Swag Review: Pat Callinan’s 4X4 Adventures

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The Romance of the Swag – Sam Purcell

Coming from Tawonga, a 300-strong town in the foothills of northern Victoria’s alpine region, Hal Saul is the man behind Saul Swags. Running since 1957, Saul Swags has become a bit of an institution amongst swag aficionados.

The reasons why are quite obvious, when you look at the swag. First of all, it looks great. The brass buckles and leather straps are simple and quality. I was worried that the very traditional style of the straps would be a little bit impractical, but I quickly got the hang of it.

The canvas on the Saul seems to be the most ‘fit for purpose’ for a swag; it’s not the thickest or heaviest, but it feels tough and robust. It’s an Australian-sourced canvas (Dynaproofed from Wax Converters Textiles), 12 ounces in weight and manufactured to Saul’s specifications.

In terms of use, the Saul swag is a very traditional style. There’s a pocket inside that could fit your mattress, bedding and yourself if you want to stay as toasty as possible; or you can sleep on top of that, under another flap of canvas that is stitched down one side and has metal ‘O’-ring buckles on the other side.

Both setups leave your head free – but a big flap comes from over the top, waterproofing the whole affair even in heavy rain. This means there will be canvas right on top of you, so you’ll have to consider whether you’re happy with that or not. It is big enough to rig up off yourself if you want to do that.

What we liked: Superb overall quality and simplicity

What we disliked: Not much, really!

But when it all boils down, my favourite would be the swag from Hal Saul… it is beautifully made and expertly executed, offering a simple, practical and effective place for a night’s sleep.


Sam Purcell

Pat Callinan’s 4×4 Adventure Magazine Issue 13

Pat Callinan Saul Swags


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