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Kelty Escape 2 Tent Review

Kelty Escape 2 Tent

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.

Kelty has stopped making the Escape 2 Tent and replaced it with the Late Start 2, which is very similar and a good value.

Kelty Escape 2 Tent

Ease of Setup
Weather Resistance
Packed Size

Low Cost but Well Made

The Kelty Escape 2 is spacious and has a freestanding inner tent which makes it easy and fast to set up. It has durable aluminum poles and comes with a free gear loft for storing essentials close at hand.

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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.

The rainfly connects to plastic clips on the corners of the inner tent for ease of setup

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 freestanding inner tent can be used by itself in dry weather

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.

A rear roof vent releases the warm air vapor that can create internal condensation

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

Make / Model / PeopleWeightDesignPrice
REI Trailmade 24 lbs 4 ozFreestanding$199
Kelty Late Start 24 lbsFreestanding$160
Marmot Tungsten 2P4 lbs 15.7 ozFreestanding$249
REI Trail Hut 24 lbs 14 ozFreestanding$229
Big Agnes C-Bar-23 lbs 9 ozFreestanding$250
Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo Outfitter3 lbs 3 ozTrekking Poles$210
3FUL Lanshan 22 lbs 7 ozTrekking Pole$200
Six Moon Designs Skyscape Scout2 lbs 8 ozTrekking Pole$160
Dan Durston X-Mid 11 lb 12 ozTrekking Pole$234
Featherstone Backbone 2P2 lbs 11.5 ozTrekking Pole$200


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.

Disclosure: The author purchased this product.

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