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Why Can't Everything Be As Good As My Tent?

This weekend we went camping. Since my older son was staying in his own tent, my wife, younger son, and I could stay could manage in a smaller tent than usual.

So I got to break out our trusty old Sierra Designs Orion 3 AST. I like our big family tent a lot, but I have a special spot in my heart for the Orion. It has been on so many backpacking and camping trips dating all the way back to the beginnings of my marriage and family! I've always liked it's design, durability, and functionality. It's a bit heavy compared to modern ultralight tents, but it's still pretty reasonable for two people to carry.

I was happy to see on this trip that the Orion is still going strong after 16 years. The night subjected it to hours of very strong wind and rain. But throughout all of it, the tent held solid and kept us completely dry.

If you think about it, a really good backpacking tent is a very tall order. The criteria are at odds with each other. By definition, a tent has to be rug…

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