Macpac Motatapu Essential Gear List

So, you’ve entered the Macpac Motatapu… but are you race-ready?
There’s so much more to preparing for a race than training – you need to be prepared for all scenarios, and that’s where your gear steps in. If you’ve spent weeks or months putting in the hard yards to get yourself race-ready, there’s no quicker route to disappointment than forgetting a piece of gear that you really need. The Motatapu is taking place amongst some epic scenery that looks like it’s come straight out of a real-life travel brochure. Conditions in March are generally pleasant, but they can be unpredictable. This is an alpine environment, after all, and both freezing and sweltering temperatures are not unheard of in the Autumn months. If there’s one thing we’ve learned in our many years of competing in some of the toughest races in New Zealand and beyond, it’s that even the most picturesque of conditions can quickly turn nasty, and you should always be confident that your gear will not only keep you comfortable – but also safe.

There is a mandatory gear list – but treat it as the bare minimum you’ll need for safety – you can never be too prepared. Make sure you check out the full list of mandatory gear (link to this)  for each event before you start to build your kit. Some of the absolute essentials you’ll need are:

  • Waterproof Jacket
    Make sure you choose a good rain jacket that has a minimum rating of 10,000H/H and is seam sealed – the Hightail (Mens Hightail JacketWomens Hightail Jacket) and Traverse (Mens Traverse JacketWomens Traverse Jacket) are ideal, because they’re lightweight so won’t weigh you down, but they’re also designed with high intensity activity in mind, so you won’t find yourself clammy and soaked with sweat in the first five minutes.
  • 1x Base Torso Layer and 1x Thermal Torso Layer
    Choose technical t-shirts made with quick-drying fabric. You can’t go wrong with Geothermals (Mens Geothermals, Womens Geothermals) – these 100% polyester base layers are comfortable, fast-drying, durable and lightweight. Stay away from cotton, coolmax, lycra and compression tops – these aren’t recommended.
  • Warm Hat
    Especially important if your jacket has no hood! Merino is ideal because it’s lightweight and temperature-regulating, so you’ll be comfortable in the heat, and warm if it cools down.
  • Personal First Aid Kit
    Make sure yours has bandages, plasters, tape, gauze, a whistle and, most importantly – a survival blanket. It’s also recommended that you carry some pain relief medication with you for headaches (eg, Panadol), and electrolyte replacement powder for cramps, plus any other medication you might need – eg, for hayfever.

We’ve run a few races in our time, too – and the Motatapu is one of our favourites. We’re always here if you need any gear advice, but here are some of our tried-and-tested recommendations to get you geared up and ready to go!

Mountain Bike

Eskdale Mountain Bike Pack
This hydration pack finds the ideal balance between comfort and function. Made with highly durable, yet lightweight Cordura® nylon, and featuring a super comfortable padded AirMesh™ harness, the Eskdale truly was engineered with mountain biking in mind. It’s the perfect size to carry all of your essentials for a day of riding, without restricting your movement – so you can keep your eyes on the track, and your mind on the race.

Traverse Rain Jacket
Perfect for a range of outdoor adventures – especially mountain biking, the Traverse Rain Jacket is a highly versatile high performance lightweight choice for Motatapu race goers. When you only have room for one jacket, you can’t go wrong with the Traverse. It’s made with Pertex Shield® 100% nylon lightweight ripstop fabric with high breathability to keep you comfortable while you’re moving. It also well-exceeds the required waterproof rating for the Motatapu.
Mens Traverse Jacket, Womens Traverse Jacket

Stretch Mountain Bike Shorts
On high-paced rides, you need gear that’ll keep you comfortable, and offer protection from the elements. These Mountain Bike Shorts do exactly that – with their Pertex Equilibrium® construction, they move moisture away from your skin to keep you dry on high intensity rides. They’re also optimised for freedom of movement, with a generous four-way stretch so you’re not restricted on tough sections of the race.
Mens Mountain Bike Shorts, Womens Mountain Bike Shorts

Macpac | Motatapu 2017

Macpac | Motatapu 2017 – One day event. No excuses

Off-Road Marathon

Be sunsmart while you race, and keep the sun off your face with a visor. This 100% polyester visor fits securely around your head with an adjustable velcro strap at the back – it’s lightweight, so you’ll barely notice it’s there.

Performance 3/4 Tights W
When you’re competing in an event like the Off-Road Marathon, comfort is key – if your gear isn’t comfortable, then your race isn’t going to be an enjoyable experience. ¾ Performance Tights are engineered for active comfort – they’re made from durable polyester, and optimised for freedom of movement with the addition of spandex. They feature a mesh inner waist band for additional comfort, plus a mesh panel behind the knees for ventilation. They’re constructed with flatlocked seams to minimise rubbing, and even include a small zipped pocket for holding small essentials.

Merino 150 Beanie
Merino truly is the wonder wool – it keeps you comfortable in the heat, and warm when it’s cool with its natural temperature regulating properties. This beanie is made from superfine merino wool, so it takes on all of merino’s natural benefits. It’s 100% itch free, anti-odour and super soft on skin. You may think you won’t need a beanie in March, but never underestimate the conditions.

Miners Trail

Hiker Cap
The most versatile hat in our range, the Hiker Cap is perfect for all outdoor activities. The sun can be very harsh at this time of year, so this cap has a UPF50+ rating, offering some protection when you’re exposed to the sun when you’re training for your upcoming race. It features eyelet mesh in the sweatband, so you’ll be cool in the summer heat.

Warp Active Top
Built to perform – the Warp range is made for cross-terrain activity, like the established roads, historic trails, backcountry tracks and river crossings you’ll find in the Miners Trail event. Made from Polartec® Power Dry® 100% Polyester fabric, Warp tops are quick-drying and have a UPF40+ rating for good protection from the sun while you compete. These tops feel incredibly lightweight, and offer excellent breathability, so you can focus on the task at hand.
Mens Warp Top, Womens Warp Top 

Light Trail Run Socks
Your feet will be doing most of the work – so don’t overlook a good pair of socks. These Light Trail Run socks are the ultimate performance socks. Made from a luxurious Microlon® nylon blend, they feel super soft, with light sole and toe cushioning for extra comfort. They’re constructed with a mesh upper, allowing your feet to breathe during high intensity use.


Fast Track Shorts
The most versatile hat in our range, the Hiker Cap is perfect for all outdoor activities. The sun can be very harsh at this time of year, so this cap has a UPF50+ rating, offering some protection when you’re exposed to the sun when you’re training for your upcoming race. It features eyelet mesh in the sweatband, so you’ll be cool in the summer heat.
Mens Fast Track Shorts, Womens Fast Track Shorts

Rapid Active Top
The Rapid range is for rapid activity – made from a super light nylon/polyester blend with a moisture-wicking finish, they’ll keep you comfortable while you move. This fabric has a UPF50+ rating for excellent protection against the sun – so important at this time of year.
Mens Rapid Active TeeWomens Rapid Active Tee

Sport Towel
Get out of the water, dry off, and keep going!

Ultra Run

Amp 12 Hour Hydration Pack
Hydrate and go – the Amp 12 Hour is the ultimate runner’s companion, made for comfort and reliability. Constructed with Titan Grid™ technology, this pack is lightweight, yet durable. It features a wide hip belt for stability, and there’s also plenty of room inside for a 2 litre bladder and some necessary gear.

Extremely lightweight, windproof and waterproof, the Hightail Anorak is perfect for the Ultra Run. Designed in partnership with elite mountaineers from the New Zealand Alpine Team, this pared back rain jacket has everything you need – and nothing you don’t. In fact, it’s the lightest rain jacket in our range, so you’ll hardly notice it in the bottom of your pack. It’s just there when you need it – and you know you can rely on it.
Mens Hightail Jacket, Womens Hightail Jacket

Geothermal Base Layer Top
We put them in the ‘must-have’ section – but our Geothermals are so good, that we’re recommending them again.
They’re a race-day essential – comfortable, quick-drying and lightweight. Wear on their own, or layer if conditions are cooler.
Mens Geothermals, Womens Geothermals