Where am I?:^mistymornings-->Cycletouring-->Equipment.-->Tents.-->Macpac Citadel

The Macpac Citadel.

The Macpac Citadel on a damp morning
The Macpac Citadel on a damp morning. See below for a few more pictures.


3 pole tunnel tent with 2 vestibules, not free standing. Poles of unequal length. Two entrances, one at the end of the tent the other on the side. Polyester outer tent, inner tent fine fabric, inner doors mesh and fabric. Weight 3.6kg. Pitch system, outer first or inner first. Inner tent can be used without the flysheet.

Why did we choose this tent?

Choosing the tent for our first long trip took a long time with both of having quite divergent opinions as to what made a good tent. Then one day at a tent show Damae was convinced by a salesman and a family of happy users to buy a Macpac Citadel tent. I'd had something lighter in mind, but considering the amount of interior space 4kg is really quite light. The space is very useful in bad weather which keeps us cheerful when a gale is howling outside.

There are a number of advantages:

  • It has two entrances, on both the inner and outer tents.
  • Plenty of room for bike bags and panniers. It can swallow up eight panniers, two rack packs and bar bags.
  • The tent is sufficiently high to allow sitting virtually everywhere in the tent (and cooking in the tent in inclement weather).
  • Quick to put up and can stand up happily with just 4 pegs.
  • The outer tent goes up first (great in wet weather ensures that the inner tent does not get wet).
  • However you can pitch the inner tent on its own in hot dry weather or you can pitch the inner first and then add the outer. It is apparently possible to leave both inner and outer connected and pitch them together. We've never tried this ourselves.
  • Large inner tent with two doors (will sleep three at a pinch). When sitting up on a Thermarest (or similar) chair you sit parallel to the exits. This makes getting out easy you never have to climb over your companion to get out.
  • Strong inner tent groundsheet. We've had one small pinhole in the three years we have been using the Citadel. This was repaired using seam sealer. Now we use a separate goundsheet for comfort. But by far and away the most robust of all the tents we use, and worth the extra weight.
  • It will stand up to fierce winds and gales when all pegs and guy ropes are attached. So far (March 2009) it has not blown down nor shown signs of distress in extreme weather.
  • There are a few disadvantages;

  • It is virtually impossible to open the tent from the inside in the rain without water dribbling off the tent and down your neck or onto the inner tent. Partially unhooking the inner tent and pushing it away from the entrance stops the second problem.
  • The door zips are a bit difficult to use, although not noticeably worse than the other tents we have.
  • Ventilation is not as good as it could be. The main vents are below the highest point. If there is no breeze you get condensation.
  • Conclusion:

    A robust and versatile three and a half season tent that is light enough to take cycle touring. You can use it with a separate groundsheet but this is not necessary in our experience. The tent after several years of use is showing signs of wear but has a few years more left in it. Sadly Macpac seem to have dropped it from their product range but at the time of writing it is still available in the UK.

    09/12/2012 The Citadel seems to be back in the Macpac catalogue again. However, the picture I have seen on the Macpac site suggest that the new version of the tent is a mirror image of the old one. I have sent an email to Macpac to confirm this. At the moment, I am not sure if the dimensions, proportions and layout of the new Citadel are the same as the one we bought.

    Thanks to Roman Hofmann for letting me know about the new Citadel.

    A few pictures of a Macpac Citadel tent. Click on the thumbnails to view the gallery.

    Rear entrance with Ortlieb bags. Side entrance note ventilation flap.
    View out through rear entrance. Citadel and small wing.
    View from inner tent to large vestibule. View into inner tent via side entrance