Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $450
A sturdy four-season tent, lightweight and pretty much bomb proof. Integral pitch design makes it a snap to get up in any sort of weather, but can also have fly and inner pitched seperately.
- Solid in strong wind
- Well made
- Small inner
- Hot in summer
- Small vestibule space
The Minaret is an easy to pitch tent, requiring only a handful of pegs most of the time. The guy lines are pretty much unnecessary unless you are in some really strong wind. It pitches well, once it's pegged out tight, the rest just comes together.
The Minaret stays strong in the roughest of weather, the only real let downs in a bad weather tent day are that it is quite small. The specs say it is a 2-person tent, but I would consider it a 1-person tent, unless the two people are quite small (I'm 6'3 and struggle for space). There is not enough room in the vestibule for 2 packs and boots and other vestibule bits, which means you need to have your pack outside with a cover and make sure you have everything ;)
As a single person tenet, there is enough space in the tent to bring your pack in and it is great. For a rough weather solo tent, it is fantastic. In fact it is more comfortable during a gale, and the ventilation between the fly and inner keeps everything cool.
The only other big downs side is it is very hot in summer, in fact I usually have the main door just closed with the mesh part even in winter with snow outside ... it's that warm.
So for a single person tent that will get you through everything I would thoroughly recommend it. If you have 2 people or aren't going to be tenting in extreme weather (wind, snow) I would look at something else.
I have owned Macpac Minaret tents for the past 20 years, used extensilvely throughout the world, above snowline, and in deserts. Highly recommend.
Only problem is the fly on some models goes a bit tacky, seems to be the waterproofing, not the material itself. As always Macpac is happy to change under warranty.
Design: 4 Season 2 pole tunnel
Ease of Setup: Easy
Price Paid: $AUD 450 (12 yrs ago)
We love this tent. My wife and I have used this extensively over the last 12 years bushwalking in Australia -- Tasmania and NSW. It has had to stand very wild, wet and windy conditions (though we haven't tried it in the snow) and has always come through with flying colours. In bad conditions you appreciate the amazing thought and detail in its design which makes life so much more comfortable.
Due to its design and pole sleeves sewn into the fly, when pitched into the wind and guyed out, it is rock solid. The continuous pole sleeves and ability to erect the tent and fly in one go make it quick to erect even when the tent and everything else is wet. I can set it up in a couple of minutes singlehanded. After 12 years, it still hasn't leaked!
Things I like include the extendible vestibule (you can unclip the inner when the tent is pitched, to increase the vestibule area) which allows a large storage or sheltered entry when the rain is bucketing down. The vestibule can be entered through either the main door or one of the triangular side flaps. This allows very flexible ventilation when the wind and rain are up, as well as a sheltered entry (through one of the side flaps) without exposing the gear in the vestibule or the inner to the elements. While the inner dimensions are quite cosy it has its room in the right places and feels bigger than it is. The maximum height and width is near the door. The inner mesh pockets are in the right places. There are a variety of ways the main entrance can be unzipped, allowing you to leave quite a bit open even in bad weather. It's nice to have a window when tentbound by the elements.
While this tent is an overkill for good weather or summer camping (we just use something like a tarp then), where the weather is wild, cold or marginal, this is a tent you can rely on.
Design: 2 person, hoop, four season
Ease of Setup: Medium
Weight: 2.6 KG (get metric, US)
Price Paid: $750 (NZ)
In the Antipodes, Macpac is renowned for its very high quality equipment which employ superior fabrics and craftsmanship to be world leaders. The Minaret is part of the "Zenith" series of four season or expedition grade tents. This series uses UV40 materials to be amongst the most waterproof and resilent tents available. Recently I returned from a testing trip in Tasmania, in the "Roaring Forties," and found that the Macpac was a superb choice. The floor is without doubt utterly bombproof (as I was stuck for three days on a high sodden moor without seepage). Strong winds and rain didn't bother the Minaret. For resilence, and waterproofness I can not recommend any tent more emphatically than the Minaret. In comparison to the vast majority of European, Asian or American alternatives, the Macpac is streets ahead.
Now for the minor grievances, the attachment of the fly to the inner is by way of velcro strips that can be annoyingly short and inconvenient to attach for those who separate the fly from the inner and erect the former first. All Macpac tents have this very convenient option of erecting the fly and then attaching the inner, so that in really wet conditions the inner can be stored separately and kept dry for longer. There is, as with many Macpac designs, limited air flow as the rear of the tent has a next to useless flap. The use of an asymmetrical design for the vestibule has provided a very limited amount of vestibule space. Speaking of space, the Minaret is barely a two person tent for longer walks. Considering the interior space of the tent, it is a superb one person and quite passable two person production - but for very long walks it is only for close friends. The tent can be used judiciously above the snowline, although the two pole design might be something of a compromise over the stronger (and substantially heavier) three pole competition. Strongly recommended.
Design: four season
Yes this is still a great tent. Intergral pitch allowing you to to slide a couple poles in bang in four pegs and go to bed while the others are out in the rain trying to get a fly over is even sweeter when the next morning with the rain continuing you can un-velcro the tent with the fly still up pack the dry inner and all your belongings before going out to drop the fly. Expect it to weigh more than a US style as it has a functional floor material and doesn't really need a groundsheet. After many mountains mine was just getting too thin (My other 2 macpac tents are still fine after about 20 years) but I didn't buy another (went Wlderness Equipment) as a couple of new features annoyed me. The vestibule only has only one zip to save weight where as the old version had 2 hence a choice of opening the vestibule on the lee side and cooking in bed. The hoops are now similar heights. Having one smaller while losing headroom gave you a quieter night as its shape held the wind better. Yes, I admit it still must be a great tent if my complains are getting this picky.
Design: ALPINE GRADE TWO-POLE TUNNEL
Ease of Setup: POSSIBLE TO PITCH FLY AND INNER TENT SIMULTANEOUSLY IN BAD WEATHER. POLES SECURED AT END OF CONTINUOUS SLEEVES, SO ONE PERSON SETUP IN STRONG WINDS - NO PROBLEM.
Weight: 2.4Kg (new pegs)
Price Paid: approx. £300 UK
An exceptionally light tent. Outstanding groundsheet. Stable in strong winds. The inner tent can be reduced in size to allow more cooking space in the vestibule.
I do not have a single complaint after using this tent in freezing and WET Scottish mountain winters, and a sweltering hot summer in the Picos De Europa in Northern Spain.
Perhaps not ideal as a base-camp tent because of the lack of head room for extended periods. However, as a lightweight mountain tent for backpackers, it will handle some of the worst.
The tent can be pitched outer alone (v.light), inner alone (when it's hot and dry), or both at once (v. quick, and stops the inner getting wet). The fine mesh of the inner tent provides excellent ventilation (one opening at either end of the tent), yet prevents entry of all insect life.
This one replaced a Marmot Peapod which was so leaky it was quite literally a bathtub in its first British winter.
Worth every penny.
Design: 4 season alpine tunnel
Ease of Setup: elementary
Weight: 2.6kg total weight
Price Paid: a$690@Paddy Palin
A truly fantastic lightweight all weather performer. The offset vestibule provides sheltered entry. Excellent ventilation, considering it has only one entrance. Excellent interior storage space. I thoroughly endorse this tent.
Where to Buy
The Macpac Minaret is not available from the stores we monitor.
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