Recommendations for camera bags that fit a 17in laptop?

Anyone got any suggestions as above? Needs to be carry on luggage sized (as in not bigger), other than that I’m open to ideas.

I might just put the laptop in a sleeve, then stuff that in a normal cheap backpack I have, and leave room to wedge an existing camera bag in the top to get through check in if I need to.

Doesn’t really matter for a short trip. But just curious if anyone has any bright ideas. :slight_smile:
Thinktank do a few that fit a 17in, but they’re all very serious, “pro photographer” style to me.
I was thinking more along the lines of a messenger bag, but the 17in laptop makes that a bit tricky.

Ideally still with room for a DSLR and lens… maybe even a second lens!

Edit: this was a lot easier with my old 13in laptop… but darktable took all week… :sweat_smile:

Hi Steven

In the last 12 months I have made some 8-10 flying trips, including two international, with a superb backpack which I bought an ALDI. Some ALDI stores seem to soak up all the unsold specials, so you may be lucky enough to find one.
The brand is skylite, and it has a padded laptop section that will fit 17." The main section also has a sleeve, but not padded. My daughter (who has the same backpack) has traveled with both laptop and drawing tablet.
The main section has an expander, a power-bank pocket and lead. Lots of additional sections.
I have traveled with DSLR in the main section, both loose, and within a separate camera bag.
No trouble in a B737 or A320. Dash-8 is a bit harder - smaller under-seat and smaller overhead stowage has meant I have had to remove the camera/camera bag and zip-up the expander.

Back to your subject line - no recommendation for a camera bag; I also wouldn’t recommend one - anonymous backpack doesn’t say “Steal me” in the same way.

Your mileage may vary, as always, and read the PDS!!! :wink:


Decathlon has several great backpacks, and some of them fit 17" laptops, eg this one. You may want to check for other models and availability online, then take your stuff to the store and try the fit.

I find their backpacks comfy, durable, and practical, and reasonably priced.

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Thanks @martin.scharnke and @Tamas_Papp ! That’s very helpful input.

I’ll see if that Aldi/Skylite backpack is available anywhere - sounds great. And yes, I agree about a “Camera Bag” :wink: not being ideal, from the perspective of attracting unwanted attention (of any kind).

The Decathlon pack looks good too.

I think a little experimentation is indicated with the backpack I already own - the only real downside is the lack of padding, but on the hand it means there’s room to put padded bags/cases in it.

I’ve also owned a Thinktank Retrospective backpack for a while, which is excellent if slightly heavier than some, and it worked well for this kind of thing - but there’s just no way to fit my laptop in it.
Hence my curiosity. :slight_smile:

That, and also most camera backpacks are ridiculously overpriced.

Just get a good insert that fits your camera & lenses; the insert may outlast a few backpacks. With one extra lens a small one would do. I usually put the rest (lenspen, extra battery, filters) in a small pouch, and stow the mini tripod somewhere in the backpack. But I carry micro 4/3 gear so I guess it is way smaller than a DSLR.


Any tips on where to buy inserts? I’ll do a search a little later, but it’s not something I’ve come across much.
And yes… I want to take my full frame Nikon kit along… with f2.8 lenses… m43 would be a LOT smaller and lighter! :sweat_smile:

If there is a camera store in your location, I would just take my gear there and try out what they have and see how it fits. This is something I find nearly impossible to do online.

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A couple of questions:

  • Do you already own the 17" laptop?
  • Do you know all the airlines you will fly on?

There can be quite a variation in the size of laptops with the same actual screen real estate. I recently bought a Dell XPS 15 which is 1.5" x 1" smaller than the 15" laptop it replaced.

Just checking the three main airlines in Canada, all three have different maximum dimensions for carry-on luggage. My bag will fit all three, but I haven’t put it to the test yet. Being forced to put a bag in cargo would be fatal.

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Lowepro make one. It came with lifetime warrantee which turned out to be a load of croak as the zipper was excluded. Of course the zipper is what is going to fail, which mine did. For travelling I have checked out camping stores and other stores to find a backpack with a pocket for a laptop and room for a camera. I have a bag from Elements that fits the bill. I also moved down to a 14" laptop because Jetstar (Australian Airline) pinged me on carry on luggage weight because my 17" laptop weighted about 3kg. Expensive trip but I passed the cost on to my employer luckily.

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Yes, it’s the Corsair a1600 I wrote a bit about in a different thread a while back.
It’s actually a 16in screen, but in a 16:10 aspect ratio and an unusual hinge/bezel arrangement which puts the shorter dimension squarely in 17in territory.

No - I’m not at that stage of planning yet, but the few I checked all seemed to be about the same. Thanks for the tip!
In the past I’ve sometimes had a backpack and separate laptop bag, but they all seem to be expressly prohibiting that arrangement now unless one’s business class. (I’m not!).

Yup. I’ve heard a few horror stories about that… [shudders]

Humph. Thanks for the input, Terry.

That’s my solution. Instead of a sleeve, I use a towel or sweatshirt, something I might need anyway. I only use a “proper” laptop or camera bags when I’m driving door-to-door.


I like that principle! I’ve done similar in the past actually, albeit not with the laptop.

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I like my Vanguard Havana 48, but I am not sure if they still make it

Edit: Here is a review I found

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Hello all … for those in Australia, ALDI are selling this backpack again on Saturday 20 April
The middle option is the one that looks like the same as I got. It may not be the same - you might want to check whether it has an expander for instance.


And my apologies - the website says up to 15 inch devices.


My wife still has more shoes than I have bags, but it’s close… :see_no_evil:

Anyway … I was a big fan of dedicated bags with dedicated laptop pockets, lifted off the ground so they won’t bump when you put the bag down, etc. pp.

These days I have the laptop in a sleeve, but it’s really only a sleeve with a zipper. No extra pockets, no handle, nothing. This makes the bag selection trivial: I pick whatever I feel like.
From tote bag to messenger bag to suitcase to backpack, from chinese plastic wonder to Fstopgear, the choice is there.

One important note is that I do not travel with the same gear all the time.

Picking the right camera bag/insert depends most on what will be the main function of the bag:

  • Transport: go somewhere to take pictures
  • Access: take pictures while doing something else

For the former I like my Fstopgear “boxes”, for the latter I usually pick a slightly padded messenger bag and just throw the camera in there, add a plastic bag for separation to all the other stuff. For my small personal camera I use a LowePro lens case which has been found to work best.