BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
With a 52-foot line, a carrying case, tree protectors, help line, ratchet cover, and a few other accessories, it’s hard to find a better buy than this set. Users love how easy it is to set up and how efficient and sturdy the ratchet is. The ratchet cover helps to reduce the chances of injury.
Packaging can sometimes be an issue with this seller.
Kit includes main and training line, ratchet line, ratchet protector, arm trainer, tree protectors, instructions, and a bag to carry these in. Can be used by professionals and beginners. Easy setup. Built with durable materials.
Instructions were unclear for some. Line is very long.
Comes with a main line and ratchet, tree protectors, setup instructions, and a carrying bag. Simple to set up. Good, quality materials at an affordable price. Instructions were easy to understand. Easy to transport.
Some items, like a training line, have to be purchased separately.
This 42-foot-long line comes with a training line, 2 tree protectors, and an 8-inch long ratchet loop. Holds more than 300 pounds. Ratchet loop is great for anchoring to larger trees. Beginners will find the shorter length comfortable.
The shorter length may underwhelm experienced users. Tree pads are on the small side.
Contains a 70-foot line and a training line, as well as a balance line, ratchet cover, tree protectors, and a carrying bag. Designed for both kids and adults. Simple to set up.
A few said it was unable to carry up to the weight limit.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
What began as a hobby practiced by rock climbers at national parks has become a common backyard activity that’s surprisingly easy to learn. Slacklining involves walking across a tensioned piece of fabric called webbing which is stretched between two points to create a line.
Slacklines vary in length, width, materials, and tensioning system, all of which combine to make them better suited for beginners or advanced users. In general, the longer the slackline, the less stable it is, and the greater the challenge it presents. Experienced users favor narrow slacklines for their feeling and control, while wider slacklines are a better choice for beginners seeking stability.
Some sets may include a “helpline” that inexperienced users can hold onto as they learn to balance on a slackline. Though all slacklines are similar, the variations from one set to another can make a difference and may affect how and where you choose to slackline.
When choosing a slackline, you should first consider your skill level and who will use the slackline. Many sets are intended for beginners, while others are designed for maximum lengths or for performing tricks. The main factors that determine who a slackline is right for are the width and length of the webbing, the flat piece of fabric that you will (hopefully) be walking across.
Slackline webbings generally come in three widths: 1, 1.5, and 2 inches. The wider the webbing, the easier it is to plant your foot on the line. A narrower line may be more comfortable against your foot and give you more control.
1-inch webbings are the preferred choice of experienced slackliners. While this was once the standard width, it has become overshadowed by the popular 2-inch lines. If you are at ease on a slackline, you may find that 1-inch lines are more comfortable and give you better control and balance.
2-inch webbings are the most popular option and work well for beginners. The extra width makes it easier to plant your foot on the line and it’s more forgiving if you aren’t perfectly centered.
Slacklines vary greatly in length, ranging from 20 feet to 100 feet or longer. In general, the longer the slackline, the greater the potential for wobbling, making a longer line better suited to an experienced user.
20- to 30-foot slacklines work well for beginners and can be set up in a variety of places.
30- to 50-foot slacklines work well for beginner to intermediate users, and they can always be shortened if the maximum length is too much. The added length gives you more flexibility when finding a place to set up.
The first slackliners who originated the sport in the 1980s used climbing webbing, which was fat or tubular and made of nylon. While modern slacklines haven’t traveled far from their roots, there are a few more options for webbing materials.
Polyester webbing is a popular choice for its lack of stretch and its strength. The combination of these qualities makes it common in beginner sets as well as advanced longline sets.
Nylon webbing is stretchier than polyester, giving the line more bounce. This makes it popular among “trickliners” who perform jumps, flips, and handstands on slacklines. While the bounciness can be more fun, it also presents an additional challenge.
Some webbings may combine polyester and nylon for a line that is somewhere between stretchy and rigid.
Despite its name, slacklining requires a good deal of tension. A slackline shouldn’t be perfectly taut — this would be difficult to set up and a lot less fun. Instead, the tensioning system should allow you to get the tension just right, whether you are simply balancing or performing tricks.
Ratchet systems are by far the most common and the easiest to set up. They use a metal ratchet that locks in place and can be easily adjusted to increase tension at any point. When you’re done, you can release the slackline by pulling a lever, packing the ratchet away with the rest of your gear.
Primitive systems use carabiners to create tension. It can be difficult to achieve high tensions with these systems and it is not possible to adjust tension.
Pulley systems are rare and are primarily used by longliners. Adjusting the tension is easy and achieving a high tension is possible, but these systems are challenging to set up.
Help lines are thinner lines of webbing that can be set up at chest height or higher to give inexperienced users something to hang on to. They can hold the help line the whole time or they can simply reach for it to regain their balance.
A carrying bag allows you to keep all your slacklining gear in one place.
Tree protectors are foam or cloth pads designed to protect trees from potential damage from slacklines. In addition, they can extend the lifespan of your webbing.
Slacklines in the $30 to $40 range are usually intended for beginners and may include help lines and carrying bags. In this range, slacklines vary from 20 to 50 feet in length and are usually 2 inches in width.
For $40 to $60 you can find beginner to intermediate slacklines that may be up to 80 feet long. These sets often include accessories like tree protection and carrying bags. Some sets in this range may have narrower webbing.
High-end slacklines for $60 to $100 are generally designed for experienced slackliners looking to perform tricks or bridge massive gaps.
Getting started can be intimidating, but with practice, you can be walking from one end of the line to the next after just a few weeks.
When you are just starting out, use the help line or hold a friend’s hand to get used to the sensation of walking on the webbing.
After a bit of practice, stop using the help line and work on just getting onto the line and balancing in place.
Don’t use the tree for balance. Learn to trust yourself to get onto the line without help.
Keep your hands higher than your shoulders as a general rule. Use your arms to balance when necessary.
Keep your feet pointed toward the other end of the line; don’t let your feet become perpendicular to the line.
Try to preserve steady momentum and always move forward.
Keep your knees comfortably bent.
Keep your eyes on the base of the other end of the line as you walk.
A. As with many outdoor sports, injury is always possible. However, when performed safely at a low height, you are at less of a risk.
A. It’s up to you. Most people prefer to slackline barefoot to help with grip and control. This can be especially useful when you are just starting out to help you center your feet on the line.
A. They can, but they should only do so with adult supervision and an adult standing nearby in case of a fall.
Get emails you’ll love.
Learn about the products you’re wondering if you should buy and get advice on using your latest purchases.