Soft equipment cases for camera gear are extremely useful when you’re packing light and need to carry gear on your back or hand carry it, such as in situations where big bulky film and video equipment hard cases can attract the wrong type of attention, such as third world countries. Soft cases can not only look like regular backpacks, they are also much lighter.
Some run and gun DPs even carry their most important bit of kit– their camera– in a soft bag that looks like it could be a gym bag when they’re traveling by airplane, and take it with them as a carry on.
In this list of the best soft equipment cases for film and video gear, we’ll be going from smallest size and working our way on up to the largest size.
Best Soft Equipment Cases for Camera & Film/Video Gear
The Ape Case Pro DSLR and Video Camera Backpack is a great choice for filmmakers looking to carry their gear on a hike, public transportation or in other circumstances where they need to be light and nimble but still carry a fair bit of equipment with them. It has room for two documentary DSLRs or one traditional video camera and a GoPro action camera. It comes with a multitude of pockets and padded internal dividers to hold your gear securely in place and even has a padded laptop slot for laptops with up to 14-inch screens. This Ape Case camera backpack also features wide comfortable back straps and side pockets for easy access. It weighs only 5.1 pounds. The interior dimensions are 14.5 inches long by 10.5 inches wide and 5.5 inches deep when laid flat. Note: If you’re looking for a similar Ape Case with roller wheels, this model might work for you.
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Cinebags makes a wide range of camera film and video soft cases and bags. The CB-01A Production Bag is a soft bag with a generously wide shoulder strap and plenty of padded compartments large and small for your camera and related gear. It features four mesh pockets, exterior zipper pouches and a reinforced bottom rail for ground protection, in case you set it on uneven surfaces. It weighs 13 pounds on its own and is 24 inches long, 15 inches wide and 12 inches deep (with four removable internal pocket dividers). Note: if you’re looking for a similar model with wheels, this Cinebags model might work well for you.
Lighting equipment cases, such as for documentary film interview lighting kits can be hard to shop for because of their strange dimensions: you need a case that is both long (to hold lighting stands) and also wide (to hold the light heads themselves). The Neewer lighting kit case has both a carrying strap and a set of wheels at the bottom which you’ll probably end up using most of the time, as long as you’re not carrying this lighting case up a set of stairs. It comes with rearrangeable dividers and room for four lights and their corresponding light stands with interior dimensions of about 30 inches long by 12 by 11. Browse other film lighting kit cases here.