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Sarvo Alpine

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  • 1 Post By Shelley

Thread: Swag review and stretcher ARB

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Swag review and stretcher ARB

    Could not be arsed sticking up photos as they are a bunch on the web that will be better than mine would be, just the facts and thoughts.

    I was wondering about a swag as the kids are bigger now and want their own tent, so last time I has to sleep in a hammock - not bad but if I go anywhere without trees or tie ups I have to out the hammock on the ground and tie the fly to a few sticks, not great, I did not want to get another tent, and I was curious.

    I looked at the kings ones, but if yiu jump on the tube there are so many ďhow to fix your swagĒ vids that I was put off, good price though, may get one for the kids if I like them.

    I wanted either a darche or a ARB as they seemed to be good but not mortgage worthy, I did not want to buy blind and after a little searching I found the ARB version five minutes drive from home, one was set up in the shop, had a look and deal done.
    As I was picking it up I saw the easy fold stretcher, that the swag can sit on and snagged that too.

    I have had a chance to use it a little now, not in thunderstorms or snow but in normal conditions and it seems fine, so here are my initial thoughts:

    The bad is that they are big and heavy. The stretcher weighs 13 kg and the swag weighs 8kg add your sleeping bag and you are packing a huge amount of both weight and bulk, this is not anything you want to carry anywhere by shanks mare.
    However tossed in a truck, car, boat, lashed to a motorbike all good.

    The stretcher is way different to my old metal and canvas ones that seems to have gone walkabouts, those ones took forever to put together and could double as boat anchors, this one is heavy too, but takes about 10 seconds to set up and even less to fold away, in fact it takes more time out put it back in the included zip up bag than it takes to assemble or disassemble the stretcher, length is a tad over 2 metres lone and about 85 cm wide, once set up it sits a tad under half a metre high and will support 150 kg.

    It also comes with what must be an Aussie thing, a boot bag, this straps on to the side and is a fully sealable and waterproof insulated bag with space for water bottles on the side, I suppose it keeps the swag clean, but I think itís main purpose is to keep spiders out of your boots, it does hold a six pack of macs and keeps the cool so Iím happy.
    It sits flat, is well supported and is very comfortable, your swag goes on top and ties onto it so it does not blow off in the wind. You could easily use it in a tent too, I like it.

    The swag. The bad is that it does not come with a bag, I might buy one if I decide to keep this, but thatís a quite pricey, itís good, full sealed, with carry and tie down straps, designed to fully protect your swag whilst itís tied into the roof rack of your hilux...should come with the swag in my opinion, it does come with built in straps though and a carry handle though.
    Set up is quick, you undo the straps unroll and put up the included 5 poles, three are hoops and two are roof stretchers, this is quick and easy, I did it in the dark once and itís not a problem with a head torch. It also comes with pegs, if you want them, maybe if it was very windy or you wanted to peg open the vents.
    You can just plop it in the ground, or toss it on the stretcher.
    Itís got a very waterproof bottom and sides up to 70mm, which is the height of the included foam mattress. Yup 70 mm, very comfortable, although it does add to the weight, I see some people swap it out for an air mattress, might look at that one day too. The mattress has a removable cover, but I use a sleeping bag, might look at a cooler option on the summer.

    The materials, heavy canvas, mosquito mesh and big zips, poles, pegs and rope are all top notch, no complaints or modifications needed.
    There are masses of little pockets and attachments for hanging your keys, head torch water bottle, hat phone, whatever that it makes the inside very tidy.
    There are two full closable vents, one at the foot, which is small, one one at the head, which is big, these can be fully opened, partly opened or fully closed off, depending on weather conditions.

    There is one other massive vent over your leg area on the roof, again it can be closed off, opened with mosquito netting or completely open to the elements.
    At the main entrance there are two doors one on the right takes up 60 percent of the space, big and easy to get in and out of, the second on the left takes up about 35 percent, but is also big and easy to get in and out of.

    Inside itís 90 cm wide, 2.2 m long and is high enough that you can sit up without banging your head. Itís definitely a one person swag though, I mean you could accommodate two if you were particularly friendly...but for one itís perfect, fits you, your pack and rifle with no problems, or you and your riding gear if your are on a motorcycle.

    The thing I noticed that is different to a tent, besides the luxurious mattress, is the darkness with everything closed, it completely blocks out the night moon and any campfire glow, the dawn goes unnoticed, very different to my tent, also itís warm, the canvas traps heat and the whole system gets pretty warm unless you open up at least one of the vents, although I have found you can just open the outside vents but not fold anything back to let in a little air flow.
    On the door there are grommets to you can tie up to create a covered entrance, although I would be a tad nervous cooking under it.

    So is it a keeper, would I recommend it?
    Not enough time to tell yet, itís certainly a good, well thought out and very comfortable system, but it does take up a huge amount of space and weighs a ton, not for tramping thatís for sure.
    Tikka7mm08 likes this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    in the middle of the bottom of the south
    nice review,
    we used to use swags all the time back in oz, always out of a car tho.

  3. #3
    Member GSP HUNTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Good review. We have been running a big daddy adventure kings swag truck based mission now for 3 trips and rate the whole swag convenience and comfort experience. There's alot to like.



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