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Gear review: F-Stop Tilopa - Pricey, but worth every penny

When photographer buys his basic gear (camera, lenses, filters, tripod...), he always founds himself in a loop of thinking of a kind of case or bag he needs to get to carry all his gear around. And soon, he finds out there is no perfect backpack or bag, which would fit all his requirements. But close to that, there are F-Stop backpacks.

My backpack needs changed through the time, and till recently, I liked to use Lowepro backpacks a lot. First, I had Lowepro's Fastpack, found it good for my limited camera gear, but the lack of the space in the non-camera part irritated me so much that I sold it. Than I went for an Outback camera bag. Useful thing, I still use it from time to time, but has limited space (camera body and two lenses), with attachment for the tripod outside, plus it is a bag, which means your shoulder suffers a lot after couple of hours of carrying. At the end I had the Vertex 200AW series. And this one was good. All my DSLR camera equipment was stored inside, it had good back and it was solid. I could even carry big Canon's 400mm lenses in it. Leni still uses the Lowepro Sport 200 AW, which is a nice backpack for one day hikes or trips with mirrorless camera equipment.

But my style of photography evolved as well as my photo needs, so I switched from the big heavy DSLRs to lighter Fujifilm mirrorless cameras and suddenly the Vertex was too big. Also, I started to do a lot of Outdoor photography, so the need of carrying some non-photography related things rised. And so, I started to look for a new backpack. I checked all sorts of backpacks, but I decided to invest once and for all and got myself a F-Stop Tilopa 50-liter backpack.

F-Stop has different backpacks for different needs. From the urban series to rugged mountain series as well as the bags and barrel cases for the lenses and tons of accessories. Also, they come in different sizes and colors. You can choose from the lightweight and small Guru and Kashmir series all the way up to Sukha (70L) and Shinn (80L) that will be good for multi-day staying in the wilderness.

Tilopa is a medium size backpack with the volume of 50 liters. F-Stop is claiming that this is their bestseller and I don't doubt about it as this is one of the best all-rounder backpacks out there. Best part of the F-stop camera backpacks are the internal camera units (ICU) that come in different sizes. I decided for the shallow medium, as with the mirrorless camera and lenses inside, I still have a lot of space for all the outdoor gear. The size is big enough that I can put inside things that I need for several days in the wilderness and it is still suitable to the most of the airplane companies as a hand luggage if not fully loaded.

The outside of the backpack is made from the rugged material, which is reliable and also a bit waterproof. There is no raincover included in the original backpack, which is a big minus, but you can order it from F-Stop or any other third party separately. The main difference and advantage in the F-stop camera bags system is