Domke Camera Backpack at a glance
- Size 48 x 33 x 23 cm
- Weight 1.37kg
- Removable Camera Insert
- Holds up to 17″ Laptop
- Domke Camera Backpack (official UK shop)
The Domke Camera Backpack departs from the company’s usual shoulder bags, but the core values of using high quality materials and American manufacture remain. Measuring 48 x 33 x 23 cm, it provides a large storage volume whilst weighing just 1.37kg. It’s made from Cordura fabric, which is lightweight but rugged and water resistant; when I threw a cup of water over it, the water beaded and rolled off. But there are no promises about how it would perform with a more severe downpour. Neither of the bag’s two zips is sealed for waterproofing, though the main one is covered with a fabric flap. Still, Domke is confident enough that no additional rain cover is included.
The bag has a basic design with a large main compartment. At its rear there’s a pocket for a laptop up to 17″ in size, while the bottom hosts a padded, removable camera section. Measuring 26 x 33 x 13 cm externally, this is two inserts attached to the inside of the bag with Velcro. One is square and ideal for a larger lens, whilst the other has an adjustable divider to allow you to store a camera and lens. How much you can hold will vary widely, but you could comfortably fit a DSLR or large mirrorless camera and 2-3 lenses. Users of smaller lenses could double that number by stacking them on top of each other.
Domke Camera Backpack key features:
- Colours: The backpack is available in a Cordura material with Black or Camouflage colouring, or in Domke’s Rugged Wear material in Brown.
- Bottle Mesh: A huge water bottle mesh pocket is on one side of the bag. It will comfortably hold a 1 litre bottle
- Tripod Holder: There is a pouch on the other side of the bag to tuck tripod legs into. Alternatively, you can secure the legs with a bottom strap, with a top strap available in either scenario.
- Front Pocket: This has four internal pockets, one of which is large enough to be helpful, whilst the others are pen size and probably won’t see much use.
Above the camera compartment is a divider shelf which can be repositioned thanks to a Velcro strip. This leaves half of the bag free to store other items, which is fine if you only plan on putting a coat or your lunch in the top section. But it’s useless for carrying lots of smaller items, which would have to be removed in order to access your kit or change lenses.
As for the harness, I found the shoulder straps to be around 1cm too wide, and they rubbed a little under my arms on a 10km hike. There is a sternum strap, but no waist/hip strap. There is also little padding on the bag, except at the back to protect a laptop. But this presses directly against your back, with no ventilation, causing a sweaty back after a long walk.
Domke Camera Backpack: Our Verdict
Despite the lightweight Codura construction, generous space and quality manufacture, the Domke Camera Backpack falls when it comes to the features you get for the price. The market is flooded with many great bags at this price point from all the usual suspects, and there are better options available.
The Domke range
Domke is best known for its classic US-made photojournalists’ shoulder bags. These come in a variety of sizes and are known for their soft, flexible designs and rugged fabrics in a variety of classic colours. They’re available from either Amazon UK, or Tiffen’s UK shop at flysteadicam.tiffen.com.