Time to beef up the TN Comp?
Now that TN have Guinnessed the Photon as their flagship lightest two skin tent, why don't they tweak the previous title holder - the Laser Comp - to give us a bit more spec without much added weight or cost? Not all of us are competitive adventurers, for whom the Photon was designed, but we still like Comps, their light weight and their price. Added comfort and ease would be nice.
For starters I'd suggest:
1 Good guying points for the pole and dumping the fiddly pole cover once and for all. Save a few grams there maybe and some cost.
2 Clipping all inner elastics, including shockcorded ends, to outer pegging points and dumping four pegs not needed. I did this and can unclip and pull back the inner to enlarge the porch for entry in wet weather gear and cooking.
3 All Robin Evans's improvements (See them here) (save as above and, IMHO, the longitudinal guys.) I think his door tensioner is absolutely essential.
4 Double looped shockcord on all outer pegging points - double the strength if needed, ease of double pegging and more choice of peg position. I find this really useful.
5 Back to the carbon fibre pegs with modifications. See here. Perhaps I can find them now!
6 Bit of elastic on the outer end peg point so it automatically pulls the fabric up inside for ventilation when the peg is pulled out.
7 A couple of tabs inside to hang stuff from.
8 A pole repair kit.
Any suggestions, bearing in mind it shouldn't stray far from present weight and cost?
I'd be inclined to agree with FB, the problem TN have is that if they do anything which adds weight, and implementing the mods outlined are almost certain to, the outdoors press will pan it. There are a fair few tents out there that are pretty close to the weight of the Laser/Comp, both slightly heavier/lighter that provide more space or ease of use at the expense maybe of durability or hydrostatic head figures. Look at the Big Agnes range or the recently announced Vaude Scutum, in addition there's the Scarp 1 from Henry Shires.
I think the Laser in it's various forms has pretty much created and filled a niche, perhaps it's time for a new model entirely, aimed more at the lightweight backpacker who is prepared to carry an extra 100-200g in the name of ease of use/practicality on trips lasting a week or more rather than the MM racer who's more likley to sacrifice comfort for one or two nights if it saves a few hundred grams.
Keep the Laser range by all means and continue to develop it as newer lighter materials appear but create another line. I think by doing that and avoiding reference to the Laser line TN can up the weight without criticism.
Personally I think the Laser suffers from the same issues as the Comp and has already had features cut to save weight since it 1st appeared. The SL Voyager is a 2 man lightened version of the standard Voyager which itself has been around since TN was Wild Country.
The Laser range has been seen as the Lightweight alternative to the Akto and for a long time there wasn't much choice but while TN have continued to develop the Laser range by continually cutting the weight the competition (other manufacturers) haven't been sitting back, they've been watching and learning and the result in the case of Vaude is a tent that is IIRC than the Laser but manages, for one thing to avoid the pole hood that people have been complaining about for ages and which still hasn't been properly (if at all) addressed by TN.
The bottom line is that they're isn't a lot of room for significant improvment regarding weight where the Laser/Comp is concerned without pretty serious compromise either on durability or useability so it's effectively a dead end street, how far TN are from that dead end is anybodys guess but I'd suggest they passed the half way point some time ago.
As far as the competition are concerned take the TT Scarp as an example, 4 porches instead of 1 on the Laser/Comp/SL Voyager, greater stability than the Laser/Comp and more options for pitching than the SL Voyager. Granted the Voyager has stood the test of time but IMO thats another reason for TN to introduce a new model. The Laser is good at what it does and unless they lighten the Voyager to the point that it can't offer what it currrently offers then it also is good for the purpose. It would be a shame if the performance of the Voyager ended up compromised in an attempt to shave a few grams to make it more appealing for solo use. As it is the SL Voyager has already had the porch modified to save weight at the expense of useability, where the Voyager (and possibly the early SL Voyager) had a 3 way porch door the new version is 1 way only.
Matt C wrote (see)
The only modification I'd like to see to the LC is a double-ended zip on the outer to allow for high ventilation with the door closed lower down. (Did they do that on the 09 model?) If I wanted to push things a bit further I'd add a second zip on the other porch panel so that either side could act as the door (I think the Laser has this?)
The laser used to have a 2 way porch option but mine, an 09 model didn't, that was one area where useability was compromised probably to save weight. Unless you mean on opposite sides of the tent. Mine had a door on each side of the fly but only one porch.
Actually just been looking at the Scarp again, seems I was wrong, the scarp has porches on each side but the doors are 1 way same as the Laser.
had the laserlite=shite. laser comp looks the same.
got the akto,nice materials but = still shite
i know many peeps will be up in arms especially akto owners but thats how i feel.i have wasted my fecking money.
i want a voyager superlite.same weight as akto with more room and better porch.
Shite is very strong language there Ray. I am sure that you mean it requires some modification to enable it as a personal shelter for yourself. May I suggest that you replace 'shite' with ' not quite to my taste'.
Don't look at it as money wasted, more of an investment into personal taste research that will make you better informed for the next tent purchase.
Or maybe not
You're gonna swear now aren't you, I can tell......
My main point was that for small increases in weight and price, still well below those of the Akto, with which I draw no comparisons, TN could make the Comp more backpacker friendly, as the racers now have their Photon.
I'm delighted the thread has expanded into consideration of the market generally, present and future, and TN's competitors. The comments from those who are much more aware of these considerations than I am will, I hope, be carefully considered by the trade readers of this forum. It seems to me there is much to learn from what is being said.
Does the Scarp1 need to be seam sealed to guarantee waterproofness? According to the Henry Shires FAQ Tarptents do need to be. Is the Scarp 1 the same?
And the FAQ also say "Silicone impregnated ripstop nylon is waterproof within "normal operating conditions." In very heavy rain and high velocity wind-driven rain some extremely light interior misting is normal and equivalent to increased interior humidity."
So .. in Scotland, on a mountain, in the rain .. what happens?
ALoveSupreme wrote (see)
Does the Scarp1 need to be seam sealed to guarantee waterproofness? According to the Henry Shires FAQ Tarptents do need to be. Is the Scarp 1 the same? And the FAQ also say "Silicone impregnated ripstop nylon is waterproof within "normal operating conditions." In very heavy rain and high velocity wind-driven rain some extremely light interior misting is normal and equivalent to increased interior humidity."
Yes I imagine it does.
Nothing, you follow the instructions and seal the seams.
Alternatively don't bother, my Spacepacker should have the seams sealed but I haven't gotten round to it yet, in spite of that it has been up all night in pretty heavy downpours and while there have been a few drips (mainly at the fly zips) the inner was dry, seems that the drips that came through to fall on the inner either ran off or dried rather than passing on through to the inner.
Of course if you strike camp in the rain after a night in a laser, roll it up with the inner inside the fly (because you can't separate them) which gets saturated from condensation so that when you go to pitch again the whole thing is a sodden mess. Before you ask yes it did happen to me and in spite of spreading it out in the back seat of the car and driving from the Linn of Dee to Fort William via Aviemore it was still a sodden mess when I went to pitch it in Fort Bill. Ended up kneeling in the porch, in the rain trying to dry out the inner with a J cloth.
This thread just proves you need at least 4 tents. One for every mood and season.
If you only want to have one tent for every situation, there will always be comprimises.
Only four, Mike?
My wife reckons I've got a waterproof jacket for every type of rain
My favourite tent for Scottish 3 seaon use at the moment is the MountainLaurelDesigns DuoMid and inner nest. Under 900g for the 2 man version. After this winter, i may add a 4th season to my recommendation.
"Does the Scarp1 need to be seam sealed to guarantee waterproofness? According to the Henry Shires FAQ Tarptents do need to be. Is the Scarp 1 the same?"
I haven't sealed the seams on my Scarp 1 and it's now been used in heavy rain many times, including on the TGO Challenge, without leaking.
"And the FAQ also say "Silicone impregnated ripstop nylon is waterproof within "normal operating conditions." In very heavy rain and high velocity wind-driven rain some extremely light interior misting is normal and equivalent to increased interior humidity."
So .. in Scotland, on a mountain, in the rain .. what happens?"
Nothing that I've noticed. I've not had any "interior misting" in the Scarp 1 or any other silicone nylon tent.
Ontario is a vast adventure playground just waiting to be explored and experienced
Minimal & lightweight footwear designed to enhance your outdoors experience
Become a fan of OutdoorsMagic
Follow us on twitter
Sign up to our free newsletter
Meet partners in our forum
Other Immediate Media Sites
Our eCommerce Platform
© Immediate Media Company Ltd 2012. This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk