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Author Topic: Gura Gear Bataflae 32 or Fstop Tilopa  (Read 4366 times)


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Gura Gear Bataflae 32 or Fstop Tilopa
« on: January 11, 2014, 10:12:03 PM »

I am trying to get a better camera bag than I currently have.  I am using a Pentax 645D with 5 lenses, plus will be purchasing a Canon body soon along with a 70-300L plus a couple of wide primes.

So I have been looking at the Gura Gear Bataflae 32l and the Fstop Tilopa and Satori bags with X-Large ICU.

I really like that the Fstop bags open from the back as you can lay them on the wet/muddy ground and not worry.  I am currently using a Crumpler bag that works the same way but does not have enough room.

I also want a system that I can easily adapt to a roller for carry-on airport travel.  The gura gear can attach to a fold out roller frame quite easily with one of their accessories.  The FStop ICU can be moved to their Lightroom roller and the main bag shell can be folded up and taken as an extra carry-on item or even slipped into your checked luggage.  I have no ambition of carrying a large bag on my back through an airport again, it sucks.

I guess I am after some user experiences with both.  It seems that the Gura will hold more, but being in Australia I have never tried one out for comfort etc.  I looked at an Fstop Satori and Tilopa the other day and the harness was the most comfortable I have ever used.

Any advice would be great.

Thanks, Scott

David Sutton

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Re: Gura Gear Bataflae 32 or Fstop Tilopa
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2014, 12:29:00 AM »

Hello Scott.
I used a Kiboko 30L on an extended trip through the UK. It had the most comfortable harness of any camera backpack I've used. However it was large enough to attract attention from check-in staff wanting to weigh it, and it was really too big to be more than 3/4 full.
I swapped it for a ThinkTank Airport Antidote. On my last trip it took three bodies, three zooms, a 400mm f5.6 and some primes, spare clothes and a laptop and no-one asked to weigh it. The harness is good but not as good as Gura Gear.
I'm not clear whether you want to carry the 645D plus the Canon, but if you want to try Gura Gear the Kiboko 22L or Bataflae 26L would be light weight anonymous packs that avoid check-in attention (if you can fit your stuff into it).

Edit: I remember what I liked about the harness. It was the only one I've tried where the tripod attached to the side but the pack then didn't become unbalanced.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 03:03:25 PM by David Sutton »

Mike Guilbault

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Re: Gura Gear Bataflae 32 or Fstop Tilopa
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2014, 10:51:56 PM »

I just received my Tilopa at Christmas and so far I love it. I wanted something I could use for my D800e, 17-35, 24-70 and 70-200 along with a set of Lee Filters and other assorted accessories.  I wanted something big enough that I could swap out the 24-70 and 70-200 and be able to put whichever lens was on the camera back in the bag without having to reshuffle everything or re-swap the lens.  So far it's working well.  The pain, in any bag has to be the lens shades.  When they're mounted on the lens backwards, they take up width in the bag.  But the bag itself is VERY comfortable.  I love that it opens from the back, which is extra security in crowds as well.  I'm using the Large Pro ICU only because I'll have other clothing and such in the extra space.  If I was carrying only camera gear for a day, I'd probably use the Extra Large Pro.


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Re: Gura Gear Bataflae 32 or Fstop Tilopa
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2014, 11:37:09 AM »

I did order F-Stop Tilopa BC with XL and Medium slope ICUs as my own christmas present, although it arrived only few days before new year. And I did this since the zippers of my Gura Gear Kiboko (the original version, sizewise it should correspond to the current Bataflae 32L) are starting to fail. Both bags are have their advantages and seem clearly to aimed on slightly different needs.
First diffence is the size of camera compartments: Kiboko definately offers more volume than F-Stop's XL ICU. With Kiboko, it is easy to carry to carry two cameras with lenses attached, but with XL ICU that requires small lenses and since the lens I most dearly want to carry attached to a camera happens to be Sony 70-400G, this means the space is does not allow second large, gripped body with a lens attached. Also it seems to be easier to take things out of Kiboko's butterfly openings, although the F-stop's opening on the back has the advantage of keeping the backside clean.
On the other hand, Tilopa BC seems to offer more space outside the camera compartments and also number of attachment points for external load. And obviously if your camera equipment fits into a smaller ICU, there is more space for other baggage. With XL ICU there is hardly any extra space in the main compartment of Tilopa BC.
For carrying these bags around, both offer nice harnesses, but I think F-Stop scores bit better backbag experience with slightly more adjustments and firmer waist belt. On the other hand, Gura Gear has superior carrying handles in case you would need to move the bag on hand.
In general, I think these two emphasize bit different things: Gura Gear is great for travel especially when you don't need to carry much than the photography equipment, where as F-Stop Mountain series is as the name suggests more pointed towards for outdoor life where you might need also few other things than just the camera equipment.
And as earlier post mentioned Think Tank bags, I have a friend who has one of their Airport series backbag (I always forget the exact model, might be Airpott Addicted 2.0) and it seems be quite similar to these Gura Gear back bags, of course there isn't the Gura Gear's signature butterfly opening, but otherwise both offer boxy bags with plenty of space for camera equipment and are well suited for air travel (unless there happens to be superstrict baggage restrictions).
Heikki "Hezu" Kantola


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Re: Gura Gear Bataflae 32 or Fstop Tilopa
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2014, 12:40:50 AM »

The size of the 32L conforms to international carry-on size regs while the F-stop backpacks do not. I often encounter overhead compartments where a 9" deep bag is a tight squeeze and the last thing I want is to have to gate check a bag with cameras and lenses. I would never check in luggage with gear that can easily get stolen or damaged while in transit.

I like that the 32L can have only one half opened at a time so that whatever is in the other side remains protected. I can store what I need in one side and have backup gear in the other half of the pack.

I looked at the Think Tank Airport Accelerator as well but it is shorter inside and less suited for use with long telephoto lenses. Their Glass Limo is a good design and narrow for easy carrying in the field and it accommodates external add on cases.


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Re: Gura Gear Bataflae 32 or Fstop Tilopa
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2014, 09:49:54 PM »

Been using an Fstop Loka (Large ICU only) and very happy with it. When filled with MF gear, plus some smaller stuff above, its about the max I can carry, once I add a tripod, sneak in a Mac book, it can be around 30#. So while bigger might allow more gear, there's a human limit here too.

I've found it very good for taking on planes - went to Europe, bot past Ryanair police (stewardess wanted to know what bag it was, she'd been looking and found its size really nice), and it fit well in the overheads. So while the Tilopa and Sartori are bigger, the Loka is a pretty nice bag.

For what its worth, the Thinktank big bags are stuck at home. Their little Retrospects are good tho, for a different purpose.
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