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Terra Nova Voyager XL Tent Review

RRP: £510

Available From:

Cotswold Outdoor

Rating: 7/10

So you’re choosing a home for the next ‘X’ months – a pretty big decision really, if it’s not right you’re going to be in for a lot of uncomfortable nights. After much research and deliberation we opted for the Terra Nova Voyager XL, and here’s how we found it.

Obligatory Arty Tent Shot

Obligatory Arty Tent Shot

The Good Stuff

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly for any tent – it keeps out inclement weather and keeps it out well, and with a hydrostatic head of 6000mm (fly) & 7000mm (groundsheet) it bloody well should; it also stands up to wind very well, its sturdy design and aerodynamic shape meant that while other cheap tents were literally blowing away during a storm in Slovenia ours was solid as a rock and we were toasty, (smug) and dry inside.

Terra Nova Voyager XL Solid as a Rock

Solid as a Rock

The large porch area is a real blessing when you have 4 panniers and a bar bag each, like us; it fits everything in with room for stuff to be unpacked, (a bonus when your partner *cough* Kat *cough* is a little messy) and still plenty of space to get in and out. It also opens up at both sides which is good for both easy access and increased ventilation when required.

The sleeping area is roomy enough, although as discussed in a bit, it could be a little cramped for taller people but it does have lots of handy little storage pockets for your bits and bobs.

Terra Nova Voyager XL Sleeping Area

Terra Nova Voyager XL Sleeping Area

Another important issues for many cycle tourists – it’s light, tipping the scales at 2.43kg, (packed) you’re not going to find a hell of a lot lighter, (for the size) without sacrificing durability. It also packs down nice and small, we don’t however, use the supplied bag – but rather opt for a waterproof tent bag that came with Kats old Coleman… a top tip for making sure your tent is dry when you unpack it when you reach your destination on rainy days.

It’s also a snap to put up and take down, a few minutes with two of us. The free standing fly also means you can use it on concrete floors if necessary, although you’d have to get some rocks/bricks to ‘peg’ out the fly.

Terra Nova Voyager XL Free Standing Inner

Terra Nova Voyager XL Free Standing Inner

The Gripes

If you have the fly sheet doors closed the tent can get a little stuffy on really hot days as it doesn’t have as much netting in the interior as other alternatives – leading to a few sweaty nights. It really does feel more like a 3 season tent, (the missing season being summer); it’s not catastrophic and if you don’t mind sleeping with the door open it fine, also most other tents would still feel hot in the same weather; but it’s something to bear in mind if you’re travelling to really hot destinations.

It’s not the cheapest tent in the world and we’ve met people on longer trips than us travelling with crappy little $20 tents; but as with most things in life, you get what you pay for and we thing as an investment, (it should last us well beyond the trip) it’s worth it.

The ‘mummy’ shape of the sleeping area means that square shaped full size sleeping mats, (I have a Thermarest and Kat has an Exped) do overlap a little at the bottom; it’s not much of a problem and to be honest we don’t notice it, but it this is the sort of thing that bothers you maybe you should opt for mummy shaped and/or ¾ length sleeping mats, (or a different tent).

As mentioned above it might not be the right choice for tall folk; me and Kat are both around 6’ tall and it’s comfortable for us – but I think if you were any taller this tent would perhaps be a little too much of a squeeze.

Terra Nova Takedown

Terra Nova Takedown

Pros

• Very Weather-Proof

• Large Porch Area

• Handy Internal Pockets

• Low Weight

• Packs Small, (fits perfectly on a rack)

• Easy Put-Up and Take-Down

Cons

• Not as Much Ventilation as Some Tents

• Can be Hot in Warm Weather

• Expensive

• Full Size Sleeping Mats can Overlap at the Bottom

• Wouldn’t be Suitable for Very Tall People (Say, over 6’ 2” ish)

Features

• Rated: 4 Season Backpacking

• Sleeps: 2

• Pitches inner first for maximum stability and ventilation options

• Packed Weight: 2.43kg

• Minimum Weight: 2.25kg

• Packed Size: 55x15cm

• Poles: 8.8mm DAC

• Pegs: 19 x Aluminium Alloy pegs

• Reflective guylines

• Large porch area with 2 entrances

Conclusion

Good tent that served us well, but if we were to choose again we might look for a bit more room and a bit more ventilation – perhaps splash out for a Hilleburg Nano 2GT? But if you’re not particularly tall you won’t be disappointed with the Voyager XL.

4 comments to Terra Nova Voyager XL Tent Review

  • Declan

    Hi,

    I bought this tent last year for a small tour I was doing through Wales and future touring also. I’ve never owned a tent before but I did notice the tent was damp on the inside each morning (even on dry days). Is this normal for tents? I presumed it was just condensation.

    Apart from that it’s a fantastic tent, I really liked the porch for storage and was easy to pitch (even fro someone with no experience of camping)

  • JM

    Hi
    Great review, I’m thinking of buying one myself for UK cycle touring and backpacking.
    Can you fit 2 full length sleeping mats in the tent? I can’t work out what mats you have, I think 1 is an Exped Synmat. I’m 6ft1 and my wife is 5ft7 so I think that there should be enough room with 2 tapered full length mats. What do you think?
    cheers

    Justin

  • Phil

    Hi Justin,

    Cheers! The mats we used were indeed a Exped Synmat and an old Thermarest, (don’t know the model… but it’s fairly old) – they were both standard oblong mats and did overlap a little at the bottom – so yeah, going for tapered full length would be a much better option.

    Well spotted, sir!

  • Phil

    Hi Declan,

    Yeah – the condensation thing is pretty normal, but as we mentioned this tent could benefit from a little more in the way of ventilation for hot days.

    But overall we still think it’s a winner!

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