Best Zip Line Kits For Backyard Fun [Reviews & Buyer's Guide]

Best Zip Line Kits For Backyard Fun [Kids & Adults]

We spent over 80 hours testing and trying out 15 of the most popular residential Zip line kits currently available. We graded each kit in terms of build quality, usability, safety features, and price. Here are our top 6 picks across different categories.

Best High End

Zixar 98 Feet Zip Line Kit for Kids and Adults

Zixar 98 Feet Zip Line Kit

Best Mid Range

CTSC 95 Foot Zip Line Kit

CTSC 95 Foot Zip Line Kit

Best Inexpensive

90' Zipline Eagle Series with Spring Brake Kit

90' Eagle Series Seated Zipline Kit

Last Updated: 4th Feb, 2020

The joy of air gushing down your face and the thrill of speed and acceleration as you zip through the yard is what makes zip lining such a popular adventure activity. But gone are the days when Zip lining was just limited to adventure parks/resorts or for adrenaline-junkie adults. More and more manufacturers are coming up with residential DIY zip line kits that allow you to convert your backyard into an adventure zone in NO TIME!

Zip line kits are pretty easy to install as well and allow you to adjust the speed of descent, slope, and rope tightness easily. And the best part is that most kits come with a host of safety features that ensure safe rides for you and your kids.

The rising popularity of zip line kits can be attributed to two factors. First, Zip lining is the ultimate addition for any backyard and is great fun for families. Secondly, it allows kids to build upper body strength, athleticism, improve balance, and be courageous. No wonder you're looking to get one for your yard.

But choosing the right Zip lining kit is no easy choice. You need to consider several factors like length, safety features, type of trolley, seat configuration harness, and more. And selecting the right kit is just half work done. You also need to carefully calculate the slag and slope for a safe installation. 

Sounds overwhelming, right? Don't worry; we're going to help you with the entire process, right from the selection of an appropriate zip line kit to how to carry out the installation.

Our Top Picks for The Best Zip Line Kits


1. 98-Feet Zip Line Kit for Kids and Adults


Specifications:

  • Cable length: 98'
  • Cable thickness: 1/4'' galvanized stainless steel
  • Max weight capacity: 350 lbs
  • Recommended age: 6 and up
  • Safety features: harness, lanyard
  • Brakes: stainless metal spring braking system
Zixar 98 Feet Zip Line Kit for Kids and Adults

Are you looking for the safest zip line kit without breaking your bank? The 98-Feet Zip Line Kit for Kids and Adults is definitely worth considering. 

This kit stands out for three reasons. It comes with an adjustable safety harness along with a restraint lanyard, which is a lot safer than the traditional seat setup. The harness included is adjustable, and CE certified made with high-quality polyester. This ensures you'll never have to be concerned about falling kids. Secondly, the 5.3' spring stopper ensures that there is no sudden braking, and there is a safe distance between the tree and the kids at all times. Thirdly, Adults or bigger kids have the option to use the trolley directly without attaching the harness.

The main cable measures 98' in length and is made of galvanized steel cable that's ¼ of an inch in diameter. It can hold heavier people, up to 350 lbs. So, it'll be an adventure virtually everyone gets to enjoy.
The company also includes tree protection tubes so that the zip line cable does not damage the tree trunk.

The anti-skid rubber grip ensures a strong grip at all times. The stainless steel sealed dual ball-bearings in the trolley results in an exceptionally smooth ride for everyone to enjoy. Additionally, the alloy sheaves and steel side plates of the pulley don't wear out easily and are durably built.

Features:

  • Adjustable safety harness
  • Stainless steel spring-brake system
  • Non-slip grip handles for safety
  • Tree protection tube

Final Note:

Although this kit is a bit pricier (at just under $220), the additional safety features and durable build quality justifies the extra dollars. This is a no-brainer choice for anyone who does not want to compromise either safety or quality.

2. CTSC 95 Foot Zip Line Kit


Specifications:

  • Cable length: 95' (RoHS & CE certified)
  • Cable thickness: 1/4'' galvanized stainless steel
  • Max weight capacity: 250 lbs
  • Recommended age: 5 and up
  • Brakes: 5.3 Foot Stainless Steel Spring Brake
  • Warranty: 10-year limited warranty with 30 days money back option
CTSC 95 Foot Zip Line Kit

Of all the zip line kits in this review, the CTSC 95 Foot Zip Line Kit has to be my clear favorite. This kit offers a perfect balance of price, performance, and ease of set up. Moreover, it also happens to be the best-selling zip line kit on Amazon with close to 300 five-star reviews (at the time of writing the post).

The 95' length is more than sufficient for small to big yards, and the 5' extra sling cable is big enough to wrap around most trees. Although the kit is rated to handle up 250 lbs weight, some reviewers mentioned that it could easily handle weights beyond the limit. That said, the kit is primarily designed for kids.

The kit comes with a round seat that offers comfortable seating for the kids. The height of the seat can be easily adjusted using the rope knot. The handles are made of easy to grip, non-slip rubber for added safety. Also, the 5.3' stainless steel spring braking system ensures it doesn't come to a sudden halt at the end of the line.

Are you having trouble fitting the zip line into your yard? The company can also make you a customized zip line. They're not happy until you are, and we love the commitment. The kit is covered under a 10-year limited warranty for any breakage or damage. You also have the option to return the product within the first 30 days for a 100% refund.
This kit costs under $190 - not a bad deal for the size.

Special Features:

  • Non-slip grips for safety
  • Great customer service 
  • Adjustable seat
  • 5.3-foot stainless steel spring brake 
  • High-quality bearings 

Final note: 

Stellar build quality, excellent customer support, and reasonable pricing makes the CTSC Zipline Kit a popular choice. You can be assured this zip line kit is going to offer you a lifetime of fun-filled memories.

3. 90' Eagle Series Seated Zipline Kit


Specifications:

  • Cable length: 90'
  • Cable thickness: 1/4'' galvanized stainless steel
  • Max weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Recommended age: 5 and up
  • Brakes: 5.25' steel spring braking system
  • Safety features: Spring break, rubberized stoppers
  • Warranty: 1 year
90' Zipline Eagle Series with Spring Brake Kit

We understand that summer fun can become quite expensive, that's why we've included the 90' Eagle series seated zipline kit into our line-up. Here, we've found a great, budget-friendly pick. Coming from Slackers, one of the top zip lining equipment manufacturers in the US, you can rest assured that the quality is top-notch.

The build quality and performance of this kit is near similar to our top picks while still being priced cheaper. The zip line is 90' long with 10' of sling length and comes with a 5.25' spring compression system for gradual braking. The trolley is made of high-grade steel, and the seat is made ABS plastic, which is both durable and UV resistant.

This zip line is easy to assemble - for two adults, it takes about an hour. It comes with all installation instructions and a special socket; no extra tools are required for the setup.

Special features:

  • Steel Spring braking system
  • High-grade steel trolley
  • Easy instructions and setup
  • Seat included

Final Note:

Dollar for dollar, this is the best value zip line kit currently available. Your family will love it, and we're sure you will too.

4. 100' Night Riderz Series Zipline Kit


Specifications:

  • Cable length: 100'
  • Cable thickness: 1/4'' galvanized stainless steel
  • Max weight capacity: 250 lbs
  • Recommended age: 8 and up
  • Brakes: Needs to be purchased separately
  • Safety features: N/A
  • Warranty: 1 year
100' Night Riderz Series Zipline Kit

This one isn't your typical zip line. Made for ages 8+, it comes with multiple LED lights for day and night enjoyment. This multicolored zip line is fantastic for when you're just not ready to call it quits as the sun goes down.

This kit comes with bright LED lights connected to the trolley, rope, and seat. The lights blink and allow you to see more of what's happening in the dark. Set up takes less than 30 minutes, so you won't waste any time getting to the excitement.

The 100-foot cable is made of galvanized steel, making it strong and safe. The max weight limit of the line is 250 lbs. The kit comes with a comfortable round seat with a height-adjustable rope. Along with eco-friendly tree protection, what's not to love?  

Special Features:

  • 4 LED fully assembled trolleys
  • In-depth instructional manual
  • 50 multicolored LED lights
  • 100-foot cable
  • Installation tool
  • Storage bag

Final Note: 

If you're looking for something unique and stylish, the 100' Night Riderz Series Zipline Kit is your best bet. The glowing bright colored LED lights are sure to attract several eyeballs, making your yard the envy of the neighborhood.

5. HearthSong 150' Blue Backyard Zipline Kit with breaks


Specifications:

  • Cable length: 150'
  • Cable thickness: 1/4'' steel
  • Max weight capacity: 250 lbs
  • Recommended age: 8 and up
  • Brakes: rubber brake
  • Safety features: non-slip handles
  • Warranty: No Information
HearthSong 150' Blue Backyard Zipline Kit with breaks

Do you have a big backyard? This zip line kit from HearthSong measures a whopping 150' in length, making it ideal for larger yards.

The kit comes all-inclusive for everything you need to get going. Included in the kit is the main cable, tree protectors, trolley with non-slip handles, adjustable seat, rubber brake, hanging hardware, and installation booklet.
The max weight capacity of this kit is 250 lbs, which should suffice for most kids and even adults.

The installation is pretty straightforward and should not take more than an hour to complete. Pay careful attention to the slope of the line making sure it does not exceed 8-10%. Otherwise, the trolley would zip through the line way too fast for kids to handle.

Special Features:

  • Easy installation
  • Adjustable seat
  • Non-slip handles

Final Note:

For longer setups, the HearthSong 150' Blue Backyard Zipline Kit is an excellent choice. You'll find the longer length allows for faster and more adrenaline-pumping rides.

6. Slackers Zipline 70' Hawk Series with Seat


Specifications:

  • Cable length: 70'
  • Cable thickness: 1/4'' steel
  • Max weight capacity: 250 lbs
  • Recommended age: 8 and up
  • Brakes: Sold separately
  • Safety features: Turnbuckle backup safety system
  • Warranty: 1 year
Slackers Zipline 70' Hawk Series with Seat

Let's face it; we all don't have 100' yards to work with. I live in a city, and I get it.

Here, we have an excellent zip line kit that fits into yards that don't have a lot of room. It's only 70 feet long, so it's suitable for smaller yards and can be purchased under $100. If your trees aren't spread that far apart, this is the perfect zip line for you.


This zip line can be effortlessly hung between 2 trees with no extra tools. It comes with a sturdily built trolley, and rubber handles for safety. To add to the value, this zip line comes with a comfortable seat that's also height adjustable.

Special Features:

  • 70 feet stainless steel cable 
  • Seat with 10-foot cable (adjustable)
  • Steel trolley (fully assembled)
  • Tree protector
  • Adjustable seat

Final Note:

This is an ideal kit for anyone looking for a smaller zip line. Manufactured by Slackers - a well-known and trustworthy brand when it comes to Zip lines, you can certainly count on the quality of the unit.

Zip Line Kit Buyer's Guide

We're committed to helping you find the perfect zip line. First time buying a zip line? We have the answer. We understand the confusion with so many choices available. You must keep these next things in mind when shopping. Don't commit to buying without proper knowledge - you're likely to get burned.

We've also included instructions on how to carry out the installation and essential safety tips for risk-free zip lining.

Key Considerations


<Length>

The first and foremost factor you need to consider is the length of the line. Zip lines are available from 50' length to as long as 500'. Choose the length such that the cable wraps around the trees comfortably. Going for a slightly longer cable would make more sense as it gives you the flexibility to set up a longer course in the future.

<Trolley Configuration>

The trolley is the part that rides through the zip line, and it houses two or more pulleys. Broadly there are two types of trolleys — one with handle and the other with handle and a seat attached.

Trolleys with just the handle are ideal for adults and bigger kids who have the arm strength to hold onto their weight. On the other hand, trolleys with seats are safer and ideal for kids, which also makes them a more popular choice. Some trolleys additionally come with a safety harness to prevent the kids from falling.

<Braking>

Most zip-lining injuries happen while stopping, and that's why a proper braking system is very crucial. The braking device reduces the speed of the rider for a safe landing. Primarily, there are two common types of braking systems: Bungee and spring brakes.

Bungee Brakes:
This system consists of a padded block that slides freely on the zip line. The block is attached to bungee cords, which can either be anchored to the ground or a nearby tree. As the trolley hits the block, the bungee cords extend while constantly reducing the speed of the rider. After the trolley completely stops, the block retracts back to its position.

Bungee brakes are effective for faster zip lines, but anchoring the bungee cord makes it a less convenient option.

Spring brakes: This is the most common type of brakes used in zip lines. A spring typically 5' in length is mounted at the end of the line. The moment the trolley bumps into the spring, it contracts while de-accelerating the speed of the rider. As it does not require any external anchoring, it's a more preferred option. However, spring brakes are ideal for slow to medium-fast zip lines.

<Weight Capacity>

Zip lines come with different weight load capacity from 200 lbs to as high as 350 lbs. If only kids are going to use the kit, 200 to 250 lbs weight limit is sufficient. For adults, look for kits with 300 lbs+ weight-bearing capacity.

Pre-Installation Checklist/Set-Up Instructions


Before you even start looking for a Zipline kit, you need to make sure you've sufficient space and clearance for a safe installation. 

You need two trees with at least 1' diameter trunk, which are in direct line with one another without any obstructions. Avoid trees that are rotten or not strong enough. And yes, it goes without saying not to mount the zip line to any branch. Additionally, you want 7' clearance all across the path of the line without any obstructing furniture, trees, or rock.

Next, roughly measure the distance between the two trees. You should make sure the length of the cable should be enough to wrap the trees comfortably. For example, if the distance is 60', you can still choose a 100' line and wrap the extra cable around the tree.

Setting up Guide

Zip Line Setup

Source: ZipLineStop.com

After you're sorted with the location, the remaining installation is fairly simple. You need to understand two basic technical parameters: Sag and Slope.

Sag: This refers to the drop in the height of the zip line when the weight is attached to it. Typically the drop is 2' for every 100' length. You must take into account the sag; otherwise, the rider's leg may scrape the ground while zip-lining, which can lead to injuries.

Slope: Zip line works on gravity. So obviously the starting point must be higher than the endpoint but by how much? Simply put, zip lines with stop blocks should not have a slope of more than 3%, i.e., 3' drop per 100' line. For kits with spring or bungee braking 6% slope i.e., 6' drop per 100' is recommended.

How to calculate the slope for uneven ground?

For uneven grounds or landscapes with slope, the starting point should be on the tree that sits higher. Roughly calculate the elevation change between the two points and account the same into your calculation. Alternatively, if you have a laser distance meter, you can accurately measure the change in elevation.

Next, follow the manufacturer's instructions and carry out the installation. Do a test run either by hanging a dummy weight or by yourself before you allow the kids to use the zip line.

There you go, you're done with the installation!

Safety Tips

  • Avoid loose-fitting clothing. It might get caught on something along your path and drag you off the zip line. Scarves and capes are a no go.
    Tip: You can be more aerodynamic with tight-fitting workout clothing.
  • Don't drink and zip line. It might seem like fun, just don't do it. That's the way bones get broken, and heads get cracked.
  • Hold on to the grips. This might seem obvious, but if you try to hold onto the rope, it'll try to buck you like a horse. You'll be in for a wild and scary ride that could turn out to be dangerous.
  • Check for wear and tear. Every time you use your zip line, check it for fraying and any signs of wear. Look for any rust and Oil the pulleys from time to time.
  • For additional safety, use a helmet. It may look like overkill, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
  • Don't get too adventurous and never increase the slope zip line over 6%.

Let's Wrap Things Up:

I hope this guide provided you with insights on what owning a zip line would be like. It can be such a thrilling experience and doesn't cost much at all - if installed correctly and safely.

Zip lines are a great way to spend time with your kids outdoors. At the same time, zip lining offers numerous health benefits for your young one. Watch their eyes light up when they find out you bought them a zip line.

We spent considerable time analyzing and trying various zip lines that we've included in the list. For the research, we also interviewed a couple of experts and manufacturers taking their inputs as to what to look for in a quality unit.

We sincerely hope you were able to find the zip line kit fulfilling your needs. If you've any questions or queries, please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Kevin James
 

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