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Clam Outdoors Quick-Set Escape Review

Setup has a bit of a learning curve, but once its mastered, you'll love popping up this mammoth shelter, and you'll be amazed how well it protects you
clam outdoors quick-set escape canopy tent review
Credit: Clam
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $400 List | $356.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Massive, completely enclosed, keeps bugs out, no small parts, easy to set up, rugged, relatively lightweight
Cons:  Very long packed-size, setup has a learning curve, a bit challenging to reposition, expensive
Manufacturer:   Clam Outdoors
By Jason Wanlass ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 24, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
81
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 11
  • Functionality - 25% 8.0
  • Ease of Set Up - 25% 8.0
  • Protection - 20% 10.0
  • Craftsmanship - 15% 8.0
  • Portability - 15% 6.0

Our Verdict

Wow. These were the first words out of our mouths after setting up the Clam Outdoors Quick-Set Escape for the first time. We love this canopy tent and feel it is a wonderful addition to any camping adventure. It's the equivalent of a home's screened-in porch or deck: spacious and livable enough to enjoy all day. This colossal canopy blocks out sun, rain, wind, AND bugs, making it the perfect gathering spot for any getaway. It's also sturdy, easy to set up, and built with high-grade materials. Hands down, the Escape is our favorite camping canopy. We struggled to find any complaints with this product, and even if we did, its sheer size, ease of use, and complete protection easily upstage any negatives.

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Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $400 List
$356.99 at Amazon
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Massive, completely enclosed, keeps bugs out, no small parts, easy to set up, rugged, relatively lightweightRugged, well-crafted, easy to set up, adjustable, excellent travel bagPinch-free setup, steel frame, adjustable, repels water, excellent roller bag, easy to set upWell-made, lightweight, repels rain, small packed-size, lots of built-in featuresLess expensive, lighter than similar models, easy to set up and reposition, shades well
Cons Very long packed-size, setup has a learning curve, a bit challenging to reposition, expensiveExpensive, heavy, large packed-size, feet are plasticHeavy, wheel assembly is mostly plastic, a little wobbly at full heightSits low, smaller that standard canopies, sways in the wind, takes time to set upThinner materials, ineffective roller bag, rain penetrates seams, wobbly in wind
Bottom Line Setup has a bit of a learning curve, but once its mastered, you'll love popping up this mammoth shelter, and you'll be amazed how well it protects youWe scoured this monster canopy from head to toe and found nothing but qualitySpending your weekends sitting along the sidelines just got a whole lot coolerThe perfect blend of spacious, rugged, portable, and fun - this canopy covers a lot of ground but doesn't take up a lot of spaceNot everyone needs a military-grade canopy tent, so if all you want are the basics, then don't pay more than necessary
Rating Categories Clam Outdoors Quick... Eurmax Standard 10x10 E-Z Up Pyramid Eureka Tagalong She... Caravan Canopy V-Se...
Functionality (25%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Ease of Set Up (25%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Protection (20%)
10.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Craftsmanship (15%)
8.0
10.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Portability (15%)
6.0
6.0
6.0
9.0
5.0
Specs Clam Outdoors Quick... Eurmax Standard 10x10 E-Z Up Pyramid Eureka Tagalong She... Caravan Canopy V-Se...
Measured Weight 33.9 lbs 64.3 lbs 54.1 lbs 5.9 lbs 32.1 lbs
Peak Height 7.5 ft 11.0 ft 10.4 ft 6.3 ft 9.2 ft
Pole Material Fiberglass Steel Steel Aluminum Steel
Number of Poles Poles integrated into tent material 4 4 2 4
Floor Dimensions 140" x 140" 120" x 120" 120" x 120" 132" x 108" 120" x 120"
Packed Size 72" x 8" x 8" 64.2" x 11.7" x 11.5" 62" x 8" x 8" 23" x 10" x 6" 53" x 9" x 8"
Main Material Poly-oxford 300D polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester
Design Type Pop-Up Pop-Up Pop-Up Free-standing Pop-Up

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Escape is large enough to fit 5-7 people and their dogs — and an entire picnic table. It folds down into a long thin bundle, but when expanded, it's one of the largest fully enclosed shelters we've seen. We used ours during several weeks of testing and never grew tired of setting it up. Setting up is actually fun.

Performance Comparison


clam outdoors quick-set escape canopy tent review - we feel this is one of the more livable canopy tents on  the market...
We feel this is one of the more livable canopy tents on the market. We often relaxed it all day.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Functionality


We awarded the Escape high marks for its overall functionality because we were amazed at its results with just a small amount of effort. When deployed, this tent feels gargantuan, offers a ton of headroom, and has many neat features that make it very usable and livable. The most impressive feature of the Escape is that it's self-contained and ready to go right out of the box, no assembly required.



Instantly noticeable on the Escape is its six-sided, hexagon shape. Each wall is completely screened in with quality mesh but can be unzipped and tied into place if needed. Likewise, the zippered entrance can be pulled back and secured with straps if a more permanent passage is desired. Additionally, zippers for the entrance and each window are accessible from the inside or outside, making the entire structure very convenient and safe.

During the day, the Escape's entrance can be unzipped and tied back...
During the day, the Escape's entrance can be unzipped and tied back for greater ease of movement. As evening falls and the bugs come out, it can be easily re-zipped for a perfect barrier.
We love having dual-sided access  to every zipper. The front...
We love having dual-sided access to every zipper. The front entrance as well as every window can be unzipped from the inside or the outside.

When deployed, the Escape offers nearly 100 feet of floor space and 7.5 feet of maximum head clearance. Despite being fully enclosed, the see-through design is very comfortable. We never felt confined or claustrophobic, and it was common to find us sitting under its protection all day playing cards, reading, or taking a cool mountain snooze. The Escape's thick poly-oxford roof blocks out the sun very well, providing plenty of shade throughout the day. Additionally, its mesh walls effectively take the edge off hard daylight without blocking the breeze. This creates a very comfortable place to relax.

clam outdoors quick-set escape canopy tent review - the thick ceiling does a great job of keeping out sun. still, on...
The thick ceiling does a great job of keeping out sun. Still, on very sunny days, the fabric does allow a little bit of the sun's glare to penetrate.
Credit: Jason Wanlass


Measuring a little more than 11 feet from point to point, we feel the Escape can easily house 5-7 people along with dogs, coolers, gear, and even a portable table. We unfolded ours directly over an 8-foot picnic table, and there was still room for a few chairs or other gear. The only place we feel the Escape misses the boat is by not having a few small, built-in pockets to place keys or other personal items. We also wish it had one or two built-in hooks.

Ease of Set Up


During our first setup, we found the Escape quite intimidating. Initially, we didn't feel this canopy was intuitive and struggled to follow its setup instructions. There's a lot of fabric intertwined with multiple spider-like legs that appear to make no sense, giving us the premature inclination to start shelling out lower scores for this metric. Luckily, we had the patience to accomplish our first setup, and we found the learning curve to be much smaller than we expected.


At first, we approached our setup with the tent upside-down. However, after a few hits and misses, we quickly became good enough that one person could set up and fully stake down our Escape in less than two minutes. A two-person setup takes between 30-40 seconds. Even after several weeks of use, we were still stunned when we compared the sheer size of this canopy with how easy it is to deploy. We are impressed.

First place the Escape on its longest point, then let go.
First place the Escape on its longest point, then let go.
After letting go, the walls fall to the side exposing the roof top.
After letting go, the walls fall to the side exposing the roof top.
Simply walk around the edges, find the handle attached at each one...
Simply walk around the edges, find the handle attached at each one of the six sides, and pull. One by one, the tent's walls pop into place.

As we've said, right out of the bag, there are a lot of spidery legs. To erect the Escape, just pinpoint the longest legs, which come together at a distinct point. After finding that, pick up the Escape and place the entire shelter on this point. Then just let go. Much like a flower, the shelter will naturally fall open. From there, find the exterior straps attached to each wall and pull each individually. Watching how the entire structure pops into place right before your eyes is fun. To finish the process, step inside and push up on the ceiling to lock it into place. We love this setup process and feel it's one of the easiest we've ever seen for such a massive canopy. Our only complaint is the instructions which we wish were a bit clearer and easier to read.

clam outdoors quick-set escape canopy tent review - putting the final touches on the setup. the last step is to force...
Putting the final touches on the setup. The last step is to force the ceiling upward until it springs into place.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Protection


We don't hand them out very often, but we were happy to give the Escape a perfect score in our protection metric. Not only does it provide excellent shade, but it can withstand wind and rain. Additionally, it keeps out bugs when fully zipped, making this tent our favorite canopy for camping. We also love the full-length accessory walls available from the manufacturer, which attach to the canopy to further block out sun, rain, or wind.


In addition to a 50+ UV rating, the 210-denier, poly-oxford fabric is double stitched and sealed with weather tape, which helps keep you dry when Mother Nature decides to send rain. During our water-resistance testing, we doused the Escape for 5 minutes and never saw a drop seep inside. Additionally, this shelter's screened-in walls do an excellent job of preventing blowing rain from entering.

clam outdoors quick-set escape canopy tent review - we drenched our canopy for 5 minutes and saw absolutely no signs of...
We drenched our canopy for 5 minutes and saw absolutely no signs of leaking.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Wind is not a problem for the Escape either. If not secured properly, it can take flight during higher gusts; however, when we staked ours down, its strong fiberglass frame handled the wind exceptionally well. Additionally, the entire structure is surrounded by a 10-inch wide ground skirt. During a trip to some local dunes, we buried the full skirt in the sand and were very pleased with how well it performed without using stakes. The skirt alone also provides additional protection from bugs and is a deterrent to small critters.

The ground skirt purpose is two-fold. It acts as an additional seal...
The ground skirt purpose is two-fold. It acts as an additional seal to protect against bugs, but it also can be weighted down with sand. This effectively keeps the canopy in place during windy conditions when ground stakes are ineffective.
Even the X-shaped frames suggest protection. They symbolically say...
Even the X-shaped frames suggest protection. They symbolically say "keep out" to sun, rain, wind, and bugs.

Craftsmanship


The Escape would be even more impressive if it incorporated metal in its framework. However, given its size, we feel it would be too heavy to maneuver if this were the case. In the end, we think its fiberglass frame is plenty adequate. The canopy fabric is reinforced at its junctions, and all seams are double-stitched and weather-taped.


After weeks of use in dirt, sand, and grass, we saw no evidence of wear and tear, and we feel this is a high-quality product that can be trusted to keep you protected. We also awarded the Escape high marks for its quality zippers and sturdy screen material. Additionally, we appreciate that the ground-staking tabs are reinforced with large metal grommets.

Every key joint is reinforced. We couldn't find a single key...
Every key joint is reinforced. We couldn't find a single key component on the Escape that wasn't reinforced in one way or another.
This canopy is a fortress. There is very little about it that...
This canopy is a fortress. There is very little about it that doesn't scream quality.

Portability


A packed weight of 34 pounds puts the Escape on the heavier side of canopy tents we've tested, but it's far from the heaviest. One person with average strength can lift it without much effort. That said, actually carrying this beast may be another story — it's similar to carrying a pair of skis in a ski bag.


Measuring more than 6 feet in length, the Escape can be a little awkward to transport. The bag only offers two long, gym-bag-style hand straps. The product is a little too long to be carried over the shoulder; likewise, having it to the side is a little cumbersome. Some of our testers preferred to carry it backpack style, which in some cases proved to be the easiest — as long as their height wasn't an issue. All considered, the Escape would have received higher marks for portability if it had one handle on either end of the carry bag. This would allow two people to transport with greater ease.

clam outdoors quick-set escape canopy tent review - quality: great. protection: great. carrying case: not so great. it's...
Quality: great. Protection: great. Carrying case: not so great. It's long and awkward. Even when wearing it backpack style, it still slaps against your legs with every step.

The massive packed length also comes into play if you drive a medium- or compact-sized vehicle. It's very similar to fitting a pair of skis into your car. While not impossible, we occasionally found it challenging to maneuver the Escape into place, especially in vehicles where the back seats don't have fold-down trunk access.

clam outdoors quick-set escape canopy tent review - during our tests, we measured the length of each carry bag. the...
During our tests, we measured the length of each carry bag. The Escape bag is just over 6 feet in length, making it the longest packed length we've ever seen.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Should You Buy the Clam Outdoors Quick-Set Escape?


We feel the Escape would be an excellent canopy choice for just about any outdoor activity. Its comprehensive protection from sun, wind, rain, and bugs makes it perfect for everything from beach parties to backyard barbeques, though we find it most ideal for a camping environment. So if you enjoy heading for the hills for a weekend camping trip or longer, we highly recommend taking the Quick-Set Escape along for the ride. While pricey, you can't beat its protection, size, quality, and ease of use.

clam outdoors quick-set escape canopy tent review - before setup, the massive amount of miscellaneous fiberglass...
Before setup, the massive amount of miscellaneous fiberglass framework is confusing. However, once popped into place it makes perfect sense.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

What Other Canopy Tents Should You Consider?


The Quick-Set Escape may be a little more difficult to use as a sideline canopy for a show or sporting event. Its mesh walls and crisscross frame make it difficult to see all of the action. Likewise, its enclosed design isn't very accommodating for a backyard party where people are mulling about. So if you need a quality canopy for outdoor sports, backyard parties, or farmers markets, we recommend the Eurmax Standard 10x10 or the E-Z UP Pyramid. Both are high-quality tents that are excellent at keeping out the sun. We feel the E-Z Up excels on the field due to its effective roller bag with very large wheels. The quality of the Eurmax is unsurpassed, making it an excellent choice for just about anything, but especially for more commercial environments like farmers' markets or trade shows.

clam outdoors quick-set escape canopy tent review - we feel this canopy is perfect for rv camping as well as traditional...
We feel this canopy is perfect for RV camping as well as traditional car camping. The point of being in nature is to enjoy its beauty. The canopy allowed us to do that while staying protected from the elements.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Jason Wanlass
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