As seen in:
Backyard Discovery
Skyfort II, All-Cedar
Backyard Discovery
Saratoga, All-Cedar
Lifetime
Heavy-Duty, A-Frame Metal
Kettler
Trimmstation
Flexible Flyer
Triple Fun
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Good

Off the charts in terms of safety and construction quality. Has everything: slide, swings, glider swing, rock wall, clubhouse, play deck . . . even a crow's nest.

More affordable than the Skyfort.The downstairs clubhouse features windows and a real door that opens and closes.

Exceptionally sturdy materials and durable construction. Made of industrial grade, long-lasting steel.

The “BMW of swing sets.” Brightly colored bars are powder coated for a fade-resistant finish that holds up well for years.

Very affordable. This set includes three swings, a see saw, and a low-to-the-ground slide.

Bad

Not an easy swing set to put together, but because kids really love it, most buyers find it worth their efforts in the end.

The wood tends to chip and splinter.

We worry that some children would miss the fun of the slide and glider swing that come standard with most sets.

Instruction manual consists of images only and can be frustrating to follow.

The bolts and other hardware on to rust rather quickly. Various stability issues.

Bottom Line

The best swing set available. On par with the equipment you see in public parks and school playgrounds in terms of quality and fun.

Has fewer bells and whistles than the Skyfort, but it's still a great buy if you're looking for an all-cedar play set with a clubhouse.

Lacks advanced features, but if you're looking for a simple, playground-quality structure that will stand the test of time, this is an excellent choice.

If you're looking for an exceptionally sturdy swing set and don't mind the extra effort of cementing it into the ground, this could be the right buy for you.

A “you get what you pay for” product. If you are on a budget, we recommend going with the Kettler.

How we decide
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Products received from manufacturers
56
Models Considered
44
Hours Spent
3
Experts Interviewed
213
Consumers Consulted

Best Swing Sets

The best swing sets on the market provide enjoyable, safe backyard fun for toddlers, school-aged children, and tweens. A swing set's durability is of utmost importance; a well-made product keeps children safe and stands the test of time.

Products we Considered

Backyard Discovery
Skyfort II, All-Cedar
Backyard Discovery
Saratoga, All-Cedar
Lifetime
Heavy-Duty, A-Frame Metal
Kettler
Trimmstation
Flexible Flyer
Triple Fun

Considerations

Durability

A swing set's durability is a direct reflection of the quality of its materials. The best swing sets on the market are made of materials that ensure child safety and stay well-preserved in weather of all extremes.

Ease of Installation

Since most swing sets must be assembled by the purchaser, ease of installation is an important consideration. Some swing sets take hours to assemble while others take days. The quality of the parts and the clarity of the instruction manual are the main contributors to a swing set's ease of installation.

Features

The best swing sets on the market sport features that keep children occupied and entertained. Common features include swings, a slide, and monkey bars, but the offerings vary from set to set.

Price

Swing sets range in price from hundreds to thousands of dollars. The price typically reflects the quality of the materials and the number of features offered. Cheaper sets are often made of "flimsy" metal, whereas more expensive sets tend to be constructed of hardy wood or industrial grade steel.

Considerations

Durability

Skyfort All-Cedar Play Set

The Skyfort comes un-assembled with sturdy cedar lumber and patented Safe-T-Lock hardware. According to customers from different regions of the U.S., the wood holds up well in extreme weather, both hot and cold. Most customers we surveyed said that, after the lengthy assembly processs, they had no problems with the set's sturdiness and overall quality. This is an exceptionally large and heavy set, but in spite of its weight, it needs to be anchored to keep it from lifting off the ground. Anchors are provided with the box set.

Backyard Discovery - Saratoga Cedar Swing Set - 30011

The Backyard Discovery Saratoga is a wood-based play structure made of pre-stained cedar. Owners give mixed reviews on this set's ability to withstand weather extremes; while some complain of slight cosmetic wear after a cold season, others say that the set continues to look "brand new" in spite of tough weather. This structure is sturdy enough to support kids and adults, but the wood has been known to chip and splinter, and some owners comment that the lumber is not as thick and substantial as they would have liked. Overall, our research suggests that the Saratoga is a durable structure with minor imperfections that don't have a significant impact on safety.

Lifetime 10-Foot A-Frame Swing Set

We give the Lifetime A-Frame Swing Set top ratings for its exceptionally sturdy materials and durable construction. This set does not have the same number of features that some other sets do, but if you're looking for a simple, playground-quality structure that will stand the test of time, this is an excellent choice. Because this set is very heavy, anchoring is not required, but some owners choose to anchor the legs for extra security. The heavy steel poles and swing chains are powder-coated to prevent rust. The materials are solid enough to support both children and adults, and many parents confess that they like to play on this swing set as much as their children do.

Kettler Trimmstation Swing Set

The German-made Kettler Trimmstation is a superior-quality play set made of heavy-duty steel. The brightly colored bars are powder coated for a fade-resistant finish that holds up well for years, according to most of the owners we surveyed. Only one customer, a Florida resident who lives in an excessively rainy climate, reported any incidence of rust. We give the Trimmstation a high rating for its durability and playground-like quality. One satisfied owner calls it the “BMW of swing sets.”

Flexible Flyer "Triple Fun" Swing Set

The Flexible Flyer swing set consists of a metal frame with a powder-coated finish. Although most users do not report problems with rust on the frame, our research found that the bolts and other hardware on this set tend to rust rather quickly. Many users we surveyed reported structural issues with the Flexible Flyer, including rungs falling off the slide ladder and the see saw needing repair. One unhappy parent blamed the poorly made see saw for her child's broken arm; another complained that her children kept sliding off the “slippery” swings and hurting themselves. Overall, we give the Flexible Flyer a low durability rating because it does not appear to safely accommodate “vigorous” play.

One satisfied owner calls the Kettler Trimmstation the "BMW of swing sets."
Considerations

Ease of Installation

Skyfort All-Cedar Play Set

This is an extremely well-made set, but it comes at a cost: its lengthy assembly time. One customer reported that, under the constraints of his busy lifestyle and full-time job, it took him five weeks to put the set together. The instruction manual is 100+ pages and contains many diagrams that some people find confusing. While a few customers we surveyed reported that their kit included a surplus of materials, others said their kit did not include all of the necessary wood and hardware. Overall, this is not an easy swing set to put together, but because kids really love it, most buyers find it worth their efforts in the end.

Backyard Discovery - Saratoga Cedar Swing Set - 30011

The Saratoga takes time to assemble. Most owners we surveyed said it took them between one and three days to put it together. While some customers complain that the Saratoga's pre-drilled holes are difficult to line up, others report no major construction problems. Two of the most valuable pieces of installation advice we gleaned from our research are as follows: use a level when assembling this set to ensure that it sits properly on the ground, and don't tighten the hardware until you are certain that the set is indeed level to the ground.

You'll need some muscle to put together the Lifetime A-Frame Swing Set. It's a heavy piece of equipment that is best assembled by two or three people. The owners we surveyed reported that it took them approximately one afternoon of hard labor to complete this project. The directions are clear and easy to understand, but some owners complain that the bolts don't easily fit into the holes. Elbow grease is needed during the final stage of assembly - when the top horizontal bar is attached to the A-frame. Several customers recommend using a C-clamp to bring all of these heavy parts together.

The Kettler's instruction manual consists of a series of pictures, not words. This manual style frustrated a few of the owners we surveyed. Parts are not labeled, but users report that if you sort the hardware before beginning construction, the process is a lot smoother. In general, installation takes less than one day, and the most difficult part is digging the deep holes needed to anchor this set in cement. The users we surveyed dug holes anywhere from 8 to 17 inches deep. The deeper the hole, the lower the Kettler will sit to the ground - an important fact to keep in mind if you have smaller children who might find the monkey bars and trapeze too high off the ground.

Flexible Flyer "Triple Fun" Swing Set

The Flexible Flyer is the easiest and quickest to install out of all the swing sets in our survey. Most owners report that it took them only an hour or two to assemble this set. Because it is less "solid" than the other play sets we reviewed, the Flexible Flyer definitely needs to be anchored to the ground. Anchors are included in the kit, but some owners choose to also use concrete for extra stability.

The Skyfort is on par with the equipment you see in public parks and school playgrounds.
Kelle
Expert Consultant
Kelle
Teacher and Child Care Professional

Kelle is a certified teacher, a leader of multiple children’s organizations, and a mother of two small children. Her professional network of colleagues and extensive knowledge of baby/child-related products makes her a valuable resource here at BestReviews. When she’s not caring for children or studying products, you may find Kelle engaging in watersports and other exercise.

Considerations

Features

Skyfort All-Cedar Play Set

If your aim is to create an exciting adventure zone for your children, this is the swing set to buy. The Skyfort comes with a clubhouse and balcony that will make your kids the envy of all of their neighborhood friends. There's plenty for children to do: swing, share a glider ride, climb the rock wall, ride the wave slide, sit at the picnic table, or play in the sand box. If that's not enough, you can purchase add-on items such as a telescope, trapeze, steering wheel, and tic tac toe game. The only place your kids might find more outdoor fun is your local playground. Then again, they might not; this swing set is deluxe in every sense of the word, and it gives many public park sets a run for their money.

Backyard Discovery - Saratoga Cedar Swing Set - 30011

This is a fun swing set with something for everyone. The downstairs clubhouse features windows and a real door that opens and closes. Outside the door is a play bench covered by an awning, and atop the clubhouse is a play deck with an A-frame roof. Kids can access the upper deck by ascending the ladder or, for those who prefer the challenge, by swinging across the three metal monkey bars. The Saratoga also features two belt swings, a two-person glider, and an eight-food slide. Kids won't get bored on this set which is very similar to the Skyfort except that it has a few less bells and whistles.

Lifetime 10-Foot A-Frame Swing Set

We love this set for its sturdiness, but we're disappointed with its smaller-than-average number of structural offerings. For a price of $473, all you get are two swings and a trapeze. These pieces are extremely well made, but we worry that some children would miss the fun of the slide and glider swing that come standard with most sets. Thankfully, you can lower the swings and trapeze with an extra chain if they're too high off the ground. Overall, this set is a good choice for school-aged children who prefer swinging over other playground activities.

Kettler Trimmstation Swing Set

The Kettler Trimmstation's star attraction is its monkey bars, which are sturdy and fun for both kids and adults. It also comes with one board swing, a trapeze, and a climbing rope. Adding or swapping accessories is not as easy with this set as it is with the others we reviewed, although the Trimmstation does accommodate Kettler's separately sold baby swing. The major feature this swing set lacks is a slide, although some users have purchased a separate, free-standing slide from the Kettler company. The recommended age range for this set is 3-8, but most owners agree that it works best for children ages 5 and up.

Flexible Flyer "Triple Fun" Swing Set

This set includes three swings, a see saw, and a low-to-the-ground slide. The stated weight limit is 630 pounds, implying that up to six 10-year-olds could play on it at once, but most owners we surveyed agreed that this product is targeted more toward toddlers. We were disappointed to learn that both the slide and the see saw have durability issues which could threaten kids' safety. One owner described the Flexible Flyer as a “you get what you pay for” product.

The Skyfort comes with a clubhouse and balcony that will make your kids the envy of all of their neighborhood friends.
Considerations

Price

Skyfort All-Cedar Play Set

The Skyfort is the most expensive swing set we surveyed, but we also found it to be the most "complete" package on offer. For $1640, you get a durable, all-cedar product with a large array of fun features. Installation takes time and work, but owners unanimously agree that the effort is worth it in the end. The Skyfort delivers hours of backyard fun to children of all ages.

Backyard Discovery - Saratoga Cedar Swing Set - 30011

For a price of $853, the Backyard Discovery Saratoga is like the Skyfort's younger, slightly inferior cousin. Like the Skyfort, it is constructed of durable cedar, but our surveys indicate that the wood tends to chip and splinter. The Saratoga has fewer bells and whistles than the Skyfort, but it's still a great buy if you're looking for an all-cedar play set with a clubhouse.

Lifetime 10-Foot A-Frame Swing Set

The Lifetime's biggest benefit is its sturdy construction. The owners we surveyed love the fact that it is made of industrial grade, long-lasting steel. For a price of $473, however, we wish this set included more than just two swings and a trapeze.

Kettler Trimmstation Swing Set

At a cost of $499, the Trimmstation delivers high quality for a middle-of-the-road price. Although a slide is not included, some owners have purchased a separate, free-standing slide to complement their Kettler set. If you're looking for an exceptionally sturdy swing set and don't mind the extra effort of cementing it into the ground, this could be the right buy for you.

Flexible Flyer "Triple Fun" Swing Set

This swing set is by far the cheapest we reviewed. At only $168, some owners report complete satisfaction with their purchase. However, others state that they wish they hadn't bought this product because of its safety hazards and poor durability. Overall, we find the Flexible Flyer to be a risky purchase. If you're considering this swing set, keep in mind that most owners we surveyed found it to be more appropriate for toddlers than school-aged children.

The Kettler Trimmstation is exceptionally sturdy, making it one of the safest swing sets on the market.

Best of the Best

The Skyfort All-Cedar Play Set is the very best swing set we reviewed. This quality structure has everything: slide, swings, glider swing, rock wall, clubhouse, play deck . . . even a crow's nest. If that's not enough, there are extra add-ons you can purchase for the Skyfort, such as a telescope, binoculars, and tic tac toe game. This apparatus is on par with the equipment you see in public parks and school playgrounds in terms of quality and fun. Owners report complete satisfaction with the sturdy, all-cedarwood construction of this play structure. If you've got the space in your yard and don't mind spending a little more money, this could be the perfect play set for you. We admit that the Skyfort is not the easiest piece of equipment to install, but the owners we surveyed say the effort was worth it in the end. Children will be entertained for hours, exercising their bodies and stretching their imaginations with this all-inclusive play set.
Best of the Best
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The Skyfort All-Cedar Play Set has everything: slide, swings, glider swing, rock wall, club house, play deck . . . even a crow's nest.

Best Bang for your Buck

Brightly colored and made of heavy-duty steel, the Kettler Trimmstation isn't the cheapest swing set on our list, but it is by far the best quality you can get on the lower end of the pricing spectrum. At a cost of $499, this outstanding piece of equipment features monkey bars, one swing, a trapeze, and a climbing rope. It does not have a slide, but Kettler does sell a free-standing slide that would complement this purchase. When anchored to the ground with cement, this is a durable and solid play structure that will last for years. The Kettler's monkey bars and trapeze generally sit higher off the ground than the equipment on some other swing sets we reviewed, but families can lower these features by digging deeper anchoring holes. Kettler's installation manual guides with pictures rather than written instructions, a fact that may or may not make construction easier. The stated age range is 3-8, but our research suggests that children age 5 and above get the most enjoyment out of it. Overall, this is an extremely reasonably priced swing set with a very high quality rating.
Best Bang for your Buck
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The Kettler Trimmstation is by far the highest quality swing set you can get on the lower end of the pricing spectrum.
The team that worked on this review
  • Michael
    Michael
    Creative Lead
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Editor
  • Ann
    Ann
    Operations
  • Jimi
    Jimi
    Product Analyst
  • Adrian
    Adrian
    Senior Engineer