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4 Things You Need to Know Before You Buy a Wooden Climbing Frame

Searching for the perfect wooden playset can be a daunting task. Which wood 

to go for, how big does my garden need to be, what does deck height mean? And the ‘all important’…. how much?? 

There are so many options to choose from out there on the ‘world wide web’. However, there aren’t many trustworthy sources to answer your questions & help you make the right decision when buying a wooden climbing frame for your family.  


There are 4 things that you need to know prior to investing your hard-earned cash in a wooden climbing frame for your garden. And here they are… 

1. What wood should a climbing frame be made from?

There’s a vast number of climbing frame companies out there, all claiming to be ‘the best’ in some way. It is common to see brands mimicking each other in appearance…made even easier these days by photoshop. In reality, it is not until you see a climbing frame ‘in the flesh’ that you will be able to gauge its size, strength, quality and overall finish. We have 3 show-sites across England where you can come and play before you buy – we actively encourage you to come and see us prior to investing in a wooden climbing frame! 

Our Climbing frames are only made from solid cedar – our main beams are 4”x4” and our swing beams are 4”x6” ensuring they are incredibly strong & durable. It is not uncommon to see wooden climbing frames constructed from 2”x4” or 2”x6” beams, either on their own – or glued together to give a thicker effect. And it goes without saying, these are no where near as safe or as robust as their thicker counterparts… 

Cedar lumber is Rainbow’s wood of choice for two reasons…value and quality. Whilst Redwood is also a good quality wood, it comes in more expensive and for little extra real value. Cedar is an excellent all-round choice as it’s naturally resistant to rot, decay and damage. And to add a cherry to the cake – our wood comes with a 25 year warranty! (Hurrah!) 


2. What’s best climbing frame for children young and old…

Deck height is an important factor to consider when investing in a wooden playset. It can mean the difference between a climbing frame being used for 1 or 10 years! The deck height is the distance from the ground to the base of your wooden climbing frame’s main deck.  The most common deck heights are 5/6-ft. We also have a 7’2 deck height available here at Rainbow for those with monster climbing frame visions! 

So why is deck height important? 

We all know how quickly children grow so we always recommend to go with the highest deck height you can afford, at least a 5-ft deck height so that your children can enjoy their climbing frame for many years to come. 

Tip, a 4ft deck height will be of no challenge to children over the age of 3! 

Best advice, If your garden allows for it then a 5’10ft or even the 7’2ft deck height is a fabulous investment, not only for the fun factor but also to enhance that ever important value for money and longevity of usage.. 

Important advice, Many climbing frame dealers advertise 4-ft deck height play-sets as they are much cheaper and the actual size of the set is hard to gauge from a picture. But please beware – we’ve had many a conversation with families who have bought a set without seeing it who complain that it was too small for their children….but by then it’s was too late!!! 

3. Safety first!

For many parents cost is the deciding factor in their purchase of a climbing frame. However, the safety features included on higher quality playsets make them well worth the extra costs. It does not pay to cut corners here. 

The safest wooden playsets feature the following: 

  • The frame and A-frame of the set are made with (at least) solid 4x4 beams of wood. 
  • The swing beam is made up of (at least) a 4x6 solid piece of wood 
  • The wood is pre-sanded and pre-drilled 
  • The playset is constructed with recessed hardware that doesn't "stick out" 
  • Commercial grade hardware is used 

4. Money, money, money…

We completely understand that price tags and budgets are a huge part of investing in a wooden climbing frame. You need to know that you are getting the maximum value for money for your investment. We pride ourselves on offering not only the BEST quality of climbing frame but also the widest range of options to allow everyone to find something that fits their wish list. We have wooden climbing frames for small gardens, we have models that can be configured differently to help them fit in tight spaces…and then we have climbing frames as big as houses! 


There is a distinct lack of information out there to help consumers decide on the correct and appropriate climbing frame for their family’s needs. We hear all too often that parents ‘wish they had seen the climbing frame before they bought it’ or ‘wouldn’t have bought it at all’ if they had known more about what was available and what pitfalls to avoid! 

We hope that you found this article helpful and we really look forward to hearing from you soon! 

For more help on picking your dream wooden climbing frame please get in touch.  

Top tip: Always see try before you buy!