There are some awesome new products out there for camping and four wheel driving.
You’ll find them all here with reviews and ratings as they come to hand …
Please note – and I cannot stress here enough that none of these reviews, ratings or wrap ups are paid for or in anyway affiliated with the companies selling them. These are simply reviews giving due credit, good or bad, on products I have bought with my own money, been given as gifts or “inherited” one way or another. No financial influence or gain is on any of these products.
Dune brand "Barwon" double swag from anaconda
I recently received, from my wonderful wife, a Dune ( Anaconda’s own brand ) “Barwon” canvas swag for Christmas and thought it deserves a review on here. My wife bought me the Barwon single swag which measures 2100L x 900W and whilst it was really good for stretching out in, I noticed on their website they had a special on
It has a 50mm foam mattress which is comfy enough for sleeping straight on and provides ample comfort, although I have thrown in an old 70mm thick Coleman foam mattress on top and it’s like heaven !
Durable 390gsm Ripstop Polycotton Canvas
Heavy Duty PVC Floor
50mm foam mattress with sewn black cotton cover
Superfine Insect Mesh
Internal organiser pocket
Heavy Duty Steel Spreader Pole
One zippered entry side with no-see um mesh and one fixed no-see um mesh side
Heavy duty high quality zippers all round
High-tensile Duralium 7001 alloy poles
Heavy duty PVC base
Both ends feature zipped canvas and no-see um mesh so can be fully closed or opened for a breeze through
2100 x 1400 x 800 mm
24 month warranty
RATING : it get’s a big 8 out of 10
* improvements - a zippered entry on both opposing sides
* maybe a slightly wider section of canvas over the zippers under the main large flap
* azippered cover on the mattress that can be easily removed for cleaning after camping in muddy situations
* and lastly a good storage bag for it, especially if purchased at the full RRP of $495 !
Side note : hats off to Anaconda too, their customer service was just brilliant. My first single swag was kind of faulty in that the zippers were too hard to do up so I returned it to their Penrith store after 5 weeks and 1 camping trip after pruchase where they swapped it no questions asked – exactly why I would always prefer to pay that tiny bit more at a counter type store than an online supa centre specialising in 4wd products where you then have to post it back, at your own cost ! As it turns out the swag was no dearer anyway than a lot of the “online supa special deals” that jump up and down in $$$ more than the Australian Stock Exchange… )
which meant I could “upgrade” from the single to a double swag for just $35 extra so with a quick call to the store, they happily told me to return it with the receipt and I could pay the difference. So I now am the proud owner of a Barwon Double swag which measures 2100L x 1400W and being that I’m a bit over 6’3 the extra length of 2100 comes in nicely. The extra width is great too as my youngest daughter likes to camp in there with me and when I’m on my own, it is fantastic for stretching right out.
Comes complete with tent pegs, front and rear fibreglass poles ( even though their website says “alloy” ), a metal adjustable spreader pole and it seems to have had an improvement made whereby it has an extra flap of canvas over the zippers which the initial one didn’t have. The initial swag I received for Christmas didn’t have the extra flap so when you loosened the top spreader bar so the zippers were easier to do up, then the rain would run in under the side flap and drip down through the zipper. With this new design, similar to the Adventure Kings, Burke & Wills etc swags and many more on the market now, the rain would actually have to run in under the wide flap and then do a reverse 180 degree turn and go in under the other side flap of material before getting even near the zipper. Well done Anaconda – took feedback on board and clearly your manufacturing partners listened. See here for a full video review.
4.5 quart Dutch camp oven from BCF
I purchased this camp oven at BCF a year back with a couple of online vouchers they sent me, it was
RATING : they get a full 10 out of 10
Featuring a good heavy thick base for better heat control from below and a good solid thick lid for helping keep the heat in and maintained, these represent excellent value in deed. They feature a good strong heavy duty handle and even come pre-seasoned although it is still recommended to do the necessary seasoning yourself – I’d rather be safe than sorry.
They have a number of accessories available too like hook handles to lift the
worth 40 odd bucks and I think I only ended up paying $20 or so making it a good buy.
Cooking in these camp ovens is THE BEST ! It can be used either on a gas cooker or with an open fire situation, the latter being my favourite way. They’re so easy to use by simply throwing your meat and vegies in there and then slow roasting over some coals or gas heat.
And it’s not just roast dinner type meals that can be cooked in these, you can do all sorts of meals including deserts in the bush. Dampers are an absolute treat done in these too, my favourite being a brocolli and garlic bread loaf. Be sure to check out the book cooking page for more info …
lids off, little trivets ( see pic on right ) for in the bottom which are great for cooking cakes, bread, roast meat etc
and even birthday cakes ! to keep ingredients up off the bottom. This stops things sticking and burning on the
base as it allows air to circulate inside similar to your oven at home.
Great quality and if you look after your camp oven with a good wash out and a little oiling up before packing it
away, you’ll have a trusty old reliable camp friend for years to come !
XTM brand side awning from BCF
I picked up for Christmas 2017 a new side awning from my local BCF store. It’s their own branded “XTM” and it’s in a 2m x 2.5m size. That is 2m along the car and 2.5m out from the vehicle when extended.
good quality 280gsm ripstop polyester fabric
heavy duty PVC waterproof storage bag
heavy duty aluminium twist lock telescopic upright & side poles with hook & loop attachments
velco attachments to help stabilise the top material in windy conditions
reinforced flexible nylon knuckles
has matching optional sidewall accessories to create a larger living area too
So my initial rating on this – very good ! We used it over the Christmas break and it kept the heat off my swag and also the 2 days of torrential rain wasn’t an issue. I put one leg down slightly lower than the other and the water ran off no problem. I will be adding a side wall to it be a tarp or one of their accessory side walls just to help keep the side rain out a little better and to also create a bit more usable living space.
It sets up super fast, under 2 minutes literally, packs up easy and stores away in a good thick solid waterproof bag. It comes as a complete kit with all necessary fitting bolts, nuts and L brackets ( some others charge etc – what tha ? ) and also has guy ropes in the bag with it. I haven’t needed the guy ropes yet as it free stands quite well on its own but handy to have nonetheless. The only mod’ I’m going to do is stick on some LED strip lighting in the front and back channel and a dimmer switch which I’ll run off our auxiliary battery.
Job done !
Great product and great value at $149 with a good bricks ‘n’ mortar store backed warranty so thanks BCF !
RATING : it get’s a big 9 out of 10
Adventure Ridge sleeping bag from Aldi
I picked up a new sleeping bag for $49.99 from Aldi late last year for our Christmas 2017 trip out to the Barrington Tops area. The 4 Wheeling In NSW official rating is out and it’s – BLOODY AWESOME !
I used it at Barrington Tops over our Christmas break in 2017 and it was unreal !
Even though we had a couple of days of really wet weather and the nights were coolish, this bag kept me ridiculously warm, almost too warm once in my Barwon Double swag. It can be unzipped down one side and across the feet area and used as a doona which works a treat too.
heavy duty and oversized for extra room
tough built 190T polyester outer shell
300gsm 3D hollow fibre fill insulation
breathable cotton check flannel lining
zippered side and feet panels
hidden inner storage pocket
generously oversized heavy duty compression storage bag
converts to a quilt when unzipped
dimensions: 225(L) x 90(W)cm
heavy duty, over-sized sleeping bag
additional side and feet panels provide an extra 95mm of space
breathable cotton check flannel lining with an additional, removable 180gsm polyester fleece liner for easy cleaning
I would happily buy another one of these tomorrow ! Camping on a budget folks, that’s what it’s all about. You’ve got to get out there and see this great country and products like this can help make it more affordable for everyone so well done Aldi !
Great product and great value at under $50 with a good bricks ‘n’ mortar store backed warranty so thanks Aldi !
RATING : it get’s a big 9.5 out of 10
Oz Eagle sleeping bag
I hunted around for some new sleeping bags before our trip away mid last year
knowing full well that Turon National Park can get very cold overnight so after
looking at a heap in stores like BIG W and KMART and even some of the bigger
better camping and fishing stores, I wasn’t really taken by any of their range.
I found most of them didn’t really provide much bang for buck so I turned to the
internet. I ended up finding some -10 or -15 degree rated good thick quality ones
on ebay for around $30 each delivered to the door so I grabbed three of them for
the wife ( who really feels the cold when camping ).
The company is called “Mudpath” and the bags themselves are labelled under the
“Oz Eagle” brand. They haven proven themselves time and time again and have
well and truly paid for themselves ten fold ! They’re thick, fluffy, warm and oh so
cozy. They have hoods built in and an internal draw string which tightens in around
the neck / chest area helping to keep all your much needed heat inside the bag. There’s even a zipper at the feet end which you can open should you get a little too hot in there and need a cool breeze. They also have a generous size storage bag. There is really no improvements needed on these bad boys. They’re just fantastic !
I’m thinking I may even replace my old bag next with one of these.
These are actually almost too warm sometimes for summer camping, especially if you’re wearing long clothes underneath…
RATING : they get a full 10 out of 10
water resistant 210T Hex ripstop polyester fibre
210T polyester inner lining
2 x 150 GSM hollow fibre filling
-10 C - 0 - 15 C temperature range
generous 220 cm x 80 cm size
grey & black colour
built in hood