Updated December 2021
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Buying guide for best tire swings

With video games, tablets, and TV to steal their attention, it can be tough to get kids to play outside these days. One key to spurring kids to enjoy the outdoors is having the right games or toys for your yard — like a tire swing. A tire swing may seem a bit old-fashioned, but it’s still a classic thrill for plenty of kids and adults.

A traditional tire swing is made of an actual tire hung from a tree or existing swing set with sturdy anchors and chains or heavy-duty ropes. Some modern tire swings don’t feature actual tires and instead simply echo the shape and structure of a tire in the swing’s design.

Choosing a tire swing can be a challenge, as there are a ton of options on the market that can all seem pretty similar. You have to figure out what type you want, the weight capacity you need, the sort of hanging mechanism you prefer, and any other features would make a tire swing as safe and fun as possible. With our buying guide, you’ll have all the tips you need to choose the perfect tire swing for your yard.

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Inspect any tree where you plan to install a tire swing to make sure that the branch in question is healthy and sturdy enough to hold it.

Key considerations


A classic tire swing is your best bet if you’re looking for a truly durable option for your yard. Because it’s made from the same tough and sturdy rubber as a tire, it holds up well to the elements and can last for years. Classic tire swings typically have a higher weight capacity as well, so they’re ideal if you want an option for more than one kid to use at a time or for the entire family to use.

With a classic tire swing, you can also choose between different orientations for the swing seat. Most feature the tire in a horizontal position; the rider sits on the outer edge of the tire and puts his legs through the center. You can also find swings that hang the tire in a vertical position; the rider sits on the inner edge with his legs threaded through the center hole and the top edge resting against his chest for added security.

Non-traditional tire swings that mimic the shape of a tire but feature nylon webbing around the center hole nearly always feature a horizontal hanging orientation. Even if you buy an option that’s made from high-quality materials, they’re usually not as durable as a classic tire swing because they don’t feature the same heavy rubber throughout.

But a non-traditional tire swing is often lightweight, which means it’s easier to hang and move if necessary. It’s also easier to keep clean than a classic tire swing, and many parents feel that it’s a safer option as well.

Weight capacity

As with any swing or piece of playground equipment, the weight capacity of a tire swing is a crucial feature to keep your family safe. Because most tire swings are made from incredibly thick, sturdy rubber, and they typically have higher weight capacities than other types of swings. Some tire swings can hold 150 pounds, while others can handle up to 550 pounds.

If you have more than one child who might want to ride the swing at the same time, or if you want to jump on the swing with your kid, choose a swing with a higher weight capacity to be safe.

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Expert Tip
Make sure that your existing swing or playground set has room to add a tire swing before you buy one. Placing it too close to another swing or play activity can endanger users.


Chain vs. rope hanging

Tire swings include some type of hanging material to suspend them from a tree or playground set. Some models use hanging chains, while others use hanging ropes.

Chain hangers made of galvanized steel tend to be the sturdiest and are your best option if you plan to hang your swing from a tree. But gripping chains while swinging can be uncomfortable, and there’s a risk that small fingers might get pinched by the chain.

Rope hangers are usually made from durable nylon rope that holds up pretty well in the elements. They won’t last as long as chain hangers, but they typically have a more attractive appearance and are more comfortable to hold. Choose a UV-resistant rope to help prevent it from breaking down over time.


Because they’re made with tires or designed to mimic a tire, most tire swings are round. You can find some models that have a square shape with rounded edges, however. A square swing often makes it easier for two kids to use at the same time, which makes it a good option for larger families.

Safety features

You want your kids — and even adults — to have fun when riding a tire swing, but making sure that they stay safe is the top priority. Look for a tire swing with multiple durable anchors that help ensure it stays level so riders don’t fall off.

Some manufacturers use third-party safety testing to verify that their swings meet the standards put forth by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) or ASTM International. If you’re concerned about the safety of a tire swing, opt for a model that’s certified by these organizations.


Many classic tire swings are black in color because they feature real tires. But you can find models that use tires in bold colors that kids enjoy, such as bright blue, red, or green. Non-traditional tire swings come in a wide array of colors since they only mimic the look of tires. In fact, you can find options that feature multiple colors for a particularly fun look.

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For your safety
Don’t allow children to stand on a tire swing. It can be extremely dangerous to swing in a standing position.


Playground sets: Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventures Swing Set
If a tire swing isn’t enough to entertain your kids, pairing it with a playground set that features additional swings, a slide, monkey bars, and/or other activities can provide hours of fun. This set from Lifetime is one of our favorites because of its sturdy powder-coated steel construction and easy assembly. It features a fireman’s pole, monkey bars, and room for three swings and a trapeze bar.

Lawn games: GoSports Regulation Bocce Set
If you want to encourage your kids to move around a little off the tire swing, some good lawn games can do the trick. This bocce set from GoSports is a favorite because it’s made from high-quality materials that hold up well to the elements and includes a canvas bag for storage and travel.

Tire swing prices

Tire swings vary in price based on the type and weight capacity. Models range from $30 to $275 or more.

Inexpensive tire swings are usually classic styles with a weight capacity of 110 pounds or less. They typically cost between $30 and $75.

Mid-range tire swings can be either classic or non-traditional styles with a weight capacity of 110 to 250 pounds. They generally range in price from $75 to $175.

Expensive tire swings are available in non-traditional and classic styles with weight capacities of 250 to 450 pounds. They usually cost between $175 and $300. For models with a weight capacity over 450 pounds, you’ll need to spend more than $300.

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Expert Tip
If you’re hanging your tire swing from a tree branch, make sure that you install it at least 3 feet from the trunk — but not so far away that it puts undue stress on the branch.


●     Seek professional help. If you’re not confident in your ability to install a tire swing safely, consider having a handyman or contractor set it up.

●     Swing safely. If you’re hanging your tire swing from a tree branch, opt for one that’s 4 inches in diameter or larger to ensure that it’s strong enough. Make sure that the swing can move without hitting any nearby branches, structures, or other items.

●     Test it first. Always test a tire swing before allowing your children to play on it. If it can bear the weight of an adult, your kids can take their turns.

●     Do regular inspections. Inspect the anchors on your tire swing regularly to make sure that they’re still secure. If any are loose, don’t allow your kids to use it until you’ve secured them.

●     Supervise younger users. To avoid injuries, never leave young children unattended when playing on a tire swing.

Other products we considered

With so many high-quality tire swings on the market, we couldn’t include all the options worth checking out on our shortlist. The Safari Swings Rubber Tire Swing is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a model that children and adults can both use. It can support up to 500 pounds and features plastic-coated chains that are comfortable to hold.

We also like the M & M Sales Enterprises John Deere Tractor Tire Swing. It’s a unique take on the classic tire swing. Designed to look like a tractor, it has a weight capacity of 175 pounds. It also has a recessed seat and stabilizer bar to help reduce falls.

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You may need to replace rope hangers on your tire swing every two to three years to ensure that they’re still strong enough to handle the weight of growing kids.


Q. Are tire swings safe?
There are some safety issues with recycling an old tire to make a homemade tire swing because there’s a chance that the rubber has started to break down. But if you buy a brand new tire swing that’s made specifically for children to use, you shouldn’t have any cause for concern. Just make sure the swing is installed correctly, and keep an eye on your kids while they’re playing on it.

Q. Can I attach any tire swing to a tree?
Some tire swings are designed to be added to existing swing or playground sets and aren’t suitable for tree installation. If you want to install your swing on a tree, read the product specifications carefully to see if it’s suitable for that type of installation and whether you need any additional hardware.

Q. What type of ground surface is the safest to install a tire swing above?
Don’t choose a spot for your tire swing where it hangs over a hard surface like concrete or stone pavers. Even dirt or grass can be too hard, so you may want to cover the space below the swing with a soft material like playground sand, rubber mulch, or wood mulch.

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