Unfortunately there are virtually no relevant Portuguese brands in the photography gear market, except for one notable brand, called Terrascape, who make very interesting filter bags, designed by photographers for photographers.
Two months ago I accepted the invitation to meet the owner of the brand, who is also the creator of the Terrascape bags. What was supposed to be a quick chat, scheduled to personally deliver me some of the new Terrascape products, turned into a long nostalgia chat about everything related with the evolution of landscape photography, as well as into a detailed description of the story of the brand.
Terrascape has been constantly trying to improve their products every year, scaling up production and at the same time trying to increase quality, which is obviously not easy in today’s extremely competitive market. Even more admirable than that is the fact the production is now fully located in Portugal. I learned a lot about all the details that go into being able to deliver something apparently as simples as a filter bag, especially when you want the product to be fully made in your own country, allowing for more solid quality control and national investment.
I have already wrote quite a bit about Terrascape in social media but this time I think it made sense to write a preview of their new 2019 models, launched in September, and I hope this article will be later updated for a full review, after I torture this filter bag hard enough in the outdoors.
Even though you can read in between my word that I really like Terrascape’s products, I have also always been quite vocal about things which definitely needed improvement or things which should not have been “upgraded”, to a point where I found myself still using quite often their very first version, which offered superior waterproofing and better cushioning/protection of filters, when compared with the following versions.
Fortunately now the brand is clearly more active in listening to photographers and increasing quality as much as possible, so my first impression of the new filter bag was quite positive. I’m one of those photographers who favors ergonomics above so many factors, as I often shoot in hard conditions where I need to have quick access to my most used gear. This is the reasons why I need to have a filter bag readily accessible, as I need to change full NDs and Grad ND filters quite a lot. Even though the market has an increasing number of filter bags, so far none has managed to have all the features of Terrascape line of bags.
I have tried all the versions of the “Classic” model, suited for 100mm filters, that Terrascape has been launching over the years and, right now, I’m very glad to say that this new release is probably going to replace my first version of the filter bag, which has remarkably resisted the test of time. Even though this new release keeps the same 11 x 100mm filters capacity, 100% metal free parts to avoid rust with sea salt water and different attachment options, there are also new updates, namely better manufacturing control and quality, a Cordura outside fabric which is waterproof (or water resistant, will need to test this), a new outer rigid profile, reinforced with anti-humidity gel sponge, larger microfiber bloth compartment in the top lid, additional lid attachment lock, larger front pocket for filter holder storage, larger front Velcro and side flaps to increase protection against dust and rain. Another noticeable change, which I’m not quite fond of, is the color change to a medium gray tone, and I’m already missing the stealthy black color of the former versions.
Even though most people will use the classical shoulder strap of small strap to attach to their tripod, I’m one of the few who likes to insert the bag into my backpack lumbar support belt, and this time it looks like they finally created high quality belt attachments.
Looking at the competition, which I know quite well, I think it’s hard to beat this product, which probably explains its success. Still, I need to warn you once again that I’ll only be able to give you a review and final veredict after I use this extensively on the field. Stay tuned, and let me know if you have any doubts about this product!