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537 reviews | 4.2 out of 5
First let me say overall, this is a great swingset and a tremendous value. I was just about to buy a $2000 set from another company when I saw this one and figured it didn't make sense to pay $1500 more for a set that was very similar.
Although the wood is a bit soft and assembly is time-consuming, the finished product is very nice and has all the bells and whistles my 4yo daughter wanted. I wouldn't recommend 2-3 adults play on there at once, but it's sturdy enough for a bunch of kids and I've been up in the fort and on the swing with no issues (I'm 180lbs).
I read every review on this board before I bought the set and there are excellent recommendations, many that I followed and a few I should have followed. For the benefit of the folks that will be buying this set, I'll summarize the key musts that will save you much time and frustration. For context, I build this set alone over the course of a week with total time invested of roughly 20 hours. It would have helped to have another person to assist but unfortunately that wasn't an option for me.
- Sort all the wood and label the top piece with chalk. All the wood was labeled on the end, but much easier if it's labeled in front so you can easily find the piece you're looking for.
- Have two cordless drills - one for screwing and one for drilling.
- Pre-drill everything other than the small deck screws. Small deck screws won't split the wood if you don't over-tighten and there are a ton of those screws.
- Sort all the hardware needed for each step and put them in little baggies labeled. I didn't do this until the middle of building and it was MUCH faster after I did. Plus you can do all the hardware sorting at night in the garage when you can't build outisde.
- Seal the wood. Very pourous wood so you have to seal it. There was the chance of showers the week I was building so I pre-sealed everything in the garage, but if you expect good weather, probably fine to just seal it afterwards.
- Pictures in the instructions were very good so pay attention to the orientation of the wood. Nothing more frustrating than having to unassemble wood that you had upside down.
Hope this is helpful.
We were planning to get the Pathfinder Swing Set for $399 but it was only sold online, instead of adding the $150 shipping charge, we decided to spend a bit more and get the Meridian Playset. It's a great set and my daughter LOVES it.
-Good price compared to other sets
-It's a complete set with monkey bars, swings, slide, and a small room (clubhouse?).
-Not too difficult to build.
-All bolts are labeled in individual plastic bags.
-Wood is very soft and dents easily.
-Wood not labeled.
1. Lay all of the boards on the floor, and label them with chalk, it will make things A LOT easier.
2. Pre-drill all of your boards or they will crack. I had a few boards crack just by inserting the T-nuts.
3. I wish I could've used a sealant on the boards before building. Even the manual states that they've used a a stain for color only.
4. Get some help, I had a friend and my father-in-law and it took us 7 hours (I had labeled all of the parts the night before and had built the slide and stairs as well...around 2 hours).
5. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN. I had a few t-nuts bury into the wood and not notice until I heard my fahter in law say "woooow, stop". (see CON 1).
6. Have 2 drills; 1 for pre-drilling and another for drilling. That way you won't have to keep changing bits.
7. Be prepared to push your daughter in the swing for hours. :)
I am going to spare everyone on the pros and cons as many before me have already outlined the differences. However I will focus on how to save yourself time and a headache putting this thing together.
If I had it to do over again I would follow the following steps.
Step 1. Lay out all wood and make sure that you have EVERY last piece.
Step 2. Coat each piece of wood with your choice of sealer and method of application. (I used satin polyurethane with a paint sprayer hooked up to my air compressor).
Step 3. Make sure that you have EVERY last bolt, nut, and piece of hardware for assembly.
I would categorize these 3 steps as phase 1, and this may take a day or more to complete. By coating each piece of wood and labeling them before assembly you will save a lot of time on building.
Assembly is not difficult. The instructions are pretty clear. If you have two people then I would have one person focusing on assembly and the other person getting the parts ready for the next steps. It would have been a lot easier if someone was giving me the boards and hardware needed for the next steps as opposed to having to stop and search for wood and hardware.
If you are looking for something that will last for a few years then this is a great set. If you are a little more ambitious and looking for something that is going to last then I would get a copy of the directions and buy the wood and do it myself. The wood is incredibly fragile and will split easily so pre-drill every hole. Other than that not a bad play set. But also not built to old school toughness.
I love this set! Has everything my little boy and girl would ever need, anything else is overkill... The wood is a little weak but when the swingset is put together, it looks great!!
Here's a couple of time saving tips:
-first organize everything and mark it with chaulk... None of the wood is marked and it will take you 2-3 hours sorting and marking the wood
-sort the hardware according to the picture, makes it quick and easy if you know where all your stuff is...
-this set will take you 2 SOLID DAYS, regardless of how much help you have.... I did mine over a 3 day weekend for me and had about 1/2 day help from a buddy
-When you initially get your base of the fort done, make sure that it is level... I had to take out a few screws and level it out then to my surprise, they went in fine at a later step...
-You will probably want to put some more support under the fort deck, and definately under the picnic area seats, there's just not much support under the seating area in the middle....
I know my son and daughter will get years of use off of this swingset... And it will hold together...
We had two people working on the playset the first day and I finished up some small things on the second day.
First day we completed about 95% of the playset. Total time for first day was 9 hours including an hour of time spent for breaks.
We started from scrath all on the first day. Sorted the wood but didn't mark anything. Building it was pretty easy. Pay attention to orientation of the boards in relation to which side of the swing it will be on. We had to flip a few boards around due to not paying attention to this.
An earlier review said to sort and mark all the wood. Don't waste the time to mark all the wood. Just break it up into piles of the same size, same amount of holes and keep your tape measure handy so you can check which piece you need if you are in doubt which one to grab.
An earlier post said to PRE DRILL!!!! For the most part all the boards didn't split. I only pre drilled when the board started to split. This will save time. When you are drilling just drill a little slower and most of the boards won't split.
Don't worry about sealing the wood the day prior. Wait until you have everything up and then use a cheap weed/bug sprayer you can get from wal-mart and sprary the sealer on. After spraying a few boards stop and roll the sealer on evenly or have someone follow you with a roller to save time. If you do this the day prior before building the playset you will waste too much time setting everything out, spraying, letting it dry, flippping the boards, then spraying again and then repeating the process for a second coat and then you will have to bundle everything up and take it to where you are gonig to put the swing together which means an extra 2-3 hours wasted. In an earlier review someone mentioned what sealer they used. Don't use it! It's for interior wood... Just use some Thompsons water seal for outdoor wood.
My ground is not level at all and we didn't have any trouble fitting all the pieces together. We did have to use a little force on a few boards, but would have had to any ways due to pieces not fitting like they were supposed to.
One thing I wished I would have done was put every different screw, washer, bolt into its on labeled zip lock bag. A good 30 minutes of our time was sorting through all the different bags during the build.
Having three people putting the playset together would make this job a piece of cake. One person to set out everything ahead of time while the other two are building.
Overall the playset looks really good once it's all finished. I'm not too sure how the plastic tarps will hold up after a good Oklahoma hale and wind storm. If it doesn't hold up I will buy a hvy duty tarp and cut it to size and replace the cheap tarp that was with the playset.
I first must explain that I am the mom and built this set myself. My husband works strange hours and I wasn't patient enough to wait for him. I can't give an estimate of time taken to build because I really broke this up over 2 weeks. LABEL all the pieces before you begin. I went as far as putting the hardware in ziploc bags and labelng them by page #. This saved time by not having to dig through nuts and bolts and getting the right pieces. I assembled everything I could in the garage. Once I had the two walls constructed, I moved everything outside. That took about 8 hours total after moving to the yard. Truly, you only need a helper when getting the swing beam up to the clubhouse. Everything else I did myself. I am a fairly small person and not that strong, but I had no troubles. Did I mention I was also watching my 2 kids while doing this? The boys love it. It doesn't seem sturdy until you have it COMPLETED! I have gone down the slide a few times and swung on the swings with my kids. It is very sturdy! The wood is soft and does dent, but it is for child play not show. I really shopped around for a set. I have been looking at reviews for different sets for about 5 months. We couldn't justify spending $1500 dollars for a rainbow set. This set is great! My oldest is 3 1/2 and about 40+ pounds and my youngest is 9 1/2 months and 27 pounds. The 3 of us sat in the top level and played with no problems. I really recommend this set! Just stay organized and keep your drill charged. Not a bad idea to have a second drill to use as a screwdriver. I wasted a lot of time switching bits and the screwdriver head. GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!
I had been looking for a wooden playset since the beginning of the year. I finally decided on this one. It had alot of the things i was looking for and it was a great price and it got really great reviews.
It came in 3 boxes, which fit perfectly in my mini-van.
Thankfully, i read the reveiws and took some suggestions.......we first took 2 days and sealed all the wood. The wood is a really pretty stain, but i wasnt sure if it had a sealer on it, so we took the time to seal all the wood. Second, we separated all the wood since none of it was labeled. That actually didnt take very long.
My husband had no help (my help was to keep our toddler occupied) So, it took him about 2 and a half days to build this by himself. He also took his time as to get everything exactly right.
He said the instructions were easy to follow. He did say he wished he would have had 2 drills, one for drilling holes and the other for screwing in screws.
We absolutely LOVE this set!! I am so glad i decided on this playset. My daughter loves it and it has SO MANY activities to do on it!
AND the playset is absolutely beautiful to look at. It looks so pretty in our yard.
I cant get over how sturdy it is. I wanted a playset that i could play on also with my daughter. I dont like just watching her and not being able to actually play with her. I am 110 pounds and have no problems playing on the deck or the swings or any of it. And my husband is 170 pounds and he has no problems on it.
I would absolutely recommend this playset!!! I am so happy with this set! It is so safe, very beautiful, nice size, very sturdy, nice priced and VERY VERY FUN!!!!!!
We just bought and set up this swingset for our two toddler boys. It took my husband and I an hour and a half to sort the boards (the hardware is all separately packaged by part number already). It then took he and a buddy eight hours from start to finish to build. Both guys are familiar with putting things together, using tools, etc.
They felt the instructions were good and they were able to follow them just fine. None of our boards came cracked and only one split a little even after pre-drilling. The wood is very soft and chips, dents easily but my husband was able to do chin ups on the main bar holding the swings without the set budging (he's about 190) and I went across the monkey bars no problem (130). We were nervous about the slide because it comes in three pieces, not one molded piece, but it is as sturdy as if it were.
We are very pleased with the purchase and our boys absolutely love it. the buddy who helped put it together is considering the same one.
If the wood had not been so soft and the boards had been labeled, we would have given it 5 stars.
I did a lot of research before finally purchasing this playset. If you are on the fence about buying this playset you should know that it is very good quality for the price. Keep in mind it's in the $500 range and not the $1500 range. We installed our playset about 2 weeks ago and my 3 year old daughter loves it and plays on it everyday (weather permitting of course). I will echo much of what other reviewers recommended..but here are my tips for installing this playset successfully:
1. Open all boxes and inventory pieces/parts
2. Coat all wood pieces (front and back) with two coats of polyurathane. I used Cabot polyurathane made for outdoor use. I brushed the sealant on versus spraying it. You can do either, but I thought brushing it allowed me to apply the sealant in every crack, grove, etc.
3. Once the wood pieces are dry, measure, sort and label them. My husband and I did this in about 30 minutes and we labeled the pieces with painters tape. Once we had the wood pieces labeled we organized them according to the phases in the manual.
4. I also sorted all of the hardware and put the hardware for each phase in plastic baggies and labeled the baggies phase 1, phase 2, etc... This took an hour or so but was well worth it!
5. Three adults working on this playset was just enough. My husband and father-in-law assembled everything while I read the instructions, prepared for the next phase and handed them tools, hardware, and water (maybe a beer or two).
We assembled what we could in our garage but eventually had to move out onto the lawn once we started constructing the fort.
It took us about two days to assemble the playset and another day or so to prepare the ground under the playset (removing sod, filling in with pea gravel and edging). The directions are very easy to follow and very straight forward. Two drills on hand are a must and as everyone else has mentioned pre-drilling is a good idea to prevent any splitting that may occur...but this is stated in the directions as well.
Overall we are very pleased with this playset. If you seal it, take your time assembling it, plan for a safe area to place it...then you will have a great playset for your little ones to enjoy!
We have had this play set for about a year now. Took one person about 16 hours to assemble. We have replaced the main beam that the swings hook into and both times it has split down the middle. The entire play set will shake, wobble and bend with only one child weighing 70 lbs swinging on it. This is after countless times it has been leveled and/or re-anchored. Neighbors bought a bigger set with more bells and whistles for about $400 more and the difference in quality is amazing. Theirs is sturdy and well built and with every kid on the block climbing/swinging on it the set is rock solid. Spend the extra money and go for quality. Our Walmart set will be lucky to make it another year or two.
I love this playset. I was looking for awhile for a swing set for my 7yr old son. He wanted monkey bars, a fort and swings. All that I saw either did not bring monkey bars or was way to expensive. It did take my 2 teenage sons (17 & 14), my hubby and myself to build it though. We started Saturday afternoon and finished Sunday morning. My hubby does work in construction and therfore did have all the tools and more needed. There were a couple of screws missing but thank goodness my hubby new what to substitute. At the end my son loves the swing set and it was worth it. Make sure you seperate al the wood and have a measuring tape handy at all times. Good luck!!!!
This is junk!!! If I could return it I would...but that would require taking it apart. If I wait a few months it will probably fall apart anyway! MANY of the boards split even though I pre-drilled holes, the boards feel like thin balsa. Screw heads frequently stripped. Instructions were vague, and when you followed one page and used picture, the next page showed a different view with with boards on wrong side...so I had to remove and start over...frequently!
Buyer beware-Do not purchase this swing set!! We bought this for my son about a year ago and at first I was very happy with the purchase. It has the look of an expensive swing set without the cost. The wood wasn't great quality, it didn't hold as many kids as it claimed and it was not designed for older users but these were all shortfalls that I was willing to over look because it was purchased at such a great price, and we plan on leaving the swing set when we sell our house sometime in the next five years. However we recently had a storm with some strong winds and the swing set folded in on its self. We do not live in an area that is prone to strong wind storms, and my husband had even reinforced the swing set at all of the joint areas to make sure it was really sturdy. I would recommend that you either get a cheaper swing set or save up and buy a nicer model. Our son is heartbroken that he can't play on his swing set anymore and we are out $550.
Folks.....I very rarely write a product review. I read all the reviews and was skeptical about purchasing this swingset. Well let me tell you that I am glad I did purchase it. If you can follow directions you can build this. As far as the quality goes.......couldn't expect much more. When all is said and done it is very sturdy and ideal for my 5 year old girl. It does take a whole day plus a little bit of the next day, but when it involves making your child happy the work and time is worth it!! DO NOT LISTEN to the other folks that are disappointed. Not sure what they expected. If I had to do it again it would buy the same one! GREAT PURCHASE!!!!!!!
Hope this helps everyone.
I priced several play systems and Walmart by far had the best prices. The Meridian has been a big hit with my kids. Every evening they are in the backyard playing. The entire family is happy with the system.
Now, as for construction. I have read and heard horror stories about constructing these types of systems and how long the process takes. My recommendation, bribe a few friends to help. Don't make it harder than it needs to be. Have a good time! We had 4 people working on it and we were done in 6 hours, this includes a break for lunch. Before you start, lay out all the wood by sizes. There were a few pieces that needed to be drilled but most of the pieces were already pre-drilled. After it was all over, all of kids took it for a spin.
This playset looks great and has all the features of more expensive playsets. We were excited to get it assembled. Our son got to play on it for around 3 months. The wood is very thin and light weight. It did not survive high winds :( We had two thunderstorms with high winds. The first one blew it over, smashed it to the ground, ripping off all the connecting pieces by splitting the wood, the slide, monkey bars, roof canopy and swing beam. We stood the middle section back up and were waiting for warm weather to try to repair it, but after a second thunderstorm, it got slammed again and there is not much left but splinters. Definiately cannot withstand wind. Very disappointed....
Based on what I received, I would say this was a terrible purchase. The product was delivered in 3 very damaged boxes. There are probably close to 100 pieces of wood and none of them are labeled, so the only way to identify what goes where is to measure each and every piece. The non-labeling also makes it very difficult to inventory the pieces. That being said, I am missing close to 20 parts and now the company is giving me trouble in ordering replacement parts, so I still don't have it put together b/c I don't have all the parts. I don't know about you, but sound like a terrible buy to me!!!
We ordered this swingset on walmart.com over a month ago using site to store pick up. Two boxes arrived together and the 3rd box came alone two days later which was not a problem until we started trying to assemble. We opened all the boxes and went over each invoice list to make sure we had all of our pieces. According to the list we had everything except 2 pieces. However, when we started with phase one the manual was calling for peices that were not in any of our boxes!? Ok...so we went to phase 2, phase 3, all of which were calling for pieces that we did not have. My husband, who has construction experience, called the 800 number for adventure playsets and was told that the manual had been changed in April and that we must have gotten the new manual with the old swingset. She told us to download the old manual and that should fix our problem. So we find the old manual online which was very different than the one we had and started again. THe parts were labeled one thing in the new and something else in the old so we had to measure and label each piece of wood only to start and find out that we were still missing large amounts of pieces for each phase. After an entire day on and off the phone and the computer and with 4 men with contruction experiece we were only able to put the monkey bars together. None of the other pieces would work together! We finally figured out that night when we sat down with both manuals we were missing an entire box of wood! We were sent two boxes for the new model and the 3rd box was for the old model! We notified customer service and were told that we needed to take pictures of what we had before they could send another box! We demanded to speak to a supervisor who put the blame on Walmart and stated that we would get this fixed. He emailed us the parts list for the old and new box 3. The new box 3 was everything that we were missing and we informed him of so. The next day he emailed us and asked about the ink color on the boxes so he could make sure that was correct. We told him it was all black and to please send the box. This was our child's birthday present! 8 days later we recieve the 3rd box. We open it and....IT IS THE SAME BOX WE HAVE WITH THE WRONG PARTS! It clearly says 65009-003 which is what we said repeatedly that we did NOT need! THIS IS THE WORST customer experience I have ever had and I am devastated every time my son looks at me with those sweet eyes and ask when he will have his swing.
I researched swingsets for months prior to buying both the Meridian and the Pathfinder. (Yes I got both because they were on sale for 1/2 price at my local Wal*Mart.)
I looked at the super expensive Rainbow and Blue Ridge sets, which were always really sturdy, solid wood sets. However I am renting and it didn't make sense to buy something so expensive if it was unlikely I could move it when my 2 year lease term is up. I knew I wouldn't feel too terrible about leaving the set behind or giving it away as scrap wood if I only spent a couple hundred as opposed to a couple thousand dollars on it.
I read the reviews and read about pre drilling, organizing and marking pieces and pre staining. I expected missing pieces and bolts and expected the wood to be thin. So thanks to the reviews I wasn't at all disappointed by this set.
When I did find a piece broken and some hardware missing I contacted Customer Service at Adventure Playsets and Vonnie was wonderfully helpful. I'm getting all replacement (for missing and broken) parts for free and should expect them soon.
* Available locally
* Nice color
* GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE
* Has a Warrenty
* Pieces come in multiple boxes so you can fit them into an SUV or Van as long as the seats fold down. (I bought both the Meridian and the Pathfinder and was able to fix all of the boxes in the back of a Dodge truck)
* Wood is not treated, just stained
* Takes 5-7 hours to put together with 3-4 people working on it
* Wood is thin and soft Cedar
Advice: As other reviews have mentioned you should definitely separate and label the pieces. We used white sidewalk chalk. ~ Pre Drill EVERYTHING. ~ Do not over tighten or you will crack the wood and you may have some T nuts break on you. ~ Be very careful putting the slide together. If you screw the screws in at an angle they will come up through the front/top of the slide. ~ Treat the wood. This is a requirement for the warranty. We have chosen to do it after putting it together so that we can brush it on. ~ Lastly, less is more! No more than 2-3 people should work on this set at a time. We had 5 people at one point and it was getting put together wrong, people were conversing, arguing and getting in each other's way. We ended up stopping and continuing at a later date with just my husband and my father and they moved a whole lot quicker than they had with helpers previously.
All in all, this is a pretty good set for the price. The kids love it. It's got a Warrenty so if it does have any issues you can replace parts for free. The customer services is probably the best I've ever seen for anything.
We bought this swing set less then 2yrs ago and my husband just tore it down or should I say pushed it over. It dry rotted and everything fell apart because its cheap. The wood just crunched with pressure from a 5yr old weighing 50lbs I am completely unsatisfied what a waste of money!!!!!