The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Clam Outdoors Quick-Set Escape Review

This shelter can be set up fast and offers ample shelter over picnic tables.
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Price:  $300 List | $297.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Fast set-up, durable, protective
Cons:  Complex design, hard to carry
Manufacturer:   Clam Outdoors
By Michael Wood ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 28, 2019
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 10
  • Livability - 25% 8
  • Ease of Setup - 25% 8
  • Wind Resistance - 20% 6
  • Durability - 15% 7
  • Portability - 15% 5

Our Verdict

Large enough to hold a family of six and cover a picnic table, the Clam Outdoors Quick-Set Escape is optimized for sun, rain, and bug protection. The unique design makes setup remarkably fast but also has the potential to make setup extremely complicated. The 11-mm fiberglass poles make this tent feel very sturdy, and the stakes and guy-lines give this already sturdy tent even more stability. The durable materials and structural design will give this tent longevity even in inclement weather.

This is a robust camping tent, but it's also overkill for some users. If you want more versatility from a simpler model while saving a wad of cash, check out the Kelty Discovery Shade Shelter.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


Wide open doors allow for easy access and protection.
Wide open doors allow for easy access and protection.

Livability


With 94 square feet of floor space and 7.5 feet of head clearance, this tent can hold the whole family and the picnic table. The rounded design makes the interior feel even more spacious than its square counterparts. The pull-away netting allows for a wide, welcoming entrance that can be easily zipped back up to offer full bug protection. There is only one entrance, which limits access but increases the durability, stability, and protection provided by the shelter. The doorway has two foldaway poles which give the entry form and stability.

This shelter can easily fit a picnic table while still saving space for additional occupants.
This shelter can easily fit a picnic table while still saving space for additional occupants.

Ease of Setup


Clam boasts a 45 second setup time, which is possible although the first few times you may be more likely to come across a 15-20 minute time. The instructions came on a hard to read, black and white collection of printer papers, but we suggest you read them thoroughly as this tent does not utilize a common tent pole system. This shelter relies on a series of pull tabs which, when angled correctly, pop out each tent side making setup straightforward even for a single person. There are times, however, if the starting orientation is askew when it will seem impossible to untangle corners from one another, which three of us learned during our first 18 minute setup time. Once familiar with the design, however, setup will be much closer to the 45 sec to 1 min mark, and tent poles will seem like a thing of the past. This design not only allows for quick setups but also make packing this tent away much faster.

The pop-out system used to set-up the tent.
The pop-out system used to set-up the tent.

Wind Resistance


At 32.5 lbs, this shelter is much more resistant to the wind than lightweight camping canopies like the REI Co-op Screen House. Its weight in addition to its guy-lines and stakes make it a much more dependable option in windy conditions. Rather than bending the poles, any severe wind may just collapse one of the sides, which can be corrected by a shove in the opposing direction (detailed below).

Durability


Made of a 210 denier poly-oxford fabric with 600 deniers in the center section of the roof and 50+ UV guard protection, this tent will protect from wind, sun, rain, and bugs. Each corner is triple-layered to increase durability and leak resistance. The six tent stakes and guy-lines provided make this durable tent even more stable, and because the sides rely on a pop-out system, any wind strong enough will just pop in a side rather than bending or damaging poles. This can be corrected by simply pushing that collapsed side from the inside of the tent.

One side collapsed  requiring a push in the opposite direction to pop back into place.
One side collapsed, requiring a push in the opposite direction to pop back into place.

Portability


This tent is heavy compared to other camping canopies and would be easier to transport if it weren't for the lopsided design and mediocre travel case. The case itself only comes with hand straps, which dig into the hand due to the high weight. One tester had to carry this tent about a quarter mile and complained the entire way about the lack of a shoulder strap or wheels. Mobility-wise, there are better options. Once erect, however, due to the large front opening, this tent is easy to readjust or place over picnic tables.

Packing up this tent lead to a lopsided travel case every time we tried it.
Packing up this tent lead to a lopsided travel case every time we tried it.

Best Application


Due to its durable nature and quick set up, this tent excels at protecting groups of six or less from insects or the elements. We'd recommend at least two people to set this one up initially, but once you understand the design, it can be setup remarkably fast. Best for campgrounds, this shelter can easily fit over most picnic tables.

Value


At $300 this tent is certainly an investment. However, if your family likes to car camp and you want to protect them, and your food, from all that nature throws at you, this may be a good buy. Due to its strong materials and stability, this is an excellent shelter to rely on. Built to last.

When camping in some backcountry environments  it can be useful to have a colorful tent. This camping canopy  though  won't ever head into such places  and so we're glad it blends into the forest surroundings well.
When camping in some backcountry environments, it can be useful to have a colorful tent. This camping canopy, though, won't ever head into such places, and so we're glad it blends into the forest surroundings well.

Conclusion


The fast setup and impressive durability of this shelter make it an excellent choice for any campers who are looking for protection from weather, sun, and pesky bugs. The unique design, though occasionally a hassle, makes this tent durable, spacious, and easy to use. A great camping option, with the longevity to keep your family protected for many years to come. Our testers found a few flaws, but still enjoyed using this tent overall.


Michael Wood