Most swags sold these days are actually a variety of swag known as dome swags. While this style is very popular, many still prefer the traditional swag design, ie. a mattress between two pieces of canvas.
However, there are quite a few different options out there, so it can be difficult to know which one to get.
Below, I have assembled a list of the best traditional swags in Australia, to help you figure out which one is right for you!
Best Traditional Swags in Australia
AOS Bushman Deluxe Apex Single Swag
Aussie Outback Supplies (aka. AOS) are the producers of some of the highest quality swags in Australia. All of their swags are entirely Australian made, which is becoming increasingly rare.
The Bushman Deluxe Apex range are made from high quality canvas and come with a swag carry bag, 4 steel pegs and even 2 sand pegs for beach camping.
It has a 70mm mattress, and the unique design allows you to enter the swag from either side.
The best part about this unit is that it is covered by the AOS 10 year guarantee! If a manufacturer offers a 10 year guarantee on their product, especially something as hard-wearing as a swag, you know it must be good quality.
It even comes with a built-in bottle opener!
The Australian swag is available in single, king single, double and queen sizes
PS. If you like buying Aussie gear, check out my full list of Australian made swags!
OZtrail Cooper Expedition Single Swag
Best Budget Option
The OZtrail Cooper Expedition swag is a great option for those who are on a bit of a budget.
Despite being more affordable than the other options, this is still a high quality option made entirely from 230GSM canvas, so you shouldn’t have any issues with waterproofing provided that you season the swag beforehand.
This swag is much lighter than the AOS and Darche ones at just 4kg. You’ll have no trouble carrying it from your car to wherever you plan on setting up for the night.
Unfortunately, the included mattress is only 50mm thick and not particularly comfortable. If you decide to replace this mattress with something else, consider whether the cost savings on this model are actually worth it for you.
A 28cm internal ceiling also makes this quite a tight swag, so it might not be for you if you get a bit claustrophobic.
All in all, it’s a solid option at a great price. It comes in single and double sizes.
Darche Traditional Single Swag
The Darche Traditional is another solid option. Thick, 16oz, wax-coated canvas means that you get plenty of protection from the elements while tucked up in your swag.
The 215cm length and 38cm head height makes this a much roomier swag than the other options on this list. This is especially important for tall guys who are nudging 2 metres.
One of the best things about this swag is that it comes with a lifetime warranty! You can read more about Darche’s lifetime warranty here.
It comes in a single and king single size.
What To Consider When Buying A Traditional 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.
Traditional units are typically smaller and more claustrophobic than dome swags. This is especially the case for larger people. They have very low ceilings (around 30-40cm high) and are narrow (typically 75cm wide).
Of the ones on this list the Darche Traditional is the most spacious, so I recommend it if you are quite tall or prefer a bit of space between the ceiling and your face!
Swags are thankfully quite compact when not in use, but it is worth checking the packed dimensions to make sure that it can comfortably fit in your car.
If you will be lugging your swag quite a distance from your vehicle to where you eventually end up setting up for the night, make sure that you choose one that isn’t too heavy.
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.
All of the swags in this article are made from canvas and should do a good job of keeping you dry in all but the worst weather.
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 swag 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.
Some have complained that the Darche Traditional in particular suffers from condensation build-up.
If you have been busy hiking, fishing or driving all day, the last thing you need is a long and arduous set up process when you reach your rest stop. Thankfully, the one 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 purchase 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 OZtrail Cooper Expedition, on the other hand, only comes with a 1 year warranty.
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.
The swags in this article all built well and made to last.
Personally, I think that the AOS Bushman Deluxe Apex is the best traditional swag Australia. Fully Australian made, top notch workmanship, a high quality swag bag and a 10 year guarantee combine to make this an outstanding product.
If you are on a budget, the OZtrail Cooper Expedition will get the job done for you, just be aware that you are getting a thinner mattress and an overall squatter swag (low head height).
The Darche Traditional swag is a very solid option. It is more spacious than the other base models and comes with a lifetime warranty. However, some have complained that condensation build up in this model is a problem.
I hope that you have been able to use this guide to help you find the right traditional swag for your next trip! Let me know which one you decided to go with in the comments below!
If none of these look good to you, check out my full list of the best swags in Australia for some more ideas!
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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.