As many of you will know, we won a bit of a big prize from OzTrail with this photo:
The major prize was an excellent tent, some top of the line camp chairs, and a bunch of really great gear from OzTrail.
Not being ungrateful in the least, but recognising that we actually would not use just about anything from the prize, we very humbly asked OzTrail if they would consider swapping the prize pack out for a few swags, being that we had been wanting to buy all the kids a swag each for some time now, in fact, we had pretty much made our mind up on the OzTrail Lockyer and it was only a matter of saving more pennies until we bought them.
We were over the moon to be told that OzTrail were more then happy to send us out the swags instead, I really wish we had of videoed the kids reaction when we told them the news, priceless. When they arrived, we set them up, in their bedrooms, and they slept in them for a week!
Very Happy kids!
The kids were able to put them up themselves
We had to get creative about how to tie them up being Mum wouldnt let us hammer pegs into the floor…. party pooper
Even Lexi was very keen to sleep in hers
Jack was relegated to the Play Room.
Now at this point I will point out that this is not a “paid mommy blogger advert” we won the competition fair and square, and we have no obligation to OzTrail to write this review, but, as with all our other “reviews”, these swags most definitely make our “Standout” list of great camping gear so here you go.
If you are reading this there is a good chance you have been searching for a swag, and will know that there are literally 100’s of different types on the market. Matt still believes that his swag is the best design and that “kids these days need to toughen up”. Matt’s swag of course, is an old piece of canvas, barely stitched into any cohesive shape, with a smelly 1cm thick “mattress” and an old leather belt. Matt still to this day uses his swag on every Scout camp (he received it for his 14th Birthday) and he always has a smile on his face as others are still setting up their tents 30mins after he has “rolled out”.
But for whatever reason, we just can’t imagine our little darlings in a swag like that, with out a fully enclosed, midge proof cocoon and sprung poles to keep the canvas off your head.
We see a lot of kids bring swags on scout camps, some of which require BOTH parents to carry and set up, as well as a trailer or roof rack to take it home again. We have seen ones that need up to 6, yes, 6 poles (there are only 2 poles in a basic tent!) and we have seen what works in the wet and what doesn’t.
So armed with all of these experiences, we knew what we wanted;
- Enclosed dome style swag
- Midge proof screen with full zippered windows (not velcro or buttons)
- Heavy duty, Waterproof base
- no more then 2 poles
- Compact and light, but still suitable for when the kids are 36yr old Scout leaders
The OzTrail Lockyer nailed every criteria, it is only 5 kg total weight, and completely manageable even for Lexi at 7 years of age. There are a few little extras that OZTrail has done well on these swags as well, things that are not in the glossy brochure. The windows are able to be zipped up from the inside, there are little “awnings” over the windows so even if it is raining you can still have the windows half open (it gets very sweaty in a swag all zipped up), there is a little pocket on the inside for keys/wallet/phone etc, there are little weather flaps over the zips to assist in waterproofing (in big winds) and then there are the straps to roll it up with. They have plenty of extra length, handy if you want to roll up a fully made bed, in winter, with some serious bed linen, they also have the 2 x D ring system, bullet proof in our experience, also very easy for kids to use as it doesn’t require great tactile ability, the straps are also stitched into the swag so they cannot be lost, oh, and there are 2 of them, not just the one that ends up just putting the mattress out of shape down the middle, and often doesn’t properly secure the edges of the swag securely. I once saw a swag on a roof rack of a Landcruiser Ute loaded with pigging gear hurtling down the road with half its linen flapping about the sides. He probably thought his rig looked tough, little did he know it looked like Pricilla Queen of the Desert.
As with all products, nothing is perfect, here are a few things we would change if we could;
- Upgrade the mattress, fine for the kids now, but as they get bigger, they might want a bit more padding (then again, Matt still sleeps fine in his swag, with original foam mattress)
- Have some sort of “ridge bar” that would click into poles at the head and toes that would then negate the need to peg out the rope from the head and toes poles so the dome would essentially be dress standing. I believe the ARB swags have this.
- Move the little pocket up higher, as someone who wears glasses, having the pocket down low I was worried about rolling on my glasses in the night.
Otherwise these really are a very good, no nonsense swag that your kids will be able to handle themselves, and you won’t need a trailer to fit it.
Personally, we put the swags (flat, unrolled) on top of the camper tent once it is all folded up, but before we put the cover on. This way if the swags are a bit dirty it doesn’t matter, and they don’t take up additional space anywhere.
Thanks so much again OzTrail for the terrific prize!
Love From The Fealy Family xoxo