Terra Nova Laser Photon Elite

The World’s Lightest Tent they say. 824g it weighs in at. That’s the tent and all it’s associated fittings, all the packaging, the fabric patches, the pole repair sleeve, the labels, instructions the rubber bands… Aye it’s light.
Just arrived for test, Terra Nova’s new Laser Photon Elite.

The fabrics are all silky smooth and see-through, the pole is a skinny DAC Scandium alloy special, the pegs are the 1g Titanium toothpicks (I’ll try them, the 2g ones were fine for a year after all…), but the shape and the layout still have the familiar Laser family DNA.

The dimensions are tighter, I know this from sitting in it at KORS. But there’s still room aplenty for me and my kit, and two skinny fell racers suffering from Sleep Monsters won’t mind being in a close proximity spoons position all night if they’re saving this much weight.
As whittled down as it is, it’s still totally practical, missing none of the features that make the Lasercomp my first choice for most trips, easy entry and exit, great porch space. It has the same guy layout and carbon tail-end rods, a system which works well and resists an amazing amount of weather if you pitch it right. The pole cover comes in a little bag, and it’ll be going on there when I first use it. Probably in failing light using cold hands at 900+m.
A weak point has been addressed with the use of quality guy lines and Linelok adjusters, this will make life a lot easier and secure.

I was going to pitch it on the lawn to get to grips with it, but I can’t be arsed frankly, so it goes on a mountain or nowhere. The KORS sample below shows the familiar shape, tightly pitched.
I’m quite excited about taking this into the hills, it is noticeabley smaller and lighter packing than the Lasercomp. I have confidence in the design, and now I want to know how the lightest of fabrics and components fare on the summits and ridges in what looks like a very weathery run up to winter.
More soon.

15 thoughts on “Terra Nova Laser Photon Elite”

  1. Sounds good, but how strong do the fabrics feel in comparison to the Laser Competition? Do you know if it has the same hydrostatic head? I think the Photon isn’t up to the same level as the Competition; but maybe the Photon Elite is better.

  2. Looks good but Guylines as short as that make me think any force applied will be more of an upward and out direction rather than closer inline with the ground.

    I’m with you on the fact that the Laser series doesn’t need loads of extra bits of string tied to it to make all these mods that people seem to like making. The only mod I’ve done is to make my guys longer (with lineloks and quality guyline)

  3. I don’t have any of the figures for the fabrics, even on the trade bumff, but I do know that the floor is ‘comp flysheet fabric, so I’m happy with that as it’s ultra tough.
    The rest is unknown, but like so many tent fabrics around just know if feels both slight and strong.
    Experience with the ‘omp has told me that the worry is the stitching!

    BBF, I think the production guys are longer that the ones on the sample, I’ll see when I pitch it.
    I’m the same as you with the ‘comp though, after the storm damage, the new longer guys and lineloks made life much better.

    I’m up to my eyes in work just now, but I’ll try and get the Photon on top of something later in the week if the weather isn’t depressing.

  4. Bringin’ it on the OM meet in two weekend chap? I NEED to see these 1g pegs I have the 2g ones and am too scared to use them

  5. I’m thinking of getting some normal pegs for my Competition, the 2g pegs don’t really feel like they’re going to hold against much of a wind.

  6. I should add to that: Given that 2g ones don’t seem up to much, I’m not sure if the 1g are going to do anything either. Probably little more than toothpicks. I guess I’m not quite that obsessed by the weight.

  7. I will be keeping an eye out for your full review. I wonder just how far the tent manufactures are going to go before they realise weight at this miniscule level is not everything. I wonder how many more improvements they could make to the tent if the decided to take the weight up to a kilo…..Maybe this is the way forward…??

  8. mrchewy, I’d forgotten about that meet! Aye, this’ll be the one I’ll be packing.
    The 2g pegs were fine. These? I’ll try them…

    aembleton, I’m happy carrying a mix of Vargo nails and Camcleat Y-pegs. Faster, more secure pitching. Ultimate low weight is never my goal!

    ukmase, Terra Nova have kinda got all the options covered with the new range. The Photon Elite is for racers and lightweight obsessives, the Lasercomp is general purpose solo backpacking and the standard Laser and beyond increase space and weight to point you can keep your bike in the porch.
    I’d be worried if the missed out the Lasercomp, for long term use it’s perfect for me as I can sit up in it. There is a limit to how many compromises you can make to a tent before it becomes a misery to spend a lot of time in.
    So aye, kave the lightest, but keep the other stuff as well.

    I’m lining up a trip where we’ll have an original Laserlite, a Lasercomp and the Photon pitched together just to see what the real differences are.

  9. Lining up the Lasers sounds like a great comparison. Heading up to the Ben Nevis area with my Competition tomorrow :)

  10. ptc, are TN fitting lineloks as standard or is that a custom mod? I’ve just ordered some 2mm dyneema and mini lineloks to upgrade my laser. Hoping to head out later this week for an overnight myself too – nice big high pressure on its way in.

  11. Aye, it’s looking glorious out there. I’ve got a route to do for the mag before next week, so fingers crossed!
    The LineLoks are standard, Terra Nova did indeed say that the old guys were nasty, and so they were!

  12. My LC 2009 I got early this year has line locks, have been pleased with them zero slippage in some great winds

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