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A backyard swing set is a wonderful addition to any garden; just ask any child. Providing hours of countless fun for them, you can also benefit from the fact your children are exhausted by the end of the play session and might at least to go to bed on time.

Backyard Discovery are a leading brand when it comes to providing, safe, well built swing sets for the family.

However, which one of the various options should you go for? Well that’s what we have attempted to answer than with this top 5 review round up.

For our findings at a glance on which Backyard Discovery swing set to go for, just head to the table below. For in depth reviews on each of our selections, plus a dedicated buyer’s guide, keep on reading?


Backyard Discovery Top 5 Swing Sets

SWING SETNAMEDETAILSOUR RATING
TOP PICK:
Backyard Discovery
Skyfort II All Cedar
Swing Set
Complete Playhouse
3 swing set
Ladder & Rockwall
10ft Wave Slide
Monkey Bars
Backyard Discovery
Liberty II All Cedar
Swing Set
Complete Playhouse
Ladder & Rockwall
10ft Wave Slide
Backyard Discovery
Prairie Ridge All Cedar
Swing Set
Complete Playhouse
3 swing set
8ft Wave Slide
Monkey Bars
Standard Ladder
Backyard Discovery
Saratoga All Cedar
Swing Set
Complete Playhouse
3 swing set
8ft Wave Slide
Monkey Bars
Standard Ladder
Backyard Discovery
Mount McKinley
All Cedar
Swing Set
8ft Wave Slide
Standard Ladder

Backyard Discovery Swing Set Reviews

swing set safety

Backyard Discovery have a wide range of swing sets on sale. However, this review will focus on models made from cedar wood.

Furthermore, the swing sets we have selected include the following basic components; a standard swing set with playhouse tower, a roofed vertical structure that features one or more horizontal play surfaces (called decks); with a fixed ladder and tube slides attached to the playhouse.

In short, these are the most comprehensive swing set kits available. There’s enough going on here to keep every type of child happy.

1. TOP PICK: Backyard Discovery Skyfort II Swing Set

Our number one pick Skyfort II is a well-built swing set that features a complete club house, a 10-foot long wave  slide, monkey bars, swing glider, sandbox, and 2 swing belts, as well as the lower deck.

(If only I had one of these when I was a kid).

It is designed for use by children aged between 3years to 10years and can carry up-to 1,000pounds of weight, which means that it can safely accommodate up-to 10 children.

So if you have the stomach for it, kids from the entire neighbourhood can come over to play.

The set should be placed on level ground of course, so you will need the space to accommodate it properly; it should be more than 6feet away (on all sides) from any obstruction or structure.

This 6feet is a safety precaution to protect the children from injuries when they are playing on the play-set, especially when swinging and sliding down the slide.

There is also a picnic table underneath the upper fort, while beneath the backyard fort is a sandbox. It does not come with sand, and the owner needs to find 6 cubic feet of sand to fill in the sandbox.

Even so, this play-set is designed to be strong, safe, and durable. It is made from pure Chinese cedar wood which is imbued with natural resistance to rot, decay, and bug infestation.

Moreover, the lumber is pre-stained so as to give the playset a smooth finish, as well as enhance its aesthetics. The model is designed and constructed exclusively by Backyard Discovery.

It is usually shipped in 4 large boxes with the shipping weight averaging 794pounds.

Word of warning, it does need to be assembled. It comes with an instruction manual that guides the owner on how to manage the assembly process, so if you are confident with a few power tools you should have no problems.

That being said, Backyard Discovery also offers professional assembly services at a discounted cost!

Once assembled, it should mimic a towering play-land with the club house serving as a wooden castle.

In the fully assembled, ready-to-use state, the play-set must measure 21feet 11 inches in length and 16feet 8.5inches in width.

With the 6feet allowance on all side, the minimum ground area needed is 33feet 11inches long and 28feet 8.5inches wide, which can be relatively large for a home with a small open space.

Regarding height, the fully-assembled set should be 12feet 4inches high from the ground level to the roof apex.

On the front of the club house is a spacious front porch that also holds a sun balcony. On the side of the clubhouse is a crow’s nest that can be accessed through the upper fort.

There is also a telescope attached on the rail of the crow’s nest. Also attached to the front of the club house is the wave slide, and on the side of the slide is a rock wall that allows kids to directly climb to the front porch.

There are also metal grab handles attached to the front porch which allows the kids to safety climb the rock wall and into the front porch.

The upper deck is designed to be 5feet in height. To ease the assembly process, the lumber comes pre-cut and pre-drilled.

The club house is features a covered entryway, a wooden roof and bay windows. At the back of the clubhouse is a standard ladder that children can use to mount onto it.

The wooden components are joined together using heavy-duty, high-strength steel brackets that are powder-coated for optimal protection from rust and exposure to elements.

These steel brackets are locked together using safe-T-fuse hardware that encompass rounded bolt heads, non-loosening nuts, and stain-resistant washers.

There are also 2 gliders which are color-coded dark green and light green, and these gliders are attached together to each other to form a glider unit that can accommodate 2 kids.

This glider unit is attached to the swing assembly alongside the 2 standard belt swings. This gives the playset a 3-position swing beam. It is also evident that a maximum of 4 children can swing on the swing set at the same time.

One of the main demerit of this product is that the monkey bars are placed 7feet 5.5inches above the ground which is pretty high for a 3-7 years old children who may be playing with them.

This also poses a risk of injury if the child falls down from that height especially if they hit the ground head-first.

Another demerit is that the window grills keep falling off if they are attached to the clubhouse window frames using the bolts that come pre-shipped with the model.

However, this issue can be easily solved if one screws the grills into their wooden frame using strong wooden screws made from mild steel.

This model is certified as safe according to the ASTM standards as stipulated by ASTM international – an international standardization organization for testing materials and setting the technical safety standards for modular equipment.

This swing set is backed by a 12months replacement warranty, as well as a 60months warranty against rot and decay of the cedar wood.

Pros of the Skyfort II Swing Set
  • Has a complete club house.
  • Has 3 swing sets
  • Compact design that fits on a ground area 22feet by 17feet.
  • Can handle a maximum weight capacity of 1,000pounds.
  • Features a 2-person glider.
  • Has a 3-position swing beam that can safely accommodate 4 children.
  • Has both standard ladder and rock wall.
  • Has a 10-foot long wave slide.
  • Has well-spaced monkey bars.
  • Designed for safety, durability, and strength.
  • 12-month replacement warranty.
  • 60-month warranty against decay and rot.
The Cons
  • The monkey bars are set too high off the ground.
  • The window grills are poorly attached to the club house using the bolts that come with model.

Bottom-line

The Skyfort II Swing Set is our number one choice for good reason. Combining an excellent build quality with more features than you can shake a stick at, (what child wouldn’t be happy with a complete club house, a 10-foot long wave  slide, monkey bars, a swing glider unit, sandbox, and 2 swing belts, as well as the lower deck that holds the picnic and snack tables – phew!) it really one of the best swing sets on the market.

Designed for use by children aged between 3years to 10years, with a capacity to safely accommodate up-to 10 children, if you’re looking for a backyard swing set that covers all the bases, this is the one to buy.


2. Backyard Discovery Liberty II Playset Swing Set

The Liberty II playset is another well-designed set that comes with 2 play-decks, a complete club house with a covered front porch, a 10-foot long wave  slide, a 2-seater swing glider unit, sandbox, and 2 swing belts.

Unlike Skyfort II, Liberty II lacks the monkey bar assembly and the crow’s nest with its attached telescope unit. As expected, this makes the Liberty II model to occupy less ground area as compared to the Skyfort II, it is also a little cheaper.

Even so, the Liberty II swing set is designed for use by children aged between 3years to 10years, and it can safely accommodate up-to 8 children.

Its space limitations means it accommodates fewer kids than the Skyfort II. 

Just like Skyfort II, the Liberty II must be placed on a level ground, and it should have a 6feet wide area margin around its perimeter that is free from any obstruction or structure.

The upper play-deck holds the club house while the lower shaded playdeck is features railings on all four side, and it houses 2 pedestal seats as well as the sandbox.

The owner needs to find 6 cubic feet of sand to fill in the sandbox as this model comes without sand. Liberty II is also made from pure Chinese cedar wood, and its lumber is pre-stained so as to give the playset a smooth finish, as well as enhance its aesthetics. It also enhances the natural bug resistance property of the wood.

Liberty II is shipped in 4 large boxes with the shipping weight averaging 619pounds. Because it needs to be assembled, it comes with an instruction manual that guides the owner on how to manage the assembly process.

Likewise, Backyard Discovery also offers professional assembly services at a discounted price. In the fully assembled, ready-to-use state, the play-set must measure 16feet 8.5inches in length and 13feet 11.75inches in width.

Likewise, the minimum ground area needed is 28feet 8.5inches long and 25feet 11.75inches wide, which can fit well in any home that has a small open space. Regarding height, the fully-assembled set should be 12feet 4inches high from the ground level to the roof apex.

In Liberty II, the club house has a spacious front porch that also holds the sun balcony. Also attached to the front of the club house is the wave slide, and on the side of the slide is a rock wall that allows kids to directly climb to the front porch.

There are also metal grab handles attached to the front porch which allows the kids to safety climb the rock wall and mount onto the front porch.

Like in Skyfort II, the upper deck of Liberty II is designed to be 5feet in height. To ease the assembly process, the lumber comes pre-cut and pre-drilled.

The club house is features a covered entryway, a wooden roof and bay windows. At the back of the clubhouse is attached a standard ladder.

Expectedly, the wooden components in Liberty II are joined together using heavy-duty, high-strength steel brackets that are powder coated for optimal protection from rust and environmental insults. These steel brackets are locked together using safe-T-fuse hardware.

The glider unit in Liberty II can accommodate 2 kids. This glider unit is attached to the swing assembly alongside the 2 standard belt swings. Therefore, a maximum of 4 children can swing on the swing set at the same time.

Its main demerit is that the window grills keep falling off if they are attached to the clubhouse window frames using the bolts that come pre-shipped with the model.

On the upside, Liberty II is certified as safe according to the ASTM standards. It is also backed by a 12months replacement warranty, as well as a 60months warranty against rot and decay of the cedar wood.

Pros of the Liberty II Playset Swing Set
  • Has a complete club house.
  • Compact design that fits on a ground area 17feet by 14feet.
  • Can handle a maximum weight capacity of 1,000pounds.
  • Features a 2-person glider.
  • Has both standard ladder and rock wall.
  • Has a 10-foot long wave slide.
  • Designed for safety, durability, and strength.
  • Cheaper than the Skyfort II model.
  • 12-month replacement warranty.
  • 60-month warranty against decay and rot.
The Cons
  • The window grills are poorly attached to the club house using the bolts that come with model.

Bottom-line

The Liberty II is a well-designed swing set that comes with 2 play-decks, a complete club house with a covered front porch, a 10-foot long wave  slide, a 2-seater swing glider unit, sandbox, and 2 swing belts.

Designed for use by children aged between 3years to 10years, it can safely accommodate up-to 8 children and is an excellent alternative for those that don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with our top pick Skyfort.


3. Backyard Discovery Prairie Ridge Swing Set Review

The Prairie Ridge is a favorably-priced swing set for those on more of a budget.

It features a roofed sun-shaded canopy, an 8-foot long wave slide, monkey bars, swing glider, sandbox, and 2 swing belts, as well as the lower play-deck.

It is similar to Skyfort II in design, but it lacks the clubhouse and its attached units, including rock wall. The Prairie Ridge model is designed for use by children aged between 3years to 10years.

It is designed to carry up-to 1,000pounds of weight, which means that it can safely accommodate up-to 9 children due to its lack of a clubhouse.

The Prairie Ridge Swing Set should be placed on a level ground, and it should be have a 6-feet wide margin on all its side.

This margin must be free of any obstruction or structure. Its picnic table and pedestal seat are attached to the front of the lower fort. Its lower play-deck houses the sandbox. The owner needs to 350pounds of sand to fill the sandbox.

This play-set is designed to be strong, safe, and durable. It is made from pure Chinese cedar wood. Its lumber is pre-stained so as to give the playset a smooth finish, as well as enhance its aesthetics. It also enhances its resistance to decay and bug infestation.

It is usually shipped in 2 large boxes with the shipping weight averaging 400pounds. Like the other swing sets reviewed here, it needs to be assembled. This can be done by yourself or by using the assembly service provided by Backyard Discovery.

In the fully assembled, ready-to-use state, the play-set must measure 20feet 3.13inches in length and 11feet in width.

With the 6feet allowance on all side, the minimum ground area needed is 33feet long and 23feet wide, which can fit relatively well in most homes with an open compound.

Regarding height, the fully-assembled set should be 8feet 10.6inches high from the ground level to the roof apex.

Its canopy is roofed by a waterproof fabric, and the front panel of the upper play-deck features an observation window, while the front panel of the lower deck features a picnic window for serving food on the picnic table.

Due to its lack of a club house, this Prairie Ridge model is shorter than Skyfort II and Liberty II.

In the Prairie Ridge model, the wave slide is attached to the upper play-deck through a open doorway in the front panel of the deck.

The upper deck is designed to be 4feet in height. To ease the assembly process, the lumber comes pre-cut and pre-drilled. At the back of the upper deck is a standard ladder.

The wooden components are joined together using heavy-duty, high-strength steel brackets that are powder-coated for optimal protection from rust and environmental insults.

These steel brackets are locked together using safe-T-fuse hardware.

There is a 2-seater glider unit that is attached to the swing assembly alongside the 2 standard belt swings. This allows a maximum of 4 children to swing at the same time.

One of the main demerit of this product is that the monkey bars are placed 6feet 4inches above the ground which is pretty high for a 3-7 years old children who may be playing with them, and a child can be injured if he/she falls down from the monkey bars.

This Prairie Ridge model is certified as safe according to the ASTM standards. It is also backed by a 12months replacement warranty, as well as a 60months warranty against decay of the cedar wood.

Pros of the Prairie Ridge Swing Set
  • Has 3 swing sets
  • Compact design that fits on a ground area 21feet by 11feet.
  • Can handle a maximum weight capacity of 1,000pounds.
  • Features a 2-person glider.
  • Comes with a standard ladder.
  • Has an 8-foot long wave slide.
  • Has well-spaced monkey bars.
  • Designed for safety, durability, and strength.
  • 12-month replacement warranty.
  • 60-month warranty against decay and rot.
The Cons
  • The monkey bars are set too high off the ground.
  • Lacks a club house.

Bottom-line

The Prairie Ridge swing set is a good budget play-set with some great features.

However, it lacks a clubhouse which can be seen a fundamental part of the playhouse structure. in other words, the kids may miss having that. Add this to the fact there is no rock wall and you can see why the savings are being made.

Overall a good swing set, but definitely not a contender for the best here.


4. Backyard Discovery Saratoga Playset Review

This is another budget swing set that features a well-built sun-shaded canopy with a wooden roof, an 8-foot long wave slide, monkey bars, swing glider, and 2 swing belts, as well as a club house in place of the standard lower play-deck.

Because of the positioning of the club house, a rock wall is not necessary. It is designed for use by children aged between 3years to 10years, and it can safely accommodate up-to 10 children.

It can support a total weight of up-to 1,000pounds. Unlike the other 3 playsets reviewed above, the Saratoga Playset lacks a sandbox.

This playset must be placed on a level ground, and it should be have a 6-feet wide margin on all its side. This margin must be free of any obstruction or structure. Its picnic table and pedestal seat are fitted at the back of the club house.

This play-set is designed to be strong, safe, and durable. It is made from pure Chinese cedar wood. Its lumber is pre-stained so as to give the playset a smooth finish, as well as enhance its aesthetics. Likewise, it enhances its resistance to decay and bug infestation.

The Saratoga Playset is shipped in 2 large boxes with the shipping weight averaging 345pounds. In the fully assembled, ready-to-use state, the play-set must measure 18feet 7inches in length and 12feet 5inches in width.

With the 6feet allowance on all side, the minimum ground area needed is 31feet long and 25feet wide, which can fit relatively well in most homes with an open compound.

Regarding height, the fully-assembled set should be 9feet 7inches high from the ground level to the roof apex. Its canopy is roofed by a wooden rooftop, and the front panel of the upper play-deck features 2 entryways, one for a standard ladder and the other entryway is attached to the slide.

The upper deck is designed to be 4feet in height. To ease the assembly process, the lumber comes pre-cut and pre-drilled. At the back of the club house is the roofed playdeck.

Its wooden components are joined together using heavy-duty, high-strength steel brackets that are powder-coated for optimal protection from rust and environmental insults. These steel brackets are locked together using safe-T-fuse hardware.

There is a 2-seater glider unit that is attached to the swing assembly alongside the 2 standard belt swings. This allows a maximum of 4 children to swing at the same time.

The main demerit of this model is that the monkey bars are placed 6feet 4inches above the ground which is pretty high for a 3-7 years old children who may be playing with them, and if the child falls down from the monkey bars, he/she can sustain painful injuries.

The Saratoga model is certified as safe according to the ASTM standards. It is also backed by a 12months replacement warranty, as well as a 60months warranty against decay of the cedar wood.

Pros of the Saratoga Playset
  • Comes with a club house.
  • Has 3 swing sets
  • Compact design that fits on a ground area 19feet by 13feet.
  • Can handle a maximum weight capacity of 1,000pounds.
  • Features a 2-person glider.
  • Comes with a standard ladder.
  • Has an 8-foot long wave slide.
  • Has well-spaced monkey bars.
  • Designed for safety, durability, and strength.
  • 12-month replacement warranty.
  • 60-month warranty against decay and rot.
The Cons
  • The monkey bars are set too high off the ground.
  • Lacks a sandbox.

Bottom-line

The Saratoga Playset is a cost effective swing set that features a well-built sun-shaded canopy with a wooden roof, an 8-foot long wave slide, monkey bars, swing glider, and 2 swing belts, as well as a club house in place of the standard lower play-deck.

On the downside, it lacks a sandbox, however if this is not a priority the Saratoga is a good choice for the money.


5. Backyard Discovery Mount McKinley Swing Set Review

The Mount McKinley play set comes with only the upper play-deck, a roofed canopy, an 8-foot long wave slide, 2 swing belts, and a durable swing trapeze bar in place of the 2-seater swing glider unit.

It also comes with a rope ladder, and its playdeck features a no-magnification telescope and steering wheel. Likewise, a rock wall and a standard ladder are attached to the playdeck and allows the kids to easily mount onto the deck.

However, it lacks the monkey bar assembly and it has no sandbox. Neither does it have pedestal seats nor a picnic table.

This model is designed for use by children aged between 3years to 10years, and it can safely accommodate up-to 9 children. Its maximum weight holding capacity is 1,000pounds.

Just like other swing sets, the Mount McKinley model must be placed on a leveled ground, and it should have a 6feet wide area margin around its perimeter that is free from any obstruction or structure.

This model is made from pure Chinese cedar wood, and its lumber is pre-stained so as to give the playset a smooth finish, as well as enhance its aesthetics. It also enhances its bug resistance properties.

This swing set model is shipped in 2 large boxes with the shipping weight averaging 310pounds.

The assembly process is simplified by the fact that the lumber comes pre-cut and pre-drilled. Even so, Backyard Discovery can offer professional assembly services as per all other units reviewed here.

In the fully assembled, ready-to-use state, the play-set must measure 15feet 6inches in length and 12feet 6inches in width.

This makes the minimum ground area needed for placement to be 28feet long and 25feet wide. The total height of the ready-to-use swing set is 9feet 11inches from the ground level to the roof apex. The canopy is roofed by a waterproof synthetic fabric. Its upper deck is 4feet high.

Its wooden components are joined together using heavy-duty, high-strength steel brackets that are powder coated for optimal protection from rust and environmental insults. These steel brackets are locked together using safe-T-fuse hardware.

This model is certified as safe according to the ASTM standards. It is also backed by a 12months replacement warranty, as well as a 60months warranty against rot and decay of the cedar wood.

Pros of the Backyard Discovery Mount McKinley Swing Set
  • Compact design that fits on a ground area 16feet by 13feet.
  • Can handle a maximum weight capacity of 1,000pounds.
  • Has both standard ladder and rock wall.
  • Has an 8-foot long wave slide.
  • Designed for safety, durability, and strength.
  • 12-month replacement warranty.
  • 60-month warranty against decay and rot.
The Cons
  • Lacks a monkey bar assembly.
  • Lacks a sandbox.
  • Does not have a club house.

Bottom-line

The Mount McKinley play set comes with only the upper play-deck, a roofed canopy, an 8-foot long wave slide, 2 swing belts, and a durable swing trapeze bar in place of the 2-seater swing glider unit.

It also comes with a rope ladder, and its playdeck features a no-magnification telescope and steering wheel. Likewise, a rock wall and a standard ladder are attached to the playdeck and allows the kids to easily mount onto the deck.

However, it lacks the monkey bar assembly and it has no sandbox. That being said, with all the aforementioned features this is one formidable play set.

The kids will definitely have a lot on their hands playing with this particular beast. Highly recommended.


Backyard Swing Set Buyer’s Guide

backyard swing set

A swing set is a an outdoor playset structure that is made up of hang seats that are suspended using ropes or chains from a single frame.

Each hang seat and its pair of suspending ropes/chains is called a swing, and the frame that is used can be made from either metal or wood.

The swing set is a popular play equipment for children. If it is made from high-quality materials and also well-maintained to ensure it adheres to safety features, then the swing set becomes an integral part of any outdoor playground.

A little bit about Backyard Discovery

backyard discovery

Image Credit: Backyard Discovery.com

One of the leading manufacturer of swing sets in the US is Backyard Discovery.

This company was founded over 3 decades ago, and it specializes in building wooden components of outdoor playset structures including towers, monkey bars, slides, bridges, sandboxes, ladders, and swing sets.

It is a subsidiary of Step2 Discovery which is headquartered in Streetsboro, Ohio; but Backyard Discovery operates from its own corporate offices that are located in Pittsburg, Kansas.

Unlike other outdoor playset manufacturers, Backyard Discovery stands out for its unique design of swing sets.

According to Backyard Discovery, a swing set encompasses the standard swing set, a tube slide, a tower (also called playhouse), and one or more ladders depending on the model.

In summary, the swing set sold by Backyard Discovery is essentially a wooden outdoor playset unit.

DIY or Professional Installation?

Backyard Discovery ships its swing sets with a manual, and offers 2 installation options; DIY and Professional installation.

The cheaper do-it-yourself(DIY) options allows the buyer to assemble the swing sets without assistance from Backyard Discovery, while the professional installation option requires Backyard Discovery to send its professional assemblers to build up the swing set into a complete ready-to-use outdoor playset unit.

Swing Set Components

swing seat

Beyond the swing aspect of the set, there are various other components you can expect with one of these large backyard playgrounds.

Slides

Most swing sets will have a slide that children can use to reach the ground from the very top of the structure. You may even find swing sets with more than one slide, each set at different heights.

Extra Platforms

Staggered platforms adorn many of the swing sets allowing for children to play at different heights on the structure.

Playhouse

Some of these platforms will have roofs that become the playhouse feature of the swing set.

Ladders

The ladder allows the child to access the bottom deck of the playhouse, while the slide allows the child to playfully exit the playhouse.

Monkey bars and sand boxes

Some models add monkey bars and sandboxes to this setup. Expectedly, the swing set sold by Backyard Discovery is more expensive than the standard swing set sold by other companies.

A little safety warning

The swing sets described above are built with safety in mind, and their manuals provide instructions of how a parent or guardian can safely install and use the swing set, as well as ensure that children can enjoy their plays while avoiding playground-related injuries.

The issue of safety cannot be overstated as some form of playground-related head injuries can be fatal, while some injuries are associated with fractures, slipped vertebral discs, and hernias which cause severe pain and enduring discomfort during recovery, as well as rack up the hospital bill due to the need of constant check-ups.