Most children love to climb and, while taking the kids to the park is a great way to burn off some energy, nothing beats having an adventure in your own back garden with a climbing frame.


This versatile piece of kit can vary from a small plastic frame all the way up to huge wooden forts with climbing walls, sandpits and cargo nets.

As well as being a lot of fun to play on, climbing frames teach children how to navigate risk and help them to develop key skills including balance, strength and gross motor skills.

With the help of our child and parent testers, we have tested and rated loads of different climbing frames to select the 10 best in a range of sizes, price and age suitability.

Best climbing frames at a glance

  • Best for growing with your kids: TP Toys Explorer Metal Climbing Frame Black Edition, £167.49
  • Best budget buy: Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars Climbing Tower, £89.99
  • Best for different climbing options: FatMoose CleverClimber Club XXL, £579.99
  • Best for monkey bars: Dunster House Monkey Bars Climbing Frame, £289.99
  • Best for summer and winter fun: Plum Climbing Pyramid Wooden Play Centre, £479.99
  • Best for imaginative play: Wickey MulitFlyer Climbing Frame with Wooden Roof, £649
  • Best for do-it-yourself design: Quadro Climbing Pyramid, £235.99
  • Best for versatile fun: UFO Den & Climbing Frame, £199.99
  • Best for indoor play: Active Tots Wooden Climbing Triangle, £69.99
  • Best for large families with small gardens: Jungle Gym Jungle Hut, £672

Jump to:

More like this

What to look for when choosing a climbing frame

Space – Most outdoor climbing frames require level ground and a minimum amount of clear space around the structure. This is something you will need to factor in when measuring your garden and choosing the size frame you want.

Age suitability – This is a really important feature to consider, as it can be dangerous for younger children to use play equipment that's too high for them. It is also important to look at the maximum weight limit, especially if you are going to have younger and older siblings playing on the same climbing frame.

Material – The majority of climbing frames are made from plastic, wood or metal. Each material has its pros and cons. For example, treated wooden climbing frames tend to be hardwearing and most have quite long manufacturer guarantees. Metal frames can be very sturdy, but are prone to rust if they are left open to the elements throughout the year. Plastic is really easy to clean but can get hot and fade in the sun.

Assembly – In general, most climbing frames will come in parts and will take you a good few hours to assemble (if that idea fills you with dread, you can find build services who'll do it for you – at a cost). Wooden climbing frames usually come with pre-cut pieces of timber but you might have to drill the holes yourself or cut any tarpaulin pieces.

Extras – Many climbing frames come with items such as swings, ropes, covers or bars, but make sure you check exactly what's included and what's extra. Often the stock photographs will show items that you have to purchase separately. It is also worth checking if the climbing frame is modular and can have other sections, such as swings or a slide, added at a later date.

Here’s our pick of the 10 best climbing frames for kids

1. TP Toys Explorer Metal Climbing Frame Black Edition, £167.49

– Best for growing with your kids

Available at: TP Toys

TP Toys Explorer Metal Climbing Frame Black Edition with child tester

Age: 18 months+ | Size: L208cm x W208cm x H201cm | Maximum user weight: 100kg | Main material: Steel | Warranty: Frame, 5 years (rust); all other parts, 1 year | Assembly time: 2 hours (2 adults)


  • Grows with your child
  • Shaded area
  • Good accessories available
  • Variety of climbing options
  • Built-in den


  • Not suitable for older kids

If you're looking for a climbing frame that offers protection from the sun, this could be just the ticket. This model features covered den at the top that you reach by climbing the frame or using a cargo net. At the base, there's also a hexagonal ball pit/sandpit area for extra fun.

It's designed for toddler age and up, and the clever design allows the climbing frame to grow with your child, so the platform can be built at a low height (56cm) to begin with and then raised all the way up to 119cm in later years. The maximum child weight is very generous but we reckon that, for older kids – 8 years and up, say – it might be a little small.

My daughter loves it and has played with it every day since it's been built. I like that it has the cargo net, so they have different options for climbing up, and the playmat is a great feature to have for younger ones to play in, too, or for having a picnic in.
Lisa, mum of our child tester Chloe, 4

2. Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars Climbing Tower, £89.99

– Best budget buy

Available at: Smyths Toys

Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars Climbing Tower

Age: 3 to 6 | Size: L178cm x W166cm x H118cm | Maximum user weight: 70kg | Main material: UV-resistant plastic | Warranty: None | Assembly time: 1.5 hours


  • Great value
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors
  • Versatile


  • Limited age range
  • Tricky to assemble

This very affordable climbing frame can be used indoors or outdoors. It is very lightweight, so super-easy to move around your house or garden. Kids can climb to the top of the dome, swing from the bars and make a camp inside. This type of interlocking open frame is great for developing problem-solving skills, as well as building upper and lower body strength. While its main use is climbing, we also like the potential for imaginative play. The dome shape lends itself well to becoming a den and we found that, with a couple of sheets and some pegs, it becomes a fun hideaway.

The solid interlocking connectors and double self-locking springs mean you don’t need brute strength to build it. That said, it'll probably take you longer than the advertised 1.5 hours. It's not suitable for children under 3 and, despite the 70kg maximum weight, it might seem too small for kids over 6, so it has a limited lifespan if you're only buying for 1 child.

3. FatMoose CleverClimber Club XXL, £579

– Best for different climbing options

Available at: ManoMano and FatMoose

FatMoose CleverClimber Club

Age: 3+ | Size: L250cm x W105cm x H220cm | Maximum user weight: 100kg | Main material: Pressure-treated solid wood | Warranty: 10 years (all wooden parts) | Assembly time: 2 hours+ (2 adults)


  • Multiple climbing options
  • Sturdy wooden frame
  • Versatile
  • Accessories available


  • Pricey
  • Long assembly time
  • Requires separate ground anchors
  • Not suitable for toddlers

This wooden, multi-activity climbing frame will keep your kids acrobatically busy with its ladders, cargo net, ropes and climbing wall. It's impressively compact for a climbing frame and we love how it can be tweaked to suit your children's needs. For example, you can extend the climbing wall to make it the full height of the frame or you can use the extra wooden boards to create a basketball ring backboard, as shown in our picture (the basketball ring is sold separately).

It's a bit of a job to assemble and you will need a drill (no pre-drilled holes in the timber supplied). You may want to consider cementing it into the ground for extra stability but, whether you do or not, we strongly recommend you secure it with ground anchors – which aren't included, so will cost you an extra £80 for the set.

4. Dunster House Monkey Bars Climbing Frame, £289.99

– Best for monkey bars

Available at: Amazon and Dunster House

Dunster House Monkey Bars Climbing frame

Age: 3 to 14 | Size: L190cm x W315cm x H220cm | Maximum user weight: 100kg | Main material: Pressure-treated wood and steel | Warranty: 10 years (insect infestations and fungal decay) | Assembly time: 1 day (2 adults)


  • Great age range
  • Sturdy wooden frame,
  • Ground anchors included


  • Very long assembly time
  • Not suitable for toddlers
  • Possibly too high for some preschoolers

This is the climbing frame for kids who just love to swing. It's big – though perhaps not as big as you'd think from the picture – and very tall (over 2 metres), so it's suitable right up to early teenage years. Because of the height, though, we'd recommend thinking about placing safety mats underneath to cushion any potential falls.

The wood is thick, solid and great quality, though you may want to add a layer of varnish to protect it even more from the weather, and there are really strong metal braces at all the key joints. But it is a monster job putting it all together: you'll need a drill (no pre-cut holes) and a whole day of careful instruction-following. It comes with anchor points included and it's recommended that you place it on a level surface at least 2m from any structure or overhanging branches/wires.

5. Plum Climbing Pyramid Wooden Play Centre, £479.99

– Best for summer and winter fun

Available at: Plumb Play and Wicken Toys

Plum Climbing Pyramid Wooden Play centre

Age: 3 to 12 | Size: L150cm x W390cm x H210cm | Maximum user weight: 50kg | Main material: FSC-certified timber | Warranty: 5 years (rot and insect damage); 1 year (slide, hardware, fabric and accessories) | Assembly time: 5 hours (2 adults)

  • Pros:
  • Great age range
  • Multiple climbing options
  • Sturdy wooden frame
  • Fantastic features
  • Hosepipe attachment


  • Pricey
  • Long assembly time
  • Not suitable for toddlers

This wooden climbing frame has features that adapt to the seasons, with closed areas for colder months and a hosepipe attachment to turn the 8ft slide element into a waterslide in the summer. The climbing wall has coloured hand and foot grips on one side and a metal-bar ladder and cargo net on the other, with a 'secret hideout' behind Velco-opening camouflage fabric panels in between. The slide is a good length with a fun wavy slope and at the top of the climbing pyramid is a large split-level platform play deck. If you like, you can pay extra to add on a double swing.

This has been the best addition we've ever made to our garden. My children both love playing on it and the variety of 3 different climbing surfaces – metal bars, climbing net or climbing wall – mean they can play on it at the same time without arguing.
Sarah, mum of our child testers

6. Wickey MultiFlyer Climbing Frame with Wooden Roof, £649

– Best for imaginative play

Available at: Amazon and ManoMano

A collage of Wickey Multiflyer outside in the garden with kids playing on it alongside the studio shot of the product

Age: 3 to 12 | Size: L288cm x W429cm x H263cm | Maximum user weight: 100kg | Main material: Pressure-treated wood | Warranty: 10 years | Assembly: 5 hours (3 adults)


  • Great age range
  • Multiple climbing options
  • Sturdy wooden frame
  • Great features
  • Versatile


  • Pricey
  • Very long assembly time
  • Anchors not included
  • Not suitable for toddlers

This wide, wooden climbing frame boasts a climbing wall, ladder, slide, sandpit in the base and 2 swings, which can be swapped out for other swinging accessories such as rings or a trapeze. The platform at the top of the ladder has a ship’s wheel, lookout post and telescope, which make great props for loads of imaginative play.

You'll need to buy your own ground anchors (nothing is included). Slide available in a choice of 8 colours.

It really is the most brilliant piece of play equipment!
Parent tester Katie

7. Quadro Climbing Pyramid, £235.99

– Best for do-it-yourself design

Available at: Amazon and Early Years Resources

children's climbing frame

Age: 12 months to 4 years | Size: 40cm x 40cm per grid | Maximum user weight: 100kg | Main material: UV-resistant plastic | Warranty: 6 years | Assembly time: 2 hours (1 or 2 people)


  • Versatile
  • Suitable for indoors and out
  • Easy to assemble
  • Suitable for toddlers


  • Limited age range (although this can be extended with the addition of extra kits)

Now here's a climbing frame you can design – and re-design – yourself. This giant plastic construction set comes with 236 parts which you plug together to create up to 11 different designs , including cubes, tunnels, pyramids, play towers and even mountains. This is great if you have children of different ages, as the little ones can climb on the lower grids and the slightly older or more adventurous ones can go a bit higher. You can also start off building a lower frame and then tweak the design as your child grows to make it more challenging.

It’s really robust and we love how versatile it is. You can change the arrangement, buy extra pieces and also accessories.
Parent tester Tanya

8. UFO Den & Climbing Frame, £199.99

– Best for versatile fun

Available at: TP Toys

UFO den and climbing frame

Age: 3+ | Size: L201cm x W217cm x H122cm | Maximum user weight: 100kg | Warranty: 1 year | Assembly time: 2 hours (2 people) | Award: Gold, MadeForMums Toy Award 2022


  • Den is low to the ground
  • Reasonably easy to assemble
  • Versatile play potential
  • Durable


  • May feel a little high for 3 year olds
  • No other accessories available

This cool UFO Den and Climbing Frame toy is sure to capture your child's imagination. With a climbing frame that goes up and over a floating den, it's got plenty of appeal for children of a variety of ages, plus, the swinging den is a perfect place for chilling out after all that climbing. The kit is strong and durable, and handles wet weather well. The den has a mesh floor which allows good ventilation and drainage when it rains, so you don't have to worry about it becoming too soggy.

I love it! I’m so high at the top, and I like going inside the den and hiding. It’s so cool.
Child tester Lily, 3

9. Active Tots Wooden Climbing Triangle, £69.99

– Best for indoor play

Available at: John Lewis, Amazon and TP Toys

active tots climbing frame_

Age: 18 months+ | Size: L94.5cm x W29cm x H8.5cm | Maximum user weight: 100kg | Main material: Sustainable timber wood | Warranty: 1 year | Assembly time: Less than 30mins | Award: Silver, MadeForMums Toy Award 2022


  • Suitable for toddlers
  • Folds easily
  • Very little assembly
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use


  • Limited age range
  • Additional accessories cost more

With customisable interconnectivity, a beautiful simplistic design and an easy fold, this little wooden climbing frame brings physical play inside. It's suitable from 18 months old and is a safe way to build your child's strength and body awareness from a young age. The timber wood is from eco-friendly, sustainable sources and you can buy additional wooden accessories like slides, bridges, and tunnels to boost the play potential for your little climber.

My little one was so excited about this climbing frame. Once I'd built it (with ease), she took straight away to climbing it. She found it fairly easy to use and was so proud of herself each time she achieved getting over the top.
Parent tester Jennie

10. Jungle Gym Jungle Hut, £672

– Best for large families with small gardens

Available from: Jungle Gym

Jungle Hut Wooden Climbing Frame with slide

Age: 3 to 10 | Size: L320cm x W160cm x H290cm | Maximum user weight: 50kg | Main material: Wood | Warranty: 10 years (wood rot); 2 years (other parts) | Assembly times: 5 hours (2 adults)


  • Great age range
  • Compact footprint
  • Sturdy wooden frame
  • Great features
  • Hosepipe attachment
  • Anchors included


  • Very pricey
  • Lengthy build time

Packing a lot into a small space, this climbing frame is reasonably narrow, so it'll fit in a smallish garden, but also stands quite tall and has multiple play areas, meaning it can hold up to 6 children at once. As well as the long wavy slide, there's a sandpit in the base and a shaded platform at the top of the ladder – complete with a 'starOscope' and steering wheel.

It’s not an easy building job, requiring a drill to make the holes (none of the wood is pre-drilled) and 2 pairs of hands to put it all together, but it's well worth it for the wow-factor. Ground anchors – essential for holding the climbing frame secure – are included in the price. Slide available in 6 colours.


How to safely install your climbing frame

Follow these top safety tips from David Woodman, head of quality assurance and product development at Plum, when choosing, setting up and using climbing frames in the garden with children.
  • The surface the climbing frame needs to be as flat as possible to help avoid any accidents. It’s also easier to set up and align the play equipment on a flat surface.
  • Never place the set on a patio or hard surface as this will increase the likelihood of injury in a fall.
  • Ensure that every part of the climbing frame is firmly anchored to the floor using ground anchors and preferably set in concrete so the frame is steady and safe and won’t tip over at a later point.
  • Make sure there are no obstacles near the play equipment. If possible, keep a safety distance of at least 2 metres from the nearest obstacle.

How to safely maintain your wooden climbing frame

  • Use a soft brush to remove any dirt from the climbing frame, and wipe the metal parts, swing seats and slides with a damp cloth and light detergent.
  • At the end of each summer, treat your wooden climbing frame with a water-based wood treatment to promote longevity.
  • During the winter, remove any fabrics and store in a sheltered, dry place to keep them from harsh weather conditions.

How we tested our 10 of the best?

When choosing and testing these climbing frames we considered size, price, assembly time, safety, sturdiness, age suitability, longevity of use and, of course, play value.

Out 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our testing during the MadeForMums awards and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club.

Each year, 1000s of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.

Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, but instead a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don’t just tell you what is best, we aim to help you discover what is best for your family.

About the author

Gabrielle Nathan is a freelance journalist with 20 years’ experience in lifestyle and consumer journalism. She’s mum to three children aged 9, 6 and 3 and is currently umming and aahing over which climbing frame to choose for them.

Read more:


Gabrielle NathanContributor

Gabrielle Nathan has been a journalist for 20 years, writing lifestyle features for publications including Red, Women’s Health, Wildflower and Condé Nast Traveller. She has been writing about parenting since 2012, the year she became a mum.