|Terra Nova Laser Ultra 1 – 495g
I nipped over to the Outdoor Leisure Show at Birmingham’s NEC on Friday – thanks to Alpkit sending me a complementary ticket (they were dishing a few out for outdoors bloggers). The idea was to take a look at their range of new mountain tents.
Before I show you the video from that visit it’s worth noting I graced Terra Nova
with my presence to cast my cynical eyes over their Guinness World Record breaking tent – the Laser Ultra 1 (495g’s).
At an eye-watering price of £650 one cannot help but wonder who on earth would pay such a sum for a general backpacking/mountain marathon shelter. Nevertheless, after some interrogation even Columbo
would be proud of, I walked away enlightened, impressed and wanting to purchase a Laser Ultra 1 at the earliest opportunity!
The cuben fibre fabric
(though they’re not keen to mention that for some reason – absent from my tired memory banks) feels like laminated tissue paper. A bit like that cheapo bog roll you’d often come across in public toilets some years ago – well, that’s the best description I can come up with!
Is it as see-through as it appears in photos? Yes and no. It’s like trying to look at your own reflection in a mirror after you’ve blown your hot breath and steamed the glass. So, not that revealing – but it does let a fair bit of light in, which could prove a problem for sleep during the summer months.
Could you fit the tent in your trouser pocket? Well, if you take out the poles and pegs – yes, you could (a large combo pant pocket)!
Can you cook in it? The dimensions of the tent match the Laser Photon – so, in theory, yes. I’d be mindful about it, naturally. The porch swallowed my 22litre rucksack with ease and left room to spare.
What isn’t obvious in pictures is even the groundsheet is made up of Terra Nova’s ‘Ultra’ fabric. It really is quite a special shelter of which I’ve now no doubt will prove to be a hit.
For me, the key selling points are the weight, pack size and durability/strength of the fabric. It really is that tough (including areas where panels are stitched together) and in some respects could prove to be a sound investment – more than purchasing a Laser Photon tent, for example.
All said and done £650 is still quite a chunk of anyones hard earned cash – so for now, it’s a shelter I can only dream of possessing. I’ve no doubt it’ll receive favourable reviews from various lucky gear testers out there – but as always, I can see how some will have quibbles with the tent of which one I’ve raised above. But isn’t that always the case? Swings and roundabouts?
So, over to Paul Griffiths of Terra Nova to give you a quick run down on this remarkable shelter: