A great tent is not easy to build. While it may seem like a couple of doors, lofted head space, and quick set up come together simply, creating the perfect place to rest your head at night is a mix of engineering prowess and exceptional aesthetic design that takes skill and time to master.
The ust House Party — one in a number of core products in ust’s brand relaunch — shows that prowess and aesthetic. The result is an excellent first camping tent from a brand best-known for small survival tools. The House Party comes in 4- and 6-person sizes — we explored the 4-person size — and combines a unique choice of ventilation with some of the largest, most spacious interior dimensions we’ve seen in a camping tent.
The combination of bright colors, open floor space, enormous headroom, and quick setup make the ust House Party the center of camp life, whether you are circled up to play cards during a storm or just trying to get some solid shut-eye.
Unique Features of the House Party 4
The ust House Party 4 uses an interesting combination of features that are both innovative and classic to create a unique tent.
First, it’s a tunnel-style tent rather than a dome, which means there’s a ton of headroom throughout, rather than a single point at the top and center. Tunnel tents typically hold up better to gale winds (when staked out properly) and are longer to accommodate more sleepers, or extra-tall people. The House Party 4 has a massive floor — a full 8 feet 2 inches long and 7 feet 1 inch wide — that has ample room for four.
Because the tent is tunnel-style, the color-coded pole setup is unique. There are two long blue poles that slide through blue-colored sleeves to create the ends of the tent and the doors. Then the two yellow poles go over the top to give it a backbone, which creates a small sun awning over each door. The doors are huge, open completely, and have a combination of mesh and nylon to create a custom opening of your choice.
The House Party 4 has eight interior mesh pockets and they are hung high up, letting you put small essentials like headlamps and phones off the ground (where they might get lost or wet). The pockets are small for specific items (rather than a bucket pocket) and are within easy reach when sitting up.
The main surprise of the House Party 4 is the sheer size when you’re inside — you will wake up feeling like you’re in a soft-blue palace, and the moment you open the wide door you have the ideal camp view from either side of the tent.
The Single Wall Stake Out
The other main feature that makes the House Party 4 unique is that it utilizes a single wall design. This means the entire tent is one connected piece, rather than a separate rainfly and main body. This is more typical in ultralight backpacking tents because it cuts down on overall weight and setup time, so it’s an interesting choice for an oversized car camping tent.
The way ust uses the House Party 4 single wall structure is smart — the top half of each side of the tent is mesh, allowing plenty of airflow and stargazing (if you want), while the bottom half of the walls and the ceiling strip is made of durable polyester, aiding in privacy, wind blocking, and weather protection.
The key to the ust design is that you stake out the sides of the tent. While the House Party 4 has a small awning over each door, the zippered rainfly is actually on each side and has two functions.
First, there’s a small flap that lets you pull out the sides of the tent, which we found increased the interior room significantly.
Second, the large zippers on the side fly allow you to roll back the weather protection for a night of stargazing, or let the breeze come in on a hot day. The setup works well and gets you prepared for inclement weather by requiring a stakeout.
Who is ust?
ust, once known as Ultimate Survival Technologies, has rebranded with a playful logo, a core line of backpacking and camping gear, and a commitment to creating products that help everyone get outside (and have fun out there too!).
Ust still makes its camp accessories, like lighters, carabiner mugs, glow-in-the-dark compasses, dishware, and more, but the new line has unique and colorful sleeping pads, bags, and tents.
This article is sponsored by ust.
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