Saturday, August 4

Terra Nova Laser Photon

Previous article aside for the present, Trail Magazine did prod me with brief review of the new Terra Nova Laser Photon. TGO had earlier picked up on this reporting online after at the recent Freidrichshafen Show in mid July, but I'd just not taken it in at the time.

It weighs in at 766g with a RRP of £300, the same price area of the Hillberg Akto. And that price is likely to stick for some time as TN's site infomred me "Available exclusively from Field & Trek, Up & Running and Terra Nova".

However even TN seem a little unclear about their target market for this offering. But the weight for a two skin tent is remarkable. The main question now surely being how the weight saving has been achieved and at what cost the usefulness and durability of the product.

Leaving the inner tent at home brings pack weight down to approx 500g. We're getting into the realms of bivvi bags/tarp territory here, price apart.


What does it mean when it is 5AM in the morning you take of for your hike and your still making comments on blogs? :-)
Anyhow, two things contribute to the weight savings in the photon. New lightweigt pegs and a lighter material for the fly- and groundsheet. Hydrostatic head for the flysheet is 2000mm and for the groundsheet 4000mm. I wouldn't use it which such numbers in anything but light rain. Also TN refers to it as an emergency shelter of something for adventure racers. Check my post about the tents of the OutDoor show over at my blog.
I noticed the Photon on the TN site and what struck me was the pegs: 1g each. That's not a typo, I said 1g.

Now on some of our pitches with e.g. heather, soft peat and sphagnum moss, these 1g pegs are supposed to hold it in a gusty wind... don't think so mate!.

Put a decent set of pegs with it and it's not far off the weight of a Lasercomp.
I've just checked the Alpkit titanium pegs I use, and they are listed at 13g per peg. They hold in to the ground like limpets. So something 12g lighter is to do the same job. Sounds like fun - I'll wait to see the reports before trading pegs.
Im also wary of the toooo light phenomen at times. Titanium pegs have a certain reputation on stickability, and TN's previous attempts in this area where reknown for peg and peg cap parting company which at these sort of prices isn't acceptable
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