Wooden swing sets under 500-buyers guide

With all the brightly colored, plastic explosions of toys available on the market today, sometimes a good old-fashioned wooden swing set is a refreshing change of pace for your eyes (and your wallet!). Even better if you can find wooden swing sets under 500!

There’s nothing quite like those moments of nostalgia as you look out the window to watch your kids playing and remember your own childhood afternoons spent out in the fresh air until nightfall, usually on somebody’s homemade attempt at a swing set, hoping it wouldn’t collapse on your go as it creaked and groaned under your weight. Well, we’ve come a bit of a way since the days of tying an old tyre to a tree for Summer long entertainment.

Perhaps a bit too far with all the technology and sedentary distractions available to our kids. With that in mind it’s nice to wind things back a bit and offer them some simpler outdoor options, maybe with a bit more health and safety involved than swinging from a rope over a swamp, but not to the extent of wrapping them in cotton wool and putting them in front of the TV to avoid injury.

Wooden Swing sets under 500 – the options

The sheer amount of choice and different options available to somebody looking for wooden swing sets under 500 can be a bit overwhelming so we’ve taken out some of the footwork and narrowed it down to six of our favorite models for you to check out. Read on and begin your journey to healthier, happier kids!


Swing-N-Slide Equinox Swing Set

Amazon Rated: 4 Stars
Age Range: 3 to 10 years

Item Weight: 109 pounds
Dimensions: 14.5 x 95 x 8 inches
Is Assembly Required: Yes


About the Swing-N-Slide Equinox Swing Set:

A sturdy, simple, 2-position swing set offering affordable, zero maintenance (yes, that’s right NOOO Maintenance whatsoever!) and safe fun for kids age 3 to 10. This ASTM approved kit includes full A-frame, all required hardware and a set of instructions.

This product uses Woodguard to allow years of weather-proofing, ensuring the product will outlast even steel and regular treated timber options. Woodguard is a UV-resistant plastic coating for the treated timber underneath, offering it superior strength and lifespan. If that’s not enough to convince you that it’s a good investment, the timber comes with a 5-year warranty. That’s pretty good for the economical price tag attached!


The Good Bits:
  • Maintenance Free, due to the Woodguard coating…just assemble it in the garden and forget about it!
  • Sturdier and heavier than metal due to the timber frame…so no wobbles or lifting!


The Bad Bits:
  • Assembly can be a bit fiddly, if you’re not DIY gifted that is.
  • Not much option to accessorize or add other attachments.


What the Reviews Say:

All good reviews on the quality and sturdiness of the product. No lifting, wobbling or tipping and, for the most part, relatively easy to assemble. Only bad reviews were regarding missing hardware or faulty pieces on delivery. However, the problems seemed to be rectified pretty quickly with the manufacturer and, once assembled, everybody seems happy with the quality of the finished product.


What We Say:

Nice simple design. All the benefits of a timber frame, ie: low cost, heavy, sturdy, weather proof, aesthetically pleasing, without the downside of timber maintenance. Very simple to assemble (with two adults) and a nice neat, tidy design for a smaller backyard. A great way to keep two kids entertained for several hours (or three if they’re good about forming a queuing system!) A great economical option if you’re looking for swing sets under 500 and one that will last for years!

3.5 Stars from us…only because there’s not much room to add accessories and diversify a bit. We love diversity because kids love novelty and happy kids means a quiet cup of coffee! 🙂


Cedar Summit Premium Play Sets

Amazon Rated: 4 ½ Stars
Age Range: 3 years and up

Item Weight 133.9 pounds

Dimensions: 10’3”L x 9’W x 7’11”H
Is Assembly Required: Yes

Maximum Weight Capacity: 100 pounds


About the Cedar Summit Premium Play Sets:

Even the name of this one sounds nostalgic and, if you’re searching for wooden swings sets under 500 this is definitely a great option to check out. Made from 100% Cedarwood, this kit comes with a Swingset, Slide, Climbing Wall, Sand Box, 2 Swings, Chalk Wall and a fun, multi-colored arched roof canopy! Basically everything you need to turn your back garden into an outdoor adventure playground for littlies! All for under $500…Wow!

Your kids will be entertained for hours as they climb, swing and make a big old chalky mess in the sandbox (chalk not included…which may be a good thing!).

Requiring a little bit of fiddly assembly (that might make you say bad words), once this awesome structure is up you won’t see the kids from one end of the day to the next. And as the timber is pre-treated and weather-proofed you won’t have to inspect the structure from one month to the next. And even better, it comes with a 10-year warranty to ensure that everybody stays happy and satisfied!


The Good Bits:
  • 10 Year Warranty.
  • Sturdy and safe. However, it may be a bit much to have multiple bigger kids on it.
  • Nice, interesting design for kids…plenty to do!


The Bad Bits:
  • There’s only one design option available which requires a good bit of space in your back garden.
  • Long assembly and not for the faint hearted…put aside a full afternoon, or possibly a full day.
  • Chalkboard a bit on the flimsy side…made need some upgrading from a grown up!


What the Reviews Say:

Mainly good reviews. However, the general opinion seems to be it is more for toddlers and younger kids and it wouldn’t stand up to continued use by multiple older kids. That said, reviewers state that kids are happy and they love it. A few frustrated reviewers stating that nothing was labeled when all the parts arrived, which made assembly quite difficult. I get this! Although, as I never read labels anyway I’m not sure this would help. Most people have said that, once they’ve figured out what goes where, assembly is slow but simple.


What We Say:

It’s a good product for the price range of swing sets under 500, with plenty going on and lots to keep littlies interested. However, this usually means lots more to go wrong than in your simple 2 position swing set over the years. That said, it seems sturdy enough under the weight of my 5 and 7-year-old and they love all the different play options available but usually end up gravitating back towards the swings!

4 Stars for this one!


Swing-N-Slide PB 8330 Orbiter Wood Complete Swing Set

Amazon Rated: 4 ½ Stars
Age Range: 3 to 10 years

Item Weight 112.4 pounds
Dimensions: 113”L x 96”W x 84”H
Is Assembly Required: Yes

Maximum Weight: 115 pounds


About the Swing-N-Slide PB 8330 Orbiter Wood Complete Swing Set:

Simple classic design, maintenance free, a strong sturdy frame and an option to diversify is all you can hope for in any kids swing set (or spouse for that matter!). This 3-position swing set offers a very affordable option to provide a healthy, safe and fun environment for your kids. Coated in Woodguard and ASTM approved, this product will stand up to the rigors of excitable kids and excitable weather as the years go by, and with the facility to attach any swing fitting you like, there’ll be sure to stay interested in it for more than a weekend!

Kit includes Wooden Guard Posts and Beams, 2 Swing Seats, a Ring/Trapeze Combo and assembly instructions.


The Good Bits:
  • 5 Year Warranty on timber posts.
  • No Maintenance, due to Woodguard coating.
  • Very sturdy and heavy, even when in use by three kids at once.
  • Can change attachments easily to suit family’s needs.


The Bad Bits:
  • I actually can’t think of any bad bits for this particular model, except that it requires assembly…as does everything. But even at that, assembly isn’t the biggest headache in the world and, once up, as far as swing set kits under 500 go, it’s great!


What the Reviews Say:

Great reviews on the quality and durability of the product once assembled. A couple of bad reviews regarding the condition the product was delivered in and subsequent difficulty with assembly, ie: pre-drilled holes not lining up correctly and such. However, this seems to be in the minority and, generally, the product seems to arrive in top shape from the manufacturer.


What We Say:

It’s sturdy, it’s strong, it’s maintenance free and it hasn’t got moving parts to deteriorate over the years. However, on top of it’s simple design, it still offers a diverse range of play options for multiple kids of multiple ages. There’s no tipping, shaking or wobbling and I feel very confident allowing my two on it together. The trapeze option is a lovely touch to change things up a bit and develop their upper body strength while they play. We love this product!

4.5 Stars from us (only because there’s no such thing as perfection!)

Backyard Discovery Mount McKinley All Cedar Wood Swing Set

Amazon Rated: 5 Stars!
Age Range: 3 to 10

Item Weight: 328 pounds

Dimensions: 15’6”L x 12’6”D x 9’11”H with 4’ Height of Deck
Is Assembly Required: Yessssss!!!


About the Backyard Discovery Mount McKinley All Cedar Wood Swing Set:

OK so we’re a bit over the “wooden swing sets under 500” budget here but, as it looks like you’ll be entertaining the whole neighborhood with this one, you could probably charge an entry fee and make some of your money back! Nah, just kidding…

…just in case there’s any confusion out there! That said, it’s pretty awesome! This kit includes, well, everything really…fortress with tarp (gotta have a fortress!), 8 foot slide, two belt swings and one trapeze bar, rock climbing wall, rope ladder, climbing rope, play telescope and a steering wheel…jeez, I’m exhausted just thinking about it all!

Now for the technical bits! Made from 100% treated Cedarwood and held together with high strength steel brackets and rounded “Safe-T-Fuse” locking nuts, the structure offers maximum strength, support, and durability…whilst still looking really, really cool! And even with all that, it’s still quite a compact little structure and therefore suitable for smaller back yards.

Your kids, and probably all the neighbor’s kids, will have their imaginations sent into overdrive as they scale, climb, slide, swing and probably squabble too.


The Good Bits:
  • Plenty to it, very diverse…kids will not get bored easily.
  • Can hold multiple kids at one time.


The Bad Bits:
  • Assembly, lots and lots of assembly. Manufacturers recommend to put 18 to 24 hours aside for this project (and two “moderately skilled people”, whatever they are!) That said, all parts are clearly stamped to speed up the assembly process a little bit.
  • Timber could be of better quality.


What the Reviews Say:

Only 1 review to go off with this one…but it’s 5 Stars which is a plus! However, I read through some reviews of the same manufacturers other similar models. That is the Backyard Discovery Prairie Ridge, Santa Fe and Peninsula Swing Sets, all coming in around 3.5 Stars. There seems to be a recurring opinion among reviewers that the timber used seems a bit cheap and flimsy and splits easy during assembly. That said, this didn’t seem to compromise the structural integrity of the product once assembled. One positive thing for the manufacturers is that they seem to have their stuff together regarding labeling and delivery of pieces on time and in full…Yeay! This is definitely out of the ordinary for these kinds of products.


What We Say:

Well, it’s big, and expensive and certainly looks impressive. If you’re looking for wooden swing sets under 500 it’s possibly a little bit over the top for a backyard play set. For the money you’re spending you would expect top quality, durable timber. That said, once assemble it seems strong and sturdy. I wouldn’t have 8 kids on it at once though…as indicated in the product picture! Noooo waaaay!

3.5 Stars from us! (Just because it’s quite pricey and requires a lot of assembly.


Step2 Naturally Playful Playhouse Climber & Swing Extension

Amazon Rated: 4.5 Stars!
Age Range: 3 to 7 Years

Item Weight: 169 pounds

Dimensions: 110 x 75 x 114.96 inches
Is Assembly Required: Yes

Maximum Weight: 250lbs on climber; 75lbs on swing.


About the Step2 Naturally Playful Playhouse Climber:

Over budget and not even made of timber, so this is a bit of a strange one to include in a review article on wooden swing sets under 500. However, we just thought we’d stick it in there as we think it’s cool and hey, some people don’t like timber. So what’s it got? It comes with a deck and balcony (with railings of course!), a 5.5 foot slide, a secret playhouse with crawl-throughs and a swing extension with two swings.


The Good Bits:
  • Easy assembly
  • Easy to clean
  • Made of strong, durable plastic
  • Plenty of different activities to keep littlies occupied.


The Bad Bits:
  • Smaller age range than a heavier duty wooden swing set.


What the Reviews Say:

Generally good reviews on this one, stating that the plastic is good, heavy duty and durable. However, a few reported a bit of lifting when multiple kids swung on it at once. There are ground anchors included in the kit and we recommend you use them. Apart from that and some fiddly assembly issues, it seems to be quite a popular product.

What We Say:

Well, we like timber. But if you have to go with plastic then this is a nice little structure. The crawl-throughs are a nice feature sure to keep littlies entertained and get their imaginations going. It definitely seems to be for a younger age group and you may find yourself wanting to upgrade as the kids get bigger.



Well, it’s easy to pick our favorite from this lot…that would have to be Product 3, Swing-N-Slide PB 8330 Orbiter Wood Complete Swing Set. It simple, non-fussy design offers durable, safe fun for a large age group over many many seasons, with no maintenance required. With this, it still offers a bit of diversity with the trapeze bar or the option to attach different fittings fairly easily, keeping all the family interested for years. For the money invested, definitely an awesome purchase for some old-fashioned fun!