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Which Is Better - Metal, Plastic or Wooden Climbing Frames?

When deciding to invest in a new climbing frame for your kids, one of the decisions that you will need to consider along the way is which will be the best material for your climbing frame - wood, metal or plastic?

As a general rule, most garden climbing frames are made from wood. Wood is strong and durable and blends into the garden. However, as timber becomes more and more expensive metal and plastic are increasingly being used to design high-quality, durable, and hardwearing climbing frames.

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Metal, Wooden & Plastic Climbing Frames - Comparison Table

Material Advantages Disadvantages
Metal 1. very functional and adaptable,

2. significantly more durable, stable and attractive than plastic alternatives,

3. lower maintenance required

4. will weather much better and more consistently, paint may fade a little, but that is it,

5. sleek and minimal design can complement small gardens or tight spaces,

6. zero splinters

7. typically lower cost

8. usually easier and faster to assemble or disassemble and move if needs be.

1. conducts heat and cold - can get quite hot in summer, and very cold in winter,

2. needs to be looked after to prevent rust,

3. the quality of metal used will dictate how long the frame lasts,

4. could get a metal burn,

5. possibly less impressive than a large wooden model,

Wooden 1. more traditional and ‘elegant’ choice

2. typically longer-lasting, wood doesn't rust,

3. arguably more aesthetically pleasing - appearances do matter

4. more natural looking, blends into the garden especially as it ages,

5. usually the most premium option,

6. temperature of the timber will stay fairly even, won't get too hot or too cold
1. higher cost

2. requires maintenance to delivery weater durability, and must be painted or stained periodically,

3. often a larger footprint in your garden than metal or plastic,
Plastic 1. lighter and more suited for younger children,

2. much cheaper option,

3. wide range of ligher, dark and bright colours available,

4. quick and easy to build to take down and to move,

5. easy to clean,

6. usually made from recycled plastic and so environmentally-friendly.
1. much lighter and less strong than either metal or wood,

2. colours can fade quickly in the sun,

3. less weather-resistant than wood or metal.


Which Climbing Frames Are Best for Toddlers & Small Children?

 It depends on a number of factors including how much room you have and how much you want to spend, but for small play units for very young children plastic climbing frames are probably the most popular option.

They may not last as long but they are more affordable and you always have the option to upgrade to a metal or wooden climbing frame in the future.

Which Climbing Frames Are Best for Outdoors in Cold Weather?

Plastic and wooden climbing frames are both much less conductive than metal frames. And although metal frames will be warm to the touch during the summer, they can be very cold during the winter and would certainly encourage your kids to wear glove to keep their hands warm.

Which Climbing Frames Are Best for Small Gardens?

The new BERG Playbase climbing frame is one of the most diverse climbing frame models on the market and offers lots of options for small gardens. Alternatively, small or mid-sized wooden climbing frames can also be a very popular choice, space permitting.

Which Climbing Frames Are Best for Big Kids?

As your kids get older they will typically get more interested in sports and fitness than swings and slides, although there can be exceptions to that rule.

The BERG Playbase offers a lot of different sports options for active kids including - basketball and soccer, pull up and dip bars, fitness rope, gymnastic rings and much more so that as you kids grow their interest in the garden climbing frame is likely to stay strong.

Which Climbing Frames Are Best for Small Kids & Big Kids?

Because of the various options that the BERG Playbase offers we would have to say that it will be the most suitable for small and big kids. For example -

Climbing Frame Activities for Small Kids -

disc swings, wooden swings, rubber swings, rope swing, hammock swing, tumble bars, monkey bars, and much more.

Climbing Frame Activities for Big Kids -

pull ups and dips,

punchbag, basketball and football,

fitness ropes and resistance bands,

relaxing on the hammock.

Which Climbing Frames Are the Lowest Maintenance?

It is likely that the BERG Playbase will be the lowest maintence as they are made from metal, and typically metal requires very little maintenance and will not need to be stained or painted every one or two years.

Which Climbing Frames Are the Most Attractive?

Wooden climbing frames are typically considered the most attractive climbing frame material, as the wood is the most natural looking in the garden and tends to blend in beautifully, especially as it ages.

However, the new BERG Playbase also turns heads as it is seen as a very sleek and minimalist piece of equipment for the garden, and offers tons of play options.

Which Climbing Frames Are the Biggest?

Typically, wooden climbing frames will be the biggest and really can be built as big as your space will allow with multi-tower, rope bridge, slide and swing options that really can be totally fantastic and huge.

Which Climbing Frames Are the Smallest?

Often plastic climbing frames will be the smallest as they are often designed for small children.

To find out more about the wide range of options available from Trampolines Ireland please phone 01 960 1641.