In this first gear review post I am going to talk about a tent that is very close to my heart, the Macpac Minaret.
review macpac minaret tent
review macpac minaret tent
To review this tent I will tell you a story.  It was a wet cold day at the beginning of spring 2015.  We were heading for the summit of Slieve Donard, the highest mountain in Northern Ireland and more importantly to us, one of the 32 summits, the highest point in each of Irelands 32 counties. Cormac was on a mission, the mission was to top out on each of the 32 summits with 32 friends and I drew Slieve Donard (I will link Cormac’s 32 Summits page at the end of this blog post).

Slieve Donard is on the north east coast of Ireland and is prone to high winds but this didn’t worry us, we knew we had a tent that would stand up to any conditions.

It wasn’t until we reached a saddle between the summit and its neighboring mountain that the weather conditions really started to deteriorate eventually became a full blown storm. From the saddle it was about an hours hike to get to the top, we decided to keep going, the decision to camp on top would be made when we got there and could access the conditions, plan B was to drop down to the saddle where we could pitch behind a stone wall for shelter.

We reached the top and conditions still had not dissipated.  It was wet, cold and very windy but nothing dangerous.  We decided to look for a nice flat area to pitch.

Pitching:

What we love about this tent is that pitching is fast and easy.  Pitching is as easy as running the equal length poles through their sleeves in the fly sheet, placing the pegs and tightening everything up.

Where the Minaret shines is that it can be pitched in the middle of a storm without much trouble. This is exactly what we had to do.  The mulit-pitch system developed by Macpac allows you to pitch the inner and fly together, the fly only or the inner only. This versatility offers a huge advantage in wet weather conditions.

We pitched the outer fly sheet first, placed the guy lines and tightened everything up (well-anchored guys lines that are at the correct tension is crucial to its strength).  Having the ability to erect the fly sheet first allowed us to us it as a storm shelter, a very sturdy storm shelter.  We were able to get in, get dry and warm, have something to eat and generally get comfortable.

Next it was time for the inner, this can be put up in a matter of minutes and is very easily attached to the fly sheet from the inside.  It is possible to move the inner back to give yourself more room for cooking and wet gear.  There is enough room in the vestibule to store two bags and boots. There is good ventilation in this tent with vents at the front and back.  The doors tie back with elastic loops and there is a mesh panel on the inner door stopping any nasty insects getting in to annoy you.

The tent weighs in at 2.6 kilos (5.7 pounds) and is cozy once you fit in two people and two big sleeping bags and mats.  There are plenty of internal pockets for gear storage.  The fact that this is a dome shaped tent means that a tall person like myself can sit up comfortably and not have to duck down to avoid hitting the roof.

I love this tent and if you are looking for a light weight tent that will hold up to any conditions this is the one for you.

The storm blew for most of the night but we were safe in this tent, I was amazed at how sturdy this tent was all night.  The following morning the wind had died a little and we saw blue skies, this is what we live for, mornings like that, breathing in the fresh air following a storm.  It was a great trip and was definitely made possible by the Macpac Minaret.

 

Design Features:

The modern, weight-conscious trekkers and mountaineers look for a highly functional tent, with a compact nature, efficient in-use weight and Multi-pitch versatility.

* UV30
* TM fly sheet offers premium protection during extreme conditions
* Multi-Pitch™
* is highly versatile, extending usability and functionality
* Legendary toughness and waterproof rating imparted from the Torrentwear XP floor tub design
* Two pole tunnel system creates aerodynamic stability and strength under load
* Single vestibule provides sheltered entry
* Retractable floor gives cooking and gear storage options
* Numerous internal mesh pockets for organised living
* Dual vent system at each end helps ventilation and air flow
* Double door system provides for both insulation and air flow

 

Check out Cormacs facebook page to track his 32 Summits.

https://www.facebook.com/32Summits/

 

Leave a comment below to let us know what you think of this review, is there anything missing that you would like to add?

Stay safe out there!

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