Backpacking tents need to fulfil two main criteria to be successful: They need to be easy to put up outer first and, er, be light. The Southern Cross from backpacking experts Terra Nova doesn’t only fulfil these criteria but excels in them. No wonder you see so many of them at long distance backpacking events such as the TGO Challenge – a two week trek across Scotland putting up with the worst the Scottish weather can throw at the backpackers… and their tents.
What’s the secret of its success? Well, it’s a freestanding tent that is designed for four seasons – this should hold off most of what winter anywhere can muster. It’s the cheaper version of their Laser model, which is one of the classic ultralightweight tents. (Terra Nova’s Laser Ultra 1 is in the Guinness Book of Records for being the lightest one man tent in the world at 495g). Apart from the materials, the differences between that and this are actually small, the main one being the addition of another pole that crosses on the exterior of the tent lengthways.
“The Terra Nova Southern Cross 1 is also effortless to put up, with the flysheet and inner erected together – essential for putting it up in the rain.”