Open main menu

Macpac Olympus

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Macpac Olympus four-season tent

Legendary mountain tent for Australia / New Zealand.


  • Well made
  • Almost bomb-proof
  • Strong
  • Tub floor
  • 3-pole tunnel design
  • Dual entry
  • Very quick to set up and collapse
  • Reflective entry points help pitching in dark


  • Smallish
  • Ventilation
  • Can be hot and stuffy in summer
  • Weight with poles and pegs 3.1kg

I have been camping, hiking, XC skiing, and mountaineering for 40 (+) years and have owned many (many) tents. Winter experience covers most of the Australian alps, Antarctica, NZ, Patagonia, and a very cold German winter. This is the only 4-season tent I have ever owned, and I suspect that it will last me the next 20 years. 

The Macpac Olympus is a very popular / highly regarded tent, particularly in Australia / NZ. Macpac is a proud Kiwi company - the majority of the company is held by an Australian Private Equity group, but their head office is still based in Christchurch, New Zealand.

You see these tents everywhere in Australia and NZ! For good reason. It sets up quickly, is stable in windy conditions, never leaks, and is a sensible sized tent for two people. 

In fact I would go so far as to say that you will see more of these tents in the Australian alps than any other type or brand of tent! It has been sold by Macpac for over 30 years and although the basics have remained unchanged, there are a lot of little refinements.

Specs for the current model are as follows:

Weight With the standard (lightweight) aluminium pegs mine weighs 3.05kg, substituting titanium pegs and adding guy ropes it is just under 3.1kg. The weight has come down about 0.5kg in the last few years by using better fabric.

Floor area (l x w) 2.2m x 1.35m 

Height 1.15m (slightly higher and longer than most 4-season tents)

Vestibule area (l x w) 1.1m x 1.35m

Rolled size 55 x 15cm

Poles 3 – DAC Featherlite NSL / 9.6mm (pole sleeves are on the inside of the fly)

Cost The RRP is $899.95, but they are frequently on sale in Australia for $530-540. I was tempted to buy another one for my kid; but I got him a Macpac Minaret instead which is a mini-Olympus with only two poles.

Fly The fly and inner can be packed as one, reducing setup and pack-up time. That is a great feature. The 60 gsm UV30 PU fabric used on the fly is double-coated 30-denier double rip-stop nylon (a form of silnylon) has a hydrostatic head of 3.5 metres. I have never heard of one tearing!

Groundsheet The Torrentwear XP fabric used on the bathtub groundsheet has a hydrostatic head of 10 metres.

Pegs Macpac supplies four large tube stakes for the ends. I always take a couple of really large / over-size snow stakes for the windward end. 

Older models were symmetrical, the new model only has one vestibule to save weight. I noted one of the older reviews below talk about the pole sleeves, these are now bomb-proof, evidence that problem has been fixed.

Note: I read another review where the reviewer said that "Owing to the design of the bathtub floor and the interior tent, it is possible to unclip the front end of the ground sheet to roll it back a bit to make an even larger vestibule space. This can be very helpful when the weather is filthy and you need sheltered space to strip off storm gear. It also makes for a very large cooking area – larger in fact than one would normally need."

Clever idea, I have never done that, but will remember it for future trips when it rains!

Overall a fantastic tent!

My only complaint is that you have to seal the seams yourself which takes a while (an hour a day for perhaps 3 days to do a good job). It comes with a tube of SilNet seam sealer. But on the positive site you really know your tent well after sealing all the seams!



Some comparisons with similar tents

Mountain Hardwear EV 2:

  • lighter at 2.37 kg
  • the fly is 70D Nylon 190T Taffeta 10000mm
  • single-wall
  • 122cm wide (a bit too narrow for me)
  • this would be my tent of choice as an expedition tent for high-altitude mountains
  • hopeless when it rains

The North Face Mountain 25:

  • heavier at 3.85 kg (a bit too heavy)
  • extra 2 poles
  • the fly is 75D ripstop (which I like)
  • the vestibule has a pole (like)
  • possibly the closest tent for comparison purposes 

Sierra Designs Convert 2:

  • lighter at 2.07 kg
  • fly is only 20D Ripstop (1200mm) (a bit of a worry for me)
  • floor is only 30D (3000mm)
  • a bit too light for lower mountains with driving sleet and rain
  • beautiful 4-season tent for lighter-weight hiking

Mountain Hardwear Trango 2:

  • absolutely bomb-proof tent
  • heavier at 4.45 kg (too heavy)
  • too heavy for ski-touring
  • expedition tent, overkill for Australian / NZ conditions

Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $450 AUD

Despite being around for a long time, the Olympus remains the golden standard bomb proof alpine tent for the NZ Southern Alps.


  • Easy to pitch
  • Roomy for two people
  • Plenty of storage inside and under the vestibule.
  • Properly capable in a storm


  • Too heavy
  • Needs seam sealing

I bought this tent as an alternative to my Minaret, as I wanted something more roomy that my wife would be ok in while I went off hunting. I did not want her miserable stuck in a little Minaret if the weather turned for the worst.
It's easy to set up, it's robust enough that you dont need a foot print.

I found it very warm in May at 4,500' in the NZ Southern Alps, though it was freezing outside over night. We had some strong winds but unfortunately ( or fortunately) we did not get to experience torrential rain and strong winds to give it a proper test.

We didn't experience any condensation at all.

I think the Olympus is a bit too heavy to be considered a backpacking tent, however it makes a great alpine base camp shelter and overall I'm very happy with it. 




First time using this tent though I have 10+ years of alpine experience

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $900.00 AU

Great tent, light, roomy, stable and waterproof which many others claim to be but aren't. Pitches fly first normally (protecting the inner), can be pitched with or without the fly. Good ventilation. Entrance in both ends.

Definitely recommendable as a mountain tent.

Design: Tunnel tent - 4 seasons
Sleeps: 2-3
Ease of Setup: Easy after a little practise
Weight: 3.2 Kg
Price Paid: approx $600

I bought an Olympus a decade ago and it has performed almost faultlessly in all conditions, from wet and windy Scottish winters, hot Spanish summers and everywhere else inbetween. Finally the fly succumbed to UV damage and split across the mid-point of the central pole. The quality of the fly pole sleeves are probably the only weak point in a truly excellent tent. An excellent tent, highly recommended.

Design: 3 pole tunnel
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: easy
Weight: 3.5Kgs
Price Paid: 300 GBP

Your Review

Where to Buy

Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support Trailspace's independent gear reviews.

You May Like


minimum total
Price Reviewers Paid: $600.00
Weight 2.8 kg 3.1 kg
Floor Area 2.5 m sq
Vestibule Area 1.30 m sq
Persons 2
NZD $899.95
Product Details from Macpac »