10 Best Wooden Swing Sets 2014
Wooden Swing Sets Reviews for Kids
I have very happy memories of countless carefree hours spent on the swing set my family had when I was little. I wanted to provide that same experience for my kids, and so I started researching different types of swing sets on the market today.
I soon came to realize that with so many different options, because buying a swing set is a big investment, I wanted to make sure I was getting the right one for my family.
To help you in deciding on the right swing set for your family, first lets go over a few basics of things to consider when purchasing a swing set.
Measuring First Will Help You Eliminate a Few Options:
First of all, determine where you will be putting your swing set, and measure how much space you have for it. Remember that you will need a little space on all sides of the swing set, one source I read said to add 6' on each side when determining space, and that seems about right in my experience. Also, remember that your space needs to be flat, it isn't safe to install a swing set on a sloped area.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Wood Swing Set:
Next, what material do you want your swing set made out of? Wood play sets are sturdy and long lasting, but moving large wood swing sets is very hard, so once you set it up you will probably want to leave it there long term. Metal is also sturdy but will begin to rust after multiple seasons out in the weather.
If you determine wood is right for you, you also want to consider what kind of wood you want. Some woods hold up much better than others to weather and pests, cedar is a very popular choice because it is naturally decay and insect resistant, but it is also more expensive than other choices.
Consider the Current Age of Your Children:
Last, what age of children do you want the swing set for? I really like swing sets that are convertible, so I can start out with a baby swing now, but switch it out for a normal swing later when we don't have a baby at home any more.
Similarly, although young children may not be able to climb a rock wall, being able to add one later, or having one even when you might not use it at first will add to the fun for older children. When I was looking at swing sets I decided first to just look at lots and lots of pictures and write down what my favorite play features were, and then compile a list of those and try to find a play set that incorporated as many of them as possible.
Now here's a review of my favorite wooden swing sets on the market in 2013.
Gorilla Playsets Blue Ridge Frontier Playground System
If you have a lot of space, and want lots of flexibility and options, I love the Gorilla Playsets Blue Ridge Frontier Playground System.
With 13 different activities on the swing set, you can have lots of kids playing at once and no one will get bored.
For climbing you have a rope ladder, rock wall and climbing ramp. I really like how the rock wall on this has a rope, so when younger kids are just starting out with the rock wall they can use the rope to help them up.
For swinging, you have a tire swing, 2 traditional swings, and a trapeze bar. My kids' favorite is the tire swing, which you don't get on very many different swing sets, so I really liked that this one had that. If any of those swing options aren't exactly want you are wanting, Gorilla also makes a high back baby swing, half bucket swing, and full bucket swing options that you can buy and switch out for babies, and a Stand-N-Swing option for the older kids.
All Gorilla swing chains are coated in something called Plastisol, which gives it a powdery finish so that they won't pinch little fingers, but they still are flexible enough to move as kids swing and play on them.
This swing set also comes with a wavy slide, a tic-tac-toe game and telescope in the play tower, and a sandbox and picnic table underneath, so you really do have endless hours of play options here.
This swing set is all cedar, and is delivered un-assembled, so while the included instructions are very good, because it's such a big play set there are lots of parts, and I would recommend having a couple adults and a full day set aside for putting it together.
All the lumber comes pre-drilled and sanded, and the wood also has a 10 year warranty.
Saratoga Cedar Swing Set
If you don't have quite that much space, but still want a swing set with lots of different play options, look at the Backyard Discovery - Saratoga Cedar Swing Set. Backyard Discovery is another company that is known for high-quality long lasting swing sets, so you can feel confident buying a set from them.
My favorite part of this swing set is the fort. In designing this swing set Backyard Discovery wanted to create the ultimate fort, and you can tell a lot of thought went into this design.
The bottom half is the "club house" section, and it really is a tiny little house with a front door, a covered front porch and even a little seating area. Having their own little space with a door and everything really opens up this area to all kinds of imaginative play, that little house has been a restaurant, a submarine under the sea, a little home, and more.
From the bottom there are 2 different ways to climb to the look out area on top, you can climb up the ladder that is next to the slide, or cross the monkey bars. From that top deck we are sailors watching for pirates, Robin Hood in our forest fort, and Tarzan in his tree house in the jungle.
The Saratoga Cedar swing set has enough swing options for 4 children to swing at once; you have 2 traditional style belt swings and a 2 person glider. Discovery also sells a toddler bucket swing you can purchase separately if you need that option for younger babies.
As the name implies this set is made of solid cedar beams, and is delivered unassembled but pre-drilled and with detailed instructions.
I will recommend that you have a level and a square and as long as you are making sure everything lining up correctly you shouldn't have any problems with putting it together.
Meadowvale Wooden Swing Set
If you want something smaller and on the less expensive side, the Meadowvale Wooden Swing Set is made primarily of pressure treated lumber, which is much less expensive then cedar, but still long lasting, so it allows you to purchase a good swing set without the high up front cost.
One thing that can be a worry about some pressure treated lumber is sometimes dangerous chemicals are used to make it, and they still might still be present in the wood, which I don't like with products that will be used by children. But this wood is Arsenic and Chromium free, as well as being Non CCA, which I think is important.
While the Meadowvale swing set has a smaller foot-print and not all the features of a larger swing set, this set still has tons of options for play.
There is a sandbox on the bottom, and a rock wall and rope ladder for climbing up to the little fort area on top. From there you can take the wavy slide back down, and then jump onto one of the two swings or play on the trapeze style acrobatic swing.
Playstar 7719 Champion XP Play Station Building Kit
If you own some wood working tools, and are a do-it-yourselfer, then you can save a lot of money by going with a kit like the Playstar 7719 Champion XP Play Station Building Kit.
This kit includes detailed design plans that include 4 different tried-and-tested swing set designs to choose from with cutting guides and drill marking templates for preparing your own lumber.
Besides being able to save a lot of money, buying your own lumber allows you to choose the best kind of wood for your particular climate, which means a longer lasting swing set.
Along with the plans, this set includes a lot of accessories and weather-resistant hardware for creating your dream play set. For swinging, you get one swing, two monkey rings, a pair of gym rings, all with chains and fasteners and two swing hanger pairs.
For climbing, it includes a climbing rope and climbing rocks, and it also has a sandbox bench, and a discovery telescope, as well as needed brackets, braces and connectors needed for the included plans.