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   Macpac Olympus


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Dogged and dependable - the Olympus has a personality of its own. A classic performer, the Olympus beats whatever nature throws at it, having proved itself many times over in unforgiving alpine conditions.
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Macpac Olympus

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Summer snow on my Olympus, Walls of Jerusalem National Park, TasmaniaThe Olympus (right) and another tent at 1500m in the Tasmanian highlands.Olympus interior detail (yes, it's a blue tent!)
My trusty older model Olympus in the Australian Alps.

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   Macpac Olympus Reviews

  Reviewed by Peter Curtis (London) on 2006-07-12:
General comments: The thing that attracted me to this tent was the quality of the groundsheet. Most tents made by American makes have very lightweight groundsheets as they are expected to be used in drier and cooler climates than England. The Olympus's groundsheet is so thick you don't need to worry about family campsite emplacements covered in cinder wrecking your brand new tent which is supposedly a "rugged" high mountain tent. The weight is kept down by using quality fabrics elsewhere. I have used my Olympus for five years now and whether it has been in the Lakes, the alps in torrential rain for two weeks or Everest camp two, it has always performed admirably. I have the slightly older design and the newer one definately improves the ventilation and layout, making it even better. I have back packed with this tent on my own and it's light weight has meant I often take it in lieu of my bivi bag, for the extra comfort. One of the best features is the number of ways you can pitch the tent, all of which are perfectly easy to do on your own, I should know, my girlfriend has often sat in the car when it is raining watching me erect the tent!

Pros: It is light for it's size, great at dealing with really wet weather, and is bombproof. It will last for years. Wind does not trouble this tent. There is the option of installing a washing line inside the tent, very handy for socks.

Cons: They don't supply a full set of pegs and guy ropes with the tent which is a bit annoying. When you put too much weight in the inner pockets they tend to sag rather.
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  Reviewed by Peter Grant (Hobart, Tasmania) on 2006-08-28:
General comments: This New Zealand made tent is the best I've used in 35 years of bushwalking in Australia and elsewhere. I've found it ideal for the rugged, often wet and windy conditions found in Tasmania, where I do most of my walking. It is very strong, and copes well with both snow and wind. It has plenty of room to keep two people and their gear dry and comfortable. But it's best feature is the tub floor, which is very tough and highly waterproof. My model is the last of the NZ-made Olympuses, which has two generous vestibules. Macpac now manufacture in Asia, and have changed the Olympus to a one-vestibule design, which I consider a backward step. It's neither the lightest tent around, nor the easiest to put up. However it does have a two-pitch system (you can pitch the fly, and then put the inner up under its shelter - thus keeping it dry). Others less spatially challenged than I might find this an advantage.

Pros: Very strong, especially the floor. Well made, with good attention to detail. It'll never let you down.

Cons: It is an expensive tent, but the quality compensates. Also it is difficult to dry without separating inner and outer - and then it's complicated to put back together (for me anyway).
This review has 1 comment(s):

Fi Gipters responded : To dry the tent : hang it via four corners of the floor upside down on clothes line and open up the entrances, this way you do not have to seperate tent and you get a nice flow of air through the tent (2007-03-27)

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  Reviewed by Fi Gipters (Tasmania Australia) on 2007-03-27:
General comments: We have had this tent for years and it has been great. Has proven to be excellent in the snow, even in extremely windy conditions. It is definitely a 4 season jobby. Erecting the tent is fast and easy in all conditions. However it is not suitable for a party tent, although we have had 7 people squeeze in to test it out (would not recommend this exercise on the ninth day of a ski trip). A bit dissapointed with the new version; only one usable vestibule upsets our camping style. The smaller of the vestibules is basically only big enough for ski boots etc.

Pros: The tent is light in relation to the strength. Pretty much bomb proof. Internal tent is a good length for tall people (my partner is 6'1). Even on tent bound rainy days you can have the outer door open without getting wet to view the world (unless it is really nasty, then maybe you should just go home if possible)

Cons: Is quite low for sitting up in. The older version is not as easy to enter/exit as the new one.
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  Reviewed by matthew rushton (lytham st. annes) on 2007-05-16:
General comments: I own the older blue model which was made in NZ and it is DEFINITELY a 4 season tent not a 2-3 season one. Mine has been used in croatia, corfu and the lakes in the summer and scotland in the winter and it is excellent. the ground sheet is the best on the market ( i've own and used loads of other makes) being very tough and highly waterproof. The quality of the fabrics, pegs and poles are very high though macpac seem very mean with the pegs. The tent does need sealing before its first use and mine did leak on the first use due to poor sealing, no problems now though. The old design was pretty annoying to enter and exit due to a single guyline in the middle of the 2 porches and zipping the door isn't always as easy as it ought to be BUT the pros outweigh the cons. It is huge inside for 2 people with steep sides and plenty of storage pockets, the older model had 2 large porches which is better than the single porch in the new model though the newer model is easier to get into and out of. I may not be ultralight but 3.5 ish kg for a spacious & strong tent isn't outrageous. Being a tunnel tent, pitching it well is vital. 'Someone i know' took theres back top the shop after the first pitch claiming there was a problem with the flysheet, however 'my friend' was just cocking it up. I have since learnt that the best way is to: 1) ensure all straps are loose (best done when it is taken down ready for the next time) 2) peg out ONE end only 3) insert the pole into the flysheet (you can be quite rough whilst doing this!) 4) pull the other end of the tent out as tight as you are happy doing and peg it down. 5) THEN do the guylines & tighten well (a tunnel tent relies more on the guylines than a geodesic one) It is SO quick to pitch if you leave the inner & outer together and everything stays dry. Please believe me, it is worth buying a tent that pitches both at once; watch carefully the faces staring in disbelief and envy as yours goes up in 2-3 minutes flat in the soaking rain with the inner staying dry whilst everyone else is faffing about getting their fly sheet on. Overall a superb bit of kit.

Pros: excellent build quality, superb groundsheet, quick to pitch & everything stays dry, VERY strong (if pitched as described above), roomy, very little condensation, very good tried & tested repair service

Cons: not the lightest available, old model has annoying guyline at the entrance/exit and zip can stick, a bit mean on pegs
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  Reviewed by John Mcallister (Edinburgh) on 2007-11-06:
General comments: I've had my Olympus now for about 6 months, it's the newer version with a single large porch. The first outing was a very very wet night at the kings house, it preformed reasonably thou I did noticed the doors, made from a different material from the main fly, had wetted out and the inside was wet. Real problems started during a wet holiday to the North West, first night we sat out a Force 9 gale for 14 hrs. The Olympus withstod it brilliantly thou water leaked into the back of the inner via the rear door. The material was simply letting water pass right throu and onto the inner door which at the rear sits directly under the outer door. This wouldn't be much of a problem in the older twin porch design but the doors shouldn't leak in the first place. Macpac replaced the tent in Dbl quick time with a brand new one via SMG and i've yet to test it. I'm asured that this problem was a one off. Apart from this experince I really like this tent, large dump pockets, plenty of space and relatively lightweight. Having said this I don't see the advantages of the newer design, the large porch is big don't the door is out of reach from the inner tent and the rear door isn't that practical because the inner is so close to the outer. On top of this while the quality is very good, I def feel the quality last dropped since Macpac moved production to Vietman despite what anyone will tell you. This shows in their rucksacs as well. Maybe more to do with the materials used now rather than build quality to be fair.

Pros: Roomy for 2+, lightweight at 3kg for a winter tent, large dump pockets, very strong, bright inner despite dark green flysheet, large porch-thou two smaller ones would be much better, pitches super quick in a oner, Macpac support is Excellent, Quality is good.

Cons: Seams need sealing manually- a real pain in the arse especially if you don't have the space to pitch it. Tents of this design do need careful airing to aviod mould, due to the inner and outer being attached most of the time
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  Reviewed by Ed Booth (Somewhere) on 2008-06-01:
General comments: I've had this tent for 10+ years and I'm not in the market for a replacement. Fantastic tent!
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  Reviewed by G Pearson (Vienna) on 2010-03-11:
General comments: This is a fantastic and very dependable little kit. Once you have practised a few times at home, the tent can go up very quickly as the fly sheet and outer can be pitched together. There is not a whole lot of room in the tent, although plenty of space for one person and the small area at the entrance affords some shelter for kit. I have even used this tent with two people on the Raxalpe in Lower Austria in winter conditions worked fine although it is definitely comfier with only one person inside! The tent has been pitched in some horrendous weather and I have stayed totally dry. Only hair-raising moment was during a trip to Knoydart when winds were gusting at some ridiculous speed and the tent was moving about all over the place. However, it emerged unscathed from the incident which shows just what a good tent it is! The tent is very light weight which means it is ideal for solo trips. It also packs away very easily in the stuff bag provided. The ground sheet is of very high quality, which is one of the factors that initially attracted me to the tent. This is a perfect tent for using in Scotland!

Pros: Light weight, quickly pitched, high quality

Cons: Not a whole lot of room to bring your other kit inside
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