I love wild camping, I’ve said this many times before in my posts. I love being up in the hills or out on the moors when everyone else has gone home. The freedom one feels while wild camping is like no other. You choose how long you want to walk, you choose when and where you want to pitch up. All that’s left to do then is to sit back and enjoy the views… Providing the weather is on your side 🙂
I’ve slept outdoors in many scenarios… I’ve camped on top of mountains, I’ve bivvyed under tarps in forests, I’ve slept in bothies, under makeshift shelters and i’ve cowboy camped under the stars in the Australian outback.
The first thing one needs to do is choose your method and then go about acquiring the means… Of late my choice has been to wild camp in a tent. Sadly though I killed my old tent up on Kinder Scout around 18 months ago so it was high time I chose a replacement… I did my research… I weighed up all the options… I checked the bank balance… Then I ended up finding the perfect tent for me that ticks all the boxes. The Wild Country Zephyros 1 by Terra Nova.
Here is my first impressions review of this great backpacking tent after using it a handful of times in different conditions. We’ll start with the stats taken straight from Terra Nova’s website.
Weight: 1.41kg / 1.57kg (min/max), 3lb 1oz / 3lb 4oz (min/max)
Pack size: 52cm x 14cm
Range: 3 season backpacking
Flysheet: Pu Polyester R/S 4000mm
Floor: Pu Polyester R/S 6000mm
Poles: 8.5mm Wild Country Superflex Alloy
Pegs: 10 x Aluminium V-Angle
Guylines: 4 x black reflective
The Zephyros 1 is a copy of Terra Nova’s Laser Competition, which was the tent I was originally looking at buying. I’ve received many messages from fellow bloggers and twitter friends asking the one question… how does the Zephyros compare to its lighter but more expensive relative. At a distance there aren’t many structural differences… The Laser’s pole threads through a slightly different sleeve and it sits a little more snuggly to its smoother looking outer, which I would imagine would make it more streamline and inevitably more sturdy in winds. It has extra guy points and improved ventilation, Having never slept inside a Laser I couldn’t possibly give a true comparison in that sense.
The main area in which the two begin to differ is in the material. The Laser’s flysheet spec is as follows “Si/Si Nylon R/S 3000mm”. The spec of the Zephyros is “Pu Polyester R/S 4000mm”. The Laser’s floor is “Si/Si Nylon R/S 5000mm” and the Zephyros is “Pu Polyester R/S 6000mm”. The Zephyros is made from a different type of fabric and is marginally thicker, so we can now see where the extra weight is coming from. This thicker fabric can only make the Zephyros more durable?
Before I made my mind up about which I was going to buy I wandered into Field & Trek in Derby. I picked up both tents, One in each hand. The Zephyros is around 600grams heavier and it packs down to a slightly larger but still respectable size of 52cm x 14cm. It fits perfectly inside my rucksack. My friends and I once took a huge Vango 4 man tent on a backpacking trip and spread the weight between us all… So let’s just say I’ve carried heavy tents over long distance, so in comparison the Zephyros is a breeze 🙂
The poles and pegs are different in both models too, the Zephyros comes with a great “8.5mm Wild Country Superflex Alloy” pole which feel very strong. It has stood up to the moderately strongs winds that I have submitted it to with no signs of bending so far. The pegs that come with the Zephyros are V-Angle Aluminium and are nice and light, Where as the Laser gets 2g Titanium ones.
Thats enough of the comparisons lets get to my thoughts. The Zephyros pitches nice and tight once you get it right, there is a knack to it which I’m slowly mastering after advice from Terrybnd. As I said earlier I have had it pitched up in moderately strong winds and it stood up to it with no problems what so ever. No bends in the poles and as I took the time to pitch it right there was no midnight panic to reset the pegs or guy lines. I pitched up in a forest in the Peak District in torrential rain, it kept me nice and dry inside with minimal condensation.
I’m 6ft tall so I found that my previous tent wasn’t quite big enough. The Zephyros however is more than roomy for 1 person, length wise its just right for me. There is enough room to store gear inside if you wish, although I usualy store my bag in the porch and the Zephyros has enough space for that too. Inside I can sit upright cross legged with no problems whatsoever while cooking in the porch, I was doing just that the other day while admiring the views down the Upper Dove Valley in the Peak District.
The only area I feel like I will need to upgrade is the pegs. The Aluminium pegs supplied with the Zephyros are susceptible to bending let’s say, I’ve bent every one of them in the half a dozen times I’ve used them. They are designed to be lightweight first I guess so strength has suffered a little. I will inevitably be upgrading to some better ones from Terra Nova or heading over to Alpkit to seek out replacements.
So to summarise… The Wild Country Zephyros 1 in my eyes is an ideal tent for the money conscious backpacker. I’m just a regular guy who likes to walk and wild camp. I would rather save around £200 and just put up with the extra 600 grams. The more expensive tents on the market are inevitably going to be more superior in most cases, for me though they are not in my budget so the Zephyros fits my needs and my wallet perfectly. Thanks for reading.
22 thoughts on “Wild Country – Zephyros 1 – Review”
I purchased last summer a zephyros 2. I went for 4 days hiking in Iceland and i wanted something light and comfortable for 1 person. The tent performed well in a very very wet weather however I had really troubles to put the central pole it was almost impossible to bent and i also had troubles with the inner red pole which almost never stayed in place. Any tips on how to overcame these problems.
Sadly I think the centre pole remains tricky to get in place, I haven’t found that it gets any easier… the same goes for the end pole, sorry I can’t offer any advice.
I have to say that I really don’t like watching your videos of your pack packing and day trips. I was stationed for sixteen years in the UK when I was in the American Air Force and went camping often with the family all around south western parts of the UK. I always wanted to wild backpack like you are doing now. I was in the UK when I retired from the Air Force and the kids wanted to come back to the US to live so I decided to come back here for their sake. Just watching all your backpacking videos you are on with your mates makes me so envious of you. It brings back so many happy memories of being there. Such beautiful scenery.
Hi Pat, thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you, my inbox of website comments/emails has got rather large lately 🙂 I’ve been watching videos recently of the scenery on your side of the pond, I would to visit Yosemite. Once again thank you for taking the time to comment, all the best. Dean
I’ve just purchased one of these tents. I usually use a bivvy but sometimes find having the space for cooking in bad weatehr is a bonus. I wonder how this tent will stand up to some strong winds / gales ?
I’ve had it pitched in strong winds while on the Pennine Way. Nothing hurricane force mind but it did perform very well. I can’t fault it to be honest. As long as you pitch side on in to the wind I think it would do well.
I have a jetboil zip, & I have to say it was £66 well spent (go outdoor), and the zip is great for solo camping, it takes any normal screw gas can.
I have a local camping shop who sells wayfarer boil in bag for £2.99. I but he had a 90% discount on the food, so I now have about 40 wayfarer meals in my cupboard and all dated 2015.
As I camp alot anyway the jetboil & boil un bags are a fantastic combination, and then the water can be used for a brew later.
I think I shall invest in a Jet Boil as I’m doing the Pennine Way in April. I will have a look next time I go to GoOutdoors in Sheffield. I find that the cost of Wayfarer can vary so much so they are worth buying if found cheap. I have been using the Heinz pasta micro meal sachet things that can be boiled in a bag too. They are only £1.30 at Tesco and have same amount as a wayfarer 🙂
Hi Just noticed Trail magazine have a free jetboil offer this month if you subscribe, subscription is £44, thats £22 off price of a jetboil zip
Sorry for the repeat message phone died as I sent, so re wrote and sent again
No worries 🙂 p.s. I’ll make sure I do a video next time I camp.. I forgot to mention I use a very cheap Coleman gas stove that has been great but I do fancy something like a Jet Boil if I can save the money but its not essential
Next time you’re wild camping any chance of seeing the Zephyrous with all your kit in it etc, gives a better idea if space, I have decided to get the Zephyrous after watching your review, but can’t decide one the 1 or 2 man version.
What other kit you using, sleeping bag, stove etc, i’m sure a video of your wild camping kit is a must, and it truly helps us newbies on buying the right kit.
I have noticed there seems to be some snobbery with having the Rab, or Berghaus etc names, and all well & I good if you got the wallet to match the big name prices. But some of us have bills to pay so need to find cheaper alternative that do the same job.
Agreed Graham, There is a lot of snobbery when it comes to kit. I personally don’t get involved simply because I can’t afford it either, hence why I went for a budget tent like the Zephyros instead of the Terra Nova Laser etc etc.
I’m not a massive kit junkie so I couldn’t even tell you what model my sleeping bag is off the top of my head. It’s a Vango one that cost me around £70 and I bought it about a year ago. My previous bag was a really cheap one that I had used for 5-6years 🙂
Rab is an a excellent brand, I have a few bits of their kit, only a base layer, hat and a fleece but I can’t afford any more. Berghaus has proved to be a really great brand for me. Very reasonably priced (middle of the road) and the stuff I have from them really has stood the test of time. When we first started out I bought crap gear (regatta) and it let me down, sometimes totally running trips 🙂 so I then got rid of that and moved on to the next level of gear and that has lasted years. I have a berghaus Jacket, Waterproof trousers, regular trousers, base layers, hats, gloves, fleeces. If you are looking for good reasonably priced stuff then Berghaus gets my vote every time 🙂
Keep the questions coming mate and I’ll do my best to give an honest reply or recommendation. I’m a regular guy with a regular job that has too many bills to pay 🙂 so I have to watch the pennies too.
Next wild camp, any chance of getting a video showing a bit better look at your Zephyrous tent, with the gear in etc showing how much real space it actually has, after watching your videos I have decided to get one, but can’t decide on the 1or 2 man version, but as money is tight I can’t find a better valued tent and spec then the Zephyrous in that price range. What sleeping bag you using at moment.. Maybe a kit video is needed, as they do truly help us newbies to make the right choice.
Me again Dean, I was wondering if you could give me some info, as I fancy a wild camp / walk in the peaks & wondered if you can give me ideas of where I can leave my car etc, I’m a novice walker so something that’s not going to tax my new found map reading skills.
Hi Graham, I’m always really paranoid about leaving my car 🙂 I’d say that if you were to park in Edale near the School or the Nags Head it would be pretty safe. You could then do a route similar to this – http://www.deanread.net/blog/2012/12/13/peak-district-kinder-scout-ringing-roger-hope-cross/ and camp near a spot called Crookstone Knoll. Alternatively you could do a route like this http://www.deanread.net/blog/2011/09/21/peak-district-kinder-scout-behind-the-scenes/ and camp on Grindslow Knoll. There are some great spots on Kinder to wild camp, obviously Wild Camping is not strictly aloud but i’m sure if you pitched up late, left early and stayed out the way of civilisation you’d be fine 🙂
what a fantastic refreshing website, I am trying to pluck the courage to start wild camping, I need a few bits of kit, of which one is going to be the wild country Zephyros, does it flap in the wind much, also how much space is inside the tent was packed with kit.
I am desprate to walk the peaks, but walking alone has lots of drawbacks,lack of confidence being one of them, but your videos have finally given me the arse kick i needed.
Hi Graham thanks for your great comments. It makes it all worth the effort when people like yourself take the time to leave feedback. The majority of my walking over the last few years has been solo and I quite enjoy the solitude 🙂
The Zephyros is nice and solid if pitched correctly, Side on in to the wind and nice and tight. I have been very impressed with its performance in windy conditions. There is enough room inside to keep you rucksack in or it can be put in the porch. The porch is rather small with just about enough room to get some food on the go. It might be worth keeping an eye out for the new Zephyros Lite which I believe is being released soon or it may be out already 🙂
Once again thanks for taking the time to comment. Happy walking.
Hi, just stumbled upon this review after doing a search for the Zephyros 1 Lite. I’m into wild camping and have been to the Outer Hebrides several times, but that was with a car to carry gear most of the way. Now I’m planning a backpacking trip and am looking into buying some lightweight gear. You think I can get away with using a 60l pack for a 2 week trip?
Yeah I would say so. Mine is only 60L and have used on 2 week trips 🙂
Great post and very interesting as Im currently about to inherit one of these! 🙂
excellent, its a bloody good tent. I’ll be interested to see the new Zephyros Lite when that comes out. thanks for commenting. I hope you enjoy yours when it comes your way.