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Grenadier



Member Since: 23 Jul 2014
Location: The foot of Mont Blanc...
Posts: 5201

France 2011 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 DCPU Corris Grey
Aussie Swags - Anyone used one in UK/EU? Thoughts?

Looking at updating my camping set up for 2021. To date I still use a cot or hammock, with suitable bedding (sleeping bag and/or bivvie bag and/or liner) covered where and when required by a basha. I prefer open air sleeping. Mrs Grenadier not so much. So I’ve been looking at shelters, including rooftop tent (Roofnest Falcon is my current #1 - https://roofnest.com/product/falcon/), dome tents, (anything Vango-like), tagalong tents for awnings (great reviews on the new Rhino Rack 270 Batwing https://www.rhinorack.com/en-us/products/s...t-_33100), and I’ve come across Aussie swags.

https://queenslandcamping.com.au/the-best-swag-australia/

https://luxerover.com.au/best-swags/

I love the concept, love the size, love that they’re super quick to set up and freestanding, and love that everything packs away inside, (including bedding and mattress), when done. But I’m worried about the canvas and it being used in Europe when rain is much more likely, therefore harder to pack and dry, perhaps even losing waterproofing during a trip. Also struggling with whether to get a proper one-man swag like the Crashpad King with cot,

https://crashpadgear.com.au/collections/sw...swag-blaze

Or what Aussies refer to as a Swent, Swag-tent, such as the Darche Nebula,

https://darche.com.au/nebula-1550

One possible option is the Batwing with side walls, and then a single swag on cot inside.

Anyone used one in Europe? Thoughts? Brands? Thumbs Up Monsieur Le Grenadier

I've not been everywhere, but it's on my list.....

2011 Puma 110DC - Corris Grey

Post #883730 7th Feb 2021 11:41am
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Bluest



Member Since: 23 Apr 2016
Location: Lancashire
Posts: 2889

United Kingdom 2007 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 XS CSW Java Black

I’d be worried about condensation on the inside if it’s cool out. Even a big single skin tent like an OZtent RV5 can suffer, so I’d imagine a small space like that could get pretty bad unless you always have it fully vented. 2007 110 TDCi Station Wagon XS

Post #883755 7th Feb 2021 12:49pm
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Grenadier



Member Since: 23 Jul 2014
Location: The foot of Mont Blanc...
Posts: 5201

France 2011 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 DCPU Corris Grey

Agreed, that was a concern for Europe, but they seem to be very well thought out and as long as you spend the proper cash, they can be peppered with ventilation. To be honest, most usage would be hot weather/southern Europe. Concern was about occasional down pours or trips to Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. Likelihood is that I'd have it under a supplementary tarp anyway. Monsieur Le Grenadier

I've not been everywhere, but it's on my list.....

2011 Puma 110DC - Corris Grey

Post #883831 7th Feb 2021 7:29pm
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Tribord



Member Since: 20 Apr 2013
Location: France
Posts: 201

France 2011 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 XS DCPU Zermatt Silver

“Updating my camping setup” is something I continually seem to re-evaluate. I was always looking for the perfect set-up but came to the conclusion I preferred (note not necessarily needed) different types of set-ups for different trips (if not just for a bit of variety). The best compromise I found was the original Brownchurch roof tent - so light and small when packed it didn’t ever get in the way with all the other uses for a roof rack all year round. Unfortunately, mine is now beyond repair and they have been out of production for many years.

https://www.defender2.net/gallery/displayi...amp;pos=17
https://www.defender2.net/gallery/displayi...amp;pos=19


Modern roof tents in my opinion are far too heavy, large, expensive and over-engineered unless you are spending lots and lots of time in them and do not need to use the roof for other things.

I have a swag I brought over from Australia - great to use over there in the bush when you roll open in the back of the ute and fall asleep under the stars. However, I was not successful in recreating that positive experience in Europe. Firstly the DC bed is not nearly long enough to use! It also needs to be restricted to ‘car camping’ as it is too bulky and heavy for anything else. I did use it at Le Mans one year where I don’t tend to sleep much - moved it from the ground onto the roof rack to escape the damp/muddy conditions, but was still miserable. A bivvy bag would have been better, a tent better still! I ended up cutting out the bottom and using as a boat tent for a sailing canoe as it is the perfect fit - and is generally only used in favourable conditions.

I have a side awning permanently attached to the roof rack, with sides that zip on to form a tent. This option is quite good assuming you have a suitable place (e.g. not at the side of a road!) and it means you can quite quickly erect and get a couple of large cot beds in there for comfort, with full standing room.

I bought an RV-4 about 7 years ago, mainly because of all the positive reviews on this site. It is quite a nice bit of kit, but the stored footprint can be awkward for some, isn’t all that quick to erect when using the various guys, and seems to be not as big inside as you would imagine. Also, not cheap. Doesn’t get used much these days. Where more accommodation is required I tend to use an old canvas TiPi, which has been brilliant over the years and rock solid.

For trips where I want to take the kitchen sink, I take the offload camping trailer, which is brilliant and luxurious in comparison to normal camping, but that also obviously involves the practical disadvantages of taking a trailer with you!

I also like hammocks (and you can use the Def as an anchor point). Seduced by the website photos I bought a Tentsile - waste of time as you can hardly ever find 3 trees in the right place (unless you stay I a forest), are not as comfortable as a hammock, and don’t even think of using the Def as an anchor point (far too much strain). They are also quite bulky for what they are.

For the odd night away, with very little of no advance planning, I will generally take either the awning attachments or trekking tent (I have an old lightweight North Face that I use mostly for bike packing trips these days). If I had a 110 SW or hardtop, and alone or with just one other person, I would sleep inside, but unfortunately that is the one disadvantage I find with a DC - and I have had a few nights inside, in various positions, but generally always uncomfortable Sad

If you do find the magic answer, please let me know!

Post #883923 8th Feb 2021 1:41pm
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Grenadier



Member Since: 23 Jul 2014
Location: The foot of Mont Blanc...
Posts: 5201

France 2011 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 DCPU Corris Grey

I’ve just found the magic answer; yours!! Exactly what I needed to know, and also being a DC owner, very similar thinking.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll need two set ups minimum. At a personal level I’m very much about ‘light role’ camping. Bivvie bag on the ground, or cot if muddy, plus basha cover strapped along the hip of the Def, wing mirror to rear of the tub. Hammock is always an option but I’m not a great sleeper in a cocoon shape. But I do have one for camp chilling. Interesting what you say about the tentsile option. It was one I was considering as I thought I could lash it to the roll cage. But I was concerned with general practicality. So I think that’s out. So bivvie will remain the go-to above and beyond a Swag.

I’ll certainly get an awning for comfier camping with Mrs Grenadier (indeed even when camping light role) just to chill under. So then it’s about where to sleep. That was the reason for the question about the Swag, likely two each set up on a cot. They can be set up in a shelter and left. But a tent inside a tent never felt quite right.

Alternative therefore is the Roof tent, but I’m obsessed about it being low profile and rigid, hence the Roofnest Falcon. But I’m also concerned about extra weight (I’ll be adding a roll cage as well). I agree with your thoughts about modern tents. Certainly don’t want fabric, box shaped, heavy 4-person thing. We have no kids, so the Falcon would be a quick, two person set up. And light and low profile for ease of use and mpg. The Falcon is the lightest, lowest, easiest for two that I can find. As it’s aluminium you can also lash things to the top. And with a 600sqm barn I’ve got enough space to store it when not in use.


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Other option would be a tagalong or stand alone tent so that the tent can be set up and then left in situ and the awning can be closed down and we can drive off.

But, as you rightly point out, what to do if pitching up without usable space or late at night? That’s certainly an advantage of the Roofnest. Set up or close down in 60 secs. Pitch anywhere. Drive off easily.

Certainly solo (or with mates) camping options are far simpler. But with Mrs Grenadier (this will be new to her) or for extended base camp locations, I’m still struggling. Awning and Roofnest probably.

Almost too many choices. Monsieur Le Grenadier

I've not been everywhere, but it's on my list.....

2011 Puma 110DC - Corris Grey

Post #883934 8th Feb 2021 2:36pm
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Julie



Member Since: 07 Oct 2017
Location: Nantes
Posts: 294

France 2012 Defender 110 Puma 2.2 SW Keswick Green

In this case the Autohome Overzone could be an option.
It unites awning and roofnest and swag.
On the roof it is well protected from the wet and the cold

It takes 2 minutes to have it ready for sleep. You'll find everything you need inside. Even your pyjama

And its biggest advantage : you cannot look inside if somebody opens the zip = 100% privacy on camping sites.

Its entrance is through its floor Wink

Post #887592 24th Feb 2021 10:55pm
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Julie



Member Since: 07 Oct 2017
Location: Nantes
Posts: 294

France 2012 Defender 110 Puma 2.2 SW Keswick Green


Click image to enlarge




Click image to enlarge

Post #887605 24th Feb 2021 11:42pm
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BykerPete



Member Since: 02 Feb 2015
Location: Midlands
Posts: 142

United Kingdom 2014 Defender 90 Puma 2.2 HT Fuji White
Swent

Have you thought of an Oztent Bunker. Erects in 2 minutes. Can be used under cover or alongside the vehicle. Loads of ventilation, and the fly can be left off so you sleep inside the mozzie net in warm weather.

I’ve had one for a few years. Hasn’t let me down at all. Heavy and bulky when packed but it’s an off the ground bed with a tent built in. And plenty of room underneath for boots, beers, snacks etc.
https://www.oztent.co.uk/acatalog/oztent-bunker-151.html Drink Coffee, Talk to Strangers and Take Photos.

Post #889408 6th Mar 2021 11:52am
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Grenadier



Member Since: 23 Jul 2014
Location: The foot of Mont Blanc...
Posts: 5201

France 2011 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 DCPU Corris Grey

Thanks BykerPete. Yup, looked at that amongst many. It occurred to me after this chat that one of the things that puts me off all the swags is price. Given my Basha/bivvie bag combo with either hammock or cot (or ground) works perfectly well for just me, 300€+ for what is essentially a one person tent, doesn't seem to make sense. Either Mrs Grenadier needs to buck up her ideas, come camping and I get a proper roof tent, or I stay with what I have and the 300€ can go on beer and pizza. Thumbs Up Monsieur Le Grenadier

I've not been everywhere, but it's on my list.....

2011 Puma 110DC - Corris Grey

Post #889583 7th Mar 2021 9:15am
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BykerPete



Member Since: 02 Feb 2015
Location: Midlands
Posts: 142

United Kingdom 2014 Defender 90 Puma 2.2 HT Fuji White
Beer and Pizza

Beer and Pizza is undoubtedly the way forward and the nest solution by a mile. Go for it. 🍺🍺🍺 Drink Coffee, Talk to Strangers and Take Photos.

Post #889600 7th Mar 2021 10:42am
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jst



Member Since: 14 Jan 2008
Location: Taunton
Posts: 7042

2011 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 USW Stornoway Grey

i have this as an ongoing thought process.

For our off road camping weekends in winter i use a bivvy bag with sleeping bag under a foxwing, or an Ultra Quasar tent. for these weekends its just me. For summer off roading weekends the roof tent is on the truck so i use that. its usually taken off in the winter.

For family weekends which turn into ten days when out of covid i have a maggi roof tent for the misses and I, children sleep in a JV Signature zipped into the fox wing.

Recently (3years ago) added a JV jet tent to the family setup - makes a nice dinning room and ideal when your away for 10 days or so and vehicles isn't moving.

Issue with OZ Tent stuff is its bloody ££££ and it all takes up loads of room for transportation. It is good though and waterproof and for me stands the test of time. Awning must be 10years old now and used a fair amount. Setup time is quick and workable if doing a few nights.

i would choose a roof tent over an RV/Jet tent style tent for single nights on a road trip.

if just me i would chooses a bivvy bag under a poncho for single night camping trips off road.

i don't think there is one answer for all.

i currently have

bivvy bag option with/without poncho/foxwing
Jet tent standalone or zipped in
JV tent standalone or zipped in
Ultra Quasar ground tents
Maggi Roof tent.
Hammock

it just depends on how many and for how long.

the whole lot takes a fair bit of room!


Click image to enlarge
 Cheers

James
110 XS Utility
130 Puma Station wagon/camper (in the making)
90 Puma Hardtop

Post #889606 7th Mar 2021 11:29am
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Grenadier



Member Since: 23 Jul 2014
Location: The foot of Mont Blanc...
Posts: 5201

France 2011 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 DCPU Corris Grey

That is an epic set up JST Bow down Monsieur Le Grenadier

I've not been everywhere, but it's on my list.....

2011 Puma 110DC - Corris Grey

Post #889612 7th Mar 2021 12:32pm
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Tribord



Member Since: 20 Apr 2013
Location: France
Posts: 201

France 2011 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 XS DCPU Zermatt Silver
Re: Swent

BykerPete wrote:
Have you thought of an Oztent Bunker. Erects in 2 minutes. Can be used under cover or alongside the vehicle. Loads of ventilation, and the fly can be left off so you sleep inside the mozzie net in warm weather.

I’ve had one for a few years. Hasn’t let me down at all. Heavy and bulky when packed but it’s an off the ground bed with a tent built in. And plenty of room underneath for boots, beers, snacks etc.
https://www.oztent.co.uk/acatalog/oztent-bunker-151.html


Wow, that is expensive at £500!

Different materials, but there is a cheaper alternative to consider from this company in Guernsey (from £186) for anyone interested in this type of accommodation https://www.cot-tent.co.uk/index.php

Post #889621 7th Mar 2021 1:13pm
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Tribord



Member Since: 20 Apr 2013
Location: France
Posts: 201

France 2011 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 XS DCPU Zermatt Silver

New option - a lightweight roof top tent from Decathlon - https://www.quechua.fr/tente-de-toit-van500

Only 16kgs! It has been designed for vans without roof bars, but it should fit if you have a full length roof rack - I would just just need 4 holes for eyebolts on my Brownchurch.
Price is €550 including awning and ladder, available from June.


Last edited by Tribord on 5th May 2021 8:08am. Edited 1 time in total

Post #901130 3rd May 2021 7:51am
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Zed



Member Since: 07 Oct 2017
Location: In the woods
Posts: 2848

United Kingdom 2010 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 XS CSW Santorini Black

jst wrote:
i have this as an ongoing thought process.

For our off road camping weekends in winter i use a bivvy bag with sleeping bag under a foxwing, or an Ultra Quasar tent. for these weekends its just me. For summer off roading weekends the roof tent is on the truck so i use that. its usually taken off in the winter.

For family weekends which turn into ten days when out of covid i have a maggi roof tent for the misses and I, children sleep in a JV Signature zipped into the fox wing.

Recently (3years ago) added a JV jet tent to the family setup - makes a nice dinning room and ideal when your away for 10 days or so and vehicles isn't moving.

Issue with OZ Tent stuff is its bloody ££££ and it all takes up loads of room for transportation. It is good though and waterproof and for me stands the test of time. Awning must be 10years old now and used a fair amount. Setup time is quick and workable if doing a few nights.

i would choose a roof tent over an RV/Jet tent style tent for single nights on a road trip.

if just me i would chooses a bivvy bag under a poncho for single night camping trips off road.

i don't think there is one answer for all.

i currently have

bivvy bag option with/without poncho/foxwing
Jet tent standalone or zipped in
JV tent standalone or zipped in
Ultra Quasar ground tents
Maggi Roof tent.
Hammock

it just depends on how many and for how long.

the whole lot takes a fair bit of room!


Click image to enlarge


Crikey! Do you need planning permission to set that up? WARNING.
This post may contain sarcasm.

Post #901140 3rd May 2021 9:31am
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