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Terra Nova Ultra Quasar

Terra Nova Ultra Quasar Review

Tents

Product Grade
Report Card Grade
0 Reviews
Best Feature:
Comfortable interior with "bombproof" design
Worst Feature:
Pitching inner tent first might be an issue in wet weather
Best Uses:
Year-round backpacking or mountaineering
Pricing:
$699.95 (Limited lifetime warranty)
Manufacturer:

Where to Buy

Store Name
Price
$779.95

Overview

Terra Nova's Ultra Quasar tent is a freestanding, two person tent for use in all weather conditions. A year-round shelter, the tent is perfect for serious mountaineering or backpacking due to its geodesic design and high quality, lightweight construction materials. The geodesic frame is typical of tents in Terra Nova's Quasar series, but it is the improvements to the Ultra Quasar's inner tent that really differentiates it from the other models. Terra Nova upgraded the Ultra Quasar's ventilation system and decreased its trail weight to 6 pounds 5 ounces, which is 25% lighter than the standard Quasar. The frame is now made up of four DAC Featherlite poles, which are lighter but still strong enough to maintain the structural integrity of the tent. The poles are color-coded and the tent also has continuous pole sleeves, which make it easy to set up. Terra Nova also improved the Ultra Quasar's guy line system, so anchoring the tent is faster and more secure. For superior water protection, the tent's outer fly and groundsheet are both made from polyurethane coated ripstop nylon, and the tent's seams are fully taped to prevent any moisture from leaking into the interior. In addition to having 32 square feet of sleeping space for you and your partner, there are also two 10.8 square foot vestibules at each entrance to the tent for storing your gear.

The Terra Nova Ultra Quasar tent retails for about $966 on Terra-nova.co.uk, but you can purchase it for about $699 on sites like Amazon.com or Backcountry.com.

Product Report Card Grade

We give Terra Nova’s Ultra Quasar an A- because it is an excellent all-season mountaineering tent that was described by some reviewers as “bombproof”. Complaints were few and far between, but we deducted a few points because of its high price tag. Additionally, the inner tent has to be pitched first, which we thought could be an issue in wet weather.


 
This Product
Overall Score
Our Awards
Date Reviewed
April 2013
June 2012
June 2012
Pros
exceptionally lightweight 2-person tent; stable, "bombproof" design that performs extremely well even in severe weather conditions; features improved ventilation system compared to other tents in the Quasar series
relatively inexpensive family tent with 160 ft² of space; vertical walls offer more interior space; interior door offers privacy and great ventilation; ability to block windows in the screen room for additional privacy/weather protection; good water resistance; E! Power port
one of the most spacious 3-person tents on the market; good ceiling height and storage space for its category; easy to set up with DAC® Jake's Feet system; good ventilation; good weather/water resistance; multi-pocket organizer panel is a step up from just normal tent pockets; reflective guy lines for nighttime visibility; NEMO Equipment, Inc. makes a huge effort to be a green company
Cons
very expensive; inner first pitching could be problematic in wet conditions
screen room doesn't have a floor and the sod cloth didn't protect a few reviewers from insects (and even a small animal) from getting into the tent; cabin style tents are very unstable in windy conditions because of their high walls; flat top means water can pool on the fly if you don't use guylines to change the slope; pretty heavy
relatively expensive; it's on the heavier side for tents in this category; some reviewers thought it was really difficult to get the poles to release during takedown
Seasonality
4-season
3-season
3-season
Ideal Activities
Backpacking/Mountaineering
Family, car, or base camping
Backpacking
Capacity
2-person
5-person
3-person
Price
$699.95
$419.90
$381.95 -$449.95
Warranty
Limited lifetime warranty
Limited lifetime warranty
Limited lifetime warranty
Interior and/or Vestibule Space
It has a 32 ft² sleeping room and two 10.8 ft² vestibules.
It has 160 ft² of interior space that is divided equally between the sleeping room (80 ft²) and the screen room (80 ft²).
It has a 50 ft² sleeping room and two 12 ft² vestibules.
Interior Height (max.)
3' 5"
7'
4'
Weight
6 lbs and 5 oz
35 lbs and 6 oz
6 lbs and 13 oz
Design Type
Freestanding, geodesic style tent
Freestanding, cabin style tent
Freestanding, dome style tent
Frame
Four 8.84 mm DAC Featherlite poles
Nine 12.7 mm & 16 mm fiberglass and 19.5 mm steel poles
Four DAC 9/9.6 mm Featherlite Aluminum Poles
Tent Body Materials
Nylon rip-stop with 7000 mm waterproof polyurethane coating
75D 190T polyester taffeta, 1200 mm coated
30D nylon rip-stop with 1500 mm waterproof polyurethane coating
Rainfly Material
SilNylon rip-stop with 6000 mm waterproof polyurethane coating
75D 190T polyester taffeta, 1200 mm coated
30D nylon rip-stop with 1500 mm waterproof polyurethane coating
Floor Material/Design
Nylon rip-stop with 7000 mm waterproof polyurethane coating (one-piece bathtub style design)
75D 190T polyester taffeta, 1200 mm coated (one-piece bathtub style design)
30D nylon rip-stop with 5000 mm waterproof polyurethane coating (one-piece bathtub style design)
Mesh Material
Unknown Mesh
68D polyester no-see-um mesh
Lightweight no-see-um mesh
Ventilation
Features mesh doors that allow for adjusting ventilation when necessary.
Features 6 large mesh windows, 3 mesh doors and a full panel mesh roof, all of which can be opened/closed based on the amount of ventilation needed.
Fly can be opened on both ends for cross ventilation. In warm, dry conditions, you can remove the outer fly and just use the mesh inner tent.
Doors
2 doors (protected by vestibules)
3 doors (2 exterior and 1 interior)
2 doors (protected by vestibules)
Packed Dimensions
21.26" x 7.09" dia.
29" x 10" dia.
22" x 6.5" dia.
Vestibule/Storage
In addition to the two 10.8 ft² vestibules in the front and rear of the tent, it is also designed with interior storage pockets.
In addition to the 80 ft² screen room, the tent is designed with interior storage pockets and comes with 2 gear lofts.
Tent is designed with two 12 ft² vestibules and it also has a multi-pocket organizer panel ("Gear Caddy"). A Gear Loft is available and sold separately ($25).
Set Up
It does not have a fast pitch option, but it can be easily set up in about 15 minutes since it has color-coded poles and continuous pole sleeves on the four poles. The inner tent must be pitched first, and then the flysheet and enhanced guy line system with titanium pegs help secure it to the ground.
Two people can easily set up the tent in about 20 minutes thanks to its shockcorded steel and fiberglass frame, clip attachments, and ring and pin assembly. You won't need to use stakes or guy lines except in case of severe weather.
One person can quickly and easily set up the tent in under 10 minutes because it features the DAC® Jake's Feet corner anchor system. Basically, it uses ball and socket attachments that lock in the main poles and then act as levers to keep the tent corners grounded while the rainfly is pulled over the top of the tent. DAC® J-Stakes are also available if extra stability is required in windy conditions.
Extras
This is an updated version of the popular tent and features a redesigned inner tent that is lighter and better ventilated.
Designed to accommodate the Eureka! rope light if you want to purchase one ($20).
Tent features the LightPocket™, which holds your headlamp and has a diffusing fabric to provide even lighting in the tent.

ProductReportCard Editors' In-Depth Review


Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Reviewer note its "bombproof" design and say it performs exceptionally well even in extreme weather conditions
  • Geodesic design is very stable
  • Improved ventilation compared to other tents in the Quasar series
  • Exceptionally lightweight

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Having to pitch the inner tent first could be problematic in wet conditions

Key Features

Recommended Use
Year round mountaineering or backpacking
Product Size
The dimensions of the tent are 142.1" x 53.5" x 41.3" (L x W x H). It has 32 ft2 of interior space and two 10.8 ft2 vestibules. Its packed size is 21" x 7", and its trail weight is 6 lb 5 oz.
Frame and Fabric
The frame is comprised of four 8.84 mm DAC Featherlite poles. The outer fly and groundsheet are polyurethane coated ripstop nylon (5000mm) and the walls and floor are also polyurethane coated nylon (7000mm). The seams are fully taped for additional water protection.
Product Design
The Ultra Quasar has an exceptionally stable geodesic design with a green outer fly and a white inner tent.
Doors
There are two entrances to the tent, and both are protected from the elements by a vestibule.
Floor
The groundsheet is full taped and waterproof. It has a bathtub design for additional groundwater protection.
Set Up
The Ultra Quasar does not have a fast pitch option, but set up is relatively easy with continuous pole sleeves for the four poles. The inner tent must be pitched first, and then the flysheet and enhanced guy line system help secure it to the ground. The profile is sleek and more stable in windy conditions.
Vestibule/Storage
There are two vestibules in the front and rear of the tent that each provide 10.8 ft2 of space for storing your gear and your partners. There are also storage pockets in the interior of the tent for essential items like a flashlight, satellite phone, etc.
Ventilation
Adjustable ventilation is available with mesh doors.
Accessories
Groundsheet Protector, multi-tarp compatible, snow valances
Warranty
Limited Lifetime Warranty is guaranteed to the original owner against defects in materials and workmanship

Reputation

The Terra Nova Ultra Quasar tent has received a few very positive reviews online from customers, including a 5/5 on Trailspace.com (9 reviews). Most people were very impressed with the tent's performance in extreme weather conditions, especially considering that its trail weight could get as low as about 3 pounds when carried by two people. I did see some mixed reviews on the comfort of the tent, primarily in regards to the interior space. Some people felt that the tent was sufficiently roomy for two people, while others felt that it was a bit cramped and uncomfortable. One person said that they could only sit up straight in the middle of the tent and that they didn't feel like they had much head space when they were lying done. I think the mixed reviews could just be due to what people have been used to traveling with in the past. Overall, it sounded like most customers were okay with sacrificing some comfort for a super lightweight tent that can withstand any weather conditions. Given the cost and features, the Ultra Quasar is designed for the serious year-round mountaineer who expects to face howling winds and wouldn't be surprised if they had to dig their tent out of a foot of snow in the morning.


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