You know it’s time to get a playset for your kids – they are at the ripe age when they’ll love climbing, sliding, and clubhouse-ing. With that said, and for whatever reason, you’re looking for something on a budget. You like to conserve cash, you live for a deal, or you’re just not ready to invest in something bigger because you’re not necessarily planning to stay in your current home for many years. Regardless of the reason, you want something today on today’s wallet size.

Fair warning – you are in budget territory. This means that you should not expect the playsets below to last very long. They are built for immediate consumption – for those more sustainably-minded, the 3-ish year lifespan of these playsets will feel wasteful.

We’ve collected the best inexpensive swing sets below for your consideration. Some playsets below have more comprehensive reviews that you can check out. We are always adding more in-depth articles on each playset, and we welcome your suggestions for longer reviews. Please let us know what you think!

The Backyartisan's Short List: Best Cheap Playsets

KidKraft Treasure Cove Swing Set Best Large Playset for Small Price
Backyard Discovery Belmont Swing Set Best Gathering Spot
KidKraft Appleton/Ainsley Playset Very Cheap Playset
Spimbey Swing Set + Play Deck Wooden Roof Cheap Chic

KidKraft Treasure Cove Swing Set

Best Large Playset for Small Price

Backyartisan Rating: 3.0 stars

We love the value of Treasure Cove. KidKraft has built 3 swing positions, a large fort, and a side-by-side slide for a great price. The 2-story fort has a nice set of windows, rock wall/climbing ladder, and clubhouse door. For under $1000 (including shipping) this playset does it all and isn’t terribly difficult to assemble compared to the larger playsets.

Where It Shines:

  • Looks good
  • Great price point for such a large playset
  • Assembly isn’t difficult

Where It Could Improve:

  • Durability
  • Longevity

Backyard Discovery Belmont Swing Set

Best Gathering Spot

Backyartisan Rating: 3.75 stars

You’re getting something fairly basic and small, but the Belmont gives your kids the basics. Three swing positions, slide, picnic table, but not much more. At an all-in price of ~$750, this is a great starter set for the small children. The picnic table adds more to the playset and will attract crowds.

Where It Shines:

  • We like the color scheme
  • Covers your bases
  • Compared to others, fairly simple to install

Where It Could Improve:

  • Longevity (you’ll see this across all cheap playsets)
  • What you see is what you get

KidKraft Appleton/Ainsley Playset

Very Cheap Playset

Backyartisan Rating: 2.65 stars

The barebones. KidKraft gets the very basics put together for this playset. It is very very inexpensive as far as playsets go. Whether or not it’s worth the money depends upon your budget, willingness to keep an eye on its stability, and (most importantly) the age of your kids. You’ll want to time it with the age of your children since it’s built for 3-5-year-olds and should only last you 3-4 years of regular use.

Where It Shines:

  • Simple product
  • Fairly easy to install

Where It Could Improve:

  • Just won’t last you long at all
  • At this price point and what you get, you may want to consider a complete DIY approach

Spimbey Swing Set + Play Deck Wooden Roof

Best Cheap Chic Playset

Backyartisan Rating: 3.25 stars

The Spimbey is a relative newcomer to the playset industry – after launching in late 2021 as a modern and “modular” playset, Spimbey has advertised all over social media for the 2022 spring. We think it is a good-looking playset and having color options is a nice touch. It is certainly a refreshing new look among a lot of playsets that look the same. Given its $750 price point, this is certainly considered a cheap playset.

Where It Shines:

  • Great looking and neat color options
  • Hits on latest design trends
  • Lots of add-ons available if you want to expand it down the road

Where It Could Improve:

  • Unlikely to last more than 5 years at this price point
  • The size is pretty dialed into younger kids only
  • Newcomer and likely to have kinks to work out in production and customer experience
  • Company doesn’t readily offer specs or installation manuals

How We Picked the Affordable Playsets on This Short List

Shipping & Receiving Process

While these playsets are smaller on average than your typical playset, they still ship over LTL or freight, meaning you'll have to set up a delivery appointment and go through the process of receiving the order, counting inventory, and dealing with pallets. Both KidKraft and Backyard Discovery have decent shipping options. For more on what to expect, read our complete guide on receiving a playset shipment.

Installation & Setup

All of these relatively affordable playsets are relatively easy to set up. Most come with easy-to-follow instruction manuals with lots of diagrams. Since each of these playsets are pretty simple without a ton of accessories, you should be able to knock out the DIY installation in less than a weekend with a partner. Alternatively, you could hire a professional playset installer, but honestly, that might take you out of your budget.

Stability & Durability of Materials

For stability and durability, we look at everything from wood thickness to plastic thickness, joints, hardware, and more. While these budget swing sets aren't going to be the sturdiest of the bunch, our top picks on this Short List outshined the other cheap swing sets that you would be choosing from.

Play Elements

Play elements encompass everything from slides to swings and many other accessories. More specifically, we group them into: "ups, downs, and acrosses," swings, social play accessories, solo play accessories, and roof/kit options. The more affordable playsets on this Short List don't have all the bells and whistles that more expensive playsets do, but they come with a decent amount of features for their price point.

Price & Value

This factor is what we're all here for today, right? And not just price, but the value you get for the price. We've discouraged cheap playsets before (and taken a look at if expensive playsets are worth it), but recognize that everyone has a different budget. Shipping costs and the warranty are also taken into account here. We feel like the playsets on this Short List are a great bang for your buck, despite the fact that they may not last you very long.

If you want any more details on what to look for in a playset, head over to our swing set purchasing guide.

Recap: The Best Cheap Playsets


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