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Kelty Orb 2 Review

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Brian Richardson, 11/10/07 User Rating: 
" 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!

Brian Richardson


Dwayne, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"I purchased the Orb 2, two person, four season tent to replace the twenty-six year old three man dome tent (by sunbacker) I bought as a boy scout and took on hundreds of backpacking trips. When the Orb 2 tent finely arrived (bought it from breakcamp.com for $ 350.00 USD after reading hundreds of reviews), I was shocked at the fluorescent lime green rain fly. The Orb 2 is a little heavy at 11+ lbs for two and three day backpacking trips and I do not recommend for the novice. The first time that I set this tent up was when I, my 5-year old, and 3-year old went on a very short backpacking trip. The tent went up in a snap, even in thirty mile hour ice cold winds, I would have thought you needed a master’s degree to put the rain fly on, connect everything to the footprint, and clip the flyboys in place. But, by the third day and the third time setting up the Orb 2 everything seemed to slide together very easily. The Orb 2 held up to everything mother nature had to throw at us, 28-56°F, 20-45 mile hour winds, a light drizzle to hard pouring rain, and even some unexpected light snow. At night even in 28°F I had to open the two top vents, unzipped front door window and still slept on top of my Kelty mummy sleeping bag. My recommendation if you purchased the Orb 2 four season tent practice; setting up and taking down. You never know what the weather will bring, but I bet Orb 2 will be ready."


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