At a glance
The Good: Strong and durable.
The Bad: Tapered floor creates cramped foot end, heavy.
Weight 2600g Area 2.7m2
Features: The Makalu is a tunnel-shaped, semi-geodesic tent with a single door and large 0.9m2 vestibule. It comes with 16 pegs and six pre-attached guylines. Ventilation on the fly is provided by stiff-peaked openings at the front sides and rear of the tent. They’re aligned with mesh panels on the inner tent to help create airflow. A huge O-shaped door opens completely, with just a small 5cm hinge. It has a durable 6000mm-rated floor and 5000mm-rated fly. All seams are taped.
Pitching: It’s simple to thread the poles through the fly sleeves and to get the tent taut and in shape. The 16 pegs are ample to stake out the tent and the guylines.
Comfort: The tent tapers at the foot which limits the overall floor area and forces sleeping mattresses together. At 95cm, the ceiling height is not that great, but it was high enough for me to sit and kneel.
In use: We had a good night’s sleep, though found the tapered foot restrictive when compared to the other tents. It was pleasant to fully open the door during the morning to gaze at the view and allow in fresh air. The huge opening also allowed in plenty of light. The 0.9m2 vestibule is large enough to hold two packs.
The tent is warmer than the others tested due to the limited use of mesh on the inner – fine if you want to expand your camping season into early winter.
The six guylines, four of which are attached to the poles, offer peace of mind in a gale. There is a nice high tub floor, offering protection from water below. Because the fly and inner are pitched simultaneously, the tent is not as versatile as the multi-pitch models.
Value: The Makalu’s major advantage is its durable fabrics and semi-geodesic design which give it a long life and ability to withstand ferocious weather.
Verdict: The strongest tent tested, it’s the one you want when everything turns to custard, but long-term comfort is compromised by the narrowing floor and the limited pitching and venting options.