The Cozy Escape playhouse by KidKraft is a very popular product. It doesn’t have any swinging options, so you might ask why we are including it among our normal playset reviews. We have found that the unique combination of a tube slide along with a playhouse places this product in a different category than most other playhouses. It also ships via freight, which is much more common among playsets and larger outdoor play houses.
In this review we will go into all you need to know about the Cozy Escape playhouse and whether or not this good-looking toy should go in your backyard.
The Backyartisan's Verdict
We will cover the Cozy Escape along a few spectrums for our rating process, going into our classic 5-star scale. Next to each category, we’ve give the weight for each category towards the overall rating. We give 30% of the weight to the playset before it’s put in use, 45% to the enjoyment and use, and 25% to our evaluation of the overall value of the purchase. This one is a little unique without any swings, but here’s the Backyartisan rating for the Cozy Escape playhouse by KidKraft.
Shipping & Receiving
We go into greater detail about the receiving of playsets in this particular article. We recommend you check it out on its own to really understand what you’re up against.
Our Cozy Escape verdict: We think you’ll find the Cozy Escape extremely easy to receive and inventory. We give it 5 stars for its simplicity.
Trucking Company Appointments
The most economical way of shipping large playsets is via LTL freight. This requires you to be at home and schedule a delivery appointment with the trucking company. That means you should expect large windows of time to be sitting around the house waiting on them, and possibly waiting on them after that window passes. That’s just something you have to expect in this industry and to get it shipped at this price.
Dealing with Pallets
The Cozy Escape only comes in two boxes, but you can certainly expect it to have been loaded on an 8 foot long pallet. Be prepared to deal with that pallet, though some people have been successful in letting the trucking company take it with them as they likely have a better use for it than you do around your house.
Unboxing and Taking Inventory
The Cozy Escape is very straightforward with only three boxes, one of which is devoted to the tube slide. As always, we’d recommend you inspect and take pictures of the shipment before doing anything with the playhouse. Taking inventory will be pretty straightforward, but do try to survey the contents within a few days of receiving the Cozy Escape.
Box Weight and Dimensions
The primary two boxes are roughly 7.5 feet long and weigh just over 150 pounds. They are both fairly easy to handle with one other helper. The slide box is only 60 pounds and relatively compact at 37x30 inches.
Installing a playhouse is fairly straightforward, but it does take focus and a good bit of time. See this article to learn more about installing a playset yourself, and we strongly encourage you to read up on potentially hiring someone else to do the job in our post on hiring playset installers.
Our Cozy Escape verdict: You could certainly hire an expert to put your cozy escape together, but we really feel like this is something most parents can handle with a little bit of help when needed. We give it 4 stars, because it still does feel like it could be easier. Honestly, we don’t see many 5-star installation experiences in the swing set industry.
There’s nothing really outside the box when it comes to tools that you’ll need for this playhouse. Don’t get me wrong, you definitely need an appropriately outfitted toolbox, I just don’t think that some of the stuff is uncommon to have on hand.
Specifically, you need a tape measure, carpenter square, level, hammer, cordless drill, screwdriver sad, ratchet set, wrench set, standard drill bit options, step ladder, safety glasses, hex key (Allen wrench) set, and pencil. We think most of this is standard fare for your toolbox, so feel free to invest in any of these items if you don’t have them already.
Ease and Timeframe of Installation
KidKraft pegs the Cozy Escape as only taking a max total of six hours, with two of those hours spent on the tube slide. We feel like the guidance on the tube slide is generally about right, with a lot of bolts to put that thing together. Overall, we like to give a few more hours than their instructions say for the rest of the playhouse. KidKraft is trying to sell this product after all, so you can expect them to make it sound a little easier than it is.
You’ll definitely need two people to keep this investment of time down, but you should plan on having at least one day put into this playhouse. Probably a good thing for a weekend project getting up on a Saturday and knowing it might bleed over into Sunday.
Quality of Directions
The instruction manual for the Cozy Escape is 80 pages deep and primarily in grayscale. There are some decent notes and tips throughout, and we really like how many diagrams you have access to as you put it together. Sometimes identifying the right board with the diagram can be tricky or take a while, but that’s generally how installation goes.
KidKraft takes care to put this instruction manual in plain English. Sometimes when something is built overseas, that is not always the case.
The use zone for the Cozy Escape is roughly 23.5’ x 21’, which provides plenty of space for kids to run around the playhouse safely. The second story floor height is only 4.5’ above ground level, so not the tallest playhouse and really a best fit for smaller kids.
Stability & Durability
If you want to get the most out of your purchase, you’ll want to make sure it lasts quite a while. Should you want to sell it down the road or give it to a younger family, stability and durability is extremely important.
Our Cozy Escape verdict: We give the Cozy Escape 4 stars. It is by no means heavy duty, but it is specified to what exactly you should plan on your kids doing to this product. Namely, a little bit of climbing and walking around with some sliding. There isn’t much more to this playhouse than that, so we don’t see it being worn naturally like most swing sets.
Joints & Hardware
All of the hardware included in the Cozy Escape is fairly standard, off-the-shelf, screws and bolts. We don’t really see anything special about the nuts and bolts used here. Since there aren’t any moving parts like swings, there isn’t much more we can say about the hardware.
All in all, the wood thickness is not as critical of a component in the cozy escape. Just by nature of being a playhouse with no torque or forceful movements, you just won’t see a huge need to overbuild the wood thickness.
The 5 foot tube slide is the main feature of the Cozy Escape. KidKraft uses fairly standard thermoformed pieces that bolt together. We find that the thickness and smoothness of the slide plastic is adequate for what you should expect.
Wood Stain & Finish
KidKraft uses a gray stain throughout most of the play house with some brown accents. The stain is evenly and well applied. In general, I think this is a great look for the playhouse. I think a lot of the market agrees, which is why this is a pretty popular set.
KidKraft puts its max weight limit at 110 pounds - read up here on our thoughts about playset weight limits. They say that the age limit goes up to 10 years old, but we doubt you will find many kids that age playing with it. Also, KidKraft suggests that up to 11 children can use it at one time. That seems a little generous given the overall size and constraints of the playhouse.
Throughout this review, we will note that this is not a swing set. Instead, the Cozy Escape really experiences a very few pushes and pulls on it. That’s good news for maintenance and longevity, and also requires less from the manufacturer from the outset.
With that said, we always think that regular inspection and maintenance is helpful for maintaining any backyard item. After all, this product does sit in the weather exposed year-round. It never hurts to take a good look at it. You can find more information about swing set maintenance here, and most of it should apply to the Cozy Escape.
Now we get into our childlike perspective and discuss how your children will explore this playhouse. We detail the elements and components that we find most important when grading across all swing sets, so some will not apply for the Cozy Escape.
Our Cozy Escape verdict: You’ve bought a playhouse, not a swing set. We give it 3 stars for the tube slide considering that this is not a swing set. For playhouses, the slide and kitchen said probably put it in the 4-5 star range, but generally at the Backyartisan we are grading against other swing sets. It may not be fair to compare this playhouse to swing sets, and we get that, but we haven’t done much reviewing of playhouses and the Cozy Escapes straddles both categories.
Ups, Downs & Acrosses
In this section we typically go into the detail behind the ways children go up or down the swing set, including clatter bridges and other items for getting across. For the Cozy Escape, it’s pretty simple. You get two ladders up and the tube slide coming down. One ladder has rock holds that climbers will love, and the other is a typical ladder.
Nothing to see here. This is a playhouse after all.
Social Play Accessories
The Cozy Escape has a nice little kitchen set that gives your children a chance to interact with each other. There isn’t much beyond the additional seat next to the kitchen that draws children together.
Solo Play Accessories
You’ll find a few places where the children can play on their own, the biggest being the spiral tube slide slide. The flower boxes are also a nice touch on the balcony, and may be considered an activity your child can do with the Cozy Escape.
Roof & Kit Options
As opposed to many swing sites that have tarp cover options, the cozy escape comes as is. There really are no kits or options that you will be able to add on.
Price & Value
Here’s where we watch out for your wallet, whereas most everything before this point is about safety and fun for your children.
Our Cozy Escape verdict: We think that the look of this particular playhouse along with the 5 foot tall spiraling to slide is a pretty solid offering at this price point. We give it 4 stars.
The value in KidKraft Cozy Escape is that it checks the box of a unique play item with the slide while providing parents with a good looking playhouse. At roughly $1200, we think that KidKraft is onto something very important, namely the homeowner’s aesthetic. This is a good price for your child’s fun.
Almost all retailers will include the cost of shipping in the product price. Yep, that’s what’s really going on when they give you free shipping…
The actual shipping cost of the Cozy Escape is closer to $200-300. You do want to check your return policies from any retailer, as they will likely not have free returns. In fact, they might make you responsible for the shipping cost to deliver it to you, regardless of whether or not it was “free shipping” in the first place.
If you’re hiring this out, it may cost you a couple hundred dollars, but we really suggest that you attempt to put this one together yourself. It’ll likely take you a full Saturday to get it done, but every now and again everyone needs to accomplish something handy. This is a good option for you and a confidence booster.
KidKraft employs their typical warranty for the Cozy Escape. For the first 90 days, it’s almost a no-questions-asked policy as long as you get in touch with them quickly about the pieces or parts that are missing or damaged. Beyond that first 90 days, but still in the first year, there will be a warranty that covers hardware and accessories.
In terms of wood, you will have to cover shipping and handling, though not part costs for years 1-5. Anything outside of 5 years is not covered. It’s worth noting that this is a very limited warranty. KidKraft, along with a lot of big players, reserve the right to reject a lot of claims through their limitations.
We give the Cozy Escape just under 4 stars, which we consider quite good in our grading rubric. We think that it accomplishes more than most playhouses, though not as much as a swing set. It is also a very good looking product that most parents would like to have in their backyard.
Thank you so much for reading our review on the Cozy Escape playhouse by KidKraft. We realize that this isn’t our typical swing set review, but we felt like it was a popular product and deserved some attention from us.