Laser Competition Hot Rod

P8090385 hoop

It’s been four years since I’ve used my Laser Competition. It’s not that it’s a bad tent, just that the Scarp, Duomid and Nitro Lite have have superseded it with better combinations of features. However, the Laser Comp could fight back.

The big drawback of the Comp for me has been the instability of the large panels of the flysheet. While this has never been a problem in terms of the tent failing, it does make it very noisy in strong winds. It also has a tendency for the walls to push inwards and buffet you when sleeping (or not as the case may be!).

I’ve had a brainwave that might go a long way to solving these drawbacks. If I put an extra hoop inside the flysheet at the end without the door, this should control the flysheet and substantially reduce the flapping and noise, particularly if it is end on to the wind.

Initially I thought of a perpendicular hoop, like the main one. However, on reflection, a tilted hoop might be superior. The picture above shows how it might look (although the hoop would be inside the fly). The advantage of a sloping hoop is two fold: 1) it would support more fabric and meet the roof at a better angle, 2) the pole hoop would be longer so the bend wouldn’t be as acute, with less risk of failure.

I have a spare Easton pole that I could cut down to size. I reckon it will add about 100g. It should be relatively easy to add some reinforcement to the hem of the tent and then to sew some grosgrain with metal eyelets for the pole ends. A length of cord joining the grosgrain loops would control the base length of the hoop. A simple grosgrain loop on the underside of the roof at the apex ought to be enough to secure the pole.

I need to gather some bits and pieces to do the mod. It may also have to wait until next spring, when the ground is drier, so I can pitch it in the garden to work out the exact positioning on the hoop, so don’t hold your breath.


9 thoughts on “Laser Competition Hot Rod”

  1. It does like a rather taught pitching but I’ve not had any of the difficulties you talk about with my Laser Comp… The fly’s folds in the photo look like symptoms of the fly not being pitched tight enough. I am a cycle-camper so perhaps have the option of finding more sheltered sites than you’ve used, but some I’ve been at have seemed plenty windy to me!

    1. The pitch has been more taut in other pictures. I chose this picture as it was the only proper side on picture. If you go to my Laser Comp gallery (see mod page) you will find others, including ones in high winds.

  2. This is why I have always liked the Akto – it’s design is more stable, quieter and allows one a lot more leeway when setting it up 🙂

    1. I owned an Akto a while ago. Although it is a good tent, it can be just as awkward to get a tight pitch. It is half a kilo heavier than the Comp, making it a different proposition. At a similar weight, the as Scarp is a better tent, in my view. More stable, more headroom, two porches, better ventilation. Where the Akto scores is that it is very robust, but you pay for it in weight and bulk.

  3. I love the Laser Comp as you know Robin 🙂

    I too have been pondering the question about the side panels. I was thinking about introducing 4 more pegging points either:

    a) on the bottom edge of the fly between the existing pegging points or
    b) introduce tie out points in the middle of the side panels themselves. This could be done by either sewing (eg get SMG to do it professionally) or use something like grip clips (Easyklips or similar etc)

  4. Good idea Robin! 🙂 Be interested to see what you come up with on this. I have to say, all said and done, the LC was never meant to be a tent used in adverse conditions. It’s not what it’s for. Not that that has stopped me and I guess many others out there from pitching it in stupid conditions! 🙂

    1. It’s surprisingly good in bad conditions. I’ve thought of a way to give it double side guys on the hoop as well 🙂

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