The Terra Nova Laser Competition
I absolutely love this tent it’s the perfect exemplifier of hassle free, light weight and practical camping. I have used this tent a number of times but two trips in particular stand out a 21 day Scandinavian cycle trip and 14 days in Iceland. If you need a shelter for a reasonable amount of time, weight and ease of pitching are important than I can’t fault the Laser Competition. It gives you a great shelter which when pitched correctly provides superb protection from the element, on both trips I used the laser competition the weather at time was challenging with high winds and heavy rain but the tent stood up to the environment.
The ease of pitching this tent is a welcome relief at the end of a long day on the bike. The tents flysheet and out pitch together with one pole being threaded through the middle of the tent and 4 guide ropes to peg it down giving you a solid structure that will protect you and your kit. Once you have pitched the tent a few times I think you would be looking at a time of under 5 minutes without to many problems.
The size of the tent is adequate I’m about 186cm tall there is just about enough space for me, if you are taller you might have a few problems. In the tents specification they state 1-2 people now this could be a little ambitious maybe for one night but not practical for many nights unless you are exceptionally friendly I did this once and didn’t sleep much.
The vestibule again from a cycling point of view works well you can comfortably store 4 pannier bags which is really the most you will have to store I have seen some cyclist storing their bikes in their tents, this isn’t going to happen with the laser competition but that isn’t what it’s about. The price varies quite dramatically I have seen it on offer for around £230 however normally you would look to pay £280 – £330
A couple of upgrades you might want to consider the standard ground sheet is quite thin so if the ground is extremely wet you could get one of the more heavy duty options that Terra Nova sell, i haven’t needed to date. The light weight titanium pegs look like tooth picks but are exceptionally light weight and strong I have not had problems with the pegs but once in Iceland I did have a few problems with the ground I was trying to put them into. Because the pegs are very thin in the loose sand of Iceland on at least one occasion the pegs kept pulling out I weighted them down with some handy stones but I thought in future I may take a couple of larger pegs for such circumstances. (better than carry large stones with you)
In summary this is a great little tent for light weight backpacking or cycle touring I would definitely recommend it. It’s worth searching the intent for the best price.
Here is a link to Terra Nova’s website.