Author Topic: Laser Compact 2 or...?  (Read 3580 times)

Laser Compact 2 or...?
« on: 08 September, 2023, 12:37:47 pm »
I'm feeling enthused by the idea of some more camping. Possibly a mix of short bike trips and overnight hikes, nothing really extreme. Now we're in September I suspect prices are lower than in April.

My "current" tent is a Saunders Spacepacker from the 1980s. I've not used it for ages, and it's now old enough that I worry about it falling apart.
I also have a bivvy, but that's less appealing if there's a chance of weather or campsites, so I'm looking for something tenty. I can't look up at the stars while I'm asleep after all.

So I've been eyeing up something new.
Light and packs reasonably small are more important than spending all day in it spacious. Though I'm thinking 2 person, rather than a squeeze. I may find a friend to go with me after all! I prefer flysheet first pitching too, because it will rain sometimes.

I'm wondering about a Terra Nova Laser Compact

At £660 for the current, PFC free, version it's more than I was really hoping to spend. (Last year's version can be had cheaper.) But I may convince myself that I can justify it. Does anyone have other suggestions I should consider, or experience of that tent (good or bad), please?

Kim

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Re: Laser Compact 2 or...?
« Reply #1 on: 08 September, 2023, 12:49:13 pm »
As an Akto owner, I've always been a bit underwhelmed by the Laser, which trades reduced weight for a greatly increased amount of fiddly pegging (and the stock pegs are only fit for prodding sausages on a barbecue).  That said, I don't have the knees for backpacking, which is where weight and pack size become really important.

Either way, my usual advice to people considering Akto-style tents is that your enjoyment of the tent will be greatly determined by whether you're short enough to be able to sit upright in it (remembering to factor in the thickness of your mat).

Re: Laser Compact 2 or...?
« Reply #2 on: 08 September, 2023, 12:49:28 pm »
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Laser Compact 2 or...?
« Reply #3 on: 08 September, 2023, 01:16:33 pm »
Terra Nova seem to have changed their tune, the Laser Competition used to be promoted as the name suggests, rather than something suitable for general use.  I went to look at one in their HQ and came away with a Solar 2.2, which they deemed more suitable, they were right.  Now they seem to be suggesting this lighter version of the Competition is suitable for more than that, I think they had it right first time.  That is, suitable to throw up for a few hours rest when you stop, but I wouldn't want to live in it any longer than that.
So much choice and I haven't bought a lightweight tent since the Solar (18 years ago  :o though it's on it's second fly) I follow Paul Messner on YouTube, whose reviews are entertaining and informative, he's recently been comparing small tents.
   

Karla

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Re: Laser Compact 2 or...?
« Reply #4 on: 08 September, 2023, 02:19:31 pm »
I had a Laser 2 for about 10 years, including six months living in it.  Great tent, as a spacious 1-man.  Don't count on using it for two. 

As Kim says, it will depend how tall you are.  I'm 5'11 and found the Laser 2 on the border of being too short - I've slept in a Laser 1 and found it a bit poky.  If you're shorter than that though, go ahead.

Laser Compact 2 or...?
« Reply #5 on: 08 September, 2023, 02:45:49 pm »
Thanks for this.

I'm 5'10", and I think I'd just about be able to sit in it. The Akto is slightly taller, but at the expense of more weight and less floor space.

I am thinking of it more as a place for the night than a sitting about a campsite sort of tent.

Re: Laser Compact 2 or...?
« Reply #6 on: 08 September, 2023, 03:51:11 pm »
If you're not sure it's the sort of tent that would suit you, there's several similar cheap alternatives such as the Vango Nevis at £90, or the Zephyros from TN sister brand Wild Country. The cost of trying one of those for a few trips would be negligible compared to getting the wrong TN.

Re: Laser Compact 2 or...?
« Reply #7 on: 08 September, 2023, 03:55:30 pm »

...
I follow Paul Messner on YouTube, whose reviews are entertaining and informative, he's recently been comparing small tents.
 

Ah, and he's recently reviewed the All Season version, and is pretty positive about it - though it's more like the Akto in size and weight. Thanks for the pointer.

mmmmartin

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Re: Laser Compact 2 or...?
« Reply #8 on: 09 September, 2023, 10:15:34 pm »
I think I've got one of these upstairs in the attic. Haven't used it for many years. Happy to sell it if you're interested. No idea what they're worth though. Used to use it on mountain marathons, used to do three or four a year. Used to use the Laser Competition but i had two running companions and both refused to use it after one night in it. So i think i have the Laser Large, which used to fit two people in quite comfortably.
Besides, it wouldn't be audacious if success were guaranteed.

Re: Laser Compact 2 or...?
« Reply #9 on: 10 September, 2023, 07:39:13 am »
Thanks Martin, that’s a very kind offer. A quick look around suggests that it’s quite a lot longer in the pack, which isn’t ideal for some of my bags. So I think I’ll pass.

Though that tent is, once up, somewhat similar to the Nordisk Halland 2 LW, which had caught my eye. In the way that slightly more expensive alternatives do.

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: Laser Compact 2 or...?
« Reply #10 on: 11 September, 2023, 06:30:20 pm »
I have the one-person version of this: https://www.trekkertent.com/home/products/18-phreeranger-2.html and am very happy with it. Beware that it is a one-man cottage industry and you really do need to allow more than the five weeks stated production and delivery time.

A friend has this: https://ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/lunar-solo-tent/ which is tiny, very light but seems very good for sleeping in as well as sitting up in. Friend uses it solo but with a dog.
Riding a concrete path through the nebulous and chaotic future.

Re: Laser Compact 2 or...?
« Reply #11 on: 11 September, 2023, 09:31:22 pm »
The Akto is slightly taller, but at the expense of more weight and less floor space.
It's not so much less floor space in total, but more of what there is allocated to the porch rather than the inner.
You can bring all 4 panniers into the porch of an Akto and still have reasonable cooking space, should the weather be grot.

mmmmartin

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Re: Laser Compact 2 or...?
« Reply #12 on: 11 September, 2023, 09:44:39 pm »
I have the one-person version of this: https://www.trekkertent.com/home/products/18-phreeranger-2.html and am very happy with it. Beware that it is a one-man cottage industry and you really do need to allow more than the five weeks stated production and delivery time.
I have somewhere in the loft one of the originals, probably 30 years old now, the flysheet leaked a bit when i lent it to someone, probably needs to have the seams sealed. Not used for donkeys years. Was a brilliant tent. Door only on one side.
If anyone wants to make a paltry offer i can post it. DM me. Otherwise it'll stay in the loft and when the family come home from my funeral, they'll throw it away
Besides, it wouldn't be audacious if success were guaranteed.

mmmmartin

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Re: Laser Compact 2 or...?
« Reply #13 on: 11 September, 2023, 09:47:59 pm »
A friend has this: https://ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/lunar-solo-tent/ which is tiny, very light but seems very good for sleeping in as well as sitting up in. Friend uses it solo but with a dog.
I also have one of these, bought it to walk across spain in covid when places to stay were all shut, used it only once -weighs 700 grams but i bought it from lan shan or similar (it was recommended by someone who used it for the same thing) for £120 i think. Useful but you wouldn't want to be in terrible weather in it.

EDIT i suppose I'd sell this as well. As you might have guessed, i have VERY MANY tents. Am thinking of getting a campervan so won't need them. Some are hardly used. No, I'm not selling the Hilleberg. ......
Besides, it wouldn't be audacious if success were guaranteed.

Re: Laser Compact 2 or...?
« Reply #14 on: 12 September, 2023, 08:51:55 am »
The comments, and YouTube rabbit hole, above have been really helpful. Thank you.

This morning I’m talking myself into the Laser AS, which is a generous 1 person, more in the mould of the Akto, but cheaper.

Yesterday I was in the same place with the two pole Starlite 2. That’s shorter but the tallest spot is more in the middle of the door / above my head when sleeping, and it’s lighter and shorter packed.

I think the choice comes down to size/weight vs designed for rougher weather.

jiberjaber

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Re: Laser Compact 2 or...?
« Reply #15 on: 12 September, 2023, 02:14:50 pm »
I have the TN laser pulse 1 and used if for just over 3 weeks cycling around France plus other camping aventures.  It was adequate when I was fit and flexible post PBP 2019, but I found it a bit harder last year for the 2 weeks I used it bike packing, slightly less felxable and a bit heavier that I was then, so felt smaller than I remember and getting out of it in a morning was harder than I remembered lol.

That said, it is about 450g all up so lighter than most bivvys.  Drawback with a single person tent is ventilation and subsequent condensation in the morning, which post 1st September will be very very common.  You might be better sticking with a 2 person tent to reduce condensation.
Regards,

Joergen

jiberjaber

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Re: Laser Compact 2 or...?
« Reply #16 on: 12 September, 2023, 03:28:12 pm »
The comments, and YouTube rabbit hole, above have been really helpful. Thank you.

This morning I’m talking myself into the Laser AS, which is a generous 1 person, more in the mould of the Akto, but cheaper.

Yesterday I was in the same place with the two pole Starlite 2. That’s shorter but the tallest spot is more in the middle of the door / above my head when sleeping, and it’s lighter and shorter packed.

I think the choice comes down to size/weight vs designed for rougher weather.

That Laser AS looks great, I like the foot end vent in the inner!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPYxYJcFT2Q
Regards,

Joergen

Re: Laser Compact 2 or...?
« Reply #17 on: 12 September, 2023, 03:35:57 pm »
I have a hankering after a z pack duplex. But I cannot justify spending that kind of money on a translucent plastic bag which I will use 3 times a year - and I have many other tents that do a perfectly good job.

Re: Laser Compact 2 or...?
« Reply #18 on: 14 September, 2023, 10:17:31 pm »
I’ve got a Laser Competition and a Quasar (actually two Quasars, but the first goes back to about 1987 and is genuinely worn out and leaks from top and bottom due to African termites).

The Laser competition is ‘bijou’ for two and lower than I would want to live in. It’s fine for sleeping on a mountain marathon or a day or two through walk. I lived in the first quasar for over 6 months when I was much younger and in the aforementioned continent of Africa.

Mike

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Re: Laser Compact 2 or...?
« Reply #19 on: 05 April, 2024, 03:47:54 pm »
The comments, and YouTube rabbit hole, above have been really helpful. Thank you.

This morning I’m talking myself into the Laser AS, which is a generous 1 person, more in the mould of the Akto, but cheaper.

Yesterday I was in the same place with the two pole Starlite 2. That’s shorter but the tallest spot is more in the middle of the door / above my head when sleeping, and it’s lighter and shorter packed.

I think the choice comes down to size/weight vs designed for rougher weather.

What did you go for in the end?  I would like to upgrade my one person Wild Country Aspect 1 (which they don't make anymore), which though I am attached to I am getting fed up with the lack of space (that's probably age!).  There seems to be both a bewildering number of tents available, and yet also a few basic types that all manufacturers have their versions of.

I keep coming back to the Wechsel Bella https://www.wechsel-tents.de/en/tents/zerog-bella-231055-1/, but then get tempted by a tunnel with generous porch space.  Like the Halland https://nordisk.co.uk/halland-2-lw/forest-green/p/74/692, which as you say is getting a bit more pricey.  And then the Southern Cross is on sale at the moment...https://www.terra-nova.co.uk/products/southern-cross-2-tent/
Think it possible that you may be mistaken.

Re: Laser Compact 2 or...?
« Reply #20 on: 06 April, 2024, 07:53:36 am »
I got the Laser AS. Though it's not been further than the back garden yet. (Soon though!)

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Re: Laser Compact 2 or...?
« Reply #21 on: 21 April, 2024, 09:15:10 pm »
I had my first night out last night, and the tent worked fine.
It was cold (3 or 4C) with a breeze. I was cold, but that was pushing the limit on my sleeping bag. I could have got the fly closer to the ground, but forgot that strap until the morning - so it was a bit cold and airy, but  with no condensation or noisy flapping!
I can sit on my sleeping mat in the middle, by tilting my head a bit. But drinking tea and getting dressed were both possible. There’s plenty of length and room to the side and in the entrance for my stuff. (I’m 180cm tall.)
The pegs supplied were all Y-shaped and don’t feel floppy.
So, quite happy!