The 1880g Terra Nova Laser Large 1 is the big brother of the Terra Nova Laser Competition, the former Guinness record holder for the lightest two-person tent in the world (the record is now held by the Terra Nova Photon). This pedigree has bred a superlight but large two-person tent that does all it can to shave the grams from the packed weight without compromising space.
The Laser Large 1 comes packed into a spacious stuff sack. The two poles are the same size and slide easily through sleeves on the outside of the flysheet. So the inner can be removed separately if required. The pole ends are located in eyelets and then a canopy is fitted over these sleeves and tensions with cord locks. Then the tiny 2g pegs are used to peg the tent out. The guylines are required to stabilise this tent, but on other tents they were not so important. There is an unusual short vertical pole at the rear, which creates extra space for venting the tail, as well as a pair of vents above the front door. The outdoor door opens from one size and the inner door has a midge net but not a zipaway panel to cover it. Although not quite as easy to pitch as others, once erected the Laser Large is a spacious tent.
On the hill
During pitching I regularly spent time searching the grass for one of the tiny 2gram pegs as they easily spring out and can get lost. But if we add in the weight of conventional pegs the complete tent weight increases by around 200g to 2080g, which is still the lightest here and allows far easier pitching on a wider variety of terrain. So I would change the pegs and only use those supplied for special occasions. The outer doors lack all the opening options of other Terra Nova tents but there are two doors and each can be vented from the top if needed. The porch is massive with more than enough space for a couple of packs and room for cooking. The inner door opens the side to expose a very large and bright inner. The headroom and width are the same throughout the tent, unlike most tents that taper towards the rear, and so while the stats indicate a similar size to others there is actually far more space than expected in this tent. The ventilation is very good as there is a large mesh panel above the porch and a large tail vent. In the wind this tent did not appear quite as stable as some of the others, so it may be better suited to slightly calmer conditions.
Poles shock-corded alloy
Inner ripstop nylon
Outer ripstop nylon, 4000mm hydrostatic head
Groundsheet nylon, 6000mm hydrostatic head
Internal dimensions length 210cm; width 135cm; height 90cm
Packed size 56x17cm
Packed weight 1880g
Made in China/Vietnam
Stores in UK 20
Stockist details – tel. (01773) 837373; www.terra-nova.co.uk
Verdict: The Terra Nova Laser Large 1 two-person two-pole tunnel tent has a good weight; outer pitches first; inner does not taper in size; huge porch; good ventilation. But though its supplied pegs reduce overall weight conventional pegs are easier to use; not as easy to pitch as some; not quite the most stable. Overall, it offers a superb space-to-weight ratio even using conventional pegs but its design appears less stable than others so it is best for calmer conditions.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine July 2009