All-In-One Guide to Stretcher Tents

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Perhaps after many adventures with your swag or tent, you’re looking to combine the best of both worlds. But which one is going to suit you best?

With several models available, such as the Oztrail Easy Fold, Oztent Jet Bunker, Jet Bunker XL, and Kamp-Rite Original Tent Cot, Oversize Tent Cot, and Double Tent Cot – there are a few on the market to choose from.

In this blog, we give you a quick rundown of some of the stretcher tents available in the video, and then we take on the most popular questions asked about stretcher tents. Here we go…

Press play for a quick rundown on the models of stretcher tents available, thanks to our gear Expert – Ben.

Stretcher Tent FAQs:

Does a stretcher tent feel sturdy?

It sure does! You’ll be able to switch sides in your sleep or wriggle around to look for your torch without feeling like your stretcher tent is going to topple over or collapse.

All of the stretcher tents and cots that we have in our range have a powder coated steel frame – so they’re constructed to be strong and durable. The Kamp-Rite cots are a little different to the other models as they have four support legs so they’re the most stable of the bunch. But the only downside is they do take just a little bit longer to set up.

Most stretcher tents have a 1 person sleeping capacity (with the exception of the Kamp-Rite Double Tent Cot), so they’re built to be sturdy enough to support up to 150kg. This means they can bear the same amount of weight as your average quality camp stretcher.

How long does it take to set up a stretcher tent?

Setting up a stretcher tent or cot is as easy as taking it out the bag, unfolding the frame, extending it out, popping the fly over – and you’re ready to go!

The Kamp-Rite Tent Cot Double and Oversize models do involve the extra step of setting up the roof poles. This is something to keep in mind – as their design is a bit different to the other models.

They also pack down just as fast! Just make sure you take care when folding down your tent cot, so the material doesn’t get caught in the joints.

Oztent Bunker Stretcher Tent setup in the bush

The Oztent Jet Bunker, made from hardwearing canvas and with space on the sides for storage. Image: Oztent Australia.

What style of camping are stretcher tents ideal for?

If you’re looking for an easy option for vehicle camping, for setting up in a different spot every night – a stretcher tent might be just what you need.

A stretcher tent isn’t the lightest option available. But, it’s definitely going to offer more convenience as you won’t have to spend precious time pitching like you would with a tent or a swag.

Can you use a stretcher tent in the rain?

The Oztent Jet Bunker and the Jet Bunker XL both have a waterhead rating of 1000mm, so they’re both going to offer the same level of water protection as a standard swag or dome tent.

The Oztrail Easy Fold and the Kamp-Rite tent cots all come with a waterproof fly across the different models, so again they are going to keep out a drizzle of rain.

The Jet Tent Bunker, Bunker XL and Easy Fold, and the Kamp-Rite tents cots all have a seam sealed fly, which is going to help stop any leaks if the weather turns.

Some campers prefer to set up their stretcher tent under a tarp or the side awning of their vehicle when the weather is bad – which does offer an extra layer of protection from the elements, but you can definitely use a tent cot on its own.

Oztent Jet Bunker XL Stretcher Tent

The Oztent Jet Bunker XL – bigger than the Bunker, but without the extra weight. Image: Oztent Australia.

Is it better to get a canvas or polyester stretcher tent?

Synthetic or canvas – which one do you choose? Well, canvas is going to offer more breathability making it a good choice for hot climates. Canvas is also more durable and hard wearing, but it’s a heavier which can be a dealbreaker for some people.

On the other hand, synthetic is not as breathable – but it’s a better option for the weight conscious camper. There probably isn’t a right or wrong answer here. It may just come down to personal preference or what kind of conditions you’re camping in.

How much gear can I fit in a stretcher tent?

If you’re under 6’1″ or so, you’ll probably be able to sit up inside a stretcher tent, but there won’t be a lot of extra space. You could squeeze in the essentials like a torch, electronics, water bottle, an extra layer and maybe your boots (if they’re clean!) though.

The Oztent Bunker and Bunker XL both have storage space, so you’ll be able to fit your shoes and pack around the sides. If you like keeping your gear close by, then you might want to bear that in mind when making your decision. Another thing to note is that you can’t leave your bedding inside a stretcher tent when you pack it up, so it’s a little different to a swag that way.

Kamp Rite Tent Cot Stretcher Tent

The Kamp-Rite Oversize Tent Cot, the sturdiest of the bunch – the only catch is that it takes a little longer to set up. Image: Kamp-Rite.

How warm and comfortable is a stretcher tent?

Most stretcher tents will come with a layer of padding that’s about 1cm thick as the base. This padding isn’t overly comfy on its own, nor will it provide enough insulation if the weather is really chilly.

Some people are happy with just using a cushiony sleeping bag in their stretcher tent, but we’d recommend adding a self-inflating mat or a layer of foam as that will provide you with enough comfort and insulation for getting a good night’s sleep under the stars.

Stretcher tent vs swag & stretcher– which one should I choose?

When using a stretcher as a base for a swag, there are 3 common concerns that are raised:

  • If the stretcher it too wide and it rains, then water can pool under your swag
  • If the stretcher is too narrow then it won’t be stable if you move around in your swag
  • If the stretcher has a support bar then it can be uncomfortable to sleep on

A stretcher tent provides elevation off the ground – making it easy to heave yourself out of bed every morning. It also eliminates the issue of pooling, and there are no rigid support bars.

Finding the perfect stretcher for your swag can be tricky, and often there isn’t an ideal option. If you’re finding it difficult to get your hands on the right stretcher, or you’re just sick of lugging a swag and a stretcher around – then give a stretcher tent a go.

So, have we answered all of your burning questions? Are you now tempted to swap in your old swag and give a stretcher tent a go?