I used Tilopa for a quick 220m hike to photograph sunrise from Panorama Hill (Bukit Panorama) which located at Sungai Lembing Town, about 45 km from Kuantan.
The bag is very light. That was my first impression. The straps are great. The compartments are all useful. Huge side pockets are very convenience as compared to other bags that I have. The zips are tough.
However when I first load my gears, I realized that the ICU is pretty small. I can’t fit in my 300mm lens. But that’s OK as I don’t think I’ll hike 3000m mountain with a 300mm. I can fit my D3 attached to 70-200mm VR f2.8 and D300s with 14-24mm f2.8. Also I have one more space for my speedlight. I’ll show some pictures when I have time to transfer them into the PC.
I also put into its top compartment some snacks and my headlamp; 2 bottles of mineral water & poncho into the side pockets & my Feisol CT-3442 carbon fibre tripod strapped to the back. I didn’t really measure the weight but I guess circa 10 kg or slightly more.
The bag was comfortable to wear but after a few minutes, maybe after 30 minutes I feel uncomfortable at the waist support. I think the waist support is not wide enough. Even my Lowepro Primus has thicker padding. And the corner of the bottom of the bag (the inner side) kept hurting my waist. I am 173cm tall with waist circumference of 36 inches. Waist support is everything about a good backpack.
The back of the bag is pretty hot after a while. They should start looking at how to improve circulation to the back of the bag.
So as the conclusion:
- Great straps
- Varieties of compartments
- Tough zips
Things can be improved
- Waist support
- Poor air circulation at the back of the bag
Overall, I am happy with Tilopa. I am yet to test it on serious long trekking trip.
Update: I have updated my view on Tilopa. You guys can check on them. The recent one is here.