Are your knees not quite how they used to be or does the ground just not do it for you? Camp stretchers not only give you clearance from the cold tent floor, but they also offer some height when clambering all the way down or hoisting all the way up is far too much effort! Other reasons for their popularity are to provide valuable storage space underneath for those wishing to maximise room, and some customers just get the heebie-jeebies over potential creepy crawlies exploring their bedding at ground level!
All reasons are valid and one’s choice in a stretcher boils down to durability, stability, ease-of-use, a packed size that fits in with your transport capabilities, and most importantly, finding one that is the right size for your tent.
Let’s get stuck into which camp stretchers & beds have been our best-sellers over the past 12 months! Remember, this list holds no incentives or brand bias, and it’s our customers who have done the talking, not us. We’ve simply crunched the numbers to find out which stretchers and beds have come out on top based on the sales volumes both online and instore at Snowys.
Starting at Number 10…
10. Helinox Cot One Camp Stretcher
Helinox gear is awesome and the Cot One is a favourite among motorcycle and bicycle tourers. It’s comfortably maintained its hold at #10 and we think the only reason this stretcher doesn’t shoot closer to top spot is due to its higher price tag.
Helinox specialise in super compact gear with quality craftsmanship. This stretcher weighs just 2.3kg but has a rated capacity of 145kg due to the strong yet lightweight TH72M alloy frame. The design is easy to assemble and tension thanks to the level system. For those wanting a bit more clearance from the ground, stay tuned and check out our teaser at the end of this post!
9. 23Zero Husky 100 Stretcher
It’s perfect for supporting a swag if you want to get yourself up and off the ground, and although it’s not custom made for the Bandit 900, it sure is made to measure. This stretcher weighs in at 10kg and with the frame contructed from a combination of steel and alloy, plus a PVC backed 600D polyester sling, it holds up to 150kg.
23Zero knows their stuff and it’s no surprise that the Husky 100 has made our best-sellers list.
8. Zempire W Leg Stretcher Bed V2
From kid’s sleepovers to space-conscious getaways, the W Leg stretcher from Zempire is a winner! We’ve had them for about 18-months and shooting their way to Number 8 is a testament to their quality and popularity.
Feedback from some customers has been that the first couple of setups can be a bit more work. But, it’s worth persevering, and the initial struggle quickly eases once the 600D poly oxford fabric gets used to being pulled taut by the frame – it’s a bit like a thick self-inflating mat that’s been compressed in manufacturing.
Compact, lightweight, and comfortable, the W Leg stretcher is well thought out and makes a great all-rounder!
7. Darche KOZI Series
Darche launched their KOZI Series in July last year with a desire to make family camping more accessible. Here we are, just 6 months later and their range of KOZI Stretchers has catapulted into 7th place!
This stretcher is available in both King Single and Queen sizes, and includes a bunch of nifty extras within its design. The removable soft-touch Pillow Pocket and a super handy mesh gear loft, plus corner elastics to keep your mattress in place are just a few of these additional features.
With so much interest and growing popularity already, we think the KOZI stretchers might just move their way closer to the number one spot on next year’s list!
6. OZtrail Deluxe Double Bunk Bed
Kids love the novelty of sleeping in a bunk bed while camping and when space permits, you can even set them up as individual stretchers. This bunk can be used for sleepovers at home too, but like any sling stretcher without a padded base, you might want to add a mat for extra comfort. The steel frame is easy to set up, and OZtrail has thought through the safety features with side rails on the top bunk and anti-roll corner supports on the legs.
This bunk is the perfect space-saving solution for groups and larger families.
5. Coleman Big Sky Stretcher Beds
The good old trusty Big Sky Beds from Coleman have been accommodating campers comfortably for a very long time. Their entry-level price point always sees strong sales and they are no stranger to this list.
These stretchers have a different design from other stretchers and use a coil-sprung trampoline-style configuration. The foam mat is included and creates a super comfortable and insulated surface to rest upon. The Big Sky Beds are easy to set up and have hooped legs that are friendly on tent floors but their larger packed dimensions can put some people off.
4. Outdoor Connection Dog Beds
Before you question our judgement around what constitutes a stretcher, sales on the Outdoor Connection Dog Bed have somewhat demanded a placement!
Whether they’re being used at home, or away, this bed get a big ‘paws up’ from four-legged campers across the country. They come in Small and Large sizes, and have a strong 16mm Hammertone powder-coated steel frame with reinforced cross webbing for support. The cover fabric is a durable 600D polyester and, just in case it gets used for a chew toy, replacements are available. In the colder months, you can also add on a fleecy mat for extra comfort and warmth.
It’s become undeniably clear that these beds and accessories are loved just as much by owners as they are their beloved pooches!
3. Oztent RS-1S King Single Stretcher
Use it on its own or chuck a swag on top, this stretcher has anti-sway bars to keep it stable. It also features integrated straps that anchor your swag and is a perfect fit with Oztent’s RS-1 Swag. At over 1m wide and 2m long, it can also work with most other swags. Not keen on a swag? No worries. You can fit two of these stretchers with space left in the middle in either the RV5 or RX5 tent.
With its smart new colour and 600D polyester fabric, the RS-1S Series II from Oztent is ideal for those who want a generous and versatile stretcher to use with their swag or camping mattress.
2. Oztent Gecko and Goanna Stretchers
Inching one position closer to top spot are the much loved Gecko, Goanna and King Goanna stretchers from Oztent. Just like the RS-1S, this newest evolution sports the same snazzy facelift! Series II is hot outta the truck and our shelves are stocked!
Last year we started lumping these 3 stretchers together because really, they are the same quality design, just with different dimensions. What sets these stretchers apart is their padded upper which insulates better than those with a single skin sling. This, combined with a durable 600D fabric, and a strong 25mm square tubed, easy-fold steel frame, make the Oztent Stretchers a firm favourite with outback travellers.
1. OZtrail Easy Fold Stretcher Beds
Taking the gong for a fourth consecutive year, OZtrail’s Easy Fold Stretcher Beds are a trusty favourite and boast a string of 5-star reviews! There are 4 sizes to choose from – Single, Low Rise Single, Jumbo and Queen.
These stretchers come with a few added extras such as storage pockets on the side and an under-bed gear hammock. There are no bars for your feet to kick across the ends, and they have a 150kg weight rating. As with most double stretchers, the Queen does feature a bar down the middle for necessary structural support, but if you add a couple of mattresses you can still snuggle with your partner without the bar digging in.
If you’re looking for an easy, stable, no fuss stretcher for general camping, the OZtrail Easy Fold Stretchers are a stellar choice. There is, however, a strong trend towards lightweight gear and with that OZtrail are starting to consider lighter-weight alternatives for their stretcher range. In 2021, they released their aluminium framed stretchers in Large and Jumbo, and despite these not having the easy-fold feature, they are passed with a 25 mm Square Kinetic Hardened Aluminium frame. We wonder whether this new design and lighter weight might be popular enough to bump the Easy-Fold from first place..?
What to watch
We’ve sought special permission to be able to spill the beans on this one! It’s not available yet, but keep your eye out because it’s coming soon – the High Cot One from Helinox! It’s got more than double the clearance from the ground to the Cot One, so is the answer to all those lightweight gear enthusiasts who desire a higher bed.
‘Til then, let’s talk about Darche’s XL 100 Ultra. This stretcher hit the market last year and its popularity is growing from strength to strength. It only just missed out on making the list and we think that an appearance in next year’s ranking is a sure thing. The XL 100 Ultra is padded with a strong crossover frame construction made from steel and alloy for stability. It also has a nice and generous sleeping area to cater for a swag on top, or a sprawling snoozer.
From the lightweight cycle-tourer to the rugged 4WD-tourer, this year’s watch-list has you covered.
What are your predictions for next year’s best-sellers?
About the writer...
Trekker, surfer, climber, mountain biker, runner, camper. Participator in most things… master of none.