Terra Nova’s Laser series of single hoop tents have been a big success. The similar Wild Country Zephyros tents from the same company are budget versions of the same designs that weigh considerably more. This latest model however is lighter than the standard Zephyros 1, only weighing around 300 grams more than the Laser Competition 1, which costs £300. Not only that, but it has a simpler design than the Lasers that I actually prefer. Instead of a separate sleeve over the pole (to protect the non-taped seams), a feature I’ve always found fiddly, it just has a pole sleeve, which makes pitching the tent easier. It pitches as a unit and can be erected quickly. The supplied pegs are okay, other than the two very thin pins which I’d definitely replace.
In other respects the Zephyros 1 Lite is much like the Laser 1. There is room to sit up inside and store gear and cook undercover – though care is needed with the latter (a low profile stove is best). Short poles at each end lift the flysheet a little for better headroom when lying down and also aid stability. The inner tent has a half mesh door and mesh panels at each end for ventilation. There’s no vent on the flysheet though so if the door zip has to be fully closed moist air can’t escape. Separation between the inner and outer is good though so avoiding condensation on the flysheet isn’t difficult.
Stability is okay, the tent moves with the wind rather than collapsing. More guylines could be added if necessary. The cost makes the Zephyros 1 Lite a great buy. Nothing else comes close to it for value for money.
First published: May 2013