In the backpack of every landscape photographer, filters are something that you will always find inside. First of all because their use it is essential to obtain excellent images directly in the camera, and then because due to their fragility is absolutely necessary to protect them from bumps and scratches as much as possible.
Regardless of the filter type (screw-on or slot-in) and the brand name, to protect them we all started using the cases in which the filters were provided. Unfortunately, however, we soon realized that the use of so many cases on the field was really impractical and more filters we had more the situation was complicated.
So I spent whole evenings on Google looking for more or less valid solutions, but despite the different products available, I’ve never found anything that was really thought by photographers for photographers. Never, until thanks to a trip to Portugal, through a colleague photographer (Ciao Hugo!) I came across Terrascape.
The Terrascape filters bags
Terrascape is a small Portuguese company that has been manufacturing and distributing filters bags in different sizes. Skeptical as ever I am, I decided to try them, and after more than three years of use in the field and four product upgrades over time, I think it’s now time to share my own conclusions.
The line of Terrascape consists of bags identical in construction materials but available in three different in size:
- Terrascape SMALLONE: the smaller version, suitable for filters up to 75mm
- Terrascape CLASSIC: the “standard” version, perfect for my NiSi V5 holder and for all my NiSi ND and GND 100mm filters
- Terrascape ONESIXFIVE: the largest one, suitable for larger systems such as the 150mm system of NiSi
In this review we will focus particularly on Terrascape CLASSIC, as it is generally the most widely used version. But, as mentioned, only the size changes so the structural characteristics and the materials used are absolutely identicals in the other models. (Of course, it changes the number of filters that can be stored, for which you should refer to the above linked pages)
As anticipated, the bag object of this review is the fourth generation of the Classic family. Just taking it in hand, we immediately realize the quality of the materials used.
What I literally love about Terrascape is that the company is reactive to suggestions from photographers. The first version was already great, but having implemented a number of improvements that we have proposed over time makes this bag really something unique on the market.
First of all, the bag is composed of two compartments: the main one where the filters are stored, and the second one in the front, smaller and suitable to contain various accessories, including for example the NiSi V5 holder and the adaptor ring. The number of filters that can be stored obviously varies by the size of the filters used. For reference, consider that inside the Classic version you can put up to 11 slot-it 100x150mm sized filters.. not bad for a so compact bag!
In the main compartment is inserted a removable bellows structure made of polyethylene coated with a thin layer of sponge to separate filters one from the other. The materials are really top notch, and the honeycomb structure of the sponge is perfect to provide protection against abrasion even in the unlucky event that a grain of sand being trapped inside the bag (remember: every time you come back home from a photographic trip, clean filters..and bag too!). Thanks to a small rubber piece on each compartment on which you can write on, it is possible a rapid identification of filters in the field.
Under the closure of the bag there is a small net in which you can store an indispensable microfiber cloth to clean filters or other small accessories.
The external structure is finally covered with waterproof nylon, thus making the bag absolutely weather resistant.
On the external structure are applied three different anchoring solutions for the bag: shoulder, belt and tripod hooking (my favorite!). Finally, in this version it was implemented the very useful housing for the remote shutter in correspondence with the velcro strap.
Beautiful, no doubt, but as always we go to see now what it’s like to use this bag in the field.
The bag in the field
As you can surely guess from the pictures shown here, the user experience in the field of this bag can be summed up with one word: practical.
Attached to your belt or to the tripod, the bag is always comfortable to open and close ensuring total protection of the filters.
The extraction of the filters is never a problem even with the use of winter gloves, and the filter identification is ensured by the rubber plug that we can customize.
Housing for the remote control is not to be underestimated as it allows us to not have wires hanging down with the risk of unwanted vibrations compromising the quality of the shot.
Finally, the very compact size allows occupying only the strictly necessary space in our backpack, while still providing a tremendous impact protection
Many brands have tried for years to copy what was very well done by Terrascape, but the bags that offers this small Portuguese company are in my opinion the best you can find on the market today.
Top quality materials, total protection and ease of use are just some of the features that make these products unique, and after three years of use in the field I have no doubt in recommending the purchase, whether you use screw-on or slot-in filters.
The bags can be purchased directly from the manufacturer’s website: www.terrascape.pt