Dec 9, 2009 at 11:04 am #1252256
Macpac, that glorious Kiwi brand, has gone through some major organisational changes of late.
That has resulted in several new products focusing (it seems to me) on new materials. As well as the new eVent jackets and pants , there is an extensive range of Merino clothing (looks like a reduced range of Interwool,that is Merino on the inside and synthetic on the outside) but most important of all (well, only for me…) is the new tent line up.
There is only one new backpacking model, the Macrolite, a freestanding minimalistic 2 person 2 wall tent.
Not that light at 2kg but could be a good option for areas where space is at a premium and a dry set up (fly first) is preferred.
The others have shed some considerable weight by switching to silnylon. That should be good news particularly for UK (as well as Kiwis and Taswegians) users where an integral pitch is preferred (rain in summer is a bit warmer there but still wet) .
So the Microlite (single hoop ,one person) is now below 1.5kg (3 lbs) , the Minaret , a smallish but very well designed (IMHO) tunnell tent , is now just over 2 kg (4.6 lbs competing with the Nallo 2) and the favourite by rough weather aficionados , the venerable Olympus is almost light,for what it is, at 2.8kg (6.1 lbs) .
The Olympus is a 3 pole tunnel tent that by design can shed snow better than many other tunnel tents (again in my view,but has many fans too)
The weight savings has come about with the introduction of silnylon. UV30 PU (seam sealed) for the Hemisphere ( a bombshelter…) UV30 SI for the rest (you seal them) . Note that the lighter version still has a waterhead of 3000mm .
When comparing weights consider the emphasis by Macpac in weather protection, particularly wind and rain.
I have no connections with Macpac, but I am a Kiwi after all…
Dec 9, 2009 at 11:17 am #1551987
Oh yeah, we were crawling around in these at a recent expo. I was very impressed. The Minaret is now in the same weight and size category as the Nallo2, and the awesome Olympus has shed some major weight. All-in-all a nice new remake of their classic tents in modern lighter materials.Dec 9, 2009 at 12:28 pm #1552013
I still have not seen the new Microlite. It was sold out when I looked at them. It appears to have new connecting points between the inner and the fly. Maybe less sag than before.
BTW Lynn, if I remember correctly you have /had a Nallo 2. How does it compare to the Minaret now that the weight is similar ?Dec 9, 2009 at 12:34 pm #1552016
Great info. Will these tents be available in the US?Dec 9, 2009 at 12:46 pm #1552026
"BTW Lynn, if I remember correctly you have /had a Nallo 2. How does it compare to the Minaret now that the weight is similar ?"
I have to admit I thought the Minaret had more usable room, and was overall more thoughtfully designed, but than I'm a life-long fan of the Minaret, having used the older (smaller, heavier) model for twelve rough years without fail…both excellent tents. If the new Minaret had been available when we got the Nallo, we would have stuck with the Minaret.Dec 9, 2009 at 1:17 pm #1552037
Thanks. I like the idea of theretractable floor to extend the vestibule. Carol McDermott(Lightwave) has that in some of his shelters too. (another Kiwi..)
Just noticed that Macpac are represented in Europe and Japan but not the US. Nor they ship to the US. Maybe it is because we gave Campbell Junor (from Macpac) a bit of a hard time when he posted here. Some people are so unkind.
From memory one of them was an Australian…
FrancoDec 9, 2009 at 1:21 pm #1552039
That's too bad Franco….Dec 9, 2009 at 1:49 pm #1552053
@maelgwnLocale: Flinders Ranges, South Australia
I have been very happy with macpac products over the years and know lots of people who own their tents, packs and jackets. Durability and construction is always excellent. Weight – well its a bit high!
New macrolite doesn't look that good but haven't seen one set up yet. Macpac store opening here v soon though :-) Would stick with a minaret for a two man tent at similar weight.Dec 9, 2009 at 2:06 pm #1552059
Can't beat a tunnel tent for size to weight ratio (apart from using trekking poles) but some prefer or need freestanding. The nice bit is that it does have two tiny vestibules but big enough to offer a somewhat rain protected entry and you could shove your pack/boots under it .
The other point is that some prefer side entry anyway. Again I would expect more of an interest in Europe were fly first set ups are standard.
I wonder why they don't ship to the US.
FrancoDec 9, 2009 at 3:30 pm #1552079
Does anyone besides me feel like Franco is cheating on his………….Tarptent?Dec 9, 2009 at 3:46 pm #1552082
"Does anyone besides me feel like Franco is cheating on his………….Tarptent?"
Naaaah. A man's allowed to look!Dec 9, 2009 at 4:46 pm #1552096
Oh yeah, lucky us…SALE TIME
"During our Macpac Christmas sale, there is 25-50% off the entire range of Macpac products…and as an MWC member, for every $200 spent during the sale we’ll give you a $20 gift card"Dec 9, 2009 at 4:59 pm #1552100
"Oh yeah, lucky us…SALE TIME"
You've got a bit of a mean streak in you, don't you…. ;-)Dec 9, 2009 at 5:02 pm #1552102
Taswegians huh? I thought it would have been Tasmaniacs…Dec 9, 2009 at 5:21 pm #1552106
….Dec 9, 2009 at 5:35 pm #1552110
As a Taswegian (the correct term… we'll also accept "superior Australian" :) I have to say I'm impressed with Macpac's effort to revitalise their business. While not specifically targeting lightweight walkers as such they have produced an interesting range of gear.
The new Minaret does look really good. As a very happy Nallo 2 owner I can say that I would have been very tempted had the new Minaret been around when I bought my Hilleberg.
The Macpac eVent range of clothing looks pretty nice too. If I was in the market for a new waterproof jacket I would definitely be considering these.
One other nice bit of clothing (IMO) is their merino long- and short-sleeve shirts. I like merino clothin generally but it can be a bit hot on me. Having a shirt with buttons up the front greatly increases the usable temp range of merino for me. And if I undo all the buttons I can use my pale white skin for stunning wildlife or as an emergency beacon :)
As a member of the main online bushwalking forum for Tasmania it's nice to see that they have added a special forum section for "weight reduction" (ie. discussions of the lightweight approach). People there are definitely becoming more open to the philosophy of LW walking.
StuartDec 9, 2009 at 6:37 pm #1552134
My pack is too small to fit one of those tents (just kidding…)
Clearly Macpac could have saved some more weight by opting for lighter silnylon however as they are looks to me to be just as waterproof as before, likely lighter when wet * and added some tensile strength (should be harder to tear than standard PU coated nylon)
*We have had some good rain here so I finally took the opportunity do do a weigh before and after test on some of my tents.
The idea was to let the fly up long enough to get saturated (well you cannot really saturate silnylon) then take them down , give them a shake and pack them up. (whilst it is still raining)
One (polyester ripstop) gained a whopping 60% weight, another (same fabric) gained 31% but was still not saturated (I would expect the same increase as the other) , a TT shelter gained 25% ; a lot of and that was on the guylines( I have extra attached to it) . I missed doing Epic but that can fully saturate as well.
( I have guylines that do not absorb water but prefer to use theTriptease stuff)
I have had the idea for a long time that we quibble over one or two ounces but the difference between two shelters when wet can be well over a pound.Dec 9, 2009 at 7:37 pm #1552147
@tbeasleyLocale: Pigeon House Mt from the Castle
>I have no connections with Macpac, but I am a Kiwi after all…
That explains your accent.
>As a member of the main online bushwalking forum for Tasmania it's nice to see that they have added a special forum section for "weight reduction" (ie. discussions of the lightweight approach). People there are definitely becoming more open to the philosophy of LW walking.
There is still along way to go with LW gear in Australia but you are right there has been some progress.
While on MacPac they have recently brought out a nice little tall day pack, it is tall enough to fit a rolled up closed cell foam mat, I got one last weekend and have not tried it out yet. It weighs in at 189g and measures around 50cm tall 20cm wide and 17cm thick. I think the volume is around 20 liters
</center>Dec 10, 2009 at 12:07 am #1552213
@backpackerchickLocale: Planet Earth
While we're in the neighborhood. I really miss Fairydown. Especially the sleeping bagsDec 10, 2009 at 12:56 am #1552218
Fairydown is now a PDF on the Macpac site..
Some of the products still exists but the tents have disappeared (erased before the Macpac takeover)
Macpac have now a largish range of bags with up to date fills and fabrics, however I think they should resurrect the Neve (top bag) with the new materials…
FrancoDec 10, 2009 at 1:22 am #1552221
AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!! The Neve, I owned a Pinnacle, the lighter cousin of the Neve, Down on top and a sleeve in the bottom for your mattress, was just like sleeping in a well made motel bed! Great bags, that was 12 years ago now, man time flies. Bring them back Franco!Dec 10, 2009 at 9:49 am #1552300
"I think they should resurrect the Neve (top bag) with the new materials…"
And a new design. It was cutting edge in it's time, but once you've used a WM POD, there is no going back!
Been thinking more about the Minaret…I would now choose it over a Nallo. The Nallo has always been a bit short, and the foot end virtually presses against the fly, leading to condensation pressing through onto you bag. The Minaret has a long side and short side that will accommodate at least one taller person, and has more clearance at the foot end. Oh, and for those of you not familair with this tent, here is a short review from Outdoor Magic:
"Verdict: Incredibly versatile and well-made, top quality mountain tent that's survived everything we can throw at it. It weighs a mere 2.5 kilos or so (now down to 2.1kg), pitches in a matter of minutes, has bombproof stability once guyed out, all the comforts of home inside and has never leaked. We've used it for everything from high altitude mountaineering and trekking to gentle car camping in the Lakes and unless you really need a larger tent, it's near impossible to fault. Ultimately a geodesic might be slightly stronger, but we wouldn't bet on it. If you're after a new tent that pretty much does it all and can afford the asking price then stop looking now."Dec 10, 2009 at 9:55 am #1552304
Oh yeah, and about the fly material. It is not ordinary silnylon. It looks and feels different to my tarptents, and is more reminiscent of the fabric on the Nallo:
The combination of lightness, strength and waterproofness makes UV30™ the premium performance fly fabric designed for use in severe cold, wet and windy conditions. UV30™ is proven as a real performer through constant testing and use in New Zealand's Southern Alps and damp Fiordland Valleys.
UV30™ is a 30-denier double rip-stop nylon fabric with a high thread count. It is waterproofed with multiple coats of silicone elastomer on both the inside and outside of the fabric.
The use of 30 denier nylon yarns in UV30™ fabric means it weighs in at less than 60g/m2 – it is a very lightweight tent fabric.
Using double ripstop nylon makes UV30™ very strong and the silicon coating on both sides of the fabric acts to increase the tear strength of UV30™. The silicon coating doesn't bind or lock the weave but allows a certain amount of give in the weave increasing its capacity to absorb tension. This means the fabric has significantly higher tear strength than a similarly constructed fabric with polyurethane coating. Furthermore, the coating is applied without the use of heat and therefore does not weaken the natural strength of the fabric. There's less chance of ripping your fly on that epic journey where a tent with a gaping gash will cost you safety and security.
The multiple silicon elastomer coating means the fabric maintains it strength when exposed to UV radiation over long periods. This will significantly extend the life of your tent when exposed to sunlight.
Testing of UV30™ (to British Standard 3424) found that UV30™ is waterproof to 3500mm of hydrostatic head – more than enough to keep out torrential downpours. The silicon elastomer coating creates a highly water-repellent finish that stimulates a high degree of water shedding and keeps you dry.Dec 10, 2009 at 10:00 am #1552307
Now I want one even more….even though I can't get it here!
Thanks Lynn!Dec 10, 2009 at 10:19 am #1552324
Neve was ahead of its time, and you can not buy a WM Pod. Lets hope that the groundswell of requests from BPL results in a rethink on the part of Macpac, or WM.
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