When you're heading on your next camping trip and you’re looking for a comfortable sleeping arrangement you can't go past the original camping bed. The swag. Invented in Australia by the seasonal workers called ‘swagman’ and refined over the last 200 years as a way to enjoy the great outdoors in both comfort and portability. Swags are an essential element to your camping set up if you plan on heading further afield. Many people prefer swags over tents due to the ease of set up and not needing to carry a separate mattress. A swag is simply both a smaller waterproof tent and mattress all in one. Here we will answer some of the most common questions about swags and the different types of camping swags to suit individual needs. Keep in mind that you should always carry a rated sleeping bag to the climate you intend to take your swag to.
What are double camping swags?
A double camping swag is a swag designed for more than 1 person, typically you would only fit two people in the one double swag unless your mate has forgotten theirs. They range in sizes anywhere between 1100mm wide to 1600mm wide. A double swag is also for those of you who just like to sprawl out and enjoy the comfort of a little extra room. These swags will obviously be slightly heavier so take this into consideration when setting up your rig.
What are biker camping swags?
A biker swag is designed for the two-wheel adventurer. They are considerably more compact and smaller than your average camping swag. Although they have been designed for mounting onto the back of a motorbike more easily that others. They generally have a thinner mattress to save on space and weight. This does mean that you don’t have the same space to move around or get super comfortable. Biker swags are generally anywhere between 6-8kgs.
What are traditional camping swags?
Traditional swags are generally the easiest to pack up and put away. Perfect for those who want to set up in just a few minutes. They have also been known to be a great alternative for kids who want to enjoy indoor sleep overs. They feature no poles, meaning they that are essentially a giant sleeping bag. If you did want to have a little bit of space above you, you are able to tie one end off to the tow bar of your vehicle or tree. However, some do not feature fly nets or mosquito netting, so we would recommend these for dessert camping or even beach camping. Traditional swags are available in singles or doubles and are around 5-10kg.
What are dome camping swags?
Dome swags are the most common type of swags found in todays campsites. They feature poles to give the swag its dome shape, allowing for a significant space above you. These are the best swags if you are a particularly sweaty or hot sleeper as they are known to have the best air flow and ventilation.
Swag Care and Repair:
Check out our range of swag replacement poles and swag patching kits here:
What are tent stretchers/cots?
Like a traditional swag, a tent stretcher is a thin swag on a stretcher that comes built into the unit. This make getting off the ground and staying waterproof hassle free and convenient. Unlike a swag they are made from a thin polyester not a canvas material meaning that if you were to take it into a colder climate, it is recommended to use a sleeping bag that is rated to colder temperatures.
Camping swag Accessories:
Not all swags come with a carry bag, so make sure you pick up the correct size for your swag. You can also choose to upgrade tour traditional steel pegs to something that will suit the terrain better. For example, we recommend switching to a plastic sand pegs to avoid sagging overnight.
Are camping swags waterproof?
In the traditional sense, yes. However, there are places where dew and heavy rain can penetrate a swag, so ensure that all your zips and joins are covered properly and that the swag has been seasoned correctly. We also recommend to set up under an awning or gazebo to avoid pooling in the tent stretcher.
How to tie down camping swags to roof your roof racks:
We recommend using a rachet strap or some form of rope depending on your application, you may prefer one or the other. For heavier swags or tent stretchers we highly recommend rated rachet straps and always test the stability before driving off.
How to season a camping swag?
It is good practice to season a swag if you have just purchased it. Meaning that you soak it consistently and let it dry over a few days in the sun to strengthen and tighten the stitching in the seams to avoid small leaks. During the manufacturing process swags are not coated with water resistant sealant so after you have seasoned it correctly, test it again for leaks and if you are still finding moisture, you can coat it in a sealant. This will help elongate the life of your swag as well.
How to clean a canvas camping swag?
Depending on how dirty you’ve managed to get your camping swag, especially if you haven’t been using a camping stretcher, a hose and dry towel will work fine for the inside and out. No need to use soap.
Why shop with Outback Equipment?
We’re Australian owned and operated – We’re based right here in the south of Brisbane. If you ever need help with an order or a product, you can call straight through to our friendly local team.
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Order Your Camping Swags Today
Stay in complete control of your camping set up. For the best camping swags Australia has to offer, shop online to find the finishing touches for your recreational vehicle today.