"Freestanding tents are the holy grail of backpacking and mountaineering tents because they can be set up quickly just about anywhere, on wooden tent platforms, rock, sand, snow, and even climber’s portaledges, without having to be staked to the ground first." - SectionHiker.com
The EXPED Orion II is a truly freestanding and wind stable tent. It makes excellent use of EXPED's orignal design from over 20 years ago: ridge- tunnel. Two poles run the length of the tent and another one crosses them at right angles, reaching the ground on both sides. This elegant architecture has several big advantages. It provides its own tension, allowing the tent to be truly freestanding. It can be set up on a slab of rock without the use of stakes. Because the crossing pole reaches the ground on both sides it creates a pole-supported vestibule, one per occupant. The pole configuration also makes the tent very wind stable, even under difficult pitching situations.
Orion II is available in 3 versions. Original Orion II with a silicone/polyurethane coated fly (excellent wet-weather performance - no sagging when wet and quick drying), Orion II UL with ultralight fabrics (very light and compact) and Orion II Extreme, silicone coated (improved UV resistance and high tear strength).
Here's an excerpt from the recent post by SectionHiker.com covering their top 10 freestanding tent choices. Click here for a link to the complete article: