Best DSLR Camera Lens Cases iMore 2021
The best digital camera is one that has a full body of lenses available. The more you practice, the faster your learn. I've been hauling camera bodies and lenses across the world for more than 20 years, so I know a thing or two about what works and what doesn't. The best DSLR camera lens cases prevent scratches to the glass and structural damage to the barrel while remaining lightweight and travel-friendly. They also keep dirt and debris from collecting on sensitive lens parts. When I hit the road, my lenses tuck away inside the NANUK 910. The hardshell exterior and cushy interior foam are impact-resistant and fit any size lens. I have a few other favorites. Let's talk about the best DSLR camera lens cases this year.
- Best Overall: NANUK 910
- Best Value: Altura Photo KM0532
- Best for Long Lenses: Lowepro Trekker 600 AW III
- Best Tough Case: Ape Case ACLC8
- Best Universal Cases: AmazonBasics Camera Lens Case
Best Overall: NANUK 910
When you need superior protection, you want the NANUK 910. It looks like a small, hardshell briefcase and is light enough to take anywhere. The 910 is IP67 waterproof rated, in addition to being dustproof and shockproof. The NK-7 resin exterior stands up to drops, scratches, and all the knocking around that adventure photographers and travelers can throw at it.
Foam inserts line the inside of the case on the top and the bottom. You cut them to size, so you're guaranteed a perfect fit around all your pricey lenses and even your camera. The NANUK 910 comes in eight colors, making it a cinch to grab more than one case to house sets of lenses used for specific outings like landscape or sports shooting.
My only beef with this case is that it's not lockable. If you travel with your gear, you'll need to put this inside a locked suitcase or backpack, especially if going by plane. If that's not a concern, the NANUK 910 is a solid hard case with a slim profile and comfortable handle that will safeguard your glass against the elements and normal day-to-day wear and tear.
- Waterproof and shockproof
- Foam cutout inserts fit lenses to size
- Comfortable handle
- Slim profile
- Latches are not lockable
A waterproof hard case that stands up to everything
This waterproof case has foam inserts to cushion your gear, plus it's waterproof, shockproof, and easy to tote.
Best Value: Altura Photo KM0532
This four-pack from Altura Photo includes small, medium, large, and extra-large pouches. All are neoprene, so they're naturally water-resistant and shield your lenses from dust, sand, and dirt. The material is thick enough to keep lenses from scratching when bumping about and provide a little cushioning against drops.
Lenses slide into the top of the pouch and stay secure with a cinch strap. It's no work at all to put lenses inside the bag or to remove them. We love the added swivel hook on the side of the lens covering. With it, you can attach lenses to belt loops, backpacks, and carabiners for easy access. The interior is a plush faux fur lining that buffers sensitive glass nicely but tends to shed a little. Keeping lens caps on makes this a non-issue for most photographers.
If you're a hobbyist or want a set of pouches to toss in your camera bag before you head out the door, these no-nonsense offerings from Altura Photo are worth the price. They're lightweight, keep dirt out, and the swivel hooks are perfect for attaching to your camera strap or backpack.
- Water-resistant neoprene
- Swivel hooks are genius
- Drawstring tightens around lenses
- Four pouches included
- Interior lining sheds a little
No-nonsense pouches that work
You'll get four water-resistant neoprene pouches that you can throw in a backpack or hook to a belt or camera strap.
Best for Long Lenses: LoweproTrekker 600 AW III
If you carry a telephoto lens for wildlife or sports photography, you know what a pain it can be to haul all that weight around. Giant lenses meant to capture every detail from a distance are back-breakingly heavy and unwieldy. Enter the Lowepro Trekker 600 AW III backpack. It fits pro DSLR telephoto lenses up to 800mm, and we love almost everything about it.
Transporting big glass is comfortable with this oversized lens case. It looks and feels like a backpack, and it's fully adjustable and ergonomic, so you can take it through the backwoods or the stadium without issue. The interior is sturdy enough to prop up a large lens and it has padded, adjustable dividers to keep smaller lenses from shifting while you move. The dividers adjust to your lenses and camera size, so there's really no end to the number of lenses or camera bodies you can carry.
There are a ton of pockets and organizing pouches in this bag and around the exterior. You'll have lots of room for filters, extra batteries, a tripod, memory cards, lens collars, and even your laptop. The downside: it's pricey. There's no denying it's a big investment to go with the Lowepro, but there's nothing that competes with it today.
- Balances weight well
- Fits lenses, cameras, and laptop
- Comfortable to wear
- Lots of storage pockets
Best for Long Lenses
Pack a lot, save your back
This is a super comfy backpack that holds big and small lenses, plus camera bodies, and even a laptop.
Best Tough Case: Ape Case ACLC8
Most of the best DSLR lens cases are pouch-style, cinching closed with some sort kind of cord. The Ape Case ACLC8 goes one step further by adding zippers. Cinched pouches work well if you have lens covers on your equipment. However, they still let a small amount of dirt and dust inside. With a zippered case, your lenses are locked in tight, safely away from dust, dirt, and debris.
This is a small case that fits adjustable or small prime lenses. It'll work best for landscape lenses or the kit lens that came with your camera. There are other sizes available. The outside is rip-stop nylon fabric that's tough and durable, and the inside has a tremendous amount of removable padding. The combo means that you can drop or bump your lens, travel with it, or keep it in your camera bag without worry. The Ape Case is the most durable DSLR lens case in my kit.
There are two wide straps on the back of this case so that you can attach it to a belt buckle, camera strap, or backpack. Genius! The only negative is that you have to buy each case individually, making it a little pricier than some options. Still, we think it's worth it. If you need a tough-as-nails camera lens case, you just found it.
- Has additional removable padding
- Belt/backpack loop on back
- Zippers to keep debris out
- Must be purchased individually
Best Tough Case
Rip-resistant lens case with removeable padding
Ape Case is a rip-resistant nylon case with internal padding that stands out as one of the toughest you can buy.
Best Universal Cases: AmazonBasics Camera Lens Case
This four-pack of lens cases works for professionals, amateurs, hobbyists, and beginners. It comes with small, medium, large, and extra-large pouches that shrink up tight around the small lens and expand with some of your heftier pieces of glass.
The outer neoprene is 5mm thick, providing ample cushioning for travel or storage. The cases are water-resistant and do an excellent job of keeping lens safe of damage from accidental drops and scrapes. There's a rotating hook located on the back of each case meant to be used to hook the lens case to a belt loop, backpack, or camera strap.
My only complaint is that with lots of use, the stitching weakens and may need repair. Minor quibble aside, this is an affordable set of DSLR lens cases that fit almost all lenses on the market, and the price is budget-friendly.
- Made from thick neoprene
- Fleece interior
- Fits most lenses
- Stitching becomes weak over time
Best Universal Cases
Fits most lenses
This four-pack from Amazon fits most lenses. The cases are lightweight neoprene, waterproof, and affordable.
You carry a camera in your pocket all day in the form of a smartphone. Yet, there are at least 4 situations when a digital camera is better than an iPhone camera. For those of us who shoot with a full-on interchangeable lens camera, protecting your equipment is a must. And that starts with the very best DSLR camera lens cases.
The case I rely on is the NANUK 910. It doesn't have locking clasps, but it is waterproof, shockproof, and keeps dust and sand from settling on sensitive lenses.
The NANUK 910 comes in a variety of colors. I've picked up two kits, one for wildlife lenses and the other for landscape equipment. Now, I can grab the gear I need in a hurry and hit the road. I love the customizable foam inserts that work with long and short lenses, and because this case is waterproof, I never have to leave it behind.
If you need a setup that will allow room for your computer and gear, check out the best laptop bags for photographers.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
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