Best Swing Sets Reviewed & Rated for Quality
It is hard to find a more universally loved child toy or plaything than a swing set. There is a reason that many playgroups meet at the park – and that there are parks with playground equipment within walking or driving distance of a large percentage of homes with small children. Kids love them and parents love that they both help with their child’s development and allow them a break from being the entertainer.
- Gorilla Playsets Outing
- Cedar Resists Rot & Insects
- Sun Palace Cedar II
- UV Protected Swing Chains
- Winchester Wood
- Award Winning Bracket System
Children learn how to interact with others, take turns, and can greatly improve their gross motor skills and build muscle all while enjoying themselves and tiring themselves out on a swing set. It is only logical then, to bring one into your backyard if you have the means, space, and desire. But what are some good options? This is a big purchase that you don’t want to take lightly so we’ve accumulated a list of some of the best available.
10 Best Swing Sets
1. Gorilla Playsets Outing
There are three swing stations so you can really customize it to your liking. It comes with two swing belts and a trapeze bar, but can accommodate any standard size swing component if you should choose to mix it up.
This swing set is made of Cedar which is excellent at naturally resisting rot, decay, and insect damage. This means that you aren’t having to seal or mess with it any more than you want to. It also comes a with soft, rubber, grippy plastic coating on the swing chains that helps to prevent them from burning hands on hot days. The coating also helps prevent pinched fingers.
Cost and Value
This swing set is actually very reasonably priced. It comes with multiple swing stations and also includes a slide and little rock climbing wall. Your kids, as well as all the neighborhood kids, will get much entertainment from this swingset. You’ll spend significantly less than you would on other sets, but can still rest easy that you are buying a quality, sturdy swing set that your kids can safely enjoy.
- Wood is naturally resistant to rot, decay, and insect damage
- 3 swing stations that are customizable if you want
- Lumber is pre-sanded, pre-stained, and pre-cut
- Includes a covered play fort, rock wall, climbing rope, wave slide, two swing belts, trapeze bar, and a built in sandbox area
- Directions come in french, but can be found online in other languages
- May have extra hardware leftover when done assembling
3. Sun Palace Cedar II
This swing set is substantially bigger than many, if not most, of the others on this list. What that means is more options for your kids to play with - and more time for you to relax and simply let them play all in the comfort of your backyard. Along with the above mentioned features, it also includes a steering wheel, telescope, and tic tac toe panel. Nobody will be getting bored here anytime soon.
Solid, Quality Build
You will get a long lasting quality swing set when you purchase this one. It has heavy duty 4x4 wood framing and a 4x6 swing beam that allows it to hold up to 800 lbs. The wood itself is cedar, which makes it naturally resistant to rot, decay, and insect damage. The swing chains have also been given special attention and are coated so that they won't pinch or burn your little's hands.
Cost and Value
This is definitely one of the priciest swing sets that we have listed. It is also, perhaps, one of the coolest ones listed. It is bigger and includes more features than almost any other so it is only reasonable that it costs more. Ultimately, you'll earn yourself a lot of time in which you child can entertain themselves which makes it worth the cost in the long run.
- Lumber comes pre-cut, pre-sanded, and pre-stained
- Several different swing options are included - which means no fighting over not enough swings!
- Has a tongue and groove wood roof
- Wood is sealed with a redwood stain which makes it look good and protects it from the elements
- Assembly is pretty complicated
- Quite expensive
2. Winchester Wood
The playhouse portion of the swing set is built to resemble an actual house. It has green and white striped awnings and two adorable little windows. The deck space totals 32 feet, which is a decent amount of space for a swing set. You can easily access the playhouse by either climbing up the rock wall or the ladder.
What good is a house without a table? This swing set takes note of all the details and has included a picnic table that is conveniently covered by one of the above-mentioned awnings so it will be shaded much of the time. Your kids can sit at it to perform any number of activities - eating lunch or snack, socializing with their friends, coloring, or simply taking a break from running around.
Cost and Value
This swing set falls mid to low-end price wise on our list. It does include a lot of neat features, so the cost is well worth it. Your kids will get hours of entertainment from a variety of options on this swing set and you will be satisfied with your purchase.
- Rock wall features 8 holds that are colorful and designed specifically for small hands
- Includes a wind rider glider that helps to build strength and coordination
- The wave slide features a lifetime warranty
- The kit includes a ton of fun features that will please every child
- Takes a lot of work to put together
- Wood often needs pre-drilling to avoid splitting
4. Chesapeake Wood Play Set
This swing set is a rarity in that each heavy duty swing and swing station is rated to hold up to 250 pounds - even the ring/trapeze swing. This means that all of your kids dreams of you swinging along beside them can come true without compromising anyone's safety. In addition, the slide is also rated to hold up to 250 pounds.
All the Benefits of Play
While almost every swing set available will get your children outside, playing, and moving around more than they would be otherwise, not all of them can boast the ability to get all the benefits of play including climbing, sliding, swinging, and brachiating (which is a fancy way of saying going across the monkey bars). This Chesapeake set has all of those things. You can rest assured that your child will get a decent workout for all aspects of his or her body when playing on this swing set.
Cost and Value
This set finds a happy medium between price and accessories. It has a lot of the accessories kids desire and parents want to get, but doesn't do so at an astronomical price. It falls closer to the mid to low range price point as far as large wooden swing sets go. Your kids will get a lot of use out of this and you will feel like the parent of the year when you buy it. It's a win-win situation for everyone.
- Includes monkey bars, rock wall, picnic table, 2 heavy duty swings, heavy duty ring/trapeze bar, and a smooth wave slide.
- All wood is pre-cut and premium stained
- Meets or exceeds ASTM Safety Standards
- Includes a tarp roof
- Holes may not be sufficiently pre-drilled
- Stain peel off pretty quickly
5. Lifetime Adventure Set
Unlike the swing sets we have talked about previous to now, this one is made out of powder-coated galvanized steel and high density polyethylene. This makes it weather and rust resistant and protects against cracking, chipping, peeling, rotting, and warping. There is no lead to be found in this swing set and there will be no need to re-stain or paint like you would need to do with a wooden swing set.
Designed for Safety
This set was designed with safety in mind. It is meant to be freestanding so you won't need to worry about it tipping over - even without cementing it in. Anything that might pinch or poke is covered. Hard edges are either covered with plastic caps or rounded. Swing chains have soft rubber grips so no fingers get pinched while using them.
Cost and Value
Price wise, this swing set is a great value. It is closer to the bottom of our list there but has stellar reviews that land it near the top ranking wise. It is a no frills swing set - there isn't anything very fancy about it, but it does have the swings, trapeze bar, monkey bars, and slides that you would want. It is sturdy enough and tall enough to hold an adult or two and will easily accommodate several kids. You'll be happy with this purchase.
- Freestanding - no need for cement
- Very low maintenance
- Tall enough for fully grown adults to use the swings
- Relatively easy to assemble
- Included bolts are of questionable quality and may snap during assembly
- May be too tall for kids under 5
Because there is only one swing, this is very easy to set up. The job is literally done in 10 minutes. It is constructed of powder coated steel so not only is it easy to set up, but you can also rest assured knowing that it is also lightweight, sturdy, and durable.
There is one single nursery seat for this swing set. It is an actual seat rather than a swing strap like those found on others on this list, and includes a five point harness. It will keep your toddler in place for as long as they want to swing - or as long as you want to push them.
Cost and Value
When you only have one child that would really just like to spend their days being pushed back and forth, sometimes the best bang for your buck comes out of purchasing a single swing. This one is very inexpensive and is a great option if you don’t want to spend a ton of money. It is freestanding, yet secure and sturdy. You will spend very little on this product, especially when compared to the prices of most of the others on this list.
- Very inexpensive
- Comes equipped with a 5 point harness
- Easily folded down for storage and portability purposes
- Meets ASTM safety standards
- Only good for one child at a time
- No extra activities included, swing only
7. Blue Island Tree Swing
This is 40 inches in diameter and has a steel frame. It will hold up to 400 pounds at once, which typically equals more than one child at a time if that is something you’re looking for. The fabric is 600D Oxford fabric that goes right along with the strong steel frame in supporting your kids and their friends at the same time.
Easy Set Up
This can easily be set up by one person in very little time. The instructions are clear and easy to follow and there are no crazy parts or hard things to set up. You simply attach the straps (purchased separately!) and you are good to go!
Cost and Value
This is another one that offers great bang for the buck. It is very inexpensive comparatively and will hold almost anyone - even multiple people at once. It is comfortable enough for adults to enjoy, but fun enough for kids to enjoy. Everyone in your family will get a lot of use out of this swing for many years to come. It is definitely worth the money.
- Very inexpensive
- Can be enjoyed by the whole family
- Holds up to 400 lbs at one time
- Large diameter swing
- Straps have to be purchased separately
- Canvas can be torn
8. Lifetime Adventure Play Set
A big perk of getting a play set made out of polyethylene and powder coated steel is that you don't have to deal with any problems caused by spending a lot of time outside like you would with wood. There is no rotting, cracking, warping, or splintering involved. Lifetime has also included coated swing chains to avoid pinching of fingers and the powder coating helps the set to not get too hot when it's spending entire days in the sun.
Hours of Entertainment
There are so many activities you can do on this set that it will take hours for your kids to get bored. These activities include a climbing wall, cargo net, activity chalkboard, playhouse with roof, wavy slide, 2 swings, trapeze bar, binoculars, and a steering wheel. This ensures that your kids are getting outside, playing, and getting active.
Cost and Value
This is one of the more expensive units on our list. The more you add to a swing set, the more it is going to cost so it is only logical. There are many pieces here, and compared to other ones on the list with similar features, it is a little less expensive. It is built to last and will give you a lot of use without a lot of headache as far as set up and maintenance is concerned. Overall, it is a good value for the price you pay.
- There is no need for cement or anchors as this unit is freestanding
- Designed for safety
- Can be used multiple kids at once, even holds adults well
- Assembly is not too complicated
- Climbing wall holes don't match up very well
- Metal can be slippery
9. Step2 Clubhouse Climber
Because this unit is meant for younger and smaller kids, it has items specific to that age group. The stairs are non-slip climber stairs. There are only two of them that are easy for little legs to climb up and have grooves so that little feet don't slip. There is also easy grip handles that they can hold onto to help them get up the stairs and safely into the clubhouse where they can then go down the shorter, age-appropriate slides.
Step2 has included several elements that will make playing on this playset more fun for your little toddler. There is a rooftop skylight so it doesn't get too dark inside and they are able to see all around. There is also a captains wheel that they can actually turn and pretend like they are driving. In addition, there is a bridge that connects to the lookout tower, a hide out area underneath, and a crawl through tunnel to really help your small child's dreams come true.
Cost and Value
This little unit comes at a significantly smaller price than ones built for older kids. That being said, it still does have a lot of working parts so it does still cost a pretty penny. Your little ones will love it though and it will keep them entertained often and long enough that you won't regret this purchase for even a minute.
- Designed specifically for the younger crowd
- Relatively easy to set up
- Unit is heavy, so there are no issues with tipping or falling over
- Easy to clean
- Will be outgrown within a few years
- Set up instructions are not easy to follow
10. Step2 Naturally Playful
As this is not made of wood, there are very little concerns about what the weather will do to this unit. It is able to last through all seasons - despite how hot or cold it gets where you live. It won't rot, rust, splinter, or chip. It does need to be anchored down, but comes with the necessary parts to do so.
Gross Motor Skill Development
This play set is perfect to help your children further develop their gross motor skills. It has climbing, sliding, swinging, and playing sections that help in multiple areas. It isn't too tall or difficult to get up so is perfect for the younger crowd to climb around and learn on.
Cost and Value
Step2 does a great job at bridging the gap between big, expensive play sets, and little one piece units. This one combines several of kid's favorite swing set parts without breaking the bank. You'll still spend a pretty penny but considerably less then wooden or metal units. Compared to the other Step2 on this list, it is right about the same cost but does have different features and serves a different crowd.
- Not super expensive
- Railing on both sides of the deck, ladder and slide on the other sides
- Not too big for younger and smaller kids like other playsets can be
- Pretty easy to set up
- Weather resistant
- Directions can be hard to follow
- Slide is quite narrow
Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Swing Sets
There are several things to take into account before you make a purchase as big as a swingset. They are surprisingly expensive if you really want to get something more than just a swing or a slide. Any combination is costly, but the pay off can be huge. Kids love going to the park and a big part of that is the playground and swings that are involved while you are there. If you can bring a little bit of that magic into your backyard it is a purchase that is well worth it.
How Much Space Do You Have?
This is the very first question you need to ask before making any purchases. You need to be sure that you have adequate space to support your swing set, but also leave enough room around it so that the kids can truly enjoy playing on it. A good rule of thumb here is to leave at least a 6-foot perimeter around the entire playset. If you need to measure, the best way to do this would be to add 12 feet onto the length and width of the swing set you are looking at and make sure that space fits in your yard.
What age are your kids/grandkids/the kids you expect to play on your set? Or, how long do you want this set to last your kids once you do purchase it? This is a very important thing to consider before deciding on a design that you like. You wouldn’t want to buy a swing set designed for 7+-year-olds if you have a toddler that you want to entertain right now. They simply don’t have the length, strength, or ability, to support themselves on a bigger unit. Likewise, an older child will not want anything to do with a playset meant for a small toddler. The odds are good that they won’t even fit on the swing set to begin with much less spend much time there.
However; if you want a set that will last you for many years and multiple children, it is probably best to find some middle ground – which is absolutely available. Many sets have both a rock climb and a ladder option. Some even include a net. This allows multiple groups and abilities the chance to get to the slide. Go into your purchase with an idea of what age you want to buy for and how long you expect them to use the swing set.
What Type of Material
There are three distinct types of material that swing sets are made out of included on this list. There are certainly pros and cons to each, ones that may well influence your ultimate decision.
One of the most popular types is wood. Wooden playsets are beautiful and have a lot of aesthetic appeal. They tend to be big and have a lot of features. They can hold several children at a time and support multiple swings and slides with no problem. They are also difficult to put together and will need a decent amount of regular maintenance. They aren’t always weatherproof and can insects may end up calling them home.
A swing set made of metal is also a very popular way to go. They tend to be a little less expensive than their wooden counterparts but can have nearly as many features. They are typically powder coated which helps to prevent them from rusting and retaining heat that could render the unit unusable during hot months. They also tend to be a little too big for the younger crowd and are less forgiving when someone falls. They don’t have the same aesthetic appeal and will need to be touched up every once in a while.
The final material included on this list is plastic. Typically, plastic versions are only good for a much younger crowd. Their size is severely limited by the fact that they just can’t support as much weight as a wooden or metal one could. Once kids start getting older than 5 or 6, they’re just too big to truly enjoy their time on a plastic playset without getting bored. However; these are perfect for the younger group – 18 months to about 6-year-olds. The slides are usually smaller, the stairs built a little more sturdily for little feet to find sure footing on, and the features a little easier to maneuver.
These can be a very big purchases that can cause you to spend a lot of money. It’s important to know your price range before going into the purchase. This will allow you to know what you can truly get and prevent you from dreaming away your time on a unit you will likely never own. There are great options in any price range though, even if that price range is very low. Just know that the less you spend, typically the less you’ll get. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just is the way it works with swing sets. If you’re looking for just a swing, you can get that for a very affordable price. The same goes for simply a slide. When you start combining the two and adding multiples and decks onto it, then you will see the numbers add up fast. Whether you have a strict budget or not, do have an idea of the price you are willing to pay.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What size area will I need in my backyard to set this up?
A: A good rule of thumb is to have at least 6 feet open on all sides. To plan in advance and make sure you have enough room. Get the dimensions of the unit and a 12 feet (6 for each side) to both the length and width. That should give you a good idea.
Q: What is the weight capacity for the swing set?
A: It varies depending on the set and the material it is made of. Make sure to read the fine print before making any assumptions.
Q: What do I anchor my swing set with?
A: The most common things to anchor with are cement or anchor kits that are available for purchase.
Q: Do I have to assemble this swing set by myself or is installation included?
A: If you don’t want to pay extra, you will have to set it up yourself. Various set up options are available, but they don’t come cheap.
Q: Can adults safely get on this unit?
A: Mostly, yes. Almost all are rated to hold over 200 pounds, and most of the time much more. That will allow most adults the opportunity to safely get on the swingset; often at the same time as their children.