Ultralight Lens Protection for Travel and Backpacking

Lens need to be packed somehow when travelling in order to prevent their damage. One of the often used options is to carry them in a photo backpack, which usually includes some internal compartments with padding. This definitely is a convenient way of lens, camera and other gear storage, but for my personal needs it isn’t flexible enough. Sometimes I need just a day pack for photo gear,  rain gear and some food, another time a much larger backpack for multi-day adventures. Not to mention that photo backpacks are usually rather heavy and not particularly outdoor friendly. A notable exception are Mindshift backpacks, they look like very nice outdoor photo backpacks, but I’d still miss the flexibility of individual lens packing in a backpack of my choice.

The best what I have found for a reasonable lens protection and that can also carry an ultralight tag are Neoprene pouches. They are very light, a 3mm thick neoprene offers a limited, but in most cases adequate protection and there’s an easy access through a drawstring closed top. Each of the 4 available sizes also offers a belt loop and a hook. Since I don’t need these features, I got rid of them, which made the pouches somewhat cleaner and lighter (about 10g each).

For the small lens of mirrorless systems, like Fujifilm X, just the two smallest pouch sizes cover almost all of the available lenses. The small one (originally 33g) is great for primes, like Samyang/Rokinon 12mm or Fujinon XF 23mm and medium (originally 41g) can handle the rest, like Fujinon XF 10-24mm or even telephoto lenses like Fujinon XF 55-200mm.

In case there’s anybody afraid to have all the expensive lens stored only in a thin neoprene, there are also thicker 5mm versions available, like this Kanoni with an interior lining. I haven’t had any issue with the thinner version and not even the lining colors changed my mind to purchase the thicker one. 😉

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