Darche have named Dee as their ultimate freestanding tourer in their range, and you can certainly see why. The Dee stands completely upright thanks to the clever pole trigger locking system, and it's as roomy as a small tent. You can fit you, your missus (or mister) and your dog in the Dee as it’s spacious with a lot of head room, which is unusual for a swag.
The mesh covered windows are massive so you can unzip the fly to catch a glimpse of your beautiful surroundings while you chill out in your shelter. One of the really great features of Darche swags are their mattresses – which are the kind that are actually comfortable enough on their own without the need to add extra padding for grabbing some shut eye.
You can get Dee ready for a good night’s rest lightning fast – so it’s perfect for the touring lifestyle. Over the years a swag can become like an old friend, who you’ve shared a long list of adventures with, so make sure you invest in a good quality shelter like the Dirty Dee to accompany you wherever you go.
First off ... take my advice, sleep with your head up the "feet end" ... my wife was the one who suggested it and she's right. I don't know why Darche don't suggest it. The reason is, when you are lying down you dont need the head room, and when you "sit up" , you pivot forward on your hips and then the highest part of the swag is then in the middle where your head ends up. Plus you usually will then shuffle along to the door, put your boots on ... and any dirt that might get in, will only be down around your feet. Additionally the wife who remains sleeping, is still protected and private, because you're not opening up right up at head level. To sleep the way darch say, with head at the "head end" where the doors are... you are exposing more to the occupants, and you'd have to spin yourself around, and/or climb over your partner to get in or out. As to waterproofness, i have done 4 trips, 3 of which were in very heavy rain ... not a drop inside. Plenty of condensation under the matress owning to body heat, but that's not specific to this swag. ANother tip, wrap the swag up with poles still in the sleeves, makes things way faster ... just disengage the ends and the clips and fold them back ... rolls up in no time at all. Another tip, keep a feather down doona permanently rolled into the swag ... one less thing to carry and deal with. Love this sway, rate it highly. Cheers,
Fantastic review Brad! Ripping write-up and photos to boot - thanks so much for posting! Laine :)
I ended up purchasing this swag after many hours of research and asking questions etc and finally bit the bullet on this one mainly due to its size, in particular the height and good use of width up higher up too, and the ease of setup. The only MAJOR concern I had was it appears as though it could easily get rain through the windows. Snowys responded to a question I asked, advising there are storm flaps (and yes they're great) and advising the foot end windows have gutters down the side of the mesh - which they do yes. So, I proceed to purchase. It arrived yesterday, and unfortunately, my worse fears were confirmed true. It does indeed come through the windows despite having these gutters next to the mesh... seems an odd design because it simply won't work unless the canvas is dead flat - which seems impossible to do. It appears to be naturally 'lumped' or wavey... as per every photos all over the net for these swags - it can be seen. I am hesitant now to take it out bush, especially in heavy rain i don't see how this swag is going to hold up. I have hosed it down 3 times, twice from just the top with a light spray of the hose for 5-10 mins and still getting water past the gutters into the mesh, likely to be because the canvas does not site flat exactly as per the photo on this listing which sparked my original concern. The heavy hosing of water was a nightmare, puddles of water all through it - and i didn't even hold the hose on an angle to the windows. A bit unsure at this stage, i believe Darche have overlooked the design on this one... The other concern I have is, this mesh does not appear midge proof, i thought darche promoted these swags as suitable for the real bush, not just in your local national park. Massive oversight... Happy to do another review later down the track.
Hi, Matt, I just had a look over our display model to better understand your concerns. In comparing it to other swags in our range, Darche boasts the best weather protection features such as the gutters you mention as well as about 10cm overlap between the edge of the window flaps and the mesh or zipper. To give you some reassurance, we have not had any complaints regarding the weather protection on any of the Darche swags. So assuming you are heading bush in all but the absolute worst of conditions, you can use this swag confidently. As for midge protection, there's always a trade off here. Midge mesh is really fine, and even then it doesn't always provide protection, but with the fine construction comes a loss in durability. Darche uses a tough mesh which is not as fine and won't protect as well against midges. In either case for midge protection, we recommend the use of repellant as they seem to be particularly persistent, and incredibly small pests. I hope this eases your concerns so you can be happy with your purchase, let us know if you have any problems. ~Ben.
Just bought one of these and I have just seasoned the canvas. It is hard to find any faults with it. Quick to set up. Top quality canvas and stitching that will last many years. Water beads on the canvas and runs off. Good quality zippers. Lots of ventilation if needed. Nice and roomy inside (more like a tent than a swag). I'm nearly 2m tall and can fit in comfortably. Pockets for wallets and phones at both ends of swag. The mattress is the only thing I will probably change as it could be a bit thicker but still ok - I have yet to sleep in it but will probably purchase the 1300 self inflating mattress Darche have on offer. Definitely worth the money as this thing will last a long time. It also looks great. Probably the best swag I have seen.
I love this swag its well worth the money everything on it is just top quality its got so much room
This product is really well made. I was worried about water pooling on top of the swag, but when its set up properly it is not an issue. It is made out of good quality canvas too so even after a good soaking or two there was no trace of water inside.
Heaps of room for me and some of my gear, or even easily enough room for 2 adults to sleep comfortably.
The mattress came in a separate carry bag that was completely split prior to me opening the box, which isnt great but also not a huge issue. It is just a cheap foamy (not the greatest thing ever like they advertise) so I would definately recommend a self inflator over the top unless you are a lightweight.
All in all, im very happy with the purchase.
In the photos it looks like if the water ran off the top on the foot section (enclosed end) of the swag, it would easily follow into the side window (following the creases of the canvas)?
You're safe on this one. All the windows of the Darche Dirty Dee swag have been built with storm flaps to prevent water penetrating or running off and into the swag. In regards to your specific question, if you look closely you'll see grooves on either side of the mesh which exists to redirect run-off.
I would like some awning poles for my this tent
A good option for your DIrty Dee would be the Swag Awning Poles from Darche which you can check out here.
This looks a great product. I am looking to upgrade as my current tent/cot leaks in heavy rains after the water pools on flatter top parts. Does this product have any issue with leaking or pooling in heavy rain?
So far we haven't had any feedback from other customers about pooling or leaking in this particular swag.
In general we find Darche swags to be very well made and designed, so if you pitch it correctly then you shouldn't run into any problems if you get caught in a drizzle.
The Dee certainly has all the features to prevent leaks as it's seam sealed, made from proofed canvas, has a welded PVC bucket floor, and awnings to close off the swag if you encounter wet weather.
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