Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please find below answers to our most frequently asked questions. If you don’t find the answer you were looking for, then we recommend reading our Tent Owners Manual. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, then please feel free to contact us. Note that product specific questions may be answered in the ‘FAQ’ tab for that product on our website catalogue.

Storage / Cleaning / Maintenance

Q: What is the best way to store my tent between trips?

A: Always make sure your tent is dry before packing away to avoid damage from mildew and damp. If you do not intend to use your tent for some time, the best thing to do is remove it from its bag, separate each component and store them in a dry place away from heat and direct sunlight. Ideally loosely folding the flysheet and inners. It is a good idea to re-lubricate zips and poles as necessary with Terra Nova Zip Lube.
If your tent has been damaged during your trip we strongly suggest you return it to us for repair before storing it. This will mean your tent is ready to use the next time you go away and prevents the rush to repair it.

Q: How do I clean my tent or bivi bag?

A: We recommend using a tent cleaner e.g. Storm tent cleaner or pure soap to clean your tent or bivi bag. Wash the item in a bath or tub of warm water. Always rinse the tent/bivi and dry thoroughly in the shade. DO NOT use detergents to clean your tent/bivi as they may harm the proofing and NEVER machine wash or tumble dry your tent/bivi.
AVOID contact with fuel, oil and chemicals as the stains from these may be impossible to remove and will probably attack the fabric and damage the proofing
AVOID pitching under trees as sap may fall onto the flysheet and it is almost impossible to remove.

Q: How can I tell if my tent needs re-proofing?

A: Over time the coating on the outside of the fly-sheet will wear-off and the fabric will lose its shine and stop ‘beading’ water (water will no longer form droplets on the fabric and run off easily). The easiest way to rejuvenate the fabric is to apply a spray-on reproofer such as a reproofing product by Storm designed for use with lightweight nylon fabrics.

Q: There is mildew on my tent/bivi – what should I do?

A: Mildew (identified by black marks and mouldy smell) occurs when a tent/bivi is put away for storage when it is still damp. Mildew can cause permanent damage to the fabric and proofing, as the microbes actually destroy the fibres in the fabric. Sponge the affected areas with a mild solution of disinfectant, then sponge with a general tent cleaner or soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly. (DO NOT USE DETERGENTS). Please note that this will not remove the black marks. In severe cases of mildew the only real solution is to replace the affected part of the tent/bivi with new fabric. To avoid mildew make sure your tent is thoroughly dry before storing, paying particular attention to webbing straps and zips as these take longer to dry.


Damage / Repairs

Q: My tent is damaged – what do I do?

A: Return the damaged parts to us for repair (please mark the damaged area clearly) and we will inspect the damage and contact you with a quote for repair (we won’t start any work without your go-ahead). If the damage is covered by our warranty, we will repair and return the product to you free of charge.

Q: How much will it cost to have my tent repaired?

A: If you return the damaged part of the tent, we will give you an exact quote for repair. A full list of prices can be seen in our Customer Services section.

Q: How long should I allow for my tent to be repaired?

A: We generally quote 3 working weeks for repairs. However at busy times of the year (April to August) it can take longer. If you have a trip planned, we strongly recommend calling our customer services department on +44 (0) 1773 837387 before sending your tent to us, to check the estimated repair time. Even better, get any repairs done over the winter when we are less busy and your tent is less in demand!

Q: How do I return my tent for repair, inspection?

A: Download a Customer Return Form from our website and send it, along with the item to be repaired, to: Customer Services Dept. Terra Nova Equipment, Hubaco House, Railway View, Clay Cross, Chesterfield, S45 9FR. Please include a daytime telephone number. You do not necessarily need to send the whole tent back to us just the affected inner /flysheet / poles. We recommend using a traceable service such as Royal Mail recorded post, or a carrier like Parcelforce, UPS or DHL.


Guarantee Questions

Q: How do I know if a retailer is one of your ‘official retailers’?

A: Our guarantee is only valid on products bought from our authorised resellers or from Our Retail Partners list is regularly maintained, but may still contain errors. If you are in any doubt about the validity of the retailer you are thinking of buying from please contact us before hand.

Q: I have a tent I believe is faulty, do I have to pay for it to be returned?

A: Our guarantee is a ‘back to base’ guarantee, which means you are responsible for the cost of returning it to us. Our advice is to return the tent to the retailer you purchaced it from, as they are experienced in dealing with these issues and can offer excellent advice on the course of action to expect. If you bought your tent from our website, please read our Returns Policy for information and returns forms.

Q: Your guarantee states cover is ‘for the life time of the product’. Explain.

A: The life of a product depends greatly on how your product is used and cared for. For example, a tent used at altitude for an expedition is likely to be passed its useful life by the end of that trip, whereas irregular use and good maintenance (useful information can be found in our cleaning and maintenance section of the FAQ’s) can see a tent last for many years. A large factor in determining tent life can be UV light exposure, especially when used at high altitude. To reduce the effect of UV light keep your tent cleaned and proofed with our Terra Nova Tent Cleaner and seperate Re-proofer, and try to minimise exposure to sunlight by striking your camp, where possible, during the day.

Q: What is covered by the product guarantee?

A. The guarantee covers defects in materials and workmanship and extends to the first owner of the product. The guarantee excludes damage caused by wear and tear, including weathering, UV light degredation, storm damage, misuse, neglect or accident.

Q: Do you guarantee all your products for the same amount of time?

A: No, Terra Nova tents and bivi bags are guaranteed for the life of the product to the original owner. Wild Country tents and bivi bags are guaranteed to the original owner for 2 years. All other products are guaranteed for 1 year to the original owner.

Please note: Proof of purchase will be required for claims under guarantee, and all guarantees are ‘back to base’ so you are responsible for the cost of any return.


Product Specific Questions

Q: Laser Competition Tent or Jupiter Bivi, which should I choose?

I am undecided between the Laser Competition tent and the Jupiter Bivi, I’m looking for a lighter and more compact solution for adventure racing, cycling and backpacking. One of my most important criteria is packed size and you don’t seem to specify that for the Jupiter Bivi.
Is there any way to reduce the length of the Laser Competition packed size, as 46cm is a bit longer than I would prefer? Is it limited by pole length, and if so, if the poles are removed can the tent be packed to a shorter/fatter shape?

A: The packed size of the Jupiter is Length 36cm, Width 11cm, Depth 10cm, which can be reduced with some compression. The Laser Competition packed size can be reduced by removing the carbon fibre support poles from the head and foot. The pole section length is about 40cm, which would then be the limiting factor. It should be quite easy to find a place for the carbon fibre poles on the outside of a rucksack / pannier. Depending on your bike size you could tape the poles to your top tube as an alternative. It is a little fiddly getting the poles in and out, but with proactive we have found it becomes quick and easy.

Q: Can I pitch fly and inner together on my Trisar tent?

A: The Trisar can only be pitched inner tent first, however the inner fabric is proofed to greatly reduce water absorption if pitched in the rain. A tip we suggest is to knock any water off the inner, from inside the tent, once it is pitched to reduces the chance of leaking. As the pole sleeves are continuous it is possible to pitch any ‘inner first’ tent with the fly laid over the inner. Obviously this is difficult in windy conditions.
By sleeving the poles through the inner we can create more tension in the inner, which reduces the amount of saggy fabric to create more space. Also, with a tent sleeved through the fly, the inner can not add any strength to the over all structure. We use the ‘inner tent first’ pitching design on a large number of our tents (both Wild Country and Terra Nova). The outward force created by the poles in the inner opposes the tension from the fly sheet when this is fitted over the tent. This combination creates a more rigid structure, better suited to poor weather.

Q: What is the difference 450, 550, 650, 750, & 800 down fills?

A: Fill power is a measure of the loft achieved by a fixed weight of down and there are several methods of determining this. The Lorch method is the current standard for testing loft in Europe and is the recommended standard of the International Down and Feather Laboratory, and is used by Terra Nova for this reason.
The greater the fill power, the greater the warmth for a given weight of down. The higher the figure the better the loft and so greater the warmth of the same weight of down. This means that a bag using 775 fill power down will be lighter and more compact than a 450 fill power bag with the same temperature rating.

Q: What are valances and how do I fit them to my tent?

A: Valances are ‘skirts’ sewn to the bottom of the fly-sheet. They allow a tent to be pitched where pegs can’t be used (glaciers, moraine, deserts etc.). Rocks, snow or sand are piled on the valance to hold the fly in place. We only recommend valances if extended use in these conditions is anticipated, as they will add significant weight and result in increased condensation. Valances can be factory-fitted to any of the tents in our ranges. Cost varies from tent to tent and may take several weeks to be completed as we must fit them to our factory production standards.

Q: What’s the metal tube that came with my tent?

A: It’s a pole repair-sleeve. If you snap one of your tent-poles, push the damaged ends into the tube and tape it in place (duct tape works well). You should be able to keep using the tent until you get a chance to return the pole to us for repair / replacement. The ‘keyhole’ in the centre of the tube can be used to remove the pole-ends if you need to replace the elastic shock-cord or push a peg through the 2 holes at the end of the tube to form a ‘T’ handle; you can now use the ‘hook’ at the other end to remove your pegs.

Q: What’s the difference between a Groundsheet Protector and a Footprint?

A: Groundsheet protectors protect the groundsheet of the inner tent area only. If the tent includes a porch area, then this will not be covered by a groundsheet protector. A footprint however, covers the whole ‘footprint’ / area of the tent, including porch area(s).

Q: Which Seam Sealer do you recommend for Terra Nova Tents?

A: We recommend using this Seam Sealer / Glue for sealing seams on Terra Nova Tents.

Online Shopping / Website

Q: Can I buy your items from outside UK?

A: Yes. If you wish to purchase items from our online store directly, simply shop as normal and look for your country when entering the shipping address. If your country is not listed, please contact us and we’ll do our best to help.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to buy from a store, many retailers now stock Terra Nova, Wild Country and Extremities brand products all over the world. You can find your nearest retailer here.

Q: How much do you charge for delivery?

A: Delivery charges are calculated automatically by our website during checkout. Simple add the items you wish to purchase to your basket, select your delivery postcode/country, and the website will provide a delivery cost based upon the items ordered and delivery country. We aim to keep our delivery charges to a minimum by simply covering our costs for shipping the items to you.

Do you have a shop I can visit to see the products before I buy them?

A: Terra Nova Equipment Ltd are primarily a manufacturer. As such, we do not operate our own retail stores. If you wish to see our products, we have a vast array of retail partners spread across the country (and the world). To find your nearest stockist, you can use our ‘find a retailer‘ tool.

Alternatively, Tent Shows are often a good place to find out products on display. We keep a calendar of summer tent shows on our website to help you find a show near you. View the Tent Show Calendar.