The Best Camera Holders for Hiking & Backpacking

When hiking with your camera, you will most likely need a simple to keep it readily available. Camera straps can come in handy for you here. They are made of soft and durable materials giving you easy access without sacrificing your comfort or the safety of your camera.

So, if you want to document your next hiking adventure and are wondering what camera holder will be great for you, you have hit the right spot. We will preview some of the best camera holders available in the market.

So, follow through as we dive in.

The Best Camera Holders for Hiking & Backpacking

Different cameras work for different hiking experiences. Therefore, We will take you through some camera straps you can work with for other hiking sojourns.

So, let’s get started.

1. Black Rapid Double Breathe Camera Harness

Black Rapid Double Breathe Camera Harness 1

Black Rapid Double Breathe Camera Harness

The double-reinforced Breathe material is breathable. It is compact and perfect for hiking, travel, and long days in the field. 

The rapid black double is a two-camera harness to give you the most versatile hiking experience you have hoped for. The front sternum and rear stabilizing straps allow easy camera access whenever needed.

You can wear this harness like a backpack, extending to an adequate length of 63 inches. The strap pad was not too thick so that you could wear them with your backpack. This means you do not have to worry about adding more weight to your gear.

This harness can also work as a single camera sling. They come with spring-loaded bumper locks for your cameras to be secure. They are made with nylon webbing, and they have wide shoulder pads.

Highlighted Features:

  • Front sternums and rear stabilizing straps for easy access.
  • Spring-loaded bumper locks for your camera.
  • Adjustable length.

2. Cotton Carrier Camera Harness System

Cotton Carrier Camera Harness System

Cotton Carrier Camera Harness System

This harness allows you to capture amazing images without the hassle of carrying around a heavy camera rig due to its lightweight.

This camera harness comes off as a great asset for hikers all around. Getting this harness is satisfying overall. You might have many reservations about being in the wild during hiking. However, a good harness like this will help ease your worries.

 The harness has been designed to give your camera a secure fit and ensure your safety. It was modeled to work as a vest that wraps around your torso. This design helps in weight distribution and overall ergonomics. As such, you would barely feel any strain in carrying a camera on your shoulder all day.

 This harness can help you carry your camera and protect your lens. It also comes with stash pockets for your accessories and smartphones. It comes with a safety rope for additional security measures.

Highlighted Features:

  • Stash pockets for your accessories.
  • A good fit for your camera.
  • Design helps in weight distribution.
  • Safety rope for security purposes.

3. Black Rapid Sport Breathe

Black Rapid Sport Breathe

Black Rapid Sport Breathe

This harness holds your camera securely and is designed to work with all cameras. It offers comfort and ease of use.

This camera holder will suit well for your hiking experience if you are looking for good and classic camera support. This is one of the best camera holders for hiking because of how easy and fast you can use it.

This harness helps to secure your camera as you wear it across your body like a messenger bag. So, you can easily remove your camera from this holder once you have a great spot for your pictures. This strap and the underarm stabilizer provide the necessary ergonomics for long hikes.

The shoulder strap has a wide part on the back to cover the shoulder so that the weight is evenly distributed. The feather-light weight of this strap makes you concentrate on your hiking action without worries about the strap.

Highlighted Features:

  • Designed for long hikes.
  • Shoulder strap that fits evenly to your shoulders.
  • Lightweight and breathable.

4. Coiro Dual Shoulder Leather Harness

Coiro Dual Shoulder Leather Harness

Coiro Dual Shoulder Leather Harness

With its unique design, the camera can be mounted on the side of your body, enabling you to shoot photos without stopping.

This leather harness will be handy if you want to look classy while taking pictures during your hiking activities. It comes with a fashionable look that will suit any of your wears.

Apart from its fashionable feature, this camera holder is popularly known to be durable. The harness is made of leather and a metal D-ring. This means you won’t experience issues with it breaking down just after a few hikes.

 The harness also comes with good ergonomics due to its design. It helps to distribute weight properly, giving an X-shape on your back when worn. The safety strap it comes with is an added form of security.

Highlighted Features:

  • Fashionable and classy look.
  • Leather materials for durability.
  • Design helps in weight distribution.

5. SUN-Sniper Professional Camera Strap

SUN Sniper Professional Camera Strap 1

SUN-Sniper Professional Camera Strap

Highly functional camera holder. It is perfect for all types of photography and an ideal fit for hiking.

This is another well-revered camera holder by hikers all around. It may look like just another strap. However, its smart features make it one of the best holders for hiking. It is equipped with new features to deliver excellent quality.

This strap comes with a shock absorber. This absorber helps to give you the necessary support for comfort purposes even when carrying a camera that weighs up to 5kg. It features arm-pit straps that help to put the strap in place.

The protective ring feature ensures that your camera won’t readily fall off when installed. You can even decide to add a safety rope for security purposes. It might be quite helpful to have it as a resource.

Highlighted Features:

  • Shock absorber for maximum comfort.
  • Protective ring to hold your camera in place.
  • Arm-pit straps.

6. Black Rapid Sport X Camera Sling

Black Rapid Sport X Camera Sling

Black Rapid Sport X Camera Sling

This sling camera harness is designed to keep your camera and equipment close at hand and ready to shoot.

This camera holder is generally designed for photographers that hike. It is made of nylon webbing, and it has a cross-body design. This camera holder is also adjustable to the fit of your choice.

It is very easy to use. All you have to do is secure your camera and ensure it is firm to the carabiner. You can then adjust your strap height to about 66 inches, and that should be good to go.

It has sliding cam locks to help fasten your camera to your hips. It features different adventure colors, including multi-terrain, coyote, and digital desert aid.

Highlighted Features:

  • Sliding cam locks that help to fasten your camera to your hips.
  • It comes in different adventure colors.
  • Adjustable fit.

7. Andino Lite Camera Sling

Andino Lite Camera Sling

Andino Lite Camera Sling

This has a unique sling-style camera holder that can be used as a neck or shoulder strap. It secures your camera safely to your body.

This holder might appear to be just all about fashion. However, the features have proven it can be well suited to hiking and other outdoor activities.

 It is made from leather with additional underarm support to keep the sling in place. It features a stainless steel camera screw that can be locked on the carabiner swivel.

It also has a safety strap for your camera’s mount, offering better protection. It comes in a wide range of colors and sizes.

Highlighted Features:

  • Additional underarm support.
  • Safety strap for protection.
  • It comes in different colors.

8. Cotton Carrier Skout Sling Harness

Cotton Carrier Skout Sling Harness 1

Cotton Carrier Skout Sling Harness

This offers a comfortable way to carry your camera. You can wear it all day and barely notice that you’re wearing a harness.

This is a premium camera holder that comes at an affordable price. You can wear it independently or switch up the style with a bag.

The twist and lock system has no hassles as it secures your camera to your chest. It has a weather cover attached to a tether strap to protect you from light mists. They help to hold your camera and binoculars in place.

Highlighted Features:

  • Twist and lock system to keep your camera in place.
  • Weather cover to protect from mists.

9. Nicama Multi-Camera Chest Harness

Nicama Multi Camera Chest Harness

Nicama Multi-Camera Chest Harness

It’s designed for hiking, trekking, and backpacking, with features like keeping the camera at chest height for quick reaction time.

This camera holder has much to offer as it is 100% rugged for hiking events. The vest features good weight distribution properties.

It has a reliable camera lock system that ensures an easy release mechanism. The Velcro strap also helps to keep your lens intact.

Highlighted Features:

  • Velcro strap.
  • Good weight distribution.
  • Efficient camera lock system.

10. Peak Design Lite Camera Strap

Peak Design Lite Camera Strap

Peak Design Lite Camera Strap

Professional photographers and backpackers have tested it. It offers the freedom of movement and the ability to shoot long exposures.

This holder comes great as it features good design techniques and great qualities at affordable prices. It comes with an aluminum quick-adjuster that helps with easy access to your camera.

 It is versatile; you can wear it as a neck, shoulder, or sling strap. The lightweight nylon webbing material ensures that your comfort is of priority even when carrying a big camera lens.

Highlighted Features:

  • Aluminum quick-adjuster for easy access.
  • Versatile holder.
  • Material that prioritizes comfort.

11. ONA the Presidio

ONA the Presidio

ONA the Presidio

One of the best Camera Holders for Hiking. It is designed to keep your camera close and easily accessible.

This high-quality camera is as durable just as it is fashionable. This means they make you look classy, which does not diminish their quality.

 It is made of full-grain leather and comes padded with neoprene to add comfort. The sturdy belt-like buckles make it easy for you to work around the length of this camera holder.

Highlighted Features:

  • Durable.
  • Padded with neoprene for comfort.
  • Adjustable length.

12. USA Gear TrueShot Camera Strap

USA GEAR TrueSHOT Camera Strap 1

USA Gear TrueShot Camera Strap

This compact adjustable strap can be worn across the body or over a shoulder, providing all-day hiking comfort.

This neck strap delivers a very good camera holder with storage possibilities. They feature neoprene to ensure a firm grip and better comfort. It is also soft and springy, which helps in weight distribution.

 The strap features metal connecting loops and quick-release buckles, making for a very adjustable fit. There is also a small storage pocket on the side that you can use to store your accessories.

Highlighted Features:

  • Neoprene for firm grip and comfort.
  • Adjustable fit.
  • Pocket for storing accessories.

13. Spider Holster Camera System

Spider Holster Camera System 1

Spider Holster Camera System

All the gear you need can be on your body and will always be within reach with the Spider Holster Camera System.

Spider Holster has been a major force in camera accessories for a while. They nailed it with this camera holder design. This holder reduces muscle fatigue and pains as it relieves the weight of your body.

The strap-free system of this holder will ensure that your camera is secure with easy access when hiking or backpacking. It features a self-locking design for security and easy access. You can also adjust the fit. 

Highlighted Features:

  • Strap-free system for easy access.
  • Self-locking design.
  • Adjustable fit.

14. Peak Design Clutch Hand Strap

Peak Design Clutch Hand Strap

Peak Design Clutch Hand Strap

It is a lightweight, functional, and stylish camera strap. It has many features that make it the perfect choice for hikers.

Some of the best camera straps come in the shape of a hand strap. This is because it will encourage free mobility and freedom of movement. It helps you point your camera in whatever direction you want during hiking.

This camera strap comes with a solid grip and gives you easy access to your camera’s controls. It also features a peculiar quick-release system.

Highlighted Features:

  • The design incorporates freedom of movement.
  • Solid grip.
  • Easy access to camera controls.
  • Quick-release system.

15. Op/Tech Double Sling

OpTech DoubleSling

Op/Tech Double Sling

It is an ultra-lightweight, adjustable, and portable camera sling. Has an adjustable strap with strong gripping power.

The harness of this holder comes quite practical, even as convenience is still a top priority. It features an advanced neoprene padded design that helps you balance your gear to maximize comfort. 

The strap can be adjusted to any body size you want. It also features a rugged outfit and can sling two cameras simultaneously. The model has been designed strong enough to support 6.8kg in weight.

Highlighted Features:

  • Rugged outfit.
  • Neoprene padded design for balance.
  • Slings two cameras together.

Factors To Consider Before Buying a Camera Holder for Hiking

Camera holders are an essential piece of equipment for any hiker. They allow you to carry a camera and lens without worrying about them constantly. Camera holders are also handy for shooting photos of distant views and landscape features.

If you have been planning to start hiking and capture sights of the great outdoors, you should look into buying a camera holder for your hike. Read on for details about the factors you should consider before buying your camera holder.

1. Decide Where You Will Use the Holder

If you want to use your camera holder regularly, it is best to purchase one that is sturdy and durable. Many camera holders are made from metal or plastic, and metal is more durable than plastic.

You should also consider the weight of the holder. A heavier camera holder can be less tiring but often cost more in the long run.

2. Know the Purpose of the Holder

If you buy a camera holder, you should ask yourself why it is needed. For example, if you want a holder for taking photos of landscapes and distant views, you will need one to keep your camera steady.

3. Consider the Weight Capacity

It is important to consider the weight capacity of the camera holder. For example, suppose you carry a heavy camera with a long lens. In that case, the weight capacity of your camera holder will be significantly reduced over what it would be for a lighter camera and lens.

If you plan on using your camera holder for hiking, it is important to use one with adequate weight capacity.

4. Make sure the Holder is Robust

Before investing in a holder, it is important to ensure it is well-made. Many camera holders are on the market, but not all will be sturdy and durable enough for your hike.

It’s also good to check that the holder will fit your camera model before purchasing. If you want a functional holder that will last you through your hiking adventures, look for one made with high-quality materials.

5. Make sure the Holder is Ergonomic

One of the most important considerations when buying a camera holder is that it must be ergonomic. You need to find a camera holder that fits your hiking needs and is suitable for the terrain you plan on exploring.

An ergonomic camera holder helps you keep your hands free while allowing you to shoot photos without hassle.

How Do You Carry a Camera for Hiking?

One option for carrying a smaller camera is storing it in a backpack. Many hiking backpacks have a separate compartment for cameras or other electronic devices, often with padding for protection. Alternatively, you could use a camera-specific backpack or shoulder bag, which may offer more features and organization options specifically designed for carrying camera equipment.

If you prefer to have your camera within easy reach, you may want to consider a camera strap. A neck or shoulder strap can be a good option for smaller cameras, but a cross-body strap is often more comfortable and secure for larger and heavier cameras. Look for straps made from durable materials that can support the weight of your camera, and consider features like padding or anti-slip grips for added comfort and security.

A camera clip or holster is another option for carrying a camera while hiking. These devices attach to your backpack or belt and allow you to access your camera while keeping your hands free. Again, make sure the clip or holster is sturdy and can support the weight of your camera.

Regardless of which carrying option you choose, some additional considerations must be remembered. First, you’ll want to protect your camera from the elements, particularly if you’re hiking in wet or dusty conditions. Consider using a weather-resistant bag, cover, or plastic bag to keep your camera dry and clean.

You’ll also want to be mindful of the weight you’re carrying. A heavy camera can be a burden on a long hike, so make sure you’re comfortable with the weight and balance of your equipment. Consider leaving any unnecessary accessories or lenses at home to lighten your load.

How Do You Carry a DSLR Camera While Hiking?

Carrying a DSLR while hiking can be a bit of a challenge. Simply carrying it in hand or strapped to your body is not an option, as the camera and its lens are likely too big for you to carry it that way. The solution is to use a camera holder.

A camera holder allows you to carry your DSLR while hiking without worrying about its size and weight, making it much more enjoyable.

What are the Sizing Options for Camera Holders?

You also need to know what size and shape of the camera holder are available in the brands that interest you. Some brands offer only one size, while others offer several sizes, including small, medium, large, and extra-large.

1. Small-sized camera holders

Small-sized camera holders are designed for compact cameras, such as point-and-shoot or mirrorless cameras. These lightweight and compact holders can be attached to a backpack or worn on a strap around your neck or shoulder.

They typically feature padding to protect your camera from bumps and scratches and may also have additional pockets for storing batteries, memory cards, or other small accessories.

2. Medium-sized camera holders

Medium-sized camera holders, such as compact DSLRs or mirrorless cameras with larger lenses, are designed for mid-sized cameras.

These holders are typically more substantial than small-sized holders, with more padding and more compartments for accessories. They can also be worn on a strap or attached to a backpack depending on the specific design.

3. Large-sized camera holders

Large-sized camera holders are designed for larger DSLR or mirrorless cameras with large lenses. These holders are the most substantial of the three sizes, with ample padding and numerous compartments for accessories. They are typically worn on a strap across the body or attached to a backpack with additional straps or buckles.

In addition to these general size categories, it’s important to note that some camera holders may be adjustable to fit a range of camera sizes. These holders typically have adjustable straps or compartments that can be customized to fit your specific camera and accessories.

To help you choose the right size camera holder, we’ve created the table below, which outlines the general size categories and the types of cameras that are typically compatible with each size.

Size of Camera HolderCompatible Cameras
SmallPoint-and-shoot cameras, Mirrorless cameras
MediumCompact DSLRs, Mirrorless cameras with larger lenses
LargeLarge DSLRs, Mirrorless cameras with large lenses

When choosing a camera holder, it’s also important to consider the weight of your camera and any accessories you may be carrying. A heavy camera and lens combination will require a holder with sturdy straps and padding to distribute the weight evenly and reduce strain on your neck, back, and shoulders. For added comfort and stability, you may also consider a holder with additional support features, such as a waist strap or chest harness.


Finding the right camera holder for hiking and backpacking can make a difference when capturing beautiful memories and stunning landscapes. Depending on the type of camera you have and your personal preferences, there are various options, including backpacks, camera-specific bags, straps, clips, and holsters.

Whichever option you choose, prioritize safety, comfort, and protection for your equipment. And remember, the best camera holder is the one that allows you to focus on the beauty of the outdoors while capturing those unforgettable moments to cherish for years to come. So, go ahead and hit the trails with your camera in tow – with the right camera holder, you’ll be able to capture all the breathtaking views along the way.

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Written by Jane Miller

Hey there! I'm Nomadic Jane, a digital nomad and travel blogger. Since 2009, I've been traveling the world and exploring cultures through my travel blog.

In addition to writing about travel and adventure, I also share my best tips on how to become a digital nomad so you can have the freedom to travel, too!