Stretcher tents and tent cots are much easier to set up than regular tents, yet much more spacious than swags. They are basically off the ground swags without the claustrophobia.
In fact, they are a hybrid that has combined the best of tents and swags into one versatile shelter! But which one should you get?
In this article, I review and compare the best stretcher tents and tent cots Australia to help you make your decision!
Best Stretcher Tents & Tent Cots Australia
OZtrail Ultimate All Weather Single
This stretcher tent by OZtrail is a very impressive unit. While most of the others on this list are only slightly more spacious than a dome swag, the Ultimate All Weather stretcher is much roomier, similar in dimensions to a hiking tent.
It has a 90cm wide and 220cm long sleeping area, which will suit even the tallest guys out there. The 120cm ceiling allows you to fully sit up, and there is even room to attach a lantern.
It is much easier to set up than a tent and allows you to sleep off the ground, which will keep you warm in winter and cool in summer.
I like that the inner tent is entirely mesh, which means that in good weather, you can do without the fly and enjoy an awesome breeze, no matter which direction it is coming from. You can even do some stargazing at night.
When attached, the fly comes all the way down to the ground, which gives you 2 vestibules (one on each side) for storage, plus there is an additional pouch under the stretcher for more storage.
With all of these great features, you would expect to pay a lot for this unit but it is surprisingly affordable. It also comes with a 1 year warranty. I highly recommend it.
The OZtrail Ultimate All Weather stretcher tent comes in a single or queen size.
OZtrail Easy Fold Stretcher Tent Single
Best Budget Option
The OZtrail Easy Fold is an outstanding choice for a stretcher tent. It is lightweight yet still well built, has a decently sized sleeping area and a reasonable 80cm max internal ceiling.
At $200, it is also the most affordable stretcher tent on this list.
I particularly like the mesh ceiling which allows you to do some stargazing at night (provided the weather is good and you don’t need the fly).
3 doors plus the mesh ceiling means that you will have plenty of ventilation and be able to keep cool and off the ground.
It comes with a 1 year warranty.
It also comes in a large model, known as the Easy Fold Stretcher Shelter Single.
Oztent Bunker Pro Stretcher Tent
Best Premium Option
The Oztent Bunker Pro is for those who want the best of the best. This is a top-of-the-line stretcher tent, made with Oztent quality.
Unlike the others on this list, this one has a polycotton fly (polyester and cotton canvas blend) which means that you will get superior waterproofing. It has a 1,500mm waterproof rating.
Being made of canvas (at least partially) does make it really feel like an off the ground swag. Unlike a swag, however, it dispenses with the claustrophobia and instead has a generous 90cm wide sleeping area which is also 200cm long.
The 80cm head height means that your face isn’t brushing against the ceiling like a traditional swag.
The 10mm padded base adds a little extra comfort compared to the other options and the 2 year warranty gives you peace of mind.
The only downside of this tent is that it is fairly expensive, coming in at $570. If you have the budget and want the best of the best, this is it!
It is also available as the Oztent Bunker Lite.
Kamp-Rite Original Tent Cot
Best Tent Cot
Tent cots are basically another form of off the ground swags that are a little different to tent stretchers. Unlike the stretchers, these units can be converted into lounge chairs or cots, which adds to their versatility.
Unfortunately, in doing this, they sacrifice on the roominess inside the tent. The sleeping area is only 71cm wide with a 60cm internal ceiling. This is pretty comparable to a swag, and smaller than the other options here.
It only has a rated capacity of 135kg, so bear this in mind as well.
If you prefer a larger, more heavy duty tent cot, consider purchasing a Kamp-Rite Oversize unit instead. As you would expect, this larger model has a corresponding increase in price.
It comes with a 1 year warranty.
It is part of the Kamp-Rite Range, which consists of the original, oversize, double, compact double and compact XL tent cots.
Key Points To Consider When Making A Purchase
Has one of the stretcher tents or tent cots above taken your fancy? Use the checklist below to make sure that it will do everything you need it to.
Most stretcher tents and tent cots are designed for one person to sleep in them. Even then, the sleeping area is often quite narrow and the ceiling can be quite low. Often they are only slightly larger than dome swags.
Tall people in particular should confirm that their tent is long enough to accommodate them comfortably.
The exception to this is the OZtrail Ultimate All Weather, which is far roomier than the other options.
Most stretcher tents come with an included mat on the stretcher base, although this is usually only around 10mm thick.
This sounds thin when compared to the 50-70mm mattresses that are often included with swags, but the fact that the stretcher tent is suspended off the ground means that you don’t need so much padding.
You can always upgrade the comfort level by adding a swag mattress if necessary.
Stretcher tents are typically quite bulky when packed, so double check that it can fit comfortably in your car. If you need one that packs away to a small volume, check out the OZtrail Easy Fold.
The stretcher base and frame are quite heavy, and this adds substantially to the overall weight of the tent. The ones in this article are typically in the range of 12-18kg. Again, the OZtrail Easy Fold is quite a light option.
Some tents are more suitable for certain weather conditions than others. This is typically expressed with the ‘season rating’. 2 and 3 season tents tend to be for mild to moderate weather, whereas 4 season ones are suitable for use even in cold conditions.
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 tent with a decent waterproof rating. Ratings range from 1,000mm (the lowest rating that is considered waterproof), all the way up to 10,000mm.
The Oztent Bunker Pro has a polycotton fly and a waterproofing rating of 1,500mm, so it should keep you dry in pretty much all conditions.
We all know how brutal and unforgiving the Australian sun can be. Tents 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.
Thankfully, stretcher tents and tent cots are known for having tons of ventilation, so this shouldn’t be an issue for you, no matter which one you choose.
If you have been hiking all day, the last thing you need is a long and arduous set up process when you reach your rest stop. Thankfully, the stretcher tents and cots I have listed above are all very easy to set up, even if you are by yourself.
A warranty lets you sleep easy knowing that your unit 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.
The Oztent Bunker Pro comes with a 2 year warranty (provided you register the product with them). The other options all come with 1 year warranties.
Read more about the Oztent warranty.
Poor build quality means a painful tent setup experience, higher risk of accidental damage, 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.
All of the tents recommended in this article are well built.
Stretcher tents and tent cots are unique hybrid shelters that can be best described as off the ground swags.
They set up instantly, are sturdy and provide you with good protection from the elements. Being off the ground means that you will be warmer in winter and cooler in summer, plus you will probably get a better night’s sleep.
Personally, I think that the OZtrail Ultimate All Weather is the best stretcher tent Australia. It is affordable, yet it is very spacious, has awesome ventilation, good weather protection and tons of storage space (thanks to the outer fly which comes all the way to the ground).
If you are on a tight budget, the OZtrail Easy Fold is a very solid option. A 3 season rating, plenty of ventilation and included awning for such a low price make this a bargain.
At the premium end, the Oztent Bunker Pro is the highest quality option out there. A polycotton fly for waterproofing, 2 year warranty and Oztent quality makes this a fantastic option.
If you prefer the versatility of tent cots, then you need to check out the Kamp-Rite range. Their original option is quite tight inside, but they have 5 different size options overall, so you’ll be able to find one that works for you.
I hope that this breakdown of the best stretcher tents and tent cots in Australia has helped you make your decision! Let me know which one you went with in the comments below!
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