The Best Wooden Swing Set and Playset You Can Get In 2017 – The Parent’s Guide
There is probably nothing more heart-warming for parents than to watch their children enjoy playing. If you want your kids to have fun outside, and you do not want to go far from your home, it is best that you set up a playground in your yard.
There are many different options for you to choose from, but when it comes to the little ones you cannot afford to make a mistake. For this reason, we have set out on a mission to find the best wooden swing set and playset that will make the children happy but also prove safe and able to stand the test of time.
Backyard Discovery Thunder Ridge Playset Swing Set
Gorilla Playsets Nantucket Swing Set
Backyard Discovery Skyfort II All Cedar Wood Swing Playse
Congo Safari Playsystem
Cypress Swing Set
*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Current Top Five Playsets On The Market – Our Reviews
1. Backyard Discovery Thunder Ridge Playset Swing Set
Backyard Discovery Thunder Ridge Playset is made from 100% cedar wood and comes with thick steel brackets and the well-rounded T-Fuse locking nuts designed to avoid catching clothes or causing cuts and scratches. Assembled dimensions are 16' 1" W x 17' 8" D x 10' 5" H. It features a 5-foot deck. The wood is stained but not waterproof.
We encountered several difficulties while assembling the playset mostly because some parts are very similar and many markings on the boards are hard to read. Also, some holes were not pre-drilled. Four of us spent an entire day assembling the playset which is not bad considering the size.
The Discovery Thunder Ridge playset features a raised clubhouse with a sun balcony and a crow's nest, a lower play deck, two swings, a two-person swing glider, a 10-foot slide, a sandbox, monkey bars, a Rock Wall and a picnic table for four. The playset ladder can hold a grown-up person so the parents can join in the play.
2. Gorilla Playsets Nantucket Swing Set
Gorilla Swing set is made from cedar wood, and the dimensions of the assembled product are 16'x10'6"x13'. The construction is very sturdy, and there is no shaking even when the adults use the swings or climb the deck. Do mind that the deck is 4-foot tall and older children and adults cannot stand straight underneath it.
The attention to detail is exquisite. It took us a day and a half to assemble the unit, but the instructions were easy to follow, and the parts were well marked. All the holes were pre-drilled.
The Gorilla playset features a 4-feet Rock wall with climbing rope, an eight-feet wave slide, a club house with real working window shutters, two belt swings, and one trapeze swing, a sandbox, and a tic-tac-toe panel. It also has interesting details such as a steering wheel, a chimney, and a telescope.
3. Backyard Discovery Skyfort II Swing Playset
Skyfort II Swing Playset is also 100% cedar wood, and the listed dimensions are 22' 7" x 16' 8" x 12'. The height of the deck is 5 foot, and it is suitable for the older children as well. It meets all the safety standards. It comes with a 5-year lumber warranty, which we find a bit disappointing considering the price.
We have already had valuable previous experience in assembling the playsets, and we have, therefore, experienced no troubles.
This swing set features a clubhouse with bay windows and a lower play deck, a two-person swing glider, two belt swings, a ten-foot wave slide, a sandbox, monkey bars, a picnic table and a challenging rock climbing wall. There is also a telescope which is an interesting detail, but regretfully it is not a real thing. The only complaint we have is that the swings are set too close, and children tend to bump into each other.
4. Congo Safari Playsystem
Congo Safari playset is made of cedar treated with borates and then coated with a polymer made from recycled plastics. Therefore, it is easy to clean and extra durable as it does not chip, it is waterproof and does not require staining. The deck is 4 foot high. It meets all the standards of safety.
It is easy to assemble although some parts are not clearly labeled, everything is pre-drilled and pre-cut, and the manual is easy to follow. It took us only four hours to install the playset. There is a 10-year lumber guarantee.
It fits in most backyards and features two sling swings, a trapeze bar with rings, the eight-foot wave slide, and a bench under the 4’x4’ fort. It also has details such as telescope and steering wheel. It is sturdy, but only three children can play at the same time. It is rather simple, but there are numerous interesting upgrades available
5. Cypress Swing Set
Cypress Swing Set is made in the USA from Premium Preserved Southern Yellow Pine treated with non-toxic chemicals. The lumber is pre-stained, water repellant, and the hardware is triple-plated to avoid corrosion. The deck is five foot high, and the overall dimensions are 14 ft. 6 in. W x 19 ft. 7 in.
The assembly is time-consuming since the parts are not labeled, but the manual is quite clear. The warranty for lumber parts is ten years.
Besides the play deck with a porch, it also features a ten-foot Wave slide, two swings, a ring trapeze bar, rock climbing wall with knotted climbing rope, a sandbox, monkey bar, gym platform. The chalkboard, tic tack toe panel, toy telephone, steering wheel, periscope, and telescope are fun details and will allow for hours of imaginative play.
Why buy a swing set for your children?
We bet that when contemplating your childhood, you surely have at least a few memories related to having fun on the playground and swinging. Even if you do not, the benefits of swing sets are acknowledged by many experts and include a positive influence on the child’s social development, mental and physical health, and emotional intelligence.
- Emotional benefits
- Physical benefits
- Social benefits
Children become more satisfied with themselves with every little conquest of their playground. They spend their time in unstructured play which allows them to express their creativity and imagination. When they play alone, kids also have time to think about their day and process everything that they have experienced.
Children spend more time outdoors, and they are more physically active. While children swing, run, and climb their bodies become stronger as their muscles develop. Most importantly, they burn calories, and the risk of early childhood obesity is reduced. A healthy body is essential for a healthy mind to develop too.
Swinging allows the child to interact with other children and develop social skills.Kids make their first friendships, learn to share and compete with others. Helping others climb or swing, letting others have their turn and wait for their own patiently are all good foundations for a healthy adulthood.
What to consider when choosing a wooden playset?
#1. First of all, you want to be sure that it meets all the required SAFETY STANDARDS. It is certainly the most important feature of any swing set for every parent. The playset manufacturers should follow safety recommendations, but unfortunately, not all of them adhere to these guidelines.Parents must pay attention to some safety issues when choosing a swing set. Some of the safety standards are as follow:
- There should be no exposed moving parts such as hooks or springs as they could crush or pinch the child’s fingers.
- All the openings should be from 3.5 Inches to 9 Inches wide as to prevent head entrapment.
- The swings and monkey bars should be separated not combined as to avoid entanglement.
- Slides should be plastic, not metal as metal slides can cause burns or cuts
#2. DURABILITY is the second most important consideration when buying a wooden playset. When you spend much money to buy one, and time and effort to set it up, you will surely wish that it lasts for a long time and cause no additional costs or problems.Therefore, you need to pay the extra attention to the quality of the materials and the craftsmanship as the two guarantee for the durability of the product. The material should also be able to withstand the severe weather conditions.
#3. As already mentioned, the MATERIAL of which the playset is made accounts for its safety and durability. As we have already opted for the wooden playset, we will elaborate on different types of wood used.
- Redwood is often used for swing sets as it is strong, weather-resistant, does not attract insects or rot quickly. Avoid redwood which has more knots as they weaken the wood.
- Cedar (Red, Yellow or Northern White Cedar) is regarded as robust and rot-resistant. However, it lacks density, so the screws and bolts have to be tightened regularly.
- Pressure Treated Wood has been considered a health risk until the new version which is CCA-free and is sometimes called Ultrawood. It is highly unlikely to twist or crack.
- Pinewood swing sets are the ones with the longest history and are still quite easy to find. However, they deteriorate and rot quickly and can represent a hazard for children.
The most popular alternative to wooden playsets are the plastic ones. They are a less expensive option and require less maintenance, but choosing a plastic model limits customization.
#4. Unless you are a professional, the installation of the swing set and the playset will require a lot of time and effort, so the EASE OF INSTALLATION is an important feature to consider. There is always an option to hire a professional, but even if you pay the price, no one guarantees that the installer will be experienced and perform flawlessly.
There are numerous things to consider when installing the playset such as:
- Measures of the yard (allow for 6' of free space on each side of the set )
- The slope (no more than 4-6 inches variance from left to right/ front to back)
- How detailed the manual is, and how clear the instructions are
- The quality of the parts
-Making sure there are no broken or missing parts
#5. It seems obvious, but we would like to highlight the importance of considering KIDS AGE when purchasing a playset. You want your children to be able to use and enjoy the playset for as long as possible and not outgrow it quickly. At the same time, you need it to be safe for children of all ages. For this reason, it is best to choose the appropriate height of the deck that will best fit your requirements and the needs of your child/children. There are several options:
- 4-foot deck – suitable for children up to 8 years old
- 5-foot deck – best value, it can be used by both very young children and the children in their early teens
- 6/7 foot deck- can entertain even adults, but young children may require assistance
EXTRA TIP: Be careful if you purchase the swing set and the play set online as the 4-foot and 5-foot deck look almost identical.
#6. Finally, when buying the playset take all the FEATURES, it offers into account. Standard features are swings, slides, and monkey bars, but most of the high-end playsets have extra features such as picnic tables, sandboxes, and climbing walls. Make sure that your child will feel challenged as that will keep him/her occupied and entertained for longer.
#7. Of course, there is the PRICE issue as well. Rather than buying the cheapest set, consider the fact that the price reflects the quality, durability, safety and all the other important features already mentioned.
The price-tag of a high-quality wooden swing set and playset is usually above $1000, and if you are not willing to spend as much, you might consider some other options such as plastic sets, rather than ending up with the faulty or bad quality product.
EXTRA TIP: High-quality playsets always come with a warranty (10-years in average)!
And the best wooden swing set and playset is…
We give our vote to the Cypress Swing Set since we anticipate that it will prove to be most durable, but also the most entertaining due to its extra features.
However, all other playsets reviewed are excellent, and parents who desire the best for their kids and are able to afford one should not hesitate to buy it. It will give them an opportunity to play with their children whenever they have some free time, but also a feeling of security when their children play in the safe and controlled environment of their yard.