Terra Nova Terra Firma
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A proven Base Camp shelter on Himalayan and Polar expeditions the Terra Firma with its vast internal space also lends itself to year round family use. Two porches provide easy access as well as good storage space. Can be split between four people for backpacking or Duke of Edinburgh's expedition use. Weather-shedding geodesic design. Watershed 2 fabric flysheet for high durability water and UV resistance. Totally waterproof.
Terra Nova Terra Firma Reviews
Reviewed by Eric Smith (Argyll) on 2006-01-13:
General comments: This has the solid build quality you expect from Terra Nova, but such quality obviously doesn't come cheap. I upgraded to this from a larger, heavier but much cheaper 2-compartment tent and feel that it was money well spent.
It's pretty easy to erect and once you lie inside with your head at one of the doors using only the mesh panel, the impression is that the inner is actually the full length of the flysheet. The reality is that for 4 people it's about as small as you could have, with the width only sufficient for 4 Thermarests, but you do get a feeling of greater space thanks to the large mesh doors. The two full size entrances provide ample space for packs and cooking gear and give you flexibility for opening depending on wind direction.
The entrances have 2 separate zips on each side, a velcro strip at the top and can be opened from top or bottom, giving great flexibility. A very minor niggle is that it is easier to open the doors from the top to provide ventilation, but if you only open it a few inches to keep rain or prying eyes out, then the upper flops down cutting the flow of air and/or letting rain drip in. The obvious answer is to open it from the bottom, but it's more of a stretch.
At each side, there are two points where you peg the outer away from the inner, which naturally increases airflow and prevents condensation on the inner walls.
I bought the groundsheet protector, as I feel that the tent is too expensive to just plonk on bare ground. You could obviously just use a much cheaper plastic sheet if you want, but I thought I might as well complete the set and have no complaints.
The tent has 10 (reflective) guylines for stability. Unfortunately, I've not experienced high winds yet, but when I do, I have no doubt at all that the tent will cope well, as the smaller TN Quasars are reknowned for their strength.
The tent is small enough to stick in a holdall and take advantage of cheap flights with a hire car at the other end, so it'll pay for itself in a few trips and you'll have the confidence of knowing that you've got a rock-solid tent which can stand up to just about anything the weather can throw at it.
Pros: Deceptively spacious feel due to high roof and mesh doors; stability; build quality; small footprint for a 4-man tent.
Cons: Poles a bit long for many rucksacks; a stiffening strip at the top of the entrance or even a guy line would improve ventilation; heavier than most other 4-man mountain tents, but that's because of the geodesic design and presumably tougher materials.
Reviewed by wildrover (scotland) on 2011-08-09:
General comments: Bought this for Winter car camping when we need more room than the Hilleberg Nammatj 3GT. Loads of space for 2 plus pooch. Very stable in all conditions & very easy to put up considering the size. I like the 2 doors option but I'd like a bigger porch area for sitting & cooking in poor conditions. I know that the Terra Nova is a base camp tent but another yard of space at one end would be ideal IMO. That said, it's a superb winter tent that won't let you down in most conditions.
Pros: Excellent stability & ease of pitching.
Cons: I'd like a slightly bigger porch area at one end.