For the last couple of years Darche’s Dusk to Dawn series has taken the gong in the Number 1 spot, and deservedly so! This time around it’s been pipped at the post and, the results could cause a bit of controversy.
The debate continues and some still argue that the swag/tent design trend – aka, the Swent – isn’t a ‘real’ swag! It seems the jury’s still out over that one, and our sales show no sign of the Swent losing favour. There are 3 factors in hot demand when it comes to buying a swag – ventilation, versatility, and durability!
So, without further ado, let’s get into the roundup of our top ten best-selling swags based on the last 12 months of sales…
10. 4×4 Equip Dual Cab Double
This swag has reinforced canvas pole end sleeves to reduce tension, and a 7cm thick high-density foam mat. It offers loads of room and plenty of ventilation with windows and storm flaps on all sides. The galv-steel ridge pole with aluminium end hoops allows the Dual Cab to be freestanding, and guess what? 4×4 Equip have put their name on the line to assure the mesh is midge proof!
That statement alone could be one of the reasons why this swag has been such an instant hit! Overall though, it offers a decent amount of bang for your buck, so there’s a good chance it’ll move even closer to #1 next year!
9. OZtrail Mitchell Expedition
OZtrail’s Mitchell Expedition is no stranger to our shelves and often makes an appearance in the Top 10. Available in Single and Double, this swag has been around for about a decade and many swear by its longevity!
The SatProof canvas construction makes the Mitchell a great choice for those wanting a durable swag with reduced weight and packed size. It’s a basic three hoop design and has a full mesh upper to allow for plenty of air flow. The 5cm open cell foam mattress is comfy enough, but could be easily upgraded for those wanting something more luxurious.
A perfect swag for newbies and casual campers, the Mitchell is really good value and offers all the necessary features.
8. Darche Air-Volution™ AD
This design comes in the 900, 1100, and 1400, and instead of using traditional poles for structure and stability, it’s got a puncture resistant inflatable system. ‘Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it’, they say! With none of the usual poles to assemble, you can have this swag set up in under 20 seconds using the high capacity hand pump. It’s super quick to deflate, fully seam sealed, has two-way entry, full zip head and foot windows, and all the quality you expect from Darche.
The Air-Volution AD is a stellar choice for the tourer, or someone who wants a swag that’ll last!
7. Darche Dirty Dee
The Darche Dirty Dee is no stranger to this list and has maintained its place from last year. This swag has a really simple set up, is a slightly lighter weight and comes in three sizes – 900, 1100 and 1400.
Two ridge poles and three hooped cross-poles allow for a freestanding design that offers a multitude of full mesh doors and windows. It’s made with 420gsm poly-cotton canvas with a tough PVC base, and a comfortable 7cm high-density foam mattress. In 2020, Darche released their Hutch accessory, which has a universal fit with most swags, but is a perfect match for the Dirty Dee 1100.
Like an old faded pair of jeans that just keeps on giving, the Dirty Dee has been around for years. It’s durable, and suitable for all-season camping.
6. Oztent RS-1 Series II
Now in its second evolution, the RS-1 has the structure and ease of the 30-second tent, with the sleeping space of a generous swag. When packed, it’s longer than your average swag and you can’t leave your bedding inside, but for a solo traveller looking for more versatility, this design offers exactly that. It sets up and packs away in just seconds, has a large front awning that either creates a sheltered space or can be flipped over the top of the swag and used as a fly. This is ideal for condensation management, or in hot weather, the reflective underside is very effective in reducing interior heat. Many customers have been teaming it with the compatible RS-1S Stretcher to create the perfect elevated sleeping setup.
The RS-1 Swag is ideal for Oztent enthusiasts or for those just looking for something unique.
5. Darche Nebula 1550 & 23Zero Outbreak 1550
‘What?! Two brands in the one ranking‘, we hear you say. Yeah, we know it’s a first but it’s not without a good reason. These two are both terrific swags and they have been just about neck and neck in sales over the last 12 months!
Darche’s Nebula is incredibly roomy and has been a favourite for years. 23Zero’s Outbreak sports a very similar design and has been growing in popularity. Both have got all 3 of those ‘in demand’ factors – ventilation, versatility, and durability. Plus, they can be fully opened up to offer 360-degree views! Is one better than the other? That’s a tough call to make, but Darche has always maintained gold standard after-sales support, and some might argue that their exceptional reputation over a longer period of time gives it the slight edge over the two. Feedback from our Warranties team is that these two swags are their favourites in regards to very few issues, top-notch quality, and after sales service.
So, although we can’t tell you which to choose, we will suggest that before you go tossing a coin, watch our YouTube videos on the features, here and here. Then have a read of the reviews and Q&A’s on each – nothing beats feedback from fellow swaggies!
4. 23Zero Bandit
Made to last, the Bandit is a sturdy and versatile three-hoop design that offers a flexible 4-way entry. The two ridge poles give it that freestanding ability which is in such hot demand, and it’s made from 400gsm poly-cotton canvas with a durable urethane coating on the underside. The base is a heavy-duty PVC welded floor and it comes with a really comfortable 7cm high-density foam mattress.
The Bandit is up there with the best and is ideal for campers needing a reliable swag throughout the year.
3. 23Zero Dual
From Number 6 last year to a solid third place this year, it’s clear that the Dual Swag from 23Zero is more popular than ever!
It’s another freestanding design, with two-way entry and a hassle-free setup. All three sizes – 900mm, 1100mm, and 1400mm – are made from 400gsm poly-cotton canvas with a polyurethane coating. The HF welded PVC bucket floor delivers protection from the ground up, and the oversized storage bag allows you to keep your bedding inside while it’s rolled up. Apparently there were some issues with the poles last year but, we’re told this has been sorted.
The Dual Swag gets loads of great reviews and, although it’s been outranked by the Dusk to Dawn yet again, many customers deliberate between the two.
2. Darche Dusk to Dawn
It may have relinquished its top spot, but Darche’s Dusk to Dawn will never lose favour. This is the kind of swag you buy for an 18th birthday gift knowing that in another 50 years it’ll have a whole lot of stories to tell!
Available in 900, 1100 or the double size of 1400, it has two huge full-length doors that roll completely open. This swag is perfect for campers who like to feel the cool breeze across their face at night. If not rolled up or zipped down, the storm flaps can be extended as awnings with a couple of optional poles. This leaves the large superfine mesh doors on each side offering virtually unimpeded views of the night sky. It has an easy pitch two-hoop design with a ridgepole that makes it freestanding and is made with Darche’s tough 420gsm canvas and a PVC floor.
The Dusk to Dawn has long been a favourite and consistent best-seller ever since it was released. Darche knows how to do swags and this one will last a lifetime!
1. Coleman Instant Swagger Tent
Available in a 2P or 3P, the Swagger is an alternative option that gives you the simplicity of a swag without the bulk. It has a strong frame with spring-loaded torsion poles to create more headroom and features a dual instant spine hub which makes it easy to set up. Unlike a swag but similar to a tent, the Swagger does not come with a mat. However, both the Single and Double High Peak Camp Mat fit comfortably inside regardless of which Swagger you choose. It’s design may be controversial and many argue that it’s not a swag, but nor is it specifically a tent.
It’s a Swent, and it’s proven way too popular for it to be ignored. So, here it is, the Swagger is in with the swags and it’s leading the pack! They’re cheap and cheerful, and perfect for those just getting started which is likely one of the factors contributing to its success. Coleman provide good backup support, so even though the quality isn’t a match with top of the line swags, any issues usually get sorted out quickly.
What to watch – Oztent Swags
The DS Pitch Black Dome Swag in Single and Double sizes, considers the needs of campers and festival goers, as well as Jackaroos and Jillaroos. Like with all Oztent products, this swag is innovative. They’ve given thought to issues of condensation, and catered for stargazers and sleeper-iners alike! The underside of the canvas is lined with Pitch Black Tech – a feature that keeps up to 95% of sunlight out of the swag. Interestingly, it comes with a fly, but this is how Oztent are combating the issue of condensation experienced by swag-lovers all over. The inner of the swag is mostly a full mesh for optimising ventilation and air flow – the lack of which is the most significant factor contributing to condensation build-up. The fly fits over the top for complete weather protection, but is also where the Pitch Black Tech comes into play. Happy camper for the win!
The other newbie from Oztent is the Ultra-Light Single Swag, and it’s set to turn the heads of motocycle-tourers! It’s compact, it’s lightweight, and has a large vestibule for stashing your helmet and boots out of the weather. It’s been designed for tough off-road adventures on two-wheels. This one, and the Pitch Black Dome Swag are worth keeping your eye on – chances are they’ll be making an appearance in the list next year!
What do you think is the best camping swag?
About the writer...
Trekker, surfer, climber, mountain biker, runner, camper. Participator in most things… master of none.