For smaller families looking for a high quality traditional pole tent at an excellent price, the OLPRO Orion 6 provides a great value, flexible option with some unexpected features. Read on for our full review.
What is it?
OLPRO Orion 6 Berth Tent RRP: £359.00
Overall Rating (4 / 5)
- Packed dimensions (cm): 75cm x 30cm x 30cm (29.52” x 11.81” x 11.81”)
- Weight (kg): 18.1 kg
- Hydrostatic Head: 5,000mm H/H
- Material: 190T OLTech Ripstop Polyester
- Sewn in groundsheet: Yes
- Poles: 4 x Steel Leg Poles 2 x Fibreglass roof poles 2 x Fibreglass bedroom poles
- Cable Entry Point: Yes
- Canopy poles: Yes
- Number of doors: 2
- Windows: 5
- Pitching time: 20 Minutes
- Bedroom inner tent: Yes Darkened inner
- Standing room: Yes
- Pegs included: Yes
- Carpet available: Yes
- Footprint groundsheet available: Yes
What we thought
Apart from my much-loved little backpacking tent, this is actually the first pole tent that we’ve put up in ages as our preference tends to be for AirBeams and bell tents, so we were curious to see what it would be like going back to a more traditional pole tent.
The tunnel tent design is one I’m very familiar with; the first family tent I bought when I got a job straight out of Uni was a very similar size, design and even shared the same colour scheme, though it was significantly lower quality – it didn’t even have a sewn-in groundsheet and was much flimsier than the Orion 6.
Putting the tent up
The addition of steel poles is always something I’m glad to see with a pole tent having spent many a camping trip frantically duck-taping snapped fibreglass poles in the middle of a storm. Although the steel poles add weight to the packed tent, they of course make for a sturdier structure. Despite the extra weight in relation to the relatively small pack size, I found the 18kg tent easy enough to carry on my own.
The tent uses a hybrid pole system with steel poles in the middle section of the tent for added stability that run floor to roof, that then slot into a bracket and a flexible fiberglass pole then spans the roof and slots into a bracket on the opposite side of the tent.
Usually with an entirely new tent we’d go through the instructions first and whilst there were instructions, there were no helpful images. Instead of all that reading, we just opted to get hands-on and figure it out for ourselves.
We did find that the more hands we had available, the easier it was to get this tent up and we ended up with 3 of us helping to get it up, though the second time we used the tent it was a more straightforward 2 person job to get it up again.
The first time around it took us about 35 minutes to get the tent pitched, but the second time, once we knew what we were doing, it took about 25 minutes. Not bad for such a decent-sized tent.
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We like space and generally camp with a kitchen cupboard unit, table, a couple of chairs, ice box, a couple of big backpacks and a further bag with running and swimming gear in, so even though it’s just the two of us, we tend to take up a fair bit of space which is why we prefer medium to larger size family tents.
We opted to leave the second bedroom compartment out as we simply didn’t need it, which also meant we could use the large door at one end as well as the smaller side door which gave us a more flexible layout that suited our needs.
We did find that the bedroom compartments were pretty small. In fact looking at the dimensions, before our first camping trip we realised our folding double camp bed would probably be too big for the space, so instead we just took our double self-inflating mattress and two single SIMs.
Inside the sleeping compartment there was just enough room for the double mattress, leaving no space either side or at the top or the bottom, which meant whoever was sleeping on the far side had to climb over the other person to get in or out of bed.
Of course, there is also a second identical bedroom compartment which can be placed at the opposite end of the tent, but for our needs, we prefer a larger living area so didn’t use it.
We really liked the flexibility of the internal space, and even pondered using it without a sleeping compartment to provide just one big living/sleeping space which would have allowed us to use our usual double camp bed, so I think for families, the flexibility offered by this tent is a definite bonus.
Our only other minor niggle was the size of the tent bag. Even when factory packed, we noticed that getting everything out for the first time was tight and it was immediately obvious that the bag was just big enough to fit everything inside, which of course means that in real-life use, when you don’t get the perfect tight factory pack of a brand new tent, it was unlikely to fit back inside.
When it came to packing down, we were right. Despite folding in the right places and rolling the tent as tightly as possible, we found that whilst the tent fitted back inside the bag with little trouble, it was impossible to get the poles back inside too.
Having been familiar with OLPRO but having never used one of their tents before I was unsure what to expect, although had noted that this particular tent won a 2020 camping awards choice for best poled family tent and that they also offer a 2-year warranty.
Once up, the quality of the tent was obvious and despite our niggles with tight bedroom space and bag size, we found a host of well-thought-out features including metal guy rope sliders, ample ventilation, rain-friendly doorways, flexible internal configuration and plenty of hanging points.
Not only did light flood into the tent, it gave us amazing views of the trees which really helped us to feel more connected to the natural space we were in.
The bedroom interior is slightly darker than the rest of the tent, though they don’t use blackout technology. Despite this, on our first night in the tent we both slept in later than we’ve ever done on a camping trip and certainly far later than either of us had slept at home in many months.
Choosing a quiet campsite I’m sure helped, but not waking up until almost 9.30am (I know right?!) must also in part have been down to the slightly darker bedroom interior.
Our very favourite feature of the tent though has to be the big sky gazing window set within the roof of the living area. Although on both camping trips so far, the nights were overcast, during the day it meant not only did light flood into the tent, but it gave us amazing views of the trees which really helped us to feel more connected to the natural space we were in, even when huddled inside the tent during heavy downpours.
- We loved the stargazing roof panel
- Excellent 5000 HH coped well with heavy rain
- We love that it’s designed in Britain and comes with a 2-year warranty
- Sturdy and solid thanks to the rigid steel tent poles
- Ample head height makes the tent feel more spacious
- Good quality bug mesh and zippers
- The tent felt highly capable even whilst camping in wet and windy conditions
- Good pack size, which means it won’t take up too much space in the car
- Flexible interior space, use with 1 or 2 bedroom compartments inside
- Good amount of ventilation
- Good number of lantern hanging points
- Extra pols to turn the end door into a canopy are included
- Instructions could do with pictures instead of just text
- It takes about 20 – 30 minutes for 2 people to put up
- We found the bedroom compartments quite small
- The tent bag is too small and needs to be more generously sized
If you’re looking for a mid-sized family tent that uses a traditional pole system, that provides heaps of flexibility and is sturdy enough to stand up to the worst of the British weather, the OLPRO Orion 6 provides excellent value for money and is well worth considering.
Whilst we don’t think you’d want to squeeze 6 adults in the space, for a family of 4 or a young family of 5 this tent would be ideal, providing just enough space for everyone including a few basic bits of camp furniture inside the tent.
If however, you are a couple, then you’ll find the Orion 6 provides a great amount of space, with ample room for your usual camping setup. The OLPRO Orion 6 makes a solid buy and is comparable to tents we’ve used at a significantly higher price point.
DISCLOSURE | Thank you to OLPRO who supplied the featured product to us to test. We were not paid to write this review.