The Terra Nova Laser Photon 1 is the latest version of a classic lightweight one-person tent design that first appeared as the Laserlite. The single-pole design cuts everything down to the very minimum, but the use of the lightest fabrics and components means that the tent still manages to be fully featured. It pitches as one and goes up quickly. At each end a carbon rod is inserted vertically, and there is guy line adjustment for added stability and internal height. The inner and outer have multiple peg points for a secure pitch, and there’s an optional pole sleeve that fits on the outside of the pole to provide extra tension as well as additional guying points. This new model also has extra guy points fitted at both ends. Internal space is good and there are mesh vents at both ends, the usefulness of which can be increased by adjusting the flysheet externally to allow better air movement. The large half-mesh inner door opens onto a good-sized porch and the outer door has a two-way zip for venting and allowing steam to escape when cooking.
But the Terra Nova Laser Photon 1 can start to feel small inside after a while. The 1g titanium pegs supplied are usable in good ground, but are best replaced with something more reliable and easier to use (which will increase packweight). Like many light tents, the effect of the wind can seem more noticeable when inside.
Design single pole
Poles shock-corded alloy
Inner DWR-coated nylon
Flysheet silnylon, 2000mm hydrostatic head
Groundsheet silnylon, 3000mm hydrostatic head
Internal dimensions length 220cm; width 87cm; height 87cm
Packed size 35x13cm
Made in Far East
Stores in the UK 50
The Terra Nova Laser Photon 1 is the lightest one-person tent in our test. It feels small after a couple of nights, but excels as a fast ’n’ light shelter, and thus is deserving of Trail’s ‘Best in Test’ accolade,
Review by Peter Macfarlane
First published in Trail magazine April 2011