Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp Review: Crazy Versatile | 2020

Sea to Summit Escapist tarp

In this Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp review we look at the incredible versatility and details of the Escapist Tarp. If you are looking for a shelter that can conform to your needs every time in the field, the Escapist Tarp is one to look at. It offers you endless setup possibilities and flexibility in the type of place you can set it up. Whether you find yourself in heavy timber with trees everywhere that allow you to take advantage of tying off the tarp, or find yourself in the desert without a tree for miles, the Escapist has you covered.

One of the many awesome possibilities is the ability to attach the Sea to Summit Bug Tent for those times when you want to keep the bugs away. Additionally, Sea to Summit offers the Escapist Tarp in both a Medium and Large size so you can customize your setup even further. You’ve also go the options of purchasing the Escapist Ground Sheet in the event that you want to put something between you and the ground (if just using the tarp), or protect the bottom of the Inner Bug tent.

Check out our other backpacking tent reviews if the Escapist isn’t quite what you are looking for. Pair your tent with the perfect pad (see our backpacking pad reviews), a warm sleeping bag (see our sleeping bag reviews), and complete it with a comfy pillow from our backpacking pillow review.

Sea To Summit Escapist Tarp Review: Materials and Design

Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp

The Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp is made of 15D Ultra-Sil nano material that is waterproof and surprisingly strong for a 15D material. You can really get the Escapist tarp nice and snugly tied down. The corners and tied out points are hypalon and bar-tack reinforced to make sure you can snug it down without ripping the tarp. Each tie out point comes with some guy line and cord lock so you can get the tension just right.

Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp

The Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp and Bug Tent is designed to be set up using trekking poles, but a broken off tree branch or nearby tree trunk also will do the trick. When packed up, the Escapist Tarp is about the size of a Nalgene bottle (if not smaller), either 10.5 or 15.5 ounces (depending on what size you select) making this thing hardly noticeable in your pack.

Sea To Summit Escapist Bug Tent Materials & Design

Sea to Summit Escapist Inner Bug Tent

The Sea to Summit Escapist Bug Tent is designed to be used in conjunction with the Escapist Tarp, but can also be used by itself using trekking poles, stakes, and surrounding trees for the guy out points. Obviously you’d need to find a camp location that offers enough trees for this setup, but it’s nice to have the flexibility to set it up this way if desired.

The guy out points on the Escapist Bug Tent are a unique mixture of elastic on one half, and guy line cord with a cord lock on the other end. This gives you the ability to nicely tension the bug tent without overdoing it.

Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp Specs

  • Large Escapist Tarp: 10X10
  • Medium Escapist Tarp: 8×6
  • 8 super strong tie out points
  • Large Tarp: 15.5oz
  • Med Tarp: 10.5oz
  • 15D Ultra Sil Nano material

Sea to Summit Escapist Bug Tent Specs

  • Escapist Bug Tent: 13.6oz
  • Size: 31.4 sq ft
  • Generous side skirt
  • Mesh: 15D Ultra Viz Mesh (500 holes per sq inch)
  • Floor: 15D Ultra Sil Nano

Escapist Ground Sheet Specs

  • Tyvek material
  • 5.8oz
  • 51in x 87in
  • Waterproof

Sea To Summit Escapist Tarp Review: Pros

Sea to Summit Escapist Inner Bug Tent


Putting this through the paces doing this Escapist tarp review showed it’s incredibly versatility. It gives you the option of choosing what type of shelter is best for each trip you take. If you know it’s going to be warm out, you may elect to take just the tarp. Bugs might be a problem? Maybe just the Inner Bug Tent is needed so you can see the amazing mountain sky at night. Here are a few more options the Escapist Tarp system gives you:

  • Tent Awning
  • Bivy sack
  • Lean to
  • Sun/Rain Shelter
  • Double wall shelter

Massive Storage

Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp

You get a ton of gear storage area(with the large size tarp) and the interior of the Inner Bug Tent is very spacious, easily fitting two people.

Interior Room

The Escapist Bug Tent is nice and roomy for two, giving you plenty of space if you need to share.

Load Sharing/Pack Size

You can easily split up the load (the tarp, bug tent and ground sheet are packaged separately), making it a breeze to divvy up the load. Not only that, but they are all incredibly small, taking up almost no room in your pack.

Setup Options

The Escapist Tarp and Escapist Bug Tent combo gives you a TON of setup options. You can adjust to whatever mother nature throws at you when you just can’t find that perfect camp spot. Watch the Setup Options Video below for a few of the best that we’ve found(but certainly not an exhaustive list).

Sea To Summit Escapist Tarp Review: Cons

Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp


As you can probably imagine, the Escapist Tarp can be a bit drafty, so it’s probably best suited for your warmer seasons rather than the nights when the temps dip below freezing. The generous side skirt does give you some extra wind protection, but you overall the shelter can be a bit drafty. There really is no way to fully protect yourself from wind with the Escapist, so if you find yourself needing some wind protection with the Escapist Tarp, make sure you set it up so the draft doesn’t blow through the Inner Bug Tent as much as possible.

Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp Setup

Another downside to the Escapist is that it requires 12 stakes to fully set up the shelter(when using the Inner Bug Tent). Not a big deal when you are use something like the MSR Mini Groundhog stakes, but something to consider. The full Escapist system (Escapist Tarp, Escapist Bug Tent, and Ground Sheet) takes a little more time to set up than other shelters I’ve tested, but you get a lot of benefits to the full system as well.

Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp Price

The Escapist comes with a hefty price tag for a tarp, but there is a lot of attention to detail with the Escapist Tarp/Bug Tent system.

Sea to Summit Escapist Tarp Review and Setup Video

One setup tip I’ve found is that if you are using the Inner Bug Tent, it seems to work best when setting your trekking poles to their maximum height, giving you the correct attachment angle.

Sea to Summit Escaptist Video
Watch Video

Sea to Summit Escapist Review Conclusion

Doing this Sea to Summit Escapist review gave us a good idea of the best uses and not so great uses of the Escapist tarp from Sea to Summit. The Bug tent addition is a great option if having a versatile shelter is important or you need to keep bugs out. While not the easiest or fastest shelter to set up, it gives you more options than you will likely ever use. The price tag is steep, but the build quality is excellent, packs down ultra small, and the weight is anywhere from 10 to 34.9oz depending on your setup. This is best used as a late spring/summer/early fall shelter and is a fantastic 2 – 2.5 season shelter.

Buy the Escapist Tarp
Buy the Escapist Inner Bug Tent
Buy the Escapist Ground Sheet

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