Great view from the tent on the campsite in Ranchot

My new tent.
A Terra Nova Laser.

Just when I arrived in Scotland, I realized that my tent was no longer really waterproof. Going up to the Scottish North Coast and to the Orkney and Shetland Islands, I decided that I would want a tent that is rock solid in terms of being waterproof. Frankly, I didn't do too much research, but rather quickly decided on the Terra Nova Laser for one person. I liked the look and color and wanted a tent that was super light. Not necessarily only for this trip, but for hiking adventures as well. Seemed like a good choice. And it was!

I was lucky to be able to pick one up in Inverness and shipped my old one home.

It definitely took some time to getting used to the tent. Very different concept than my old tent. The first night I was using it, we arrived pretty late at night, and I did struggle to set it up. I feel they could definitely improve the little text that describes how to pitch it. For starters, the text could be a bit bigger. But eventually I successfully set it up and had a good night sleep. Over time I developed my own way of setting it up, will describe it further down.

The Laser is a lot smaller than my old tent. Being over 1.80m I could not easily stretch and in the beginning the low ceiling was something that left me a bit claustrophobic. The routine on how to store my luggage needed to be adopted as well. All of that took a bit of time, but eventually I really loved it. And yes, a one person tent is not a two person tent, and being super light weight will mean that you have less space. The weight is just a tiny bit more than a kilo, quite amazing!

The one thing I was really missing though were the two doors. It simply means that I had a lot overview of what was going around me. Additionally you're almost in a cocoon, which means, that it's not so easy to quickly peep out. When there was no rain I therefore often left the outer tent open, to be able to see my bike.

Luckily the door is on the side, which works a lot better for me than on the ends. It simply allows for easier sitting in the tent and looking out or cooking coffee. The outer space for the luggage is as well quite large and allows to store everything nicely covered.

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As mentioned in the beginning I struggled a bit to set it up. Many people have this tent, it seems to be a favourite among bike tourers. And I always had the ambition to have the best pitched one. Anal, I know. After some trial and error, I perfected the process. Here's what I came up with.

How to set up the Terranova Laser

I never connected the outer and inner tent fully, just at the very ends. Often times the tent was still a bit wet from the night before and generally I let the inner and outer tent separately dry. Just make sure that the opening of the two are on the same side.

It is important though that you connect the inner and outer tent. Otherwise you might stretch it too far out and won't be able to get the inner tent in.

Then I added the two short outer poles and got the pegs in, so that the tent was already well laid out lengthwise. I did not tighten the ropes too much, to still have some flexibility afterwards.

Now the long middle pole came in. No fixing yet.

Then I added the pegs on all the four corners on the outer tent. Making sure that they're nice and tight and are squared out.

The tent was standing! And in case it was raining heavily I could easily set up the rest in the tent.

Next step is to clip in the inner tent to the outer tent on the ends and tightening the rope a bit. After that I buttoned the middle part in. The next thing left is to peg in the inner tent.

And that is something that I'm still not sure about. There are either two pegs too little or too much. But what I did is to fix the inner tent on the outer tent pegs, on the side where there's no door. On the door side it always varied. Sometimes I could use the pegs of the outer tent, sometimes not. The distance from the inner tent to the pegs is longer than on the non door side. If the inner tent would have been too tight, I added two additional pegs for the inner tent.

As a last step I was installing the pegs for the middle pole. Always making sure that the rope is in a middle position so that it could be adjusted.

Now the tent is set up! Or at least almost. I fine tuned everything afterwards to get it really straight and nicely tight.

Most of the time it worked out really nicely. Until the evening came. With a change in humidity the fabric changes and the tent is no longer super tight, therefore I was always adjusting the tent before I went to sleep. The inner tent is really close to your head and you want to make sure that the tent is tight to get it as high up as possible.

Overall, I'm very happy with the tent. The fabric is really really nice, at times I wished to get a jacket made out of it! The only thing that I'm disappointed about, specially at this price point, are the pegs. They got very quickly crooked. They can easily be straigthened again, but the pegs from my old tent were absolutely rock solid.

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Great view from the tent on the campsite in Ranchot
My Terra Nova Laser Compact 1 at the great campsite in Bourbon-Lancy
Local specialties on the campsite in Glurns
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Last update: 8. January 2024
Mood: happy :)