I could tell the moment I opened the Saul Swag I was looking at something designed by a bushman.
One of the first things you notice about the swag is the simplicity of its design, two main flaps, plus one which comes out from the head, and that’s it.
At first, you may be skeptical about the way the swag is fastened – similar to plaited belts with double rings with no zippers, velcros or press studs.
Get in the swag, do it up and you know these rings are the most sensible way to secure the flaps of the swag. The variable nature of the ties and rings means you can have it all done up tight to keep the rain out but can loosen off in the warmer weather.
The mattress, which comes with the swag, was thick enough to stop you feeling any stones on the ground and wide-enough to suit the most restless sleepers.
Yet there was plenty of swag material so if you really wanted to get super comfortable, you could slip in a wider mattress relatively easily.
One fault with a lot of swags is the flap at the bottom which keeps the mattress in – this restricts the size of mattress you can use and means the end of the blanket can come out and be exposed to the weather because they can’t really be tucked into the pocket.
Enter the Saul Swag with the most ingenious design. One of the flaps is sewn for about 20cm along the length of the swag, forming a type of loose pocket, which the mattress sits in. But there’s also plenty of room in this pocket for your doona and your feet as well without feeling you are being strapped in like an Egyptian mummy.
The head flap is also a good idea. Anyone who has attended a bush party and enjoyed sleeping in a swag under the stars knows how awful it is to be woken up for the 5am sunrise with the sun burning in your eyes.
The flap on the end of the Saul Swag is plenty long enough to be strung up on two sticks, one on either side of the head of the swag to provide a mini-tent but with ventilation. This can also be handy in the rain where this system would allow you to get a good rest in a swag even if it were pouring.
There’s only one problem with this swag when I compared it to the many versions my friends have. All of them want to swap theirs for mine and I’m not sure I can maintain the 24-hour watch I’ve got on it now.
The swags are available through mail orders, with further information from Saul, Mountain Creek Road, Tawonga, Victoria 3697. Phone: 0428 578 579