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Terra Nova Laser Photon Tent Review
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Tim Cheek
(hikerfan4sure) - MLife
atko venting on 05/27/2009 21:30:35 MDT Print View

Having used the Atko for several years, I can vouch for the need for ventilation in this ground level fly design.

Craig Price
(skeets) - MLife

Locale: Melbourne, Australia
Re: The gold standard on 05/28/2009 00:21:48 MDT Print View

I concur, fantastic quality review. I own a laser comp and can vouch that many of the points are equally accurate to that model also, wished you'd done this on the comp too to help me. I'd still buy one again though.

Re the hood & quoted weight: so that's it! I've always thought I'd just been fibbed to by the sales team. The actual weight was about 3oz more than the spec when I got it. You reckon it's because that doesn't include the hood. ahhhhh (penny drops).

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: The gold standard on 05/28/2009 00:30:31 MDT Print View

> The actual weight was about 3oz more than the spec when I got it. You reckon it's because that doesn't include the hood.

Which is cheeky, considering it's an important part of the structure, and comes as standard. I guess the weather in the US might be more predictable for fastpacking weekends, but leaving it at home would niggle me.

Woubeir (from Europe)
(Woubeir) - F - MLife
Re: Response to TN Laser Photon Questions on 05/28/2009 06:09:56 MDT Print View

but it gets down to a philosophical question of do you want a piece of gear with no features at all and absolute minimum weight, or do you want an "essential" feature set with a few conveniences adding minimal weight? Many people will opt for the second scenario.

Exactly my idea. My premium goal is to have the most enjoyable trip I can have. Lowering the weight of my pack is just a means to achieve that goal and not a goal in itself.

What the review concerns, I found it remarkable that the aluminium pole was earmarked as a 'not so good' feature. I could agree that replacing the aluminium pole by a carbon pole could be seen as an improvement to further lower the weight, but to conclude that this means that the aluminium pole in itself is a bad feature, is a bit exagerated.
I agree that it's a bit silly if you compare it with those 1 gram stakes but I don't take those stakes seriously anyway.

Hendrik Morkel
(skullmonkey) - MLife

Locale: Finland
Scarp 2 on 05/28/2009 10:06:58 MDT Print View

Will, thanks for the info concerning the Scarp 1 - I had the impression that Chris Townsend is going to do one, but maybe the TGO Magazine one was meant.

I'm looking forward to the Scarp 2 review thus, as its very similar to the Scarp 1 I am sure it will help me make my purchase decision (and if I could get the girl friend more interested in backpacking, I might even go straight for the Scarp 2 =).

Will Rietveld
(WilliWabbit) - MLife

Locale: Southwest Colorado
Re: Scarp 1 on 05/29/2009 07:35:06 MDT Print View

I stated earlier that I didn't think BPL has a review of the Tarptent Scarp 1 in the pipeline. I was wrong; it is currently under review and will be published sometime soon. Our readers are always interested in new Tarptent models, and I am pleased to announce that we have reviews of the Scarp 1+, Scarp 2, and Hogback in the pipeline. Will

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
balanced review on 05/29/2009 12:28:22 MDT Print View

Will, thanks-

This was a good, balanced, insightful review. Presentation of facts, pertinent observations. Thoughtful recognition of manufacturer intentions and reality. Good approach in pointing out ways they could cut some weight--or at least remain weight-neutral--while adding features that are useful or necessary.

. .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
BA Fly Creek vs. TN Laser Photon comparison on 05/30/2009 00:41:48 MDT Print View

Will,

Thanks for the excellent review and photos (I love the dust shot!).

Some of the changes that you recommended seem to appear natively in the Big Agnes Fly Creek. I'm surprised this tent has not gotten more attention, especially since it is lighter per it's floor area (1 lb. 14 oz. @ 22 sq. ft.). I haven't used one yet, but after owning a Laser and a BA Seedhouse SL2, I would expect the Steamboat manufactured tent to be more versatile and better geared toward backpacking.

Does anyone have any experience with the Fly Creek and care to comment?

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Re: Response to TN Laser Photon Questions on 05/30/2009 05:51:18 MDT Print View

"My suggestions were meant to be weight neutral, but it gets down to a philosophical question of do you want a piece of gear with no features at all and absolute minimum weight, or do you want an "essential" feature set with a few conveniences adding minimal weight? Many people will opt for the second scenario."

Indeed I agree. If I'd be looking for a tent I'd also be looking for a few 'common sense' features like ventilation, way of pitching, bathtub floor etc. And when I wanna go minimal I can always take bivi/tarp. And between a Photon and an Akto there are many ounces of which only a few are necessary to give up that would give much more functionality, though I doubt if you could implement these weight neutral.

What I personally would like to see in these type of model (i.e. Akto, Lasers, Exped Vela or Hellsport Ringstind) is a minimal stake count, cuz they all require about ten pegs. I'd like one stake on each side. Period! Thread the pole, stake out one side with one peg, than the other, done. I have however thought considerably about this design and I don't think it would work without a small hoop on either side of the tent like the Vela has.

Eins

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
UL Fly Creek on 05/30/2009 08:29:10 MDT Print View

I have the Seedhouse SL1 and have been very happy with it. I have used it for 120 nights, in rain, single digit temps, high winds, and a snow storm that dropped 10" of snow overnight (that is a LOT where I hike).

The Fly Creek is very similar tent, but they made it shorter so it probably wouldn't work for me. If you are under six feet, it would probably make a great tent. I also prefer lots of mesh for here in the SE, but most new SUL double wall tents (is that a oxymoron) tend to use more nylon than mesh. I have seen two people weigh their Fly Creek one said 2lbs 5oz, the other 2lbs 4.86oz with 13 stakes (you only need 10) so it is slightly over spec. Those may just be bad examples though as my SL1 is spot on at 2lbs 13.22oz (listed at 2lbs 13oz).

Also, while I find the SL1 to be very roomy, I don't think it is a full 22sf. They Claim 42" at the head end and 90" length (to the point) which I verified, but they also claim 31" width where the point starts tapering back, but my tent only has 26.5" here. I assume others are the same.

I think it is a great step forward in UL tents, and I would be looking at it if they hadn't made it shorter. The design is bomb proof as long as you pitch it foot into the wind. It doesn't fix any of the problems with the SL1 (small door, vestibule, etc), but it builds on that designs strengths, and in a lighter package.

BTW: the BA tents are not made in Colorado or in the US for that matter. Like all mainstream tents, they are made in China, Korea, or Vietnam.

Anne Woenker
(alwoenker) - F
lightweight 1-person tents on 06/01/2009 18:10:04 MDT Print View

For the few extra ounces, I'll take my Six Moons Designs Lunar Solo. There is enough room for me and my gear in the tent. Ventilation is great - no condensation even with heavy rain. And, the peak is high enough for sitting up, changing clothes, etc. The only downside so far was a small amount of fine mist coming through the single wall during a heavy 5-hour thunder storm.

David Wood
(RedYeti) - MLife

Locale: South Eastern UK
Re: Re: Non-hood tie-outs on 06/02/2009 16:19:30 MDT Print View

Greg,

(sorry - out on the hill for a weekend!)

Well as I say - it's going to require some thought ;)

But no - not intending to run the cords via the hood attachment loops as they're not really "load bearing".

Looking at it over the weekend, its clear that placing the pole hoop into compression is mainly done by the the cords - with the hood transferring the load from the cord, laterally across the pole.

So replacing the hood with several (four? six?) lateral links (more Dyneema?) to bring the load onto the pole should do it. Three of those links could be kept in place via the three attachment points.

It has the potential to tangle badly of course.

Or... I could see about remaking the whole hood in Cuben!

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Great Review on 06/14/2009 20:16:53 MDT Print View

The comparison of similar tents at the end was the clincher. It was stuffed with information in a convienant format.

Personally I'm partial to the greater space and double vestibules & doors of the Scarp 1, not to mention its superior ventilation and much better price. Then there's the optional CF crossing poles and ripstop body for winter use. All in all much more versatility than any of the other tents in the chart.

And "stakes" for the Terra Nova LF? You're correct, they're mere toothpicks. In fact I use only MSR Groundhog stakes for their durability and holding power. Fewer chances of things going "plop" in the night.

Eric

David Wood
(RedYeti) - MLife

Locale: South Eastern UK
Pole-hood - remade in Cuben on 08/04/2009 10:51:17 MDT Print View

So, yeah, got the pole hood remade in Cuben. I've posted something about it on my blog:

http://drw.me.uk/RedYeti/2009/07/09/a-new-pole-hood-for-the-terra-nova-laser-comp/

Edited by RedYeti on 08/04/2009 10:51:56 MDT.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re : Cuben hood on 08/04/2009 11:39:55 MDT Print View

Looks good David. :)
I've been thinking along similar lines myself, but not for the Laser Comp. I was thinking of having 2 'hoods' made for the poles on my Stephensons 2R. Not for waterproofing, but for added guylines in side-on strong winds.
Would cuben rubbing on sil-nylon cause a problem with either fabric though?

David Wood
(RedYeti) - MLife

Locale: South Eastern UK
Cuben vs. Silnylnon on 08/05/2009 00:32:43 MDT Print View

Hi Mike,

Hmmm... not being expert in such things I can't give any guarantees but from looking at the two of them, I don't see it being an issue.

Cuben is very slippery. Rubbing the two of them together between finger and thumb, it doesn't feel like one would disagree with the other. At least, not any more than silnylon rubbing against silnylon would.

Also, in the Laser Comp configuration there's not a whole lot of movement between the two (some obviously, but not much).

I'd guess that if one did start to rub the other the damage would occur slowly enough that you could see it and remove the hood before it did any real harm...

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re : Cuben hood on 08/05/2009 02:02:33 MDT Print View

Thanks David.
I've never handled cuben, so didn't know how slippy it felt. :)