Do Ripstop canvas swags have enough cotton?

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 19:07
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Hi all,
I am trying to buy my first swag and am unsure of the correct material to get. The only advice I have received is from a friend who lives up around Gladstone who told me that if I want to use a swag up in the northern parts of Oz, I have to get a 100% cotton swag and that the Ripstop canvas doesn't cut it. I will occasionally be going up to the northern parts (Darwin, Cairns etc) although mainly around SA. It seems the majority of swags use Ripstop canvas which I believe is a poly/cotton blend. Are these alright to use up north? Or is my mate correct and they just won't "breathe" enough and I'll have horrible nights?

I am looking at OzTrail swags and I haven't seen any of theirs use 100% cotton. This suggests to me that they think the poly/cotton blend in their ripstop canvas works pretty well.

I would like to hear if you have used a ripstop poly/cotton blend swag up in northern Australia and what you thought of it.

Thanks!
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Reply By: Bigfish - Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 20:00

Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 20:00
If you are swagging anytime from September to April in the top end you will definitely not be in a swag. Way too hot and humid. The dry season in the topend sees me in my thick canvas swag and doona!!

Why not just buy a light weight canvas sheet say 3 meters square and use that as a swag. If its too hot just lay on top with a sheet over you. If its cool, just wrap yourself in it with a woollen blanket. After a season you,ll know exactly what you want and the canvas sheet you have will come in handy for camping anyway. I assume you will be camping in a smallish 2/3 man tent with plenty of ventilation but can be made waterproof quickly.

I HAVE HAD TO ALSO CAMP ON A CAMP STRETCHER AT TIMES BECAUSE THE GROUND WAS JUST TOO HOT TO SLEEP ON.
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Follow Up By: sam d47 - Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 20:48

Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 20:48
I won't be in a tent, Im getting a swag to avoid putting a tent up everyday when I am moving around.

I probably won't be up north between september and april, maybe once a blue moon. If it is ridiculously hot I could unzip the canvas and just have the mesh netting, assuming it isn't wet. Im worried though if it is hot and wet if the ripstop canvas can't breathe.

Also, if it is hot perhaps lying on the swag's mattress would be too hot. Maybe it would be better lying on something harder, that doesn't conform to my body like a soft mattress?
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Reply By: Member - Serendipity(WA) - Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 21:18

Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 21:18
I agree with Bigfish. I lived and swagged it in the NT for years. Most often I would use the swag for the comfort of a mattress and just lie on top with a mossie net over me. I wouldalso use a camp stretcher and lay the swag on that.

Yes the better swags are made from Australian canvas, heavier duty. The real test of a swag is sleeping in minus temperatures. This I have done with the family down south now.

Serendipity




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Follow Up By: sam d47 - Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 21:30

Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 21:30
What is Australian canvas? How does it differ from the ripstop canvas from OzTrail?
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Follow Up By: Member - Serendipity(WA) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 11:25

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 11:25
Hi Sam

I am not a canvas expert but I was once at a canvas maker discussing different canvas with the guy. He showed me the difference and it is clear when they are put together.

The original swags where just trucking canvas in a large square that was folded to a sleeping cover. I have one of those swags made in Northam by a canvas maker. It is just a large square but he added velcro to keep the sleeping shape together. You can see the swag in the last photo with ice over it.


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Follow Up By: sam d47 - Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 14:03

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 14:03
Are you saying that none of the Oztrail swags are worth getting because of the ripstop canvas?
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Follow Up By: Member - Serendipity(WA) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 16:48

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 16:48
Not at all. I have not owned an Oztrail so do not have a comment on them.

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Follow Up By: Member - Serendipity(WA) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 16:54

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 16:54
I found this informative website on canvas and other heavy duty fabrics.

It might help you or muddy the waters for making a choice.

http://heavydutyfabric.com/

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Reply By: mudbro2 - Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 00:42

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 00:42
In Pat Callinans 4x4 magazine, current issue No 13, he has done reviews on 6 aussie made swags and most are priced in the $300 to $400 bracket. Only 1 is made with ripstop canvas but it is thick 15 ounce. I have owned a couple of the cheap chinese made ones from the well known camping stores, which maybe a little cheaper in price but not always, but now own a southern cross swag. Southern cross is one of the most expensive on the market but after having one of their tents I know it will last a lifetime. Do yourself a favour and buy an aussie made one which may cost a bit more but you will get a much better quality swag with better comfort, and it will probably last a lifetime too. There are many more aussie made swags than just the 6 in the review, such as Candy canvas in Tintanara if your in SA.
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Follow Up By: sam d47 - Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 08:39

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 08:39
I am looking mainly at this:
http://www.raysoutdoors.com.au/online-store/products/OZtrail-Glenrowan-Swag-Single.aspx?pid=347854#Recommendations

It is 330gsm ripstop canvas. I assume it is Australian made? Would it be suitable?
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Follow Up By: mudbro2 - Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 15:20

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 15:20
Don`t assume its aussie made because it has Oz in its name. Have a look at the small boxes they come in and it should tell you where it was made. Not trying to tell you which swag to buy, its your money, but just letting you know of my experience (and dissapointment) with these swags. The last one I bought was a Roo Systems (now called Kings) double dome swag which broke the first night I went to use it, and then they told me I had to do the running around to get quotes and get it repaired, I just took it straight back for a refund. Good luck with what ever choice you make, and remember Google is your friend to look up reviews on anything you want to buy.
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Reply By: Rick (S.A.) - Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 15:00

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 15:00
For what it is worth, I have 5 different brands of swags.
The last 4 swags I bought are Oztrail Mitchell swags. Canvas quality is OK for my uses - up to 80 nights a year from Halls Creek to Flinders Ranges to Arnhem land. Mossie net is inbuilt; it has hoops which keeps the mozzie net, if sleeping on your side, clear of your hips. A good hot weather swag; also well tested by moi in the cold winter deserts.
These Oztrail swags appear to be a lighter weight canvass than some - can' t quote the gsm off the top of my head. But in real world use in the bush they can hack it. They are also significantly cheaper than some brands.
Only downside I can see is that they are wider than they need to be. This means they take up a tad more packing space.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: sam d47 - Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 22:32

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 22:32
If you are happy with your Oztrail Mitchell swag in Arnhem Land, that should be good enough for me! Perhaps the Oztrail canvas is lighter to compensate for not being pure cotton because if the ripstop...? I was told by a friend that it is good to get a swag with canvas thick enough to stay dark inside with full sun on it. Do your Oztrail swags still keep all of the sun out or is the canvas too thin?

The swag I am looking at (the Oztrail Glenrowan) has 330 gsm canvas, which is apparently equivalent to 10 oz canvas... And the Mitchell is the same.
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Reply By: River Swaggie - Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 19:26

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 19:26
A few years ago Burke n Wills swags baked there own canvas in house. Not sure if it's still the case but there quality of canvas is exceptional and there back up service if your not happy with something ..




Goodluck
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Reply By: get outmore - Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 23:26

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 23:26
Your mates full of bleep
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Reply By: desray (WA - Friday, Jan 09, 2015 at 00:14

Friday, Jan 09, 2015 at 00:14
I also have a Oztrail Mitchell swag. had it a few years now, been really good. Used it in the NT and down the Canning Stock route been rained on and frozen never leaked. It has a big mesh screen if its hot . I can see that some of the Aussie canvas is thicker but you dont really need it.
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Follow Up By: sam d47 - Friday, Jan 09, 2015 at 08:11

Friday, Jan 09, 2015 at 08:11
That's good to hear it holds up well in cooler weather. Have you used up there during the hot periods (November-March)?
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Jan 09, 2015 at 07:33

Friday, Jan 09, 2015 at 07:33
Sam,

I assume by your post that you live in SA?
We have a couple of Down Under Swags which are South Australian made.
Bought ours many years ago from Allingtons Outback who still sell them.
Make sure you buy an XL size which gives extra width.

"The Down Under swags are made of an exclusive cotton canvas material in 15oz for the top & 17oz for the base. This highly durable material is proofed, "TearCheck"TM canvas with exceptional breathability & suppleness. The base being extra strong with the canvas weave having a ‘poly’ spun thread giving it far greater tear strength."

A good quality swag with last a lifetime, so invest in a quality one to start with and you won't look back.

Bill


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