Swag or stretcher tent?

Ol' Harley

Active Member
We've used a couple of older Darche Frontier swags for a number of years now. We tend to use the swags if we're only staying a night or two and don't want to tow the camper trailer. Great for setting up under an awning next to the Triton and keeping it simple.

DarcheFrontier.JPG


We put an extra length of foam mat under the main mattress - the sort of closed cell stuff that hikers carry on their backpacks - and I can't recall ever having a bad nights sleep. That might be because I'm not getting any younger and after dinner and a cleansing ale by the fire, I'm more than ready for a kip...

I don't think they make these any more, but the single pole makes for a reasonably quick setup.
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
We've used a couple of older Darche Frontier swags for a number of years now. We tend to use the swags if we're only staying a night or two and don't want to tow the camper trailer. Great for setting up under an awning next to the Triton and keeping it simple.

View attachment 74065

We put an extra length of foam mat under the main mattress - the sort of closed cell stuff that hikers carry on their backpacks - and I can't recall ever having a bad nights sleep. That might be because I'm not getting any younger and after dinner and a cleansing ale by the fire, I'm more than ready for a kip...

I don't think they make these any more, but the single pole makes for a reasonably quick setup.
Looks great. I’ve never seen one so guessing they have indeed moved on.
One of my not negotiables was that this one had to be self supporting with no pegs or ropes and fit on a stretcher - or I’d just get a stretcher tent.
It is quite a bit bigger than my old jumbo x leg stretcher so I might be heading back for a swag specific one next.
 

Ol' Harley

Active Member
Looks great. I’ve never seen one so guessing they have indeed moved on.
One of my not negotiables was that this one had to be self supporting with no pegs or ropes and fit on a stretcher - or I’d just get a stretcher tent.
It is quite a bit bigger than my old jumbo x leg stretcher so I might be heading back for a swag specific one next.

This one only has the one pole as you can see, but it does need to be pegged out at the corners. Fortunately, I can do that in a couple of minutes without having to think about it. It's not as big as some but has plenty of ventilation and I can sit up in it with no hassle. It's lower profile means that a stiff breeze doesn't worry it. And yeah - had these for many a year.
 

Kegs1972

Active Member
I went to tentworld today to buy a stretcher tent and came home with a Darche dirty Dee. Big heavy bloody thing that takes up too much space but I like it on the stretcher and it feels bomb proof. Hosed it for a beer and a half and not a drop got through so I suppose I’d better get out and use it now.
can confirm the Dirty Dee on a stretcher is bloody comfy, we did a week at Copeton Dam over easter while waiting for our van to be built and slept so good in it, also pretty easy to get out of in the morning :)
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
can confirm the Dirty Dee on a stretcher is bloody comfy, we did a week at Copeton Dam over easter while waiting for our van to be built and slept so good in it, also pretty easy to get out of in the morning :)
That's what I want to hear. The user reviews on them are all very good so it wasn't a hard decision. Positively luxurious compared with my long suffering Ultima General purpose which was basically a hemmed sheet of canvas with a zip - no such thing as a dome swag when I bought it though.
 

BonZa

Active Member
just came back from a weekend away in the bush. I'm a tent person, the only trouble with a small tent are they are ususally made out of some sort of poly material that doesnt breath. due to the cold mine was full of wet condensation in mine. proper canvas is way better in the cold months
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
just came back from a weekend away in the bush. I'm a tent person, the only trouble with a small tent are they are ususally made out of some sort of poly material that doesnt breath. due to the cold mine was full of wet condensation in mine. proper canvas is way better in the cold months
I'm actually the complete opposite (I know, and I just bought a swag). I find single skin systems like bivvy's and swags wet out my sleeping gear much quicker if I am sleeping with my head inside in the extreme cold.
My best for condensation is the expedition hammock because of the amount of open air around me - bloody freezing though, even with an underquilt. Second best is a proper two layer tent. They usually have a decent way of keeping ventilation going in inclement weather and have the fly isolated from the mesh inner. The fly gets shockingly wet but drips to ground rather than the inner of the tent. Being the shelter of choice for mountain climbers etc has to count for something.
I am banking on the dirty dee having enough ventilation to keep my dry.
 

dusta77

Member
i have had a dirtydee 1400 for around 4-5 years. Downgrading to a 1100 so i can fit it on a stretcher . before that i had a stretcher tent and a proper canvas swag can't be beat for protection from the weather
 

LurchWA

Active Member
I have a Kamprite stretcher tent and here in WA under an awning it works great, last year while on our cape trip I got to experience it under different operating conditions and it was found badly wanting. Too much condensation, woke up wet and was bloody freezing most of the time though old mate travelling with me had an Oztrail stretcher tent and didn't have a problem.
 

mikehzz

Well-Known Member
I have a Kamprite stretcher tent and here in WA under an awning it works great, last year while on our cape trip I got to experience it under different operating conditions and it was found badly wanting. Too much condensation, woke up wet and was bloody freezing most of the time though old mate travelling with me had an Oztrail stretcher tent and didn't have a problem.
I was wondering how the Kamprite was for condensation, thanks for the update. I've used the Oztrail stretcher tent for the best part of 10 years and found that it sometimes does suffer from condensation issues under some circumstances as well. It's best used under an awning, usually no isses then. Was the Kamprite under an awning, plus did you put the fly on?
 

LurchWA

Active Member
I was wondering how the Kamprite was for condensation, thanks for the update. I've used the Oztrail stretcher tent for the best part of 10 years and found that it sometimes does suffer from condensation issues under some circumstances as well. It's best used under an awning, usually no isses then. Was the Kamprite under an awning, plus did you put the fly on?
I put the fly on once but it made the situation worse, both of us were side by side under a awning. I thought it may have just been my heavy breathing and lack of proper ventilation but it happened, to a lesser extent, without the fly. I used it on a prospecting trip with the fly some years ago and it was faultless so can only guess that it is a horses for courses type unit and it isnt suitable for quite cold temps
 

Triton14

Well-Known Member
I still have my 2 swags but just went into an RV5.
1st trip away the inside got saturated with me in it on my own, even the top of my sleeping gear was wet.
Only had one of the front vents open so next night had both vents open & same thing, next night I had the both side windows open, both front vents open, the rear windows partially open hoping that would circulate the air & stop the condensation but nope same thing, froze my ass off & still got wet.
My old canvas awning tent never suffered from that problem!

Looking for a solution...................................................other than not breathing :p
 

John U

Well-Known Member
I still have my 2 swags but just went into an RV5.
1st trip away the inside got saturated with me in it on my own, even the top of my sleeping gear was wet.
Only had one of the front vents open so next night had both vents open & same thing, next night I had the both side windows open, both front vents open, the rear windows partially open hoping that would circulate the air & stop the condensation but nope same thing, froze my ass off & still got wet.
My old canvas awning tent never suffered from that problem!

Looking for a solution...................................................other than not breathing :p
I've got a older design RV 4. I've never had this issue. I always sleep with both front vents open. Fly on sometimes, sometimes not. Rear flap doesn't have a zip at the bottom. The 2 side zips can only be zipped from the outside. It doesn't have side windows.
It sounds like your camping in really cold conditions. Maybe that's the issue?
I have never got uncomfortably cold in mine.

Maybe you are losing to much body heat in the tent which is creating the condensation.

I use a -5 mountain designs down sleeping bag, on a thermarest, on a stretcher. Depending on the conditions ill sleep in what I'm wearing.
 

Grinbot

Member
Yep, we get bad condensation with our RV5 too, with a family of four though. However, now that we always peg out the rear window (i.e. rear window completely open), open the side windows and the top vents, it is generally OK. I think we leave the front door open sometimes too.

And I'm always very careful to not bump the sealing when I get up. That could set off a waterfall.

All tents get some condensation, but the problem with the RV tents is the cross member that guides the water to fall all over you bedding.

I'm sure the fly would help, but I don't want the extra hassle, setup time or weight.
 

Triton14

Well-Known Member
It sounds like your camping in really cold conditions. Maybe that's the issue?
This trip wasnt that cold, probably -2, I con sometimes be in places that get down to -10.
I was in a -12 darche bag, admittedly I wasnt cold except for my head so wore a beany, still its not ideal that in minus temps you have to open the whole thing up & let all the outside cold in to try & balance the internal moisture level.

Yep, we get bad condensation with our RV5 too, with a family of four though. However, now that we always peg out the rear window (i.e. rear window completely open), open the side windows and the top vents, it is generally OK. I think we leave the front door open sometimes too.

And I'm always very careful to not bump the sealing when I get up. That could set off a waterfall.

All tents get some condensation, but the problem with the RV tents is the cross member that guides the water to fall all over you bedding.

I'm sure the fly would help, but I don't want the extra hassle, setup time or weight.

I get that its probably un avoidable but being 6"2 make it hard not to hit the top of the tent in most places.
I can deal with that but the issue is the amount on moisture that settles on me, the sleeping bag

When you camp out in sub zero areas its often hard to dry things out during the day, especially if its already wet outside.

Im wondering in a small dehumidifier would help, along with a bit more ventilation??
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
This trip wasnt that cold, probably -2, I con sometimes be in places that get down to -10.
I was in a -12 darche bag, admittedly I wasnt cold except for my head so wore a beany, still its not ideal that in minus temps you have to open the whole thing up & let all the outside cold in to try & balance the internal moisture level.



I get that its probably un avoidable but being 6"2 make it hard not to hit the top of the tent in most places.
I can deal with that but the issue is the amount on moisture that settles on me, the sleeping bag

When you camp out in sub zero areas its often hard to dry things out during the day, especially if its already wet outside.

Im wondering in a small dehumidifier would help, along with a bit more ventilation??

Read the above. The sleeping bag wetting out is from a different mechanism to breathing. There’s a bit to it, but if you are in a cold enough environment to wet out sleeping bags then you are a candidate for a VBL. Wish I knew this stuff on cold hunting trips years ago waking up in a soaking wet swag and sleeping bag in the middle of the night starting to get hypothermic. It doesn’t take long to go south once the process starts.
 

Triton14

Well-Known Member

Read the above. The sleeping bag wetting out is from a different mechanism to breathing. There’s a bit to it, but if you are in a cold enough environment to wet out sleeping bags then you are a candidate for a VBL. Wish I knew this stuff on cold hunting trips years ago waking up in a soaking wet swag and sleeping bag in the middle of the night starting to get hypothermic. It doesn’t take long to go south once the process starts.
I do get all that, I lived in the snowy mountains above the snow line for 14 years, skiing, hiking, mountain biking etc. But the bag is not wet on the inside, its on the outside so its doing its job. I understand I am expelling moisture @ 36*c as well that's hitting 0*c or below. I guess there is a chance that I could have been slightly over heated with more layers than needed actually trying to compensate for everything being open & that could push more moisture out through respiration & body heat.

I think its a bit of a catch 22 situation.

Thats why I thing a dehumidifier could be the answer?
 
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