Monday, 20 April 2009

Terra Nova Laser Modifications

I made a few modification to my Laser, some to suit my needs and make things work a bit easier and some out of nescessity. Some of the mods were based on or directly copied from Blogpackinglight and some just general things that I wanted to do.

The 1st thing I did was to change the strut guys to V configuration and add guy line to the tabs already provided at each end. I bought the red ZeRo+ guyline from Team IO as I mentioned previously. I also doubled up on the pole guys using the guyline I'd removed from the support strut guys.

I made up a peg set that I think will provide a more versatile solution than the supplied ti wire skewers. I ended up with 6 Camcleat Y's, 6 Blacks Alloy Skewers and 4 Vargo Nails. I won't bother with the supplied pegs.

In addition I made a footprint from PU coated Ripstop which I bought from Point North I actually made it the day before I left on my last trip so the measurments aren't as accurate as I would have liked, the half porch section is a bit too wide but I can fix that. I might sew on a piece to create a small pouch which I can use as a peg bag.

I also sewed on 2 hanging loops on the inner made from plain black dressmaking ribbon to allow me to hang my (modified and lighter, 67g) Osram Dot-it LED tent light.

That covered the mods that were done only to make life easier. However I noticed on Saturday when sorting gear for another trip that the cordlock which is used to tension the pole hood was no longer holding, closer inspection revealed that it had worn quite badly.

I posted a warning on Outdoors Magic and have now adopted yet another idea from Blogpackinglight, linelocks to tension the hood. Unfortunately it looks as though the small webbing loop that held the cordlock in place and through which I now have to run the cord is starting to wear (the one on the opposite side is wider and looks stronger) so I have come up with 3 methods to attach the hood tension cords that should be stronger than the loop. I can either sew the Dogclip or D ring to the pole webbing or put an eyelet through the middle of the piece of webbing with 2 D rings and simply attach that to the pole underneath the locating tab.

One final mod that I want to make is to attach an additional shockcord loop to each of the corner flysheet pegging loops and then use glove clips on the inner tent shockcord to make it easier to unhook the inner/keep the inner attached when packed.

So far the modifications/additions have resulted in my Laser weighing in at,

Fly, Inner, Poles = 1348
Pegs = 251
Footprint = 184

Total = 1783

All in all the tent is fine, certainly the best compromise I could find at the time. Of the others the Big Agnes Copperspur UL1 looks interesting and the Saunders Spackpacker has always been on my shortlist but never quite made it. Last time (91-92)it lost out to a Phoenix Phreeranger EB, that in my opinion was one of the best solo tents ever made, unfortunately someone (Vango/AMG?) is sitting on the rights/design with no idea of what they have. I recently aquired an old (pre taped seams) Phreeranger and if you take pegs/stuff sacks alone out of the equation it's within 200g of my Laser 1487g - 1286g.

Not too bad for a 20-25 year old tent. I hope TN aren't feeling too smug............. ;-)


  1. Seems to be the in thing modifying the Laser or Comp. Make it work for you and it makes sense. Looks good to me. You might notice lots visits to you blog. That will be me as I cant work out how I missed it. Great stuff. Lots to read.

  2. Thanks Martin, glad you found something interesting. Thanks too for the comment.

    I like to footer around with stuff so I guess the Laser suits me, if I'd bought an Akto I'd be at a loose end. :-)

  3. I use to have the original Phreeranger (without the Extended Bell) best tent I ever have.

    I've spent the last ten years trying to replace it.

    After Phoenix were bought out by AMG some of the designers for the Phree series of tents set up a new company called Omega and had a design similar to the phreeranger, I tried to buy one but had no luck in getting one.

    The company doesn't seem to be about anymore.

    I now use a TN solar, its about the nearest thing to the phreeranger, but because it doesn't have the short cross pole, it not as good in strong winds.

  4. Found Omega Outdoors in the online brown book business directory

    Omega Outdoor Ltd.
    Coquet Enterprise Park, Amble, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE65 0PE

    Rang the number but there was no answer - think they folded a few years ago. Shame.

    If you tent light ever goes on the blink, consider the new(ish) Silverpoint Mini Lantern (about £6). Really impressive light output for such a small 25grams