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  1. #1

    Question Sea to Summit Escapist Net Tent or MSR Mesh thru-hiker tent, Thoughts?!...

    Greetings WB crew! I am about to purchase a tarp/shelter set-up for backpacking and would love your thoughts/feedback if you know anything about these shelters. I've searched around on the internet and can't seem to find very much in terms of reviews on either of these tents. I'm 6'5'' and don't fit in most tents, thus why I'm looking at these 2 options. I will use it to house myself 95% of the time and the rare event when my wife joins me on a trip otherwise.


    Sea to Summit Escapist Inner 2P Bug Tent vs. MSR Thru-Hiker Mesh House 2 Shelter. I'm also debating on a hex tarp with doors or a square cut tarp to set up with trekking poles/trees.

  2. #2
    Registered User coach lou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAontheTrail View Post
    Greetings WB crew! I am about to purchase a tarp/shelter set-up for backpacking and would love your thoughts/feedback if you know anything about these shelters. I've searched around on the internet and can't seem to find very much in terms of reviews on either of these tents. I'm 6'5'' and don't fit in most tents, thus why I'm looking at these 2 options. I will use it to house myself 95% of the time and the rare event when my wife joins me on a trip otherwise.


    Sea to Summit Escapist Inner 2P Bug Tent vs. MSR Thru-Hiker Mesh House 2 Shelter. I'm also debating on a hex tarp with doors or a square cut tarp to set up with trekking poles/trees.

    I have no experience with the Sea to Summit, I do however have a MSR #2. You are 6'5" I am 5'6"........you will NOT fit in it! Prior to that I have been carrying a Surplus Cot net, that I forgot to check back into supply. It is very old and wearing out, so I replaced it with the MSR #2.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by coach lou View Post
    I have no experience with the Sea to Summit, I do however have a MSR #2. You are 6'5" I am 5'6"........you will NOT fit in it! Prior to that I have been carrying a Surplus Cot net, that I forgot to check back into supply. It is very old and wearing out, so I replaced it with the MSR #2.
    Thanks for the reply Lou! The specs say it has an 84'' length. That should give me a few inches at head and toe for not touching the vertical walls.

    When you say I won't fit, do you mean when sitting up (38'' peak height) or laying down?

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    Registered User coach lou's Avatar
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    I mean probably both. I also have a Lightheart Duo, it is 45" high at he center , which is fine for me. The issue with the Mesh House is that it is a triangle that comes from the 54" floor to only 38" which brings the sides of the mesh pretty close to your head & Shoulders when sitting. And that 84" length gives You only 7" of space, or just 3 1/2" at either end.....plus your gear. This weekend if the monsoon breaks I plan to take it. I will take some photos to give you an idea. When I first put it up, I almost thought I should have gotten he #3, but It is fine.............for me.....at 5'6"!

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    Quote Originally Posted by coach lou View Post
    The issue with the Mesh House is that it is a triangle that comes from the 54" floor to only 38" which brings the sides of the mesh pretty close to your head & Shoulders when sitting. And that 84" length gives You only 7" of space, or just 3 1/2" at either end.....plus your gear. This weekend if the monsoon breaks I plan to take it. I will take some photos to give you an idea. When I first put it up, I almost thought I should have gotten he #3, but It is fine.............for me.....at 5'6"!
    3 1/2'' at either end would be a dramatic upgrade from EVERY other tent I've ever slept in where I touch at least one, if not both walls. I'm thinking the STS mesh tent, with 87'' length, would give me a tad more space head-to-toe. Plus, the bathtub floor is much more substantial than the MSR. The set-up of the STS vertical side walls/bathtub floor also means more shoulder room with a 39'' peak height.

    I've come to be ok with the fact that I don't fit in most things (not just in the backpacking world) due to my height. Most of the tenting I've done previously has been car camping, so it's not as serious when my sleeping bag got wet from touching the side or foot wall. Besides going with the Lightheart SoLong, I think the STS Escapist mesh tent might be my best option at the crossraoads of price/weight/quality. Moosejaw has a discount on them at the moment, too!

    I would appreciate any photos if you make it out this weekend! =]

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    GSMNP 900 Miler HooKooDooKu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAontheTrail View Post
    Thanks for the reply Lou! The specs say it has an 84'' length. That should give me a few inches at head and toe for not touching the vertical walls.

    When you say I won't fit, do you mean when sitting up (38'' peak height) or laying down?
    DO NOT TRUST TENT SPECS!!!

    For the typical tent (i.e. where tent poles come down to the ground at the corners of the tent), dimensional specifications seem to be measured where the tent poles hit the ground, NOT the amount of interior room. Even if the spec is labeled "Floor Dimensions" or "Floor Area", the numbers still seem to come from the over all size of the tent, not the available interior room.

    As a specific example:

    I use a Therm-a-rest Neo-Air xLite. It's spec is 25" wide... but that spec too appears to NOT be what you might think it is. When I inflate mine, the USABLE width is more like 23". So the 25" wide specification is either the uninflated size, or it includes the margins where the top/bottom layers are glued together.
    My kids use Therm-a-rest Prolite. It's spec is 20" wide.

    So I need a tent that is at least 25" + 20" + 20" wide (or 65" wide... and because of the exaggerated specs of the Neo-Air, 63" might do).
    I had my eye on a Mountain Hardware 3 person tent with dimensional specs of 88"x66". Looks like I'd have a tiny amount of room to spare.
    Well fortunately I found a local outfitter that had this 3 person tent on display. So I grabbed the xLite Large from their display and two different 20" wide pads from the display and laid them out in the tent... except that I could not... not without the pads significantly overlapping. Even if I turned the pads in a 969 pattern, there was no way those three pads would fit INSIDE that tent.

    I've since measured the other tent I own can compared the available space inside the tents to the specifications. When ever I've done this, I've typically found a tent's actual usable interior space is about 5 to 6 inches shorter that the specification.


    Now I can't say anything specific to the MSR #2 as it's an unusual tent design and I've never seen one in person.
    But based on my experience, it is quite possible that the dimensions listed in the specifications are based on where those triangles in the corner (for staking out the floor of the tent) stretch out to and NOT the usable interior dimensions of the tent. The actually usable interior length might be only 78" to 79"... and that's at the ground. But you're likely laying on a pad, your head is three dimensional, and the walls all seem to be sloped.

    So if my experience holds true for the MSR #2, you either will not fit (without turning on the diagonal) or at the very least, your head/feet are going to rub on the tent walls.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    DO NOT TRUST TENT SPECS!!!

    For the typical tent (i.e. where tent poles come down to the ground at the corners of the tent), dimensional specifications seem to be measured where the tent poles hit the ground, NOT the amount of interior room. Even if the spec is labeled "Floor Dimensions" or "Floor Area", the numbers still seem to come from the over all size of the tent, not the available interior room.

    Now I can't say anything specific to the MSR #2 as it's an unusual tent design and I've never seen one in person.
    But based on my experience, it is quite possible that the dimensions listed in the specifications are based on where those triangles in the corner (for staking out the floor of the tent) stretch out to and NOT the usable interior dimensions of the tent. The actually usable interior length might be only 78" to 79"... and that's at the ground. But you're likely laying on a pad, your head is three dimensional, and the walls all seem to be sloped.

    So if my experience holds true for the MSR #2, you either will not fit (without turning on the diagonal) or at the very least, your head/feet are going to rub on the tent walls.
    That is all great info to ponder when making my decision. My thinking also leads me to believe that 84'' length on an A-frame style tent with vertical head/foot walls will have more space than an 84'' length tent that has sloping head/foot walls. How much more, who knows?

    Should I just sew my own, longer/wider/taller version of the MSR mesh house?...

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    I ended up going with the Sea To Summit Escapist Tent. I will likely be ordering the Superfly or Mountainfly tarp from Warbonnet for coverage. Let me know if anyone is interested in pics.

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    Registered User coach lou's Avatar
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    Good choice, I cringed his weekend thinking of you in my 2man Net.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coach lou View Post
    Good choice, I cringed his weekend thinking of you in my 2man Net.
    HAHAahahah! I appreciate the thought, Lou. I hope you had a good trip =]

    Now I just need to figure out which tarp set-up will work with the floor and other tieouts on the escapist bug tent.

  11. #11

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    I just purchased a Cloudburst Warbonnet tarp for coverage!! Also picked up some of their tarp ticks for securing my ridgeline.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by BAontheTrail View Post
    That is all great info to ponder when making my decision. My thinking also leads me to believe that 84'' length on an A-frame style tent with vertical head/foot walls will have more space than an 84'' length tent that has sloping head/foot walls. How much more, who knows?

    Should I just sew my own, longer/wider/taller version of the MSR mesh house?...
    This is correct, vertical walls mean much more than floor length, for example most people would assume a mid that was 48 high, and 10 feet long would be roomier than a mid that was 60 high and 8 feet long, but the shorter floor would feel so much roomier due to the angle of the wall. 84 inches with vertical ends is quite big. Plus with the MSR you could put the foot end close to the end of the tarp because the foot is solid, and leave more space at the head for gear storage.

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