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KidKraft vs Backyard Discovery: Comparing Best Swing Set Brands?

KidKraft vs Backyard Discovery: Comparing Best Swing Set Brands?

When choosing a high-quality outdoor playset for kids, two top brands stand out: KidKraft and Backyard Discovery. Both offer excellent playground equipment but have key differences. While KidKraft is hard to beat for quality, affordability, and variety, the best brand depends on your family's needs and preferences.

Key Takeaways

  • For traditional playsets like swing sets and playhouses, KidKraft dominates with more variety, value, and global availability.

  • If seeking specialty outdoor structures like kitchens and gardening accessories, Backyard Discovery excels with luxury & premium features.

  • The best brand depends on your specific needs - both make excellent playsets with some key differences.

Children playing on a Kidkraft playset

    Backyard Discovery vs KidKraft: 6 Key Differences

    KidKraft was founded over 50 years ago and has grown to become one of the world's largest manufacturers of children's furniture, outdoor playsets, and toys. Their products are sold in over 90 countries worldwide.

    Backyard Discovery entered the playset industry over 30 years ago and has emerged as America's largest residential playset manufacturer. They offer a wide range of outdoor structures and backyard accessories.

    This comprehensive comparison, of the distinctive features of KidKraft and Backyard Discovery, will help you make an informed decision for your backyard playset needs.

    Feature KidKraft Backyard Discovery Winner/Tie
    Product Range - Indoor & outdoor playsets
    - Dollhouses, play kitchens, train tables
    - Primarily outdoor structures
    - Playsets, pergolas, outdoor kitchens
    Backyard Discovery
    Global Availability - Ships to over 90 countries worldwide - Focuses on the US market, with some international availability online KidKraft
    Customer Reviews - received good overall reviews - Generally high ratings across major retailers Tie
    Price Range - Lookout Extreme Wooden Playset just costs $1800 - Skyfort II playset costs $2400 KidKraft
    Design Styles - Traditional designs with modern colors and graphics - Natural wood tones, and earthy elements for garden integration Tie

    1. Product Range 

    KidKraft focuses on traditional indoor and outdoor playsets, including:

    • Dollhouses
    • Play kitchens
    • Train tables
    • Swing sets
    • Sandboxes
    • Outdoor furniture like picnic tables
    • Indoor furniture like desks and chairs

    Backyard Discovery, on the other hand, specializes in products designed specifically for outdoor use:

    • Playsets with swings, slides, climbers, and more
    • Swing sets
    • Outdoor playhouses
    • Sandboxes
    • Monkey bars
    • Pergolas & pavilions
    • Sheds & outdoor storage
    • Gardening accessories like greenhouses
    • Grilling & cooking stations

    For parents looking for traditional indoor/outdoor playsets like a clubhouse or swing set, KidKraft offers more variety. But Backyard Discovery dominates the market for specialized outdoor structures like pergolas, sheds, and outdoor kitchens.

    2. Global Availability

    One key difference between these brands is their global reach and availability:

    • KidKraft ships to over 90 different countries worldwide and has expanded internationally.
    • Backyard Discovery focuses specifically on the US market - they are America's largest residential playset manufacturer. However, their products are available online, which could allow for international shipping

    Winner: Kidkraft - So for families outside the US, KidKraft will offer greater accessibility and shipping options for quality playsets. 

    3. Customer Reviews and Feedback

    When it comes to customer satisfaction and feedback, both brands fare well overall:

    • KidKraft has received good reviews, suggesting that its products are generally well-received.
    • Backyard Discovery maintains an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars across major retailers.

    Winner: Tie -  Both brands offer similar levels of customer satisfaction. 

    4. Price Range

    KidKraft and Backyard Discovery offer a variety of playsets, each with its own unique features and price points.

    KidKraft playsets range from $500 to $2,500, offering a wide selection for different budgets. Kidkraft Lookout Extreme Wooden Playset just costs $1800

    On the other hand, Backyard Discovery's playset with almost similar features costs $2499. 

    Winner: Kidkraft - KidKraft is the winner in terms of price range as its Lookout Extreme Wooden Playset, with features similar to Backyard Discovery’s playset, costs $1800, which is $699 less than the latter’s price of $2499.

    5. Design Styles

    Both brands create playsets and accessories with durability, safety, and creativity in mind. But their design styles differ in some key ways:

    • KidKraft focuses on traditional designs (playhouses, swing sets) with modern touches like bright colors and bold graphics.
    • Backyard Discovery uses natural wood tones and earthy elements meant to blend playsets into the garden landscape.

    KidKraft aims for playsets that pop visibly for kids to enjoy. Backyard Discovery designs help outdoor structures fit seamlessly into the yard.

    Winner: Tie - For many families, choosing between vibrant KidKraft playhouses or Backyard Discovery's neutral wood-tone sets comes down simply to personal style and preference.

    Kidkraft Portland playset on a backyard with kids

    Let's look at some of the most popular playsets and accessories from both brands:

    Notable KidKraft Products

    • Wrangler Way Swing Set - A classic swing set with swings, a fort, and a slide
    • Bear Cave Lodge Playset - Playhouse with swings, slide, rock wall and snack stand
    • Ridgemoor Perch Swing Set - Elevated fort design with swings, glider, and slide
    • Kidkraft Modern Outdoor Playhouse  - High-quality playhouse for just $379.99 for budget-conscious buyers.
    • Buckley Hill Wooden Swing Set - A playset made for young children and small yards
    • Sweetwater All Cedar White Playhouse - Perfect playhouse to use in both indoor or outdoor area
    • Fusion Flame Outdoor Kitchen - Ultimate backyard cooking station with grill and accessories
    • Zalie Greenhouse - Opens fully to keep plants warm in cooler months

    Both brands offer beloved classics like playhouses and swing sets. But Backyard Discovery sets itself apart with specialty items like greenhouses, raised garden beds, and outdoor kitchens.

    Final Verdict: Which Brand Offers the Best Quality and Value Overall?

    When all factors are weighed - product range, pricing, availability, reviews, and more - is one brand the clear "winner" for outdoor playsets and backyard accessories?

    For classic playsets like swing sets, playhouses, and kitchens, KidKraft is an excellent choice due to its high quality, reasonable prices, and wide selection. Their global availability also makes purchasing straightforward for most families.

    However, in the end, the right brand depends on your priorities:

    • Seeking a basic swing set or playhouse? Go with KidKraft for better value and a wider selection.
    • Want an upscale outdoor entertaining area? Choose Backyard Discovery for luxury accessories and outstanding quality.

    Either brand offers excellent quality and customer service. Carefully consider which product types matter most, along with factors like pricing and design style, to determine if KidKraft or Backyard Discovery is better suited for your family's perfect backyard play space.

    Kid climbing up the rock wall of the wooden timberlake swing set


    Does Backyard Discovery offer playsets suitable for toddlers?

    Yes, Backyard Discovery offers swing sets suitable for kids of all ages including toddlers. In addition to swing sets, they also offer more toddler-friendly attachments, such as belt swings and lower slides, which can be great first swing sets for younger kids to play on.

    Can KidKraft and Backyard Discovery playhouses be used inside or outside?

    Both brands primarily design their sets for outdoor use. They are intended to withstand various weather conditions and are typically too large for indoor use. However, smaller playsets or pieces of furniture from either brand may be suitable for use in a playroom or inside setting.

    Can you customize KidKraft and Backyard Discovery swing sets?

    Many KidKraft and Backyard Discovery swing set models do offer a certain level of customization. You can often add or remove slides, swap out swings for things like glider swings or trapeze bars, and add on extras like rock walls or lookout towers. Always check with the manufacturer or retailer to understand the level of customization available on a specific set.

    How do Backyard Discovery and KidKraft swing sets hold up to ASTM safety standards?

    Both KidKraft and Backyard Discovery strive to comply with ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) safety standards. They regularly evaluate their playsets in terms of stability, strength, and safety. These checks ensure these playsets are safe for kids to play on, giving parents peace of mind.

    Are KidKraft and Backyard Discovery playsets big enough to play with friends?

    Yes, both Backyard Discovery and KidKraft manufacture playsets in a variety of sizes. They offer models that are big enough to play with friends, and siblings, or even for whole families to enjoy together. Check the specific product descriptions to understand the size and how many children a set can support at once.

    Do KidKraft and Backyard Discovery offer playsets with additional fun features?

    Absolutely. Both brands offer a plethora of fun features to engage children and enhance their play experience. Features may include things like rock climbing walls, picnic benches, telescopes, steering wheels, a set of monkey bars, chalkboards, and more. Again, the exact features vary based on the specific model.

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    About The Author

    Andy Wu - Resident Expert

    Andy Wu - Resident Expert

    Andy Wu is the resident backyard products expert and hails from Atlanta, Georgia. His passion for crafting outdoor retreats began in 2003.

    As a fellow homeowner, he founded Backyard Oasis to provide top-quality furnishings and equipment, collaborating with leading manufacturers.

    His main focus is on sheds and generators!

    In his spare time he like to hike the tallest mountains in the world and travel with his family.

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