Kelty Hula House 6 Tent Review

Posted in Camping, Gear Reviews, Outdoor Gear by Eric Miller - 11.15.2012

For a family sized camping trip you need a family sized tent. The Kelty Hula House 6 Tent is a great option for the family that wants space and quality.

Kelty Hula 6 House Tent Review

The Kelty Hula House 6 Tent is a big, spacious tent. Gone are the days of cramming the family into a small tent. The floor size is 10.5 feet by 10.5 feet and the ceiling is 6 feet 4 inches tall at the apex. There is enough room to fit 6 adults with a little extra room. We were able to fit our family of 6 easily with plenty of extra floor space for kids to roll around, store toys, and other kid necessities without bumping into each other and without feeling crammed.

Set up was relatively pain free. The two main poles are paired with sleeves to keep things simple. Erecting the poles is definitely easier with two people because of the size of the poles, however, I was able to manage it myself. The “hula” pole is interesting. It’s a big circular pole. Assembling it isn’t bad until you have to complete the circle. I found it easiest to brace the pole against the base of a tree or a big rock to flex the pole so the last connection could slide together. Once it’s done it clips into place on the tent. The only part that was a bit of a pain was putting on the fly. To attach it to the poles you have to duck under the fly to velcro it to the poles.

The inside of the tent features a couple of mesh pockets to stash small items, it has ceiling clips for a shelf, and a loop at the apex to hand a lantern. Other than that, the inside of the tent is very minimalist.

One of the first things I noticed is the floor of the tent is very thin. So thin in fact that after the first night of use it almost had holes where it rubbed on the pebbles beneath it. The thinness also damped out after a rainy night. We didn’t have puddles, just damp spots. My recommendation is to shell out the extra money for the footprint or a tarp. It will prolong the life of your tent (investment) and will help keep you more dry.

The Hula 6 features a lot of mesh. It basically runs from close to the ground all the way to the top. This is great for ventilation but bad for privacy. We spent a rainy trip in the Cascades and after an evening and night of rain we woke in the morning with very little condensation in the tent. Where it collected was on the fly but not on the tent itself. From a privacy standpoint, if you are in a campground with people close by, they’ll be able to see everything you do inside the tent if you don’t use the fly.

The fly worked well too. After all the rain from that trip the water was still beading up and running off. The fly comes with plenty of stake points and guy lines to keep it taut in windy weather.

The vestibule is the big area I saw for iimprovement. It was kind of small. There isn’t a lot of room for storing shoes and things for 6 people. It’s the type that zips from the top of the tent straight to the ground. For me it was hard to unzip from the inside. I had to stoop low and reach to get the zippers. With the little bit of condensation on the inside after the night of rain, I ended up with a wet back after rubbing against the fly as I unzipped it. The previous version of the Hula featured a vestibule room. I wish they’d bring this back. Sure it created extra weight and set up time, however, for the extra room (especially for kids who need to roam when the weather is bad) and for getting in and out, I think it would be well worth it.

The stakes that come with the tent are okay. They are a U-design which helps a little with rigidity but they still aren’t a match for compacted dirt. Just upgrade to Y-shaped stakes when you buy your tent.

The Hula 6 packs up nicely into a storage bag that has two handles.

Durability is decent. After a summer of use the Hula House 6 is showing light signs of wear and tear. Be careful of the floor and the mesh and it’ll last you for years (particularly if you pair it with the footprint). It’s tempting to buy a cheap low-name brand tent from a big box store. You’ll be glad you paid the extra for the quality and durability of the Hula House 6.

The Good

  • Tent is big and roomy
  • Setup is pretty easy
  • Ventilation is great

The Bad

  • Floor is thin
  • Vestibule is small
  • Stakes are mediocre

Bottom Line:

If you have a family and you want to get them out camping, the Kelty Hula House 6 Tent is great option. It’s big enough to fit the family of 6 with some room to move around.

Buy Now: Pick up the Kelty Hula House 6 Tent

Kelty Hula 6 House Tent Features

  • Wall material: 68d polyester, dye free
  • Floor material: 68d nylon, 1800 mm
  • Fly material: 75d polyester 1800 mm
  • Freestanding design
  • Continuous pole-sleeve construction
  • Clip and pole sleeve construction
  • Taped floor seams
  • ArcEdge floor
  • Mesh wall panels
  • Internal storage pockets
  • Adjustable stakeouts
  • Noiseless zipper pulls
  • Taped seams
  • Side-release tent/fly connection
  • Welded clear windows
  • Noiseless zipper pulls
  • Guyout points
  • Double track vestibule
  • Seasons: 3
  • Number of doors: 1
  • Number of vestibules: 1
  • Capacity: 6
  • Number of poles: 3
  • Pole type: DAC Hybrid
  • Floor area: 110 ft2 / 10.22 m2
  • Vestibule area: 50 ft2 / 4.65 m2
  • Length/Width/Height: 126″ x 126″ by 76″ (320 cm x 320 cm x 193 cm)
  • Packed diameter: 12″ / 30.48 cm
  • Packed Length: 30″ / 76.20 cm
  • Minimum weight: 18 lb. 5 oz. / 8.31 kg
  • Packaged weight: 19 lb. 6 oz. / 8.76 kg
  • Price: $399.95

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