Gearing up for some motorcycle camping and need a swag? There’s quite a few options out there and they can vary wildly in terms of price, weight and size.
Thankfully, I’ve prepared a list below of the best biker swags in Australia, to help you make your decision!
Let’s get into it!
Best Motorbike Swags Australia
Darche Urban Ranger Solo Biker Swag
The Darche Urban Ranger has been a favourite amongst motorcycle campers for many years. It has a higher internal ceiling and is made of thicker canvas than the OZtrail Biker Expedition Swag, yet packs down to the same small volume.
It is highly waterproof and designed to handle a variety of weather conditions.
As with all biker swags, the sleeping area is quite narrow and the included mattress is quite thin (this allows the swag to roll up to a small volume).
It comes with a 2 year warranty.
OZtrail Biker Expedition Swag
The OZtrail Biker Expedition Swag is another very popular touring swag in Australia. Made from canvas and suitable for almost all Australian weather conditions, it is very similar to the Darche Urban Ranger.
The main points of difference are that the OZtrail swag is made from thinner canvas and has a lower internal ceiling.
Otherwise, both swags have the same price, weight and pack down to the same size. They both have thin 50mm mattresses and narrow (75cm wide) sleeping areas. They also both have 2 year warranties.
Both are very solid choices for a motorcycle camping trip.
OZtrail Swift Pitch Bivy Tent
Best Budget Motorbike Swag
The Swift Pitch Bivy by OZtrail is an interesting choice that is most suited to those who are either doing motorbike camping on a tight budget, or plan on doing some hiking as well as motorbike camping.
It is incredibly light and packs down to a very small volume, so you won’t notice it all on the back of your bike, or in a rucksack. It is half the price of the other swags, so it is great for those who don’t have the cash to splash on a fancier swag.
The main reason that it is so much cheaper is that it does NOT come with an included mattress like other models. If you already have a spare foam mattress lying around, then this could be a good way to save some money. Otherwise, you will need to buy a swag mattress (plus a sleeping bag if you don't have one) to go with this unit, so make sure you budget for that.
Unfortunately, because it is made of a synthetic material rather than canvas, many people have complained that the waterproofing is non-existent and that the swag readily leaks at the first sign of water.
Even worse, the lack of ventilation in the synthetic material means that condensation can pool down by your feet overnight.
It is more fragile than the other swags and only comes with a 1 year warranty.
I really only recommend this if you are on a tight budget and will be camping in fair weather.
What To Consider When Buying A Biker Swag?
Has one of the swags above taken your fancy? Take a quick look at the list below to make sure that it will suit your needs.
Tent vs. Swag
Swags aren’t the only option when going motorcycle camping. Hiking tents are designed to be light and pack down to small dimensions, so they work well for motorcycle touring.
Swags are easy to set up, have a mattress included and are typically made from durable cotton canvas. However, they are also bulkier and the sleeping area is quite tight, especially for bigger guys.
Tents are roomier when set up yet lighter than swags. The parts (fly, poles etc.) can be separated into many bags to distribute over your bike, which means it can fit around your other gear. However, they are more fragile and can be difficult to set up.
If you think a tent might be better for you than a swag, check out my list of the best motorcycle camping tents in Australia.
Motorbike swags are notoriously claustrophobic, especially for larger people. They have very low ceilings (around 60cm high) and are narrow (typically 75cm wide). However, this is necessary to ensure that they fit comfortably on your bike.
Of the swags on this list the Darche Urban Ranger is the most spacious, so I recommend it if you prefer a bit of space between the ceiling and your face!
Everything you take with you has to fit on your bike, so make sure that the packed dimensions of the tent you choose are nice and small. 50cm long by 30cm diameter is pretty standard for motorcycle swags.
The OZtrail Swift Pitch Bivy can pack down to just 50cm long by 13cm diameter, although keep in mind that that size doesn't include the standard high density foam mattress!
Weight isn’t very important for motorcycle camping, as the bike is doing the heavy lifting for us. However, if you need to carry your tent quite far from your bike to where you end up setting up camp, go for a lighter swag.
Storms are unpredictable in Australia, with sudden, unexpected downpours very common. You don’t want to be woken up at night with water dripping on your face, so make sure that you choose a swag with a decent waterproof rating.
Unfortunately, the OZtrail Swift Pitch Bivy is not waterproof and some have commented that it readily leaks water.
We all know how brutal and unforgiving the Australian sun can be. Swags can act as greenhouses, trapping in hot air. Make sure that your tent has some vents and windows to let the hot air escape, otherwise you’ll be in for a hot and sweaty evening.
Ventilation can also prevent condensation forming on the inside of your tent.
If you have been hiking all day, the last thing you need is a long and arduous tent set up process when you reach your rest stop. Thankfully, the swags I have listed above are all very easy to set up, even if you are by yourself.
A warranty gives you peace of mind knowing that your swag is covered if it is defective in any way. It is also a good sign that the manufacturer has faith in the quality of their product, and that they stand behind this quality.
Poor build quality means a painful tent setup experience, higher risk of accidental damage to the tent, as well as frustrating and flimsy pegs, poles or zippers.
Cheaper tents naturally have poorer build quality, as the manufacturers save on material to keep costs low.
In my opinion, the Darche Urban Ranger is the best biker swag Australia. It is more spacious and made from thicker canvas than other motorbike swags, yet packs down to the same small dimensions, making it easy to fit on your bike.
It has plenty of ventilation and a 2 year warranty.
Another canvas swag, the OZtrail Biker Expedition is quite similar to the Darche, the only real difference being that it is made from thinner canvas and has a lower internal ceiling. It is also a solid option.
The OZtrail Swift Pitch Bivy is a swag made from synthetic material rather than canvas. This makes it much lighter and allows it to pack down to a smaller volume, yet it reportedly has waterproofing issues.
It is however, half the price of the other swags.
Still not sure which swag to get? Check out my list of the best swags or drop a comment below and I’ll do my best to help you out!
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Note that while every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this page, there may sometimes be errors. Check all specifications with the manufacturer before purchasing any product.