Terra Nova Photon tent (2008)

Review
Officially the Guinness World Record holder for the lightest tent commercially available, the Photon is 110g lighter than the previous record holder (the Terra Nova Laser Competition), and it tipped the Trail scales at 766g. It pitches outer-first too, making it ideal for putting up or striking (taking down) in the rain. The pegs weigh 1g each, and these tiny rods of titanium hold the tent down pretty well once you get the knack of how best to use them. A couple of vertical poles at each end provide extra head- and footroom, while a single pole around the outside provides good headroom. Amazingly for the weight you also get a massive porch that easily takes one rucksack and two lightweight sacks when you are not cooking in this area. But the needle-like pegs are easily lost and work best if they are placed at quite a steep angle as otherwise they tend to twist and spring out. The Terra Nova Laser Competition is made with slightly more durable materials, according to the manufacturers, but it is heavier of course! In wild weather other tents are a little more stable too.

Design single hoop
Poles shock-corded alloy poles
Inner ripstop nylon; flysheet  Watershed Lite 3000mm head; groundsheet Waterbloc SL, 5000mm hydrostatic head
Internal dimensions length 205cm, width 93cm, height 95cm
Packed size 13x44cm
Weight 766g
Made in Vietnam
Stores in the UK 65
Stockists – tel. (01773) 837373; www.terra-nova.co.uk
Verdict
An ideal mountain marathon tent or superlight backpacking tent for one person or two friendly campers for a night. It won ‘Best in Test’.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine August 2008