindshift Gear Pro Padded Insert

The Mindshift Gear Professional Photo Camera Insert for backpacks will fit in most large sized packs – especially top loading packs. Access your camera through the top of the insert, and you can get to your lenses by pulling the insert out of your pack.

Before you buy this case, make sure you backpack will fit at least a 7.5″ insert into the main compartment – measure it 😉

When in Doubt:

padded neoprene lens case


Finding the best camera bag inserts for your backpack, messenger or tote bag is fairly straightforward. I’d start small if I were you and get some DIY neoprene camera cases for your lenses and a neoprene wrap for your camera. This will get you around most places easily and protected. If you are looking for something a padded camera insert to protect your gear while traveling abroad or into the mountains, you’ll want to get a padded case or a full on camera backpack.

Whatever you do, don’t wrap your camera up in a winter cap, sock or scarf. Protect your gear, and it will keep snapping away for many years to come.

Reprinted with permission from Digital Camera Bag HQ

Learn more about: Best Point & Shooot Cameras | Best Mirrorless Cameras for Beginners | Mefoto Tripod Review

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