A Review with a difference.

I had great plans for last weekend. An early sunrise shoot and a review of my new f-stop  Tilopa BC backpack. But ………………..

Howth head form Sutton


The plan didn’t go as planned.

The sunrise didn’t happen ( well  it did but I couldn’t see it ) due to clouds and rain for 24 hours straight. The backpack review didn’t go to plan either. More on that later.

The image above was taken a while back along the cliff walk from Sutton around Howth Head. I was after a sunrise image. The sun will rise just of to the right of this image. I was also going for a portrait image to get more of the cliff face and the water on the rocks below. However the weather had other plans. Heavy constant rain and low lying clouds put a stop to this.


View from my car window


As you can see  from the image above and listen to the AudioBoo  not ideal condition for a landscape photograph.

Now onto the second part of this planned trip. Testing the f-stop Tilopa BC. I am a Staff Pro Rouge for fstop and part of this deal they sent me the Tilopa to use. To be honest, I had never heard of them before and it wasn’t until Henry Iddon from fstop in the Uk contacted me after viewing the Dynamic Range Video that I understood who fstop where.

They use the Staff Pro’s with the aid of feedback on the forum to improve and design the backpacks. The difference between these backpack and other manufactures is a very clever design in that the inside come out. They call it ICU ( Internat Camera Unit ). You can get different sizes to make a complete custom backpack. If you have more than one camera system you can have different ICU’s and swap around when needed.


The Large Pro ICU and the Tilopa BC
The Large Pro ICU and the Tilopa BC


I have the Large Pro ICU which can hold all my equipment needed for my Landscape Photography and still have room on top for all my extra clothing like rain gear, hats and gloves. I did manage to get out for a 30 walk to the location for the sunrise shoot but looking at the weather system over Ireland I knew it was a waste of time waiting around. What I can say from this walk along the cliff in the lashing rain is it’s waterproof and very comfortable on the back. My previous backpack sat high up on my back which put all the weight on my shoulders. With all the padding and the design of the Tilopa  no such problems and I could go all day with this on my back.

The ICU inside the backpack


Another reason and the most important reason why the weekend testing didn’t go to plan apart from the weather was the fact my father went rushed  hospital on Friday evening.  So I cut short the shooting and testing to go and help my mother get to and from the hospital during visiting times. Visiting is not allowed before 2:00. So what to do? I went shopping with my camera gear in the backpack on my back. The looks I was getting from the other shoppers was funny. There was no way I was going to leave my camera equipment in the car because Murphy’s Law, it would be stolen. The Tilopa BC backpack came with in to the hospital for the same reasons ( ok I wanted to show of to my father hehehe ).

So there you have it. A camera backpack review with a difference. If you are caught short and need to go shopping or visit someone in hospital then the fstop Tilopa BC is the backpack for you.

My Tilopa BC from fstop fully loaded.


The backpack will be put through it’s paces over the coming months with the filming of Episode 2 of Dynamic Range and a couple of week trip to Westport and Donegal.


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