Camping, Bushcraft & Survival

Terra Nova Southern Cross 1 Tent Review

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.”

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). The colour-coded blue pole crosses the tent in the middle, through the flysheet, while the longer red pole, with a ‘Y’ shape at each end, extends along the outside of the tent with the flysheet clipping on. Pegging is kept to a minimum and there are only four guylines, so it’s an elegant solution.

Taking it out of the bag for the first time it took a matter of minutes to erect, even in the torrential downpour we tested it in. Inside, there’s a reasonably-sized porch and enough space for one body and a few bits and bobs that you need to keep dry.

Genuinely it’s hard to overstate what a lovely tent this is, how easy it is to put up, and how stable it is. Want.

Terra Nova Southern Cross 1 Stats:

The 100 Best Outdoor Products for Winter 2016 View them all

Shot on location in Chamonix
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