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swags for camping and sleeping


  • for those driving to a camp site, swags are extremely popular, especially for solo campers
  • you can get double swags but these are even more bulky and heavy
  • most common are the dome or tunnel types which provide more head room , less claustrophobia and better insect protection than traditional swags but they are more bulky and heavy
  • canvas should generally be at least 320gsm with ripstop nylon fabric
  • the base should generally be PVC base and not canvas to provide better waterproofing, but if you choose canvas base you can use a tarp groundsheet
  • the foam mattress should be 5-7cm thick as a minimum, or add a self-inflating mat
  • zippers should be YKK zippers
  • poles should be metal and not fibreglass
  • usual sizes are:
    • Single: 60-90cm wide x 180-230cm long
    • King Single: 90-115cm wide x 190-230cm long
    • Double: 110-130cm wide x 190-230cm long for comparison, a 2P dome hiking tent is usually 130cm wide x 230cm long and much lighter at around 2kg


  • swags have the advantage over most other tents in that they are warmer in winter or alpine areas as your body has less volume of air to heat up, yet the canvas with mesh windows can still be cool on warmer nights
  • tend to be very sturdy and long lasting
  • relatively fast set up as most come with a foam mattress in place
  • generally great in strong winds given their low profile but can be very dusty


  • bulky and heavy - they will take up a LOT of room on your vehicle and are way too heavy to hike with
    • they start at 5kg for “expedition” models, but the usual swags are 12-19kg - similar to a 4P touring tent!
  • need extra gear to make them comfortable in the rain:
    • a stretcher bed to get them off the ground is preferred by many, whilst others will just use a ground sheet
    • a tarp or vehicle awning to protect from rain or sun
  • there is very limited headroom so you will need to get changed horizontally
  • can take a long time to dry out once wet
  • can be a major risk of being run over by a vehicle at night hence choice of camp site is important
  • ground water flooding can enter swag more easily than most tents
  • some may find them claustrophobic, especially the traditional swag designs
  • many are not freestanding and must be pegged out via guy ropes at each end


  • Darche Dusk to Dawn
    • freestanding; heavy duty 420gsm canvas, 600gsm heavy duty PVC bucket floor, a 7cm high density foam mattress, plenty of ventilation; hub at the end is space for storing your gear;
    • 2 large doors with mesh and storm flap (these can be used as an awning with optional extra poles); 180° star gazing views;
    • dome poles may have a tendency to crack
    • 3m long; width and weight depends on size option: 14-19.5kg; $AU334 on special at Tentworld with upgraded poles
  • Darche MegaDome
  • Darche Superdome Swag
  • Darche Kozi Outback
    • much shorter, lighter and less expensive than the Dusk to Dawn but not freestanding and doesn't come with a bag
    • 320gsm canvas with an 800mm water rating and 550gsm heavy duty PVC floor; 5cm mattress; no hub space; 2.15m long; 12.3 kgs to 14.5 kgs;
  • BCF Wanderer Contour swag
    • good budget swag; 7cm mattress; 450gsm ripstop polycotton canvas; 500gsm PVC floor; large mesh screens at both ends and either side; 2.1m x 85cm x 68cm
australia/swags.txt · Last modified: 2022/09/07 00:03 by gary1

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