Meeting the strict criteria of the lightweight backpacker isn't easy. The Microlight achieves it without compromising performance. A stand-out attraction is the Multi-Pitch™, which extends options beyond the already impressive 1.4 kg minimum weight.
|Floor Area (m2)||2.8|
|Floor Fabric||Torrentwear™ XP|
|Fly Fabric||UV30™ SI|
|Inner Fabric||40d Ripstop Nylon|
|Pole Type||DAC Featherlite NSL / 9.0mm|
|Rolled Size (cm)||41 x 14|
|Minimum Weight (kg)||1.4|
|Total Weight (kg)||1.6|
|Vestibule Area (m²)||1.2|
UV30™ SI is a 30-denier double ripstop nylon 66 fabric with a high thread count. It is waterproofed with multiple coats of silicone elastomer on both the inside and outside of the fabric. The combination of a double ripstop construction, nylon 66 and silicone coatings give UV30™ SI unrivalled strength. The silicone coating also provides superb UV resistance which significantly reduces the damaged done by the sun.
Torrentwear™ XP is a densely woven nylon with multiple PU coatings for maximum durability and outstanding water resistance. The fabric provides an extremely high level of durability with exceptional abrasion resistance and tear strength. Tents with Torrentwear™ XP fabric have a tub design that wraps up the sides of our tents with all floor seams are sealed in our factory for greater waterproof performance.
Constant research and testing makes DAC Featherlite poles among the best-balanced tent poles on the market. Featherlite NSL™ is the latest development of tent pole from DAC. The design allows a continuous thin wall build with expanded ends. This allows the poles to be lightweight and strong.
Featherlite NSL uses Green Anodizing™ processing which minimises the toxic chemicals used during the coating process. Macpac uses DAC Featherlite NSL™ 9.0 mm and the 9.6 mm poles according to the specific requirement of each tent.
You are best to clean your tent with a natural soap (non-detergent; e.g. pure soap, vegetable soap, Granger's Tent Clean or Lux Soap Flakes) and a soft-bristled brush. Rinse well and dry in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight.
After washing your tent with a solution of Nikwax Tech Wash, we recommend that you reproof the tent fly with Nikwax Tent & Gear Proof.
Condensation is an ever-present problem when you're trying to stay dry in the outdoors. You have probably experienced the same thing on a wet day when you have just climbed into the car and the windows seem to take forever to clear. In small tents, the problem is exactly the same and shows up as condensation on the inside of the fly.
Condensation is the result of atmospheric conditions, which we cannot prevent, but can only minimize with good design and an understanding of the factors, which can make the problem worse.
During periods of high humidity, such as during rain, it can be impossible to remove or reduce condensation. In these conditions, even a high degree of ventilation can actually increase the condensation rather than reduce it. In dry snow conditions, the humidity is usually very low, which can help to minimize condensation.
The more effective barrier that the tent fly fabric provides to stop rain getting through, the worse the condensation problem will be. This puts our tent designers in a difficult position and they naturally tend to favour keeping the rain out.
Because we all have to live with condensation, Macpac tents are designed with a gap between the fly and the ground, as well as active ventilation systems, to reduce the amount of condensation forming.
I have had this tent now for just under a year, have only used a few times so far, once in really windy/rainy conditions, and had no problems what so ever, there was a bit of condensation on one of my other trips but nothing too bad. I like how you have the option to just use the fly or inner, this cuts down even more on pack weight for longer hunting trips, also there is enough room to cook and Store your pack inside, only down side is there isn't much head space but this is understandable being a one person light weight tent. Over all I have no major negatives about the tent.
A truly lightweight, strong one person tent that is incredibly easy to set up in a short space of time (which is essential when the weather begins to turn). I've used this in numerous conditions (from sun to snow) and I've been incredibly impressed.
I've had my Microlight for just under a year, and already spent over a month's worth of nights in it. Used both in the winter in Wilsons Promontory and summer at Woodford Folk Festival, it is such a great little tent. Roomy enough on the inside, yet still weighs very little and takes up negligible room in my pack. Wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone.
I purchased this tent for a cycle tour of New Zealand. I chose it mainly because of it's light weight, small size and my trust in the Macpac brand as being good quality. The tent met all my expectations and more. I rode 6000km over 3.5 months around NZ camping in this tent each night. It never failed me. I used it during severe weather warnings, erected it on sand, soft dirt, rocks, clay, you name it, It took everything that I threw at it. Well done Macpac for making another awesome product.
Jeremy Peters, 02/09/16
I've been using my Microlight for cycle touring since 1999 and my Nautilus for family camping since 2005, both are the best tents I have ever used. And that's saying something, seeing as I am a geologist and spend a lot of time in a canvas swag. Both tents Kiwi made. I actually support customer seam sealing, as factory sealing will deteriorate in the shop and I reckon I can do it better anyway.
I've been using this continuously for several years in Tasmania and Europe and the tent has continued to perform perfectly in snow and strong winds. It is extremely simple and quick to set up and for those that like to travel fast and light this is perfect. It's listed as one man but you could easily squash in another person in an emergency situation. For example, I always fit my pack in the tent with me when I sleep. The large opening zip also makes it feel larger and ventilates it well. I couldn't recommend this more!
I purchased the MacPac Microlight about 2 years ago in UK after doing quite a bit of research. I really impressed by its size weight, durability and ease of putting up - pole inserted and 4 pegs and your up in a few mins. It dries quickly and is undoubtedly the best in its class for price.
I bought my Microlight for a camping holiday in the Lakes District and for Scotland's West Highland Way. On the WHW I had lashing wind and rain for an almost continuous 9 days and the little Microlight took it all in its stride. Pitching every night on spongelike, sodden ground and no water came through while its almost aerodynamic low profile was unaffected by the winds. I wasn't confident of seam sealing the fly myself so I took a chance and didn't seal it, and no worries, not a drop of water penetrated. I've got larger MSR Mutha Hubba and Fairydown Ascent tents and haven't felt as snug in them as in the Microlight. The inner does sag a bit but that's not a biggy. A great product!
I took this tent with me to go trekking in Patagonia! I was so happy with it! It withstood the 100km/hr winds that I encountered while walking Torres del Paine!!! It was also 100% waterproof and so light and easy to put up! In love with this little tent!
I brought this tent as something light enough to take along tramping but also roomier than my single man Kathmandu tent which I was never able to sit up in. I am 160cm tall and can just sit up comfortably in the middle with my sleeping mat underneath. When lying down there are well placed interior pockets and it is very roomy. This tent was comfortable enough for a 7 day climbing camping trip. It was very much rain proof and suitable for my needs. I have still yet to take it tramping!
Very disappointed to discover customers are expected to water proof the seams themselves, and no mention of this on the item description. Now I cannot leave when planned until I seal the seams myself. Great tent otherwise, also instruction sheet is very basic if not useless.
Shane , 10/12/15
The Mircolight gets a four from me.
Have used mine for about 10 nights in the last year in all conditions from alpine to Stewart Island (in the rain/hail!) Fast and easy to pitch. You need a seperate fly for cooking and storage if it is wet. The biggest issue is the sagging inner, regardless of tension, it sags badly. This needs a rethink Macpac.
I wanted a tent, not a bivvy bag,and haven't been dissappointed. This is a super lightweight tent that doesn't take up much pack space. Water just shakes off it. (I haven't waterproofed or seemsealed mine yet, it has been fine). When erected, can fit my pack in the vestibule if I have too. Keeps me nice and dry. Have used it on the tops, the opening gave me a great view of the sunset, but when the wind picked up, the tent swayed (but stayed in place) where others would have sailed away I'm sure. I did sit inside with door open and cook to keep out of wind, it wasn't raining.
Great in the bush, doesn't need much footprint.
Instructions to erect - agree they need improving. Found a youtube somewhere which was useful - perhaps these need to be on Macpac website. Once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy though.
Most of the time I've used this tent, any other would have done - but on one occasion in very high winds, when my partner couldn't even get his tent up, mine went up in about five minutes and although it was cosy [euphemism] both of us spent a reasonably comfortable night in it - The other noteworthy occasion was when through a bad choice of mine, after heavy rain, my gf and I ended up in the middle of a large puddle - No water got through the groundsheet, or anywhere else.
To summarise - This tent rocks, and I'd be happy for its designer to date my sister.
I departed on a 3 year cycle tour with 2 friends with the intention of cycling around the world. So far we are 2 and a bit months into the trip, and cycled from Manchester UK to near Genoa Italy. The tent has performed well considering I have spent around 60 nights in it already and tested it going over the Alps. It is very light, packs down really small, small enough to fit horizontally in an ortlieb classic pannier. The floor of the tent feels very solid and not once has water come through. Easily enough room for me plus all my gear. The head room isn't as much as say the msr hubba but this is offset against the brilliant amount of floor space. There are a few niggles, it's annoying there isnt something to hold the door only half open. water runs through the toggle for the door from the outside to the inside and drips onto the inner.the door would be good with a 2 way zip. A bit fiddly to get the inner taught when pegging it out due to the elastic nature of the peg toggle loops. And I think it's good that the inner door as a mesh window for added ventilation and a view outside, but I think it would be better if it covered the full door. All in all a very good tent for backpacking/ cycle touring. Shame about a few things which would have made the tent unbelievable!
I can't remember when I bought the microlight, it may have been in the late 90s or early 2000s. I have used it for occasional backpacking in the Scottish Highlands and its always been good. Very quick to pitch, made of high quality durable materials. Its lasted well although hasn't had heavy use. The only slight thing now is some bubbling in the groundsheet, but that is probably just age. Still going strong and will be using it in one of the remotest and wildest parts of the UK tomorrow night.
A very cool strong usable tent. The original tent showed (and still shows) the head of the user to be in the narrow end of the tent, which makes sense as you sit up into the wider part and are able to organize your gear in the biggest area as compared to sitting up into the narrowest bit. Also the head is usually at the door and the largest part of the vestibule is available for easy access, as is the fly door. The issue is that the door (if memory serves) used to have a full mesh, but now only has a small area, which is now theoretically at the wrong end ( as assumptions may have been made over time that the wide end is the head end)not allowing for good venting and fresh air. This is a warm tent and wonder if Macpac would consider making a mesh inner for summer trips. Keep up the good designs.
Great material, dated design, 01/09/16
These things are made from great materials and are put together well. But it is terribly cramped inside and even more so in the vestibule compared to offerings of similar weight & quality from competitors. It's a little over priced too as I paid under $250 on special for mine, and sold it after a few uses - for a profit!
Bought as a light weight option for hiking the Australian Alpine Walking Track - in stages. Well shaped and copes with wind and rain. Great you can sit up in it. But fussy to set up on anything but perfectly flat ground or the inner sags in badly. You need to squash in heavy gear to hold back the billowing inner. Once done it is fine and I fine that OK, but pretty poor for a long standing design. Set up always far easier with inner left attached. As this means the inner can get wet I always use a light groundsheet on the inside. Overall happy enough and would recommend, but suggest a careful comparison with other options - depends on what features you prioritise.
Yes I agree with William's comments below.
I have been using Macpac equipment since the 1990's and have found them to quite good. While Microlight is good and I have been using it for some time now, it does have its faults. The main one being that the inner sags a far bit despite the amount of tension I put on it.. With some modifications I have managed to remove the sag. First I shortened the loops that attach to the top of the outer fly, and then I shortened the three tags that attach to the outer fly at the back of the tent. This has allowed me to tension the inner tent more and make it more taunt without compromising the integrity of the tent in any way. The end result is that I now have no sags in the inner tent and have a more comfortable time in the tent. It would be good if the Macpac designers could take this into consideration, along with seam sealing all tents, when designing future Microlight models. Have been using Macpac for years and will continue to do so.