CAMPING – TENTS AND SWAGS
Tents, swags, pegs and hardware.
GentleTent is an Austrian-based company that now has representation in Australia. The GentleTent GT range consists of different air-inflatable models to suit most camping requirements.
Roof tents can be a pain to erect and to pack away, but a hard-shell, electrically opening and closing unit eradicates all this hard work. We tested a Backtrax unit and were very impressed with it.
Coleman reckons its Instant Up range can be set up in under two minutes from a small carry bag and each tent has a 100km/h wind rating.
Mi Lite Camping and Accessories peg and tang design makes setting and retrieving tent and awning pegs a piece of cake.
The Maverick was released in 2014 and was an instant success. We’ve been testing one and we love it. It has now replaced our RV-5, because it’s easier to pack into the various road-test vehicles we evaluate for our Buyers Guide.
Darche’s Air-Volution tents and swags have no poles, relying instead on inflatable tubes or ‘air-poles’. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t lend us a tent to test.
OzTent’s Malamoo is the Tardis of the tent world, magically expanding from a round flat pack into a roomy tent for a couple, or a cosy space for a couple and two kids.
OzTent’s creation combines a swag, tent and stretcher into one item that folds into a small 15kg bag.
We’ve been testing Aussie designed Bluescrew tent and awning pegs with great success. They don’t look like they’ll work, but they do.
As the name suggests this awning opens up to look like the wing of a fruit bat, with fabric stretched between supporting ribs. The Foxwing is another OzTent product, but is marketed in conjunction with Rhino Rack. It seems to be a great symbiosis, because OzTent knows all there is to know about camping ‘housing’ and Rhino is the expert racking company. Together, they can fit a Foxwing to any vehicle.
OzTent is justifiably famous for its revolutionary 30-second tent design and the company has added a Jet Tent product line-up that doesn’t erect as quickly, but is much easier to pack inside a vehicle.
OzTent’s RV-4 was released in 2005 and quickly became a top seller. The OzTent people were asked by many customers to make a bigger tent, but they didn’t want the folded package to be any bigger or much heavier. We tested an early model RV-5 and liked it so much we bought it.
Roof-top units can be ideal for 4WD tourers who don’t want to tow anything. A typical roof-top camper weighs around 50kg, plus the weight of the rack, so is suitable to clamp to the roof of a large 4WD.
There are almost as many tent shapes and sizes as there are campers. Selecting the right one requires some homework.
We’re assuming at the outset that you’re going seriously off road, so a camper trailer has replaced a caravan on your potential purchase list. That means your choice is between swags, tents and camping trailers.
We always like to test gear on long bush trips, so when we heard that two of our group would be bringing their Black Wolf Turbo tents on a bush adventure we grabbed a test one so that we’d have a trio to compare.