Sunday, February 12, 2017

AmazonBasics DSLR and Laptop Backpack Review

I've had a sling-type camera bag for a while, but I wanted to get a larger bag that also included a spot for a laptop. A few blogs had mentioned the Amazon Basics DSLR and Laptop Backpack so I decided to give it a shot.

I lucked into a little sale and got it for $45.99 (Canadian) with free shipping. It arrived quickly and I took a little video while I unboxed it.
The backpack has three compartments - a slot for a laptop up to 17" in size, the main compartment with sections for camera bodies and lenses, and a smaller accessory compartment with pockets and slots for cables, pens, etc.

The Camera Compartment

The main compartment has dividers that you can move to fit your own equipment. I would say that you could easily fit two complete cameras in here.

In my backpack, I've put my camera, with my two main lenses (and my "nifty fifty"), a flash, battery charger, rain cover, and a few other doodads. There is room for more.

I can fit my camera with a telephoto lens on it very comfortably in here.

I think I will be fiddling around with the compartments a little more to get just what I want. I may wish to have the camera closer to the top so I can just unzip the top and slip the camera out, rather than having to open the compartment fully to get the camera out.

The Laptop Compartment

There's not a lot to say about the laptop part. Most laptops will fit here no problem at all. I have two laptops, a giant 17" Dell workstation and a smaller 14" laptop. Needless to say, the 14" computer fits in with no issues. The Dell, however... it's a tight fit. The zippers do close but just barely.

You should keep in mind that my 17" Dell is a large laptop and most people comment on its size when they first see it. There's a tasteless joke in here somewhere.

Here's a photo of my smaller laptop in the bag.

I'm confident that the vast majority of laptops will fit in this bag.

The Front Compartment

Front compartment
The front compartment is for all the miscellaneous doo-dads that you carry around. Laptop charger, cables, pens, business cards, breath mints, whatever you normally carry along when travelling.

The compartment zips open about 60% of the way. The rest forms a deep pocket to retain larger items.

You can see from the photo that half of the compartment is a large mesh bag, closed with a zipper. I plan to use that for passports, boarding passes and other documentation that I don't want to lose.

The other half has a pouch with a number of small pockets for pens and small items, as well as a clip thingie to attach keys or carabiners to. I would use this to attach the little key generator devices I have to carry around for customers' VPNs.

Other Features

The backpack has straps on the outside for securing a tripod to the backpack. I tried this for a little while and it does work, but I generally don't carry a tripod around and I found the tripod was banging into things as I wore the backpack. To me this isn't a very useful feature but "your mileage may vary".

The backpack comes with a rain cover bag. I haven't had the opportunity to use it yet but it's nice to have. I pretty sure the backpack is not waterproof so you would want to use the bag in heavy rain. I know I have used the integrated rain cover on my Lowepro SlingShot a few times.

Wearing the Backpack

Of course I had to try the backpack on to see how it feels. It has the normal backpack shoulder straps and also has straps to go around the waist.
Wearing the backpack
I don't think I will wear the waist straps.

It's comfortable enough and you can see the shoulder straps are nice and broad so it shouldn't dig into my shoulders.


I can't say I have any real dislikes for the backpack, other than it is different than my Lowepro SlingShot 102AW. I am used to wearing the SlingShot and being able to slide it around to the front and get my camera out fast. With a backpack, you have to actually take the pack off and set it down somewhere before you can take the camera out.

I really see different uses for my backpack and my sling pack. The backpack is for travelling and for having on the passenger seat next to me while driving. I think that is an excellent use for it as everything will be accessible. The sling pack is good for being a tourist - to have the camera easily accessible - but not good for carrying a lot of stuff.


This backpack does exactly what it promises to do - carry a DSLR and a laptop in a backpack. The price is great and it is a good basic backpack for carrying your computer and camera around. I'm happy with my purchase.

Buy the DSLR / Laptop Backpack

(The Amazon links are affiliate links, meaning that I receive a small commission if you follow the link and purchase something on Amazon, at no additional cost to you. I was not compensated for this review in any way, nor did anyone ask me to review the backpack. I just wanted to share my experience.)


DaveM said...

Hi Steve,

I did a bunch of research when I bought my bag and ended up with Kata Minibee 111. The bag has been very good, but I will say that the service sucks. I tried numerous times to reach out to the manufacture and got nowhere with them.


Canadian Train Geek said...

Hi Dave, that looks like a great backpack! The Kata site says it isn't available any more and points to the Manfrotto site. I saw the Minibee 120 which appears to be similar, maybe a bit bigger. The Minibee looks like a great backpack but is definitely a more premium backpack (in features and price) than the AmazonBasics one.

DaveM said...

Hi Steve,

Initially I tried to get by with a Messenger Bag Carrying Insert. I found that it was ok for lugging the camera gear back and forth to the car, but that was about it. It wasn't comfortable to carry for extended periods of time. I recommended that people don't make my mistake and try to get by with the insert. It ain't worth it. :)

After that failure, I splurged and picked up the MiniBee prior to a vacation where I knew I was going to be treking around quite a bit, and didn't regret it one bit. It is a bit unfortunate that Manfrotto changed the colors on it, I kinda liked the light grey.