Playsets are amazing for getting children to spend more time outdoors. There’s a wide array of sizes and configurations available, designed for every kind of yard—or even indoor use. When it comes to choosing a product for your own backyard, you’ll want to take into account the quality of the materials, sturdiness, safety and fun factor… but it also needs to fit in your space. To help you narrow the search for a playset that works in your narrow yard—or on your deck or in your living room—we’ve chosen our favorite compact playsets for a number of price points, age groups, and (most importantly) fun factor.
Backyard Boss 5 Best Compact Backyard Playset for 2021
|ZHOU2# 6 in 1 Kids Indoor Outdoor Playground Set||Check The Price!|
|Playful Palace Swing Set with Slide||Check The Price!|
|Sportspower Arcadia Swing Set||Check The Price!|
|Big Backyard KidKraft Playset F24140||Check The Price!|
|Trekassy 440lbs Swing Set with Heavy Duty A-Frame||Check The Price!|
Why You Can Trust Us
We have dedicated ourselves to finding the best possible equipment and features for your backyard. There is nothing that the kids enjoy more than a reliable and fun playset that they can use for many years to come. Needless to say, in our years of writing about backyard recreation, we have learned a thing or two about swing and playsets.
I have put together and built quite a few playsets from scratch over the years. In that time, I’ve learned what lasts and what doesn’t. It’s important to find equipment that is of a high-quality, not only for safety but for the long-lasting enjoyment of the kids. No matter what playset you get, it will have to stand up to a lot of use and abuse.
Best Small Playground Set
Why We Like It: This 6 in 1 Kids Indoor Outdoor Playground Set by ZHOU2# is a great addition to any backyard or patio where you want to save some space. Its small footprint is perfect for smaller kids and toddlers and the soft plastic makes it safe for everyone. The entire set is made from non-toxic HDPE material so it is safe for small kids. The slide has a shallow slope and the swing has a safety bar so you can rest assured that your kids will be safe and comfortable on this playset.
This set comes with a basketball hoop, a slide, a swing, and a tee-ball set for a wide range of activities. With so much to do, everyone is sure to find something to keep themselves occupied.
Who Should Buy It: People with younger kids and toddlers who might not have a lot of room in the backyard but still want something that they can enjoy and have fun with for many years.
Best Small Backyard Playset
Why We Like It: This Playful Palace Swing Set with Slide by Swing-n-Slide is a durable and action-packed playset that still has a smaller profile and won’t take up a lot of room in the backyard. The heavy-duty hardware and all wood construction means it will stand up to a lot of use by the kids. It can also take a lot of abuse from the weather, which is incredibly important if you’re going to leave a playset up all year long.
It features swings, a slide, playhouse, and all kinds of bells and whistles to keep everyone occupied. Each swing can support up to 115 pounds, so it is strong enough to last through many years of your kids growing.
Who Should Buy It: People who want a play set that is up to the same quality standards as the playground but without the massive footprint that some playsets can take up.
Best Small Swing Set With Slide
Why We Like It: The Sportspower Arcadia Swing Set is a playground-grade swing set with a wavy slide that your kids can enjoy for many years. The 2-inch weather-resistant tubes are built to last and can be left out in the sun, wind, and rain without rusting or deteriorating. Even though it has a lot of different features, it is still a small enough size to be set up in medium-sized yards that might not otherwise be able to accommodate some of the larger playsets.
With a trapeze bar, two swings, glider, and a slide, there is almost no end to the amount of fun the kids can have on this playset. Plus, it’s strong enough to hold bigger kids as well, so it’s not going to be outgrown any time soon.
Who Should Buy It: People who are wary about buying some of the larger playsets or people whose HOAs won’t allow them to build a tall playset in the backyard.
Best Playset for Narrow Lawns
Parents that want to invest in a playset that will last through a great portion of the little one’s childhood are going to love this Big Backyard KidKraft set. It’s also great for families who have multiple children or those who tend to host frequent play-overs.
Why We Like It: There are plenty of things that we love about this Big Backyard KidKraft product and once we go through the features, you’ll definitely agree that this is one of the best outdoor playsets for older kids that you can currently get your hands on. It is suitable for children between the ages of 3 and 12, and it can offer a wonderful pastime for up to 7 kids at once.
It comes with two double-belt swings where children can experience one of the biggest joys that we ourselves experienced when we were little, which is swinging back and forth, and just enjoying time outside. It also has a high-rail wave slide, which is arguably the best kind of slide available.
The chalk wall is there for the creative kids: the ones that love to draw or maybe play some family drawing games. It also has a sandbox, but you will have to provide the sand for it yourself. The canopy that’s on top of the play deck ensures that your kids have a place to hide when the sun outside is too strong.
All of this and it’s only nine feet wide. That might seem huge compared to a patio space, but for a narrow suburban lawn, this is a full-playset experience in a small footprint, and the quality is such that it can be installed and last a decade or more with good maintenance.
Who Should Buy It: People who want a smaller footprint for their outdoor playset due to lack of space in the yard or a need to keep the kids cordoned off into one area.
Best A-Frame Playset
Why We Like It: This A-Frame swing set by Trekassy has a lot to offer in a small package. With a saucer swing, standard swing, basketball hoop, and climbing net, there is plenty for the kids to do. Plus, it won’t take up a huge amount of space in the backyard.
This swing set can accommodate up to 440 pounds, so it is safe for both smaller and larger kids. Because of this, your kids can enjoy it for longer and it can remain a treasured part of the backyard, even when they start to grow up.
Who Should Buy It: People who want the stability of an A-Frame swing set but with a few extra features that their kids can enjoy on top of just swinging.
Tips for Choosing a Good Little Playset
If you’ve never had to buy a playset before, knowing what to look for can be a bit confusing. And when your space is constrained, you might think it’s out of the question. The good news is that we’ve got you covered. Here’s a point-by-point list of what to look for and where to find what you need.
“Safety first” is a cliche for a reason: This is the first point you need to consider when looking for a playset of any size. This means that you have to look carefully at the materials used to make the product, as well as any mentions that the construction and materials of choice meet the safety standards imposed by your local regulations. If you opt for metal or wood products, you can rarely go wrong, but “rarely” isn’t the same as “never.”
Keep in mind that a wooden playset might splinter, metal options might rust, and plastic might not be able to support the weight and ruckus of your kids. In other words, even if a product meets safety standards, you still have to do a little bit of research: Can you maintain this playset in good condition to prevent safety hazards, and on its own, does the playset seem capable of weathering the abuse of happy, growing children?
Some people have the advantage of owning a big yard, while others have limited space they have to work with. If you know your lawn is small, or you have just the space on your deck or patio, then you need to measure first. Don’t forget to measure the available height of your space if your patio is covered, for example, or if your small lawn has a tree with low branches.
When comparing product dimensions online, be sure you’re reviewing the dimensions of the fully assembled product and not those of the package it’s shipped in.
If you’re considering a playset with a swing, be certain that the swing can be used in your space, as well. Some extend six or eight feet beyond the feet of the frame, depending on the height and length of the chains.
A playset can be a really good investment, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. If you need something that will last a season or two, suffice for now, or will likely be outgrown before it’s worn out, a bargain is a good idea (provided the playset in question is safe). If you’re hoping to keep the playset around for more than two or three years, expect to invest more upfront in a durable option that will last.
Where to Buy
If you want to make this purchase online, you can check out third-party retailers that offer such products, like Amazon, or you can go directly to the manufacturer’s website if you already have a list of respected playset brands that you want to look into and trust. Most home improvement stores, including Lowe’s, Home Depot and Menard’s, sell outdoor play equipment online, as does Walmart.
How We Picked
For this list, we went through many different playsets and swing sets on the market. We looked for examples that are made from high-quality materials and are meant to stand up to a lot of use. This means heavy-duty hardware and basic materials that will not only stand up to use by the kids but also weather and other outdoor elements.
We also looked for swing sets and playsets that have enough features for everyone to enjoy them. If there’s one thing kids don’t like to do, it’s waiting their turn. This is especially true for something fun like a swing set, so it was important to us that we found sets that had enough going on that everyone can enjoy it at the same time.
When you’re looking to invest money in an outdoor playset, consider the safety of your child first of all. Finding a good playset for your child is easy. Finding a safe and reliable option that meets your needs is a little more complicated, especially if your yard space is limited.
Our top pick is the ZHOU2# 6 in 1 Indoor and Outdoor Playground Set due to its high-quality build on a small footprint, safety features, and versatility of activities for younger kids and toddlers.
We hope you’ve found this buying guide helpful. Let us know in the comments if you’d like to see a specific product review or guide from us soon!