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tent vs swag for car camping

Potential advantages of swags

  • “all in one” package including mattress
  • may be easier to set up but in reality set up is not that much different to most modern freestanding tents:
    • both require assembling poles and attaching
    • both usually require pegging
    • if you are car camping you can bring the same mattress for your tent
  • can be warmer on cold nights thanks to the canvas as long as it is dry
    • but this is no help if you can't ventilate it when it rains, so most people also need to bring a tarp shelter to cover their swag and these add to weight and time and often complexity to set up while being problematic in strong winds but those with 4WDs and an awning may find this solves the problem
    • if the canvas gets wet it can act as a Coolgardie cooler and make you colder - handy on hot days perhaps but not wanted on most nights
    • many will have a canvas overhang at the head end to protect head end vertical mesh from rain but this needs guy rope and pegging, and it creates wind chill on the camper's head and neck
  • possibly more storm proof but condensation will be much more of an issue than in a tent as is livability
  • heavy duty canvas and PVC potentially more durable and animal-proof
    • but takes a long time to dry out when wet so this is more problematic for storage when packing up
  • example Dune 4WD King Titan Deluxe Double Swag
    • $AU499
    • 400gsm ripstop canvas upper
    • 500gsm ripstop PVC flooring
    • 70mm high density foam mattress
    • 2.1×1.5x1m
    • packs to 80x36x36cm but you also have to factor in a separate tarp, poles and guy lines/pegs
    • 16kg
  • example Dune Barwon Double Swag
    • $AU259
    • 390gsm ripstop polycotton canvas upper
    • 1000D 560gsm ripstop PVC flooring
    • 70mm high density foam mattress
    • fibreglass poles
    • 2.1 x 1.4x 0.8m (very cramped height!!!)
    • packs to 142x27x27cm but you also have to factor in a separate tarp, poles and guy lines/pegs
    • 13.6kg
  • example OZtrail Mitchell Expedition Double Swag
    • $AU459
    • 230gsm ripstop canvas upper
    • PVC flooring
    • 50mm open cell foam mattress
    • alloy poles
    • 2.1 x 1.45 x 0.85m (cramped height at head end and much less at foot end)
    • packs to 145x40x40cm but you also have to factor in a separate tarp, poles and guy lines/pegs
    • 13kg

Potential advantages of 2P or 3P tents

  • lighter
    • if you compare a 2P 3-4 season tent such as the MacPac Apollo which weighs in at around 2.8kg + 0.5-1kg for a mattress and you compare that with a 2P canvas swag and mattress which generally weigh in at 13-16kg there is an enormous difference in weight!
  • pack smaller
  • much better option for hiking given it is so much lighter and packs smaller
  • more ventilation without getting wet in the rain
    • ventilation is critical to avoid condensation which will make you cold and wet
    • most tents have a fly which will allow you to fully adjust ventilation levels to your needs even in a thunderstorm and will have less wind chill around the head compared to a swag's mesh at the head end
  • more head room makes it more livable and more easy to get changed in your clothes
    • most 2P swags are around 1m high while 2P tents are generally 105-125cm high, and if you decide to go for a 3P tent for only a little more weight and cost, you get an extra 5cm height
  • more rain protection to allow sitting in and watching the world as it rains without need for setting up a tarp
  • more visible so less likely other cars don't run over you
  • dries out far more quickly - usually within 1 hour
  • can still set up to see the stars if the tent is a half or full mesh design - just remove the fly
  • much more comfortable for a day time nap even if the sun is on the tent or it is raining just ensure ventilation is maximised and the fly is on to protect from sun or rain, otherwise fly can be removed and the tent used as a mesh insect tent
  • much more comfortable when you wish to read a book or use a laptop
  • example MacPac Apollo 2P tent
    • $AU349
    • 2.8kg tough design pretty much storm proof
    • two large doors and two vestibules
    • inner can be fully closed off for warmth or opened to just have mesh doors on each side for variable cross-ventilation even in heavy rain
    • 2.1×1.3 x1.15m high interior allows sitting easily with a lamp hanging from the ceiling
    • sets up very quickly - just thread two poles through the tunnels on the inner tent and attach each to the corner holes then attach the fly via velcro tabs to the poles and a buckle in each corner to the inner tent, then peg as desired
    • packs to only 56x21cm but you do have to factor in a separate mattress
australia/tentvsswag.txt · Last modified: 2023/05/26 23:16 by gary1

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