I’ve been patiently sitting on the sidelines watching the developments on the 1+ man tent front, the thought of lugging my trusty old TNF Tadpole (2.3kg) through another year weighing on my mind. Last autumn I was set to jump on the Laser Comp bandwagon, complete with Robin’s mod’s, but with winter approaching I held off and found a host of young pretenders gaining airtime. New(ish) boys on the block included the Scarp 1 with its latest iteration of longer flysheet. Henry over at Tarptents has a loyal and growing following, the tent gets grand reviews and the option of the extra cross-over poles offer more security for 4-season outings, though at around 1.5kg its not the lightest.. I’ve watched and listened as others have received their new Scarp – Robin is already fettling with his – when along comes the Vaude Power Lizard UL, replete with ridiculous name….guess its better than Scutum!
Looks like a Laser Comp without the fiddly pole cover, and bit of extra room (for 2 if you’re very good friends). The good bits…
- Lightweight at 1 Kg
- Small packed size (35cm x 10cm)
- Power frame should aid stability
- More space than Laser Comp
- No fiddly pole cover
- Space for two (at a push!)
The main con at the moment is that it’s unproven in the field (though Vaude do have a good reputation)….. and that RRP of £350(!!)….oh, and a 2-way zip would have been handy. There was a quick review in last months Trail magazine, an interesting thread over at Outdoors Magic with the usual pro’s and con’s and some more feedback from Bob over at backpackinglight who has used it overnight in the wild.
A quick Google (can I use it as a verb?) showed that you could find it for £300 (still expensive) though all were awaiting stock. Just as I was about to close the search window I saw Amazon’s name on the screen.. Strange, I didn’t expect them to be stocking this type of gear but a quick click showed them selling it at £256. It was out of stock but you could place an order at that price….and with another click on impulse…..I did…..with a slight guilty feeling….which somewhat lessened when a few days later Amazon increased the price back to £300 and I still have the safety net of Amazons no-hassle returns policy. I also feel a wee guilty for not ordering from Bob at backbackinglight but I promise to atone by spending the money I saved, and more, with him over the coming months.
So have I bagged a bargain or a turkey? Time will tell – there’s no right or wrong answer – if it works for me and I nabbed it cheap then great. The basics are there and I’ll find its limitations (or mine) with experience, just as others did with the Laser Comp and who will no doubt with the Scarp. Some lived with the Laser, some changed it, some have moved on. We’re each at on our own personal learning curve and thats no bad thing.