Backpack Bed

The Backpack Bed by Swags for Homeless is one of the only emergency homeless shelter designs which has gone through to commercial manufacture.

Whilst the company claim that it’s received 5 international design awards I feel like its fundamentally let down by the fact it doesn’t implement any structural poles in its design which means that the user has to find a suitable place to tie the bag up, else it will just lay on top of you.


  • Compact design
  • Built in roll-mat
  • Quick setup
  • Portable
  • Multi-functional (can be used as wind-break etc)
  • Good visibility when inside
  • Doesn’t look like a ‘tent’ when packed up
  • Built in fly-net
  • Internal compartments
  • Fully Waterproof


  • Not freestanding
  • Lack of structural supports
  • Stability issues in high winds
  • Exposed entrance
  • Limited space for personal posessions
  • If rolled up wet or in the rain water is kept inside
  • Fixed backpack size means that sleeping bag will have to be packed separate
  • Poor ventilation if not tied up
  • Messy looking if not tied up
  • If not tied up then increase in thermal heat-loss as bag is touching person
  • Increased risk of condensation if not tied up
  • Lack of suitable places to ‘pitch’ it
  • A-frame design is inefficient on space

Photos & Animation

Backpack Bed Animation

Backpack Bed TV Campaign

Backpack Bed by Swags for Homeless TV Campaign 30 Sec

Backpack Bed Founder, Tony Clark, demonstrating how to use the backpack bed.

Backpack Bed – open close demo – by Swags for Homeless Founder Tony Clark

Backpack Bed in the News

Further Reading

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