User Review: Macpac Minaret
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.