Ep15 – Comparing Tents, Swags & Rooftop Tents


Whether you’re new to the camping game and are struggling to choose between shelters or just keen to change your setup, Ben and Lauren take you through all the pros and cons of tents, swags, and rooftop tents in this episode of the Snowys Camping Show.

Listen to the full episode here:

Or you can watch the video version here:


  • 00:00 – Intro
  • 01:57 – Tents
  • 02:43 – Instant up tents  
  • 05:59 – Air tents
  • 07:55 – Rooftop tents
  • 14:04 – Swags

Links to things mentioned in this episode:


Tents are the classic option and provide plenty of sleeping and living space. They are particularly suited to those who plan on settling in one spot for a couple of days or even weeks at a time.

Tents allow you to create a base and then have the freedom to leave your campsite setup while you explore and sightsee. 

With so many options available such as instant up, dome, air, pop up, and canvas touring tents – narrowing it down can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re new to camping. Each style has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s simply a case of weighing up your needs with how much you want to invest in the lifestyle.

Further considerations include the additional time they take to set up and pack down, their bulk inside your vehicle and the need for bedding.

These are best for beginners or family campers.

Each syle of shelter has pros and cons. Image: Darche

Rooftop tents

When it comes to convenience, rooftop tents definitely come out on top – pun intended! They’re perfect for those who go away regularly and love to be able to camp wherever you can park your vehicle.

Some other benefits of a rooftop tent are that you can keep your bedding inside when it’s packed down, you’re away from the cold ground, plus you get amazing views of the stars as you drift off to sleep.

On the flip side, RTTs need to be packed away before driving your vehicle, which can be a hassle if you are based somewhere and want to go exploring. The average two-person rooftop tent weighs upwards of 50kg, so the additional cartage also needs to be considered to ensure your vehicle can safely accommodate. Another factor is that RTTs are a greater financial investment in comparison to tents or swags. 

These are best for frequent adventures and touring couples.


The swag has come a long way since its humble origins in the Australian bush. Nowadays, swags come in many different sizes, shapes and configurations yet they are still the simplest way to sleep outdoors.

Swags are fast to pitch, you can keep your bedding inside, and they come in a range of price points to suit everyone’s budget. For campers who need extra elevation off the ground, there is also the option to set up your swag on top of a stretcher to make getting up in the morning much easier.

The limited space available inside swags is probably their biggest drawback, so if you like to be able to hang out undercover in your shelter, a traditional swag may not be ideal. There are a few models on the market that feature a roomier hybrid design, with the space of a small dome tent and the construction of a swag for more wiggle room. Weight is also something to keep in mind with this style of shelter, especially the double-sized models which can be pretty hefty to pack.

These are best for weekend warriors, or solo adventurers.

Thanks for listening, tune in again for next week’s episode!

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s episode of the Snowys Camping Show Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Pocket Casts, or Stitcher so you never miss an upload.

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Catch you out there!

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Joined back in October, 2015

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