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Historic Range: $279.83-$399.95
Reviewers Paid: $275.00-$325.00
The Kelty Orb 2 tent is a really strong tent. If you put it up, it will keep on working for you in any type of weather. I have used it in -20c temps here in Europe. With two people in the tent there is a noticeable warmth difference between out and in. The vents really clear up any condensation problems that you might have in the tent.
I personally think the weakest link of the tent is its 1800 coated floor. I reinforced my foot print and added another layer to it, and it seemed to take up the slack with moisture in extremely cold days. It does take some time to set up over some of my other clip on set up tents, so if you're in the cold, you better have some warm gloves.
I have used the Orb 2 tent in warm summer weather also, and not one problem. It is a well thought out design with great wind flow though the tent by way of the dual doors.
I have four children which tend to be a little rough on things, but the tent still stands fully functional after three seasons. More people need to try this tent for it's good one.
Design: four season freestanding
Ease of Setup: takes some practice, but afterward it's clock work
Price Paid: $275
I finally broke down and replaced my 30-year-old Eureka Timberline. After lots of research I chose the Kelty Orb.
After a time or 2 setup and takedown is easy enough, especially if you have a friend to help. This tent's size is perfect for 2 and the vestibules are large enough to store all your gear.
Ventilation is important to me as I use this tent all year and it gets rather steamy during the Florida/Georgia summers. The roof and side vents combined with 2 screened doors do the trick. Rain is no problem either. I sprayed the tent a couple of times with Campdry waterproofing spray, but I'm not sure it was necessary. I also like the way the fly stretches over the tent and attaches to the base of the tent's poles, a very effective design.
The only complaint I have is that when taking down the tent the poles separate as your pulling them out of their sleeves making them difficult to remove. To prevent this I wrap each joint with electrical tape. It adds a couple of minutes to the setup but saves twice that time on takedown.
I'm well pleased with the quality of the Orb and impressed by its design. If I had to replace it, I'd be buying another Orb.
Design: 4 season freestanding dome
Ease of Setup: Middle of the road, not the easiest not the hardest.
Price Paid: $299.99
The Kelty ORB 2 is an exceptionally dependable, free standing, completely weather-tight, 4-main-pole (plus 1 vestibule pole) modified dome design. I use a few of these tents for my premier, remote guided/outfitted fly-in whitewater, wildlife viewing, and Eco-tours here in Alaska. In conjunction with very high-end outdoor gear for our expeditions State-wide -- the program at Northern Rim Wilderness Adventures is to provide guests with superior quality, robust, weatherproof tents that are “camper-proof” as well as quick/easy to set and strike in an impact free approach.
These tents honestly correspond to all the advertising (QUOTE) “Kelty’s strongest high alpine mountaineering tent.” I’ll add the ORB 2 goes well beyond of the company’s promotion. Indeed it is a very strong tent. I’ve tested this tent on the Big Island of Hawaii in rainforests, in heat and blowing sand, tropical storms as well as guiding throughout Alaska in summer, fall, and wintertime cold. The Orb 2 not only endures the various severe conditions of many climates, yet also has creative creature coziness that makes it a dream.
The Orb 2 design meets both tropical Hawaiian and remote Alaskan demands. It is very weatherproof, having a sturdy design, with an especially innovative fly system that gives praiseworthy coverage/protection while adding rigidity and strength. All Fabrics, components, design, and workmanship are first class… commonly suspect when in view of the reasonable price-tag. A tent failure just can’t and shouldn’t occur on remote multi-day Tropical vacations or on remote Alaska trips where any number of wild conditions may occur. I give an A+ to the storm-shedding devise. I’ll rate two thumbs up on the ingenious ventilation arrangement, the innovative pole sleeve concepts, and the design winning fly system. Other features like windows and several pockets to organize make the ORB 2 one of my favorites.
A couple points of interest –
I would say this is only a two-man tent… ample room lengthwise… width will not likely cause an issue. Vestibules afford maximum space for the overall size of the tent.
Ventilation is fantastic… better than just about any 4-season tent. Several vents are a neat and functional addition. If you like the fresh air in your face while you sleep… there are two small vents at head level when lying down. Sure helps me get a good night’s rest!
The completely waterproof and seam-taped tub of the tent is improved over industry standard and remains cleaner overall.
Dual vestibules and doorways are a necessary concept for a 4 season tent in my opinion.
The poles are good quality press-fit aluminum poles having pretty much customary diameter and wall thickness. Having the ball shaped end-caps prevents one-way-only pole sleeves from tearing… something a lot of folks may not see the value of. The end caps are of made of some plastic - but No problems so far…
Some might whimper that the tent (for its size) is too heavy… the tradeoff is that it can take unforgiving, everyday, commercial use all summer long in Alaska and come away looking picture perfect while on vacations in more tropical settings.
Every contented customer and guide of mine using the ORB 2 has given me upbeat commentary. The Kelty ORB 2 is a very good tent!
Design: 4-Season, Freestanding Modified Dome
Ease of Setup: very easy, straightforward
Weight: 9-11 lbs.
Price Paid: $325