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10 Best Ropes for a Tree Swing

last updated Nov 11, 2019

Playground equipment is nice and all, but not everyone has the luxury of a spacious backyard and extra income to put towards the initial investment and maintenance. If you want your child to have all the fun, flight-like fun they experience at the park, why not try the DIY version? Tree swings are a great way to add a little flare to the yard without spending too much time or money on the project. All you need is a good, sturdy tree with the right branches. Scope out the area to make sure your swing won’t collide with anything nearby, find a branch that is at least eight inches in diameter and free of disease and rot, and then get yourself the proper rope.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 7 hrs of research

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Extra-long Hanging Kit
85/100 our score
Brand
85
Capacity
90
Safety
80
Weight
85
Extra-long Hanging Kit
Why is it better?

Can hold up to 2,800 lbs.

The carabiner can hold up to 1,200 lbs.

Weatherproofed, meaning it can hold up in all seasons under any weather conditions.

Has very little stretch, meaning it won’t degrade or lose shape.

Easy installation that takes under 15 minutes to install completely.

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Extra-long Hanging Kit
Test Winner: Extra-long Hanging Kit
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7
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By Cassie Sheets:

The weather is starting to warm up and kids are getting ready to enjoy the sun! Backyard playgrounds are great but sometimes simple is best. If you’ve got a sturdy enough tree at your disposal, set up a rope swing for your little ones! We’ve recently replaced the two products we found to be low in stock so all of our top picks are available and easy accessible to you!

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#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
Brand
85 %
Capacity
90 %
Safety
80 %
Weight
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$23.90
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Brand
83 %
Capacity
91 %
Safety
85 %
Weight
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$11.90
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
Brand
85 %
Capacity
90 %
Safety
80 %
Weight
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$39.99
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
Brand
80 %
Capacity
85 %
Safety
80 %
Weight
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$8.95
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.5
Brand
85 %
Capacity
80 %
Safety
90 %
Weight
75 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$19.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.5
Brand
85 %
Capacity
90 %
Safety
75 %
Weight
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$8.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.5
Brand
85 %
Capacity
75 %
Safety
80 %
Weight
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$9.97
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.5
Brand
85 %
Capacity
90 %
Safety
80 %
Weight
75 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$25.00
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
Brand
80 %
Capacity
75 %
Safety
80 %
Weight
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$59.95
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.5
Brand
74 %
Capacity
75 %
Safety
80 %
Weight
85 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$23.23

10 Best Ropes for Tree Swings Reviewed

1. Extra-long Hanging Kit

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
extra long hanging kit ropes for tree swings
Amazon Link
Brand
85
Capacity
90
Safety
80
Weight
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$23.90

Can hold up to 2,800 lbs.

The carabiner can hold up to 1,200 lbs.

Weatherproofed, meaning it can hold up in all seasons under any weather conditions.

Has very little stretch, meaning it won’t degrade or lose shape.

Easy installation that takes under 15 minutes to install completely.

Only comes in 10 feet spools.

Can break easily depending on how used

Hanging something heavy like a tire swing or something fairly light like a hammock can easily be done with the Rhino Strapmate Tree Swing Hanging Kit. Measuring in at ten feet long, this extra-long strap will allow you to hand whatever you need at your desired height.

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Brand

Rhino’s straps are weatherproof. Unlike other companies straps who will eventually be ruined by the elements, these straps will last nearly forever. If for some reason they don’t, the company will send you a new set at any time. Installation is easy and does not require any extra tools or hands.

Capacity

These straps are equally functional and versatile. They are designed to be compatible with all hammocks and swings. Furthermore, they can easily be attached to any branch, pole, playground equipment, or beam.

Safety

Composed of high-quality materials, the straps have an exceptional level of durability. You won’t have to worry about them snapping or breaking while your child is swinging.

Weight

People of all sizes can enjoy relaxing in your hammock or swing as these straps are designed to hold up to 2,800 lbs. With a weight limit that high, multiple children or people can enjoy the fun at once.

2. Pys Tree Straps

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
pys tree straps ropes for tree swings
Amazon Link
Brand
83
Capacity
91
Safety
85
Weight
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$11.90

Can hold up to a total of 2000 pounds

Non stretch, durable polyester straps

Rust-proof carabiners

Adjustable height

Easy installation

Difficult to level the swing if your tree branch isn’t perfectly horizontal

PYS is here to make your life a whole lot easier. This set comes with two straps that will allow you to quickly hang any standard swing. Ten adjustable loops mean you can customize the height based on who’s using the swing and that swings can grow with children as they age and their needs change. Ten feet of non stretch polyester provides a solid materials with which to mount your family’s new toy.

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Brand

PYS is a good friend to many outdoor enthusiasts. This company makes all sorts of necessary equipment as well as some fun luxury items for campers, hikers, and just about anyone else that’s looking to enjoy some fresh air.

Capacity

10 adjustable loops allow you to change the height of your swing as your family grows. Each strap is teen feet long but you can choose to raise the seat higher than that if it better suits the height of your tree or children.

Safety

PYS backs the quality of their straps. If for any reason you are unsatisfied or feel they don’t meet safety standards or aren’t as durable as you hoped, you can contact the company for your money back. There’s no expiration date on that guarantee, either.

Weight

Each of these straps can hold up to 1000 lbs, meaning that together they cumulatively hold 2000 lbs. The high strength polyester won’t fray, stretch, or rot. And the 304 stainless steel carabiners are meant to last as well, so you don’t have to worry about weather rusting, fading, or otherwise damaging your setup.

3. Royal Oak Easy Hang

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
royal oak easy hang ropes for tree swings 4ft
Amazon Link
Brand
85
Capacity
90
Safety
80
Weight
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$39.99

Is harsh weather resistant

Commercial-grade nylon strap four feet in length

Can hold up to 2200 pounds

Comes with a money back guarantee and a lifetime warranty

Is friction, UV, and chemical resistant

Some said it did not last after several months of use

A few claim it breaks easily

With the Royal Oak Swing Strap, spending time outdoors just got even more enjoyable. You can purchase this strap as an eight-foot double, an eight-foot single, or a twelve-foot double. Along with the strap you will receive a heavy-duty lock and a carabiner.

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Brand

This swing strap is resistant to a lot of things, making it reliable and strong for the intended swing. It is resilient to hot and cold weather, friction, UV rays, and chemicals, plus it is waterproof. The company is so confident in their product that they provide their customers with a no questions asked lifetime warranty.

Capacity

The carabiner hook is constructed of industrial steel and is almost indestructible. Instructions with pictures is included for this strap that is easy to hang in just minutes. For a swing attachment that will not harm the tree, get this swing strap for your swinging enjoyment.

Safety

Royal Oak cares just as much about the safety of the trees as they do their customers. The nylon material will not damage the tree. The included carabiner and lock will keep the strap from coming off the tree, thus providing you the confidence you need to let your child swing freely.

Weight

Each nylon strap is designed to hold 2,200 pounds. If you purchase a double strap, the material will give you a weight limit of 4,400 pounds. These straps are designed to fit a wide variety of swings. With the double kit, you can easily hang garden swings, patio swings, toddler swings, and many more.

4. Sgt Knots Twisted Sisal 1/4 inch

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
sgt knots twisted sisal 1/4 inch ropes for tree swings
Amazon Link
Brand
80
Capacity
85
Safety
80
Weight
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$8.95

Great choice for heavy-duty outdoor projects

Not treated during manufacturing

Able to withstand harsh conditions

Resistant to abrasions, moisture, and weather conditions

Various lengths and diameters are available

Complaints of the smell when received

Some did not like the packaging

One of the best choices for outdoor projects, especially tree swings, is this Agave sisalana fiber rope. It is sturdy and stiff, yet stretchable enough to make constructing the swing easy and quick. Sometimes ropes are hard to manipulate because they are so stiff and hard. This rope is resistant to abrasions, moisture, and any weather conditions. Various lengths and thicknesses are offered, so you can purchase the best size for your tree swing project

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Brand

Choose this great natural, biodegradable rope for your tree swing, so your kids can enjoy the long, hot days of summer in a fantastic way.

Capacity

Various lengths and thicknesses are offered, so you can purchase the best size for your tree swing project.

Safety

This one is durable but pliable enough to work with smoothly. It is untreated, so no chemicals, oils, or artificial agents were used during the manufacturing.

Weight

Manila hemp fibers are the usual choice of material for natural-fiber ropes, but this one is made of natural Agave fibers. It has more stretch and ability to twist, which makes tying knots much easier than other fibers.

5. Squirrel Products 6.5 ft Climbing

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.5
squirrel products 6.5 ft climbing ropes for tree swings
Amazon Link
Brand
85
Capacity
80
Safety
90
Weight
75
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$19.99

Soft rope for little hands

The metal ring offers very easy connection

Success is not a question with the half rounds helping along the way

Platforms are textured for ultimate grip along the way

Can be used as a swing, ladder, or climbing rope

The weight limit isn't as high as other kids rope swings

Can be slippery without traction

If swings aren’t really in your family’s sphere of interest anymore, consider a climbing rope. These ropes help children build muscle as they try to reach the top! The rope comes with footholds so kids have a way to help propel themselves up but the kit also still requires them to use a good amount of upper body strength in order to complete the course.

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Brand

As your child works their way up the climbing rope they will be strengthening the muscles in their arms, legs, and core. Furthermore, they will be relieving stress as they exercise. Children of all ages can enjoy scaling this rope as its maximum weight limit is 150 pounds. Their fine motor skills will increase as they work to grasp the rope.

Capacity

This 6-foot long rope is designed with several platforms for your child’s feet. You can either add this rope to your current swing set or attach it to a nearby tree. It serves as the perfect climbing rope for your custom-built treehouses.

Safety

The material of the rope is soft, thus giving your child a comfortable grip as they climb. With your purchase, you will also receive a metal ring that makes it easy for you to connect the rope to any playset.

Weight

The five platforms make climbing the rope easier for children as well as providing them with stability. You won’t have to worry about them getting rope burn, as the material provides their hands with a soft comfortable grip.

6. Koch Twisted Polypropylene

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.5
koch twisted polypropylene rope for tree swings
Amazon Link
Brand
85
Capacity
90
Safety
75
Weight
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$8.99

Boasts an insane weight limit of 420 lbs.

Resistant to mildew, rot, oil, and chemical agents such as pesticides.

Features low stretch, meaning the rope keeps its shape and durability after every use.

Made of polypropylene, which makes it a great general use rope.

Will last for years without rotting or snapping.

Cannot withstand intense weather conditions like extremely heavy rainfall.

Might be slippery

Stronger than the manila fiber, Koch’s twisted polypropylene rope is designed to handle a wide variety of projects. In addition to using it for a swing, you can also use it around the farm or in a game of tug-o-war. Marines even use this rope!

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Brand

We find the construction and material of the rope, polypropylene, to be extremely beneficial for general usage. While this rope can be used for swings, it can also be used for other outdoor activities such as camping.

Capacity

The polypropylene construction makes the rope extremely resilient and resistant to rot. It also makes the rope’s shape long lasting for years of enjoyment and play

Safety

This is an exceptional quality in a rope for tree swings as you don’t want the swing to go lower towards the ground every time someone sits and rides on it. While polypropylene is lightweight it does not kink. Its superior level of shock absorption allows it to retain knots longer.

Weight

It’s also strong enough to hold an individual who may weigh up to 420 pounds, although we don’t really recommend pushing it this far

7. Benicci Straps Hanging Kit

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.5
benicci straps rope for tree swing
Amazon Link
Brand
85
Capacity
75
Safety
80
Weight
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$9.97

Holds up to 2,000 pounds

Carabiners are rust resistant

Straps are 10-feet long

Easy to install

Includes carrying pouch

Does not include instructions

The Benicci Tree Hanging Straps are ten feet of high-quality, durable polyester. These straps won’t fray or snap; they’re made to survive extreme bouts of weather and they’re also incredibly easy to install. No need for complicated MacGyver-ing; these straps are cost-effective, built to last, and simple to set up.

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Brand

The long straps make it easy for you to adjust the swing to the desired height. Since the straps are durable and can be adjusted you can continue to use them as your child grows.

Capacity

Being rust-resistant, the carabiners have the ability to last for many years. Created to enhance the fun of outdoors, these straps can be used on swings, hammocks, and more.

Safety

The straps are also highly durable as they are composed of polyester. With your purchase, you will also receive a carrying pouch that makes it easy to store and transport the straps. In addition to keeping your child safe, the straps will also not harm the tree.

Weight

Included in the set are two 10-foot long swing straps and two carabiners. Together they allow the swing to support up to 2000 pounds.

8. BlueWater Accessory Cord Package

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.5
blueWater accessory cord package ropes for tree swing
Amazon Link
Brand
85
Capacity
90
Safety
80
Weight
75
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$25.00

Has a polyester sheath and a nylon core

Less stretch than regular accessory cords

Comes in a variety of colors

Strong, durable, and lightweight

Available in thirty and forty-foot lengths

Some say the item is stiff for tying knots

A few received the wrong color

BlueWater is bringing you a more classic tool for swing-hanging: a simple rope. This cord is nylon at its center but sheathed in polyester. It’s tough, so it can hold some weight and it will withstand weather without easy fraying or damage. But it’s also less flexible, making it more difficult to tie secure knots with. Still, there are two lengths available and you can always cut them down to the proper size, so you have the option to customize the height of your swing.

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Brand

However, it is the stiffness that makes it less stretchy than the others and the perfect support for a tree swing. The selection of colors offered is fantastic, so pick one that is your favorite.

Capacity

Two lengths are available in this lightweight, strong cord. If you are looking for something a bit different than the traditional natural-fiber ropes for your tree swing, then this is a great choice that you will please you.

Safety

This cord is thinner than the natural fiber ropes that we feature, but it is just as strong. It is durable and can support heavy weights for almost any type of tree swing you want.

Weight

Whether you make your swing with a board, tire, or knot for the seat, this cord will support your weight and last a long time

9. Sgt Knots Pro Manila

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
sgt knots promanila rope for tree swings
Amazon Link
Brand
80
Capacity
75
Safety
80
Weight
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$59.95

Multiple diameter thicknesses available

Five pre-cut rope lengths

Lightweight synthetic version of manila rope

Strong and shock absorbent

Weather and temperature resistant

Stiffer than some other kinds of rope

Polypropylene rope is some of the most highly recommended when it comes to mounting swings in your yard. This SGT Knots Pro Manila is a lightweight synthetic version of classic manila fiber. H SGT Knots is a veteran owned and operated company made up of former Marine Corps members. They believe in carrying on the Semper Fidelis motto in every capacity of their life and business, so you can count on them to serve you to the best of their abilities.

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Brand

Tree swings are a cost-effective way to get a little slice of classic playground fun right in your own yard. Long before the days of elaborate play structures, families were tying tires and saucers to trees and kids were hollering and swinging on them.

Capacity

The three-strand rope also has premium shock absorption and won’t kink. You can choose between 10 feet, 25 feet, 50 feet, 100 feet, and 600 feet of pre cut rope, in ¼ inch, 5/16 inch, ⅜ inch, ½ inch, ⅝ inch, ¾ inch, 1 inch, 1 ¼ inch, 1 ½ inch, and 2 inch diameter.

Safety

Highly resistant to temperature and weather, this coil can hold up under UV rays, chemicals, and oils It’s a more affordable alternative than natural manila, and with a better performance record besides.

Weight

Plenty of ropes come in varied pre-cut lengths, but it’s not often you get to specify or customize the diameter. With so many options available, you truly can order just the right size for your needs.

10. Wave-Energy Swaps

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.5
wave energy swaps ropes for tree swing
Amazon Link
Brand
74
Capacity
75
Safety
80
Weight
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$23.23

Each strap hold sup to 1200 lbs

3 foot or 6 foot option

Extremely easy installation

Weather-resistant

Not as easy to adjust height

Better for tire swings or swings that don’t go as high

You’ve got plenty to do and not a lot of time to do it--or at least, it seems like most parents feel that way. Wave-Energy is a no-hassle way to hang a swing for your family. This kit takes minutes to install and is made to last for years and years. Choose from three or six foot straps for your needs, take a few moments to complete the setup and then: voila! All you have left to do is enjoy.

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Brand

Wave-Energy isn’t a big brand name by any means, but their following of customers do seem pleased with the product. By all accounts, the straps are durable, high quality, and as easy to install as is promised.

Capacity

These aren’t as easily adjustable as some other ropes and straps. You can buy them in two lengths (3 feet or 6 feet) but they’re not built with multiple height settings or loops to customize the length of the straps.

Safety

These straps are water repellent, frost resistant, and cold resistant. Their ability to endure extreme weather makes them a fine choice for hanging a swing outside, since those tend to be semi-permanent fixtures and you don’t want to have to bring the whole setup in every time it rains.

Weight

Each strap can hold up to 1200 lbs in weight. If you don’t feel the straps hold up to the company’s quality promise, you can contact them to receive your money back.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Brand

Installing a tree swing can be a very easy endeavor. However, there are certain things that you have to consider especially when choosing the rope that essentially forms the bridge between the tree branch and the platform upon which your kid will be sitting on. Pay close attention to the brand of each strap. Our list contains several different companies that are trusted by families and are household names. Companies that offered lifetime warranties made the list before those that do not. The lifetime warranty shows that the company believes in its product and cares about their customer.

Capacity

A rope can have a number of resistances, but there are a few that we believed took precedence over others. For instance, water resistance, specifically salt-water resistance, were high on our list. This is because of the amount of rain a rope swing will see in its lifetime. We also took weather resistance into great consideration because temperatures have a direct effect on the overall integrity of rope. UV resistance was also very high on our list because of the amount of sunlight the average tree swing will undergo in its lifetime.

Safety

It is important to take note that there are a variety of roping materials for swings. This often has implications in their durability or the length of time it will need before the materials used in its construction start to wear away. Know, too, that the more durable the material is the more expensive it usually is.

Metal chains are highly durable, especially those with excellent corrosion resistance while polypropylene is usually indicated for indoor use or those where it’s not exposed to the elements as it is not really that durable. There are also natural fiber ropes such as Manila, sisal, hemp, and cotton which can have highly variable durability. As a rule, if you do choose a natural fiber, you may have to replace them every year or two. Polyester and nylon are exceptionally durable, although the latter is more susceptible to stretching and has the tendency to be quite slippery.

Choosing a strap that is composed of a stretch-resistant material will provide you with the reassurance that it will not break while your child is using it. Also, pay close attention to the method of installation needed for each strap. Kits that included heavy-duty locks and carabineers gave us more peace of mind when it comes to safety as they will prevent the strap from coming off of the tree. While your family’s safety was at the forefront of our mind, we also appreciated companies that cared about the environment. Straps that were composed of a material that would not harm the tree it is placed on ranked higher for us than those that may potentially hurt the tree.

Weight

Though the ropes on our list do not have all of these resistances and treatments, they have at least one. This allows the buyer to buy a rope that they feel best matches their setting and circumstances. If you don’t live a particularly sunny area, or your tree swing is shaded most of the day, then a UV resistant rope will not be very beneficial for you or your family. Keep in mind, the higher the weight limit the more opportunities for enjoyment. For instance, straps that have a weight limit of 2200 pounds will allow people of all shapes and sizes to enjoy the swing, whereas a strap with a weight limit of 450 pounds will not. Higher weight limits also give your child the chance to enjoy the swing with their friends and family.

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Parents, Did You know?

Swinging helps with sensory integration – Swinging helps the brain process a variety of information all at the same time. Visual, kinesthetic, auditory, olfactory, body awareness, and movement inputs together with the pull of gravity are all integrated into the brain allowing for faster integration and processing, leading to better learning and the molding of behavior in the future.

Parents, Did You know?

Swinging aids in the enhancement of balance – Children have to work against gravity to maintain a more stable balance of the body. Rocking their bodies to and fro leads to the strengthening of the core muscles which helps in the more efficient development of balance.

Parents, Did You know?

Swinging may provide for calm and relaxation – Experts believe that this has something to do with our instincts. The gentle rocking motion of the swing brings us back in time when we were calmly soothed by the fluids in our mother’s womb. Exactly how it works still remains to be adequately explained, however.

Parents, Did You know?

Swinging is definitely not only for kids. It’s great for adults, too. Choosing the right rope for your tree swing means choosing one that is durable, strong, has exceptional UV resistance, has no or minimal stretch, and easy to install, too. With the 5 best ropes for tree swings, you can easily make one for you and your kids right in your backyard.

Parents, Did You Know?

Other Factors to Consider

Physical Development

Akin to a rope’s durability is its strength. However, it is crucial to understand that there strength pertains more to the ability of the rope to hold as much weight as possible without breaking or losing its integrity. Obviously, metal chains provide you with the greatest strength while polyesters are also exceptional when it comes to synthetics. If you’re choosing natural fibers, Manila rope seems to be an excellent choice, although it is quite pricey. Nylon is super strong but, again has the tendency to be quite slippery and as such is not really ideal for swings that are primarily intended for young kids. Polypropylene ropes can be strong, too, provided you don’t unnecessarily expose them to the elements.

Perhaps your choice of rope is best defined by who will be riding on the swing. If it is primarily children and that ample signage be posted to prevent adults from using the swing, then any of these choices should be great. But, if you’re making a swing that’s intended to hold even adults, then it’s crucial to choose a really strong rope. Additionally, while metal chains are strong, these are not really ideal for tree swings and should only be mounted on eye bolts.

Effectiveness

You don’t want your kid to be swinging lower and lower every time he or she takes a seat. That’s why it’s important to choose one that has little or no stretch. Nylon has the tendency to stretch while polyester gives you very little stretch. Of course, you have metal chains having no stretch at all.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What is polypropylene?

a:

Polypropylene, simply, is a plastic made from combining propylene monomers. Essentially polypropylene combines the best features of propylene into a single plastic. Polypropylene is known for its chemical resistance, toughness, elasticity, insulation, and resistance to wear and tear. Features like this make polypropylene perfect for tree swing and other outdoor endeavors.

q: How should I judge a rope’s tensile strength?

a:

To judge a rope’s tensile strength accurately, you must first understand that tensile strength is used to refer to new rope. This tensile strength is determined under factor conditions and therefore can never accurately represent real world circumstances. Tensile strength also is cut half each time you make a knot. The general guide is that when 8 knots are made in rope the tensile strength is reduced by about 50% depending on the rope. But, above all, tensile strength is used to determine how much weight a rope can handle over a period of time. As long as you understand those basic things, you can accurately judge a rope’s tensile strength for your needs.

q: Why should I be concerned with weight distribution on a tree branch?

a:

An even amount of weight distribution means that no point of the tree branch is carrying more weight than another point. This is particular important for child safety. If one point of the branch has too much weight, that point weakens over time. Given enough time, that point on the branch will become a point of breakage. When you evenly distribute the weight over a larger surface area, you minimize the chances of breakage.

q: What does ‘low stretch’ mean?

a:

The term ‘low stretch’ refers to the amount of stretching a rope does trough when weight is applied. If a rope has ‘low stretch,’ that means the rope stretches very little when weight is applied. Conversely, a rope is considered to have ‘high stretch’ if it stretches out a lot when weight is applied. For tree swing projects, you want a rope to have very little stretch whenever possible.

q: Do I want my rope to have no ‘stretch?’

a:

Not necessarily. While you want to have as little stretch as possible, completely no stretch rope is virtually impossible to come across. Even great ropes stretch a little bit, even though this amount of stretch isn’t noticeable to the human eye. So, don’t be concerned if your rope stretches a tiny amount. As with anything carrying a substantial amount of weight, some type of strain will occur.

q: How trustworthy are these weight limits?

a:

We trust the manufacturers when they claim the weight limit of their rope. However, just because the weight limit of a rope is over 1,000 lbs. does not mean the tree can hold that much weight. Most trees sturdy enough to house a respectable tree swing can hold quite a bit of weight, but always check the strength of the branch before building a swing. To effectively check the strength of a tree branch, tie a heavy weight to the end of a rope and attach this weighted rope to the tree. If the branch bows or dips a considerable amount then it’s not strong enough to hold your child.

q: What size of rope is best for a tree swing?

a:

The size of rope depends on the kind of rope you purchase and the kind of tree you eventually build the swing in. If the tree is larger and older, say an old oak tree, you want a coarser, thicker rope because the rough bark of the tree can handle the coarser material. If you build the swing into a cypress, however, you want a gentler rope as to not disturbed the bark of the cypress tree.

q: When is it time to retire a tree swing?

a:

The best time to retire a tree swing is when you notice signs of degradation. This can be a number of things like: high stretch, fraying of rope, weakening of rope, rope discoloration, loss of shape, creaking or snapping sounds, etc. If you notice any of these signs or a combination of these signs, then it’s likely that you need to retire the tree swing. After you remove the tree swing, check out the branch to see if the tree is strong enough to house another one. If the branch looks weak or brittle, relocate the new swing.