I’ve made two useful modifications to my Laser Competition that others may wish to try.
1. Solving the mystery of the pole hood
The pole hood has always been a fiddly extra. It’s a real faff to try to get the right tension, so I left it off for the Lakes and tent performs fine without it. Nonetheless, most Laser owners think it’s worthwhile. The key issue to solve is how to make tensioning it easier.
My solution is to use two line-loks. On one side, secure the pole hoods cords by tying them off. On the opposite side, use two line-loks so that you can tension the cords as you would a guy, shown below. Easy. To make it neater, I’m going to swap the line-loks to the rear of the tent.
Apart from the obvious benefit of making the pole hood a lot easier to use, it helps to tension the pole and spreads the load for the side guys. Having compared the tent with and without the pole hood, I would say that it feels more stable with it.
2. Door threshold tension cord
If you pitch the tent correctly, the door seam is under a lot of tension. This is taken by the hook and loop below the door zip. However, it means that closing the door can be a struggle and zip can be stressed on closing the door. An easy modification is to use a door threshold tension cord, similar to the one used on the Akto. Effectively this is just a guy with a line-lok from the metal door ring near the pole to the webbing loop for the shock-cord pegging point (see below).
Other useful tweaks:
1. Replace the end cords on the inner tent with adjustable cords using line-loks.
2. Add cord loops to the pegging points on the outer tent. I’ve used Spectra cord, but Dyneema would be just as good. I’ve found that you get a tauter pitch using these rather than the elastic shock-cord. I’ve left the shock-cord on just in case.
3. Tie the elastic peg out points on the inner to the corresponding webbing loops on the outer tent peg out points. This makes it easier to peg the tent out as one.
4. You can attach extra stabilising guys fore and aft by using mini karabiners on the loops at the apex of the pole that are used for tying the pole hood. I offset them slightly to avoid fouling the end of the tent. They shouldn’t be tightened too much as the could stress the webbing on the tent.
5. It annoys me that there is no provision to secure the inner door when it is open. An easy mod is to sew an elastic loop on the inside at the bottom of the door in the centre. On the tension band the goes underneath the tent to secure the pole ends, by the door, there is a toggle which secures the inner tent to the band. You can use this also for the elastic loop that you have sewed on the inside of the inner to secure the door. It’s a bit difficult to explain without seeing it, but once you’ve pitched the tent, you’ll see what I mean. Brilliant.
6. I find the door zipper a bit fiddly, so I’ve used a short length on Dyneema cord to make zip pullers on both sides.
So there it is: the Laser Competition Mark 2.
Another project is to make some small removable pockets for the inner tent for bits and pieces.