Terra Nova have a wide ranging collection of tents (even wider when you consider their sister brand Wild Country), with an option to suit just about every type of backpacking trip there is, whether it’s hiking deep into the Arctic Circle or solo minimalist backpacking along the Pacific Crest Trail. In fact, the brand even have a Guinness World Record for making the lightest tent ever, with their Laser Ultra 1 weighing just 495g. That’s lighter than a loaf of bread. This option, the Terra Nova Southern Cross 2 is designed for two-person backpacking across four-seasons.
I’ve tested it in some extremely wild places and it’s now my go to choice for two-person camping. On short-ish hikes I’ll even take it with me when I’m hiking alone.
What I love about it is that it’s absolutely bombproof. I took it on the The Great Outdoors Challenge, a fortnight-long coast-to-coast crossing of Scotland, with a friend back in 2016 and it was absolutely perfect for the job. I remember a night when we got caught out by a storm right on top of the Cairngorm plateau and had to bolt down at about 5pm in the evening but thanks to this tent we stayed dry, cosy and relaxed in it until the rain stopped at about 10am the next day. One thing I was particularly impressed by was that even in the near gale force winds, the tent’s fly was so taut and well supported that there wasn’t even any flapping or bending in the tent wall.
“It’s a design that makes the tent completely freestanding and stable enough to sleep in even without pegging down (at least in fairly low winds anyway).”
Terra Nova Southern Cross 2: Construction
The Southern Cross 2 pitches outer first with the inner clipping onto the fly by toggles. The whole structure is supported by two crossing poles. One of them runs lengthways and and forks off at each end of the tent, therefore giving it four feet to stand itself up on, and the other spans the width to give extra sturdiness. It’s a design that makes the tent completely freestanding and stable enough to sleep in ,even without pegging down (at least in fairly low winds anyway).