Terra Nova Laser Competition
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The Laser Competition from Terra Nova is a world record holder. At just over 850 grams, there is no lighter 2 skin tent in existence. A great tent for ultralight backpackers and those competing in the OMM, LAMM, KIMM and similar races. The Competition utilises lighter poles than it's predecessor which helped shave off a few more grams. Despite being light, this tent is still fairly practicle - it's actually quite spacious (all things considered!) and pitches quickly and easily.
Terra Nova Laser Competition Reviews
Reviewed by Chris Long (Colchester, Essex) on 2007-04-08:
General comments: I finally had to buy a tent of my own, I had been borrowing my friends MSR Micro Zoid. I wanted a really light weight tent and I decided on the Laser Competition. I was drawn to it mainly because it is the lightest tent going and price wise it was very good value. Below are the good and bad points, but overall this is a very good tent once you get the hang of it. Not certain I'd want to out in major storm in it, but it will cope with most conditions ok. And you can't argue with the weight!Comment on this review...
Pros: The good points - Once up its really quite big inside and you can sit up unlike many other small tents. There is a lot of room for one person, even a full length temo rest fits no problem. The little porch area is also big and easily fits your pack and boots.
Cons: The bad points - I found that the tent was quite difficult to put up until I got hang of it, the key being to really tension the guy lines at the ends. I would also recommend that you get rid of the carbon fibre pegs, they may be light but there not very good. I found that the tops kept coming off, get some titanium ones! The only other problem is condensation on the fly sheet, if you havn't tensioned the fly sheet correctly the weight of moisture makes it sag,it can then touch the inner conpartment and it leaks.
Reviewed by Richard Bishop (Exmouth) on 2007-06-06:
General comments: It still surprises me that anyone would buy any other genuine one man tent other than the Competition. It is as good as any in the market place but has a huge amount of porch space as well as being nearly half the weight of most others. This is THE definitive one man tent and the only reason to but any other is to save money but at the expence of room and weight. Once you have put it up a couple of times in your garden it is a since to pitch, particularly in a strong wind. Don't buy any other one man tent UNLESS you like carrying unessasary weight or you refuse to watch the video instructions on the Terra-Nova web site showing you how to pitch it.
Why would you buy anything else???Comment on this review...
Pros: It's the best one man tent in the world and you can get it for under £200
Cons: Part of your initial purchace needs to include 2! sets of titanium scewers to replace the carbon sticks that are provided that don't work and, I am sure, will be replaced soon as they are an ambarrasing waste of time. Come on Terra-Nova, get the hint.
Reviewed by Geoff Jones (Cambridge, UK) on 2008-03-31:
I can fully recommend this tent apart from two slight niggles. It is incredibly light, easy to pack and easy to erect. Plenty big enough for one and in fact both my partner (she is 5' 8" I'm 5' 10") had several cosy nights in it whilst walking the GR20 in the mountains of Corsica. I and my clothes also remained dry during one night of torrential rain and thunderstorms on the GR10 in The Pyrenees .
Picture in use whilst walking the GR20 in Corsica. Notice the cunning use of the weighed down walking poles threaded through the flysheet loops instead of pegs, when the ground is to stony to take pegs.
Pros: Very spacious plenty of room for 0ne person and enough for two with all kit at a squueze.
Easy to pack and erect.
Cons: The pegs provided are useless! Get titanium ones.
Poor ventilation between the flysheet and tent
Reviewed by Fraggle (Bristol, UK) on 2008-08-24:
General comments: One of the most commonly raised concerns with this tent are the supplied pegs. Loads of people grumble about these and I'd have to agree they are useless in all but the most perfect, putting-green ground conditions. But, given ideal ground they do do a very good job. In choosing a feather-weight tent you are giving the tent makers license to make these design compromises in favour of weight versus size/durability/versatility and a whole host of other factors. In short, you wouldn't expect an expedition tent like the Quasar to weigh less than a kg, hence, you cannot expect a tent weighing as little as this to do everything you'd expect of a larger, heavier tent. This tale of compromise is certainly the story with the Laserlite Comp. and can be seen in everything from the tiny tent pegs to the paper-thin groundsheet and the toy-size zips. What remains impressive about the Lazerlite Comp is the elegant simplicity of the design making for an easy pitch and maximising the usable space, the weatherproof qualities of the silicon flysheet and above all the unbelievably light weight of it all.
All things considered an excellent tent; spacious, strong, weatherproof, easy to pitch and above all light but do expect that some compromises will have been made in order to shave off those grams.
Pros: Proís definitely include ease of pitching, with the fly and inner pitching simultaneously and the whole relying on just one peg at each end for its structure. Naturally this means that the tent's pegging and guying are central to it's performance in poor weather but, given good pegging (i.e. an ice axe at each end!) I can vouch that it will hold itís own strong winds. It also performs well in the wet and I've never had any problems with either damp coming up from the ground or from contact between the fly and inner. Condensation isnít really a problem either with the comp, the tent being amply ventilated with a relatively large space so airflow is good. The inner space is definitely one of the pluses with the Comp. There is (just) enough room to sit up in the middle and you can cook in the lee of the porch with the door open should the weather dictate. The porch is also roomy enough to store a large rucksack, boots, stove etc.
Cons: On the downside the cons are mainly design compromises which depend on how far you think Terra Nova should have gone to save weight. Whilst to date I have had no problems with the groundsheet, it is scarily thin and I check each site carefully for sharp rocks thorns etc. before pitching. Similarly, the flysheet would probably not fare too well if left up in strong winds and UV for any length of time. These concerns and the fact that the carbon pegs splinter if bent or driven into hard ground mean that durability isnít this tents strong point. The designís reliance on the pegging and the tension of the flysheet for itís structure means that if pitched in the dry and subsequently wet, the slackening of the fly (which occurs in all tents) makes for a flappy pitch which may require re-tensioning the guy lines (In the rain, in the middle of the night). The one thing on the tent that has not lasted well is the curved zip on the inner of the tent. In the last 6 months this has begun to wear and now 'splits' if not carefully nursed along the track. This is partly due to the curved route it follows, partly due to the strain it takes in supporting the inner but mainly due to the fact that it is too small to do the job properly.
Reviewed by graeme c (manchester) on 2009-08-24:
General comments: Bought the laser comp last year mainly for it's incredible lightness and the fact that's it' vey unlikely I'll be up on the hills in winter (!) so a 3 season tent hopefully should do the job I require. However I was sadly mistaken! Having bought an extra set of pegs in keswick to replace those useless things the tent was supplied with I left them in the car and went off into the lake district without them. Once I realised, it was by then an awfully long way back to the car and anyway the weather forecast wasn't too bad so I pushed on but made the concession of coming right down to Buttermere and not camping on the hillside. Unfortunately the weather did deteriorate and as the wind got up the tent started to flap around on it's very stretchy 4 elastic securing points either side of the guy ropes. Once this started the guy ropes and elastic securing points began to pop off the pegs and by 1.00am in the wind and rain I had 'lost' in the grass 3 of the pegs (becasue they are soooo small you cannot see them unless they are attached to the end of a guy rope etc) so I couldn't even re-pitch. It was only the kindnes of another camper with room to spare that I got any shelter that night and didn't end up making a dangerous nighttime walk back to the car. 3 season tent? Well i'm not so sure. This little adventure was during August '09. Hardly mid-winter.Comment on this review...
Pros: It is incredibly light and it is pretty roomy both height and width wise. The porch area is very useable and fits pack, boots, stove etc no problem. Very easy to pitch but you really must buy some different pegs and take a couple extra as you can make this tent more stable by using them.
Cons: The pegs supplied are laughable and possibly even dangerous in poor conditions. The very stretchy elastic on the fly sheet either side of the end guy ropes need to be much tougher or preferably made of something altogether more solid to add more rigidity in strong winds. They also allow too much give in even light wind allowing the fly sheet to touch the inner and leakage does occur. The "optional" pole cover that must be tied on is a little irritating as it clearly needs to be attached permanently. Without it there are no side guy ropes and the structure certainly needs them unless you are camping in your back garden on the calmest evening imaginable.
Reviewed by davidjwbailey (bedford) on 2010-02-01:
General comments: ultralight, used for UK mountain marathons, stays up in ANY weather. simply unbeatable for cycle camping as well
Pros: light, small, packs really really tiny, spacious.
pegs useless, get titantium skewers (12 pins and 4 'v' shaped pegs for perference)
Cons: need to leave gap to ventilate, needs a layer under the ground sheet to protect from thistles, in large events EVERYONE has one, so you need a pole or flag to find yours in the field of indentical tents
Reviewed by John Malcolm (Livingston) on 2010-08-06:
General comments: Used this tent in the 2010 LAMM and it was pretty effective.
We were camped at around 400m, which in Scotland is an altitude where it gets pretty cold, even in June! It was sunny in Saturday but rainy Sunday and I must say the tent did the trick overnight, packed up well, on the second day and splits nicely between two set bags.
It meets the main criteria for mountain marathons: lightweight. Thatís it really. No room for nicities or spacious porches where you can store your car overnight, itís just light, waterproof and does the trick.
On the negative side, it is quite expensive for a minimalist tent, but then they are all that price. I can appreciate the irony of tents (and outdoor stuff generally) - you can spend a fortune on expensive a tent which falls in to one of two categories: a tent with bells and whistles or a tent with the smallest amount of fabric/poles/pegs/guy-ropes that taking one or two away would mean you could no longer call it a tent!
Anyway, this would fall in to the latter but if youíre climbing hills with it, thatís what you want.
Comment on this review...
Pros: Light, pretty waterproof, did I mention light?
Cons: Expense and that's about it..
Reviewed by Kate (Bedford) on 2011-01-02:
General comments: Borrowed one of these for an expedition a few weeks ago.
Pros: Very light, and only about twice the size of my bivvi bag. Also managed to stay vaguely upright in pretty strong winds. Nice having a long door to get in and out, and the porch was big enough for my backpack and boots.
Cons: A bit too small for me - chose to borrow a tent instead of using my bivvi bag on the grounds I could sit up in it, but I couldn't. Was quite fiddly to put up and put in the end poles when I was tired and my hands were freezing off, a bit flappy, and the groundsheet leaked a fair amount. A bit pricey.
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