How An Australian Charity's Swag Is Fighting Homelessness

As many as 15,000 people sleep on Australia's streets each night, subjected to violence, harassment, and the elements. That's 15,000 too many for Tony Clark's tastes. So his charity, Swags for Homeless, hands out these ingeniously integrated tent-mattresses called the Backpack Bed.

The Backpack Bed is constructed of lightweight, fire-retardant, weatherproof, mildew-repelling UltTrex Lite fabric surrounding a 6-foot 2-inch insulated foam mattress. The floor covering is extendable and the cover can be tied up to create an outdoor shelter as well. The entire assembly weighs only about 4kg (roughly half of what traditional canvas swags weigh) and rolls back into itself for storage its integrated backpack.

The Backpack Bed won the German 2011 Red Dot "Best of the Best" award—one of the most prestigious accolades in the product design world. They retail for $US68 on the Swags for Homeless website with proceeds going to help the homeless.

[Swags for Homeless via The Awesomer]



    I remember the lass who designed these on ABC's New Inventors a couple of years ago! She was doing it for charity back then, so I'm assuming she still does! Definitely a big lifesaver for people who got swept under the carpet! #}

      Think that may have been street swags (different charity)

    Just so that there are no misunderstandings, the homeless model for 68 dollars at the website is purchased FOR homeless people. You buy it, they get it. The 199 dollar version is the one that you can purchase and get shipped to you.

      Good point Andy, I actually wasn't even thinking about the commercial product, but it sounds like it's cheaper than a swag!

    I'll be getting two of these (one for them this month and one for me next month, after I get paid again). Great idea, always hated the bulk of swags despite their obvious positives.

    If I'm homeless and someone get me one of this, I will sell it off and get the $68 (or prob $200). Can't sleep with empty stomach anyway.

      It's a good thing that you're not homeless then isn't it?

    Cool idea, but seems more designed for hikers and campers than hobos. In case people haven't noticed, they tend to live under shelter and usually in corners and rather warm inner-city nooks and crannies. In this sense, it's really no better than the sleeping bag + clothes pillows most seem to have now.

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