Swing Set Comparison
Skyfort All-Cedar Play Set
Flexible Flyer “Triple Fun” Swing Set
Backyard Discovery Santa Fe Wood Swing Set
Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure Swing Set
Flexible Flyer Fun Time
Cedar Wood Swing Set
Flexible Flyer “World Of Fun” Swing Set
Flexible Flyer Swing N Glide III
Flexible Flyer Backyard Fun
|60 x 80||NA||37 x 38||NA||NA||40 x 60||NA||NA||NA||NA|
|Material||Wood|| Power |
|Wood|| Power |
| Power |
|59″ x 50″||NA||NA||NA||NA||49″ x 40″||NA||NA||NA||NA|
|Covered Porch Area|
|33″ x 31″||18″ x 16″||17″ x 15″||20″ x 18″||24″ x 18″||32″ x 30″||60″ x 60″||55″ x 50″||45″ x 55″||55″ x 65″|
| Number of |
|22′ 7″ x 16′ 8″ x 12′ 2″||12.75″ x 9.67″ x 7.89″||11.5″ x 8.4″ x 6.3″||8″ x 17″ x 22″||12″ x 9″ x 7″||16.2″ x 10.4″ x 8.7″||80″ x 250″ x 150″||80″ x 200″ x 100″||80″ x 120″ x 100″||80″ x 150″ x 150″|
|Safe Play |
|34′ 7″ x 28′ 8″||18.5″ x 19.5″||17.6″ x 14.8″||25″ x 30″||24″ x 18″||28.2″ x 26.6″ x 14.7″||100″ x 200″||100″ x 150″||85″ x 100″||100″ x 150″|
|Warranty||5 Years||5 Years||5 Years||5 Years||5 Years||10 Years||30 Months||1 Year||5 Years||5 Years|
Swing Set Buying Guide
What is a Swing Set
You’re going to find that there are an infinite number of play sets out there, and they come in a number of different sizes and materials. Whether you’re purchasing a small set from a discount store or ordering a customized set from a builder, you should take into account a number of considerations to ensure the safety and happiness of your children.
Consider the Size of Your Yard
You’ll get a good idea of size from the catalog and internet photos of the swing set, but sometimes just looking at the photo isn’t enough. When you buy a swing set in person you can sometimes get an unrealistic sense of size, due to the spacious outdoor showroom.
- Measurement: You want to carefully measure your yard from fence to fence, to know realistically what you’re working with. Take note of the concrete pathways, patios, pools, septic tanks, trampolines, dog runs, patio furniture, and other features that are in your backyard.
- Anticipate Growth: Know that when you buy a swing set this year, you may want a pool or other outdoor structure the next year. Always consider furniture when you buy and construct a swing set in the yard. Is there a dog that will be roaming the yard? Are you planning on planting a vegetable garden? You want to leave enough space for your children to run, play catch, ride bikes, or play ball.
Choose Your Features
As a parent you generally know what your children will enjoy most on the swing set, but it’s always a good idea to go to the dealer’s showroom to see what your children are most drawn to. You can also take your children to the park or a friend’s house to see what they like most. There are so many options to choose from, including slides, swings, monkey bars, forts, tires, ropes, tunnels, and sandboxes.
- Room for Growth: If you have young children then you want to get a baby swing, half-bucket swing, or glider for the swing set. Look out for sets that have special toddler and baby features that can then be converted as the child grows. You’ll also find swing sets that are geared towards older children, and these include tire swings, buoy balls, and sling swings. You need to consider the pros and cons of each of these types of swings. Take for example, tire swings allow many children to swing together at the same time, but tires do collect more rain water and can attract nesting insects, like wasps. Buoy balls are a lot of fun, but children won’t tend to swing on them for long amounts of time because they’re not as comfortable as sling swings.
You’ll find that most play set manufacturers use plastic or wood for the main materials. Wood is more environmentally friendly and easy to repair, while plastic models tend to be safer and less expensive. Here are the most popular materials that you’re going to find.
- Redwood: This is a strong wood that is ideal for swing sets. Redwood weathers quite well and is less likely to rot or draw insects. You want to look for a manufacturer that uses high quality redwood. When you have low-end redwood you’ll get more knots, and this can weaken the wood over time.
- Plastic: If you’re concerned about splinters, wasps, or the constant need for maintenance then you need a set molded from plastic. These models are definitely safer and less expensive, but plastic sets will limit customization.
- Red, Yellow, and Northern White Cedar: These kinds of woods are considered to be sturdy and quite resistant to rotting. Although, the lack of density will require you to have tools on hand to regularly tighten screws and bolts.
- Pressure Treated Wood: This material has earned a bad name over the past few years because it has become associated with chromate copper arsenic, or CCA. This has not proven to be a health risk, but the industry has moved away from using this material on play sets.
- Pine: A couple of generations ago, pine play sets were all the rage, and they are still available in the marketplace. However, pine is now considered to be one of the less favorable swing set materials because it deteriorates quickly. There are some pine play sets that have been recalled due to rotting monkey bars and ladders that create falling hazards for children.
It’s always important to read reviews when you’re buying a product. With a simple internet search you can read hundreds of reviews on any specific swing set. Doing your homework in this fashion will make it easier to find a set that truly performs to its specifications.
Be Sure Product Meets Safety Guidelines
The most important aspect of any swing set is its safety level. There are always safety recommendations sent to every swing set manufacturer, but they’re unfortunately not required to follow these guidelines. It’s up to you, as the parent, to safeguard your children against poorly made equipment. Here’s what you must look out for:
- No Openings Less Than 3.5 Inches or Greater Than 9 Inches: This prevents head entrapment for all ages. Be sure to patch any holes that do not meet these requirements.
- No Exposed Moving Parts that can Crush or Pinch: Any metal hooks or springs can pinch or crush fingers.
- No Swings Hanging from Monkey Bars: Children on the monkey bars can become entangled in swings when these two are combined.
- No Metal Slides: Most sets have plastic slides, because metal slides can cause burns in certain climates and pose a cutting hazard for children.
Owning a swing set is a way to get your children off the couch and into the outdoors. We highlighted the top rated swing sets on the market, and these are the sets that are built from durable materials and are safe enough for everyday use. When you have a swing set, you’re going to see that it adds to the overall happiness of your children, and will enhance their physical wellbeing. But you can only enjoy these benefits when you have a swing set that is incredibly safe and built from durable materials.
- Skyfort: http://www.samsclub.com/
- Backyard Discovery: http://www.backyarddiscovery.com/
- Flexible Flyer: http://www.backyarddiscovery.com/