Flight testing my F-Stop Tilopa BC

A few weeks ago I started looking for a bag to hold my camera gear when travelling to Africa this winter.In the end I went for the F-Stop Tilopa BC. I already have an Kata 3n1 Sling Bag which I love using around town. But I have found that it doesn’t really have the support I need for carrying my equipment on longer treks. The shoulder harness is to thin and the cross configuration is a bit to restrictive.

The other issue I’ve had to think about is that I would need a day backpack from time to time during my trip. Previously I’ve used my Haglöfs Tight Pro XXL as a day pack / camera bag. Bringing that bag as well meant that I would have to pack it in my checked luggage and take up valuable space and weight there.

This got me looking around for some other type of bag that would fit my needs. After looking for a while I found the F-Stop brand and the F-Stop ICUs and I got the idea that I could get one of the ICUs and just put it in my Haglöfs backpack. Unfortunately f-stop ICU units seems to be in hight demand and not easy to get hold of.

After a bit more research I found a review of the Tilop BC by Karen Hutton on Google +

Looking at that review and then a few others got me looking for a place that sold those. I found the f-stop store that seemed to be the only option until I came across this Norwegian site fotobag.no which had the backpack in stock and a small selection of ICUs as well. I got the bag with the PRO Large ICU that will work just fine for this trip. Later I might get a smaller one since I’m usually not dragging this much stuff around.

But lets get to the flight testing. Looking at the bag I thought it looked to large to be able to have as carry on luggage. For some cheap airfare airlines it will probably be on the large side.

The big test of the Tilopa BC

This weekend I’ve been back to my parents place for a big family happening, and I was told to bring my camera. I loaded up the Tilopa ICU, slid it into the backpack and hoped for the best.

The reason for this being a good test is that I selected to fly with Wideroe. Wideroe operates mostly short distances and use small airfields. This brings me closer to home; but it’s a bit more challenging since they operate Bombardier Dash-8 planes with space for around 40 passengers. The planes are small and so are the overhead compartments.

When I left from Oslo I was told they wanted to put my backpack in the luggage compartment; and then give it back to me right after landing. Since I didn’t want the camera and lenses to travel like that I just slid the ICU out. The rest of the backpack in the cargo hold. I still had some chargers and cables in the lid of the backpack, but got the important stuff with me.

Going back to Oslo this evening they didn’t bother asking for my backpack and I go to try it in the overhead compartments. The backpack fitted quite nicely in there with just a little bit of jiggling to get it in. All the straps and buckles on the front and back gets caught easily on the edged of the locker, but it’s not a big problem.

I guess all in all it was a very good flight test of the F-stop Tilopa BC and I feel confident it will not give me any troubles later either.

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