The Benefits of Using a Camping Swag Over a Tent

If you’re just getting into camping, or you fondly remember camping trips from your childhood and you’re wanting to get back to nature, there are a huge amount of camping options to choose from. Do you go for a high-tech set up with all the mod cons, bells and whistles, or do you keep things rustic and simple? Do you load up the 4WD with everything but the kitchen sink so you can lounge in luxury, or do you go for just the kit you can carry on your back and hike into those hard to access areas? 

Maybe most importantly, what are you using as shelter – a camping swag, or a tent? These two diverging sleep and shelter options both come with their own benefits and drawbacks, depending on the kind of camping you want to do. Spoiler alert: we’ve become convinced that camping with swags in Australia is pretty unbeatable.

To keep things fair, we’re showing our work and laying out the best and worst features of both. So without further ado, let’s crack on with the swags vs. tents match up. 

Swags vs. tents – the breakdown 

First, let’s break down what a tent and a swag actually are. Tents are structures that come in sizes from one person right up to large sizes designed for groups and families. The two most popular styles of tents are ridge and dome style. Ridge tents are a simple triangular shape that’s more lightweight and suited to shorter camping trips, while domed styles are made for longer trips, typically with more headroom and a sturdier structure that’s better suited for more extreme weather conditions. 

Swags are a shelter and sleeping space in one – smaller than a tent and with a more compact space that generally only allows for sleeping and sitting up. They’re typically made from a more substantial material than a tent, and have your mattress built in as part of the design. As far as sizes go, a camping swag is generally a single or double capacity size. 

The pros of swags

For huge parts of Australia, swags really pull ahead as the preferred option for camping. They’re great in milder weather, thanks to their durable fabric construction and the way they can really make you feel like you’re amongst it in the great outdoors. Many camping swags even come with a removable canvas layer, so you can get some extra air and stargaze on clear nights. 

Swags are also a great all-in-one option – there’s no need for extra mattresses, and swags are waterproof and resistant to weather, giving you a comfortable, dry night’s sleep. Thanks to their low profile, camping swags can handle extreme weather conditions, and they’re also great for quick set-ups and packing down at the end of a trip, with no pegs or complicated rigging required. 

The pros of tents

If you’re travelling with a big group of people or a large family, tents will definitely afford you more space, and create less of an ‘at one with nature’ vibe, giving you an option to spend your waking hours inside the tent rather than outside. They also give you some extra storage space for bags, fishing gear and other equipment, a good option if you’re setting up on a site for an extended period. 

Tents have a range of entry level options for beginners or people dipping their toe into the world of camping for the first time, meaning they can be a more affordable choice if you’re not sure whether the camp life is right for you or your family. 

The cons of swags 

The freedom that swags afford you with their easy set-up and pack down can be a drawback if you’re looking to get more settled on a campsite and spend downtime inside your shelter. Likewise, if you’re heading out with a larger family, bear in mind that camping swags will only accommodate one or two people at most. Certainly doable for groups, but if you’re camping with kids, you may want a more involved structure you can all share. 

The trade-off for such an easy set up is that swags can be a little more bulky, and work best with roof racks that you can strap them to before hitting the road. 

The cons of tents

The extra space afforded by a tent does mean that you’ve got to have a more involved process with setting up – you’ll also need a wide, flat space and the right ground to set your tent securely, unlike a swag which can be unrolled anywhere high and dry that takes your fancy. 


Tents can also have trouble in high winds unless you’re opting for a higher end geodesic design, and they’ll likely let in a lot of sunlight unless you opt for a blackout tent for sleeping.  

You won’t have any bedding included with your tent, so you’ll need to purchase extra mattresses, sleeping bags and camping stretchers depending on your preference. They can be lighter than swags if you opt for a small model, but make sure to factor in these extras you’ll need to carry with you separately if you fancy hiking to a camping spot. 

The verdict

All in all, swags offer a durable, long-lasting and easy to set up camping option that gives you loads of freedom with the camping spots you choose, and good protection from the elements without needing to spend up big on complicated top of the line tents. It all comes down to personal preference, but if you want to experience all the amazing natural wonders Australia has to offer, we’re giving it to camping swags by a narrow margin, for their versatility, durability and ease of use. 

Shop the best range of swags in Australia from TC Boxes

If you’re looking for a high quality camping swag to invest in, you’ll love the collection of swags from TC Boxes. Check out the range of one and two person swags in our online store, and while you’re there, explore our custom designed tradesman trailers, aluminium toolboxes and caravan boxes to kit out your vehicle for all your road tripping needs.

Related Posts

banner
Aluminium UTE Trays: Your In-Depth Guide

The heartbeat of a tradie lies in their trusty tools — and that includes their UTEs. With a trusty UTE, any tradie can easily get to their jobs with their...

Continue reading
banner
UTE Dog Box 101: Everything You Need To Know

Many passionate ute owners desire to explore the great outdoors with their loyal canine companions. While it may be fine for some to have their furry friends ride on...

Continue reading
banner
Importance Of A Dog Box For Your Ute While Travelling

For outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hitting the road with their four-legged companions, a dog box for your ute is more than just an item for convenience — it's a...

Continue reading
banner
6 Tips for Packing Your Trailer Box Efficiently and Safely

Moving or storing using a trailer box can be an exciting adventure — but it might also make you anxious to keep your belongings safely packed. Fear not! With a...

Continue reading