Pros and Cons
Filed under:Camping, Gear reviews, Tents, backpacking, lightweight tents, Terra Nova Laser Comp 2, Terra Nova Laser Competition 2
The Laser Competition 2 tent offers a mix of super-low weight and added comfort
The Laser seems to have been the go-to tent for Mountaineering Instructors and Mountain Leaders for many years. When it was first developed by Terra Nova, the Laser design was pretty much the lightest tent on the market. We tested the 2016 model, but Terra Nova have updated the design slightly for 2017. The Laser can be pitched flysheet first or with the inner tent attached, pitched in a single go. It is a non-freestanding single-hooped tent with two small support poles, positioned one at either end. The main pole is a DAC Featherlite, with an 8.8mm diameter, while the two support poles are 7mm in diameter. These support poles rely on their guylines to give the tent its structure. The flysheet is made from silicone-treated ripstop nylon, but due to the light nature of this fabric, Terra Nova are unable to seal the seams, so they have positioned and sewn the seams in a way that minimises water penetration. They do recommend that you can add further protection yourself, with seam sealer, to fully waterproof the Laser. Terra Nova supply a black pole cover, which has a taped seam; this can be tied over the main pole to add weatherproofing to the main seam, but also offers additional stability. In use, we found that the flysheet was relatively flappy in anything more than a gentle breeze, due to it being tricky to get the flysheet taut when pitching on uneven ground. There are two zipped entrances, one on either side of the tent, using two-way YKK zips. The Test Team all commented that due to the small nature of the zip pull, they were tricky to use with cold hands, but this could be easily rectified with the addition of some cord.
The inner is made from ripstop nylon, with just a couple of small mesh panels to add ventilation, and as a result the Test Team found the Laser significantly warmer than some of the other tents on this test. The ground sheet was one of the most robust ones that we had seen in the whole test and this went down well. However, the inner tent felt cramped with two people in it, which was a shame as there is plenty of space between the inner tent and flysheet that could have been used.