Words and photos by Aaron Nardi
I guess I would consider myself somewhat of a bag and backpack nerd. I’ve designed, used, researched, purchased, traveled heavily, and destroyed more bags than most people. My personal preferences tend to favor function and value over a cool look (although I have to say I like the look of all the bags below). So yes there are other options out there and some might be cooler, bigger, or offer more protection for one reason or another these are the bags I always come back to*. Beyond just function and style probably my favorite part about this bag that they are a little stealth and don’t scream “I HAVE EXPENSIVE SHIT IN HERE” like most tech and camera bags do…
Starting with the bag I use the most, The Hundreds Paparazzi 3 Backpack. I love this bag and use it almost anytime I’m shooting. This bag is not as big or as padded as some camera bags, which is why I like it. I’m able to walk or ride with it but still carry and protect all the essentials. If a shoot requires more gear I’m probably needing a lot more gear and on location, maybe even have a small crew, so at the least I’ll be using a rolling case if not multiple but more often than not this bag is coming too.
The bottom pocket in the Paparazzi bag is padded, adjustable, with a side opening made for easy access. I’ve fit as much as a full size DSLR body, 3-4 lenses, extra batteries, cards, and a smaller film SLR. The top pocket isn’t padded but it does offer a fair amount of protection for more camera gear. I however usually use it as a daypack carrying whatever extra clothes and random bits I might need. The Paparazzi 3 Backpack also features a separate and padded laptop pocket along the inside. It also includes chest and waist straps for stabilization and a rain cover. Go to TheHundreds.com before their big sale is over, like seriously go now.
If I’m not carrying my camera (or maybe just one small body/lens) the Subrosa Venom Denim Backpack is my go to. For me this seems to be the perfect catch all bag, it’s just big enough to carry a stuff for a typical day trip but not so big that you feel a European backpacker carrying your whole life around. The bag also looks pretty rad and is constructed extremely well.
The Venom Denim bag features a large main compartment w/ laptop sleeve, top layover pocket, and remove able side pockets giving you a lot of options to keep everything in place. The bag also has padded shoulder straps with a stash pocket and a chest strap for to keep it stable. My favorite feature of the Venom Denim Backpack is the big drawstring opening that makes it extremely easy to get to your stuff.
You can get a closer look at this bag on the Subrosa Website.
Another good option for a camera bag is the Steven Backpack. Roughly the same size and capacity as the Paparazzi 3 the Steven offers a slimmer shape and tougher construction. This bag is tough. The bottom pocket opens from the top (not side) giving it a little more structure and protection along with a different adjustable pocket layout. While providing a little more protection the Steven probably has a tiny bit less space.
This bag also features padded shoulder straps, a chest strap, and a laptop sleeve. Again my favorite part of the Steven Backpack is the separate lay over top pocket and a good size drawstring enclosed main compartment.
Get a closer look at this bag on the The Hundreds Website
An honorable mention for a bag with an alternative uses is The Hundreds Small Camera Backpack. It has about 2/3 the capacity on both the top and bottom of the Paparazzi 3 so it’s best used when traveling light. The bottom pocket has a removable padded/adjustable divider pocket to protect your camera. I used to use this padded pocket a lot when traveling for headphones, ipods, sunglasses, and any other small accessories I wanted to protect. Then at some point I realized if I took the padding out my helmet, gloves, and tools fit perfectly in the bottom pocket. I don’t like having my wet or dirty helmet swinging off the side of my bag (it just doesn’t look clean) but I still want to separate it from the clothes in the main pocket. Now I almost exclusively use this backpack as my riding/trails bag.
Check out more on The Hundreds website!
While searching for the official name of the bags I came to find out the Paparazzi 3 and Steven backpacks happen to be 50% off right now at TheHundreds.com. That makes them possibly the coolest camera bags at the cheapest price. Not sure how long the sale lasts so I’d hurry and while on the site you’d be smart to grab some legit gear for half off.
I couldn’t locate the proper name of this smaller bag but I’m sure it still exists but is probably currently sold out. Or maybe it doesn’t and if you like it you’ll need to find something similar.
Hit up AaronNardi.com for more photos of Steph like the one below!