A ride on a swing can range from a calming back-and-forth rhythm to a wild adventure through the air. It can rock babies to sleep and absorb older kids’ energy while keeping them entertained outdoors. For adults, a swing can bring back fond memories of childhood. Tree swings can also build core muscles and develop motor skills in users young and old.
A big, strong limb can support a backyard tree swing and provide shade to the play area. A wide variety of tree swings are available for users in any stage of life.
Read on to explore types of swings, learn which features to seek, and find out why these models soared among the best tree swing options available.
- BEST OVERALL: PACEARTH 40″ Saucer Tree Swing
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: PACEARTH Swing Seat
- BEST ROPE: Jungle Gym Kingdom Tree Swing Climbing Rope
- BEST MULTIPERSON: Trekassy 700lb Giant 60″ Platform Tree Swing
- BEST TRADITIONAL: Pellor Wood Tree Swing
- BEST STAND-UP: Swurfer, the Original Stand-Up Surfing Swing
- BEST FOR BABY OR TODDLER: Little Tikes Snug ’n Secure Swing
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Tree Swing
The best tree swing contains high-quality materials and solid safety features. Its size and style must match the user’s needs—whether it’s solo swinging or entertaining the kids or youngsters in the neighborhood. Keep these factors in mind when shopping for a backyard swing.
Tree swings come in numerous styles for kids and grown-ups. They can be single- or double-rope designs, with seating for one or several riders at once.
- Traditional tree swings are made of two ropes or chains and a board seat. Adults and older children who have graduated from a baby or bucket swing use these single-seat swings. Flexible seats offer more security for younger users, but older kids and adults tend to prefer a rigid seat for the roominess it provides.
- Rope swings are made with a single length of rope, often passed through a disc and knotted beneath. Their significant range of motion requires greater strength and dexterity to operate safely. For those reasons, rope swings are best for users over the age of 10.
- Multiperson swings may be supported by a single- or a double-rope system. Most are classified as saucer swings, so named for their disc-shaped seat. Saucer swings, like rope swings, offer more range of motion. Other multiperson models resemble porch swings or feature a broad rectangular platform.
- Baby and toddler swings are designed for infants and toddlers to enjoy a gentle back-and-forth motion. They help young children transition to traditional swings. Bucket swings are particularly common; these designs “fit” like a pair of shorts, with a top-entry approach—which protects youngsters from sliding out of the seat.
- Standing swings are suitable for big kids and designed for a dynamic play session. These options range from single- to double-rope designs, with a variety of secure platform styles.
Tree swings are made of various materials that offer durability and comfort. Some materials are most common in specific types of swings, while others are more universal.
- Wooden plank seats, still available for traditional swings, maintain a classic aesthetic.
- High-quality disc and platform tree-swing models typically incorporate tubular steel frames and heavy-duty oxford fabric.
- Swings with a more modern style often contain heavy-duty plastic that holds up better in different weather conditions and resists ultraviolet (UV) rays. Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) plastic is safe and BPA-free, so it’s a popular material for molded baby swings and other swing components.
- Polyester rope is ideal for tree swings because it’s strong and doesn’t stretch or sustain damage from the elements. It should be thin enough to grasp easily; thicknesses between .625 of an inch for a double-rope swing and up to 1 inch for a single-rope swing are sufficient.
- Metal chains are tough and can support considerable weight, but the moving links may pinch fingers.
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)–coated swing chains provide the strength required of a metal chain, with added protection to prevent injury.
Weight and User Capacity
Types of tree swings vary in their user capacity and coinciding weight limit. Consider how many kids and/or adults will be part of the backyard fun.
- Traditional wooden-plank swings accommodate one user at a time. Most are rated for a maximum weight of 200 to 250 pounds.
- Larger disc swings hold one adult or several small children comfortably. They are made with heavy-duty frames and sturdy fabric covers that can hold 600 to 700 pounds or more.
- Multiperson and larger stand-up tree swings can hold two or three adult riders or numerous children. In general, oversize swings may be rated for weights up to 700 to 750 pounds or more.
- Baby swings usually have weight limits of between 20 and 40 pounds. To put that into perspective, the average weight of a three-year-old child is a little more than 30 pounds, so this age is a suitable time for toddlers to graduate to a bucket swing.
- A typical bucket swing can support toddlers and young children weighing 50 to 60 pounds. That said, a child approaching this weight limit may already be ready for a larger swing.
Tree-swing injuries range from sprained fingers and rope burns to broken bones and much worse. Adult supervision, choosing the best tree, and a few simple safety considerations will limit the chances of injury.
- Site or location establishes the foundation of safety for tree swings. This includes a strong and healthy tree branch with a swinging area and landing zone free of branches, stones, exposed roots, and other hazards. The ground should be covered with a soft material, such as grass, leaves, or mulch.
- A safe anchoring system is crucial for connecting the swing to the branch. Straps made of webbing are superior to rope or bolts. They protect the branch from abrasion, do not restrict growth when properly secured, and eliminate the need to drill into the wood. Look for anchor straps with reinforced stitched web loops and locking carabiners.
- An enclosed seat and anti-pinch features are important for swings used by babies and toddlers. The best swings for babies have harness-style supports for the shoulders and torso. A rope or coated chain is the most suitable mounting material to avoid pinched fingers.
- Adequate rope length entails enough rope to go around the branch, tie a knot, then run below the swing seat and add another knot. An easy way to calculate the proper length of rope for safety is to multiply the branch height by two, and then add 12 feet (4 yards).
- Adequate chain length will be shorter than rope because the chain is fastened to an anchor system at the top and bottom. There’s no need to add the extra 12 feet, so measure twice the distance from the branch to the ground.
Our Top Picks
We factored in different swing styles, materials, and safety features to compile these recommendations. Choose one of these high-quality tree swings for backyard merriment. Whee!
The Pacearth 40-Inch Saucer Tree Swing is certified “Safe for Children” by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and boasts superior strength thanks to heavy-duty UV-resistant 900-denier (D) fabric. This swing includes tough multiple-strand braided rope with a 660-pound load capacity.
The kit includes nylon webbing straps and locking carabiners to hang the swing. The 40-inch round platform is large enough for several small children or an adult with a small child. The adjustable ropes have a maximum length of about 70 inches. The mounting straps are suitably long for a branch that’s 8 to 10 inches in diameter.
- Type: Multiperson saucer swing
- Material: Oxford cloth and braided rope
- Weight capacity: 660 pounds
- Available in a variety of colors
- Adjustable rope length
- Suitable for more than 1 child
- Quite a small size for multiple people
Get the Pacearth saucer tree swing on Amazon.
The reasonably priced Pacearth Swing Seat, with its 660-pound load capacity, is strong enough for children or adults. The kit includes a 26-inch by 5.5-inch EVA plastic swing seat, 68.9-inch safety-coated chains, and 23.6-inch hang straps made of polyester webbing. Locking buckles at the seat and branch connections allow for easy setup and adjustment.
The hang straps safely attach to a tree branch without drilling, friction, or girdling that would damage the tree. The EVA seat and zinc-plated chains have all-weather durability, and the PVC-coated chains prevent pinching.
This swing quickly assembles and adjusts at the top or bottom with threaded locking quick links. The 26-inch U-shaped seat is comfortable for small children and larger adults.
- Type: Traditional tree swing
- Material: Plastic-coated metal chain and plastic seat
- Weight capacity: 660 pounds
- Available in several bright colors
- Suitable for both kids and adults
- Easy to install
- Plastic chain coating feels quite sticky
- Chain may be too short for tall trees
Get the Pacearth tree swing seat on Amazon.
The Jungle Gym Kingdom Tree Swing Climbing Rope offers a highly active play experience with both swinging and climbing options, and all materials are ASTM approved. The kit includes a 12-inch disc seat, four textured 4-inch climbing platforms, a soft braided polyethylene climbing rope with a sturdy metal frame, a locking carabiner, and a 4-foot tree strap.
This swing is rated for a weight limit of up to 150 pounds. The overall length of this rope swing is 129.6 inches. The rope adjusts to a shorter length by raising the seat and tying a higher knot, or by either adding or removing slack in the tree strap.
- Type: Rope swing
- Material: Braided rope with plastic seat
- Weight capacity: 150 pounds
- Can be used to climb and swing
- Simple setup
- Soft rope is gentle on hands
- Limited length
- Plastic seat can break from heavy use
Get the Jungle Gym Kingdom tree swing on Amazon.
The Trekassy Giant 60-Inch Platform Tree Swing has plenty of room for the whole family. The 25-millimeter tubular-steel platform frame measures 60 inches long by 32 inches deep. It is covered with tight-weave 900D oxford fabric and connects to the polyethylene ropes with steel eye bolts. The 12-millimeter-thick ropes adjust from 47 to 71 inches.
Two 5-foot tree straps and stainless steel carabiners securely and safely attach the swing to any suitable tree branch. This swing should be mounted to a larger branch, 10 inches in diameter or greater, to swing safely at the full weight capacity. This is a sturdy family swing that can hold up to two adults or five children.
- Type: Multiperson platform tree swing
- Material: Oxford fabric, polyethylene, stainless steel frame
- Weight capacity: 700 pounds
- Foldable for storage
- Adjustable rope length
- Large weight limit fits multiple kids
Get the Trekassy tree swing on Amazon.
For an old-school feel, the Pellor Wood Tree Swing has the look and feel of wood and rope. It connects easily to either a tree or a backyard playset. The durable 17.7-inch-long by 7.9-inch-wide wooden seat has a rich chocolate-brown finish. The included ropes are adjustable from 120 to 180 centimeters.
This kit includes a wooden seat and preinstalled braided ropes. This swing makes an excellent upgrade for when a child outgrows a baby swing or bucket swing. It easily attaches to an existing playset or a strong tree limb.
- Type: Traditional swing
- Material: Braided rope with wooden seat
- Weight capacity: 440 pounds
- Classic and durable design
- Comfortable curved wood seat
- Adjustable rope length
- Wood finish requires maintenance over time
Get the Pellor tree swing on Amazon.
The Swurfer’s unique curved shape is designed to deliver more power and stability with a wider range of motion than that of a traditional flat swing platform. The 33-inch-long by 10-inch-wide board, made of a single piece of hard maple, is individually shaped, sanded, and finished by hand with a clear coat for weather protection and grommets to protect the board from rope wear.
The adjustable handles fit riders of any height, but this stand-up swing is best suited for those ages 6 and up with a maximum weight capacity of 200 pounds. The kit also includes two wood handles and two 30-foot lengths of double-braided UV- and mildew-resistant rope.
The ideal branch height for maximum movement on this swing board is 15 feet; branches lower than 8 feet will not allow the rider to achieve the full range of motion.
- Type: Standing surfboard swing
- Material: Braided rope with wooden board
- Weight capacity: 200 pounds
- Fast setup
- Adjustable rope length
- Ideal for workouts
Get the Swurfer tree swing on Amazon or at Target.
Babies don’t stay babies for long, so the Little Tikes Snug ’n Secure Swing is cleverly designed to convert to a toddler swing. An easy-in hinged T-bar and stay-put shoulder straps with shoulder attachment points provide security for infants. The T-bar and straps can easily be removed for storage when the child no longer requires them.
The kit includes preinstalled poly ropes and quick-connect hooks for swing set installation. This swing is intended for use by children ages 9 months to 4 years, with a weight limit of 50 pounds.
- Type: Child’s traditional swing
- Material: Braided rope with plastic seat
- Weight capacity: 50 pounds
- Great for children up to 4 years of age
- Fun, bright colors for kids
- T-bar holds babies securely
- T-bar can be removed for older children
- Very limited weight capacity
Get the Little Tikes tree swing on Amazon.
For shoppers looking for a tree swing suitable for multiple children of all ages, the Pacearth saucer tree swing is a great choice with an impressive weight limit. Those looking for a more classic look to add to a sophisticated garden aesthetic should consider the Pellor tree swing, which boasts a timeless and durable design.
How We Chose the Best Tree Swings
Our recommendations stem from our extensive research on the best tree swings on the market. Important aspects were adequate weight capacities to support both children and adults. We even found several options that can hold up to 600 pounds, suitable for multiple people at once.
Quality of construction and materials was also a major factor in our research. We made sure to look at the top tree swings from reputable manufacturers, which use durable braided rope and metal connectors to ensure a safe outdoor tree swing experience.
For questions still hanging in the air, these answers will help you install and maintain a new tree swing for many years to come.
Q. Are tree swings safe?
If made of quality materials, installed properly, and used correctly, tree swings can be a safe way to have fun. The tree, seat, rope or chain, and all connections should be checked at least once each season.
Q. How do you choose a tree for a swing?
Choose a strong tree species, such as beech, oak, sycamore, or maple. Avoid weaker species such as pine, poplar, spruce, willow, and birch. The tree should be strong and sound, with no signs of disease, decay, or cracks.
Q. How high should a tree swing be off the ground?
Hang the swing so that the seat is 16 to 24 inches off the ground while unoccupied. When occupied, the seat should be at least 10 inches off the ground. The ideal branch height for a tree swing is between 10 and 15 feet.