7 Best Swags for Camping and Hiking (2023 Australia Guide)

Last updated: August 26, 2023

Reviews of seven of the best swags in Australia, traditional as well as dome swags, based on size, mattress, weight, comfort, price and more.

There’s nothing more Australian than sleeping under the stars in a classic swag. In case you don’t know what a swag is, it’s essentially a portable shelter for sleeping and camping.

In this article, we’re going to review 7 of the best swags in Australia that are great for overnight hikes and camping trips, considering criteria such as size, mattress, weight, comfort, materials used, and price.

We are covering single and double swags, as well as traditional and dome swags, in different price categories.

Best 1-Person Swag:
Kings Deluxe Single Swag
Best 2-Person Swag:
Darche Nebula 1550 Swag
Kings Deluxe Single Swag Darche Nebula 1550 Swag
210 x 90 cm 225 x 150 cm
9.5 kg 22 kg
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Top 7 Swags:

Swag Capacity
1 Kings Deluxe Single Swag 1 person Price
2 Sahara Traveller Deluxe King Single Swag 1 person Price
3 OZtrail Biker Expedition Single Swag 1 person Price
4 Darche Dusk to Dawn Swag 1100 1 person Price
5 Darche Nebula 1550 Swag 2 persons Price
6 23Zero Dual Swag 1400 2 persons Price
7 Kings Big Daddy Deluxe Double Swag 2 persons Price
The swags recommended in this article are offered by Adventure Kings, Snowys, Tentworld and Wild Earth. Please note that we may earn a small commission if you purchase via our site at no extra cost to you.

Top 7 Swags

Here we go, seven high-quality swags that you can use for your hiking and camping adventures. We have included traditional as well as dome swags, suitable for one person as well as for two persons.

1. Kings Deluxe Single Swag

Kings Deluxe Single Swag
Kings Deluxe Single Swag

Adventure Kings offers this high-quality one-person swag that is not only incredibly easy to set up, but it is also a very affordable option. It is the single version of the popular Big Daddy Deluxe double swag that we have also included on this list.

This swag is small enough to be called a swag, but with 210 cm long, 90 cm wide and 80 cm high, it is quite spacious inside. It’s a free-standing swag, but you do have the option to peg out the storm flaps at both ends to increase stability in windy circumstances.

Material-wise, the Kings Deluxe Single Swag is made with waterproof 400 gsm (gram per sqm) rip-stop poly cotton and is double-stitched for improved strength. Both sides and ends of the swag have a mesh covering to keep the flies out while also improving airflow.

The 50 mm high-density foam mattress is perhaps a bit on the thin side, but still more than comfortable enough to get you through the night in the Australian bush.

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Kings Deluxe Single Swag
Sleeping capacity: 1 person
Sleeping area: 210 x 90 cm
Weight: 9.5 kg

2. Sahara Traveller Deluxe King Single Swag

Sahara Traveller Deluxe King Single Swag
Sahara Traveller Deluxe King Single Swag

The Sahara Traveller Deluxe King Single Swag offers a solid combination of value and quality within its category. This traditional swag includes a mesh feature and is crafted from rot-resistant and tear-resistant ripstop cotton canvas. This fabric is both highly water-resistant and breathable.

This swag is equipped with various useful features, such as a zipper-secured mosquito net that is also sand fly-proof, a 55mm high-density convoluted foam mattress with a detachable cover, and a side mat made of PVC. Its base is constructed from a waterproof 500gsm PVC material, and it has a raised tub floor to safeguard against rain. It also incorporates heavy-duty coil zippers, an interior pocket, and integrated nylon straps with durable duraflex buckles.

For added comfort, the mattress is designed such that it alleviates body pressure and aids in preventing potential pressure sores. This design also encourages better air circulation, helping the mattress remain dry and cool. An optional steel pole is included for elevating the head end when setting it up.

The swag also features an extended top flap that acts as an additional barrier against wind, sun, and rain. Its raised tub floor and box-wall structure offer ample height and foot space. This swag is super east to set up, pack away, and transport, and it comes with a sturdy matching canvas carry bag with handles and heavy-duty zipper.

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Sahara Traveller Deluxe King Single Swag
Sleeping capacity: 1 person
Sleeping area: 210 x 90 cm
Packed dimensions: 90 x 30 cm
Weight: 6 kg

3. OZtrail Biker Expedition Single Swag

OZtrail Biker Expedition Single Swag
OZtrail Biker Expedition Single Swag

This OZtrail Biker Expedition Single Swag is one of the most traditional swags you can get your hands on right now. And for many, this is what a swag should really be like. Simply roll it out, and you’re ready to rest and fall asleep under the stars.

This super sturdy 1-person swag is made from tough 230 gsm ripstop canvas, making it stronger without the extra weight. The base is made with PVC vinyl, which helps to keep you dry should the surface you’re lying on get soggy.

The high-density open-cell foam mattress is 5 cm thick and is certainly very comfortable. The best thing about this swag is that setting up and packing up is as easy as it gets. And with a weight of just over 4 kg, it’s great for overnight hiking adventures.

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OZtrail Biker Expedition Single Swag
Sleeping capacity: 1 person
Sleeping area: 212 x 90 cm
Packed dimensions: 62 × 32 x 32 cm
Weight: 4.3 kg

4. Darche Dusk to Dawn Swag 1100

Darche Dusk to Dawn Swag 1100
Darche Dusk to Dawn Swag 1100

If you’re looking for a 1-person swag with a little more comfort and protection from the elements than the traditional OZtrail from above, this Darche Dusk to Dawn model is a fantastic option. It’s bigger than the OZtrail, but also heavier to carry around.

The Dusk to Dawn swag comes in three different sizes (900, 1100 and 1400), depending on how much space you need and if you’re going to have someone sleeping next to you. The 900 and 1100 versions are excellent single-person swags, with the 1100 being slightly bigger.

As you can see from the photo, the Dusk to Dawn is a dome swag. A dome swag typically has more height so you get more room to move around and sit up. Dome swags also often have curved tent poles to help with stability.

This particular Darche Dusk to Dawn swag comes with two large entries, a thick 7 cm foam mattress, two internal storage pockets, a strong PVC bucket floor, and a 420 gsm-proofed ripstop polycotton canvas. Overall, this high-quality swag provides the comfort and protection you need while sleeping outside in the bush.

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Darche Dusk to Dawn Swag 1100
Sleeping capacity: 1 person
Sleeping area: 215 x 110 cm
Packed dimensions: 110 × 35 x 35 cm
Weight: 14.1 kg

5. Darche Nebula 1550 Swag

Darche Nebula 1550 Swag
Darche Nebula 1550 Swag

Based on the picture, you may be forgiven for thinking this is a tent. But really, it’s a swag. Or otherwise, a small tent, since it does have certain features that tents also have.

With a weight of 22 kg, this 2-person swag is the heaviest in this list of best swags. That’s no surprise, though, because it’s also the roomiest one. The internal sleeping area is 225 cm long and 150 cm wide, which is more than enough room for two people to sleep comfortably.

Setting up and packing away the Darche Nebula 1550 swag is still easier and faster than a tent, using its sturdy 5-piece pole structure. What’s great about this swag is that it has windows or entries all around, which creates a nice cozy atmosphere inside, especially on warm sunny nights.

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Darche Nebula 1550 Swag
Sleeping capacity: 2 persons
Sleeping area: 225 x 150 cm
Packed dimensions: 150 × 35 x 35 cm
Weight: 22 kg

6. 23Zero Dual Swag 1400

23Zero Dual Swag 1400
23Zero Dual Swag 1400

While not the largest of the double swags on this list, the 23Zero Dual Swag 1400 offers a sleeping area that is 215 by 140 cm, making it suitable for two people to sleep reasonably comfortably.

This swag is made with waterproof 400 gsm canvas with a polyurethane coating. The heavy-duty PVC welded floor provides comfort, and the steel ridge pole at the top with the two alloy loopholes on each end provide stability and strength.

With 17.3 kg, it’s a reasonably heavy swag to carry around, but if you’re going to use it for a camping trip with your car, the weight shouldn’t be that much of an issue. This swag does come with a heavy-duty carry bag to make carrying around just that little bit easier.

The 23Zero Dual Swag is available in three sizes; 900, 1100, and 1400. The 1100 is a spacious one-person swag, and the 1400 is designed for two people to sleep in. The 23Zero Dual Swag 1400 is reasonably priced and an excellent swag for camping and hiking trips.

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23Zero Dual Swag 1400
Sleeping capacity: 2 persons
Sleeping area: 215 x 140 cm
Packed dimensions: 150 × 45 x 45 cm
Weight: 17.3 kg

7. Kings Big Daddy Deluxe Double Swag

Kings Big Daddy Deluxe Double Swag
Kings Big Daddy Deluxe Double Swag

One of the most popular swags in Australia in recent years has been the Kings Big Daddy Deluxe double swag, which is a swag that offers the perfect balance between simplicity, quality, and affordability.

The Big Daddy Deluxe is essentially the bigger version of the Kings Deluxe Single Swag further above on this list, which is our favourite 1-person swag right now. This 2-person swag is reasonably sized with 215 cm in length, 155 cm in width, and a very generous 100 cm in height. The high-density open-cell foam mattress is with a generous 70 mm also nice and thick.

The waterproof and ripstop 400 gsm polycotton canvas offers durability and protection throughout the seasons. The midge-proof mesh keeps out all the nasty mozzies and flies, while also offering essential ventilation and airflow.

Setting up and packing down is super easy too, with a simple pole free-standing design and easy-to-attach and de-attach pole clip loops. Overall, the Kings Big Daddy Deluxe Double Swag is the best choice for those not wanting to spend top dollar for a decent quality swag.

Check Price

Kings Big Daddy Deluxe Double Swag
Sleeping capacity: 2 persons
Sleeping area: 215 x 155 cm
Weight: 16.9 kg

Swag Buying Guide

Camping has come a long way since Banjo Patterson first wrote about a “jolly swagman” in the song Waltzing Matilda, but the practicality and freedom of a swag haven’t changed. If you are a solo traveller, or just prefer to travel light, a swag may be the perfect solution.

Let’s dive a little deeper into the wonderful world of swags in Australia.

What Is a Swag?

If you want a real Aussie bush experience, you should think about getting a swag to sleep in.

If you’ve never heard of a swag before, you might be surprised to learn that it actually has quite a long history in Australia. A swag is basically a 1-person tent, but shaped like a sleeping bag with a mattress at the bottom. It is sometimes also called a bedroll.

The swag is believed to have originated in Australia in the early 19th century when it was used by solo travellers called “Swagmen”.

These were people who lived on the road, travelling from town to town looking for work in difficult economic times, sleeping in the bush in their swag when they couldn’t afford other accommodation.

Types of Swags

Lucky for you, swags are far more sophisticated these days, and there are plenty of different models to choose from depending on your needs and budget.

There are two main types of swag:

  1. Traditional swag
  2. Dome swag

Let’s have a closer look at these two types of swags.

1. Traditional Swag

A traditional swag looks very similar to a sleeping bag; it usually just has a top and bottom layer of material with a mattress sewn into the bottom.

The top piece usually has a long flap at the opening of the swag that acts as a little roof to protect your head from the rain and sun.

A traditional swag can be pretty basic, but the advantage is that it is lightweight and easy to pack away and set up.

2. Dome Swag

A dome swag is the next evolution of a swag, which looks a lot more like a modern tent.

Dome swag in Australian outback
Dome swag in Australian outback

Dome swags usually have a higher roof to give you more space (around 60-70cm high), with curved tent poles at either end to hold the shape of the swag.

They often usually include fancier options, like ventilation windows for camping in warmer climates, and internal storage pockets for water bottles and other accessories.

Swag or Tent?

You are probably wondering why you would invest in a swag when there are so many tent options available in the market.

Unlike a traditional tent, swags are often quicker and more intuitive to set up and pack away, leaving you more time to sleep or get started back on your hike.

Swags are ideal if you are camping by yourself, and they are convenient if you are hiking and carrying all your gear. The biggest advantage of a swag is that it is more lightweight than a tent, and is designed to pack easily into a “swag bag” which is no bigger than your average gym bag.

If you do prefer sleeping in a tent rather than in a swag, check out our best hiking tent guide for some great options.

Buying Criteria

There are some key things to look out for when choosing a swag.

1. Size

Even though a traditional swag is designed for one person, they are usually available in two or three different sizes to suit your body shape.

You can also choose a 2-person or even a 3-person swag if you’d like to share with others.

2. Materials

Key elements of a good swag include good quality canvas, which should be made from a blend of cotton and polyester to make the swag breathable, but also to prevent mould growth and tears.

Some swags may be made from canvas with “heavy-duty ripstop”, which means that nylon has been woven into the material, giving it extra strength without adding weight.

High-quality zippers like YKK brand or coil zips are also important. They should be strong and robust, with large pull tabs to make them easy to open and close, especially when they get caked with dirt or salt.

3. Accessories and Features

Think about the climate or environment that you will be camping in; that will make a big difference to the options to look for in your swag.

For example, if you are camping in a hot climate, ventilation windows will make a big difference to your comfort, as will having a canvas base instead of a PVC base on your swag.

PVC is super waterproof but doesn’t breathe, so you might consider using a tarp under your swag instead to create a barrier from the moisture from the ground.

A swag bag is also an important accessory to make it easier for you to transport the swag and protect it from dirt and water.

 

Best swag Australia (buying guide)

 
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