The first Gear review!
I thought I would start with some big ticket items, I dont tend to research the cheaper items, but when it comes to a tent or a fuel stove, I do my homework. As a result, along with roughly 12 months testing, I bring you the Macpac Olympus Tent review.
My rating system for tents is going to be pretty straight forward. I am going to rate each tent and give it an overall score, based on the average score in the following categories:
- Ease of setup
- Fly quality
- Ease of setup on fly
- Vestibule size & quality
The Macpac Olympus is an excellent hiking tent, a “5 season” tent as according to Macpac, it warrants use all year round, which can be a big saver when you want to experience some winter hiking or camping.
This is straight off the Macpac website for accuracy:
Cost: RRP: $899.95 , Sale: $674.95 (this tent is often on sale for Macpac members, including right now)
|Fabric Fly / Floor||UV30TMSI / TorrentwearTM XP|
|Floor area (l x w)||2.2m x 1.35m – Height 1.15m|
|Vestibule area (l x w)||1.1m x 1.35m|
|Rolled size||55 x 15cm|
|Poles||3 – DAC Featherlite NSL / 9.6mm|
The tent also ships with a repair kit for the fly and/or inner and an aluminium tubular brace in case of a pole snap. There is also the opportunity to purchase a foot-print for this tent, improving its performance in the cold.
The Macpac Olympus is an incredibly verstile tent, with some very interesting and innovative concepts built in. The fly and inner can be packed as one reducing setup and pack-up time, the aluminium frame poles go through the fly and the inner hangs off the frame. This means making the inner stay away from the fly much easier, it also makes setting this tent up very very easy. I can, with the help of another put this tent up in literally 3 -5 minutes on a slow day, from peg out, to complete free-standing glory. Due to the fly first architecture , the tent itself is great even in the rain, as you dont have to let the inner get wet at all during setup.
I have to say, that while it is a little heavier than some of the 2 or 3 season tents that are available on the market, for example some of the MSR range, it is considerably more versatile (and really only about 1kg – 800g heavier). I have had this tent on Mt Loch (Near Hotham) when it was snowing; and it was cold; in fact it was -6 degrees out-side + wind chill, which i speculate was roughly another -5 to 10, but no where near as cold as it could have been if not for this tent. If you plan to use it in Alpine areas, I highly recommend purchasing the footprint, which I cant find online at this time, but am sure I have seen them in the shop. (I plan on getting one this year)
I have also has this tent with me when I went camping at Ned’s Gully earlier this year, in summer; it has a pair of vents on either end, which improve air flow and allow it to be used even on hot steamy nights. The vents allow for considerable reduction in condensation on the inside of the tent, which is another big plus, though due to the domal shape of the tent, the fly does still tend to get a bit wet on the inside over-night.
It is extremely waterproof, as one would expect; with tub floors, I Cannot stress enough how valuable these are, tub floors are great because they are made of a heavier plastic / tarp, that can safely have items up against it even during rain. This means that should it be pouring with rain, it is quite easy to avoid your bedding getting soaked from sitting up against the side of the tent, even if you camped in a shallow river! Though I certainly recommend against it.
The vestibule is quite sizable, as you can see on the top image, it doesnt boast a connected tub floor, as a result i use a $2 tarp from Aussie Disposals to keep my pack and gear dry. The vesti can comfortably fit a 75L pack on either side and still allow room to move in and out of the tent. I highly recommend the Olympus as a great allrounder tent. It will perform well in almost all conditions, working as a functional base on day hikes near the beach all the way to as a mountain tent on multiday hikes in the Australian Alpine areas. Due to the weight it is definitely a 2 man tent on longer expeditions, but the extra weight is well worth the comfort that it will provide should it turn out to be un-favourable weather conditions.