Chris Townsend tests a very lightweight single-hoop tent
The Laser Competition 2 is the lightest tent tested and also the least roomy. I think it’s an excellent solo tent for those who want something a bit bigger than the Competition 1 and okay for two if you’re not that big and are happy to squeeze together.
Terra Nova says it’s for three-season use and for medium duration backpacking trips and mountain marathons, which I think is a way of saying it’s not roomy enough for two for long trips.
It has what is now the classic Laser single hoop design. It pitches as a unit and this can be done quickly, especially as the two short end poles are easier to fit in the 2017 version. There’s a separate waterproof pole cover as on other Laser models. I’ve always found this a big fiddly so I decided to see what would happen if I didn’t use it. After prolonged heavy wind-driven rain there has been no leakage so I do wonder if it’s actually necessary. I wouldn’t leave it at home though!
The inner has reasonable headroom in the centre but tapers to the ends. The width is also reduced at the ends and the walls slope in. For one it feels fine, for two tall people it might seem a little cramped. The length is more than most tents it’s just the angle of the walls that makes the space feel restricted.
There’s only one porch but there are doors on both sides so each person has their own entrance. A few small items can be stored between the flysheet and the door on the side without a porch. The latter is quite roomy but not that deep. Cooking in it would need to be done very carefully.
Ventilation is good with mesh panels at the ends of the inner and flysheet, the latter with covers, plus a half-mesh inner door and flysheet door zips that can be left open at the top.
If keeping weight down is crucial the Laser Competition is a good choice. However there are roomier tents that don’t weigh that much more.
Cons: not that roomy, quite expensive
- Price: £475
- Weight: 1.32kg
- Design: single hoop, pitches as a unit
- Flysheet: silicone ripstop nylon, 5000mm hydrostatic head
- Inner: nylon
- Groundsheet: ripstop nylon, 6000mm hydrostatic head
- Poles: 8.7mm DAC NFL
- Pegs: 10x 16.5cm alloy pin
- Porches: 1
- Inner dimensions: 230cm x 105cm in centre, 90cm at ends. 95cm high at front