Best Swag for Camping (Review and Buying Guide)

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Written By Jay Clatworthy

Off Grid Camping contributor.

Best Swag for Camping

We took a detailed look at dozens of swags and narrowed down our list to eight of the most popular swags in Australia, and in our opinion, the Oztent single swag series is the best swag currently available.

If you need something a bit cheaper, then the XTM 4×4 single swag was the cheapest swag we reviewed, and we felt the Darche Dirty Dee swag presented the best overall value.

Best Camping Swag – Quick Comparison

ImageSwag DetailsPrice
XTM 4x4 Single Swag
  • RRP: $140
  • Mattress: 50mm Foam
  • Material: 400GSM Ripstop Polycotton
  • Dimensions: 215 x 90 x 65 (cm)
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Oztent RS-1 Single Swag
  • RRP: $429
  • Mattress: 40mm Foam
  • Material: ModCan Ripstop Polyester
  • Dimensions: 215 x 105 x 100 (cm)
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Darche Dirty Dee Single Swag
  • RRP: $140
  • Mattress: 50mm Foam
  • Material: 400GSM Ripstop Polycotton
  • Dimensions: 215 x 90 x 65 (cm)
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Kings Deluxe Single Swag
  • RRP: $179
  • Mattress: 50mm Foam
  • Material: 400GSM Ripstop Polycotton
  • Dimensions: 210 x 90 x 80 (cm)
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Wanderer Extreme Heavy Duty Swag
  • RRP: $599
  • Mattress: 80mm Foam
  • Material: 520GSM Polycotton
  • Dimensions: 210 x 80 x 70 (cm)
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Wanderer Compact Tourer/Biker Swag
  • RRP: $299
  • Mattress: 50mm High Density Foam
  • Material: 230GSM Ripstop Polycotton
  • Dimensions: 200 x 75 x 55 (cm)
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Darche Ridgedome
  • RRP: $599
  • Mattress: 70mm High Density Foam
  • Material: Max-Treme Wax Coated 16Oz Canvas
  • Dimensions: 215 x 111 x 81 (cm)
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Swag Buyers Guide

10 years ago, swags were simple in style, and there were only a few choices. But that has recently changed and there are now many, styles with many different features available. This buying guide will help you identify the key components of swag so can you narrow down the best style for you and your situation.

Different Types of Swag

There is a range of different swag types, so your first decision is to figure out which style of swag is the best fit for your camping needs. Do you want an arch style with a curved roof, or something lower and flat? Do you want to be raised off of the ground? Or happy laying on the ground? Once you’ve looked at the different styles, you will be able to decide which style is best for you.

Fabric

The most important thing to consider is looking at the fabric from which the swag is made. Most swags are made of high-quality poly-cotton or ripstop cotton.

These are mostly waterproof and can withstand any weather conditions. Always look at the quality of the fabric before purchasing swag.

Mattress

You need to consider the mattress quality that is included with the swag. With a good quality mattress, you can have a comfortable sleep.

A 50 mm thick mattress is ideal for camping for a night or two. If you intend to spend longer in your swag, you should look for a 70 mm mattress.

Best Swag – Products Reviewed

Read on for a detailed look at each of the eight swags we looked at as well as some things you should consider when buying the best swag before you make your final choice.

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XTM 4×4 Single Swag
(Cheapest Swag)

XTM Products are sold exclusively through the BCF retail stores.

Features

The XTM single swag is the best if you’re looking for a spacious swag at an affordable price. You can assemble this swag very quickly. You get to enjoy the outdoors more instead of spending time setting up the tent.

This swag uses ripstop poly-cotton with 400 gsm weight and is well-constructed. This swag has a double-stitched seam, and the flooring is made from high thickness PVC that helps keep the swag dry during heavy rains.

This XTM swag has a nice mattress that is 50 mm thick, so you can have a restful sleep. It has a sleeping capacity of one person. It also has many pockets to hold your small accessories.

You can easily find room for all of your things. It has a large mesh that provides good ventilation and protects it from insects. You can gaze up at the stars while lying down.

The swag is 65 cm high, 90 cm wide, and 2.15 cm long. This swag is comparatively lightweight and made with quality materials.

Overall this is one of the best swags at an affordable price that provides a comfortable sleep while camping.

Pros

  • It has internal pockets to keep your things organized, which makes them easy to find later.
  • It is made with quality materials and is affordable.
  • The swag comes with a 50 mm thick foam mattress with a cover.

Cons

  • Zip is a bit noisy while opening or closing.
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Oztent RS-1 Single Swag
(Best Overall Swag)

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Features

If you are looking for high-quality swag and money is not a concern, then this swag by Oztent is the best option for you. One person can comfortably sleep in this swag.

The RS-1 swag is easy to set up and pack away with its innovative 30-second folding frame. In just 30 seconds, you can set up the swag, saving you a lot of time that can be used to enjoy your outdoor camping excursion. 

The swag is 215 cm wide, 105 cm long, and 100 cm high. 

The flooring uses 350gsm PVC, and the swag material is premium ripstop polyester. It is waterproof and flame retardant. It has a certified CPAI-84 rating, thus providing a fast and effective barrier.

The swag has a large integrated awning and comes with a mattress that is 40 mm thick. You will sleep comfortably at night in this swag.

One great thing about this mattress is that you can remove it easily for washing. There is some extra ventilation at the head and foot of the swag for maximum comfort.

Pros

  • It is a spacious swag and comes with a large awning.
  • It is easy to set up and pack away – it can be done in just 30 seconds.
  • The swag is well-constructed and long-lasting.

Cons

  • This swag is a bit heavier compared to other swags.
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Darche Dirty Dee Swag
(Best Value Swag)

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Features

One of my favorite swags is this Darche Dirty Dee swag. It is a good quality swag at a relatively high price.

This swag is perfect for outdoor adventures and camping because of its unique features, durability, and comfort. One person can sleep comfortably in this swag.

The swag by Darche Dirty Dee has six ventilation points and offers maximum cross ventilation.

It comes with a 70 mm thick mattress for comfortable sleep. The swag uses a 420gsm proofed poly-cotton and a 16 mm grid ripstop.

The swag has a welded PVC bucket floor and an all-weather awning. With a ridge pole lock system, the swag is great for a freestanding tourer. The swag by Darche comes with a carry bag and a side handle, which makes it easy to carry.

The swag has four pockets so that you can keep all of your accessories organized with ease. The swag comes with a two-year warranty, so if you find any defect, you can get it replaced.

Pros

  • This swag has excellent ventilation from all sides.
  • The waterproof material makes it perfect to use in any weather conditions.
  • It has a good amount of overhead room so that you can change quickly.
  • It uses quality mesh and zip.
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King Deluxe Single Swag

Adventure Kings products are sold directly through the 4WD Supacentre stores and prices change regularly.

Features

The King Deluxe single swag has a 400gsm poly-cotton ripstop canvas. It is perfect to use in any weather condition.

The base of the swag uses a high-quality PVC bucket floor. The swag is solid and durable, which makes it last for a long time.

This swag comes with a mattress that is 50 mm thick so you can have a restful sleep at night. The size of the swag is perfect for one person. It is 2100 mm long, 900 mm wide, and 800 mm high after setting.

It becomes very compact when you pack it. After packing, it is 900 mm wide, 350 mm high, and 350 mm deep. Overall the swag has ample space so you can sit and enjoy your time in it in comfort.

The swag has two entrances so that you can enter or exit with ease. It also provides good air ventilation. The windows of this swag are covered with a mesh to keep you protected from insects and other pests while camping.

One thing I liked about this swag is that it is effortless to set up and pack away. You can leave your bedding inside and save space in your car.

Pros

  • Waterproof ripstop canvas makes it perfect to use in any weather condition.
  • It is easy to set up.
  • Well-constructed and durable.

Cons

  • Some users find the foam mattress uncomfortable.
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Wanderer Extreme Heavy Duty Swag

Wanderer Products are sold exclusively through the BCF retail stores.

Features

The Wanderer Extreme heavy-duty swag is well-constructed. The canvas is made of 520gsm poly-cotton that is durable and waterproof. It is made with special consideration to the Australian weather. This swag comes with an 8 cm long 4WD mattress which can be self-inflated.

You will have a great sleep in this swag. For some additional protection, it has 850gsm PVC flooring. This swag by Wanderer is excellent to use outdoors for camping or other adventures.

The canvas has multiple doors for you to enter and exit with ease anytime. The lightweight and robust alloy dome poles make it easy to carry and also provide stability. It is 210 cm long, 80 cm wide, and 70/40 cm high.

The swag has an internal pocket so you can store your shoes or any other gear comfortably. It has mesh windows that protect you from insects and pests and also provide good ventilation. This swag is available in two sizes.

Pros

  • It is well-built and durable.
  • The mesh on the windows provides excellent ventilation and protects from insects and flies.
  • It is perfect for outdoor adventures.

Cons

  • Some users find the poles made of aluminium are not durable.
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Wanderer Compact Tourer Swag

Wanderer Products are sold exclusively through the BCF retail stores.

Features

If you are looking for a well-built and lightweight swag, then the Wanderer Compact Tourer swag is a good option. The swag is built with a 230gsm ripstop poly-cotton canvas that is durable and long-lasting.

The flooring of the swag is made of 400gsm PVC. It protects you from wet ground and debris. The swag includes a 50 mm thick foam mattress so you can rest comfortably inside the swag.

It has strong and lightweight alloy poles that make it portable and convenient to carry.

The windows are covered with a no-see-um mesh that offers excellent ventilation and also protects you from insects and other pests. With its zip-top entry, it is easy to enter and exit anytime you want, particularly at night.

It weighs just 6.9 kg. The swag is 200 cm long, 75 cm wide, and 55.35 cm high. This compact design makes it easy to set up and pack while going on tours or camping.

Pros

  • Built to withstand Australian weather. 
  • Durable and lightweight.
  • The PVC bucket floor protects you from wet flooring and debris.
  • The compact size of the swag makes it easy to carry.

Cons

  • Some users find it difficult to fit back in the bag.
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Darche Ridgedome Swag

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Features

This is a great freestanding swag and has some great features. This swag by Darche offers excellent quality, durability, and performance. It has an oversized center pole.

This has three entrances, making it convenient to enter and exit the swag. The swag is made with 100% cotton ripstop canvas and comes with a 70 mm thick foam mattress. The floor material is made of 600gsm PVC.

It has two windows on the sides which provide excellent air ventilation. The window is covered with a superfine 125gsm mesh, and the large foot awning protects you from the elements.

You can use the swag in any weather condition as it offers a 16Oz wax-coated canvas. The stainless steel rings and zips are made with quality, durable materials, making them last longer.

One person can sleep comfortably in this swag by Darche. It is 215 cm long and 111 cm wide and has a maximum height of 81 cm.

One great thing about this swag is it comes with a lifetime guarantee. So if you find any defect, you can get it repaired or replaced.

Pros

  • The three-way entrance makes it easy to move in and out of the swag.
  • It can withstand any weather conditions.
  • It provides excellent comfort as well as maximum breathability.
  • It is durable and comes with a lifetime warranty. 

Cons

  • It does not include a storage bag.
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Darche AD 1400 Swag

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Features

The Darche AD 1400 swag is the next-generation swag. You will find setting up camp significantly faster and easier than before. You can inflate the whole swag using the Air-Volution hand pump from just a single point of inflation.

The high-capacity hand pump is included in the product, so you don’t have to buy it separately. It takes just 20 seconds to inflate the swag. It has puncture-resistant poles, so you don’t have to worry about it coming down with you inside!

This swag has two entrance points and has storm covers or awnings. You can move in and out at night with ease. The swag has a ripstop, poly-cotton canvas with 320gsm PVC and comes with a 50 mm thick foam mattress.

The flooring is made of 600gsm PVC material. Overall it is made with good quality, durable materials that can withstand any weather condition. 

It includes a superfine window mesh that protects from insects and provides excellent ventilation. It weighs 16.5 kg which is comparatively heavier than other swags.

The swag is 2150 mm long, 1400 mm wide, and 900 mm high. It is quite spacious and comfortable to stay in this swag.

Pros

  • The swag is made with high-quality materials which are well-constructed and durable.
  • You can inflate the swag using the hand pump in just 20 seconds.
  • The air poles are puncture-resistant.

Cons

  • This swag does not have traditional poles.

King Deluxe Single Swag VS XTM 4×4 Single Swag

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Big Daddy Swags are available exclusively through 4WD Supacentre outlets.

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XTM Swags are available exclusively through BCF outlets.

Size

The King Deluxe single swag is 2100 mm long, 900 mm wide, and 800 mm high, whereas the XTM single swag is 2150 mm long, 900 mm wide, and 650 mm high. There is plenty of space inside both swags.

The height of the King Deluxe single swag is better, and there is more breathing space between you and the ceiling.

In both swags, one person can sleep comfortably. The XTM single swag also comes in a double version if you intend to go camping with a partner.

Weather Proofing

The King Deluxe single swag is made of 400gsm ripstop canvas, which is durable and well built. This swag can withstand any weather condition.

The flooring is made of waterproof PVC that protects you from water and debris. 

The XTM single swag is also made of 400gsm poly-cotton canvas. Its seams are double-stitched and have a thick 450gsm PVC bucket floor.

It keeps rain and moisture out of the swag flawlessly.

Both swags help keep you dry in any weather conditions.

Bedding

The Kings Deluxe single swag and the XTM single swag both come with a 50 mm thick foam mattress so you can have a comfortable sleep. Many users noted that the bedding stayed dry even when it was raining heavily outside.

Some users found the King Deluxe swag more comfortable by adding a stretcher, as that will help keep you cool during the summer.

Set-Up

Swags are popular because they are easy to set up and take down. The Kings Deluxe single swag is effortless to set up and takes less than five minutes.

You can also leave your bedding inside while packing it away to save space in your vehicle. The XTM single swag can also be quickly assembled while remaining durable.

Fly Screens or Mesh

The King Deluxe single swag has a mesh on the entrances and the windows. This mesh will protect you from flies and other insects and also offers excellent ventilation.

Some users found that while camping at the beachside and during windy weather, the swag got filled with sand, so they needed to keep the windows closed from the windward side.

The XTM single swag has only one large mesh panel to protect from insects but still offers excellent ventilation.

You won’t find sand getting inside even when the wind is blowing hard. Overall, the XTM single swag is better when it comes to the mesh panel and protection from the elements.

Internal Compartments

In the King Deluxe single swag, you will find two storage pockets. You can store your phones, keys, and other accessories, which makes them easy to find later. There are pockets on both sides of the swag.

The XTM single swag has a single storage unit to keep your accessories. You can only store small items, as the pockets are not very large.

Swag FAQ’s

Where to buy a swag?

Camping swags are very common place now, and there will be a range of swags to buy from most camping outlets. We love the swag options at BCF, and they have great delivery rates. But you can find them everywhere.

What is a camping swag?

A camping swag is combination of sleeping shelter and mattress, combined for sleeping outside. A common alternative to a tent, if you want a small simple setup. They are typically made from canvas, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes, described above.

Are swags waterproof?

Most swags will provide an element of protection from the rain, but it is not uncommon for people to experience some water inside they swag after heavy and consistent rain. The rain does not usually come directly through the canvas (as the polycotton canvas oten used is quite resilient to water), but usually ends up seeping through joins, and the ends, if the rain is steady enough, for long enough. In 95% of cases, you’ll be fine for the occasional shower, but if you are subjected to very wet conditions, there is a chance, like with any tent, for water to make its way inside.

How to clean a canvas swag?

There is nothing wrong with your swag getting wet (except when you are camping and trying to stay dry), so washing in water is the best way to clean your canvas swag. You dont want to put your swag in a washine machine as the movement of the machine could damage the swag, but handwashing is fine.

If your swag is exra dirty, and water on its own is not quite enough, you could use some mild detergent and brush and scrubs the problem areas thoroughly.

How to season a canvas swag?

Seasoning a swag at it’s simplest is exposing a new swag to water to help the polycotton threads expand, and creating a tighter weave, making it more waterproof. This can be acheived in a few ways. Some people like to soak their new swag in the bath for 24 hours, then dry it out, and repeat the cycle. Other have more sucess hosing and or sponging a new swag down, letting it dry, and then repeating that again. Either process will work fine. More details here.

Are swags comfortable?

Swags can be very comfortable, but it will depend on a few factors. Firstly the place you choose to set up your swag will have a big influence (how hard is the ground?, is it level?, are there rocks? etc).Secondly, the quality and thickness of the mattress your swag has, will be the other significant factor. Read details on the mattress of the swags you are looking at. In general the thicker the better. But it is possible to add mattress toppers to your swag, post purchase, so if you get stuck with a swag that is not comfortable, there are ways to improve it.

How to soften canvas swag?

After a good seasoning process you swag will be bit softer than when you first purchased it, but other than than, it just takes time and usage for your swaag canvas to soften. The more times you un-roll, and then roll up your swag, the more flexible and soft the canvas will become.

Are swags warm?

Swags can provide an element of insulation from the cold outside, but its the sleeping bag you have inside that will make the biggest difference on whether you are warm in your swag in winter. The polycotton canvas is quite thick, and with a person (or two) breathing inside that combined space throughout the night, it can create a warm space, but your sleeping bag will have the biggest influence.

Are swags warmer than tents?

Given swags tent to be made out of a thicker material (polycotton) than tens, and the internal space is usually smaller, they are usually warmer than tents on the inside.

Why are swags better than tents?

Many people, myself included, love swags because of the quick and easy setup. The newer swag models are more and more like tents though, with the raised roofs and increased sizes.

Do swags come with a mattress?

Yes. The key selling point of swags is that they are a shelter, and bed all in one, so they always come with a mattress.

Swag Tips

Maintenance

To ensure your swag lasts a long time, you need to maintain it properly and keep it clean and free from dust.

Also, make sure to pack the swag away only when it is completely dry. You need to invest time to maintain your swag properly.

Swag Set Up Tips

Location

Try and choose a flat spot, as there is nothing worse than sleeping on an angle. But if it’s unavoidable, place your head end ‘up hill’. Also looks for ground that is free from rocks, and as soft as possible.

Ground Sheet

Ground sheest are like tarpaulin’s you place on the ground to set up swag up on. There are not essential, but do make a difference. They keep your swag cleaner, prevent damage from the ground, stop moisture coming up through to your swag, and also act as an insulator from the cold.

Peg and Tension It

To maximie th performance of your swag in cold and wet weather, peg it in and tension is accordingly, the the relevant guy ropes.

If it is summer, and you are just sleeping somewhere for one night, these things aren’t as crucial, but if you are setting up for a few nights, and there might be rain, a proper setup and can your swag much easier to work with, and minimise the chance of water ggetting inside.

Best Swag – Conclusion

We hope this article helped you identify the best swag for you. Of all the swags we reviewed, we concluded that the Oztent single swag is the best premium swag on the market. The deluxe features it offers are second-to-none.

If you’re looking to save money, the cheapest swag we reviewed was the XTM 4*4 single swag. This swag is quite affordable but will still meet all of your camping needs without issue.

Finally, the Darche Dirty Dee 1100 swag was our value-for-money choice. It offers a great blend of premium features while remaining affordable.

Happy camping!