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Carrying even a small camera and all its accessories around can quickly become a heavy burden, especially when you’re on a trip. Even if your action cam already came with a case, there are a ton of new carriers to consider to help protect your investment. Here’s what to look for when considering a case that’s tough enough for what you need.
Action Camera Case Buying Guide
Material: Nylon is soft, can prevent light damage, and protect your camera from rain or snow. Plus, it’s flexible, which is extra helpful to squeeze in gear that needs a little extra wiggle room. But if you want serious protection and don’t mind a bit of extra weight, a hard case made of strong plastic, plywood or even metal is often a better choice.
Dividers: Keep everything inside organized and available fast with compartments, usually divided by a soft and moveable material like foam. An outside pocket made of stretchy mesh makes smaller gear easy to grab at a moment’s notice as well.
Zippers and Latches: A broken zipper can ruin an otherwise good case, and is frustratingly expensive to repair. Make sure your case of choice has a durably stitched one that’s not going to go off-track and get stuck. Likewise with latches, which keep everything tied down as an extra safety measure. These can be invaluable when it comes to holding your most expensive stuff in place, or securing your case to bigger luggage.
Pouches: Don’t forget the small stuff you’ll be carrying too, like mounts, or even hand sanitizer. Pouches all around a case offer a convenient place to put it all. If you’ll be taking long journeys with a power source nearby, some cases’ pouches offer cutouts to run charging cables through and fuel up your cam so it’s ready to go as soon as you hit the ground.
Outer Straps and Buckles: It’s all too easy to overlook something simple like straps, and get hyper-focused on the organized interior and protecting everything. But external straps have the major workload of keeping everything connected to you. Having reliable wraparound, snapping buckles can immediately alleviate the weight from a heavy pack. Bottom line: Don’t skimp on the straps. Make sure they’re made of a strong stitched material, and that the buckles aren’t cheaply constructed. A single shoulder strap can quickly become painful to carry, so having multiple other options for transit, like a waist belt, makes things a whole lot easier when on the move.
Since your collection of gear is ever growing, consider getting a case that’s a bit bigger than your current needs. As you experiment with more photography devices, space inside can quickly fill up. Some cases have room for multiple cameras too, for when you know exactly which device or lens is needed in the moment.
Every videographer is different, and camera case companies know this. If these selections don’t fit the exact specifications you need for your setup, chances are they have other options that will provide snug security, whether you’re on your way to capturing content across town or on the other side of the planet.
1. Lowepro ViewPoint CS 80
LowePro is one of the top manufacturers of reliable travel solutions for action cams and drones. Its products are consistently sturdy, practical and built for professional use.
This case features tough padding inside, customizable to your gear’s needs. The adjustable dividers and pockets are plentiful, and prevent gear from getting knocked together and scratched up during rough travel.
Straps make sure everything is secure inside, particularly the top panel with its stretchy straps to keep small things in place, and the dual handles on the exterior are well-stitched and grippy. Mesh pockets on the outside make your most used accessories accessible, securing the small and most common items you’ll need at a moment’s notice.
2. Think Tank Messenger Bag
Think Tank’s cases and bags are the perfect travel companion for anyone bringing their action camera on an adventure. These are durable, tough cases, with enough room inside to fit your spare batteries, lenses, mounts, cables, even a DSLR and flash if you need it in addition to your GoPro or action cam setup. Think Tank has put thought into the big picture, too. With its Modular Component System, you can carry multiple cases on one convenient belt, shifting the weight from your shoulders and back down to your waist.
3. Smatree Waterproof Hard Case
Don’t be fooled by its relatively small size and light weight — this hard case will keep your gear organized and protected. Inside, there are more than enough designated spaces for your action cameras and accessories, all surrounded by removable foam padding, and in a conveniently hinged tray that pops up whenever it’s opened. This probably isn’t big enough to fit large items like a chest mount, but for storing typical action cam gear, it’ll get the job done. Not only is it tough against travel damage, but it’s also airtight, dust-proof and watertight.
4. Tekcam Action Camera Carrying Case
For beginners on a budget, this case keeps your small gear safe and secure in a lightweight shell. It’s a modest size but surprisingly roomy inside, with removable foam, and can be carried by itself or tossed into a backpack. It also floats, protecting your gear from accidental drops and spills overboard into water. And though it’s not waterproof, it still does a solid job of preventing liquid from seeping inside.
5. Thule Legend GoPro Advanced Case
Thule is known for its secure transportation cases, including this lightweight, large case for dual action cams. The semi-hard shell still protects against light damage and crushing, like in case someone accidentally sits on it. And there’s an extremely convenient pass-through for a charging cable. There’s space inside for all your extra SD cards, batteries, remotes and clamps, and the connected carabiner clips to any other cases you’re carrying.