On test – Terra Nova Solar Competition 1 tent, Keen Targhee II shoes

I got a wet foot from taking this pic over the weekend!

Quite a contrast in gear, eh? Shoes and shelter. Both to be given thought when out hiking and camping, for sure.

So, first of all the Keen Targhee II shoes – these babies arrived in the post when I was out in the Peaks last week but the wife brought them along when she met me for me to re-supply.

Initial impressions? Light, comfortable with exceptional torsion. The latter somewhat of a mystery to me – they feel tough tough as old boots – so on the easy going you can feel like you’re stomping about like Robocop. Not ideal by any means considering their ‘shoes for the trail’.

But on rough tracks and bog that I danced upon the torsion came into it’s own. So, jury’s out on this aspect as I do like to feel ‘a little’ as to where I’m placing my feet.

Decent toe protection and great grip – so far….

The grip is deep and firm, too. Brilliant, in fact and one of the best I’ve come across which surprised me. They needed no wearing in to get rid of that ‘greasy’ effect you sometimes get on new trail shoes.

The laces tie up OK but not as tight as I’d prefer – and the Keen.Dry membrane appears up to the job, though my feet felt somewhat hot on occasion.

In all, I like them and we’ll see how we get on over the next couple of months – I’ve got plenty of hiking to do.

One man, 4 season shelter weighing little over a kilo

And then there is the Terra Solar Competition 1 tent….

Weighs bugger all for a solo shelter – it uses the same materials as their Laser Competition, for example – and you soon notice it.

Once you ditch the poles and pegs (these being the Titanium toothpicks) the tent packs down bloody small. About the size of two MSR Titan kettles
as the pic below shows.

The poles folded up are a little bulky, mind and won’t be slot in my hydration bladder pocket in my rucksack easily.

Maybe not a tent for meths stove users?

Space wise, it’s roomy for a solo shelter but the porch is tiny. You won’t be able to do much in there – there’s barely enough room to cook if you’re sitting out rough weather – and there’s no ability as far as I can tell to fold back the inner groundsheet to accommodate this shortcoming. More so, given I use a meths stove (Trail Designs Caldera cone).

Furthermore, the tent fly sits quite high off the ground – not ideal for spindrift or side wind driven rain. But there is a generous bathtub height to the groundsheet and most of the inner tent is nylon.

Poles and pegs gone – it packs down bloody small

The tent is easy to pitch (inner first) and is very stable and strong if you give it a good kicking as I’ve done in the back garden.

Looking in detail I can’t foresee any wear and tear issues if used regularly in stormy weather – but again, we’ll see over the coming months about that aspect.

All in all an impressive shelter on first pitching/inspection but with perhaps too small a porch….

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. look forward to see how the tent goes I nearly bought one when the announced it but thought to hang fire as I had not had my superlite for very long

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  2. terrybnd says:

    I mostly like it so far. All tents have their quirks and this will be no exception. We'll see in the coming months…

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  3. goofa6641 says:

    seems a canny little tent let's see if they have placed the guy wires better and it doesn't lash u in the face when windy lol

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  4. terrybnd says:

    @goofa – The tent is very stable in it's own right. There are some extra guying out points around the tent. More details on a new 'terrybndBLOGCAM' soon 😉

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  5. GeoffC says:

    The updated 2011 model is still a 'left-handed' tent, which is the real killer for me – the door and porch should be on the other side to conform with other solo tents. Anyway my LaserComp is still going strong!.
    It's also 5cm lower than the LC.
    I'm surprised by the relatively high-cut fly, but I suppose it saves a little bit of weight.

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  6. terrybnd says:

    @GeoffC – 5cm lower? Could've fooled me LOL To sit up in it's much roomier than a LC. Whichever side the door is irrelevant to me in all honesty.

    I was surprised too by the high cut fly – though it's only on the porch side, really. And ironically this is where the bathtub groundsheet is at it's highest (???)

    The tent I was initially indifferent to, if I'm honest. But you can't beat field testing. And so after a few trips – the tent's really grown on me now.

    I've got quibbles, don't get me wrong, but it's beginning to really gain my affection.

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