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Laser Compact All Season Tent | An Interview with the Expert

Posted on September 30th, 2020

Interview with Dave Housley the Product Developer behind the New Laser Compact All Season Tent from Terra Nova

Terra Nova and Wild Country Product Development Manager Dave Housley sat down with us to talk about the Laser Compact All Season Tents, new to the Terra Nova 2020 range.

 

Dave joined our team in 2018 and has over 30 years’ experience in the outdoor trade. When asked what he enjoyed most about being a product development manager is, he replied “It’s being able to make improvements to existing products and also be able to introduce new products to the market. I love the outdoors, creating products so people can get out and enjoy the outdoors for themselves is very rewarding.

 

Inspiration

My key inspiration for designing the Laser Compact All Season came from looking at what our customers have used the Laser tent for over the years. Whilst the Laser concept which was designed originally to be the first sub kilo tent for fast and light backpacking and mountain marathons, we know that it has been used for many other adventures that fall well outside of its original design brief. Whilst it has performed brilliantly it seemed logical to offer a more tailored version for year-round use.

Our iconic Quasar is the go-to four-season tent for mountaineers and expeditions so was the logical choice as a donor for the fabrics and some key components to make the Laser more suitable for year-round use. From the success of our Southern Cross models we have seen an increasing demand in the market for a quality all year round backpacking tent and with the Laser Compact All Season models we can now offer a lighter weight option for all year round use.

 

“We have seen an increasing demand in the market for a quality all year round backpacking tent and with the Laser Compact All Season Tent models we can now offer a lighter weight option for all year round use.”

 

Who would benefit from the Laser Compact All Season?

The Laser Compact All Season is aimed at the all-season backpacker who is looking to keep the weight down but wants a tent that they can rely on. If you are going off into the hills in the winter or if you are someone who wants the belt and braces benefit of all-year-round performance then this tent would give you the reassurance you need.

We have engineered the tents to be as light and strong as possible whilst including key features for all year round use. As an example the Laser Compact All Season 2 has two doors that allow options for gear storage and also exit and entry depending on the prevailing wind and weather conditions. Having that extra door really does help even if you are solo backpacking and at only 1.7kg and with its compact pack size it is still easy to pack into your rucksack.

Features and Benefits

We have used the same tried and tested fabrics that we use for the groundsheet, inner tent and flysheet of the Quasar and Southern Cross models to add strength and durability. We also use the same lightweight but reliable DAC NFL main pole for the Laser Compact All Season that we use on the other Laser models and it can be double poled in extreme conditions with an optional second main pole.

For extra stability in windy conditions, we have added extra guy lines at either end of the Laser Compact All Season so it can be pegged out securely.

The condensation build-up is always a challenge so in addition to the end vents we have added a vent hood over the flysheet door zip to help keep this to a minimum. On the Laser Compact All Season 1 you have one vent hood and on the Laser Compact All Season 2 you have a vent hood above each door. The flysheet doors also have a two-way zip so in addition to being able to regulate the ventilation you can look outside before venturing out. We have also added magnetic closures on the flysheet zip flaps and this allows the zip flap to snap shut as you close the zip and is really convenient in cold and windy conditions.

For zips, we use the industry standard and very reliable YKK models. For the inner tent door, we use the same lightweight zip we use on the Laser to help keep the weight down but for the flysheet, we use the slightly heavier duty zip from the Quasar for maximum strength. It’s all those little design details that have been thought about to make it a true all-round lightweight four season tent.

“It’s all those little design details that have been thought about to make it a true all-round 4 season tent.”

 

Product Testing

Using our years of experience combined with end-user feedback we can determine the best combination of design and materials to maximize performance. We select fabrics and poles from the best manufacturers from around the world and work with specialized factories to produce our tents. If we can’t find what we need ‘off the peg’ we work with our suppliers to develop specific areas to our specification. This is how the Watershed flysheet fabric for the Quasar and now the Laser Compact All Season came about.

We not only have our own in house testing facilities for fabrics, poles and other components but our offshore factories also carry out tests on our behalf before production. These checks ensure that every part of the tent performs as it should. We are also fortunate to have a manufacturing facility ‘in house’ that makes our UK produced expedition series tents so should we need to try out new ideas or modifications we can do that here. As you can see a lot is going on behind the scenes to make sure that each tent model is as good as it can be.

The Laser Compact All Season Tents are available to purchase now from our website and selected outdoor retailers.

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