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   Terra Nova Laser

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Ideal for the ultra-lightweight backpacker the Laser gives superb 3-season protection for trekking or racing. Features include:- Tough waterproof nylon flysheet Easy pitching single-pole design Tough and durable alloy pole Spacious porch for gear storage and cooking Streamlined profile for wind stability. This page also covers the new (even lighter) Terra Nova Laser Photon. Weight: 1.24kg.

Just to confuse you, there are other versions of this tent available (shown below). Whereas the original Laser is billed as a 2 man tent, the other versions are effectively 1 man tents which can just about take 2 people (at a squeeze) for the purpose of mountain marathons, adventure races etc. As you would expect, these tents are lighter and smaller in every dimension.
Laser Competition (0.94kg)
Laser Photon Elite (0.72kg)
280.50FREE 280.50
280.50FREE 280.50

Terra Nova Laser

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   Terra Nova Laser Reviews

  Reviewed by Rich L (Aberdeen) on 2006-04-10:
General comments: Having used this excellent tent for several international mountain marathons and other more general camping excursions, I have been delighted with its performance. Used in 2005 on the Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon (LAMM), Saunders Lakeland Marathon, Mourne Mountain Marathon and Karrimor International Marathon (KIMM), it has proved light, easy to pitch when tired and withstood poor weather conditions. The Fly sheet fabric is siliconed which means it absorbs no water and rain and snow beads off it very well, this seems to be a durable coating and so far has not been affected by over 20 nights rough camping. However, the Flysheet can be hard to hold onto wearing gloves, due to its slick surface. The tent can be pitched outer only, and would be an ultra-lightweight option for those not scared of midges or water from below! More usually the inner and outer can be pitched together, and once practiced this takes about 5 minutes. The tent I have has carbon fibre pegs which have proved prone to splintering, the current model has addressed this problem, replacing the carbon pegs with titanium skewers and this should be a useful upgrade. The inner is well ventilated for such a light tent but is not as breathable as full mesh tents, having only a part mesh door and two small end vents. The trade off is that it remains warm in windy, cold weather. There is adequate space for 2 big blokes and all their equipment!.all in all a winner of a lightweight tent.

Pros: Lightweight, spacious for the weight, superb material quality

Cons: Poor ventilation in warm weather, instructions included are pathetic! Try at home before you go out on the hill!

  Reviewed by Ian Johnston (Aberdeenshire) on 2006-11-07:
General comments: I'm a big fan of Terra Nova tents, but this one's not the best. Build quality is nowhere near as good as on other TN tents, I could see needle holes in the inner next to the stitching. Not easy to pitch - and I've found it impossible to keep the fly fom touching the inner in any kind of breeze, which eventually lets condensation in. In wet & windy weather, rain found it's way under the detachable seam cover and dripped onto the inner. The carbon fibre pegs supplied with mine were quickly replaced with a set of titanium pins. I know folk have been out in poor weather in Lasers, but I wouldn't make a habit of it unless you want to sleep with a flat, damp tent! Everything has been sacrificed for light weight, which is great for one night on a marathon event, but for regular or long term use there are better tents about for only slightly more weight (ultra Voyager for instance)

Pros: Very, very light

Cons: A fair weather tent only (in my opinion), fly touches inner, build quality nowhere near as good as other Terra Nova tents

  Reviewed by guy mansford (Nottingham) on 2007-05-20:
General comments: Well designed very lightweight tent. Generous for one, a squeeze for two. Surprisingly weather resistant. Single pole tents move around a lot in the wind and condensation a problem.

Pros: Just used it for a 300 miles Scottish backpack. Strips down to 1.28kg without the bag and packs very small. Very spacious when rained in for a whole day and fine for over six footers. Quick to pitch and fully waterproof, with the inner going up at the same time meaning it can go up dry in rain. Stood up to a gale in Glen Nevis that destroyed some other tents. The carbon fibre tent pegs were really good to use. I had 16 nights and didn't break one. The flysheet is a strong silicone fabric that the water shakes off well (do this before taking out the centre pole if you're on your own). Easy to reduce the number of pegs needed to 8 which reduces the weight somewhat. Good unobtrusive colour in the hills and still a friend after living in it for 16 nights!

Cons: Moves around a lot in wind, don't expect to sleep during that gale. Condensation fine on windy nights, but cold still nights it gets a lot of condensation that will let some water through the inner. The new model has external vents that are much needed.

  Reviewed by keith (devon) on 2007-12-27:
General comments: The Laser sets out to provide a lightweight shelter for 1 or 2 people in a light weight package. I'm not huge but I reckon at 6 foot and 13 stone me in my down bag take up 70 per cent of the floor plan. I suppose two could sleep in it but one person would need to be tiny or a contortionist and I reckon both would be in a lot of contact with the inner wall fabric. Pitching is fairly straight forward, some care is needed to ensure the optimimum separation between the fly and the inner, obviously if there are two of you in it this is more critical. These niggles about size should be seen in context of the low weight, pack size and stability. The stability is suprisingly good for a one hoop tent although it is quite noisy in higher winds, I've woken up several times in it convinced it's about to blow away, only to discover that it's quite happy really, just showing off a bit.

Pros: good cooking/storage area. reasonable stability, excellent weight/pack size. uber-sexy titanium pegs, natty vents that you can open/close by pulling strings inside the tent.

Cons: I reckon its a roomy one person tent not a two person one really, but maybe I'm just fatter than I think.
This review has 1 comment(s):

Somebody responded : forgot to say this review is of my second laser, the first one i had to return due to a stitching problem where the wee upright poles went into the pocket. K (2007-12-27)

  Reviewed by Charlie S (Dunblane) on 2009-05-01:
General comments: Gossamer is the word that comes to mind. Fabric so light it feels you could push a finger through - but you can't. Very well designed all round. More roomy than you might expect, with a usable porch area and two exits (Saves clambering over a sleeping mate for the inevitable 1am call.) The venting system allows for the ends of the fly to be rolled up from inside the tent by drawstrings and together with velcro flaps on the inner it gives good control of airflow to ease condensation. But then this is a two skin tent so you are spared the dribbles - it's only an issue packing up and moving on. Altogether very comfortable and hard to fault. It's so light I'm using it for solo overnights as well. A slight annoyance is the groundsheet. It's so thin it feels vulnerable and when pitched over damp ground, pressing a hand on the floor results in a visible print and the feeling it's letting in, although it's not. Terra Nova recommend using an additional footprint groundsheet and that's what I'm doing. Question is : Why not just upgrade the groundsheet? Maybe it was to keep the advertised weight figure down. That said, even with the added groundsheet, the true trail weight for me is 1.45 kilos which is still amazing for such a sophisticated and capable tent.

Pros: Refined design. Comfortable. Weather proof. Very light.

Cons: Really needs an extra groundsheet. Titanium pegs are like pins and pull through soft ground. Replace 4 with broader pegs for the guys.

  Reviewed by Andy Mott (Cheshire) on 2009-08-08:
General comments: In my quest for ever lighter gear I added my 3rd Terra Nova item to my collection when I bought the Laser. So far I believe it to be every bit as good as my quasar and my (now sold) Jupiter bivi, but made to be lightweight rather than super tough. The tent is spacious for one, but would be cosy for two, especially with a lot of gear. For mountain marathons and fast/light trips this is no problem, but for a longer duration I'd go up a size, just for the comfort. The outer is very lightweight but feels strong, the inner a thinner version of the ripstop nylon of my Quasar. There are pockets for torch, watch etc and a massive opening for easy access or venting on rest days. Also the ends of the outer can be raised up from the inside by pulling cords (although I found this a little fiddly, especially after putting the tent up in the dark and wrapping the cords around the poles!). The groundsheet is also quite thin, and care must be taken if you're on a rocky pitch (or buy a footprint). I've used this in the Lakes and Wales, and will be spending a wekk in it in the Alps very soon. It withstood a storm a couple of years ago that flattened bigger (but cheaper) geodesic tents, and I've had no problems with condensation so far. All in all a super little tent if you need light weight. Not the strongest in the world but you need a trade-off somewhere.

Pros: Super light and surprisingly durable. Perfect for solo trips, especially long distance walks and such, but equally good when you just need small and light (mine goes into the bottom of my pack whenever I take the motorbike for a camping trip).

Cons: I have the old carbon pegs and they're really not very good; hard to pull out of the ground without ripping the plastic cap off the end, which makes it even harder to pull them out. The poles which hold the ends up are longer than the folded main pole, meaning they don't fit into the bag with them and they're long enough to be at risk unless packed carefully.

  Reviewed by James Moffat (London) on 2009-09-15:
General comments: I've had my Laser for nearly 2 years and am generally very pleased with it. Easy and quick to pitch even in windy conditions (though first time you you pitch it you won't believe this). Adjustable vents at each end great but still get occasional condensation in still conditions. Has stood up to strong winds and rain pretty well and the pricey footprint groundsheet is recommended. Great for one person and gear, two people with very little gear (or leave it outside).

Pros: super light, quick and easy to put up and take down.

Cons: condensation, noisy in windy conditions but stays up! one minor annoyance is the awkward fastening to hold the door flaps open. When wet with condensation you inevitably get drips inside the tent and sometimes a damp inner when trying to fasten them back.


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