The Wild Country Zephyros 1 tent from Terra Nova Equipment has been out with me a few nights, and has shown its worth. Terra Nova, the U.K. parent company of Wild Country, has been making tents for around 30 years. They are well known for producing tough, lightweight tents and other camping gear, and several of their tents hold world records for being the lightest in their class. Wild Country products are a bit heavier than their Terra Nova cousins, but are available are much lower prices. Terra Nova offered to send a tent for testing, and I gladly accepted their offer.
Their Zephyros 1 person tent is a 3-season, non-free-standing, double wall design with a single vestibule and door. The outer rainfly and inner tent are pitched together as a single unit. This allows the tent to be more easily pitched in wet conditions. The Zephyros 1 uses a Superflex alloy main pole at the center. Two very short poles are located at either end and are generally left in place to speed up the tent setup. Each Zephyros 1 comes with 12 stakes to pitch the tent.
I took the Zephyros 1 on an outing when everything in the forest was soaked from days of precipitation. My Zephyros 1 set up easily, but did require a bit of adjusting to produce a taut pitch. The corners of the tent body share stakes with the rainfly and all are attached with shock cord. Careful placement of these stakes along with good tension on the lines at the ends of the tent is key for a taut pitch. After a couple practice sessions, I am able to get the Zephyros 1 set up quickly.
The Wild Country Zephyros 1 does have plenty of floor space for one person. I am about 6’2” tall and am able to lie in the tent with a bit left over. The back of the tent is built with a triangular section where small items can be stowed. I had plenty of vestibule space to store my 55 liter pack but I did have to bundle up the straps to keep them inside. Space at either end of the tent is available under the fly sheet to stow shoes, and other gear. Highly reflective accents, glow in the dark line tensioners and reflective 2.3mm guy lines provide night time visibility. The half mesh inner door and triangular mesh sections at the ends of the tent provide ventilation. The vestibule door zips vertically and the zipper is easy to reach. The shape of the vestibule and door allows for easy entry. No condensation formed inside the tent even in the wet conditions. I did place a trash bag under the floor since the grass was soaking wet. Normal condensation formed on the rainfly but no moisture got inside the tent.
There are no gear pockets inside the tent and no loops in the ceiling to hang a light. I was able to sit in the tent but I had to hunch over a bit to do so. I recommend using a thinner pad to sleep on as the ends of the tent are a bit low. I used a thicker pad and had no troubles, but if you don’t like the tent fabric close to your face keep that in mind. The provided stakes are lightweight and would work superbly in softer soil. I had to switch to a tougher option to cope with the very rocky soil in this area. The only vent for the rainfly is the door itself, so I’m unsure how the airflow would be in the warmest weather. With the temperature in the sixties, I set the tent up in full sun in the backyard and felt fine with the vestibule door open.
The specs on the Wild Country Zephyros 1 are not too shabby. My tent weighs just under the 3 pounds 7 ounces claimed packed weight. It packs down to about 20½ by 5½ inches. The Zephyros 1 can be found on the internet for $130. This is the ace in the hole for the Zephyros 1. After testing, I think the Wild Country Zephyros 1 is a good choice for a lot of people. For those looking for the biggest bang for the buck, this tent is a serious contender. Check out Terra Nova’s and Wild Country’s products here.