This was a new tent bought by us for the trip to Tibet. It is about the lightest 2 man tent on the market and packs incredibly small.
It’s made by the normally reliable high quality tent makers Terra Nova, a UK company.
This 2 man version retails for about £300 if you shop about the RRP is £400, so it’s not cheap. The wild country version uses inferior materials but the same design so it is heavier but cheaper. The picture shows the tent packed next to my Therma rest mat. It is as the name suggests aimed at lightweight competitions and races. There is also a one man version available.
- Light weight 1.13kg! or 1.25 packed weight is very impressive
- Robust against wind when fully guided out and well pegged. It flaps a bit but never felt like it was in danger of collapsing despite strong wind on the Tibetan Plateau.
- Terra nova’s excellent construction quality. It felt well made with good quality seams and good materials used: Flysheet: Si/Si Nylon R/S 3000mm,
Floor: Si/Si Nylon R/S 5000mm,
- Packs very small. 40x16cm is quoted as, if not smaller. It fitted in the bungy strap on Marion’s Apidura bar bag
- Good size porch for bags and has an opening each side which is useful feature
- Condensation is awful in this tent. The inner tent even was dripping each morning. When there was no wind it was verging on ridiculous with two people inside and with cold temperatures outside.
- Impractical venting – there is no top vent to evacuate moisture, you can open the top of the zips but it did little to help the condensation.
- Odd use of Mesh panel. There is one large side panel and one that opens each end. Neither helped much with condensation as they are away from your face when you sleep.
- Incredibly noisy in any wind. People will say this is the way it was pegged but in decent winds there was no quiet solution despite re-pegging!
- Very low and claustrophobic where your head goes at each end and it is designed as head to feet rather than side by side. With no mesh just fabric in your face it felt suffocating
- Faff to attach the pole support sleeve. This strip of fabric slides over the outer and adds good rigidity to the tent, useful if any wind and good concept but took ages to fix on properly with bits of string.
- End vents use a string pully system to open and close, this gets tangled and could surely be simpler.
The picture below shows the interior, marion being quite a bit shorter could get her face nearer the open door. The end vents are open as well, but still the top of the sleeping bags we damp from dripping condensation. We put the blue sheet on the right up to stop it dripping straight through the mesh.
Overall I was disappointed by the tent. Yes it was strong for its weight and it packs down tiny. But there must be better options out there. I expect in warm temperatures and the one person version works OK. This two man tent in colder climates just didn’t work. It is a shame as it seemed well made like other tents from Terra Nova we have had. Keep you eyes on Ebay this is heading there….
The larger Terra Nova tents are better for longer trips, while the Competition is designed for lightweight, weekend adventure racing.
For extended trips (upto 3 months) I prefer tents by Tarptent (USA). For solo use I use the Notch and would recommend the Double Rainbow for a 2 person trip. Ventilation is superb abd they can be erected fly first – a benefit in bad weather.
Interesting thoughts, the Laser competition is marketed for racing but is still fine for trips a week or more as a very light but strong tent, if you can work with the condensation. The Tarp tents look good but to get the weight down seem to opt for cheaper waterproof rated fabrics, which makes a difference here in Scotland and I wouldn’t use on longer trips where likely to get wet weather. If compared to something like the Hilleberg which achieve low weight but robust and good waterproofing (at a cost!)