Best Swing Sets
Summer is right around the corner, and with it comes the realization that your kids are going to be home for the next three months. You might have some really fun activities planned for the family this summer, like a beach trip or a weekend camping trip out by the lake. However, what are you going to do on all of those off days? There is nothing worse than having your kids come up to you at 9 AM and complain about already being bored. Cut boredom off and turn your backyard into a fun playground by investing in a swing set!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research
Made from quality cedar 4x4s
Many additional features
Looks great in the backyard
Top 10 Picks
Made from quality cedar 4x4s
Many additional features
Looks great in the backyard
Long assembly time
One look at this bad boy and your kids will be occupied for hours and hours and will be able to get out all of that extra energy to be good and tired come bedtime. Not only does this set come with various study activities, but it will also look incredibly sharp sitting in your backyard.Read more
A good model has just a little more extra features to keep your little ones occupied for a while- and this unit is the Cadillac of many of the other models out there on the market. It has a long wavy slide, a treehouse that is accessed by a ladder, solid steel monkey bars, and it even has a rock climbing wall.
Ease of Use
Put on your thinking caps, because this thing will take you a while to assemble. Keep in mind, however, this is a pretty massive unit that comes in separate boxes with the different parts and 4x4 cedar wood planks. Past users have found that it takes them roughly about 11 hours to fully assemble from start to finish, and the instructions are pretty clear with photos on almost every page.
Parents are sometimes a little reluctant on pulling the trigger on buying something like this because they know that they are going to be in the backyard until the kids go off to college- so you want to make sure it looks good. The Swing-n-Slide model looks almost like a small, cedar A-frame frame guest house sitting in your backyard.
All of these great features and top-notch materials will come at a pretty stiff price point. However, if you want something that will last the life of your little one’s childhood, and will also look fantastic sitting in your backyard for the foreseeable future- this is a really great investment.
If you have the extra money to spend- the Swing-n-Slide model is probably going to be your best bet in terms of quality and value. It is something that your kids will love to play on, and it will look great sitting in your backyard until the day comes that the last one packs up and leaves for college.
2. Backyard Discovery
Affordable cedar design
Many additional fun features
Takes a long time to assemble
Backyard Discovery also makes a model that will look great in your backyard and is made from really great quality materials that will hold up until the day comes that your last little bird leaves the nest. It has a lot of additional features that your kids will love, and while it is still pretty expensive, it is a little more affordable than many of the other larger cedar designs.Read more
This unit also comes with a pretty tall treehouse with a lookout ledge, at a set of monkey bars, a tall wavy slide, and a glider meant for 2. What makes this unit special is that tucked under the treehouse is a pint-sized picnic table meant to seat 4 little ones.
Ease of Use
The installation process is a bit arduous- but that is to be expected from a model this size. On the bright side, many previous users have described putting together this unit as time-consuming, but relatively easy. Backyard Discovery offers expert installation at an additional fee, but users have commented that the pieces are clearly labeled and the instructions are easy to read, so they were able to put it together themselves- they just needed a lot of free time.
This model as a bit of a longer footprint than some of the other cedar designs that you might see out there. It’s incredibly sharp and will look amazing sitting in your backyard for the next 18 years. The center tree house unit looks like a little mini guest house sitting in your yard, and the slide and seats are accented in a deep green so that it looks like it’s just part of your well-manicured landscaping.
It will set you back quite a bit of money, but if you compare it to all of the other similar cedar frame models out there on the market- this one is priced significantly less.
If you really have your heart set on a cedar model but don’t want to dish out the price that many of them are going for- this is an excellent option that your kids will love, and it will hopefully save you a little bit of cash.
Smaller yard footprint
Easy to clean
Unclear assembly instructions
Some parts can be missing or broken upon arrival
If you were looking for something that was just a little bit smaller and didn’t take up as much room in your backyard- the Step2 model is a perfect fit. It comes in neutral colors, is incredibly sturdy, and comes in at a price point that parents are sure to love.Read more
This unit also comes with the addition of a wavy slide, as well as a small clubhouse that has a top balcony and a bottom cubby with portals that your little one can climb through.
Ease of Use
Solid plastic pieces mean that the installation process will not be as complicated as some of the other models out there on the market. However, some users have run into difficulties when reading the instructions that don’t appear to be entirely clear. Past users have claimed that they are unclear because they only use simple drawings as instructions instead of using words with pictures as a supplementary reference.
Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to this model. It is made from sturdy plastic that will be impervious to mold and weather damage, and will also be really easy to wipe down or hose off. It is a little bit smaller than some of the others- so your little ones might grow out of it a little faster than you might like.
The cost of this design is a lot less than some of the other cedar models out there on the market but still has a relatively stiff price tag considering it has significantly fewer features.
If you were in the market for a smaller unit that was easy to clean and didn’t take as much time to assemble as some of the bigger options- this is an excellent selection.
4. Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure
Easy to assemble
No need to anchor legs
Some found the hardware wasn’t helpful
This is a really solid unit that is made to last until your kids pack up and leave for college. And even then- you still might want to play on it after they leave. It sports the classic metal frame that we all remember from when we were kids and has a neutral color palette to look good in every yard.Read more
In addition to having 3 seats for swing instead of the standard 2, it also comes with a great wavy slide that has high corners to lessen the risk of your little one falling off of it. It also has a fireman's pole, a trapeze bar with gym rings, and a set of monkey bars that extend behind the slide.
Ease of Use
To put this unit together, you might need the help of just one other adult when it comes to the top portion of this model. For the exception of that part, most of this product can be put together with just one person. The instructions are clear and precise, and all of the components are clearly labeled. There are very few complaints about assembly from past users.
Everyone is familiar with the old standard metal options- and the Lifetime model fits that bill perfectly. It is constructed from low alloy steel which is fantastic for yards that are subjected to some really harsh weather conditions. This type of metal won’t chip, peel, crack, or rot the way some of the other units out there have a tendency to do.
The cost of this unit rivals that of some of the lower prices cedar options. However, considering the quality of materials used and how resilient they are to extreme weather- this model is set at an excellent price point.
If you are in the market for a really great way for your kids to spend some quality time outside while keeping active, but still keep your backyard looking sharp, this is a really great option that quite possibly will be the only one you will ever have to buy.
Easy to assemble- clear instructions
Needs to be anchored and anchors are not included
Teeter-totter is made from thin plastic material
This is a great model for those that have a really wide backyard. The footprint of this model is just a little bit different than some of the others out there because it is just one big long unit. It has a lot of extra features that you don’t find in a lot of the other designs, which makes it worth checking out.Read more
This is where this unit really shines. It has a little something for every type of kid. It has a 2-person glider, a wavy slide, a rocking horse, and a hammock-like seat that is situated at the very end. If your little one love swinging- there is every type of unit that they would like fought right on this one product.
Ease of Use
You will soon discover that none of these have a quick installation process- this is going to take you a while to put together. It may be best to set aside the weekend so that you will really be able to take your time. Luckily, many of the past users have found that the instructions are incredibly clear and concise, and all of the parts are neatly organized and packaged together.
As stated earlier- this has a little bit of a difference for print than a lot of the other models. When the other brands add additional features, they often build them off of the back. The Sportspower Super 8 just makes one long continuous unit that looks like 3 stuck together. This would be perfect along with a long fence in your backyard and won’t take up that much room.
The cost of this unit is one of its best features- it comes to you at a price that is a fraction of a lot of the other designs out there. While it doesn’t have the neutral color that many of the others have- the price point might make you reconsider just how important earth tones are when landscaping your backyard.
If you are in the market for something that has a lot of options for playtime, is easy to put together, and won’t break the bank- this is a great option that your little ones are sure to get many years of enjoyment from.
6. Flexible Flyer
Easy to assemble
Needs anchors- none included
Seats are incredibly slippery
Flexible Flyer makes a really great and simple set for parents that want something basic without all of the extra bells and whistles. Often, many of these companies spend a lot of time adding additional features that parents don’t want or need, and this model gives kids the simple and basic design that parents remember playing on when they were kids.Read more
Instead of just having two seats, this unit has three. It also comes with a long wavy slide and the addition of a small two-person teeter-totter on the other side.
Ease of Use
The good thing about a unit that is small is that it doesn’t take as much time to put together and assemble. Some of the previous users claim that the instructions that are included are a little vague and hard to follow, but the pieces and the final product have a simple design, and many users were able to put it together without even referencing the instructions.
As stated before- simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to this design. All of the metal and plastic parts are coated with a UV protection material which means that the colors will not face when exposed to direct sunlight. It is available in navy blue with white metal accents.
The cost of this unit runs pretty much what you would expect for a basic model. In addition to its reasonable price point, it also comes with a 180-day warranty in case there is anything wrong with the components or pieces included with purchase.
If you are in the market for something that is simple and you don’t want to spend a lot of your precious weekend hours toiling away at trying to put together a complicated design- this product will be a great addition to your family.
7. Lifetime Metal Swing Set
Easy to assemble
Hardware is unreliable
Anchors are not included
For parents that want something simple yet sturdy- this is the way to go. Often you will find that when companies put out a product that doesn’t have all of the additional bells and whistles, they will often scrimp on the quality of materials to keep the price tag low. This unit, however, still uses top quality materials to bring you a simple, easy to assemble the finished product.Read more
This unit doesn’t have as many additional features as some of the others, unfortunately. However, in the center of the two-seat is a trapeze bar with easy to hold gym rings for those days that you don’t feel like swinging.
Ease of Use
There are many virtues to be found when dealing with simple designs, and one of those virtues is that it is easier to put together. You still will have to set aside a little bit of time, but not nearly as much time as some of the other units found on this list. Some users have found a few difficulties when it comes to the hardware that is included, so be sure to keep that in mind if you decide on this unit.
This classic A-frame design will not take up all that much room in your yard and is thin and small enough that you might not even realize that is it there. It is available in neutral tones that mimic the colors of your backyard such as tan and green. Crafted from low alloy steel, you won’t have to worry about it cracking or peeling when exposed to extreme temperatures.
The cost of this unit runs on par for the course compared to a lot of the similar models out there on the market. It is not the least expensive, but it is the best simple model out there that is still made of durable and quality materials that will be sure to last you quite some time.
If you were looking for something simple that didn’t run the risk of being made to be cheap- this is an excellent option that will likely stay in your backyard until all of your little ones finally leave the nest.
8. Lifetime Climb and Slide Playset
Sturdy design doesn’t need anchors
Easy and quick to put together
Some have found the hardware that is included is of low quality
In addition to making really great simple designs from quality materials, Lifetime also makes a really great playset that has a few more features that your little ones will be sure to get years of enjoyment from, and it comes at a pretty reasonable price point that parents will love.Read more
This unit comes with two seats for swinging, and in the center, it has a high trapeze bar for hanging upside down and climbing. Along the side are a pretty good size slide and a smaller rock climbing wall that leads to the top of the slide.
Ease of Use
As far as putting it together, this unit is able to go from box to play in a matter of about 3 to 4 hours- which is pretty quick compared to some of the other units that seem to be an all weekend type job. The instructions are clear and easy to read. What makes this model great is that it doesn’t come with anchors- because they really aren’t needed.
This is a typical metal frame design that is impervious to inclement weather, even in you live in a part of the world that is subject to some pretty nasty winters. The metal and plastic components are neutral colors- tans and greens- that will bend in perfectly with your manicured backyard.
Lifetime is known for making really great quality products- and the price tag reflects this. It comes with a price tag that is a little bit less than the lower end cedar models, but you are still going to have to dish out quite a bit of money. However, it will be worth the slightly padded price tag to know that your little ones are safe while they are outside playing.
If you want something that is reliable, and comes with a few extra features than the base model designs and has a little bit of extra money to spend- this will likely be the first and last unit that you might ever have to buy.
Canopy keeps kids cool in the hot sun
Difficult to assemble
IRONKIDS makes a model that looks a little bit different than many of the other models on the market, but it comes with features that you didn’t even know that you needed or wanted. Plus, it has a lot of fun places for kids to climb and play. This is an all-around solid product.Read more
In addition to two seats for swinging there is also a trapeze bar in the center, a long slide along the side, and net to appease all of your little climbers. The seats for swinging aren’t made of a flimsy rubber- they are rigid and turn up at the sides to be more comfortable and safe.
Ease of Use
Get ready to become frustrated. Putting this model together has proven to be a bit of a challenge to a lot of past users. There are complaints that some pieces of hardware are not included, and some of the components are difficult to line up with each other.
While the colors- black and blue- won’t exactly blend in perfectly with your manicured backyard, it is designed to not take up all that much room. The thing that makes this unit stand out from all of the others is that the addition of a UV protective blue and yellow sun shade. If may be difficult to ensure that your kids have sunblock on at all times, but you can offer them shade in the places where they play. Plus, these units are usually placed right in the middle of the hot summer sun- so a canopy can help make it a little bit cooler.
If you have the patience to wrestle with putting this model together, you will ultimately save yourself quite a bit of money. This unit costs significantly less than many of the other models that are similar to this one. If you have the patience to spare- it will be worth it. If you don’t, you might want to find something else.
If you are in the market for something that is affordable and has a slightly different design than some of the others out there- you will love this design. However, it is important to keep in mind that the assembly is a little bit of a hassle.
10. XDP Recreation
Easy to assemble
Some hardware pieces are not included
XDP Recreation brings you possibly one of the most affordable options on this list. It does have a few pitfalls, but if you are a parent that is looking for something that is a little more affordable and will hold up during harsh winters to bring your little ones years of enjoyment, this is a great choice.Read more
In addition to two normal seats for swinging, this unit also has an unconventional seat designed for younger kids and a two-person glider. Along the side, it has a blue wavy slide, and on the opposite side, it has a teeter-totter.
Ease of Use
Past users really didn’t have that much trouble putting it together, and the consensus seems to be that it takes anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to put it together completely. There were some concerns that some of the hardware and assembly pieces were not included, but it wasn’t a problem that wasn’t able to be easily rectified.
This model will be perfect for placing along a fence toward the back or side of the yard While the blue and white colors might not blend in with your landscaping, the unit itself will not take up that much space in your yard. This product has a simple design, but it is made to be sturdy and safe.
The cost of this unit is what makes it so great: it is on the least expensive models currently on the market. The price makes it great to give to your nieces or nephews as a birthday gift, or to set up in your backyard for the grandkids without breaking the bank.
If you were in the market for something that is affordable but won’t break the bank- and is still considered to be safe and dependable- this model is going to be your best bet.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Swinging is something that will always be fun, whether it is the year 1900 or 2040. But to keep your child’s imagination engaged and their bodies in motion, the addition of a few extra pieces of gear will never hurt. Slides are a classic addition that works alongside swings like chocolate and peanut butter. We also liked models that had things like trapeze bars, monkey bars, teeter-totters, gliders, and rock climbing walls. Some models out there on the market come with a really neat UV protected canopy that will keep your kids cool and shaded from the brutal summer sun.
Ease of Use
There were many things that we took into consideration when doing our research. We tried to keep a good balance between the things that kids would want, and the things that parents would want out of these models. While we want your kids to have fun this summer and stay safe, we also want to make sure that you don’t pull out your hair trying to figure out how to assemble these products, and that they don’t take away from the backyard you spend so long landscaping. We should note that if assembling these products just doesn’t sound appealing to you, many companies offer the additional benefit of having someone come to your house to assemble it for you at additional cost. A lot of the design we selected should be easy enough for you to do it yourself, but we realize that your time is important, so having someone put it together for you might be right up your alley.
Assembling anything for an excited little bundle of energy that is your child can really be a taxing experience, especially when the item that they are so excited about has come in a million different pieces. In an effort to mitigate some of your frustrations, we tried to select products that were generally easy to assemble. We made sure to really listen to what some of the past users had to say when it came to putting their product together, and many users did not hesitate to point over very specific frustrations regarding the assembly process. What made one model better than another was the clarity of the instructions given. No matter how big or small your product is- there is one thing you can be certain: you will be spending at least over an hour putting it together. Due to this very harsh fact, we made sure that we selected products that can with very clear and concise directions that users found easy to follow. We also liked it when products were shipped in very organized packages and that clearly labeled each piece to be assembled. If there was one piece of advice we could give you before you embark upon your installation journey, it would be to prepare yourself for being asked “are you done yet?” about a million times.
Sure, it’s important that your child has a fun time playing on it, and it’s also important that it safe. We also kept in mind how it looked. You have most likely spent a great deal of time landscaping your backyard to transform it into a wonderful and peaceful place to spend time with your family, so if you are planning on adding playground equipment, you probably want it to look good. We like brands that utilized neutral colors such as greens and shades of brown and tan so it blended in with the flora and fauna of your yard. The cedar models were a clear choice in terms of style and design because they kind of looked like very small and sleek guesthouses.
You don’t want to spend so much on the summer toys that you have to admit to your children that Christmas is canceled this year. It’s easy to get carried away when shopping for outdoor play equipment because a lot of it looks really fun, and as time marches on it seems they all get a little bit more flashy and extravagant. As much as we wanted to craft a list of products that looked like tiny houses with slides for a front door, we tried to keep it pretty modest. We tried to keep the price of these products well within the realm of reason for most consumers, while still making sure that we never scrimped on quality of materials and safety features.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
It's a good idea to leave at least 6 feet of space in front and behind each swing. This gives your child space to swing and also leaves space for an adult to push. With a minimum of 6 feet, there will also be extra room for other kids, or animals, to run around or to walk behind the swings as well.
When choosing a swingset, pay attetion to the height of the set. If it is low to the ground and small, your children will only be interested in it for a couple of years before they outgrow it. A great average height of a swingset is about 5 feet high. However, it is important to keep in mind that the higher the set, the more materials used, and the higher the price.
Other Factors to Consider
All kids have one goal when the climb aboard, and that’s to be able to hurl themselves all away around the bar. No matter how many times you try to convince them that it isn’t possible, it’s not going to keep them from trying. That’s why we made sure that each unit was incredibly sturdy and reliable, and if it wasn’t, we made sure to note that it needed the assistance of additional anchors. Most units have the holes or posts to be able to accommodate anchors; you just have to buy them separately.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What is the best type to buy?
The cedar and the metal options both have their distinct advantages and disadvantages. Many parents like the cedar options because they look incredible in their backyards, they almost look like tiny guesthouses. These units are often a little bit more sturdy and they don’t run the risk of tipping over and they don’t need to be anchored. The downside to these is they are really difficult to put together and almost impossible to put together alone. They also run the risk of giving your little ones splinters. The metal (typically low alloy aluminum) options don’t have the same level of curb appeal, but they are often easier to assemble and will hold up to extreme weather conditions a little bit better. The downside to metal options is that they just aren’t as sturdy. You can always make them sturdier by anchoring them, and some even go so far as to cement them into the ground.
q: Are they easy to assemble?
That all depends on which model you select. It should be noted, however, that there is no model out there that is ready to use right out of the box. Even the most simplistic design often takes around 2 to 3 hours to put together. When you make your purchase, be prepared to set aside a good amount of time to sit down and put it together. The basic A-frame models are the ones that can take about 2 to 3 hours, while the larger cedar models will take significantly longer, sometimes up to 12 hours. It also should be noted that the cedar models are almost impossible to assemble with just one person. The wood 4x4s are heavy, and adjusting them in the right place with just one set of hands usually cannot be done. Before you make your purchase, be sure you have a willing partner lined up to help you.
q: How much will it cost to have someone assemble it for me?
If you don’t feel you have the base skill or the time to put it together yourself, no need to worry. We live in amazing times where you can make a phone call and have someone out to do it for you. You should keep in mind, however, that the cost of these services typically aren’t cheap, and depending on how big your product is and how difficult it is to assemble, you might end up sinking a good chunk of money into the assembly alone. Using a service is definitely a viable option for getting it constructed quickly and expertly, but you also have option options. You could always buy a pack of hot dogs and some drinks, and invite the neighbors over for a nice summer BBQ, and then guilt them into helping you with assembly.
q: Will it hold up even during a really nasty winter?
These units are awkward, cumbersome, and oftentimes incredibly heavy, so lugging them into the garage for the winter isn’t exactly a viable option. That’s why pretty much any model that you buy is designed to hold up in pretty much any weather condition: wind, hail, heat, and snow. So, there’s no need to worry about the status of your investment as you watch the snow pile up on the seats because of manufacturer’s know that these designs have to withstand some pretty nasty weather condition. Depending on what the seats are made from, you might have to replace them every few years. They are typically inexpensive and easy to install when and if that time ever comes.
q: When is the best time to buy them?
If you want to have one in time for the kids when they are home from summer vacation, you shouldn’t wait until the last day of school. Often, when purchasing them online, delivery can take up to a couple of weeks, so it’s best to start searching in early May. Plus, depending on which style that you select, putting them together can take anywhere from 2 to 12 hours of your time. If you want to ensure that you get the best price when sales start, they become discounted around the end of summer around August or September. You can always purchase one when the sale starts, and then store it in the boxes in your garage or storage shed until the weather begins to warm the following spring.
q: How safe are they?
They are safe as long as you ensure that they are installed properly, and the smaller kids are being supervised when it is in use. One of the most common issues that can arise that can result in injury is when they are not anchored to the ground. This problem only arises with the non-cedar models, because they typically aren’t heavy enough to be able to counteract the weight from swinging. To ensure your model stays firmly on the ground, there are a few things you can do. The first thing is to invest in some ground anchors if your unit didn’t already come equipped when them. If you are in it for the long haul, some parents pour concrete in the places where the legs of their A-frames make contact with the ground, and that ensures that thing will stay put even if a hurricane rolls through your neighborhood. Another issue that parents run into is when there are jagged edges from where bolts stick out from the frame. To ensure that your little one doesn’t become snagged on any sharp edges, you can simply buy some rubber covers from your local hardware store for the change found in the cupholders in your car.
- The Best Backyard Swing Sets (2019 Reviews), Family Blog ,
- 11 Best Outdoor Playsets & Swingsets For Kids in 2019, Buying Guide ,