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Post by ALICAT » Tue Feb 07, 2006 6:25 pm

Anyone use a Terra Nova Ultra Quasar tent? I'm looking for some opinions of it. Ta

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Post by andreadawn » Tue Feb 07, 2006 9:41 pm

Hi Alicat,

I've had one of these for a few years. Too heavy for solo backpacking but fine for a couple or for kayaking.

Inner first pitching is a pain in a wet climate. With two people it's just possible to keep the fly over the inner whilst you pitch it. It can be entertaining (!!!) though if you're on your own and it's windy. Porches are a bit weedy too size-wise. The inner is very spacious and comfy.

On the plus side, mine has stood up to some ferocious storms in the Pyrenees and Scotland, and the outer doesn't flap about in the gentlest of breezes, so you should get a good night's sleep in it. Also, once it's pitched, you can pick it up and move it somewhere else which can be quite useful.


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Post by DougSmith » Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:56 am

I would agree with everything Andrea has written. I don't find the vestibules too bad, but my last tent had a tiny single vestibule, so maybe that's why.
They are bombproof. I really like mine.

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Post by mintokames » Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:38 pm

If weight isn't a prime concern, then you could save some money by getting an ordinary Quasar as opposed to the Ultra. I agree that it is too heavy really for solo backpacking. The porches can seem on the small side, but with two porches I've not found it too much of an issue.

Also, it pays to shop around as they are whiles advertised with a few bob off.

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Post by MikeB » Wed Feb 08, 2006 1:35 pm

The Vaude MkII might be worth a look at Ali. I have one of the earlier versions and like it. Goes up very quickly, and with an external pole system, there's none of that faffing around trying to thread poles thro sleeves on the fly!

It's also self standing so you can pick the whole thing up to move it if necessary, and I've even "pitched" it on concrete using big stones to secore the anchor points.

Plenty of room inside, and I can sit up in it - and as you know, I'm not the smallest of people. It's billed as a 3 person tent, and is certainy roomy and comfy with two, and palatial with one! As its tensioned with bungee, the fly stays quiet in a blow, and also self-tightens when the fabric gets wet. Its also very stable and has withstood some serious weather. Most of the time I don't even bother with the guys, and just pitch with the loops.

Downsides? The vestibules are a little small in comparison to a tunnel type, but I still have enough space for gear / cooking / storage. Neither is it the smallest or lightest of tents but it is after all a 2/3 person tent. The fly and inner are joined (so it goes up as one), but this does mean that if it's packed wet it will be a little damp inside when it's put up the following evening. I suppose that's balanced to some extent by not having to wrestle a separate, flapping fly in the rain and wind, during which the inner is going to get wet anyway!

Mine is 7 years old now (at least) and apart from having to replace the pole set last year, is still perfect. The poles (aluminium) had got sea-water wet and had become brittle and some were cracking. Vaude gave excellent service and the new poles seem both lighter and more flexible in fact.

I'd buy another.


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Post by Bod » Wed Feb 08, 2006 2:08 pm

I have a Quasar (standard, rather than Ultra). It has been used and abused but has stood up to everything. It did bend one pole in extreme wind (I was on a campsite and most of the rest of the site had left by morning). Whatever the weather I never go to sleep wondering if it is all going to blow away and that is a comforting thought.

Inner feels big and light. The porches are only adequate. I do like mine. You can get an extended fly option with a massive porch or slightly bigger versions on the same theme but you are adding weight and expense at that point. Depends what you use it for I guess.
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Post by great white » Wed Feb 08, 2006 8:56 pm

Hi, Yes I've owned both Ultra and 2 endurance versions..fabulous, bombproof and comfortable. However if weight is not an issue I can thoroughly recommend the Force Ten Baltoro which I now use..more features, just as strong and half the price..if you have any questions just ask!



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Terra Nova - great tent tradein offer

Post by Jonathan. » Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:02 pm

Terra Nova have a tent offer I couldn't refuse - 30 percent off in return for your old tent "regardless of condition or age".

I had a very old tent with the cotton inner so badly perished that I thought I had better phone Terra Nova to check they really would accept it. Had a nice clear answer and if they are as good as their word, then I shall have a new Quasar Ultra for a bargain price.

http://www.terra-nova.co.uk/epages/terr ... emplate/84

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Post by AllanJ » Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:30 pm

Terra Nova make great quality tents - had mine for a few years now. The quality of the stiching etc just looked better than others that I looked at.


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Post by Sgian Dubh » Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:41 pm

My Quasar is the original yellow & grey hexaginal design from the days when Quasars were built by Wild Country, before they sold the tent business to TN in '93. It's been through everything from violent storms in the Hindu Kush to mad Scottish winters on Rannoch, shrugged off broken poles as a mere flesh wounds, survived the tail end of an avalanche, & doubled as an illicit gambling casino on several occasions. Arguably the best shelter on the market, it will easily seat a few fellas for hours/days, when conditions white-out, or storms prevent setting to sea. Plenty of room for equipment, double ended vestibules, & it's just as comfortable being pitched freestanding on rocky summits or beaches without being tied down as it is in a lush meadow with skipping lambs, nymphs & pan pipes. If you want a tent that will install confidence when wild camping in a variety of extreme conditions, this is one of the many out there, that will do it.

Pre 1989 & mine still refuses to let the in rain, midgies, snow or drunks & while design materials, pole technology etc, have moved on - the Quasar design has remained virtually static. Recommended, & they outclass TNF in the field, although the Mountain 25 stays in the running. TNF tent floors also seem to deteriorate more readily & become increasingly susceptible to moisture & leaking as the thinner means lighter mindset takes hold.

Alternatively, the Force Ten range is long proven. We also had a classic orange F10, that was so small we had to sleep with our feet out the end, boots on in winter, toes to the wind in summer. It never gave up in a storm though. For light bivying on extended sea kayak trips this, takes up no kayak space in the sense of weight, & storage, & is performing well. Road testing it at the moment, on occasion with a farting collie...

Hope that helps a wee bit.
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Post by Owen » Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:26 pm

Sgian Dubh wrote:My Quasar is the original yellow & grey hexaginal design from the days when Quasars were built by Wild Country, .
Wild Country brought out Ben Winteringham, who was the designer of the Quasar, back in the late 70's. I have one of the old Winteringham tents (it was called the Blizzard back then) the ground sheet is neoprene coated not pu coated so is still bomb proof. The only problem with it is that at some stage I must have gotten sea water on the zips of the inner tent. There are four zips, two doors and two midge nets, all totally knackered. Tera Nova wanted £45 per zip to replace them.

As I mostly camp on my own these days I now use a macpac microlight which is just up a bit from a hooped bivi; you can just sit up in it.

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Post by Jim » Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:44 pm

Owen wrote: The only problem with it is that at some stage I must have gotten sea water on the zips of the inner tent. There are four zips, two doors and two midge nets, all totally knackered. Tera Nova wanted £45 per zip to replace them.
Do you have a sewing machine? Zip replacement is relatively easy, although you might have to unpick right into the corners of the groundsheet and re-apply waterproofing tape when you re-stitch that area, I presume you use glue on tape on neoprene groundsheets.

I buy continuous zips from Pointnorth (now calling themselves Pro fabrics online, but still Mouse Sails on your credit card bill) and separate sliders to get the length and arrangement I need. They also have midge mesh so if you didn't have a twin door before...


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Post by Andy Harpur » Thu Jul 26, 2007 7:45 pm

I haven't time to read all that's been said but will add my 2 penneth...

Vaude Mk II . I had one of these for maybe 15 years. It was a superb tent. The inner and outer pitch together hanging off the outer frame by bungies. Quick to put up in a storm. Cooking can pe a problem though as the porch area drops at quite a steep angle to a single point.
Mine got trashed in a storm on Skye 4 years ago and we retreated to the b/house at Portree. I replaced it with...

SuperQuasar. Bombproof. Expensive, worth every penny. Quality design. Room to cook in the ends. Plenty of room for 2, a squeeze for 3, but acceptable in a mountaineering environment. Inner pitches first then fly is the only main drawback and it's too heavy as others have said for a single backpack. I bought this on the basis that friends had been in Buttermere when hurican force winds came in. The full campsite was devistated with people throwing tents in the skip. The only tents left standing were quasars.

In addition I have recently bought....

North Face Tadpole 23. I picked up last years model with £50 off. About £170 in total. I've only used it once but I'm generally pleased. This is a real backpakers tent. Packs down to around 2Kg and very small with compression straps included. Plenty of room for 1, 2 adults would be a squeeze.
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Post by Owen » Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:17 am

Hi Jim,

I don't have a sewing machine but I do have the phone number of a firm in Harker, Cumbria called Mountain; must get round to calling them. Has anyone used them?

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Post by waltfos » Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:25 pm

Owen wrote:
Sgian Dubh wrote:The only problem with it is that at some stage I must have gotten sea water on the zips of the inner tent. There are four zips, two doors and two midge nets, all totally knackered. Tera Nova wanted £45 per zip to replace them.
As with Drysuit zips after the winter etc Use vinegar and this should get the zip working again. You did not state if the teeth were all there so I presume its just salt water damage. Saves you £45 and have something left to sprinkle on your chips too worth a try

Keep shoogling


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Post by Sgian Dubh » Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:40 pm

Wasnae me, it was Owen...nothing wrong wi my zips, chips, vinegar or teeth bud.
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Post by Cornholio » Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:21 pm

Like MikeB, I got a Vaude but a Space I/II on Ebay delivered from Essen in Germany for £90 inc P+P. It's only 3kg but to use as a 2 person would be it's limits I reckon. I haven't had to cook out of it and the single porch is rather small and slanted so not sure if it will be possible yet. I'd maybe consider cooking inside it near the inner door with the inner tent open and the outer closed- but not sure if this would be wise really !!!
it's a 2 pole (very fast) dome external pitch with the inner hanging in place already- and all of Mikes comments about moving and pitching it apply too.
It looked big when I got it, but after some careful folding and compressing it can be seriously reduced in volume when put in an ortlieb drybag...
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Post by johndh » Tue Jul 31, 2007 11:59 am

Just a vote for the TN Quasar (not ultra but standard). In green.


Love it.

Like the best gear there is something about it that seems greater than its parts or greater then scientific study and review can adequatley sum-up.

You get the feeling from it that it is 'the best thing for the job'. It lets you know that quietly and in an uncomplaining fashion each time you use it.


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Post by glupton » Tue Jul 31, 2007 12:36 pm

Ali - you use one. :D

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Post by AllanC » Tue Jul 31, 2007 4:22 pm

Has anyone got any experience of any of the North Face range of tents? I've been thinking about getting a new tent for paddling trips for a while, and a friend of a friend can get any North Face stuff for half retail price as a staff discount, hence the brand specificity.

Thanks in advance


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