I've been using a tilopa for the past year-plus for everything from resort shooting to splitting and mountain biking. Highly recommended if you can afford the big price tag. the internal frame hugs your body instead of bouncing around like a big block of weight, as with other ones i used before. Definitely the way to go if it's in your budget.
I can help you with some spam. The Tilopa BC works very well with your board on the back and in A-frame mode when your boot packing. We built the A-frame ski carry to be split and ski friendly. Its very secure in A-frame. One plus with rear access for camera gear is in both modes your camera gear is still accessible.
All of our MTN packs have been shred tested and abused. The head developer (me) is splitter on most sunny days.
The Loka, Tilopa BC and Satori EXP are all good to go but the Tilopa BC works better with its ski loops. The Loka is the most ride friendly bag with its lower profile. All bags have an exterior pocket that is good for skins as well as pole loops.
If you need any details or images- feel free to ask. I can set it up to your request.
On split photos missions I'm using carrying a fair amount of gear. Any specific features that accommodate avy gear? Shovel and probe. My camera gear usually consists of a Nikon D3, 70-200mm, & a 16mm fisheye. Should I be looking at the large ICU?
For the avy gear- We use the laptop sleeve as a multi purpose sleeve. I usually put my probe down the side between the bag and ICU. We have taken some flak for this design, some folks want a dedicated exterior accessed avy pocket. I can understand that but our bag is not like that- for me its not a deal breaker- but ofcourse I am biased. The sleeve is in the inside. So if that is a must you should consider that. You have to open the top to get at your Avy gear.
There is an exterior pocket but it will only works with smaller shovels and we do not suggest those- but if you do use one, the smaller shovels will fit. Generally that pocket is much better as a shell or down and skin pocket.
For camera gear, I would suggest a Medium PRO. I can fit the Canon equivalent in a small PRO ICU. But Nikon is a touch longer. If you check the site under ICU's there are a bunch of images of gear fittings in the ICU's
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 11:40 am Posts: 45 Location: Whistler, BC
I just picked up a Tilopa BC... only have a few days out with it but overall I'm pretty impressed.
A few gripes, the board carry straps seem to be poorly placed - the reinforcement barely covers the edges of my board... wish they were an inch further apart or longer. Ski carry is bomber and plenty wide enough for a split ski.
I'm not a fan of the internal avy tool system, I'd much prefer it if the outer pocket was large enough for a probe and shovel. Maybe throw a beefy shovel handle carry a la dakine on there, too...
Haven't tried attaching an ice axe but I'm not sure I'd trust the shock cord + single loop attachment, seems to me that an ice axe could slip out very easy.
Multiple sizes would be rad too for us tall folk...
Nikon body with 70-200 2.8 attached is too long for the small ICU, although the VRII is a little stubbier and may fit.
My complaints are mostly minor, otherwise it's a sick bag - it's just easier to list the few things I don't like rather than the many that I do. Definitely the most comfortable pack I've ever ridden with - camera bag or no.
It works similar to a tradition axe loop but has a tension adjustment. It has 3 pieces; 1 short piece of shock cord(bungee) 1 cord end 1 cord lock
Various companies make different pieces... I am pretty sure ER carries this kind of stuff but almost positive MEC does. Like I said I can ship you one but it will be heading from Japan and take a little longer.
EDIT: a better idea might be just to reuse those same parts from an old bag. Most bags have those pieces somewhere on the bag.