Best Backyard Playsets 2021 – Buyer’s Guide & Review

Your backyard is a place where both children and adults should feel free to play and enjoy the great outdoors. One way to boost everyone’s enjoyment is to add playground equipment to the yard. Your children will love having their neighborhood friends over to play on their very own playground, and you will be able to relax and play with your children without leaving home.

We have looked at not only the best ready-made playground sets but also the best playground equipment to consider adding to your set. You might decide to stick with an all-in-one playscape, or you might choose to build your own gradually, adding swings, slides, and various other equipment as you are ready. We’ve addressed both options here, and we think you’ll enjoy this comprehensive list.

Our Top 3 Picks for 2021 - Best of the Best!

Runner Up
Backyard wooden playset
  • 5 Year Warranty
  • Sunshade Included
  • Fits Tall Children
Runner Up
Backyard wooden playhouse
  • Accommodates up to 7
  • Meets ASTM Safety Standards
  • Easy to Setup

The Best Backyard Playsets of 2021

The Best Backyard Playground Set Overall


Backyard playset

The Backyard Discovery Skyfort II is our top pick among the complete backyard playground sets. The neighborhood children will all gather to play on this equipment, and there’s plenty of room for all. It features two swings as well as a tandem swing, a wave slide, monkey bars, a climbing wall, and a fun playhouse at the top. The construction is cedar, which has a natural resistance to rot and mold.



  • Plenty of room for all
  • Takes a long time to set up
  • Solid cedar construction
  • Will need to supplement with your own screws and tools
  • Meets or exceeds safety standards
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    Backyard wooden playset

    We have two runners-up, and our first is the KidKraft Andorra Cedar Wood Playset. This is smaller than our top pick, so it’s also less expensive. It is made of real cedar and features two swings, a climbing wall, a slide, and a small covered play area at the top. There’s also a sandbox underneath. The set can hold up to seven children weighing about 100 lbs each.



  • Can accommodate seven children
  • Not for adult use
  • Meets ASTM safety standards
  • Only for children under 110 lbs
  • Detailed instructions
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    Backyard wooden playhouse

    The Little Tikes Real Wood Aventures Playhouse is a rustic-looking playground that will give your kids plenty to do. It has room for children up to 10 years old, and it features a clubhouse, comfy nest underneath, swings, a slide, a clubhouse, a bridge, and more. It is made of chemical-free, sturdy wood.



  • 5-year prorated warranty
  • Takes a long time to set up
  • Includes sunshades
  • Some had trouble setting up the rope bridge correctly
  • Accommodates tall children
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    Playground Equipment to Consider for Your Backyard

    Depending on the ages of the people playing on your set, you will have a very wide berth for deciding which types of equipment you’d like to add to your playground. Some of the most popular additions include swings, slides, and playhouses, so we’ve picked out several of these, along with some additional accessories that will add to the fun.

    The Best Swings for Your Backyard Playground Set

    The Best Climbing Rope for Kids Disc Seat Swing

    Climbing rope for kids swing

    Soarin Supply Co's 6.5 ft seated climbing rope is soft, strong and durable and is designed for having kids to play on it for hours without scraping or burning their hands. The patented ribbed foot platforms allow children to safely place their foot on these placements which make it easier to climb.



  • Comes in green or red with a 21.5" hanging strap and carabiner
  • Not adjustable - total length is 6.5 feet
  • Accommodates children and adults up to 150 lbs
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  • Safe, non slip design of disc and climbing ribs
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    The Best Kid- and Adult-Sized Swing



    The Sunnyglade Swings here come in a set of two, which is perfect for many backyard playgrounds. They each hold 250 lbs, making them suitable for both children and adults, and they have the U-shaped seats that allow for good stability. The chains are made from comfortable coated zinc.



  • Comes in a set of two
  • May need to replace carabiners
  • Accommodates children and adults up to 250 lbs
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  • Safe, non slip design
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    The Best Toddler Swing


    Swing seat

    The Eastern Jungle Gym Heavy-Duty toddler swing made the top of our list for swings for little ones. This comes in two different varieties: One is a bucket-style toddler seat, and the other is a half-bucket with a safety chain going across. Both have zinc-coated chains and are made of heavy-duty plastic that will stand the test of time.



  • Comes in two varieties
  • Not for small babies
  • Sturdy plastic construction
  • Tips forward during use
  • Pinchless coated chains
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    Tandem swingset

    If you have two young children who would like to swing together, the Creative Playthings Back to Back Glider is a great tandem swing to add to your playground. Children will face out (back to back) while riding this swing. One child can use it if you don’t have two children. There is minimal assembly required.



  • Minimal assembly
  • Need to buy a hanging bracket separately
  • Can be used by one or two children
  • Chains can be a bit short
  • Face-out design
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    The Best Slides for Your Backyard Playground Set

    The Best Straight Slide


    Kid on a slide

    If you are looking for a freestanding slide to add to your home playground, check out the Slidewhizzer Kids 6ft Outdoor Playground Slide. This is best for kids ages 4 to 7, and it can either be placed alongside a swingset or other equipment or simply stand it up as is by itself to add some kid-friendly appeal to your yard. This one is durable, safe, and easy to assemble.



  • Easy to assemble
  • A bit narrow
  • Steel frame for durability
  • Not for children older than about 7
  • Durable plastic slide
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    The Best Toddler Slide


    Plastic kids slide

    The Little Tikes First Toddler Slide is a well-known name among parents of young children. It is perfect for small kids to use in the backyard, and during inclement weather, it can also be brought indoors. It’s also very simple to set up, so your little ones will be playing in no time.



  • Durable, sturdy construction
  • Only for children up to 4 years old
  • Easy to put together

  • Can be used indoors or out
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    Tube slide

    If you’re looking for a spiral tube slide, the Swing-N-Slide 7 ft. Turbo Tube Slide is the one you need. It is made to fit a seven-foot deck, so you will need to make sure that your DIY playground set is that tall. It meets or exceeds all safety standards, and it has a lifetime warranty against cracks and breakage.



  • Accommodates up to 250 lbs
  • Requires specific height of deck
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Requires lumber and tools
  • Durable construction
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    The Best Playhouses for Your Backyard Playground Set

    The Best Wooden Playhouse


    kids in a playhouse

    The Backyard Discovery Scenic Heights Cedar Playhouse came out on top of our list of the best wooden playhouses. The deck is three feet high, making it safe and fun for little ones, and there are lots of fun features, including a cot, saloon doors, and a play kitchen.



  • Growth board for keeping track of how quickly your little ones grow
  • For small children only
  • Lots of fun features
  • Windows are not covered, so a falling hazard could exist
  • Rot-resistant
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    The Best Toddler Playhouse

    Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse

    Cottage playhouse

    For children under 4 years of age who want their own little playhouse, we recommend the Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse. This one has an adorable Victorian theme and is made of bright, sturdy plastic. The doors and windows swing open for extra interest. This playhouse is also very easy to assemble.



  • For toddlers and small children
  • Some rough edges on the inside
  • Safe and durable
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  • Indoor and outdoor use
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    Bouncing castle

    A great piece of playground equipment to consider adding to your yard is a bounce house, and we have found one of the best: the BlastZone Magic Castle Inflatable Bounce House. When deflated, it’s the size of a rolled sleeping bag, but when you inflate it, it accommodates up to three children (300 lbs total).



  • Includes safety netting
  • Needs to be taken down after each use
  • Commercial-grade impact surfaces for durability
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  • Many anchor points
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    Other Accessories for Your Backyard Playground Set

    The Best Climbing Wall Rocks


    Climbing holds

    If you are building your own playground set, you might consider adding some of these rock climbing holds. There are 20 “rocks” along with two handles and a knotted rope for lots of climbing fun. These can hold up to 230 lbs, so adults can also join in on the fun!



  • Easy to install
  • Rope is not very thick and sturdy
  • Includes 20 rock holds as well as handles and rope
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  • Includes mounting hardware
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    kid in a zipline

    Another piece of equipment you might consider for your backyard playground is a zipline. This one is 98 feet long and made for both children and adults. It comes with all of the safety features, including a brake and safety straps. The zipline trolley gives you a smooth ride every time.



  • Accommodates up to 330 lbs
  • Cable will stretch over time and needs to be tightened
  • Stainless steel zipline trolley
  • Some reviewers had trouble with the turnbuckle
  • 10-year limited warranty
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    Monkey bars

    If you’re looking for a set of monkey bars, the Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course for Kids offers those and so much more. The monkey bars themselves consist of rings, bars, and knots. There’s also a durable rope ladder. The hardware accessories are top-notch and designed for safety.



  • Galvanized steel for rust-free fun
  • Instructions might not be clear
  • Lots of fun options for the kids to choose from
  • Need to take your time with assembly
  • Durable hardware accessories
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    What to Consider When Buying Backyard Play Equipment?

    Backyard playground

    When purchasing backyard playground equipment, your first consideration must be safety. How old are your children? What can they reasonably expect to do safely on their own? Check the weight and height limits of any and all equipment you are considering to be sure that it will be safe for your children. Don’t install equipment for them to grow into; go ahead and buy it if you’d like, but put it away until they’re old and big enough to use it properly.

    You’ll also want to consider your total budget, as well as how many children will be using the equipment and for how long. If you are purchasing a toddler set, for example, you might choose budget-friendly pieces over those built to last for decades, because you are not going to have toddlers for years and years unless you have a very large family. On the other hand, you might choose to spend more on a higher quality set if you plan to have it in your family for your children and future grandchildren.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is it cheaper to build your own playground?

    In general, it will be less expensive to build your own playground rather than having someone come to your home to build and install a ready-to-use playground. If you have a spare weekend to dedicate to this project, you can save some money. However, if you’ll need to take a day or more off from work to tackle it, a DIY version could end up costing you more money in the long run. Weigh out your options early in the process to decide which is going to be a better option.

    Where should I buy playground equipment?

    You can purchase playground equipment at big-box stores in person and online. We recommend Amazon, particularly if you have Prime and qualify for free shipping, as this will save you money. However, there are many other online stores that you can use to purchase this type of equipment. Price-shop and always be sure to read reviews before purchasing.

    How much does it cost to build a backyard playground?

    The price of your backyard playground can range from $300 to $5,000 or more. It really depends on the size of the playground and what materials and equipment you use. In general, a larger playground with more features is going to cost more than a smaller playground with fewer features.

    What should I do with an old playset?

    A playset in poor shape or that is a safety hazard should be disposed of. Call your local waste management department to find out how to properly recycle or dispose of your playground. If it’s in good condition, though, you can donate it to a daycare or another facility catering to children. You also might consider repurposing it as a chicken coop, a hangout for teens, or just about anything else you can think of. Be creative!


    We’ve given you a lot to think about, and we hope you’re feeling more ready to choose the components you need for your backyard playground. If you are looking for a ready-to-use model, our recommendation is the Backyard Discovery Skyfort II. If you are hoping to build your own, however, then look through each of the categories listed above to find our recommendations for each type of swing, slide, playhouse, and other accessories. Enjoy your new playground set!

    About The Author

    Michelle profile picture

    Michelle Kulas


    Michelle Kulas has been writing professionally since 2008 in a variety of niches. She is a gardener and enjoys spending time with her family and her dog in her sunny Southwest Florida backyard. When she's not writing or in the garden, you can find her cooking or volunteer with foreign exchange students.