Best Backyard Playsets (Wooden & Metal) For ALL Summer Fun [Reviews & Buyer's Guide]

Best Backyard Playsets (Wooden & Metal)

Best High End

Backyard Discovery Skyfort II All Cedar Wood Swing Set

Backyard Discovery Skyfort II

Best Mid Range

Creative Playthings Charlotte

Creative Playthings Charlotte

Best Inexpensive

Creative Cedar Designs Sky View Wooden Playset

Sky View Wooden Playset

Last Updated: 25th Jan, 2020

Me and my team spent weeks testing and researching various backyard playsets. I have to admit it wasn't easy. There are a gazillion options across diverse price ranges, making it difficult to cherry-pick the very best. The price point is easy to quantify, but the number of activities, build quality and ease of assembly are entirely subjective. Hence, it wasn't a clear "apple to apple comparison." We had to interview a couple of manufacturers, talk to existing playset owners, and personally try and test the playsets for this review.

After a lot of deliberation, we've rounded up 8 best backyard playsets across different categories like size, material (wooden or metal), no. of activities, and price.

In just a few months it will be spring, and you'll want to get out into the yard and start enjoying the sunshine. After a long dark winter, nothing is better than being able to enjoy the outdoors again. That goes for your kids, too. It's been a long time being cooped up indoors, and they'll want to go outside to run and play together.

You want them to enjoy their time outdoors, especially when you want them to spend more time away from screens. What do you do? One of the best things to do is to pick up a backyard playset for them to enjoy. These days, playsets are more than a simple swing or climbing frame. These sets have all kinds of features that your kids will absolutely love. With so many now on the market, which one should you choose?

Here's our guide to eight of the best-rated playsets on the market so that you can find the right one for you.

Our Top Picks for the Best Backyard Playsets (Wooden & Metal)


  1. Backyard Discovery Skyfort II All Cedar Wood Swing Set Best Wooden playset
  2. Creative Playthings Charlotte Best design (Made in USA)
  3. CREATIVE CEDAR DESIGNS Sky View Wooden Playset Budget Pick
  4. KidKraft Newport Wooden Outdoor Playset Best under $500 option
  5. Swing-N-Slide PB 8272 Cedar Brook Play Set Comes with the most number of activities
  6. KidKraft McKinley Cedar Wood Swing Set Best for small backyards
  7. Lifetime A-Frame Adventure Playset Best Metal playset (Most durable)
  8. Little Tikes Clubhouse Swing Set - Best for toddlers

1. Backyard Discovery Skyfort || All Cedar Wood Swing Set


Specs:

  • Dimensions: 22' 7" x 16' 8" x 12' 5"
  • Activities: Front porch with sun balcony, crow's nest with a telescope, picnic table, monkey bars, 2-belt swings, rock climbing wall, ladder, wave slide
  • Recommended age: 3 to 9
  • Maximum children: 9
  • Weight limit: 120 lb/ child
  • Material: Cedar, galvanized steel
  • Assembly: DIY/Paid (tools required)
  • Weight: 702 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year on parts, 5-year on wood
Backyard Discovery Skyfort II All Cedar Wood Swing Set

Lots of homeowners love to buy wooden playsets, as they offer a lot of benefits. As they're wooden, they have a classic style that's going to age well as long as you own the set. Plus, when taken care of, wood is going to last a long time. It's resistant rot when treated, and can take a lot of wear and tear. If you're thinking of a wooden playset, then this is the best set we've found.

The Skyfort packs so much into its frame that your kids will love it. It comes with all the basics, such as two belt swings, a climbing frame, and a slide. There's also a sky flyer that two children can ride at once, as well as a flat step ladder to allow children to explore every inch of the playset.

What we love about this set are its unique features. There's a crow's nest with a built-in telescope to allow for imaginative play. The top floor includes a sun deck, bay windows, and a fully covered area. Below you'll find a picnic table as well as space for a sandpit. This is the playset you wish you had as a kid, and now you can give it to your children.

Top Features:

  • Full cedar construction resists mold and rot, so it will last for years
  • Lots of activities so several children can play at once
  • A companion app is available to help you put the whole set together easily

Final Note:

In our research and testing, we found the Backyard Discovery Skyfort to be the best wooden playset currently on offer. It packs so much into its frame that your kids will be exploring it for weeks to come. The build quality, design, finishing, attention to safety elements, and the warranty terms prove that this playset is built to last.

2. Creative Playthings Charlotte – Best Design (Made In The USA)


Specs:

  • Dimensions: 20' x 15' x 11' High
  • Activities: Ladder, one slide, climber, rooftop, picnic table, trapeze rings, two swings
  • Recommended age: 2 to 8
  • Maximum children: 10
  • Weight limit: 120 lb/ child
  • Material: Southern Yellow Pine, galvanized steel
  • Assembly: DIY/Paid (tools required)
  • Weight: 637 lbs
  • Warranty: 10 year
Creative Playthings Charlotte

When looking for a good playset, you want something that's going to stand the test of time. That's why companies like Creative Playthings are so proud of their design. They use Southern Yellow Pine in the construction of their Charlotte playset, and they guarantee it's going to last you a long time to come. The pine comes from sustainable forests too, so you can buy safe in the knowledge that your purchase comes from a renewable source.

Because the set uses pine wood, the set is much heavier than others you'll get online. The fact it's a heavier wood shows that it's high quality, and will easily take several children climbing on it day after day. There's plenty for them to do too, from swings to monkey bars to a slide they can speed down again and again.

When you buy this set, you'll get a full set of instructions to help you put together. All pieces are cut to size and pre-drilled, so you'll have much less work to do. Just put the pieces together, and you're ready to get it up and ready for your kids.

Top Features:

  • High-quality wood so you'll have a playset that will last for years to come
  • All kinds of play features, including swings, monkey bars, and a slide
  • Two-tier playset includes a full picnic table and balcony

Final note: 

The design of this set has to be seen to be believed. The work is impressive, and your kids are sure to love it. High-quality American craftsmanship, yellow pinewood construction, excellent aesthetic factors with 10-years warranty make this playset definitely worth considering.

3. Creative Cedar Designs Sky View Wooden Playset – Budget Pick


Specs:

  • Dimensions: 124" H x 214" W x 110" D
  • Activities: Ladder, one slide, climber, rooftop, sandbox/pit, picnic table, two swings
  • Recommended age: 3 to 10
  • Maximum children: 4
  • Weight limit: 420 lbs total
  • Material: Cedar
  • Assembly: DIY/Paid (tools required)
  • Weight: 301 lbs
  • Warranty: 10-year against structural failure/rot/decay
Creative Cedar Designs Sky View Wooden Playset

You want the best playset available for your children to enjoy, but you don't want to spend the earth on one. Can you get good quality while buying a budget playset? You certainly can with our budget pick, the Sky View Wooden Playset.

The set boasts ten different activities packed into its frame, and you'll be amazed at how much your kids can do. They can eat at the picnic table, play in the sandpit space, climb the rock wall, or fly down the wave slide. There's swings, and a telescope and binoculars on the top level for your kids to explore with.


It's honestly amazing how much value you're getting for this playset. Customers who have already bought it have talked about the high quality of the set itself. They were amazed at the quality of the cedar wood used in construction, and found that it stood up well to play.

Top Features:

  • A huge amount of play features packed into one play set
  • Lots of ideas to help with imaginative play and collaboration
  • Easy assembly to allow you to get the set up and ready within a day
  • Activities to help children stay active

Final Note:

If you're looking for the most bang for your buck, look no further. This playset is going to be the right one for you. It's priced reasonably yet does not compromise on the build quality.

4. KidKraft Wooden Newport Outdoor Playset – Best Under $500 Pick


Specs:

  • Dimensions: 157"L x 122.5"W x 105.7"H
  • Activities: Wave slide, rock wall, sandbox, picnic table, canopy, swings, trapeze bar
  • Recommended age: 3 to 10
  • Maximum children: 9
  • Weight limit: 110 lbs / child
  • Material: Cedar lumber
  • Assembly: DIY/Paid (tools required)
  • Weight: 340 lbs
  • Warranty: No information
KidKraft Wooden Newport Outdoor Playset

Just because you're trying to save cash doesn't mean you can't get a great playset. This outdoor playset is proof of that. The set is full of things your children will love. There are belt swings, a rock climbing wall, a wave slide, sandbox, and even a vinyl chalkboard for all their creative ideas. It's honestly amazing how much is packed in for the price you'll pay for it. 

The whole set is made from treated wood, so you'll be able to use it for years to come. There should be no problems with rot or termites as long as you periodically maintain it. It's simple to put together, and you won't need any footings to set it into place. 

If you want to add more to this budget playset, you can. There are accessories you can pick up, such as telescopes and steering wheels, that can easily be attached to the playset itself. The joy of this is you can use the accessories that your child loves, so you can create a truly unique experience for them. 

Top Features:

  • Treated wood to ensure the set stays in good condition
  • Easy to put together, so the set is ready for play
  • Lots of features encourage active and imaginative play

Final Note: Looking for the best playset under $500? This is it. Even though it's a budget model, you're not going to compromise on style or fun with this set. It comes with ample activities to keep your kids entertained for hours and hours and is built durably.

5. Swing-N-Slide PB 8272 Cedar Brook Play Set – Most Activities For Your Kids


Specs:

  • Dimensions: 11' 9" W x 21' 1" x 10' 3" H
  • Activities: Sidewinder slide, two decks, rock wall, multi-child glider, two swings with dipped chains, monkey bars
  • Recommended age: 2 to 10
  • Maximum children: 10
  • Weight limit: 115 lbs / child
  • Material: Cedar lumber, stainless steel
  • Assembly: DIY/Paid (tools required)
  • Weight: 442lbs
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Swing-N-Slide PB 8272 Cedar Brook Play Set

All the sets we've looked at so far have come packed full of activities, but this one has the most we've seen. If you buy this model, your children are sure to never be bored. Just a few examples include the rock climbing wall, two swings and a two child glider, picnic table, slide, monkey bars, and more. The whole set is topped off with a large roofed canopy, allowing lots of space for so many children to play.

If you're looking for value for money, this is the best option for you. This is the playset to buy if your house is where all the neighborhood kids congregate. Give them somewhere safe and fun to hang out during the summer months, and they'll be sure to love it.


As far as manufacturing goes, this set has been put together with the utmost care. All metal parts, including the monkey bars are made of powder-coated metal to resist rust and damage over time. The plastic rocks on the rock wall are designed to offer strong and sturdy hold on the wall, and all plastic on the set will resist cracks and fading over time.

Top Features: 

  • Over 10 play features, allowing lots of kids to play at once
  • Top-quality building materials, so the set will last for years to come in all weathers
  • Sturdy play materials to keep your kids safe
  • 5 foot covered deck allowing lots of space for play

Final Note: This set offers the most number of activities from a trapeze to slide you get everything. You'll be able to accommodate as many kids as you need (up to 10 is recommended) on your set, so no one will ever get bored in the summer months. To finish things off, this playset is backed by a lifetime warranty, giving you an extra piece of mind that your investment is always protected.

6. KidKraft McKinley Cedar Wood Swing Set – Best For Small Yards


Specs:

  • Dimensions: 171'' x 137" x 114"
  • Activities: Sidewinder slide, two decks, rock wall, multi-child glider, two swings with dipped chains, monkey bars
  • Recommended age: 3 to 10
  • Maximum children: 9
  • Weight limit: 110 lbs / child
  • Material: Cedar wood, plastic, stainless steel
  • Assembly: DIY/Paid (tools required)
  • Weight: 285 lbs
  • Warranty: Limited 5-year warranty
KidKraft McKinley Cedar Wood Swing Set

Think that you can't have a playset in your yard because it's too small? That's not a problem with this set. There's so much packed into a small space here that your kids will love it. Measuring 171 x 137 x 114 inches, there's so much to explore inside. The playset comes with a two-level clubhouse with many unique and fun features. Downstairs, there's a kitchenette complete with play sink, stove, cordless phone, clock, and even a mailbox for imaginative play. Upstairs, they can climb up using the rock wall and slide down again with the high rail slide. Completing the set are two swings and a swinging bar for active play.

The clubhouse has fully molded windows and a cute front door, completing the look of a real home. Your children will love it, as it gives the impression of a grown-up home that's all their own.

As an adult, you're going to love this set too. The wood used is all high-quality cedar, guaranteed to last a long time and hold up to energetic play. The pieces all come in pre-assembled panels, so it's very simple to put together. There are also multiple heavy metal components, such as swing brackets and hangers, ensuring your kids are safe while they're playing. 

Top Features:

  • Smaller footprint, perfect for smaller yards
  • A fully stocked kitchenette for imaginative play
  • High-quality pieces to ensure long lifespan
  • Will be perfect for children aged 36 months – 10 years old

Final Note: 

We're impressed at how much this set packs into its small size. For space-constrained buyers, it's a must-buy and your kids are bound to love it.

7. Lifetime A-Frame Adventure Playset – Most Durable Metal Playset


Specs:

  • Dimensions: 167'' x 189'' x 137''
  • Activities: Trapeze Bar, Swings, wavy slide, climbing wall, propeller swing, swing bar, cargo net
  • Recommended age: 3 to 12
  • Maximum children: 8
  • Weight limit: 150 lbs / child
  • Material: Plastic, stainless steel
  • Assembly: DIY/Paid (tools required)
  • Weight: 677 lbs
  • Warranty: 5-year
Lifetime A Frame Adventure Playset

Are you looking for a metal playset in particular? This is our pick for the most durable option, thanks to the sturdy construction and quality materials that have gone into making it. The whole set is designed to be all weather-resistant, so it can stay out in your yard all year round without a problem. It also doesn't need to be anchored into the ground, making it much easier to install. The whole set is UV resistant, and you're not going to need to worry about fading, cracking, or warping.

There are also several safety features built into the playset, ensuring that your little ones can play without worry. Soft rubberized grips on the swings stop pinching, and the set as a whole passes safety standards for playground equipment.

As for the playset itself, it's packed full of play features. There's an elevated clubhouse that's fully covered with a gable roof. Inside there's a pair of binoculars and a ship's steering wheel for imaginative play. There's also a cargo net and a full climbing wall for your little monkeys. A wave slide and multiple swings complete the set, so there's always something for them to do.

Top Features:

  • Low maintenance, as no need for painting or staining
  • All hard edges are rounded for safety
  • Lots of activities, including a chalkboard, cargo net, and rock climbing wall
  • Designed to stand the test of time

Final Note: This is by far the most durable metal playset out there. The all-metal construction and sturdy design make it ideal for bigger kids as well. You can buy this and be sure your kids are going to get the most out of it for years to come.

8. Little Tikes Clubhouse Swing Set – Best For Toddlers


Specs:

  • Dimensions: 143.50''L x 68.00''W x 76.00''H
  • Activities: Climbing wall, challenging rope ladder, a large slide, and fun steering wheel
  • Recommended age: 3 to 6
  • Maximum children: 4
  • Weight limit: 110 lbs / child
  • Material: Plastic, stainless steel
  • Assembly: DIY/Paid (tools required)
  • Weight: 137 lbs
  • Warranty: No Information
Little Tikes Clubhouse Swing Set

Are you looking for a set that's more suited to younger children? There's no reason why toddlers should miss out on all the fun. That's why this Little Tikes playset is such a good choice for them. This established company makes excellent toys for little ones, and you'll see their attention to detail in this set.

The clubhouse comes with everything you would expect from a larger playset. There's a two-level clubhouse, two swings, and a slide for your children to enjoy. There's two ways to get into the clubhouse itself, either the regular ladder or the challenging rope ladder. Your kids will love it as they'll feel just like the big kids at the playground, in the comfort of your own backyard.


The set is simple to put together, so installation will be a breeze. You are required to anchor the set down outside, but the set comes with everything you need to do that, so there's no problem. The whole set is designed for imaginative play, so you can be sure that your kids will love it when you install it in your home.

Top Features:

  • Sturdy plastic construction to ensure safe play
  • Enough play features to accommodate four toddlers at once
  • Comes with everything you need to install in your backyard
  • Smaller play features for your toddlers, so they can join in the fun

Final Note:

This is the best toddler playset we've seen out there. It's highly durable and safe and includes scaled-down versions of everything that you'd expect in a larger playset. Your toddlers are bound to love it. 

Backyard Playset Buyer's Guide

Decided you're going to pick up a playset for your kids? Read this guide to find out how to find the right one for you.

Key Considerations


<Remember That You're Making An Investment>

Yes, that playset you're buying is an investment. This isn't something that your kids will play with one summer and then move on from, and it's something that they'll come back to year after year. It's important that you understand this when you're shopping around. Are you looking for the sets that come with the most durable materials and sturdy connections? Will the set you're looking at be able to stand up to the weather all year round? You need something that won't fade in UV light, or begin to rot or rust when the wet weather comes. 

Look at cedar wood if you're buying a wood playset, as cedar is a durable wood that doesn't need to be treated with harmful chemicals. You can simply stain and seal it to keep it looking good. When buying metal playsets, pick up playsets that are powder coated to prevent rust and damage.

<Ensure You Have Space>

The space you need for your playset will depend on the model you buy. When you're looking at sets, remember that you need more space than just the footprint of the set itself. For example, you'll need space for swings to swing out without hitting anything, and space for landing at the end of the slide. There will also need to be space around the set for children to run around it. 

<Plan For All Your Children>

As you're investing in a playset for all your children, you'll need to think about how much use they'll get out of it. Your kids may love it now, but are they going to grow out of it soon? This is especially true if you buy a smaller, toddler style set. Your children may love it now, but they may get too big for it before long, or simply get bored of it. 

You'll have to consider this if you have older children, too. Are they going to play with this set in the next few years, or will they be too old for it? Most sets come with an age range, so you'll be able to plan ahead and see if your kids will get the use out of it. 

Remember that if you're planning to have more children, they'll want to use the set too once they're old enough. Pick a good quality model so it will be ready and waiting once they're old enough.

<Create A Safe Floor Space>

There are plenty of children who go to the ER with playground-related injuries every year. The top reason for these injuries is falling onto a hard surface. If you're worried about this happening, you'll need to prepare the ground your playset will sit on. If you're planning on using it on grass, then you should be fine. If not, you'll need to make some changes. 

<Take Good Care Of The Set>

If you're going to buy the set, remember that you're going to need to take care of it. Some sets, when cared for properly, will be able to outlast all your children and even possibly be ready for your grandchildren. Wooden sets will need more care, with inspection for rot or termites, and staining to keep it sealed. Keep an eye on your metal sets too, looking for rust or signs of weakening in the set. If you're willing to do this, you'll get the most life out of your playset. 

Let's Wrap Things Up:

A good playset is just what any family needs in the spring. It encourages them to run around, get active, and use their imaginations. There's so much they can do with any playset in this list. Pick one up for your family and allow them to run riot when the sun shines.

Playsets are the staple of backyards providing years of non-stop fun for your kids. Make sure you pick the right one for your yard and remember not to compromise on the build quality. You do not want to be in a situation where the playset you chose puts your kid's safety up for toss or does not survive the next winter.

If you've any further questions or queries, please comment below.

Additionally, check out these backyard games for kids and adults to play this summer:

Kevin James
 

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