The Laser’s design has become the benchmark for lightweight tents, and the Photon 1 is just one of many variations available. It weighs 805g, making it one of the lightest one-person tents around. There is one alloy pole to fit, while a pair of vertical poles at each end are pre-fitted. However, I’ve always found this tent a little messy to pitch. In part this is because it has very thin wire pegs to save weight and also due to its design, which needs a lot of pegging points and adjustment to get right. But once erected it is reasonably stable. There is a double zip on the side entry that accesses the tent via the porch, which is full length but only 25cm wide, so a little snugger than some options. Space inside is good and I can sit up quite happily, because although the head height is only 87cm it doesn’t taper too steeply from the centre. There are panels of mesh on the inner to reduce weight and increase airflow, making the Terra Nova Laser Photon 1 a draughtier option compared to tents without mesh. My main niggle is the fiddly pitching; it was tolerable when this tent first appeared but now there are tents that pitch more easily at similar weights. Heavier tents also use more durable materials.
Flysheet fabric Watershed silicone-coated ripstop nylon
Inner fabric ripstop nylon
Groundsheet fabric Watershed silicone-coated nylon
Poles shock-corded alloy
Internal dimensions (LxWxH) 220x87x87cm
Packed size 12x37cm
The weight and living space are great but compared to other similar tents the Terra Nova Laser Photon 1 is fussy to pitch. The price is to be expected for the lightweight materials you are getting.
Review by Graham Thompson
Published in Trail magazine July 2014