Good for small spaces. Has a 7-foot diameter and is 4 feet high. Heavy-duty with a 1,000-pound weight capacity. Not a very big dome climber, which makes it a good choice for smaller children. Bright colors. Fun for play and not so high you have to worry about falls.
Dome takes a little bit of time and patience to assemble.
Made from plastic tubes. You don't have to worry about rust. Easy to snap together. Lightweight. Made for younger climbers ages 3 to 6. Small enough that you could put it indoors or in a garage. Portable at only 25 pounds.
This is small and only good for smaller kids. Some components not included.
Built with lead-free components and is UV-resistant. The ergonomic climbing grips keep this design pinch-free for little hands. Canopy is effective at providing cool shade. Coated with material to prevent the metal from heating up.
Occasional reports of poor-quality components. Challenging assembly instructions.
Can hold up to 6 children or 600 pounds. Powder-coated steel is durable and resists rust. Nice size at 5 feet tall and 10 feet in diameter. Heavy-duty construction. Manageable to put together with two adults. Available in more than one size.
Dome doesn't come with ground stakes or any way to attach it to the ground.
This metal jungle gym measures 82.3 by 79.6 by 41.3 inches, and it has a weight capacity of 439 pounds. It can be safely used both indoors and outside, and the metal is rust- and corrosion-resistant.
It’s difficult to build without a second pair of hands, and some found the instructions hard to understand.
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.
It’s a fact of life: kids love to climb. They climb on chairs, staircase banisters, doors, trees, ladders, fences, and anything else they can get their hands — and feet — on. Since they’re going to climb anyway, why not give them something to climb on that is safe, secure, and meant for climbing?
Children’s bodies need climbing activities to stimulate muscle tone, strengthen their bones, build confidence, and let them explore the world from a vantage point higher than they normally are. The feeling of success from struggling to climb up a dome or jungle gym is one that will prepare them for future success as they grow and mature. Since kids are going to climb anyway, and since it’s a primary way for them to develop, go ahead and get them something to climb on.
How old are your children? This is the first and most obvious thing you need to consider. The older they are, the more they weigh. Playground equipment, including dome climbers, are rated by how much weight they can safely hold. If the weight capacity of the set is too small for their weight, or if too many kids jump on it at the same time, it could collapse and cause numerous injuries.
To gauge what you’ll need, figure out how many kids will be playing on it at the same time. Estimate how much each child would weigh, and double that figure. For example, five kids at 60 pounds each weigh 300 pounds. Double that figure and buy a dome climber with a capacity of 600 pounds. That will provide you with a good safety margin, especially if the kids are still playing on it several years from now.
How much room do you have for a dome climber? Some take up quite a bit of space. Before you decide which one you’re going to get, take a tape measure outside and make sure the set you’re getting won’t dominate the yard. If it’s too big, there won’t be room left for the kids to run around or for you to relax.
This is one issue many people don’t think about until it’s too late. Any angle or slant to the ground will be magnified the higher off the ground you get. If there is a slant to the ground that is angled too steeply, the dome climber set will be more likely to tip over when your children climb to the top. You may have to get in there with a shovel and dig out part of the ground to level it. If you’ve never done any digging, take it from us, it’s a lot of work. You definitely want to think about this before you buy.
The material the tubes are made of will be reflected in the shipping weight, ease or difficulty of assembly, and the weight capacity of the dome climber. Stronger materials are heavier and harder to work with, so keep that in mind when you’re making your choice.
The tubes of your dome climber could be made from any of the following:
Other accessories on the climber, such as platforms, tent tops, and cargo nets, will be made from other materials, such as nylon, mesh, and heavy-duty plastic.
Because they’re made for children, dome climbers often come in bright, eye-catching colors. Galvanized steel tubes won’t be very colorful, but the nets and tent tops will be. Some manufacturers offer their dome climbers in a variety of color choices, while others only offer one set of colors.
How much time do you have to supervise your kids while they’re climbing? Dome climbers come in heights from just over three feet to a towering seven feet. The taller the climber set, the more supervision your children will need.
Conversely, as your children grow and mature, they’ll need less supervision even on the taller sets. It’s a delicate balancing act, but height is an important factor to think about before you purchase a dome climber.
Most dome climber sets require two people to assemble them. Set aside an entire day to complete the assembly, no matter what the instructions say. The time estimates in the instructions were created by people who have put them together several times or who are following a computerized model for predicted setup times. In the real world, when done by people who have never set one up before, it always takes longer than the instructions say it will.
Anchor kit: XDP Recreation Ground Anchor Kit
To help hold your children’s dome climber playground set firmly in place, especially if the ground is sloped or slanted too much, we like the XDP Recreation Ground Anchor Kit. It comes with four 10-inch, auger-style anchors with chains and bolts to securely fasten any playground set so it won’t tip over or move.
At the low end of the price range, dome climbers start around $100 to $150. These climbers tend to be made out of plastic tubes. They are generally meant for toddlers and pre-K children. Most can be used inside or outside, and many have a weight limit close to 200 pounds.
The middle price range of $180 to $400 is where you’ll find most climber sets. These typically have powder-coated steel or galvanized steel frames. The weight capacity on these sets can range as high as 1,000 pounds.
Anything over $400 is in the uppermost price range for dome climbers. This is where you’ll find mountain climbing sets with faux rock walls and/or cargo nets. You’ll also find taller sets that require adult supervision when your children are on them. The weight capacity will be limited to around 300 pounds because the outer surfaces are made of plastic.
A. Don’t panic. Children can often get themselves unstuck on their own and will enjoy the feeling of accomplishment from doing so. Walk over to the equipment, and encourage them to figure it out. Your presence will give them a feeling of safety and the confidence to work it out.
A. Never. They could get caught on something and choke your children. This is very dangerous.
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