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Tent Reviews: Terra Nova Terra Firma

Tent and Awning Reviews Index  >  Terra Nova  >  Terra Firma Reviews

Current Model?
RRP on date added:
Bedroom inners:
Living area groundsheet:
Pitching Style:
4  (more 4 berth tents)
7.24 KG
Inner first
Average User Rating:
10/10 from 3 reviews

Viewed: 17738 times

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3 Reviews of the Terra Firma

By: Terryl  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

I too have owned a Terra Firma tent for about 20 years, and it has seen some serious action in the Scottish mountains and coastline over the years. Given its size, it is easy to pitch and the inner first approach gives a lot of flexibility. In all but the most violent of weather, it stands rock solid due to the interconnecting geodesic construction. I've noticed 2 poles with cracks, but have sourced repairs. The yellow/grey flysheet is showing some signs of UV degradation but is not having an impact on performance. I have a range of other tents, from TNF family marquees to Macpac backpacking tents. The Terra Firma is always my go-to tent if there isn't a compelling reason not to.
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By: Catherine White  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

We have owned this tent for decades; it was a new model when we bought it. It was not made in 2001 (as it may say above), but in the 1980s. We have always used it as a couple, in which mode it is self-indulgently palatial, with more than enough room for everything.

We have had it repaired by Terra Nova three times (patch to outer due trekking pole penetration; two minor panel replacements to inner due careless overstress to zips; porch poles replaced with new after electron microscope examination at factory confirmed onset of cracks after about 20 years use, an early batch of tent pole alloy having been 'less than entirely satisfactory').

Terra Nova have more than once begged us to trade in this Mk. I tent (which does not have colour coded poles) for the current Mark (perhaps they do not have such an early one in their collection) but we have consistently refused, saying that it is an old friend and that we could not possibly, etc.

We have used the tent everywhere in mainland Britain and as far north as Unst in Shetland. It was on one occasion the only tent left standing on the campsite after a difficult Hebridean night (through which we both slept soundly). It is so strong that we usually pitch it in as exposed a position as we can, to deter midge attack (they cannot take off above a certain windspeed).

If the optional roof shelf (a sort of clip-on hammock thing, useful for a head torch) is not fitted, it is easy to stand up in the centre of the tent for trousers, etc.

The porches are huge and, with the similarly huge inner doors, make ingress and egress easy, including getting outer clothing on and off. One of us is now disabled and the tent continues to accommodate this.

We once had to ask Terra Nova to clean the tent for us, having, for what seemed at the time like good reasons, fried tiny frozen pizzas in a mess tin lid in one of the porches, which left it smelling so much like a chip shop that people on campsites made remarks. This TN took entirely in their stride.

Since buying this tent we have bought two others from Terra Nova (a Solar 2 and a Laser Competition 1) and have now ceased to consider buying tents from any other manufacturer.

This is by modern standards an expensive tent but after what must be about thirty years our one, despite its visible age and many repairs, is still wholly trustworthy. This makes it rather better value for money than a succession of cheaper but shorter-lived products. It also means that after all this practice we can pitch or strike it in just about any conditions.

Eventually this tent will wear out. Whether we wear out first is open to debate. Tents are not normally left to people in wills, but this one might just be.
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By: Crommie  Reason: I own(ed) one  Made in: 2001   Rating: 

Fantastic tent - very easy and quick to pitch. Has never let us down in all sorts of weather. The storage area under the fly sheet at either end is plenty big enough to stow all the cooking equipment and boots/ shoes and generally keeps them dry too. Groundsheet is built in, and have never had any problems with leaks at all. You can also put the poles in the inner, and then pick up the tent to decide exactly where you want it. Then you can add on the flysheet and peg it down.
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Manufacturer's Description

A proven basecamp shelter on a multitude of Himalayan and Polar expeditions, which also lends itself to year round family use.

The stable, geodesic design is simple to pitch with 4 colour coded poles and sheds weather efficiently in combination with the Watershed Endurance flysheet. Good storage space from two, pole supported, porches allows your gear to be kept out of the way of your access.

A proven design and high quality fabrics make the Terra Firma an ideal choice for year round use and it is easily split to carry between 4.

# Packed Size: 22x78cm

* Fabrics: Watershed Endurance (silicon/pu coated) flysheet fabric, with a minimum Hydrostatic Head of 8000mm
* The inner and groundsheet are Waterbloc 10,000mm made using ''High Tenacity Nylon 6.6'' which is proven to give:
o better UV resistance than standard synthetic materials
o better resistance to flex fatigue
o better tear and abrasion-resistance (up to 500% better than polyester)
o better bonding to waterproof coatings
o better strength to weight ratio
* Terra Nova Reflex 7001 T6 aluminium alloy pole provide strength and durability.

# Exceptionally strong geodisic design
# Watershed Flysheet minimises weight whilst maintaining strength and a minimum hydrostatic head of typically 6000mm
# Low weight Waterbloc groundsheet is very tough for its weight and has a minimum hydrostatic head of 10,000mm minimum
# Strong and durable Reflex 7001 T6 aluminium alloy poles, colour coded for ease of pitching.
# Designed in England
# 2 entrances with large porches
# Side opening inner door
# Additional inner pockets
# Twin needle seams
# Continuous pole sleeves for easy of assembly in difficult conditions.
# New guyline system
# "No Rattle" zip pulls
# alloy pegs
# Classic strength and durability.

... there may be more info on their website

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