OZtrail Easy Fold 1 Person Stretcher Tent: Tested
Here at Australian Geographic Adventure, we encourage time in the wild, no matter your ilk, whether you’re a glamper with a feather quilt and bottle of bubbles or a super-light trekker with a sleeping bag and crushed pack of dehydrated Moroccan lamb (yummy!). Waking from a cozy sleep to the rustling of birds tweeting alongside your bed and an uninterrupted view of a perfect sunrise is an antidote to the psychological cacophony of modern-day life, but a bivouac on the ground is not everybody’s idea of a good time and disassembling a wet tent is a nightmare.
Fortunately, mother nature does not demand swag-sleepers or instant coffee addicts only, but rather rewards anybody with a willingness to spend a night under the stars. Somewhere in between the simplicity of a swag and comfort of a tent lies the OZtrail Easy Fold 1 Person Stretcher Tent, a halfway ground between luxury and laziness, and we kind of love it.
The OZtrail Easy Fold 1 Person Stretcher Tent is an easy-to-use one-person, three-season stretcher tent for car camping. The packed unit is no ‘lightweight’ with its powder-coated steel frame making up much of the 12.91kg weight, however the unit folds down to a tidy 103cm L x 21cm W x 21cm H. Upon opening into ‘sleep mode’ the stretcher unfolds to a 200cm L x 80cm W and the heavy-duty polyester stretcher-bed sits 45cm off the ground, offering a maximum weight-rating of 150kg.
The steel tent frame self-erects and expands via two extendable poles to deliver an internal head-roof-height of 80 cm with 35cm at the feet, with four handy pockets at the head. Tent material is a combination of Ultra Fine No-See-Um Mesh and UV-protected polyester fabric providing copious ventilation, whilst waterproofing is delivered via a UVTex™ Sun Tough Fly sheet with Dryseam factory taped seams. Prices vary online with an RRP of $330 and the item also comes with a two-year manufacturing warranty.
In the field
There is no doubt the OZtrail Easy Fold 1 Person Stretcher Tent is a car-camper’s delight but no weight-weenie’s cup-of-tea. The set-up is, put simply, a lazy-person’s bed and tent all-in-one, and we love it. It finds the halfway ground between a swag and tent and provides a simple, easy to use, rapid all-in-one shelter and bed that can be assembled in under one-minute and disassembled nearly as quickly. At 12.91kg it is a reasonably hefty unit to lug around but realistically most users are unlikely to carry it more than a few hundred meters to camp. The killer-feature of the design is the simplicity and ease of use.
Upon finding a level piece of ground, just unzip the carry bag, lay the unit on its side and unfold it. As you open the stretcher, the tent self-erects and two extension-poles with push-button locks finish off the setup. The fly sheet drapes easily over the top of the frame, if you remember to unzip the door, and is secured by four clips to the stretcher base. Two further poles and guy lines can be used to support an awning, and a guy line at the base tensions a foot vent. The spacious gap between fly sheet and inner along with large mesh panels helps eliminate condensation build-up and isn’t an issue if the fly is vented well.
We found the stretcher to be comfortable and ideal for warm weather camping, however a lack of under-body-insulation means a camp-mattress is advised for cold weather camping. The internal dimensions are spacious enough to sit up and however my 188cm frame was rather snug head-to-toe when I stretched out to sleep and the 35cm foot-height doesn’t leave much room to spare. It was ‘happy days’ for my 160cm girlfriend who loved the bonus of being ‘off the ground’ and was a fan of the well-placed internal pockets for book, phone, head-torch, etc. The only real niggles were small; the fly sheet attachment could do with a re-think to retain tension when doors are unzipped, and maybe a tiny bit more length or a smidge more foot-space, or a couple of peg options for the feet might be a good idea for windy days, but these are personal preferences over any design fault. Additionally, we are never a fan of cheap pegs that tend to bend at the slightest suggestion of solid-earth, but we accept they are a bearable nuisance for a shelter at this price-point.
The final word on the OZtrail Easy Fold 1 Person Stretcher Tent
The OZtrail Easy Fold 1 Person Stretcher Tent is a great all in one tent and shelter solution for those who prefer to spend time enjoying nature rather than setting up elaborate camps (there is a BlockOut version, plus a two-person model, too. See here). It is a great solution for solo car campers and a great alternative to a swag for those who prefer to get ‘off the ground’. Whilst it cannot be rolled up as an all-in-one solution like a swag, the Easy Fold 1P Stretcher Tent is far simpler (and might I suggest comfier) than many one- or two-person tents and should be on the radar for anybody who likes the idea of a sub one-minute bed and tent set-up.
RRP: $330 See OZtrail for more info on this and all the brand’s extensive range of camping and outdoor gear.