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Name the one thing you can install in your backyard for hours of all-season fun. Were you thinking about a pool? No, that has to close in the winter, think again. A swing set? Absolutely! You hit the recessed nail on the head. Every child deserves a kick-butt swingset in their backyard that they can play on. One day it may be a pirate ship, another an airplane. Their imaginations are endless. However, your budget isn’t. How do you pick the best swing sets for your budget?
Where do you even start? Take a swing at our guide below.
5 Best Swing Sets for 2020
Before you look through our buyer’s guide below, let’s look at what the internet has to offer. These sets aren’t in any kind of order, but we’ve found the best swing set brands around to choose some options from for you.1. Backyard Discovery Skyfort II Wood Swing Playset
Best Backyard Swing Sets
Why not start off big? This is a mega swing-set, great for play centers of big families. It comes with a big price tag, but can you put a price on a child’s joy?
Feature-wise, it coffers two swings, a glider (which is what the push-push swing referenced above is apparently called) and a slide. On the other side of the slide is a classic set of monkey bars. The manufacturer says seven kids can play on it at once, so if you have seven kids – buy it immediately. You need a break!
It comes with two separate warranties, one for rot and decay, and the other for manufacturers defects.2. Big Backyard Magnolia Wooden Swingset
Best Swing Sets for Small Backyards
On the smaller side, and the cheaper, we have this fun and small-but reasonable set. It features two regular swings, a rock wall ladder, a chalk wall, a sandbox, and a slide.
We love the details on this unit, like the flower boxes, mini seats, and awning. Warranty wise, you’ve got five years for wood damage and one year for the assorted parts.3. Gorilla Playsets Mountaineer Treehouse Swing Set
Best Kids Swing Set: All Ages
Want another big-time option? We’re talking about two different slides, three or so climbing options, and three swings. A sandbox or shaded seating area to boot.
It’s the most expensive on this list, so expect to shell out 2k for this beauty. However, you get a 10-year warranty on the wood (which there’s a lot of) and a year for the accessories. Maybe go in on it with a neighbor? After all, it takes a village.4. Ironkids Kids Outdoor Playground
Best Metal Swing Sets
So far, we’ve only looked at the best wooden swing sets but this one is made of steel. The price of it reflects the cheaper material, but that doesn’t mean it lacks for fun.
The playground has seven features, including a mini trampoline and two classic swings. There’s an outdoor fabric sun-shade, that keeps the swings and metal pieces from getting too warm. If you live somewhere temperate and without high winds and temperatures, you can probably get away with this set. If you live somewhere hot, the plastic slide and metal bars will get too hot – they’re not under the shade.5. Hazelwood Wooden Playset by KidKraft
Best Swing Set 2020
The final choice on our list says it can hold up to seven kids, as long as they way less than 100 pounds. It’s a good rather-compact option, that doesn’t lack for features. Your kids can take advantage of two sings, monkey bars, a slide, a chalk station, and a sandbox. On one side of the sandbox, kids can pretend to play store under the counter-opening awning.
It comes with a vinyl sun-shade, which will show dirt easily. It’s under $500 though, so it’s a good budget choice. This has been our pick for the best swings sets 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.
Swing Set Buying Guide
You probably had a swing set in your backyard, or at least a friend did, when you were growing up, right? Was it the early nineties type with metal structure and bright colored plastic? Those were light and cheap, but they rusted easily and the plastic faded. They also weren’t always safe, since hardware could rust in wet and humid climates.
These days we’re seeing a return to classic wood-built units. They’re sturdier and they look nicer in your backyard.
But what kind of wood should you look for? Here’s a quick guide to the types.
The best wooden swing sets are made from primarily 3 different types of wood. They are cedar, redwood, and preserved pine. Each of them has its pros and cons, including cost.
Cedar swing sets are high value and medium quality, though you can certainly buy a bad quality cedarwood. To make sure it’s high-quality, check out reviews and don’t buy the cheapest choice on the market.
The cedar wood you’ll get is treated, but cedar is famous for the way it staves off annoying bugs. You can get cedar hangers to deter moths from eating your clothes. It won’t keep wasps from making a nice little nest, but it’s less likely to get chewed on.
If you want to spend the money, you can’t go wrong with a redwood swing set. Redwood is gorgeous to look at and the range of colors in the wood matches any exterior paint/stains. It’s durable and usually comes with a lifetime warranty. If you’re buying a swing set for multiples or plan to have more – it’s worth the cost.
Probably the best middle option, preserved pine wood is durable and won’t cost an arm and a leg. However, pine is famously light and will show weathering more than the other two choices. Though it might look dirty, it doesn’t need maintenance like re-sealing or spraying.
Size and Height
When we start to look at features of swing sets, we get into deck heights. Do you know the cabin or tree-house like structure that the slid comes out of?
That’s referred to as the “deck”. The height of the deck’s floor off the ground is the deck height. There are a few choices for deck heights and they coordinate with ages and sizes of children.
4-Foot Deck Heights
If you’re buying a swing set for a daycare or plan to move before your kids get to age seven or eight, you can get away with a four-foot deck. They’re also good for people who are trying to conserve space since more height equals a bigger unit. 4-Foot deck heights are the best swing sets for toddlers.
5-Foot Deck Heights
A little better than a 4-foot deck, your kids can enjoy this deck height until about age eight or nine. After that, the appeal of climbing up and ducking down becomes more annoying than fun.
6-Foot Deck Heights
The biggest you’ll find without looking into “giant sets”, a set with a six-foot deck height is the best choice for long use. If you want to get at least 10 years of use out of your unit, the bigger the better. You can special order or look for 7-foot sets, but you’ll pay more and have fewer choices.
Let’s not have scary swing-set tipping over experience, shall we? The things a safe swing set needs to have included:
- 4×4 Wood Beam Thickness
- 4×6 Swing Beam of SOLID wood
- Pre-sanded wood
- Recessed hardware
- Commercial grade hardware
- Weather-treated wood
Most swing sets will have these features, and the bigger or thicker the beams, usually the better. Our last piece of safety advice is to get a professional to install the set. Digging the holes to root down the set is no joke. You don’t want to mess up and not dig deep enough.
Believe us, the cost of the installment is worth avoiding the guilt of any swing-set related injuries.
Fun Features of The Best Backyard Swing Sets
There are generally three things a swing set offers, in terms of fun. You have the slide and whatever you climb up to get to it, the swings, and one other feature. When we were kids, those push one-side, push the other-side swings were popular.
Now we’re seeing more swing sets with climbing walls, rope swings, spin seats, and fewer trapeze bars. If you’re buying for a child you already have, think about what they use at a big playground. Do they avoid tire swings and like to twist the swing chains so they spin? Taking into consideration what they like will ensure you get good use out of your backyard unit!
The Best Swing Sets
What did your swing set look like when you were a kid? Are you trying to find something reminiscent of your experience or do you want the new-and-improved features? Whichever you prefer, finding the best swing sets is really about safety. Never pay less just to save a few bucks if it gives you an iffy feeling.
Your kid’s safety is more important than anything else. Root it down deep and check wood for splinters after installment. Then take a cute reveal video showing your kids their new backyard haven. Congratulations, you’re their favorite parent now!
Need more recommendations for things to do when you have to get your kids outside? Get them out of your hair with these outdoor play ideas.