Last updated: September 7, 2021

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Welcome to our big swing frame test 2021. Here we present all the swing frames that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best swing frame for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a swing frame.




The most important facts

  • Swing frames are made of either wood or metal.
  • Depending on the model, they are suitable for children of different ages.
  • They are usually sold together with one or more swings.

The Best Swing Frame: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a swing frame

What is a swing frame?

A swing frame is a framework to which swings are attached. Depending on the model, there are swing frames for one or more swings or for nest swings. There are also frames for the so-called Hollywood swings, which are intended more for adults. In this test, however, the focus is on swing frames for children.

A swing frame is the framework to which a swing is attached. (Image source: pixabay.com / qimono)

At what age does a swing frame make sense?

Smaller models are recommended by manufacturers for ages between 6 months and 4 years, others between 6 months and 8 years. These are usually packages in which the swing frame is already sold together with a swing. Such models, also called baby and child swings, are often suitable for indoor use for their dimensions.

Most models are recommended for ages 3 and up and their use under direct adult supervision. In most cases, there is no upper age limit for such models, although a maximum weight capacity is specified depending on the swing model.

What is the alternative to a swing frame?

Instead of buying a swing frame, you can build one yourself. Among other things, you need a circular saw, grinder, chisel, hammer, drill, beams, threaded bolts, washers and nuts, swing suspension, post supports and concrete. Another alternative to a swing frame is to attach the swing to the tree.

To do this, there are basically two methods: either with so-called swing clamps or with special straps. Swing clamps, also called cuff hooks or swing hooks, are made in different shapes. If you want to use them to attach a swing to a tree, the round ones are the most suitable.

These are often sold in sets of 2, for round timbers of 5cm, 10cm or 12cm diameter. The swing clamps are usually galvanised so that they are protected from the weather. The straps, also called swing bands, are usually made of polyester fibres and are therefore also very resistant.

There are straps that can hold up to 500kg. In addition, polyester is weather-resistant, which is why they can remain outdoors all year round. Thanks to this flexible system, you can attach the swing to one tree or another as you wish.

An alternative to a swing frame is to attach the swing to the tree (Image source: unsplash.com / Gabriel)

There are also swings that can be attached to the door frame. These are usually for children between 6 months and 3 years. A suitable alternative to a swing frame if you don't have a garden. If you have a lot of space available, you can opt for a play tower. The choice is huge: with single or double swing, with slide, sandbox, climbing wall and so on.

Decision: What types of swing frames are there and which one is right for you?

Swing frames are either made of wood or metal. In both cases, they are resistant frames, each with its advantages and disadvantages.

What distinguishes a wooden swing frame and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Wooden swing frames are very stable and resistant. They have a high weight-bearing capacity. Even in summer, when temperatures are high, wood does not overheat.

Although most wooden frames are already impregnated, this material needs regular care. Care should also be taken for splinters that may appear over time. Cold, heat or rain could cause a wooden frame to expand or contract.

Advantages
  • Very stable and resistant
  • High weight-bearing capacity
  • Does not overheat
Disadvantages
  • Needs constant care
  • Splinters could appear
  • The wood could expand or contract

What are the characteristics of a metal swing frame and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Metal swing frames are resistant, but also have a slimmer structure than those made of wood. At high temperatures, they could overheat and rust due to weathering. Metal frames are often coloured, which makes them very attractive to children.

Advantages
  • Slimmer structure
  • Resistant
Disadvantages
  • Can rust
  • Can overheat
Did you know that metal frames are only suitable for children aged 3 - 14? This is because the steel tubes tend to be thinner and are usually only attached with small ground anchors. If you want your swing frame to withstand more than 50 kg, you should go for constructions made of wood.

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate swing frames based on these factors

Age of the child

Swing frames that are sold together with a board swing are usually suitable for children from the age of 3. If your child is between 6 months and 2 years old, it is possible to buy frames with a baby or seat swing. There are also models with a safety bar and/or harness.

Material

As mentioned above, you can choose a frame made of wood or metal. Both types are suitable for outdoor use, but require regular maintenance. Wood must be impregnated before winter and metal parts should be oiled and rust-proofed.

You can see how the swing chains are slightly rusted. Parents should check and maintain play equipment in the garden regularly. (Image source: unsplash.com / Hello I'm Nik)

Load capacity (weight)

Normally, it is stated how much weight a swing can bear and not the frame itself. Most board swings are suitable for a maximum weight of 50kg to 70kg. Nest swings can support from 100kg to 200kg, and gondola swings 50kg to 100kg. Baby swings can hold a maximum weight of about 25kg.

The load capacity of a swing varies depending on the manufacturer and you should inform yourself very well before buying. It is not enough to orientate yourself according to the recommended age.

In online markets, the important information about the maximum load capacity of the swing frames or swings can be found in the product description. In most cases, the weight of the swing frames is also stated. Read carefully and don't get confused!

Swing type Maximum load
Baby swing 25kg
Board swing 50kg-70kg
Gondola swing 50kg-100kg
Nest swing 100kg-200kg

Additional play elements included in the package

Most swing frames are sold together with swings. You can choose between different swing models: plastic or wooden, board, nest, gondola or baby swings. There is also the possibility to buy swing frames in combination with slides, sandboxes, climbing walls. In this case, we are talking about play towers.

Interesting facts about the topic of swing frames

How do I attach a swing frame?

First of all, it is best to set up the frame on a flat surface. Even if the frame seems stable and stands on its own, anchoring it to the ground is always recommended for the safety of the children. The anchors are usually not included in the package and must be ordered separately.

There are also different types of these. The so-called twist anchors can simply be screwed into the ground, but only if the ground is not too stony. Other anchors like the H-anchors have to be concreted in. To do this, you have to dig holes 60cm-80cm wide, fill them with concrete and then align the anchors in the still soft concrete.

Did you know that building regulations apply to swings on your property? Before building your swing, you should inform yourself about the minimum distances to your neighbours. These vary from town to town.

Swings and the risk of injury

To limit the consequences of a possible fall, the surface under the swing should be as flat and soft as possible. However, the risk of injury is not only associated with a fall from the swing. There are other factors to consider for the safety of children. The following measures, among others, should be taken into account for play equipment such as swing frames:

  • Metal parts should have a protective coating that does not show rust.
  • There should be no protruding screws or nail heads.
  • There should be no rot from wooden parts.

In the specific case of swing frames, the parts made of metal, such as the cuff hooks, should be checked regularly and possibly oiled.

As for the wooden parts, they should be re-impregnated every year before winter and checked for cracks due to weathering.

In addition, especially with homemade swing frames, you should tighten the screws from time to time. When using a swing in winter, make sure that the ground is not frozen, as this can increase the risk of injury.

It should also be noted that if other children are on your property and use your playground equipment, you are also responsible for their safety. With this in mind, it may be wise to take out liability insurance to cover the potential costs of an accident.

Manufacturers such as Gartenhaus GmbH recommend a safety distance of at least two metres to the nearest obstacle for play equipment.

Obstacles can be, for example, house walls, fences or trees.

What should be laid under a swing frame?

As already mentioned, the surface under a swing should be as level and soft as possible. Concrete and grass are not suitable solutions. On the other hand, materials such as wood chips, sand and bark mulch are well suited for this purpose. To prevent weeds from growing under these materials, a weed film should be laid first. There are different thicknesses and types.

For additional safety, you can also lay a fall protection mat under the swing. These are usually slip-resistant, easy to clean, resistant to weathering and available in different colours and sizes.

Image source: unsplash.com/ Annie Spratt

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