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   Macpac Microlight

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The benchmark traverse hoop design, the Microlight was an instant hit when we introduced it into our range in the early 1990s. Since then, Macpac have consistently tweaked the design to increase comfort whilst reducing weight and packed size. Sleeps one in luxury, or two at a pinch.
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Macpac Microlight

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Bad weather entryExpanded vestibule

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   Macpac Microlight Reviews

  Reviewed by Rebecca Moore (Glasgow) on 2006-01-26:
General comments: I bought the microlight 2 years ago to have a very lightweight tent suitable for tramping over multiple day trips which it is certainly ideal for. It's very simple to put up - it's very light and compact to carry, and can be further minimalised by taking only the fly or only the inner (it's got a "multi-pitch" design allowing either to be pitched in isolation). Having said that I've never used that feature once - not sure where in Scotland (or NZ) it's going to be guaranteed dry enough to use just the inner, or bug free enough to be happy with just the fly. However the ability to put both the inner and fly up in one go has proved itself very valuable when it's raining. Never had any problems with stability. There's an obvious tradeoff for the weight - it's very small - big enough for a person only - the vestibule will take your pack and boots - but there is no room for cooking etc. It's truly a tent for sleeping only.

Pros: Very light and compact to carry - easy to put up particularly if its raining. Very good for one person carrying all their own gear.

Cons: Very small interior, vestibule area not at all conducive to any sort of cooking and keeping dry - hard to get in and out of if you're wet, it's raining outside and you want to attempt to keep things inside the tent dry....!
This review has 5 comment(s):

andrew waddington responded : I've had a MacPac microlight for ten years of which I reckon I've spent a total of about 3 of those living in it. Needless to say it's beginning to fail on me but then after that much use can I complain. Unlike the person who wrote the previous report I have found it is in fact possible to share this tent with another person. This year on a cycle trip to China when a friends tent blew down in the wind we shared the Microlight and although not ideal it was acceptable. Cooking too is possible thought perhaps I must agree not the safest as the fire hazard makes this a tad dangerous. As for the wear I've experienced the main problem has been wearing at the very top of the tent where the pole curves round. This has worn a small hole in the outer. I've also experienced zipper issues though I think I can resolve this. I'm in New Zealand right now and just about to purchase a new one. (2008-01-16)

DC responded : The comments of this reviewer over space are complete and utter nonsense. (2008-08-05)

Simon Adams responded : DC/Rebecca is wrong and Andrew is right! for the weight, this is great value as it is defintiely a 1-man plus. I'm a fairly big, 6'2" lad and have shared my microlight on several occasions with my girlfriend. i know plenty of people who say the same and have used it between two on mountain marathons, etc. so not nonsense, i'm afraid, you're in the minority. Great value tent, exceedingly well built and very light considering it's size and room available. (2009-05-07)

DC responded : Simon, I was referring to Rebecca's comments regarding size etc. I think the Microlight is underated as a quality, very generously proportioned but still relatively lightweight, easy to pitch, secure in all weathers, bombproof solo tent. ( and the groundsheet I would say is the very best available in this sort of tent). I am now using my second Microlight having given my first one to my brother to encourage him to come backpacking with me particularly in Scotland because my wife is not at all keen on me venturing through the wilderness on my own. I hope that I have dispelled any confusion. (2009-05-26)

Harwood responded : There I was at the campsite at Sligachan on Isle of Skye feeling the winds come down the Cullins hunkered down in my Microlight fly only, staked out well with a rock wall at the front to ward off the wind driven rain from getting under the fly...wouldn't you know it was the night of the tornado on Isle of Lewis and the weather is crazier than usual...torrential rains...hurricane force winds bend the pole into my head...when is everything going to fly away? Not a drop inside!!!! Dried out next day in an hour with the wind. Bombproof. (2009-09-18)

  Reviewed by dave stubbs (perthshire) on 2006-03-30:
General comments: this one is an absolute design classic and built to last too. i've had mine since '93 and its still going strong, albeit rather sun bleached. it gets by on the bare minimum number of poles, pegs, pockets and doors plus a couple of bits of skimpy nylon. Yet it still delivers a reasonably comfortable night's sleep, night after night and trip after trip. mine mostly gets used for cycle touring where the large porch comes in handy for storing gear, and for backpacking where the light weight is a real boon. At a pinch it will do for two people but only if you get on really well with each other. a a guide the floor area is smaller than two karrimats at the narrower end.

Pros: light weight, small size. stable in rough weather (once you've got the doors zipped up) and it copes well in the wet due to the bath tub ground sheet. best of all is the pleasure of owning a really well thought out little tent.

Cons: mine came with some pretty poor quality pegs though newer models may come with better ones. the single narrow door makes getting in and out difficult and doesn't make en-suite cooking easy either. another niggle is the pole which could do with folding up a bit shorter. the obvious one is that it is very very small, but you knew that anyway.

  Reviewed by Andrew McQuaker (Glasgow) on 2006-04-22:
General comments: I've been using this tent since 2003 for year-round wild camping in the Scottish hills. No serious complaints - this is a good tent. It has a larger floor space and larger vestibule area than many other one-person tents. Officially classed as a 1.5-person tent (I've never found a half-person to try this out with) it has a decent sized inner and the vestibule is big enough to hold a 50l pack plus boots and also to cook in if necessary. The inner is attached to the fly so it can be pitched quickly using 6 pegs. Mine weighs 1.6kg including the pegs and stow bag. Not the lightest in its class but pretty good. The sewn-in ground sheet has a high waterproofing factor which is useful in Scotland.

Pros: It's pretty large for a one-person tent. You sit up in it (if you are 5'10" or less). You can store all your gear and cook inside it. Groundsheet is very waterproof.

Cons: Requires careful pitching otherwise it can flap and billow a bit - the single pole design means it is not free-standing. It's made for right-handed people (actually a plus unless you are left-handed). Tent came with 6 pegs but you need 9 if you want to use all the guys.
This review has 2 comment(s):

Ken responded : Fab...just fab. I'm sitting here half-p***ed and having a good belly-laugh at this review. Very witty! (2006-04-29)

DC responded : Surely you mean 10 pegs Andrew, if you want it it fully guyed out. ( and I'd like know why Macpac don't supply a full est of pegs with this tent, i've had two over the years and each one only came with 7(?) pegs) (2009-05-27)

  Reviewed by Stevie Boyle (East Lothian) on 2007-05-11:
General comments: I Love this tent I've had mine for three years but its not been all joy and laughter. The ground sheet is bombproof its never let me down no matter how wet its been. I can pitch it in under 3 minutes and take it down in a simillar time. it packs down pretty small and is a not to heavy. The single pole means its not to stable in proper wind. Its got plenty of room for all my gear and for cooking.

Pros: fast to pitch, light, good ground sheet, lots of space for a one man tent.

Cons: i have got wet inside because of the outer fly touching the inner but that could because of poor pitching.

  Reviewed by Jim (Bristol) on 2007-06-19:
General comments: Nice and easy to put up. Have been out in all conditions. Fly can be pitched separately so good for summer. I'm 6'4" and i fit quite comfotably inside with room to spare. Waterproofness is excellent but can be a little bit unsteady in higher winds so guy ropes are important. Quality Macpac gear.

Pros: Small yet roomy, Lightweight and robust. Plenty of space for you gear in the vestibule. Fast and easy to pitch.

Cons: Not as good exposed in high winds

  Reviewed by Tussock Jumper (New Zealand) on 2008-03-05:
General comments: An excellent solo tent. The vestuble is angled and can be enlarged by simply unclipping it from the outer tent corner. It offers two entrance options depending on which peg loop you use; 1 the main wide entrance, 2 the narrow end entrance which is excellent for shitty weather and keeping the inner dry. It has comparable floor area but not the head room of a MSR Hubba or Hilleberg Akto. In return it offers a very effective deisng that is easy to put up and will take a lot of weather abuse.

Pros: Adjustable vestuble size, quality of manufacture, weight vs strength & quality, ability to choose from two entrance options depending on weather.

Cons: Lack of head room.

  Reviewed by Rodney B (Poland) on 2008-05-25:
General comments: Macpac Microlight - best solo tent you can think of. I used to live in Australia, where I bought the Microlight. I used it a lot when I was in Australia. I bought a number of other tents for solo camping, particularly a Sierra Designs tent, the Salewa solo tent and one from Mountain Designs. The really strong point about the Macpac tent is that the door opens to the side of the tent - hence it is easier to get in and out and store your gear. I would have loved two doors - silly as it sounds, it would be great for cross ventilation - but would add more weight and bulk. It was a fabulous tent and when I sold it second hand, I did not lose much money.

Pros: It was faultless. Two doors would have been nice, but that is dreaming... it was faultless.

Cons: Expensive to buy, but did not lose much money when I sold it.

  Reviewed by m.kilshaw (liverpool) on 2008-06-27:
General comments: this macpac is not number one for weight. But my god if you get it set right it is solid in most of the bad condition the uk throws at it. Iused it on the WHW and had ample space but when it rained i got wet opening the door and water came in. the ground sheet is as its name describes it is a tank but i still think macpac could do with making a ground sheet protector. summer use is a little bit damp mind you as the condensation does build up a bit, but all in all i love it it has done me great even though i've only had it for 2 years.

Pros: size is great can't comment on cooking as did'nt cook in side through fear of damage, ground sheet is solid no water leekage. so easy to errect unlike some tents can put it up with 4 pegs on calm nights if you search its also good value for money i paid 164 for mine so looking at some of the other reveiws it will cost me 16.04 a year

Cons: bit awkward to open tent with large rucksack in the way i add long cord to make it easier to reach. air vent is a pain having to peg out guy rope it gets in the way maybe small plastic tab would work better as on some tents

  Reviewed by Earle Wilson (Tayside) on 2009-01-02:
General comments: I have had one of these since the late nineties and really like it. I have always found it comfortable and easy/quick to erect and really like the fact it can be erected quickly in the rain. It can sleep two if your really friendly or in an emergency but it is excellent for one I'm 6ft and can sit up in it. Cooking has never been an issue in the awning. The ultimate test for me was spending a night in a major storm and I thought the tent was not going to make it. The only thing standing in the morning was my macpac and two cotton Vango Force 10s. Not much sleep but at least I was dry. This tent is the only reason I have not gone down the tarp route, it may be heavier but it works in so well in Scotland.

Pros: Space. Weight and pack size

Cons: Can flap a little in the wind which makes for a long sleepless night sometimes

  Reviewed by kev (usa) on 2011-07-16:
General comments: I,ve used this tent many times in all types of conditions,and storms. When i first got my macpac micro i didnt like it.....but it took a few nights in it to realize the genious in the design. Since it is a single pole with strechable peg loops it is made to flex and return in very high winds...which it does, and the outer fly u.v.30- is the best quality out there to include hillebergs kerlon1200,,,it is a double ripstop high thread count with multiple passes of pure silicon which makes it very tough... 40 lbs.per tear strength...your very well protected and h.h. 3500 keep out water...and of coarse the floor ,torrent wear xp is the best out there....if you own a microlight then you know ! i,m not saying its perfect ,,there are flaws ...particularly the door design and placement...could be curve under the vent and addition of an double zipper at the top....but all in all the microlight is a great secure solo tent....fairly light also..

Pros: great materials....and well thougt out design

Cons: narrow toward roof,,,but i can live with it...

  Reviewed by kayaks (melbourne australia) on 2014-10-14:
General comments: I agree with all the above comments. It is an excellent compact tent and easy to erect. It is very weather proof except on cold nights outer /fly gets very wet inside from condensation and can wet the inner. the wet fly takes a while to dry or you must carry the wet fly all day

Pros: Light clever design that works water proof floor and quality materials .

Cons: Above 5'10 your head touches the top of inner. I reverse out and enter forwards..not always easy in wet weather


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