The Kelty Escape 2 is a well-built but low-cost two-person tent that’s best used for car camping, base camping, and short backpacking trips. It’s compact and easy to set up with a free-standing inner tent, aluminum poles, and a roof vent for added ventilation. Sized for two people, it has large internal pockets and an optional gear loft for additional gear storage.
Specs at a Glance
- People: 2
- Trail weight: 4 lbs 1.7 oz (4 lbs 5 oz, claimed)
- Poles (2): 17.7 oz
- Inner tent: 20.3 oz
- Rain Fly: 27.7 oz
- Doors: 1
- Type: Double-wall
- Shape: Dome
- Interior Pockets: 2
- Gear Loft: Yes
- Poles: Aluminum (2)
- Interior dimensions: 48″ x 85″ (actual)
- Peak height: 43″ (actual)
- Minimum number of stakes: 2
- Floor and Fly Materials: 68-denier polyester 1800mm
- Seam-taped: Yes
The Kelty Escape is a two-person, dome-shaped tent with a single front door. It’s is a double-wall tent with a free-standing inner tent that’s set up first and hung with plastic clips from two aluminum tent poles that slot into corner grommets and crisscross at the top. The rain fly is draped over the poles and attached to the corners with plastic clips, attached to the corner webbing straps of the inner tent. You really only need two tent stakes to peg out the rear and the front vestibule to finish setting it up, although you’ll probably want to stake out the four corners so the tent doesn’t blow away when you’ve stepped out and the wind picks up. The entire process is also easy to do in the dark, for example, when you just want to set up a tent and go to sleep.
While the Escape 2 can be used by two people who don’t mind crawling over each other to get in and out, it’s much more convenient to use it as a single person tent or to share it with a dog. If you want a tent for two people, you’re really much better off getting one with two doors so each person can get out and back in at night without disturbing the other. The same goes for the front vestibule, which is really only sized for one backpack and not two.
The interior of the Escape 2 is quite spacious with two large mesh side pockets, while an optional gear loft is also included that ties into the ceiling. The side walls are nearly vertical and the 43″ peak height provides plenty of room to change your clothes inside. The interior dimensions are 48″ x 85″ which is large enough for a wide sleeping pad (25″) and all of your gear if you’re using the tent by yourself, or two regular width (20″) sleeping pads if sharing the tent with another person. Tall people will also be able to stretch out in comfort.
Ventilation is very good since the upper half of the inner tent is all mesh. The fact that’s it’s freestanding also means you can just use the inner tent for stargazing and insect protection in drier weather. If you have two people inside the tent, I would recommend leaving at least half of the vestibule door unzipped and tied back to provide more airflow, unless it’s raining. One feature I really like is the roof snorkel vent, which lets the warm and moist air that causes internal condensation to escape, so the outer walls of your tent stay drier at night.
Kelty does not sell a footprint for the Escape 2 and it’s not really necessary to use one. The tent is seam taped and completely waterproof, while the 68 denier floor is plenty tough to stand up to lots of abuse.
Comparable Budget Two-Person Tents
|REI Passage 2||2||4 lbs 2 oz||included||$159|
|Eureka Midori 2||2||4 lbs 13 oz||no||$170|
|Mountain Hardwear Mineral King 2||2||5 lbs 2.7 oz||included||$250|
|REI Half Dome Plus 2||2||4 lbs 14 oz||no||$229|
|Marmot Tungsten 2||2||4 lbs 13 oz||included||$214|
|Marmot Catalyst 2||2||4 lbs 11 oz||included||$183|
|Big Agnes Blacktail Hotel 2||2||5 lbs 9 oz||no||$250|
|REI Trail Hut 2||2||4 lbs 14 oz||included||$199|
|NEMO Aurora 2P||2||4 lbs 9 oz||included||$250|
|The North Face Stormbreak 2||2||5 lbs 5 oz||no||$159|
The Kelty Escape 2 is a great low-cost tent that’s well made and easy to use. It has a spacious interior and good internal storage, excellent headroom, and high sidewalls for extra privacy. The freestanding inner tent makes the Escape 2 very easy to set up and can be used as a standalone shelter in drier weather. While the Kelty Escape 2 is large enough for two people, it is less convenient for two people to use than tents that have two doors. But if you’re camping alone or with a canine companion, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better tent at a less expensive price.
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