Sierra Designs Orion
Design: freestanding 2-person
Ease of Setup: Fairly quick and easy to set up tent. Even the rear arch support pole(short) is quick.
Weight: 5 lbs. 3 ozs.
Price Paid: $219
Tent setup is pretty easy. With how light this tent is for what it is, it's still fairly strong. A 'Clip-Loc' at the tents apex gives 60 percent more strength, supposedly, which would be helpful in windy situations. The rear arch support seemed to be more useful than just for strength, but for interior space as well. Without it that wall side of the interior space would not be as vertical.
Sitting in the tent with another person you do feel a little confined. Though most SD tents are known for vertical wall design, this one doesn't follow that convenience all the way. But when two people are lying down there is plenty of room for camp sleep. Especially length wise. My girlfriend and I were comfortable with our arms out above our heads and our 70 lb. dog at our feet within the tent. At this point there wouldn't be much room for gear in the tent, but the vestibule should plenty of room for gear for 2. Any more gear than that wouldn't fit within the tent and the vestibule, is probably due to overpacking in most cases. On a clear night this is a great tent to star gaze with its mesh blending.
This is a great tent and I would recommend it to most 3 season campers. Especially those looking for a fuctional, ample sized tent, with mid to lighter weight packability, and who doesn't want to climb over their partner in the middle of the night to relief.
Design: 3 season dome
Ease of Setup: Very easy, probably less than 3 minutes start to finish
Weight: 5 lbs, 7 oz
Price Paid: $235
I didn't buy this tent, but I came very close. The salesperson and I set it up about five times inside the store over a period of two weeks. I really liked this tent, but decided to buy the Sierra Designs Polaris instead (a slightly larger, 4 season tent). With 35 sq ft of floor space, this tent is roomy for one, cozy for two.
The reason I didn't buy this tent is that there is not enough room inside for two plus gear, and the vestibule doesn't help much at 7.5 sq ft. Tent is supported by two equal-length poles, with a shorter pole running between them which supports the door. Tent clips to poles. I didn't like the fact that the door opens down.
Tent has a large mesh opening in the roof which tapers down both sides, plus a mesh window in the door (no storm flap). Tent is well made, nice to look at. This is the best small, 3-season, two-man tent I saw for the money, and I looked at alot of them.
Design: ts fs
Ease of Setup: very good
Price Paid: $199
Could be worse. Very light and easy to set up. Biggest drawback is lack of views, absence of storm flaps on window/doors is a disadvantage. Overall, the Orion makes for a rather claustrophic environment. I might suggest the Walrus Rappeede as an alternative.
Where to Buy
The Sierra Designs Orion is not available from the stores we monitor.
You may want to check pricing and availability directly at these Sierra Designs retailers:
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Here's what other sites are saying:
The Sierra Designs Orion 2 tent utilizes Arch Support Technology and Clip-Locs to make this the strongest 3-season tent on the market. Awarded the Outside Magazine Drool award in 2001, this tent has more mesh for maximum ventilation and less weight. The SuperSeal Floor and Double Track Vestibule complete the features that make this a proven fair or foul weather favorite. Great for: Backpacking, Camping Trail Weight 5 lbs 3 oz Fastpack Weight 3 lbs 9 oz Packed Weight 5 lbs 13 oz Packed Size 22" x 6.5" Number of Doors 1 Interior Area 33 sq. ft. Vestibule Area 8 sq. ft. Peak Height 41"
The Sierra Designs Orion is their lightest freestanding tent, and features a rear arch support pole for added strength, lightweight DAC Featherlite poles, and the most innovative tent door ever.