As a kid, there is nothing better than going outside, enjoying the fresh air and exploring. What better way to let your kids enjoy nature, build their muscles, get exercise and enjoy action and adventure than with a swing set? A swing set instantly transforms a backyard into your very own park, giving the kids countless hours of fun outside of the house. With a great swing set, your backyard will likely be the preferred hangout spot for all of the kids in your neighbourhood, too!
If you are shopping for a swing set, you may find yourself getting a bit overwhelmed. There are so many different options to choose from, which can make finding the best swing set for your specific needs a bit of a challenge. Made of different materials and featuring much more than just swings, you definitely have a lot of choices and opportunities to give your kids an outstanding outdoor play space. To help you find the best swing set for your kids and your needs, we have crafted this handy buyer’s guide, which contains tons of useful information pertaining to swing sets that will make the task of finding a great swing set a much easier one.
Types of Swing Sets
When it comes to swing sets, you have a lot of options. To differentiate between the different types of swing sets, we have divided them based on the materials they are made of. They include:
- Wooden swing sets
- Metal swing sets
- Plastic swing sets
Wooden Swing Sets
Wooden is one of the most popular materials for a swing set. Wood is not only durable, but it is also attractive. The three most commonly used types of wood that are used for swing sets include cedar, pine and redwood.
- Cedar Swing Sets – Cedar is probably the most popular type of wood that is used in swing set construction, and for good reason; cedar is a strong wood that is naturally resistant to rot, decay and damage. Because it is so durable, cedar swing sets have the potential to stay in great condition for several years. In addition to being highly durable, cedar swing sets are also beautiful and they smell delightful when they are new.
- Redwood Swing Sets – Many top of the line swing sets are constructed out of redwood. There are different species of redwood trees, but the most common type of redwood used for swing set construction is the California redwood. Like cedar, redwood is naturally resistant to decay, rot and damage. It contains tannin, a naturally occurring chemical that is harmless to humans and animals, but it is toxic to fungi. As such, cedar swing sets are resistant to mold and mildew growth, which can compromise other types of wood. On top of this, redwood is also less likely to warp, cup or crack, so it can stay in great shape for a long time. While redwood swing sets are definitely beautiful and durable, they are usually the most expensive. Additionally, because of the reduced availability of Heartwood redwood, the most durable type of redwood, many swing sets that are made of this material have suffered in the durability department.
- Premium Preserved Pine Swing Sets – If durability is what you are looking for, then this is the type of wood that you are going to want to choose for your swing set. While it is a common misconception that redwood is the most durable wood for swing sets (and it is quite durable,) premium preserved pine is actually the most durable wood material used for wood swing set construction. Pine has the ability to withstand harsh weather conditions and can hold moisture better than redwood or cedar, which allows premium preserved pine swing sets the apply to stay in great, strong condition for decades.
While wood certainly offers many advantages, it does need to be properly maintained in order to ensure that it withstands wear and tear. Also, wood swing sets are the most expensive option.
Metal Swing Sets
Metal swing sets are constructed of durable, high quality, weather protected steel and polyethylene plastic, which means that they can resist rusting and fading. The plastic coating also helps the metal resist heat; however, metal swing sets do still get hot, which could be problematic if you live in a climate that gets excessively hot or if the swing set is placed in an area that receives a lot of sunlight. Metal swing sets do not warp or splinter, which wood swing sets can be prone to, especially if they are not properly maintained. Additionally, they do not require the same maintenance as wood.
Plastic Swing Sets
Constructed of high density plastic, plastic swing sets are quite durable and require less maintenance than wood swing sets. They also retain less heat than metal, which is a plus. Another advantage of plastic is that it is usually pretty easy assemble and take apart, and the parts are fairly light. However, on the downside, if the plastic breaks, it can be difficult to repair, if at all possible.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Swing Set
To ensure the swing set you choose will meet your specific needs and will provide your children with an enjoyable and safe place to play, there are a number of factors that you are going to take into consideration before purchasing on. By considering the following factors, we think that you will be able to find the best swing set for your needs.
The Size of Your Outdoor Space
Make sure you know how big the space where you plan on putting the swing set is. Do not rely on photos alone. Viewing the swing set in person is also not an effective way to determine what size swing set you will need. To ensure you choose the right size, make sure you carefully measure the space. Take into consideration any distance between fences so that you will have enough clearance for the swings when they are in use. Also, take note of any concrete pathways, patios, pools or any other objects that could obstruct the positioning of the swing set or could make its placement unsafe. Also, remember that you may want to add more features to your backyard in the future, which could impact the placement of the swing set or the items you want to add to your yard.
Remember Children Grow!
When purchasing a swing set, you should also keep in mind that your children will grow. To ensure you get the most use out of the structure, make sure you factor this into consideration. Buying a swing set that is an appropriate size for toddlers may not work well when they grow into bigger kids. To make your swing set friendly and safe for younger kids, you can make medications, such as install a baby swing until your child is able to use a standard swing.
Your Kids’ Interest
Keep your kids’ interest in mind when purchasing a swing set. They can offer a lot of different features, and you want to make sure you purchase something that will meet their needs, their interests and will be the most entertaining and enjoyable for them.
What type of material do you want your swing set to be? Refer to the ‘types’ section in this buyer’s guide to determine which material will best suit your needs.
Unless you are hiring someone to assemble the swing set for you, you are going to likely have to put it together yourself. Keep this in mind when making your selection. Some swing sets require more assembly than others. Generally speaking, the more features that it offers, the more involved assembly will be. You should refer to the manual to determine exactly what is involved with assembling the swing set so that you can determine if it is a job that you will be willing to undertake.
You should also consider the price when choosing a swing set, as they can vary significantly in price. Typically, wood swing sets are the most expensive. Also, the larger the swing set is and the more features it offers, the higher the price tag will be. It’s important to keep your budget in mind so that you don’t overextend your budget.
Swing Set Features
Swing sets can come equipped with a lot of extra features. These features are intended to make the structure more enjoyable for your children to use. They also improve the safety of the structure. Do note, however, as mentioned above, the more features that a swing set has, the more expensive it will likely be. Here’s a look at some of the top features that you may want to consider having on the swing set you choose.
Thick Swing Beams
The best swing sets feature swing beams that are at least 4 X 6 inches. This is the ideal size to ensure that the swings have a solid and sturdy base and makes the swing beam virtually unbreakable. Of course, this means that the swing set will be safer for your child to use.
If your kids enjoy climbing and swinging, look for a swing set that features monkey bars. They are fun and they can up the entertainment value of your swing set.
Some swing sets also boast forts, or additional covered structures. Typically, these structures are attached to one end of the swing set and are accessed via a ladder or a climbing wall. They also commonly feature slides, which the children can use to exit the structure.
Another feature that swings can offer is a sand box. Usually located underneath the above mentioned fort, it is an enclosed space that can be filled with a variety of materials, including sand, that children can enjoy playing in.
Benches and Tables
Swings sets can also boast benches and tables, which are usually attached to one of the ends. The benches and tables can be used as the perfect spot to enjoy an outdoor picnic, or can be another fun and imaginative way to play.
Swing sets can also come with a warranty. A warranty will protect your investment. Should anything happen to the structure in the lifespan of the warranty, the company could either repair or replace the swing set. Do make sure that you take note of the details of your swing set’s warranty to ensure exactly what it covers.
Best Swing Set Brands
There are literally dozens of manufacturers that produce swing sets, which gives you a lot of options, but can make it challenging to find the best swing set for your needs. To help you weed through all of the different options, we have done some extensive research, compared reviews, read owner’s manuals and read safety manuals to find the best manufacturers. After conducting our research, we have concluded that the following swing set brands are the best of the best.
This company was founded in 1986 and began making basketball courts for the home. As they grew in popularity, they started to manufacture picnic tables and other types of outdoor furniture and recreational equipment, including swing sets. They offer a lot of options and make some of the safest swing sets on the market.
Swing N Slide
This company produces high quality, ready to assemble swing sets that are comprised of durable materials. They are easy to put together and come with very easy to follow instruction manuals. They also offer a lot of features.
Gorilla Play Sets
This company manufactures wooden swing sets that are pre – cut, pre – sanded and pre – drilled. Their swing sets are very easy to assemble and come with detailed written instructions and illustrations. They are highly durable and with the right maintenance, can last for a very long time.
Based in Canada, this company specializes in the construction of outdoor products that are designed for leisure and play. Swing sets are among their most popular products. They are sturdy, safe and offer a wide range of features.