Terra Nova Southern Cross 1 (2016) – Review

We often receive feedback from our customers about new products which they’ve purchased from us. On this occasion we’ve asked our customer to put together a little review of the new Terra Nova Southern Cross 1Terra Nova Southern Cross 1 Terra Nova say;

“The Southern Cross 1 is a completely freestanding lightweight tent. suitable for 4 season backpacking. The Southern Cross 1 takes its design inspiration from the award winning Laser range of lightweight tents but includes an additional pole to provide extra stability and structure. Pitching is quick and easy as the flysheet and inner are erected as one and the flysheet and groundsheet are fully taped providing complete waterproof protection.  Due to its 100% freestanding nature, pegging is kept to a minimum when optimising its strength to weight ratio.There is a spacious inner and porch, the porch door can be fixed open in several ways to provide the most suitable weather protection for the current conditions.”

Mr A. H. from the Backpackers Club says;

“I have recently purchased the one-person version of the new tent from Terra Nova called the Southern Cross 1. It is also available as a two-person tent, but this makes it heavier for solo use. The tent has been developed from the much lighter Laser Competition but there are a number of changes that justify the extra weight. Whilst the Competition is a three-season tent the Southern Cross is more robust and intended for four-season use.
I have been backpacking for nearly three decades and I am retired. I camp throughout the winter, and recently had to leave a pitch because the wind was too strong for the Competition. The new tent would be capable of withstanding the stronger wind. Because the flysheet is fully supported by the poles, it is very easy to erect it flysheet first which is very handy in poor weather. The inner can be easily clipped into place once the flysheet is up. It is possible to have the rucksack undercover whilst the inner is erected.
I am just over 6 ft tall and sitting upright in the Competition is not possible. The flysheet of the Southern Cross is the same height, but the inner slopes back from the porch, so when sitting near the doorway my head is under the fly rather than the inner, allowing me to sit upright. The inner is long enough for me to lie out in a winter sleeping bag. The head and foot ends are high enough for me to not have material in my face when lying on my 2 cm thick Thermarest. For tall people wishing to use a much thicker mat it may be necessary to check there is adequate headroom when recumbent.
Ventilation is provided at the ends of the fly where the guy line is attached. In poor weather it will be necessary to decide on the guy position for the end vent to be open as shown in the picture, or held closed by the Velcro provided. There are corresponding ventilation points in the inner, that can be closed off from inside.
The entry door zip is two way providing an opportunity for a vent to allow cooking vapours to escape. Cooking in the porch with the door closed in bad weather, or particularly snow, needs to be done with caution as the fly comes so close to the ground and could be sealed with snow, leading to asphyxiation. A tape at the bottom of the doorway prevents the zips from being strained when the fly is tensioned. On the Competition I buckle the door closed on the bottom and leave the zip open to allow good ventilation. This is also possible on the Southern Cross. When the door is open it can be held back in different ways by clips identical to those used to suspend the fly from the “four legged” red pole. By contrast the door on the inner can be held open by rolling it back and securing it with loops and toggles. Two large pockets on the inner, opposite the door provide places to keep small items that might otherwise be mislaid. The Southern Cross I purchased weighs 1.78 Kg on my un-calibrated kitchen scales, which is a bit heavier than the literature suggested. It was supplied with 13 fairly large round aluminium pegs to secure it to the ground. Like the Competition, the porch on the Southern Cross is a good size for storing wet or dirty gear undercover.

In conclusion I think that that the Southern Cross is an excellent four-season tent and will be used when weather conditions dictate. The Laser Competition will remain my first choice simply because it is so light.” – Mr A.H (Backpackers Club)

Terra Nova Southern Cross 1

More information available here.


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