Its rare anymore that people go out of their way to make something as tough as they can, regardless of the cost.
I know the Australian Outback is an unforgiving place; rocky crags, Tasmanian devil’s, Foster’s beer – just some of the inhospitable conditions there. So anything that lives in that environment is going to have to be built to contend with it, and the Outback Swags Pioneer tent is more than able.
But what is a swag? Well it has nothing to do with Old Spice. The term comes from good ol’ Australia before the advent of motorized vehicles. Swag’s were carried by men who traveled from town to town looking for work. Here in the US, we called these Hobo’s and they traveled our expansive land by hitching a ride on a passing train. The swag was simply a canvas bedroll that the owner would roll up with their belongings and carry with them. Eventually, these men were named ‘swagmen” because they had a ton of swagger and their beards were bitching.
So the Swags design has been around for a while in Oz, but for 2016 Outback Swags are being imported into the states to fill the empty market of unreasonably overbuilt tents. Now, I’m sure you’re all thinking that this is just the same high tech fabrics that everyone else uses, but a little thicker, maybe some extra gussets. This isn’t your grandpa’s tent.
No, not even close. Constructed of 14oz 400 denier rip-stop canvas sail cloth, that has been fully waterproofed and windproofed in the manufacturing process – this thing might as well be a brick shit house. The designers even went the extra mile, on top of the ones they already went, and added things like double row stitching, oversized metal YKK zippers, double layer cloth, and best of all; double PVC coating on the bucket bottom to ensure that your happy ass is, well, happy. Outback Swags really knocked it out of the park with thoughtful design. Brass eyelets and the extensive use of Australia’s greatest contribution to the planet, Aluminum (sorry, Paul Hogan) and generous overlays to keep zippers out of the elements is just some of the features available.
The cocoon design lends itself well to keeping body heat trapped in, and efficiently using its thermal properties to keep you warm on cool nights. On hot nights, the roof peels back with a simple flick of a zipper to expose the mesh underneath, to let the cool breeze roll in and gaze as the nights sky as you drift off to #campvibes nirvana.
The single man Pioneer tent is has generous space on the inside for the use of full size sleeping bags instead of a mummy – or if you’re feeling adventurous, plenty of room for your fuzzy 4 legged companion. Also included with the tent is a 2” dense foam mattress that easily folds up in the center of the tent body to be stored in its convenient carry bag. Redundancy is everywhere, even if you were to somehow break the aluminum (read: no plastic on this sucker) tension poles, there are provisions on the tent to be secured to anything you can find that’s upright (read: tree) with some simple 550 paracord. There really isn’t anything that Outback Swag’s didn’t think of when making this tent, except for one thing: size.
When I think of a one-man tent, I am thinking pretty small. That is unfortunately not the case when you include the mattress, and literally the only thing I can fault on its design. It is so over built, so heavily constructed that is large and decently heavy. The tent weighs in at an impressive 20 pounds and when secured in its duffle (mattress included), is the size of a full size duffle bag. SO its definitely not something you take with you on your backpacking or cycling trips, its one that travels with your equally overbuilt off-road, badass truck.
It should be noted, however; if you were to exclude the included mattress pad when packing/breaking down and source an compact backpacking style mattress, the tent's collapsed size shrinks significantly and weighs in at just over a very reasonable 10 pounds.
In the end, I loved this tent and its entry price of $299.99 is absolutely reasonable when you consider the construction and the fact that this truly is a lifetime purchase. The included mattress is superbly comfortable, the construction is outrageous, the quality is impeccable and I cant for a second figure out why it took this long for these to end up in the states anyway. Thanks to the Outback Swags team for including us on their market entry and best of luck to them with their tents – it is truly a unique and incredible product that is worthy of years and years of honorable service.
- Heavy duty and Waterproof 400GSM Rip-stop canvas
- 7' x 3' floor size, with 31" head clearance
- PVC vinyl floor with bathtub construction
- 5/16" Aluminum 3 pole system
- 2 inch egg-crate style foam mattress with washable cover
- Durable fly mesh layer and head flap for ventilation
- Head flap opening for alternative access
- PVC vinyl shoe mat
- 2x guy ropes and 8x pegs
- Four compartment storage pocket
- 20lbs including mattress
- Bonus canvas carry bag