F-Stop Tilopa Review

August 11, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

F-Stop TilopaPhoto Courtesy of F-Stop Gear

One of the biggest challenges I've had with adventure photography is carrying my gear in the field, I mean, most of what I shoot requires hiking, climbing or skiing to get to my vantage point before I click my pic so transporting gear has always been a challenge.  The Dakine Sequence  was my go-to bag for over a year but it had one critical flaw-no hydration option-and in the alpine environment that's a big drawback. 

It wasn't till I was watching a short Youtube video on Jimmy Chin demonstrating how to pack for a trip and loved the bag he was using at the time so I set out on a quest to find out his choice for a quiver.  You have to love the Internet because with a little (or a lot) of digging you can find the answers to most everything and it didn't take long to learn Jimmy carries the F-Stop Tilopa and for good reason.  It's the bomb.

A bit about F-Stop gear, started by a group of adventure photographers sick of having bags and packs fail in harsh conditions they set out on a mission to design the best packs for adventure sports and have succeeded.  To give you an idea of how thoroughly they tackled this daunting task, check out this video on the Tilopa below.  No need to write long detail when a video does the trick.

 

Okay, back to the review.  I found their pricing to be a bit on the steep side so like anyone on a budget, I turned to E-bay and found a used Tilopa in mint condition for 160.00 bucks in an olive color.  Score! 

Since picking up this bag, I couldn't be happier with my choice (especially since it was half the price of a new bag) and have tested this pack in a variety of summer conditions including monsoons season in Southwest Colorado.  What I find most appealing about using the Tilopa is it's damn near waterproof.  My old Dakine Sequence needed a plastic cover to ensure my gear was dry but not the F-Stop line.  No!  It's nice to have warm fuzzies when the rain starts and you're humping 10 grand of gear thru the mountains.  Aside from the protection from the elements, the other features I love about my bag are:

  1. Hydration tolerant
  2. Comfortable
  3. Sized at 50 liters
  4. Takes an assortment of ICUs (Internal Camera Units)
  5. Plenty of room for extra clothes, food, gear besides photography
  6. Seemingly endless lashing options for skis, tripods, ice axes, etc.
  7. Has the same rear entry system to access your gear as the Dakine Sequence
  8. Looks flipping cool!
  9. Built like a brick shit house

I could keep going, but you get the idea.  With fall and winter approaching the level of stoke to get out and further put this bag thru it's paces is high and will report back mid-winter for an updated review on how this bag handles being on the ice and slopes.  Until then, if you have been struggling to find the right adventure bag for you, then look no further than the F-Stop Tilopa

Take a click and check them out for yourself. http://fstopgear.com/

Until Next Time,

Markus


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