EXPED Orion II Tent – Engineered for Winter Camping
The EXPED Orion II tent is celebrating 20 years in 2018. In those two decades, the Orion tent has seen many adventures. We took the Orion II tent into the Colorado mountains for some serious testing. From summer camping trips to winter snow storms, the Orion did not let us down. Let us go over some of the features of the tent.
Engineered for quick set up
One of the things I look for in a 4 season tent, is the ability to set the tent up from the outside. Meaning set the tent up without allowing moisture into the tent. The Orion tent (and many of the EXPED tents) allow you do set it up using the sleeves on the outer tent. Keeping the inner tent suspended and dry. I found the sleeves were a little tight at first. Barely able to get the TRX Airlite 9.1mm 7001-T6 aluminum poles into them. That complaint aside, the poles slide into the sleeves and dead end on the opposite side. Each sleeve is labeled for ease of set up. This is a key feature and one that I think you will appreciate once you set the tent up.
This is not a UL tent, nor is it super heavy. For the weight of 7lbs, you get some very durable materials. The floor is 70D taffeta nylon with a PU coating that claims 10K mm waterproof. The times I set the tent up, I did not use a ground cloth and placed the tent directly in the snow. I never had an issue with water seeping up into the tent. The 40D ripstop nylon PU coated rainfly was plenty waterproof during rain and snow storms. The inner tent is made of 30D ripstop nylon and has 15D no seem um mesh backer on the doors and vents.
Ease of use
The Orion tent is perfect for two users, or palatial for solo trips (even with dogs). I was able to fit a double long wide sleeping pad (Nemo Cosmo 50) into the tent perfectly. Which was excellent! The two doors are verticle, so they don’t slope in (unlike some other tents). This creates a very comfortable sleeping area. I love that both doors are mesh backed. This allows for year round use and helps with ventilation. There are several, sizeable pockets throughout the tent and a large gear attic. The vestibules are HUGE! You can easily hang out during a storm and not get any water in the tent.
Review of the EXPED Orion II Tent
The Orion tent packs a lot of punch for the weight of 7lbs. The ease of set up and comfortable living area are great. The thoughtfulness of the little details goes a long way too. Like the improved guy-out line management system and pockets in the tent. EXPED did a great job designing the Orion tent. Personally, I loved the Venus III tent (review here) and found it was even easier to set up than the Orion. The only drawback to the internal sleeves on the tent was it was sometimes hard to get the poles to slide through them. Breaking the tent down was a bit challenging at first. Then I figured it out. If you push the tent poles from the dead end position, you can bring the tent to that end and retrieve the poles easier. Sounds weird, but it worked.
If you are looking for a great 4 season tent that does not weigh too much and can withstand snow loading, then the Orion would be a great choice. Couple it with the EXPED Downmat 9 sleeping pad and you have a great winter set up. Grab one here for $750.