Once you’ve picked up a decent lens kit, you’ll find yourself wanting to bring those things everywhere. Fortunately, phone lenses (like phones) are small and pretty easy to carry around. You’ll want to grab a case or bag to put them in so they’re convenient to carry and access.
What is a Phone Lens Bag?
Who asks questions like this? It’s self-explanatory. A phone lens bag, or a phone lens pouch, is exactly what it sounds like.
They differ from regular old generic bags in a couple key ways. Usually, it’s that lens bags are divided into compartments to aid in organization. Lenses tend to be quite vulnerable, so it’s a bad idea to just leave them loose and jangling around with other things. Furthermore, most lens bags have straps or loops that allow you to keep them on your person and easily accessible.
Why do you Need a Phone Lens Bag?
You could use a plain old plastic grocery bag if you needed to, but that doesn’t really seem very appealing, does it?
If you bought a lens kit, or less often a single lens, it probably came with a pouch of some kind to store the lenses in. As your collection of phone lenses expands with one-off acquisitions, DIY solutions, and converted camera lenses, you’ll run out of room quickly.
The primary purpose of a lens bag is to organize and store lenses. That’s pretty straightforward. Ideally it will do so in a way that makes it a piece of cake to grab the lens and attach it to your phone quickly.
Secondarily, lens bags offer protection from the elements. Lenses can represent significant investments, especially if you’ve purchased high end lenses like those made by Moment. Protecting them is absolutely vital. Water or even just humidity can damage your lens, so sealed bags and pouches are very useful. Lens bags are always made of some soft material like neoprene so that in the unthinkable event that you lose a lens cap you can store a lens somewhat safely.
Please don’t lose your lens caps, though.
What to Look for in a Phone Lens Bag?
Here are factors to consider:
- Price – Obviously. As with all things in life, you get what you pay for. A $50 lens bag will be better than a $10 bag every time. Fortunately, most lens bags and pouches tend to be on the cheaper side since they’re not too big or complicated.
- Space – There’s a trade-off to be made here. On one hand, you need enough space for all of your current lenses (as well as accessories such as ring lights, microfiber cloths, cables, etc.) as well as some extra space for any future purchases. On the other hand, the bigger the bag is the bulkier and heavier it will be too. Finding the right balance is key.
- Organization – Not all lens bags come with organizational capacity. Some have removable inserts that can create compartments, plus zippered pouches and pockets. Others are literally just big empty bags. Usually, some degree of organization is valuable because you don’t want your lenses banging around with other stuff.
- Weatherproofing – Inevitably, there will come a time when you and your gear are caught outside in bad weather. Fortunately, many phones are waterproof these days. Lens won’t immediately disintegrate or fall apart on contact with water, but it can damage them (especially over time). A lens bag that is totally sealed is really helpful because it will also prevent that insidious killer humidity from ruining your gear.
- Ease of Access – It’s impractical to have all of your gear out all the time, but it’s not unusual that photo opportunities are quick and fleeting. If you see an animal doing something cute or find an interesting angle on a walking person, you want to grab that shot immediately. You want both the bag AND the lenses to be easily available. That means that the bag should be able to be attached to your person (or backpack) with straps or clips so that it’s always in arm’s reach. The lenses should be easily accessible without rummaging through the bag too.
Top Phone Lens Bags
Unfortunately, there aren’t many options when it comes to phone-specific lens pouches. The good news is that most lenses come with a carrier of some kind, so you will only need a bag once you’ve amassed a collection. Here are some of our favorite phone lens bags.
This is the quintessential phone lens bag. It hits all of the major points: it’s light, easy to access, durable enough to protect lenses, and unobtrusive. It can hang from a bag via the attached carabiner or slide onto your belt with the built-in belt loops.
Note that the Ztylus Lens Pouch isn’t weatherproof and doesn’t have a huge capacity. It’s big enough to carry a handful of your favorite lenses, however. It’s designed for lenses manufactured by Z-Prime, but it will fit most standard phone lenses (including clip on lenses).
So, this bag isn’t specifically a mad-for-lenses pouch, but it’s well-within the scope of the bag’s abilities. Photographers often use drybags to carry their equipment for one obvious reason – they’re waterproof. That’s pretty important when you’re lugging around a few grand’s worth of gear.
This particular listing is for 3 drybags of varying sizes so you can carry only as much as you need for a particular trip. Most drybags lack internal organization structures, so you’ll want to have individual pouches for your lenses too.
This lens pouch is unassuming, but I assure you, it’s quality. It’s made by Moment, after all, the leading manufacturer of smartphone photography gear.
The pros and cons of this simple pouch are immediately obvious. It holds just two lenses and it holds them well. They are adequately protected inside the pouch (which is pretty stylish too), but it lacks weatherproofing or expanded capacity. As a matter of fact, it pairs really well with that drybag up above…
This lens bag, also by Moment, is included because it’s significantly different from the smaller pouch. It’s not just twice the size – it’s about 4 times the size. It also has the capacity (and more importantly, the organization) to carry way more than 4 lenses.
This travel case is an all-in-one solution for your phone lens gear. It’ll hold all the equipment you have, minus a tripod, and it’ll do it stylishly. It’s small enough to fit in a backpack and it’ll squeeze onto pretty much any shelf to protect your gear even while it’s being stored.
What bag or pouch do you use to keep your lenses? A specialized one, your backpack, or even just a grocery bag? Let us know in the comments below!