Tough and quick to pitch, the Terra Nova Laser Compact 1 came recommended in Chris Townsend’s review of the best solo tents for 2022.
Terra Nova’s Laser series of one-person tents are well-established. I’ve reviewed several over the years and have always had a love-hate relationship with them due to one design feature, the separate sleeve protecting the flysheet door zip, which I always found fiddly. Thankfully Terra Nova has finally dispensed with this and replaced it with a factory-sealed main seam. Recent ultralight Terra Nova tents have also come with fairly useless thin needle pegs. With the Terra Nova Laser Compact 1, those have been replaced with decent Y pegs.
- Price: £620 (buy from Terra Nova, international shipping charges apply)
- Weight: 1065g
- Pros: lightweight, roomy porch
- Cons: stretch pegging points, low ends
Flysheet: 20D nylon ripstop silicone, 3000mm HH | Inner: 20D nylon ripstop | Groundsheet: 30D nylon ripstop PU, 7000mm HH | Poles: 8.7mm DAC NFL | Pegs: 10 x 15cm Y | Porches: x 1 , 50cm deep | Inner Dimensions: 220cm x 93/62 cm, 95 cm high point
The Terra Nova Laser Compact 1 is a single hoop tent with short upright poles at each end for stability and height. It’s made from tough materials, the groundsheet having a high hydrostatic head. No need for a footprint here. The Compact in the name refers to the pack size, the pole folding down to just 30cm long.
The Laser Compact pitches quickly as a unit. The pegging points at the corners of the inner and flysheet are shockcord. Because of the stretch the tent does move a bit more in the wind than ones with non-stretch pegging points. The stretch does takes some strain off the fabric and I haven’t felt there was any danger of the tent collapsing, but I’d rather it didn’t move so much in strong winds.
There are covered vents at each end of the flysheet and the top of the door zip can be left open for ventilation too. Mesh panels on the inner also allow some airflow. Overall, this is a tent designed to keep out the weather, which it does well.
The porch is roomy and fine for cooking and storage – I measure it as 60cms deep rather than Terra Nova’s 50cm. The inner tent has good headroom, but the ends are low at just 40cm high. For that reason, I think the Laser Compact 1 is best suited to people who aren’t tall.
To read the other tent reviews in this test head to The Great Outdoors‘ best one-person backpacking tents.
Tested by Chris Townsend
Chris tested these tents in the Scottish Highlands, mostly the Cairngorms, over autumn 2021 and winter 2022. Sites were both high and low level and at times the tents were subjected to more severe weather than they are designed for. Note: weights are for the tent complete with stuffsacks.
This review first appeared in the May 2022 issue of The Great Outdoors.