Best Climbing Frames – 2024 Buyers Guide

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Climbing Frame

Looking for the perfect solution to keep your children entertained whilst you are in the garden? We think the best option could be a climbing frame. Whether you have young children or older children, there will be a climbing frame that is going to be safe but also exciting for them to play with.

There is a lot of research to suggest that a climbing frame is going to support children to develop not just physically but also mentally. It provides them with the perfect opportunity to challenge themselves and develop their mental and physical strength and motor skills whilst they are playing.

When you purchase a climbing frame, you are not only purchasing an entertaining addition to your garden, but purchasing a way to develop your children in many ways. So lets not waste any more time….

Best Pick – Dunster House Wooden Playhouse Climbing Frame

Wooden Playhouse Climbing Frame Childrens Outdoor Play Tower Monkey Bar Swing Set Club House - Dunster House® BalconyFort™ Searcher
  • Preassure treated timber.
  • Includes fixings. DIY friendly!
  • For 3-14 years.
  • Durable Wooden Playhouse, Slide and Swing Set for Ages 3 - 14 Years. Tower, Slide, 2 Swings, Balcony Platform, Monkey Bars, Ladder with Professional Grade Climbing Stones all included. Ground Anchors supplied.

Last update on 2024-06-18 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

In A Hurry?

We understand that time is precious where children are involved. There really is just never enough time in the day and when you do get a minute to yourself you don’t want to spend it scouring the internet for a climbing frame. But, you also want to know that your children are going to be safe and that you have the best for them. In this part of the article we have included all the crucial information that you need to know before buying the best climbing frame for your budget. We have also included some of our favourite climbing frames available at the moment to take the stress out of shopping! 


The size of your climbing frame largely depends on your budget and the size of your garden. It is important to consider ALL of the size measurements when looking at different climbing frames though. This is crucial because you need to consider space around your climbing frame and if the climbing frame is maximising the space that it is taking up. There is little point purchasing a larger climbing frame that only holds two swings, whereas “block” climbing frames will usually take up less space but incorporate more aspects. Climbing frames range from as small as around a couple of metres, up to 10 metres in length, so make sure to measure out the space you have available before purchasing. 

You also need to consider the height of your climbing frame. Some climbing frames go up to around 2.5 metres (which is a fair height!) so probably only suitable for older children. Whereas lower climbing frames are going to be safer for younger children. 

TOP TIP: When you are considering the best size of climbing frame to purchase make sure to leave at least 1.5-2 metres space around your climbing frame. This allows children to easily move around the frame and also helps to prevent any accidents should they fall! 

Age Appropriate 

One of the most important things to think about is the age of the children that your climbing frame is for as this is massively going to impact on the style of climbing frame that you go for. Unfortunately there are only so many variations so a “best fit” is often the  way that you are going to have to go, but remember that a climbing frame is often going to be suitable for children for a number of years if you purchase right – so it is a worthwhile investment! 

Most climbing frames are split into the categories for children under 3 and for children between 3 and 10. There are also climbing frames better suited for “big kids” that are 10+ which are going to be on the larger side! 

SAFETY TIP: Bear in mind that children under the age of 36 months are going to need to be strapped into safety seats on swings so it is important to look out for climbing frames that are going to be able to offer additional support. 


There are so many different activities that you can find on climbing frames so you really need to think about both what you want the climbing frame for and also what your children or grandchildren etc are most interested in. There are so many different styles of climbing frames that you can choose from, with some being centered around imaginative play whereas others are more focused on different exercises and activities. 

Some of the most common apparatus includes:

  • Slides
  • Swings
  • Climbing walls
  • Ladders
  • Monkey bridges
  • See-saws
  • Nets
  • Playhouses

We also found some more rare apparatus but that is included on some climbing frames if you opt for larger models. These are:

  • Trampolines
  • Hammocks
  • Sandpits 
  • Trapeze bars

TOP TIP: Some climbing frames have adjustable apparatus, so that you can remove parts and add others. This will help to keep your children interested and entertained by the climbing frame but also means that the frame can be adjusted as children get older and want different activities. 


There are three main materials that you will find climbing frames made out of – wood, plastic and metal. 

Most climbing frames that are centered around younger children will usually be made out of plastic as this is light enough for adults to move around and also safe for the children to climb on. Another benefit to plastic is that it is easier to clean and also very durable so will survive outside through the worst of the weather. The only thing to mention is that it can become discoloured if left in direct sunlight which can affect the overall finish of the climbing frame. If you do opt for a plastic climbing frame make sure that it is given an anti-UV treatment as this will help to prevent discolouration. 

SAFETY NOTE: Remember that if you opt for plastic this material can get very hot through the summer months if placed in direct sunlight so make sure to consider this when planning the position of your climbing frame. 

Wooden frames will be considerably heavier than plastic models, but they do have a much more natural look in the garden, so won’t affect the overall appearance. The fact that they are heavier and stronger means that wood is better suited for older children as well, as you don’t need to worry about them being knocked over if your children get a little too excited! If you do decide to opt for wood then make sure that it is treated with anti-pest and mould/rot treatments so that the product can last as long as possible. You will still need to maintain your wooden climbing frames with treatments if you want it to last, but pre-treatments will help to protect the wood for longer. It is also worth looking out for “high-pressure” treated wood – this allows the treatment to get deeper into the wood layers so offers protection for much longer. 

There will almost always be metalwork parts in the structure. This is almost essential if you want a strong climbing frame that is going to be long-lasting. Some climbing frames are made almost entirely out of metal, however these models do tend to be smaller and not quite as strong. 

TOP TIP: Make sure that you opt for materials that are flame retardant (F1) and fire resistant (F2). Accidents can happen this is essential to protect not only your climbing frame but also the rest of the garden and even your house! 

Best Budget – Lil Monkey Dome Climbing Frame

Lil Monkey Dome Climbing Frame
  • The Lil Monkey Dome Climber has plenty of room to explore, climb all over, hang off and swing!
  • Children will engage in active play, all the while developing key motor and agility skills
  • Designed to just the right height, so you as the parent have peace of mindabout your child safety
  • The Lil Monkey Dome Climber is UV protected, water resistant and lightweigh

Last update on 2024-06-18 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

What Else Do I Need To Know About Buying a Climbing Frame?

Now that you know the main factors you need to consider before purchasing a frame, here are some of those additional features and aspects that it is important to consider before making your purchase and positioning the chosen climbing frame. 

  • Safety Standards – We know how important it is to think about children’s safety! So make sure that the climbing frame meets the BS safety standards – this should be noted on the product descriptions and on the product itself. You always want to ensure that it is tested to EN-71 Safety Standards. 
  • Position – Make sure to consider exactly where you are going to position your climbing frame as this will impact on the size that you are going to be able to purchase. We would recommend putting your climbing frame away from any walls or fencing and in clear sight of the rest of the garden. Not only this, but it is essential that it is placed on a flat surface for the climbing frame to be safe and balanced. 
  • Surface – Your climbing frame will need to be on a soft surface to ensure that your children will be unharmed should they fall whilst on the frame. We would recommend fitting shock absorbent materials under the climbing frame to be on the safe side.
  • Type of wood – If you opt for a wooden climbing frame then it is important to check for the type of wood. Roundwood or sawnwood have different benefits, with roundwood looking more rustic and natural, whereas sawnwood offers more flexibility in design so is usually used for “themed” climbing frames. Cedar, pine and redwood are all durable types of wood that will be long lasting and have natural properties that help them to withstand the British weather! 
  • Shelter – If your climbing frame is going to be positioned in sunlight then it may be worth opting for one that has some type of shelter included. This will give your children some place to sit out of the direct sunlight whilst still getting to enjoy their climbing frame. 
  • Fastenings – For anything other than a plastic climbing frame you are going to need some way to secure it to the ground, otherwise you are risking a serious accident if something goes wrong and the climbing frame tips! Look out for climbing frames with feet that are strong and secure, plus can be fastened to the ground with heavy-duty fastenings so that you know it is not going to move. Galvanised steel is going to be the best material for ground anchors.
  • Assembly – Make sure to check whether your climbing frame comes fully assembled or is going to need to be built! Some of the larger climbing frames are going to take quite a bit of manpower to get the job done, plus power tools, so it is always worth checking what you have available before starting the job. 
  • Sustainable wood – If you are conscious of the environment then look out for sustainable wood. This is going to be sustainably cut to maintain tree levels. Look out for FSC certified wood if this is important to you. 

Best of the Rest

Dunster House SquirrelFort Climbing Frame Monkey Bars with Playhouse Slide
  • Tower, Slide, Swing, Monkey Bars, Rock Wall & Ladder all included. Ground Anchors supplied.
  • Durable Wooden Playhouse, Slide and Swing Set for Ages 3 - 10 Years
  • External Width: 4.10m (13' 5"), External Depth: 3.25m (10' 7"), Overall Height: 2.51m (8' 2")
  • Pressure Treated Timber - Low Maintenance & Long Lasting. (10yr Guarantee)

Last update on 2024-06-18 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

LIFETIME Youth Dome Climber Jungle Gym, Mantis Green & Bronze, 66 Inch
  • Free-standing – no need for cement
  • Heavy-duty powder-coated steel construction
  • Low maintenance - no staining or painting required
  • Uv resistant - retains strength and maintains color
  • 5 ft. 6 in. Tall and 11 ft. Wide Climbing Dome

Last update on 2024-06-18 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

TP Toys 850 Explorer Metal Climbing Frame, Blue
  • TP Toys Explorer metal climbing frame extends and grows along with your child
  • Compact to fit in most gardens, the TP Toys Explorer frame can be built at either low height for younger children or at full height for older children
  • The TP Toys Explorer metal climbing frame comes complete with den and platform diameter 114cm
  • Model number: 850

Last update on 2024-06-18 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Additional Garden Entertainment!

If you are desperately trying to find ways to tire out your children in the garden then it may be that you need more than just a climbing frame! There are loads of options out there to choose from and we have reviewed some of them to make your purchase decision even easier!

Kids Trampolines

Outdoor Toys

Sand and Water Tables

Frequently Asked Questions 

What age should children be to use a climbing frame?

Most manufacturers suggest that climbing frames are suited for children between 3 and 14. Obviously the “climbing frames” aimed at younger children tend to be considerably smaller and based more around a swing and slide set than actual climbing! There is such a wide range of climbing frames to choose from, make sure to go for one that it is going to be suitable for the age of children that are going to be using it.

What guarantee comes with a climbing frame?

You will often find that different parts of your climbing frame have different guarantees depending on the material that is used and the quality of the product. We found that many climbing frames as a whole have a guarantee of around 3-5 years. If you choose high quality timber as your material then many manufacturers will actually offer a 10 year guarantee. 

Do I need planning permission for a climbing frame?

You shouldn’t need planning permission for a climbing frame providing it meets certain criteria. You need to make sure that your climbing frame is under 4 metres and no more than half the area of land around the house. Providing you meet these criteria then there should be no problem with building your climbing frame but if you are unsure it is always worth checking with the planning department.

What is best to put under a climbing frame?

It is important to put something soft underneath your climbing frame to keep your children safe. We would recommend either rubber chippings or bark chippings as they will be easy to maintain but also soft for if children have any falls whilst they are playing.

  • Performance
  • Features
  • Ergonomics
  • Value
About Thomas Paxton 368 Articles
Hey there, I'm Thomas Paxton, your Tool Guru with a Twist! I've been knee-deep in the world of tools since I was a little tinkerer in my dad's shed. Now, I'm running my own website where I share my passion for tools and gardening products through buyers guides and insightful tips. I've got the knowledge and experience to break down complex concepts into simple, easy-to-understand language. I purchased Tools Review from Mike Jones at the start of 2023, he has done a sterling job of building the site and I hope I can continue in his success! When I'm not writing guides, you'll find me in my garden or garage, putting my skills to work and pushing the boundaries of creativity. So, whether you're a pro or just starting out, join me on this adventure, and let's conquer DIY projects together!

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