I bought this tent specifically for LeftRight Repeat 2015 hiking across the GR10. So, my criteria was: durable for varied (but not overly extreme) weather, two man (room for me and my companion, a.k.a. my backpack), and lightweight. I was also looking to keep the cost down with an admittedly limited budget. So, a few trips to Cotswolds later, which were spent mooching around the store lying in all their tents, trying to simulate my soon to be sleeping experience in order to gage the comfort, I walked away with my very own Terra Nova Wild Country Coshee 2.
Despite having duly tested lying in the tent in store, my comfort rating when actually put to use would be a medium. You can definitely find more snug tents, but then you can also one hundred percent find tents less comfortable than this one too, especially when you’re on a weight and cost budget as well. My main qualms with it were twofold. Firstly, headspace. The tent is quite low and though there is extra headspace and it slants down towards the feet for compatibility, this can be a bit of an issue. Now this might not be the first requisite that you look for in a tent, and admittedly I hadn’t really thought of it before I left, but when you are camping long-term, over the course of say 42 days, low tents are both difficult for getting changed in and for avoiding the impending downpours that the mountainous atmosphere likes to shower you with at intervals.
Which brings me neatly to my second qualm: leakage. Maybe this would be better described as a design fault, and I have to admit that I was likely partially at fault for unintentionally positioning the door of my tent against the direction of the wind, but my tent leaked. Or rather did whatever the opposite of leaking is. Basically, the rain leaked into my tent and I woke up soggy and grumpy.
Evidently features such as low headspace and leaky doors do not bode the best for the design rating, but these aside, the tent wasn’t badly designed. It’s easy to set up and put away, with an inner pod that you can keep attached to the outer layer and groundsheet if you want for ease and speed of setting up, not an uncommon feature amongst most tents these days. There is nothing hugely innovative about its design, but it is simple and it works, so few complaints there.
The coshee’s packed weight is pretty much bang on 2Kg (4lb 7oz), which for a £120 tent really isn’t bad value at all. It’s also fantastic if you are trying to pack light, without spending a fortune on high tech lightweight materials.
Aside from the rain leaking incident, the tent material itself held up fairly well, and I still have it and use it to this day. The poles of the tent, however, weren’t quite so durable. Not one, but two of them broke when assembling the tent on two separate occasions. Luckily this was towards the end of the hike, so I just about managed to use my tent for the last couple of nights, suspending the tent by attaching the guide ropes to a tree. Not a particularly convenient fix as it meant that I always had to find a suitable tree to camp under, but manageable for a few nights. When I returned home I contacted Terra Nova, and after a bit of an argument with their customer services department managed to get some replacement poles sent out to me.
In short, not the most durable for long term use. That said, for short trips it’s still a decent tent.
I don’t think this tent was bad value for money, in fact, its cheapness is probably one of its biggest selling points. It is lightweight and easy to set up for the price range, but I wouldn’t buy it again. Especially for a long hike or adventure trip, I definitely think it’s worth investing a little more for a tent that you can rely on a bit more. After all, it is your home for the duration.
Lastly, in the photo above is also Doug’s MSR Elixir 2, a larger tent with the same weight specifications but for £200. The huge difference with this tent is MSR is a company who pride themselves on their customer service and sent Doug a replacement pole after his cracked only slightly after 2 months of use, no questions asked! Check out the review here!