Bargain Bags: 5 Great Photo Bags Priced Under $20

If you ever get the feeling that you have too many camera bags, lie down and take a nap until the feeling goes away. You know as well as I do that the quest for the perfect photo bag has no end. To take the bite out of the expense of your luggage indulgence, here are five camera bags that don’t cost much more than a large Starstruck’s latte.

Warning: A couple of these prices are limited time special reductions, so don’t hesitate. On the other hand, if you’re scouting for holiday gifts for the photographer in your life, back up the truck and load’em in.

Counting down…

S-Zone canvas camera messenger bag. At $19.95 it’s the most expensive bag in this roundup.

5. S-Zone Canvas Camera Messenger Bag $19.95
Although not a household name to photographers perhaps, S-Zone produces a wide assortment of very interesting products, including this nicely designed canvas messenger bag. Top compartment is 8.7 x 6.3 x 6.2 inches, and the bottom camera storage area is 9 x 6.7 x 3.1. It provides adequate protection for camera and lenses and ample space for miscellaneous items up top. Nice bag and great price. Available at Amazon.

Case Logic Reflexion. Not necessarily gorgeous, but very practical and serviceable. I use this bag a lot.

4. Case Logic Reflexion Shoulder Bag $14.95
I have bags that cost 30 or 40 times more than this simple shoulder bag, but I use this thing more than you would ever believe. I like it because it holds “just enough” equipment and because the top opens like a doctor’s bag, permitting unfettered access. And when it’s empty, it’s flat and easy to stow. It has a removable camera/lens pod that fits most DSLRs with a couple lenses. And of course, you can take out the pod and carry other stuff. There are two zippered pockets on the front (one runs on the diagonal) and soft mesh pockets at either end. Measuring 12.6 x 7.5 x 10.2 inches and weighing about 1.3 pounds, this is a very useful and good quality bag. Available at Adorama.

Cabela’s Catchall Gear Bag is not a shoulder bag (no shoulder strap) but it’s very useful and you can’t beat the price ($12.95). Comes in five colors.

3. Cabela’s Catchall Gear Bag $12.95
Not a shoulder bag (no shoulder strap) the Cabela’s Catchall is great for keeping gear organized in the car or bike basket. Crafted of weather-resistant 600 denier poly fabric, the Catchall features six exterior pockets and wide, sturdy nylon web handle straps. Cabela’s logo is embroidered on the front pocket—which may seem weird—but if you’re looking to downplay the fact that you have a bag full of cameras, can you think of better cover than a brand that’s synonymous with fishing tackle? Measuring 16 x 10 x 8 inches and weighing 1.2 pounds, the Catchall comes in gray, pink & gray, tan, blue or Cabela's proprietary O2 Octane camouflage pattern.

About one year ago, Bass Pro Shops acquired rival Cabela’s. All that means to us is that we can order the Cabela’s Catchall Gear Bag from either source,  Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops. One thing is for sure, you will not find a better general purpose bag anywhere in this price range.

Manfrotto Stile+ Amica. Excellent bargain from a top-tier manufacturer.

2. Manfrotto Stile+ Amica 20 Shoulder Bag $9.99
Limited time offer; if you want a true bargain from a top-tier manufacturer, act fast. Weighing less than a pound and measuring 6.7 x 7.3 x 5.5 inches, the Manfrotto Amica 20 Features a zippered front flap, top opening for fast access, padded interior dividers and a top handle plus adjustable shoulder strap. It’s handsome looking and water resistant. It won’t hold a ton of gear, but it’s perfect for a mirrorless or other compact, and it’s from Manfrotto, so you know it’s going to last. Buy it from Adorama.

Tamrac Zuma. The $9.00 price is a limited time offer from Robert’s. BTW, Robert’s, located in the epicenter of America’s Heartland (Indianapolis, IN) is the store behind, a great source for used equipment bargains.

1. Tamrac Zuma Compact Camera Bag $9.00
Limited time offer; if you want a true bargain from a top-tier manufacturer, act fast. Small and light (9.3 x 4.3 x 7 inches and less than 11 ounces) the Tamrac Zuma fits a mirrorless compact, extra lens (or two) and other small items. It features a large front organizer pocket that’s fully zippered and a small open pocket on the back. Two-tone exterior is made from 600 denier PolyTek fabric with ballistic nylon accents. Don’t ask me how Robert’s Camera can sell these for nine bucks—I mean, come on.

—Jon Sienkiewicz